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About davidbrit2

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  1. I must be in that batch of 40 then. I'm not too concerned about what kind of cart shell it's in, what's inside the cart is more important here.
  2. So let's say, hypothetically, that Fred has a favorite variety of alcohol...
  3. Just found out about this, and I'm trying to reserve one, but the reservation page is showing out of stock too. Is there a trick to it?
  4. The important things to remember is that it's a very unconventional Pac-Man game, and also a very unconventional pinball game. The ghosts make frequent, sudden 180-degree turns. This makes them very dangerous to be near, but also makes them a bit slower at crossing the maze. You have to play very slowly and cautiously, and make extensive use of the tunnels to bait/group them on one side of the screen, while you grab some dots on the other side. In other words, you can't approach it like other Pac-Man games where you can make long runs gobbling up lots of dots - you have to carefully chip away at the playfield while keeping a safe distance from the unpredictable ghosts. The pinball table has some strange shot angles, mostly because it's very short, and the flippers are mounted at such an unusual angle. Trying to make a straight shot for the blue drop target has an extremely high chance of draining, so don't do it unless you've got a really good reason to risk it. Go for lots of cross-table shots, like the loops or the yellow drop targets above the opposite flipper.
  5. Worm War I and Entombed are both underrated two-player gems.
  6. I had always kind of wondered myself if the O2 sticks were analog (like the Vectrex), but nope, they're just digital, with a HUGE amount of travel. I don't have an O2 with internally connected sticks, so I can't comment on what the hookup looks like, but I'll bet it wouldn't be hard to splice in a piece of ribbon cable and run it outside the case to a DE-9 port.
  7. Odyssey joysticks are digital. All you need is a simple pin adapter to hook up 2600 sticks. I made some for my O2 with detachable sticks.
  8. The quality is actually pretty good overall, and with the heavily shielded RF cable I'm using, it even approaches composite. But the dark colors don't really stand out on black if they don't occupy a decent amount of a scanline. (I can see the robots just fine, but their thin shots are almost invisible.)
  9. I received copies of Jr. Pac-Man and Frenzy (+Berzerk) in the mail today, and they play great! But I noticed that some of the color choices are a bit dark for a CRT with RF hookup. The dark turquoise robots in Berzerk, for example, have nearly invisible shots when firing diagonally or vertically, and on the third board of Jr. Pac-Man, the large dots look almost identical to the normal dots. I have the TV's "Picture" (white-level) adjustment turned up to the max, and "Brightness" (black-level) set at a comfortable contrast level. Are there any simple ways to boost the luma (i.e. adjust the gamma curve) of the 7800 so the colors shift slightly toward white? I still need to play around with the TV's sharpness control to see if it draws out some harder edges to the darker colors.
  10. Okay, I kind of suspected it was just a quirk of the system. Thanks for confirming.
  11. My Astrocade will often - but not always - boot to a corrupt/glitched out screen instead of showing the menu. It might be a semi-random pattern of pixels, a corrupted "GAME OVER" display, etc. But when I press Reset, it goes right to the menu and works perfectly fine. Is this anything to worry about, or is it (relatively) normal behavior? I pulled off the RF shielding, and also ordered a heatsink for the custom data IC, which I plan to stick on before I run it too hard.
  12. That might be a stretch since the 1250 is a basic 4-function calculator with no programming capability. I just ordered a 1250 to add to my collection. I'll get some pics of the internals when it gets here, and if the keyboard contacts need cleaning, I'll do a deep tear-down of that too. Should be exactly the same process I used on my Astrocade earlier today!
  13. Shoot, I could have sworn I had a TI 1250 I could open up and photograph to compare, but I must have been confusing it with the 1000 I have (which uses an entirely different keyboard). Maybe I'll grab one on ebay since they're so cheap, then I can add it to the collection and get some photos of the internals.
  14. Yeah, it looked exactly like what I'd expect a TI 1250 keypad to look like, based on my experience with other TI keyboard internals and the x-ray photo of the 1250. It looks like the 1250 can be had for about $10-20 on ebay these days. It's just a basic 4-function calculator. Heck, you could probably replace the ribbon cable with a longer one and use the calculator shell itself as a "remote" keypad. My Astrocade is a "Bally Professional Arcade", and the board for the keypad had a label on it showing a 1978 date - presumably the manufacturing and/or assembly date. I don't know if later machines use a different keyboard design. I've got AstroBASIC arriving in the mail tomorrow, with manual and overlay, and I wanted to clean the contacts to make sure the keyboard response would be acceptable for typing in 1,800 byte programs on a 24-key keypad.
  15. I opened up my Astrocade to clean out the keypad contacts (gotta have bounce-free input for entering BASIC programs), and it looks like the keyboard is identical to that of the TI 1250 calculator. I don't know if that's the case for all production runs of the Astrocade, but mine has that distinctive TI keyboard design that I've seen from repairing a Radio Shack EC-4000 (TI-57 OEM clone), TI-30, and TI MBA, i.e. a layer of black tape covering rows of metal domes, and vertical row and column wires set into white plastic plastic. Looking at this x-ray photo of the 1250, you can even see the second keyboard row has its bottom edge hanging off further to the right, and its left edge slightly inset, due to being welded to the rightmost row line - exactly how my Astrocade keypad is constructed: http://www.datamath.org/XRAY.htm#Texas Instruments TI-1250 So, if you've got an Astrocade with a completely broken keypad, a TI 1250 might be a good cheap donor.
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