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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/06/2022 in Blog Entries

  1. 3 points
    Hi! It's been 17 years since I started this blog! 17 years since June 12th, 2005. Can you believe it? I mean, the year 1989 was only 16 in 2005! I'm going to try to switch to video but still type, because I love typing. Actually I might do a subtitle file for the hell of it. Also make subtitles in Japanese (because my Japanese is absolutely horrible) and Spanish (because my Spanish is absolutely horrible and even worse than my Japanese.) Something I do forget to mention in the video is how you "spike" the ball. I wasn't able to demonstrate it, but my computer opponent sure did. Repeatedly. When you're above the net, you move that top player closest to the net and hit the Action Button to make the ball move faster when you hit it over the net. I couldn't do that. Also, in the video, I repeatedly mistakenly say "Magnavox Odyssey" when I should be saying "Magnavox Odyssey2" ("Magnavox Odyssey Squared" or, if superscript is unavailable, "Magnavox Odyssey Shift-6 two")
  2. 2 points
    The last time I worked on the Game Boy version of Hamburgers was back in January. I decided to add some more stuff, like music, and a Super Game Boy border now that I know how to do so. But adding the music broke my sound effects, which I tried to restore but I eventually gave up and went to sleep at about 6 a.m. When I woke up at around 4 p.m., I had an idea that I wanted to try to put in. Lo and behold, I think it worked. But there's a trade off: You can't shoot when the burger is flashing. But I guess that can be good since it gives you more incentive not to be hit. So there are some things still left to do: add music for levels 2-6 add music for ending and game over more levels (maybe) I had to change my sound effects I had because they were using channels 0 and 1 which are now used for music. So now all sound effects have been delegated to channels 2 and 3, which I think presented a problem because some sound effects could play and overlap each other since they're used on the same channel. That caused all sorts of chaos in my program, sounds misbehaving and changing certain values that depended on certain variables to stay the same, but they were changed when something else happened, making the sound that was playing different, or not playing at all. I thank the Game Boy designers for 4 channels instead of just 2.
  3. 2 points
    So I went ahead and worked almost all my waking hours yesterday attempting to make a Super Game Boy border for GoSub. At about 6 or 7 a.m. or so, I finally got it working. This morning, I think I fixed the bugs I had introduced when I added in the border yesterday. This was showing up for a split second (a few frames) upon startup after the border had gone up. So I figured I (instead of the SGB emulator getting the border data and displaying it) must have done something wrong. My solution: Load a blank tile into tile #0. It worked. Next up was the music. I had to change the bank where the goal and title screen music were stored from bank 0 to bank 3. The solution to this was to add a SWITCH_ROM(1) to the beginning to get where the title screen graphics for the Game Boy part were stored. I tested one of yesterday's version on a real Super Game Boy. Since I don't have a Super Famicom, I can't test it on a Super Game Boy 2, so if you have one (and a GB Everdrive), PM me and I'll send you a test ROM. So now I have 31% of bank 3 free for storing some more level data. The Atari 7800 power cord has finally shipped, Tempo came and worked after a lengthy cleaning. Cosmic Carnage should come today.
  4. 1 point
    I found a console only buy-it-now listing on eBay for $35 as an "untested for parts or repair only" and thought I'd get it for just the case shell to install a 7800 into it for what I think is a much classier and ageless aesthetic style case to the NTSC or PAL 7800 case styles. I thought this was the perfect candidate with a case in good, if grungy, condition. And when I opened her up, it was far worse looking on the inside with Mud Wasp nests and a good amount of rust all over the shielding and circuit board where the shielding is. I purchased the controller separately for $20, to go with it planning to mod it into a 7800 compatible 2-button controller. I have a proper power supply already. But for posterity I wanted to make sure that this was a board only good for some salvage, making the case free to me for hacking and modifying. Well, after thoroughly cleaning, first removing the mud nests and then using glass cleaner and a toothbrush I started scrubbing the case and motherboard inside and out, twice. Then I did the same thing again a third time on the motherboard, but with 97% Isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush. I started to realize it was cleaning up quite nicely and !this might even be a working machine that I can restore to like-new working condition! So my hacking and modifying the SVA2 case and a 7800 motherboard into a custom system is on hold indefinitely as I feel now I can have a pristine working Video Arcade II that I've saved instead of salvaged, something I feel my obligation to do if I can, as these vintage legacies become more and more rare because nobody bother to save them. I think this one made it out alive barely, being found, and by chance sold to the right type of person to save it. Though it's all cleaned up now and ready to be tested to see if it's working, while cleaning the oscillator crystal broke off, I think it was about to go and my brush finished the job. But I need to replace the crystal now before I can test it and either start trouble-shooting if it doesn't work, or possibly wrapping this one up quickly as refurbish rather than full restoration. Since this baby, now that it's cleaned, is in excellent condition and really doesn't need any real "restoration" It was in a bad place and got all kinds of dirt and mud in every crevasse and rust build up around the shielding probably due to highly humid storage conditions. Obviously was in excellent condition when it was first shoved where ever it was shoved, mostly likely a storage shed from the condition of it. And the neglect and storage conditions though purely inadequate, did keep it out of the way and from being physically damaged and to be a Diamond-in-the-rough. For $35 and a bit of elbow grease, I think I've got myself a console in excellent condition, worthy of display in a collection in full working order. The first set of pictures below are "before" shots the second set are "after" shot once I cleaned it all up. Before: During cleaning process: After:
  5. 1 point
    That is the name of my new webcomic I am trying out. It will begin on July 25. It's about three rabbits named Edgar, Allan, and Moe who live together. I found it easier to draw rabbits than it is any other creature, including humans. I have been on a drawing tangent starting yesterday. I have made 2 weeks' worth of comics in the past day. I had to go to sleep last night. It was around midnight. I laid in bed hoping I could remember the ideas I kept thinking up while I was trying to go to sleep. I woke up at noon. Success: I had remembered my comic ideas. Here is one of them: OK. I admit it. My handwriting sucks. But you should have seen it BEFORE I attempted to clean it up. I was originally going to name the last rabbit Poe until I realized nobdy had the first name Poe, so I thought "What rhymes with Poe?" "Moe" does. Just one of the things I attempt to do to fill my allotted time here on Earth so I'm not bored while I'm here. I don't know why I'm so sleepy right now since I just got 12 hours of sleep, but that's my life.
  6. 1 point
    So much in the style of Alice in Wonderland and their "unbirthdays" I guess I became guarded about my actual birthday somewhere along the way. Used as one of the major means of identity, we have attached this so that social media could announce it to the world. I was all about that back in the BBS days. Heck I used to engrave my driver's license on my items in case they were stolen. My foot locker back at summer camp in the 80s had my social security number on it. We wouldn't do that now. When it came to Facebook and social media I was an early adopter of an unbirthday. And nearly immediately Facebook proved me right as the date I gave them was in messages from other companies, wishing me a happy birthday. So for those that celebrate my Facebook unbirthday, thank you. I will take your greetings and cheerish them on the real birthday. And if you ever want to know my real birthday, I'll tell you next time I see you. Maybe at my birthday party.
  7. 1 point
    Prelude Now that the Bally Arcade is restored, it's time for some upgrades. The Bally Arcade and Astrocade systems were designed to be upgraded into full computers that keyboards, printers and even a light pen could be added too. Officially none of these items or a memory upgrade were ever released by Bally or the later company called Astrocade that purchased the Bally Arcade from Bally. Both promised solutions but all turned out to be vaporware and I don't think prototypes were even made, just schematics and words on paper. Enough though that some, back in the 80's and now are turning Bally Astrocades into computers, from scratch with only some documentation or using third party devices and documentation. Part 0: Notes and explanation Any text centered in bold denotes the next part or "chapter" to the blog. I do my blogs a bit at a time at the same time I am doing the actual upgrades, and mods and taking pictures of it all. In this blog until it is finished, there will be text in Italic denoting it is temporary, an explanation of what is still to come, that will be replaced when what is still to come, gets done. I do not write all of any part at once either, and there will be Italic temporary text letting you know if there is more to come in that part. If there is no Italic text at the end of a part, that part is finished. I have chosen an upgrade similar to early third-party upgrades, but maybe stream-lined a bit, called 'Lil' White Ram.' I assume because it's small, has a white case and is extended ram. It upgrades the Bally/Astrocade to 32K (I don't know if that is all or if it is on top of the 4K the console has to start with. Of course with the Z80 processor 64K is the max without banked memory to switch in and out. I also have Bally Basic cart with a 2000 baud cassette tape jack and a vintage cassette deck I just ordered to go with it. Though I will have to repair and restore it as well. A machine language monitor cart is another upgrade to allow use of the Astrocade like a computer, called the Machine Language Manager or MLM. Both come with labeled keypad overlays using shift and control buttons to select BASIC words and commands and enter numbers and letters. Part 1: The keyboard and keypad kits The keyboard upgrade this all around upgrade blog is titled after will connect to the 24 key (10-pin) keypad and a ribbon cable is generally fed out the rear PBI/expansion connector or through an area of choice modified to allow the ribbon cable to protrude. In my case, I have one of the earlier motherboards that still has a 10-pin "test" edge connector built in, for factory testing and then it gets enclosed and hidden by the case and metal shielding. I am making use of this connector so I can have a nice, neat keyboard connection with a keyboard that can be unplugged. I will have to cut out openings in both the metal shielding and the plastic case for access for a keyboard plug. So after looking into a couple of keyboard alternatives, and almost settling on two different keyboards I had on hand and one that someone offered, but turned out not to be in working condition, and deciding I could find something better, with a case already, I looked into it a bit deeper and found what I want in a kit keyboard. So I don't have to build my own, and that matches the wood grain of the Bally Professional Arcade, It's a high-end mechanical keyboard kit with real real Walnut wood case, that I have just ordered. While starting the keyboard upgrade to the Bally motherboard as I wait on the keyboard to arrive, I noticed that the Bally Basic console keypad overlay and the Machine Language Manager keypad overlay have different layouts for the numbers, a row off from each other. This presented a problem because this keyboard upgrade is designed to directly hard wire the console keypad's keys to the keyboard so the key board is seen by the Bally as the console keypad. And if buttons are used for different things between the two programming carts, then the keys on the keyboard will match up with Basic, but not with MLM or vice versa. At first I decided to just label the keys for both Basic and MLM with top and bottom half different labels to follow for each. But then I decided that would make the keyboard to "busy" looking and detract from appearance, which I am going out of the way to make all look classy and match. So, I decided that I would have two keyboards, one for Basic and one for MLM. But I also didn't want to constantly be swapping keyboards, and two like the one above is awful expensive for one machine. The solution I came up with was I needed to find a 24-key keypad compliment the keyboard and both could easily fit on the desktop together, and it makes the system look more complete overall as well. Then I can attach both via a Y-adapter cable and leave both plugged in, using the keyboard for Basic and the keypad for entering MLM code. So here is the keypad I found to go with the keyboard pictured below. I will have to either make a walnut would case for it to match the keyboard, or at least find walnut wood grain laminate to attach to the perimeter so they match. Assembly and wiring of keyboards yet to come when they arrive Part 2: Case and shield/ground plane modification Cutting an opening to plug in the keyboard to an unused (for factory testing) 10-pin edge connector. First I cut away part of the shielding and paper insulator to have access to the hidden edge connector. Then inserting the shielding and motherboard back in the case bottom, I use a gold sharpie to mark out the area to cut the plastic case for the keyboard plug to plug in. Then I use my Dremel with a cutting wheel and Exacto razor knife and cone sander head to cut and refine the case cut-out. Part 2: the keyboard edge connector Next, I cut the traces connecting to the 10-pin edge connector, isolating the tongues on both sides of the board, where the plug plugs in. I also found and ordered a 10-pin edge connector plug from Mouser Electronics, shown below as well. To be added yet is the drilling of staggered holes for both top and bottom tounges, so all ten connector fit in the space of 5 on the component side of the motherboard as there is no room on the bottom. Also pictured below are the Dupont connector male angle header that 10 of the pins will be separated individually to solder into those staggered holes. More to come... Part 3: installing a new wiring harness for the keypad and keyboard The next step was to remove the old keypad harness from the motherboard and keypad, and install a new Dupont wiring socket. I used a 24-pin socket that I lined up with the keypad harness hole on he motherboard, since the holes on the motherboard are not uniform. Once I matched up pins as close as possible, I cut out the extra pins. and bent whatever pins left that had to be to insert in the pad holes on the motherboard. Then solder the new socket header onto the motherboard. Now it's time to install some Dupont wiring that will connect to the keypad. Though I don't have enough with male to female connectors, and had to order more, so the wiring pictured below of male to male Dupont connectors is just to take pictures of what it will look like, though on the keypad side the wires from the keypad will plug into Dupont connectors. Using the extra female connectors on the 24-pin female header I installed for dual sets of wires, one set to the keypad and the other set to the edge connector for the keyboard, by connecting adjacent pins on the female header together using short bit of wire going from one hole to the adjacent one, so that the the second set of ten wires (twenty total) make contact with the first (no pictures of this procedure yet, to be added in later). Below is a sample picture showing two sets of black/white/grey and green/blue/purple wiring. the rest will be added once my Dupont wiring arrives. I also removed the old clear tape and aluminum backing from the keypad, and replaced it with new aluminum backing and clear packing tape as the old stuff was worn through t the black contact bubble cover and I didn't want the wear to reach the bubble contacts underneath. Awaiting components to finish this part of the blog. Part 4: fans and venting Another small modification I am doing to the Bally Arcade. to also help prevent over-heating and just allow everything to last longer by not allowing it all to be constantly running hot and heating up the entire interior of the machine, as I stated in the original restoration blog of the Bally, was creating a stand for my Bally with my 3D printer and installing a PC fan in it to help keep the Bally cool. Instead I discovered that an old Xbox One fan/usb base fit perfectly under the Bally right where the venting is and a couple of plastic protrusions from the fan base fit snugly in between the venting to keep the Bally from sliding off, and it is well balanced at that position too, giving the bally about a half to one inch of air space underneath it. Yes, the fan base has been cleaned since I took these pictures. The fans can be changed to blow into the Bally through the venting, or pull air through. I have chosen the latter setting. But there was yet another design problem with the Bally Arcade, and that is even though it has underside venting, and venting on top in the cassette holder slots, the metal shielding and it's insulation paper are completely blocking the vents, so they are practically useless anyway. So, while I had the Bally disassembled I did a bit of re-engineering myself and drill some holes through the shielding and insulation paper to allow the easy flow of air through the Bally at it's venting. Yes, that dirty USB fan will be cleaned. Part 5: Ram and Rom upgrades Below are pictures of purchased upgrades and cartridges to expand the Bally Arcade into a full-fledged computer, along with the keyboard. There may or may not be more information written to this part Part 6: The recorder repair & restoration Here is an old Sear tape recorder I found and purchased in "non-working, for parts" condition simply because it matches my Bally Arcades aesthetic motif very closely, and after I restore it, it will match even better, with the edition of some gold chrome trim like I used in the Bally Astrocade restoration blog I have in my profile as well. The first picture is from the auction. All others are ones I took once the recorder was in my possession and I started cleaning and repairing it, in preparation for a full restoration. The second picture below I took right after the recorder arrived and I was able to see just how HUGE it is! I put a more modern standard size recorder next to it for comparison. It's also 3 times as tall that you don't see from that angle. The next pictures show the recorder after an initial deep cleaning with Windex and a toothbrush. The metal parts still need another cleaning to removed the rest of the dirty residue that Windex wasn't strong enough to remove all of it quite, especially on the buttons. Below is a picture of the inside, after cleaning it I took it apart to check the condition of the electronics inside, and the condition of any old rubber belts. It had one belt which was indeed stretched and dry. Luckily I'd planned ahead (I have a number of cassette recorders & players) and already have a cassette drive belt assortment of standard sizes that I used to replace belts on my Atari 1010 and 410 recorders. And sure enough, I had one to fit this old Sears recorder. The belt in the picture is the new replacement which is why it looks perfectly taunt. That may be the only thing wrong with this recorder and it may work great. Testing it out is next. Initial testing revealed that it does work, the tape plays, and rewinds and fast forwards, but there is a volume issue as the sound is VERY low and the volume bar does nothing to change it. It could be needing a head cleaning (next on list) or the volume pot needs cleaning or replacing. But also, it's eating my tapes, so I have to figure that out and correct it too. So, it is now time to open the cassette recorder up again (last time all I did was replace the belt) and give it a really good cleaning, because 9 times out of 10 tapes being eaten are a sign of very dirty mechanisms that move the tape, via the drive motor. The volume issue needs to be addressed too. Below are pictures of the inside of the unit. These first three pictures are mainly to show any label information on the inside of the machine. These are all pictures just showing different angle of the mechanism and just how dirty everything is, surely cleaning it all will fix my tape-eating issue. This next picture is of a couple of adjustment pots I found, they may need to be adjusted later... Ok, it's now time to clean and restore all the mechanical parts. My first attempt will be doing it without taking any of the mechanism apart, as there is always a chance of issues and new problems can occur when doing this, so I avoid unless I absolutely have too. For this job, I called in the big guns: the lighter fluid and WD-40 are for cleaning and loosening any stuck parts. The 3-in-1 oil and Lithium grease are for lubrication for some moving parts after the cleaning, grease for springs, arms and latches, oil for wheels, spindles, pulleys, gears and cogs. And also the tools I used for cleaning. After a thorough cleaning of the mechanism and parts, and greasing and oiling some parts, I looked to the volume issue which turned out to be a simple loose wire I had to re-solder. I then put it all back together and tried out a tape. It WORKS! Volume works, everything is moving as it should, and it didn't eat my tapes. I have a fully refurbished (mechanically & electrically) working recorder. After a second cleaning on the outside case, and applying some orange glow wood oil cleaner she almost looks new again! All that is left is a bit more restoration to the buttons, I did the best I can cleaning them, but they still look bad. So I am going to laminate them with some gold tape I have that will help it to match the Bally better too, as well as repair the trim around the tape window using a Krylon 18K gold paint pen, the same I used to repair the Bally logos on the Bally controllers. I would use the gold chrome trim, but this part is too thin and it's too much hassle trying to cut the gold chrome trim thinner and keep it even and straight. The last bit of modifying to make it match the Bally better will be using the same gold chrome trim I used to restore the Bally's trim, around the outer top edge of the recorder. And then the final step as with the Bally, will be to wipe everything down with Rejuvenate brand paint and plastic color restorer and protector, as I also did with the Bally Arcade to bring back it's original paint and plastic color. This starts here soon. Part 7: The Bally Professional Arcade & computer system (wrap up of the projects and the blog, with some final pictures and notes) Under construction Thanks for looking at what I've done so far, the rest of the upgrade and this blog are only awaiting for parts to arrive to finish.
  8. 1 point
    I realized that there is no place where people can download my ROMs. So I decided I should use my blog to provide them. There will be ROMs of all my homebrews. And maybe I will add some demo or unfinished stuff later too.
  9. 1 point
    While getting ROMs together for Nathan for his RetroN 77 contribution to the Stella-thon 12 Hour Gaming Marathon Fundraiser! event I realized I've yet to publish the final ROM for Draconian. ROM: draconian_20171020_RC8.bin Source*: draconian_linux.zip * linux is in the zipped directory name because I used my Linux laptop to finish Draconian on the way to PRGE.
  10. 1 point
    I put a blog about it up on Atari Owners Club forum site but had intended to bring it here too for a while and I am finally doing it. Other "coming soon" blogs are all blogs I had written before on the now defunct Atari Sector forums and I believe them to be lost forever, or at least I've no idea how to retrieve them an in the end decide it easier to redo them all from scratch. I still have most of the photos, so it's just collecting them into one folder and then re-writing the processes. But this one is a simpler copy and paste from Atari Owner's Club, so now that I have some time I'm starting with it. So here begins the real blog, the full repair and restoration of the Bally Professional Arcade, Montgomery Ward special edition. Below are pictures of the unit before initial cleaning. Here are some misc. images of controllers, what's left of the PSU, broken pieces that fell out. Here are images after initial cleaning with Windex and a shop cloth, tool for corners and crevices and toothbrush for same as well. Here are some interior images of the Bally Arcade. As far as I know, from when this unit was put into storage a decade ago, it's in working order except for the lack of a working PSU. I will clean it all up, make a PSU for the unit similar to the dual-power PSU I made for my CA-20001 drive (thread on AS) and I will be removing the RF modulator (which easily unplugs from the mother board!), and do a video mod to the unit. IIRC, I think this unit has RGB output I can tap into! If you are unfamiliar with Bally Arcade/Astrocade consoles, and would like to know more, here is a link to the Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bally_Astrocade Having removed the case entirely, and the shielding and RF modulator, I'm down to the bare motherboard. I also removed lids on the crystal oscillator board and power input box, just to take a peak. I'll be using 91% Isopropyl alcohol, a toothbrush and disposable shop cloth to clean off the motherboard. The top shielding also doubles as a heat-sink for one of the custom IC's, and I'll be cleaning off the old lithium grease and replacing it. Next I'll use a steal wool S.O.S. pad to scrub the rust and tarnish off of the metal shielding and get it looking as new as possible. and clean out the inside of the case bottom which has rust from the ground shield on it too. The RF modulator will probably not be re-installed and instead I'll do a S-video (or RGB if possible) modification. I'll also be working on case restoration in parallel, mainly a deep cleaning of the black textured plastic and repairing the gold chrome trim as best I can. Right now, I will probably make it look the best I can using a gold paint pen to redo the trim, but later on, when I get my hands on some real gold chrome leaf or decal tape or something to redo it more properly. In the mean time, the gold paint will be used sparingly only where the original gold chrome is damaged (which does include the entire outer trim that a previous owner already attempted to repair, poorly, with silver paint.) The PSU I will probably still build my own custom one out of two separate ones like I did with my CA-2001 disk drive. I will also replace the two large capacitors on the motherboard before anything else, just in case and so it doesn't have to be done later down the road. I've finished cleaning the motherboard, and now that I can see it clearly, it looks to be in excellent overall condition and it's a high-quality PCB with heavy-duty circuit traces. There is no obvious physical evidence of any damage or burnout, short or open circuit, no corrosion or cold solder points. It appears the rust all occurred only to the shielding and RF box and the motherboard was protected within, except from years of dust. I pulled the three custom IC's that have sockets, and re-seated them. The keypad board is hard-wired and glued to the motherboard. The keypad contacts appear to be bubble contacts very similar to those found in the common CX-40 joystick. and they all feel to be in good condition, hinting at little use of the keypad, so I'm hopeful it works and will continue to do so for a long time. As I continue to repair and restore this console, I plan to remove the plastic covering the expansion ports so they are ready to be connected to what ever I can lay my hands on or build myself. I've put aside the motherboard and shielding for a while and jumped back on case restoration. I did another deep cleaning, then a rub-down with orange-glow wood rejuvenation oil which also rejuvenates old plastic. I also cleaned off all the ruined and badly done metal trim paint on the outer case edges, I will try a quality gold paint job on them with quality gold paint, but if it doesn't look good enough (it's not going to be chrome shiny) then I'll eventually redo it with some proper gold chrome trim. The gold trim around the keypad area is also in rough shape, and not really salvageable, so I'll attempt the same there as well. The keypad is looking pretty good now that it is cleaned, it has some minor scratching on it's metal surface, but polishing it up helps to hide it. The wood grain motif is in great shape over-all, there are some worn and scratched areas that are hardly noticeable along the bottom edge, but not enough to attempt any repairs, you can't see it unless you go in close for a look. So the next post will show the gold trim work I've done and dirty and cleaned controllers, and probably start the body repairs too. On the tinted clear plastic cover, it looks great after the orange glow and I can make that shine permanent later with the WIPE-NEW product I used on my XL and 800 cases that worked so well. The Montgomery Ward name stamp cleaned up nicely as did the Bally metal name badge. I still have to clean the controllers and they will also need some gold trim restoration on the Bally name logos that are on them. The controllers will also need some minor body work done on them around the top where the joystick/paddle protrudes where pieces have broken off on both controllers. I will be using J.B. Weld for the body work as I always do, but it will also be necessary to paint the controller handles afterward to hide the body work. They are a black semi-shiny plastic so some semi-gloss black paint should do the trick, with clear coat to protect it. After sitting overnight, the orange glow oil has reconditioned the plastic and soaked in or evaporated away, so the plastic has been rejuvenated to it's original color and sheen. I'm especially impressed with the results on the tinted cover, and I don't think I need to bother with wiping it down with Wipe-New either. I'm happy with the results as-is, except for restoring the gold trim which I will attempt today. I'll post pics later... I have found something better than gold paint to restore the gold chrome trim. I am using metallic gold chrome auto trim to replace the original gold chrome. The replacement is actually probably better quality in that it will last longer and not wear off like the original, since it's got some thickness and industrial strength adhesive meant to endure years of weather. It looks like the thinner trim will be a perfect fit around the Bally Arcade keypad area and I'll us the larger trim for the top perimeter of the case, however it will need trimming. I still need to do something about the reset and eject buttons, reset is completely missing it's gold and the eject is damaged. I may have to just resort to gold paint there. Though I'll attempt just a touch up on the eject button since the original chrome is still mostly there. But first, a few more close-up shots of the Bally's keypad area, as I don't think any previous photos have accurately captured the actual damage to the gold chrome trim. Even these photos below, aren't the best, and you would expect to see black where the chrome has worn off, as it was with the top case outer trim. But it's actually a light pinkish-tan color left under the worn off chrome. And in all the photos here, the light areas are where it is worn off, it's not just caused by light glare. It will be a huge difference once new gold trim is in place. Alright you 8-bit retronauts, here are pictures of restoring the gold chrome trim around the keypad! Here is the first strip in place at the top. Here are top and bottom strips in place, the bottom plastic protective coating half-way removed for show. Here we have all four sides and the center keyboard trim in place, over-lapping prior to trimming. Here is the final result, after over-lapping the trim, cutting at a 45 degree angle on the corners trims both top and bottom strips to be flush. The center trim separating the keypad from the cart port was cut straight across using the upper and lower trim edge as a guide to cut as close as possible to be flush and hide the seam as best possible there too. And finally, the corners of the trim are trimmed to match the outer curved corners of the keypad and cart port frame. Here is what it looks like with the case back in place over the keypad. I was just noticing that the eject button isn't original gold either, it was redone with silver paint, so I'll be getting a gold paint pen to redo both buttons. They didn't do too bad of a job on the eject button, assuming the damaged areas have worn off again since, but why they used silver on it instead of gold, and the same with the outer case trim too, I have no idea. If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right. I was just searching for and studying some other Bally Astrocade/Pro Arcade system images to make sure I'm right about the original look, and I believe this photo below is one of the better ones, showing all gold trim and highlights. Here is the finished gold chrome trim on my case. All that's left is painting the RESET and EJECT button's raised lettering and some Wipe-New on the tinted clear cover for original luster, and Ms. Bally will be restored to her former beauty! (cosmetically anyway) I wish they were better pictures, but I have terrible lighting for photographing in this room and the flash only adds glare. But using the camera without the flash to avoid the terrible glare, there isn't quite enough light for my terrible phone camera to focus accurately. So after finishing the case (actually, it's on hold until I get a gold paint pen to finish the buttons and that will be ordered Friday as well), I will continue with clean, and restoring the controllers. IIRC, I can test them out for functionality on an Atari, it's just they are wired differently so the trigger button might be up on the joystick and up on the joystick might be right, but I think I can still test all directions and buttons and paddles for functionality at least, before the Bally is up and running. But the controllers will also not be completely finished either, until the gold paint pen I will order arrives to repair the logos on them, and I get some black spray paint to repaint them after doing body work on broken parts. So...I'll probably get started on the controllers today, and have done what I can, with pictures by this evening. It's another lousy, rainy day here anyway. So, before I get started, here are some "before" shots of the controllers and current condition. In the last picture showing the top of the controller, I believe that is corrosion on the gold metal surrounding the "2." I'm hoping I can clean that up some or completely with some TarnX. The number one controller is in much better condition with no corrosion, only a few fine scratches that will stay, to give it "character" and I'll shine both up as much as possible too. The Bally logos on both sides used to have gold chrome plating on them, and will be painted gold after the controllers are repaired and painted black. One controller is broken in two places, the other in one. As stated before, I will be using the same technique on repairing the broken parts as I did with my Syscheck XL case I modified from a Commodore modem case (as seen on AS). using electrical tape for the mold around the outside, and fill it in from the inside with J.B. Weld. Then I will use copper trace repair across the top with more J.B. Weld on top of that to create extra strength. Sort of like re-bar in cement. Here are interior shots of the Bally controllers, for the curious. One has a plastic cover in place and the other has it removed, that cover slides between the trigger and the leaf switch and wraps half-way around the joystick apparatus. It has a heavy-duty spring which returns the joystick rod to center. On the bottom of the mechanism is a small PCB board which, once again, contains metal bubble contacts like those found in Atari CX-40 joysticks. But, there are heavy-duty leaf springs attached to the rod that press against a polyurethane "wings" that actually press against the bubble contacts in this chain reaction. Underneath all of that is a pot that looks pretty similar to the ones found in Atari paddles. It's all almost arcade quality, which one might expect from Bally/Midway, since they had/have an arcade video and pinball division(s). Not quite as heavy-duty, slightly downgraded for the consumer market, high-end consumer market. And if these were arcade controllers they would be in die-cast metal cases, not plastic. Still, the quality you expect in an expensive after-market controller, not ones included in a system that needs to compete in price among other things, against Atari VCS, Odyssey 2 under original ownership and later Intellivision, Colecovision and the 5200 under new ownership. Here are shots of a complete tear-down, short of the main assembly.I will be testing and cleaning contacts while it is apart, after I do the body-filler on the controller handle, while I wait for it to cure. I will probably have to tear-down the paddle-pot and clean it as they get tarnished from sitting. I've had to redo Atari paddle pots after just a few months of non-use. But I'll test them first...But it all looks in very good condition and I expect the joystick and fire button to work without issue, even though I'll clean them anyway. This last picture is shows the shape of the joystick opening, basically square, with indents in the middle, and those are molded in, not from wear. I'll have to build up a "wall" with the J.B. Weld that is even across, and then use my Dremel with a grinding stone to re-create the proper indent(s), otherwise the joystick(s) won't have the proper throw-distance as other directions. THE REPAIR The first thing was to gather the supplies I'd need for the repair job. This includes 91% rubbing alcohol and paper towel for pre-cleaning, plastic gloves (to keep my hands clean and parts finger-print free) electrical tape, clear Ducktape brand packing tape (not shown in pictures), J.B. Weld, bits of left over resistor leg wire from previously installed resistors (I save these for stuff just like this or to use as wire traces on DIY circuits where only short lengths are needed) and tools for mixing, applying, sculpting and carving the J.B. Weld. I start by wrapping a length of electrical tape around both controller halves, forming it to the basic shaped of the outer controller surface. Using the unbroken controller half allows me to "bridge" where the missing piece is on the broken side. Next, mix up a batch of J.B. Weld as per instructions on the tubes. I then apply a bit of J.B Weld to the inside of the broken half, making sure to fill in most of the hole left by the broken piece, but NOT all the way to the top of the controller half, but just to where there is an indent to the short neck at the top, as shown in the picture below. This is just a basic repair and reinforcement to the case structure, something to build another sculpted layer too. after 24 hours of curing and removing the electrical tape on the outside. Next I use a razor knife (Exacto blade) to carve out the edge seam that overlaps the inside of the other controller half as show in the second picture. The next step is to apply packing tape to the opposite controller half, create a layer on the case that wraps around from the outside, and hugs the indents where two case halves overlap (1st and 2nd pictures below). Because for the next step both controller halves will be screwed together (3rd picture), but you want to keep J.B. Weld off of the half you are not applying J.B. Weld too. Once these two steps are done, then more clear packing tape is wrapped around the outside of the front of controller case, at least half- way around to the sides, hugging the controller case contours exactly (picture 4). Next is the second round of J.B. Weld. This will go all the way to the top to reform the neck. But first, I took a couple pieces of that small left-over resister wire and placed them so on the broken case half they overlap the original case and the area of J.B. Weld filling in the broken space. They will also slightly overlap the other side of the J.B. Weld repair and the second half of the controller. Mix up some more J.B. Weld and start adding it into the opening on the broken half side, covering the reinforcement wires and all the way to the top of the neck, filling in the area where the clear plastic tape is bridging the neck where is broken. This layer of J.B. Weld should be a couple of millimeters thick, but with a thicker "lip" at the top made flush with the lip of the unbroken half. But don't worry about forming indent for the joystick rod yet, just go straight across as the other case half is protected by that first layer of tape. After it cures for 24 hours, remover the outer packing tape, remove the screws and separate the controller halves which should be free of each other due to the tape layer wrapped around the unbroken half. You can now remove the tape wrapped around the unbroken half edge. You can now screw the case halves back together. Now, with a razor knife, sanding paper and whatever tools might help you cut and sand on the inside of the case half you are repairing and carve out the indents matching the other side at the neck top. and carve out any indents to match the shape of the other half on the outside front of the case. Lightly sand smooth after carving. Example pictured below. I've marked and X temporarily to show before and after shots of a permanent marker approximation of what it will look like once really painted. Some final finishing sanding still needs to be done before a real painting, so this is sort of a "rough draft" of the repaired controller case pictured below. I Here are pictures with the repaired and other unrepaired controller cases next to each other. The repaired one is 2nd from the right. So for me, it's rinse and repeat three more times to fix all four controller halves. (only two are mine, the other two I'm repairing in exchange for the new RESET and Eject buttons I "traded and bartered" for...) The capacitors for the Bally motherboard arrived, so replacing them is next on the list. I did notice one error in the list of capacitors I got on-line. They say the C8 capacitor is normally a 15uF, but in fact it's a 6.8uF on my motherboard. On the capacitor list they say they substituted 22uF for the 15uF's, but in the case of C8 I have gone with a 10uF as that is the closest to 6.8uF I have on hand. My replacements are all 35V and 50V rated, except for C6 which I upgraded from 10V to 16V as per the suggestion in the substitute PSU instructions. In any case, all the new capacitors should be able to handle any higher voltage levels from the new transformers. The large caps arrived too, so I think I have everything I need, for the moment to get this show on the road again. Hoping none of the custom IC's are bad. I will start on the project again today, as we've got nothing but rainy days this past few days and the next couple. I had intended on starting this weekend, but I pretty much spent it all napping, worn out from working last week. OK, all motherboard main capacitors have been replaced. I'm ready to start on the new PSU. While I was downloading some more Bally arcade materials and printing out the instructions and schematics for the substitute transformers PSU, on @BallyAlley 's site, ballyalley.com I did finally run across the instructions for an RGB out circuit, which I won't bother with, but that's because the Bally Arcade does have B-Y, R-Y, Y(Luma/mono out), and I already have an Ambery RGB-to-VGA converter/upscaler that also accepts various component RGB. So all I have to do is run a VGA cable out the back where the RF cable used to go, which, of course, will be made slightly larger to accomidate the cable. That will run to a DIY break-out-box that sits outside the BPA, via VGA input, and mount a component output 3xRCA, 1x chroma RCA out and it in combination with 1x Luma (shared with component outs) RCA out for monitors like the CBM 1084P I have. I'll do a dual-mono RCA audio out also. All of this will only take 5 RCA outs. I also already have DIY cables for component to the RGB2VGA converter, C/L-to-S-video, and C/L-to-composite cables to go from the B.O.B to monitors and adapters/converters for the ability to plug it in via 3 different video outs. I also stumbled across directions for a 64K upgrade and connecting a keyboard, so I may even end up doing that stuff too, before finishing with this Bally! Since I'm also building a new PSU unit for the Bally Arcade, I have decided NOT to go the route I have seen in other Bally restoration videos of attaching the replacement power supply directly to the original internal plug connector, I will be using a PSU port salvaged from a broken Xbox 360 unit, and the cord from the Xbox PSU box that plugs into the connector. (below is a picture of the Xbox 360 PSU cord). It has 6 lines going through it which is more than enough for the four wires that go from the PSU to the Ball Arcade unit. I have found PSU's with the correct voltage and minimum amp requirments for the dual-power needed. Just like the ones I found for the CA-2001 disk drive PSU I built, they are made for musical audio equipment like distortion peddles on guitar's and whatnot, but they are the only type I can find that are AC/AC and the right voltages and amp needs. To be continued when they arrive. The transformers for my DIY Bally PSU arrived today, so I can start building it. I've set up to get on with building the Bally Arcade PSU. First I'll follow the schematics on a bread board, and after testing I'll move it to the two green boards you see in the pictures. I've laid out schematics of the substitute PSU from the original Arcadian newsletter from the 80's and a recent update, along with the data sheets of transformers. As I stated in an earlier post, like I did when I built the CA-2001 drive PSU, I'll be making a case and cords for the PSU out of a salvage Xbox 360 PSU case and cords. I'll be using both original input and output cords on this one, my intention being to build in a power input port on the Bally that I will salvage from one of a half-dozen broken Xbox 360's I have on hand. I showed a picture of the type of cord from PSU to unit in an earlier picture, and more will come when I get to that part of the project. I'll add more pictures to this post as I build the test board. New content as of 1-9-22. The repair and restoration continues, some things have changed as per restoration plans. The controller repair section above now includes broken case repair "tutorial." I will no longer be building or including a DIY PSU in the blog, as I was given the opportunity to purchase an original Bally Arcade PSU from a Bally fan who read this blog. I was also able to acquire RESET and EJECT buttons with the gold chrome paint intact, so I no longer will need to paint the old ones with gold paint. And the last item I acquired from this person are two paddle knobs for the controllers that have good 1&2 decals on the top. So, I still needed to fix a broken switch on the RF modulator so I could set it to a channel (3) and I also had to disassemble and clean the unstable power switch. I removed the broken RF switch and just solder-shorted the RF to channel 3 only as that's all I need and it's a quick fix. After taking care of these two things it was time to turn on the Bally for a second test run (the first resulted in a power-up and all motherboard voltage testing checked out OK, but no video image) and the result is I now have a working Bally Arcade, not needing to replace any other components but the capacitors. In fact, and the pictures below don't do it justice, but I think this is the clearest RF image I have ever seen on any console up through the first 3D console generation, the last generation I used RF for any time. So for now I am waiting on building a new RGB video out board and just enjoy it as-is with old-school RF for now, on a little old-school CRT TV that I have. I want to keep the custom IC's especially, but everything nice and cool to promote further longevity because these old IC's run hotter as they get older and this further deteriorates them. With some custom IC's being very rare, possibly irreplaceable now or soon. So I took some precautionary measures, maybe overkill, but it certainly can't hurt, to help protect from over-heating and these old proprietary I.C's from running hot and I added heat sinks to all major I.C's and added onto the current, less-than acceptable, heat-sinks on the voltage regulators (they ran hot, got there nearly instantly and hotter than I've ever felt a regulator get). I of course will not be replacing the top shielding, it wouldn't fit on anymore anyway, but that will also help keep it all much cooler. I will be printing a stand for it as well with my 3D printer, which will also house a small PC fan that will drawer air through and out the bottom venting. I Since it's in working condition, I will wait until any dram or 74LS series IC's go dead before swapping them all out for newer versions and adding in sockets as well. For all intents and purposes, this machine is completely restored, aside from finishing up my controllers. So I gave the exterior another good cleaning and then wiped it down with a micro-fiber cloth and Rejuvenate brand plastic and paint restorer. Shown below with the keypad overlay that goes with the built-in sketch program and a white 3D printed cassette shell in inserted and ejected positions, testing that it fits and works.
  11. 1 point
    The Bubsy Plush Sightings (Started July 5, 2019, updated September 4, 2021) Currently we know through the interwebs there are a grand total of ten known Bubsy plushes from back in Bubsy 1 and Bubsy 2 development days that still exist. We're sure there are more. JennyN (mentioned later in this article) and her father, who worked for Accolade during the Bubsy 2 development, mentioned there was once a drawer full of Bubsy plushies at Accolade. These plushes were handed out to developers, their families, and as a promotional to magazines like Game Fan. And as mentioned also in the interview with Michael Berlyn hung from the rafters during the Bubsy 2 days. Apparently there were Bubsy plushies in their offices till 1996 during the Bubsy 3D days at least. Many of them tossed as Accolade closed their offices, accounts of developers that had them but did not bring them home. But some escaped the purge of the developer's hatred * and still live to this day... Sighting #1 ------------------------------------------------------------------- As you'll recall the first sighting we here on the Bubsy blog got was with Game Fan Magazine #4 and the Bubsy plush in the storage room in 2010. Sighting #2 & 3 ------------------------------------------------------------------- We got a good glimpse of that plush by JennyN in 2013. I've been told she now has a youtube channel and featured this plush recently. And she featured this and another Bubsy plush in 2014 Other pictures were recently covered in another article about Youtube video on Bubsy merchandise. Sighting #4 ------------------------------------------------------------------- We've seen this one posted in 2011 by Jeff Gerstmann on Twitter that had many searching for the Bubsy plush drooling ... Here's a TikTok video he posted on March 23, 2021 you can see the plush at the 45 second mark. Sighting #5 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Berlyn, Bubsy's creator confirmed in the Bubsy Fan Blog interview in 2016 that he had his Bubsy plush from his development days. That plush and other game design notes have since been donated to the Strong Museum, New York in late 2018. Sighting #6 ------------------------------------------------------------------- We have this entry from earlier this year. This picture showed the Bubsy plush without a shirt for the first time: Sighting 7 & 8 ------------------------------------------------------------------- (added April 5, 2020) A comment made on Twitter about the Bubsy Plush when the January 2020 ebay auction happened. Sighting #9 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Replies to this: Mothra .zip Sighting #10 ------------------------------------------------------------------- In January 2020, a Bubsy Plush appeared on ebay. The seller of that auction had this to say on the story of the plush: "Our company Roaring Mouse had a table at the same gaming convention that Sega was at. Most companies were just giving away buttons and stickers but a few like ours brought a very limited number of plush characters. Ours was Splash the Penguin from our Cd-Rom game Zoo-opolis. He was named by our son who was also the voice of Splash. Our daughter was only about 3 or 4 at the time and she was the voice of Penny Penguin. She was this adorable little girl with blonde curls so when we visited different tables they naturally gave her a plush toy as I'm sure they were saving them for children." More about that auction can be found here: Roaring Mouse.zip This plush was bought by the Bubsy Fan Blog and shown in great detail on the April 2020 article. Sighting #11 ------------------------------------------------------------------- September 3, 2021 a Bubsy plush is seen on Reddit, article found by Bubsy fan バブシー on the Officious Bubsy Fan Server Sighting #12 ------------------------------------------------------------------- October 24. 2021 an ebay auction was seen with a Bubsy plush, mug, standee, and lapel pin for $1,500. Later in the day it was sold to a best offer. * Addendum to the "developer's hatred" comment at the beginning of this article. Notable comment: ------------------------------------------------------------------- All the replies and comments from Sega Steve here: Steve.zip More appearances of the Bubsy plush will be added as they are found. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ About Budsies - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (July 5, 2019 - the original topic of this message) The link between Budsies and Bubsy started with this picture on deviant art: We found that this Bubsy plush was created by a site called Budsies. So how did the plush commission turn out when Doctor Clu commissioned them? Actually quite good! This one takes on the yellow exclamation mark of Bubsy in the Atari Jaguar game "Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales". A nice difference.4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ OTHER BUBSY PLUSHES PEOPLE HAVE MADE ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So looking back on the Bubsy Bobcat Fan Blog the plush interest has been around since at least 2008 when Doctor Clu made a Bubsy plush modifying a lion doll: This one was based on the box art of the Japanese Bubsy, so this is more of a chibi Bubsy. Then years later Doctor Clu converted another cat plush to be my Bubsy. Basically serves as a hat rack for the knit Bubsy cap he has. Since that time, other Bubsy fans have also had Etsy make plushes for them https://www.etsy.com/shop/Creativeplushtoys This plush made by the Deviant artist Toodles Team in January 2016 made perhaps the best Bubsy plush to date. And here we have perhaps the most famous Bubsy plush this side of the official plush, inspired by Bubsy in Bubsy 3D and an excellent likeness, created by another Deviant artist, sarasaland-dragon169, and sold on ebay in November 2014. This one was posted by Spangle on Twitter (June 16, 2020) This puppet was used in the Console Wars - Bubsy - Super Nintendo vs Sega Genesis (February 18, 2015) And more fan made Bubsy plushes will be added here as they are found. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Original title on July 5, 2019 before being updated on April 5, 2020"Cruizin'Budsies - 20% off sale... make a Bubsy plush!! - July 2019" Original Link https://atariage.com/forums/blogs/entry/16040-cruizin-budsies-20-off-sale-make-a-bubsy-plush-july-2019/ Your fellow Bubsy fan saying "Keep it up, just keep it up". - Bubsy Bobcat Fan Blog ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Fans searching for Bubsy Plushes... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  12. 1 point
    Video Checkers (Atari VCS, Dec 1980, Atari) In 1980, Checkers feels like the new Blackjack. Blackjack seems like it was a requirement to be on every system. Checkers... well, maybe not on every system. It was already on the Fairchild Channel F (which, I missed back when I played through 1978 like... more then a decade ago, but less than 40 years ago. I'll get to it soon.) and we've seen it on the Intellivision and Atari. Now we get to play it on the Atari again. This time, I did think about going to use the world-famous A.I. Checker Program, Chinook, but alas, I wasn't patient enough to sit through the Atari's "thinking" phases at its top level, so I'm just going to go over the features that this Checkers has. Nine levels of difficulty: Games 1-9 represent Checkers against the Computer in 9 levels of increasing difficulty. Game 10 is human vs. human in case all of the checker boards in your house had been stolen or something or you wanted the novel feeling of playing the game on the TV. I'm not judging you for this. The computer takes longer to decide its move the higher the skill level. Ranging from less than two seconds on Level 1, to 30 seconds on Level 6, to 15 minutes per turn on Level 9. "Giveaway" Checkers: Games 11-19 are called "losing" or "giveaway" Checkers. Giveaway Checkers is a variant of the game where you try to lose your pieces first by forcing your computer opponent to jump your pieces. I honestly had never of this version of Checkers before. Skill level of the computer increases as you move from game 11 to game 19, of course. Game Select (to change skill level) functional during a game: Something interesting about the Game Select switch. You can start playing a game on a skill level and decide, in the middle of the game, (but not while the computer is thinking) to increase the skill level. I thought that was kind of neat. Checker notation is used: Atari's Video Checkers uses checker notation and it's noted at the top of the screen. The manual specifically mentions playing other computer opponents and using the Checkers notation to convey the moves to avoid any confusion. (I tried playing two computers against each other when the board is inverted on one. It is hard (for me) to turn my brain around like that. The number system makes it easier to translate the moves to the other computer.) Checker Notation bonus: The B/W switch lets you change up the numbering system in case the computer playing against the Atari is less flexible. This was thoughtful to include and makes the Atari seem to be the more gracious opponent. ("Oh, of course, binary opponent. This unit is happy to adjust its numbering settings for you! It's no trouble at all!") Set up your own board: Moving the left difficulty switch to "a" allows you to set up the board however you like and then play it by putting the switch back to "b". Actual instructions on playing Checkers!: Yeah, I mention this because Activision's manuals are pretty light in general (which was mostly fine). Their manual for their Bridge game didn't fuss with giving the rules at all and their manual for Checkers was also quite brief. Atari's Video Checkers' manual seems absolutely luxurious in comparison. My impression is that the feature set of Video Checkers is pretty rich. I'm not knocking the others (and I'm not going back to actually compare them, lawds no.) but if I had to pick the one I've liked the most so far, I'd have to pick Atari's Video Checkers. I still need to look at Checkers on the Fairchild Channel F though. One game left for the Atari in 1980, Activision's Skiing.
  13. 1 point
    I used to have a website where I uploaded comics via an online ftp server. For some reason, last month it quit displaying the comics I uploaded. So I quit drawing them. But I got in the mood for drawing some more comics, but I have nowhere to post them, except for here. I do my comics in groups of 3. Since a sheet of paper is 8.5 x 11 inches. 3 comics fit perfectly on this page. Then I scan the page, enter Photoshop, resize the comics (I don't know why scanners like to make extra-large sized pictures out of scans.) Then I cut out the extra dots it likes to make, redo the text with my font of my handwriting I created, and set the number of colors to 2 so it looks like something in a newspaper. I choked on pizza this morning. Eventually I vomited out this brown gook that didn't resemble food at all. I had some Teddy Grahams earlier, but I usually don't choke on them. I don't know why it keeps happening. And I'm making a new album parody of Van Morrison's "Common One," It's not really a parody per se, but the songs are patterned after it, even though I compose them myself. I'm calling mine "Weird One." I don't know why I'm telling you this, though, you'll probably never hear it. Just a project I'm working on to alleviate my boredom whenever it strikes.
  14. 1 point
    The inspiration came from Chris' Star Castle logo. There's a couple minor differences due to the extra processing time that using DPC+ provides. The logo is centered instead of being slightly offset to the left. Instead of using VLBANK, I'm using SCORE mode to change the playfield pixels from green to black to hide the right and left edges of the screen I'm changing PF1 (in conjunction with SCORE) to hide an extra 8 pixels on the right that couldn't be masked with a missile. Stella's debug colors: The alternativing frames (phosphor mode off) The blended image (phosphor mode on) I could have changed the Playfield Color instead of using SCORE mode, but I'm planning to add the TV Type option from Timmy! so the color value to change the playfield back to green could not be hard coded. When writing the routine I didn't know I'd have X free for use, so thought I'd have to cache Green in ZP RAM which would required a 3 cycle read instead of 2. There's enough free time in the kernel that using ZP RAM would have been fine, but just like the free X register I didn't know that would be the case when I started coding the routine. The TV-Type option will let me build a single ROM that works on NTSC, PAL and SECAM systems - though it has been reported that SECAM has a weird issue of sometimes turning red to grey. When I came up with the 2-color 48 pixel routine for Stay Frosty 2 I also used VBLANK. It does have a minor issue, if the brightness of the display is too high the use of VBLANK is noticeable - I showed off that problem before when I finished the initial menu for Frantic. With some inspiration from Omegamatrix, I was able to eliminate the use of VBLANK. There is a minor issue with the technique - due to the way TIA generates the video signal there are vertical lines in the image. I believe it's related to how the TIA generates its signal, which can cause other minor display issues like artifact colors. If you're checking this out with Stella, be sure to turn on phosphor mode! open Draconian in Stella hit TAB for the in-game-menu select Game Properties Select the Display tab change Use Phosphor to Yes click OK select Exit Menu Reload the ROM (Control-R) ROM draconian_20140405.bin Source Draconian_20140405.zip Here's the stand alone program I worked up to figure out the timing. Source and ROM for just the logo 96.zip Images without PF1 getting updated, alternating frames: Blended: actual: ROM w/out PF1 changing draconian_pf1_not_updated.bin
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