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F18A Upgrade, your thoughts?


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#1 jonecool OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:06 PM

Seriously considering the F18A VDP upgrade.  For those that have performed this upgrade, what is the risk in bricking your TI?  I only have 2 spare consoles and concerned that this upgrade could be risky.  Please let me know your thoughts.  It seems fairly easy, just remove one chip and install the F18A.  Also, haven't been able to find an F18A kit, recommendations are appreciated.

 

 



#2 mister35mm OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:23 PM

If you fancy one, and can afford it, then buy one.

 

ti-99's pretty common right now, get a few and upgrade a few.

 

spares are useful. Unless you live in shoebox.



#3 rickneff68 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:35 PM

I don't think there is much chance of bricking a TI-99/4A with one. It really is as simple as you describe -- Just replace a chip and you're good to go. The only real chance you have of messing something up is cutting up the case for the VGA connector. A Dremel or other good rotary tool should work well though.

 

As far as getting one, I'm looking to purchase some more myself, but they apparently aren't available until there are enough people signed up for the new batch. So, I'd recommend making your interest known: http://codehackcreat...2176/category=0



#4 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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    Sunbaenim

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Posted Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:39 PM

I don't think there is much chance of bricking a TI-99/4A with one. It really is as simple as you describe -- Just replace a chip and you're good to go. The only real chance you have of messing something up is cutting up the case for the VGA connector. A Dremel or other good rotary tool should work well though.

 

As far as getting one, I'm looking to purchase some more myself, but they apparently aren't available until there are enough people signed up for the new batch. So, I'd recommend making your interest known: http://codehackcreat...2176/category=0

 

I agree with ricknett68.  It's an easy and fun project.  Seriously once you do this, you'll never be able to go back... and you can use the programs that exploit the extra features.  

 

For a little more info & photos, check << THIS BLOG ENTRY >>



#5 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:58 PM

I installed mine watching a football game at a local sports bar.  Put it back together and had some wings immediately afterward.



#6 Shift838 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:07 PM

super easy to install, no soldering!

 

Just follow the directions.  It takes more time to take the console apart and figure out where you are going to run the vga ribbon cable.

 

One of the best upgrades for the TI.  I have it in both of my 99/4A's..



#7 Arnuphis OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:37 PM

Easy to install like the above posters said. Only challenge is deciding how to route the output cable. I would say this is an essential upgrade as the results will astound you and be a nice gift for your eyesight ;-)



#8 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:17 PM

My only WARNING would be to take it very easy unplugging the keyboard cable when disassembling the TI to install the F18A.  That bloody ribbon cable has been known to get very brittle over the years (especially the grey one).  Fortunately if you bugger it, up Arcade Shopper has a << LINK HERE >> you can click to repair/fix/upgrade it.

 

I'll be picking a couple of these up myself at Fest West 2018 from him.  I'm so thankful Greg is in the TI community to help save our a**es when things go south.



#9 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:32 PM

The routing and mounting of the cable/connector was the biggest challenge for me.  I butchered the back of my case in the process, as I wasn't careful enough to line things up properly. For me the draw was 80 column mode and the ability to use an LCD monitor. 



#10 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:07 PM

we did an f18a install at PRGE at the booth.. easy!  and just leave off the rf shield and stick the vga cable out the back the plastic won't do it any harm  or you can get fancy like some people..  Also they aren't available currently but he's making more "soon" ..I'm sure there will be an announcement here on atariage.. and some parades.

 

Greg



#11 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:56 PM

No chance on bricking the host computer, unless you are really careless and manage to physically damage something in the process.  On the 99/4A the original VDP is already in a socket, so the biggest challenges (as already mentioned) is disassembly of the console, and mounting the video connector.  For other systems, like the CV or ADAM, the original VDP is soldered to the motherboard, so installing in those systems is more difficult since you have to desolder the VDP and install a socket.

 

Also note in some case the F18A can "unbrick" a system, since a common failure of the old computers is the DRAM chips that were used to implement the VRAM, and the F18A has its own on-board VRAM and does not use the original VRAM in the host system.

 

My apologizes for the delay in getting more F18A boards, I'm working on it as much as possible.  It will happen, just not as quickly as everyone (including myself) would like.



#12 dcompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 2, 2018 9:12 AM

Im looking forward to doing this mod asap.  Both in my ti and colecovision.



#13 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 2, 2018 10:49 AM

/Shakespeare Mode On 

 

To mod or not to mod, with the F18A, is that even a question?

 

The answer is: To mod, to mod, post haste!



#14 jonecool OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 2, 2018 12:11 PM

Thanks everyone!  As soon as I can get my hands on one, I'll order and give it a go :)  Now, if I can just find one...



#15 broettger OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:28 AM

Does anyone know how many F18As I need to buy in order to get the net batch built?

#16 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:39 AM

Does anyone know how many F18As I need to buy in order to get the net batch built?

 

Sorry, I have no clue.  I've recently stopped telling people about them since the wait time has gotten so long and because the time frame for the next batch is an 'unknown'.



#17 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:44 PM

:(

 

I'm sad to hear that.   My apologizes, I'm doing what I can.



#18 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:54 PM

 

Sorry, I have no clue.  I've recently stopped telling people about them since the wait time has gotten so long and because the time frame for the next batch is an 'unknown'.

 

This is a mistake.. Stopping gathering interest will result in them not being made anymore. This is why he stopped building them last year. It was quite a long time since anybody asked him for one. He figured the market was saturated and there was no more interest. 

 

Greg



#19 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:54 PM

icon_sad.gif

 

I'm sad to hear that.   My apologizes, I'm doing what I can.

 

I regularly tell people to let you know if they are interested because that will make sure you know there's demand for more.  

 

Greg



#20 rickneff68 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:51 PM

Truthfully, I kind if wish I could pre-order some, so I'm not constantly checking the site.

 

Does anyone know what the "magic number" is to get another batch going? I'm looking for at least two myself.



#21 Casey ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:28 PM

You can put yourself on the "I'm interested" list on Matthew's site so he knows you want one.  That's what I did.  That's what he's using to reach the number he needs to start making more.



#22 DuaneAL OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:42 PM

I left a comment saying I wanted one then another saying I wanted two.  I'm hoping Matthew's comment above means he's actively building some!  That would be very exciting!



#23 rickneff68 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:44 PM

You can put yourself on the "I'm interested" list on Matthew's site so he knows you want one.  That's what I did.  That's what he's using to reach the number he needs to start making more.

 

I've done that -- Put my name on the list for 2. I do have one already, but I damaged it working on the system it was in. I need to have him repair the damaged one as well. (So hopefully, I'll end up with 3 working ones)

 

Probably should have stated that I made a request in my earlier post. Sorry about that!



#24 broettger OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:29 PM

I made a request via his website too. His website states "Current demand is about 70% as of October 3, 2017"

I was just curious about what the magic number is remaining in April 2018?

I am willing to buy multiple if it will get the process started.



#25 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:32 PM

He's reached the number.. but he is wrapped up in work/life..so patience and he will get to them when he can. We all have commitments outside of the TI community. 

 

Greg






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