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Club for viewers of the Atari Homebrew show ZeroPage Homebrew! Follow on Twitch | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter at @zeropagehomebrew

  1. What's new in this club
  2. Yes you still use the same PSU just now you will be plugging it directly into the console instead of into the switchbox...you know? Like a normal game console LOL! Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the process of things!
  3. Atari 5200 Modding Adventures It's time to mod my Atari 5200 Four Port! I'll be installing TBA's UAV mod, Console5's Switch Bypass and Console5's Cap Kit Part 1: Checking out the pieces The Plan: I have three Atari 5200's, two of which are two ports and one is a four port. I wanted to mod the four port system so that I can use it on the stream to play four person games on it. If you don't know, the Atari 5200 has a VERY unusual way to power the system. Both the video signal and power are combined and carried over the coaxial cable and then separated out at either end. If you plug in the cables in the wrong order you'll get a frightening spark, which I've actually done it accidentally myself! The Switch Bypass will thankfully fix this issue! In the later two port systems they removed this combination power + RF. I also want to install the UAV mod to output s-video from the 5200 so I can get a really nice clean picture. It worked really well with the 7800 and I'm happy with the clarity of the video so I thought I'd give my 5200 the same treatment. I didn't have too much trouble installing it myself on the 7800 so I thought I'd give it another go on the 5200! 🙂 The Box: The four port Atari 5200 was stored in the below box. I'm not fond of boxes as they take up a lot of room and this goes double for the beast of a console that is the 5200! The serial number on the box is A1 2006894 305 and doesn't match the four port system that's contained inside, which isn't a surprise as the picture on the box is of a two port console. The serial number on the box is for a 2 power console assembled in Taiwan for the Atari Corp in the 30th week of 1985 and matches one of my two port Atari 5200's I have. The box also only has one foam side so the 5200 kind of just leans while it's inside. It's also kind of beat up and has a bunch of packing tape all over it. I doubt it's worth anything to any one so I *may* get rid of it, but we'll see. Looks like it was bought locally from Richmond (a city about 30 mins from Vancouver) sold from a company that no longer exists as of 1993 that was founded in 1892! Atari 5200 Four Port Console: The console itself is in really good condition! There is some sticker residue on the controller flap at the top two corners but that'll clean up easily. There are no cracks, discolouration, missing parts or anything. The only thing I can see that is an "issue" is the sticker on the bottom of the console where somebody wanted to make a commentary on where the console was made. They underlined and put a "?" beside "MADE IN U.S.A." and then wrote "ASSEMBLED IN USA" with a check mark above it. The serial number of the console is 185312 EP 213. Apparently the EP stands for El Paso, Texas where the units were assembled and my unit was assembled in the 21st week of 1983. This appears to makes it one of the very last 4 port units put together in the El Paso location. Inside the Atari 5200: The inside of the machine is also quite clean and it doesn't look (so far) that there have been any modifications done to it. I don't need to remove the RF shielding for the power replacement so I won't be opening that up just yet. The RF modulator has the date of 83.5.16-2 on it, most likely referring to Mar 16, 1983? The Upgrade Parts: Here are the parts from Console5 that I'll be using to upgrade the power for the unit. The video from Ivory Tower Collections makes it look fairly simple to install with not too much fuss (thanks so much for that @-^CrossBow^-)! It's been a while since I bought all of this but I assume you can use the same power supply that comes with the system to power the console after the modification (C018187 11.5v DC 1.95 Amp)? Next Update: A bunch of desoldering and soldering!! Wish me luck! - James
  4. I guess a lot of the better Odyssey 2 games are ripe for reinterpretation. I've seen the interpretations of Pick Axe Pete and UFO, and more could be done with them. I'd love to see a KC Munchkin type game with power ups (freeze dots, attract dots, send ghosts back to pen...). Killer Bees was originally designed for trackball control (there was even a now very rare Wico trackball for the O2)...it'd be awesome with an analog 2600 trackball. Turtles is the one O2 game that's so perfect (it really does play better than the arcade), I don't know if it can be improved upon. The speed and constantly changing colors in Attack of the Timelord make for an incredible experience, but without those predrawn sprites I doubt that could be recreated on the 2600. All that said... The O2 game I'd really like to see reinterpreted ... With a lot of reinterpretation... Is Alien Invaders Plus. In addition to the cool giant monster on top who comes down the screen to wreck you, and the idea of extra ships hidden behind the shields... I really love the idea of a shooter where you win, or the aliens win. On the O2, it's a question of who wins 10 rounds first, which works fine in terms of time commitment. The problem is, I know the patterns and I can beat it 10 to 0 every time if I'm sober and take my time. If someone could create a similar game, with more interesting /varied alien movement, faster action on advanced settings or in later rounds... I think you could end up with a really challenging and frightening experience for aging gamers...
  5. That does look like it would make for a really fun 2 player game with the 2600 paddle! - James
  6. I mentioned this a long time ago, but nobody seemed interested... How about a 2 player breakout have inspired by Odyssey 2 Blockout/Breakdown? Player 1 could have much better control with a 2600 paddle than the Odyssey 2 joystick, and player 2 could use a joystick to try to build back the blocks and prevent player 1 from breaking through... It'd be the first mixed paddle /joystick game, I think. A few twists could be built in too (like the ability for player 2 to catch the ball and throw it back, or powerups for player 1 including ones that freeze player 2's men...).
  7. Just a followup to the USB upgrade above, the interview on the stream last night held all the way through without any drop outs or audio weirdness so I will call this a success! - James
  8. My motherboard is about 3/4 years old and does have 2 USB 3.0 Root Hubs but one of them is USB 3.1 Gen2 and being used for my RAID attached storage. I tried to plug it into the root with the RAID DAS and it did work great. I then did a stress test and started transferring a large file from the drive the video capture dropped out completely a few seconds later. At that point I knew that it was a USB bandwidth issue and ordered the card that I showed on the stream today, and the verdict is.... SUCCESS!! I'm running a bunch of tests right now and it's solid as a rock. OBS picks up the 'interview' capture device immediately, plus the video camera and game capture devices are working perfectly too! This is such a relief going forward for interviews, especially for the Atari Homebrew Awards as well. 🙂 - James
  9. That's quite surprising. Even my 9 yo PC has two USB 3.0 Root Hubs. Is you computer that old (I doubt it was a cheap one)?
  10. Another SUPER annoying streaming issue has possibly been solved... So it appears that my computer has only ONE USB 3.0 Root Hub on the motherboard and during interviews on ZPH I've been trying to plug in two USB 3.0 capture devices into the same hub, which I found out that Elgato says is a big no-no. Even though I have a ton of USB 3.0 ports on my computer, they all lead to the same place. 😕 It's actually surprising that the interviews have worked AT ALL! You've probably noticed that most of the audio in the interviews have been poor and this is definitely the reason why. I've got another interview on the show on this coming Tuesday so I've ordered a USB 3.0 PCI card to create a new USB 3.0 Root Hub on my computer. Hopefully it works! 😓 - James
  11. A 1942 port for the 2600 would be awesome. I am not sure if the multisprite kernel is the right way, but I played around with it a bit:
  12. Soooo excited for this! I played it in the arcade the other week and it was a blast. The screenshot looks amazing with the Zoo Keeper style bricks and the mini map at the top! Thanks John, this is going to be so much fun! - James
  13. Champ Games has started a POC of this and we hope to finish it someday! (lots of other games in the pipeline )
  14. My homebrew wish list (would like to see on the 2600): port of NES RC Pro-AM port of arcade Eyes port of arcade Nibbler (hack Tapeworm?) hack Activision's Ice Hockey into 3 periods of 3mins, instead of only 1 period - team logo's? - time outs (game pause) RealSports Curling 2600 (already made for A5200) a better graphic hack of Slot Machine M Network (Snafu - better graphics) version of Atari's Surround finish Atari's prototype of Elevator Action port of Vectrex Spike port of "Atari" Food Fight to the 2600 port of arcade Bull Fighter port of Lode Runner (WIP already) port of arcade/Vectrex Armor....Attack port of Toobin' (several attempts) NASCAR (port of PC games) VooDoo football (old Java online game) "New" Rally-X port a new version of Ms. Pac-Man for the 2600, that would be closer to the arcade? Baby Pac-Man for the 2600. Can it be done? (7800 version done) PacMania Super Pac-Man (POC done) Major Havoc Food Fight (POC currently) Space Panic CFL football video game NARC Ivan Stewart's Off Road Challenge Cloak & Dagger (2600/5200) Choplifter (several attempts made) 1942 1943
  15. Added: 1942 (video) / 1943: Battle of Midway (video) - Previous Attempts: 2600 WIP from 2011 (video)
  16. Homebrew Wish List Every time I run across a game that I think would make an awesome 2600/7800 homebrew, I will be adding it to this list! Some of these are my favourite games that I wish would be ported and some of them are ones that I think would make for a super fun game. - James Arcade: 1942 (video) / 1943: Battle of Midway (video) - Previous Attempts: 2600 WIP from 2011 (video) Bubble Bobble (video) - Specifically for the 7800, the number of bubbles would be incredibly difficult on the 2600. Gyruss (video) - Specifically for the 7800 w/ Pokey, the 2600 version is already quite good Horizon (video) Satan's Hollow (video) Snow Bros. (video) Timber (video) Tutankham (video) - The 2600 is not bad but I think it could be more authentic to the arcade. Console/Computer: Gateway to Apshai (Atari, C64, Colecovision) (video) Straight Up (C64) (video) - Four players for use with the QuadTari!
  17. I found someone locally who will be able to help me out with it! 🙂 I do like the look of the XEGS and I'm going to order a keyboard extender as well so it'll probably work out better in the end if I use the XEGS for gaming on the show if I can get it successfully repaired and then upgraded with the SOPHIA 2 DVI mod. - James
  18. No one around who might help you? The XEGS looks so much cooler than the 8-Bit (Pixel will agree here).
  19. So to follow up with my bad news for the XEGS... I now have an Atari 800XL and an Atari 65XE!!! Also, the Atari 800XL already has a UAV s-video upgrade installed and I've ordered a 5-pin s-video/composite/audio output cable and a 5V USB power cable as well for it. It already looks quite nice just on the composite output. They both work great and I've discovered that it *WAS* my XEGS that was the problem with A.D.A.M. Is Me playthrough the other week. I also got a FujiNet adapter with the bundle and have configured it for my network, what a great device. I was planning on ordering one eventually but no need now! So on Tuesday's show we'll be using my new 800XL for the stream as I love the top loading cart slot on it. Hooray! - James
  20. Ugh bad news for my XEGS! 😞 No matter what cart I put in, it only boots to the Memory Test and gives a failing grade to the ROM in the machine! 😞 I've read a number of threads about this and they all say that the ROM needs to be either reseated (if it's socketed and there was a comment that they were NOT socketed on the XEGS) or replaced. I do not have the skills or tools (or ROM) to replace the bad ROM on the XEGS. That's terrible news for 8-bit gaming on the stream for the next little while unless it magically corrects itself. - James EDIT: Looking at the photos I took while adjusting the colour on my XEGS, the ROM/OS chip (if this is the problem chip) looks to be soldered on the board for sure. Best Electronics sells this chip for $12 but it's definitely beyond my abilities to replace it.
  21. Atari XEGS update... So last night on the show we played three Atari 8-Bit games including a homebrew called RGB which relied HEAVILY on colours to determine which robots you shoot. We were having quite a bit of trouble figuring out the colour combinations in the game and it wasn't until afterwards that it was pointed out in the forum that my XEGS was outputting extremely different colours than it should be! Here is the title screen in the Altirra emulator (left) and a screencap of the title screen on my XEGS (right). You can clearly see that the RGB are not Red Green and Blue on my system, more like PMG, Pink Mustard Green! So I opened up my XEGS and adjusted the colour potentiometer (circled in red). I turned the potentiometer until the colours matched what I was seeing with the Altirra emulator (left) to what I was seeing on screen (right) for a colour bar generator program I found. Well, as close as I could get them, everything was a touch off but what can you expect from composite out and one dial to work with. I then loaded back up the RGB game that started the whole journey of fixing the colours. Here are the comparison results of Altirra (left) and my newly adjusted XEGS (right). The green is a touch lighter than in emulation but the red and blue are spot on, perfection will have to wait until the video mod upgrade! Now I can play XEGS with at least the correct colours, phew! Even the "PAL" version of Bosconian I played after RGB on the show looks correct, yellow alert was showing up as pink and now it shows up as yellow! It looks so good! - James
  22. My RetroTINK 5X-Pro is now on the move! The ETA is about two weeks away... very exciting! I know this likely won't solve the intermittent 30Hz flickering issue (there's a low chance that it might) but it should at least solve the reset issue. Once that is out of the way I can move on to getting a better video encoder to work on the flickering issue. - James
  23. Hooray, I got notification that my RetroTINK 5X-Pro shipped yesterday! They must have heard me talking about it on the stream last night. I'm REALLY hoping that this solves the issue of having to reset the hardware video encoder with the Atari 7800 (don't have to do it with the 2600) every time I turn it off and on to switch games. - James
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