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Rolo

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Posts posted by Rolo


  1. Channel F: A Simple Joystick Repair

     

    During a game session I lost two Channel F controllers. Really fragile units!

     

    I noticed the missing contact signal on the yellow wire, despite of a working controller-switch. There are squeeze marks on the cable caused by the cable relieve, which I found suspicious. brokenCable.thumb.jpg.b3189c7e36c70aa3c6f5b1313f848b27.jpg

     

     

    I cut off 10 cm of the cable to get rid of the "bad" part of the long controller cable. And desoldered the remains of the cables. The plastic is melting really quickly and the contact lids can fall off easily!!! This work must be done very carefully, without heating up the switch to much. It seems like during the production process, the metal parts were soldered unassembled and then simple clicked onto the plastic pins. 

    cutWires.thumb.jpg.1a67fc9adba0b0365c0488d798db5ea0.jpg   

     

     

    It is a good idea to keep the contacts in position with the help of tweezers during re-soldering. A drop of superglue can help a lot to re-attach the metal-lids.

    resoldered.thumb.jpg.1e830f1dc32d936dc2074d62b3ade29e.jpg

     

     

    The bottom piece of the other controller construction was broken, too. It fell off. I fixed it with superglue and cut a little piece off a cork, to make a small supporting part for the bottom disc. I hope, this will be enough, to hold the disc in place...

    corkInside.thumb.jpg.d1f9679920645532c2521ba00a7b4778.jpg

     

    A simple repair, two controllers brought back to "life".

    :)

     

     


  2. So we are up to five? Anybody else?

    Winter is lurking nearby and a warm soldering iron is good for getting warm fingers again. 😄

    I think I'm going to order some SCART-cables and some DIN-Connectors soon. 

    Maybe we can organize shipping in a cheaper way, if I put all US-bound cables into one box and you dispatch nationally. Probably shipping within the US is cheaper? What do you think? DHL tracked parcels from Germany to US are currently charged with something like US$15.

    -Rolo

    :)


  3. Hi Guys,

     

    You probably saw my posting above. It is quite easy and straight forward to make such a SCART-cable.🤓

    If there is demand for a few more cables, it probably makes sense for one of us to buy a bunch of components and make some cables, instead of each of us to start all over again.

    I suggest, we try to figure out first, how many DIN to SCART cables we need. I assume, anybody of us tries to provide those cables cheaply. No business. 🤠

    Maybe anybody who needs one, just posts a little one-liner right here in the thread? 

    🙂


  4. Hi ppj34,

     

    I haven't been here for a while and just saw your question.

    The adapters are connecting devices, which are plugged in between a special memory cartridge (Dragon Multi-Cartridge) and an original console, like a Radofin 1292 system. You can not plug an original INTERTON cartridge into the adapter. The procedure is:

    1. I program VC-4000 and all APVS-games into an eprom
    2. The eprom resides on the Dragon Multi-Cartridge
    3. The Dragon Cartridge is plugged into the adapter
    4. The set-up is plugged into your APVS-console
    5. Now you can play the games on the native console

    Please check the link https://atariage.com/forums/topic/259234-multi-cartridge-for-interton-vc4000-video-computer/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3899990 for some photos.

     

    Best regards,

    Rolo

    :)

     

    PS: If you PM me, I'll get a notification and can respond quicker.


  5. Hi Senile Data Systems,

     

    Maybe you can add some useful information. Are you going to sell them? What will be the price? Do you have a picture?

     

    Concerning my own multi-carts, after some major interest last Christmas, the demand for the cartridges has been zero for a couple of months now. Maybe there is another solution out there or something else. I don't know. Or maybe summertime is not the right time for retro, though the last years I had some orders all over the year.

    Anyway, good to have some suppliers for cartridges and not to depend on one.

     

    😀

     


  6. Great! Thanks a lot for translating.👍

    Google translates your string to: "Note: There is a risk of swelling, so put it in (+) (-) correctly, and do not charge, heat, or put it in a fire. Do not use it with alkaline batteries."

     

    We still don't know, which type of battery technology this is.


  7. Wow, this battery arouses interest! Amazing! This is interesting about this website: People here are looking at technical details, nobody else would care about.

    I carelessly dumped one of the two batteries some time ago...

    I just show some more photos of the battery, for the battery experts in the forum:

     

    CasioBatt02.thumb.jpg.199cefd6661ee6d371baf1202d690c00.jpg

     

    CasioBatt03.thumb.jpg.36f1171276ba22af9ee29ab92a31207f.jpg

     

    CasioBatt04.thumb.jpg.203781ee8e4795f12730e358a8845da8.jpg

     

    CasioBatt01.thumb.jpg.8e59120ad0598e7eac15342e7b143327.jpg

     

    Maybe some Japanese AtariAge member can help out reading this printing?

     

    :)

     

     

     

     

    • Like 1

  8. Finally it has to be done!

    My calculator, which I started using back in school, sucked out the final quantum of energy from the original batteries. 🤭 On the backside it's saying it's consuming 0.0004 Watts.🔋

    The FX-100 is a phantastic calculator, which is as current as ever. It covers all functions you need in school. It offers a quality keypad and it is calculating much faster than the competitors of those days. My father bought it in 1982 or 1983 as far as I remember. This really was ATARI age. I've never stopped using this calculator.

    FX100.thumb.jpg.4ac55f6eb09438bd5d90e1c026bf0a04.jpg

     

    Hard to see, the bottom is stamped with 81-03 (?). All seals are as good as new. This battery stood the test of time.

    Batt02.thumb.jpg.17f38596d5966244e9d78ab0ead619ea.jpg Batt01.thumb.jpg.bb241e4866f4e60494b062476eee925b.jpg

     

    🙂

    • Like 8

  9. A New Controller for the Arcadia 2001

     

    As you surely expect, the Emerson Project is not complete yet. 🙉

    Again, I'm using one of my wooden cases to make a new controller for the Arcadia. My requirements: a real joystick, a decent fire button, real numeric keys and -of course- auto fire. 

    A couple of years ago, I helped out AtariAge-member "Endprodukt" with a schematic of my VECTREX firing circuit, since he wanted to reproduce a couple of those for his joystick projects and to sell the rest. He sent me one of his pcbs to say thank you. That board will be used to provide the auto-firing feature.P1060157.thumb.jpg.cabfa5ba0c636c3c00db1e62bd4788eb.jpg 

     

    A second board is built into the case, too. It contains a 4016 CMOS-analog switch, which will be operated by the auto-firing circuit, and several connectors. This board distributes the wires from the main cable to the components.

    P1060161.thumb.jpg.db4e1ad1555cb15910d8bc33c00db75c.jpg  P1060162.thumb.jpg.7743836274bd8abfc98d95e81e268eb0.jpg

     

    The finished device:

    P1060165.thumb.jpg.896fc6980373f93cc6a431935bcd247c.jpg

     

    Some games simply NEED an auto-firing button. Again quite a big device, but finally a real joystick! 

    P1060167.thumb.jpg.3ed125a463373538587868b3e3409cfd.jpg

     

    :)

    • Like 2

  10. Detachable Controllers for the Emerson Arcadia 2001

     

    So, what else can we do with an Arcadia 2001? 🙂 How about making the controllers detachable? (https://atariage.com/forums/topic/315672-super-cassette-vision-detachable-joysticks/)

    I don't like the original Arcadia controllers. They are simply not good, not responsive. The fire button(s) are breaking player's fingers. A prerequisite to improve the situation is to make the controllers pluggable and removable, like the 2600 joysticks, for example. Obviously, marketing or management people did not comprehend the chance to generate a secondary market, besides the cartridge sales, by offering different and maybe more expensive deluxe-controllers. They saved a few pennies by putting the connectors inside the console, instead of preparing it for some more high-profit-accessories.🙄 Like so many other companies ... (Odyssey 2, Intellivision, etc.)

     

    There seems to be some space on the backside, which I can use.

    1328045014_P10601272.thumb.jpg.5ce666ef7caca4a9c101329980efda0b.jpg  

     

    There are 11 wires running inside these thin coiled cables. Astonishing! 🤭 DSUB-15 connectors seem to be a good choice.

    First some DREMEL-action:

    P1060130.thumb.jpg.e77ae1ded958d48c5d5a93955f052f37.jpg

     

    Making cables next. As usual I cut the controller cables and solder the wires to DSUB (m). Additionally, I provide +5 VDC and GND for later use. So, 11 + 2 = 13 pins of the DSUBs are used.

    A quick glance inside the black connectors showed the same color coding for both controller cables.

    P1060133.thumb.jpg.3606581d0cc67f06a1d3e149a979edb2.jpg

     

    Soldering +5 VDC and GND directly to the pcb. There is a 7805 voltage regulator on the top-side of the board.

    P1060138.thumb.jpg.8a72bc5612a5643ee5ca14a4db80c1f5.jpg

     

    Some mechanical work and voilà:

    P1060140.thumb.jpg.5c33a640f22c2061e411e5e6239df6cc.jpg  

     

    Some more soldering of DSUB 15 (f) at the two controller cords:

    P1060149.jpg.929a723839cb7f62faec44b6d4a3484d.jpg+

     

    All right:

    P1060141.thumb.jpg.e8eafff74f067fcbbd595a8a2effd635.jpg

     

    Let's check, if everything is alright... 😲

    Oh no‼️ 

    One controller is working, the other not. When I swap controllers, none of them is working. 🤔

    This looks more like a general mistake.

    Ok, let's rip the thing apart again...

     

    Well, it is a single sided pcb. Not easy to route all the lines on the tiny board and to avoid crossings. Let's have a closer look. The two pcb-ends of the coiled cables are equally soldered to their plugs. No difference. How about the controller-ends of the cables? They really did it! There is a left controller and there is a right controller! 😳 

    P1060146.thumb.jpg.74fb760d71da6e19c5555375ca1f7ee8.jpg  P1060143.thumb.jpg.efb6a2bd379e743869be558adea1e95b.jpg

     

    The controller mylar is the same, but not the coding of the connector. Those controllers can't simply be swapped. I've never seen that in any console at all. Some investigation reveals the way, how things are connected. The controller sockets on the pcb are wired completely different, to make routing of the pcb straight forward! So they had to compensate for this by connecting the mylars of the controllers in different ways. The cables are translators.

    OrigCabling.jpeg.f452b1a12e338ae302e2de784260e39c.jpeg  or the mylar side  mylarCabeling.jpeg.c3411b3e28ecf381ebb366c06e907f54.jpeg

    I can't use this. I just want a controller, not two types of controllers. I define the left controller scheme as a "standard" for all controllers. I re-soldered the right mylar connector and changed its color scheme from right controller to left controller, making it a left controller. I only have "left" controllers now.

    The translation "left to right" for the right port will be done by the short adapter cable inside the console. The left controller adapter is unchanged. I stick to the pin-numbering, to not get confused. The right controller adapter is wired differently and reversing the effect of the different pin-outs of the board-sockets.

     

    adapters.jpeg.f2dc3c45c3b409c6fd5e4705f10e6819.jpeg    P1060151.thumb.jpg.f5d6d6f1a8cd8d92209c7b3af996ef85.jpg

     

    Let's reassemble the box and check:

    P1060153.thumb.jpg.0004c477e7825d50dd6fa4219c79713e.jpg

    Thumbs up 👍👍!
    All controls working as supposed to do. Controllers can be swapped now. 

     

    :)

    • Like 2

  11. Today I present something not so common, something vintage:

     

    The LCM-1001 microprogrammer learning module from 1976 🥁

     

    There is a nice description in wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_SBP0400), so there is no need to explain everything, that's already there. Most of the references google presented to me, are more or less copies of each other. Most links are dead or obsolete FLASH-content. I want to show just some photos, I took, when disassembling the device, especially, what's inside, bevor this information is lost.

     

    The device is powered by 7VDC via a 2.5 mm jack plug. Inside there are three rechargeable batteries (AA) - a neat idea to be able to run from battery.

    P1060119.jpg.2ede0476ed07cf24a2d4e74270c2b099.jpg  P1060111.jpg.5d870ac2b07dadd3b2187988b5d5856c.jpg

     

    Inside there is a 4 bit - well, what is it? - processor element, designed by Texas Instruments, called SBP 0400. The concept is to make it expandable. Up to four of those processor elements can be serialized, to build a 4,8,12,16 bit device. The position of the slice (MSB ... LSB) can be specified with the Position Switches 0 and 1, which directly lead to the corresponding pins of the SBP 0400. The SBP 0400 uses a 40 pin DIL package. All pins are available at the socket of the panel. all important input pins can be toggled on and off, with those switches. Important outputs can be monitored with the help of the LEDs.

     

     

    The SBP 0400 architecture and the schematics of the learning module:

    P1060120.jpg.e2f997b0b347a089cdb1414572fb784b.jpg  P1060121.jpg.1162091817acb30c8d34f3b39010a493.jpg

     

    There is no memory, just switches and a clock button. Everything is done manually. The addressbus is only 4 bit wide and even in combination with ALUCOUT only 32 memory locations can be addressed. Note that each opcode is a 9 bit word! Registers and program counter (=register 7) are 4 bit wide. A single device on its own can only do very simple control tasks.

     

    What's inside the box?

    P1060116.jpg.f98e55561b9fc4a5013e32fefef1ec0a.jpg  P1060115.jpg.5406aaaf467a9f9553552c4f8ee027da.jpg

     

    P1060113.jpg.da35bcb4c4f1305dd057d6b5ce679255.jpg  P1060118.jpg.7b08b4f8b962216a6c22bc15daf0f64a.jpg

     

    Texas Instruments offered three extension for the device:

    • LCM-1002 controller module for micro programming with 256×20 bit PROM
    • LCM-1003 memory module containing 1024 12-bit words
    • LCM-1004 input/output module

    I do not have access to those and can't tell anything about them. I think they are very rare.

    I did not even find the documentation scanned in. Maybe I should scan the LCM-1001 manual, that I have.

     

    Just check out the Wikipedia link above for more information.

    Does anybody have any experience with the learning modules?

    :)

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1

  12. A custom-made Joystick for the Super Cassette Vision

     

    I finally made some progress with the project. To make joysticks detachable, but having nothing to attach, is not really attractive. So I started working on part 2 of the SCV-project.

    In the beginning, it felt like being an old Arcade-guy building wooden cabinets out of plywood. 😄 I've been using this kind of case already for a VECTREX controller and I have a few of those in the drawer. (https://atariage.com/forums/topic/240542-new-vectrex-joystick-kit-for-sale/?do=findComment&comment=4681514)

    The auto-firing board also is a re-used part of the Vectrex Controller Kit, a little bit modified. For this console, two Arcade-buttons are enough. I tried an industry 4-axis joystick, which proved to be a good choice. This type is sold in many electronics shops and on ebay. It's easy to find and not very expensive, compared to the quality you get.

    IMG_8855.thumb.jpg.fe35bf1fbd849bae33c9a36a0b25e283.jpg  IMG_8857.thumb.jpg.f6125eca0acf7f9f1190e36ada0c95a0.jpg

     

     

    Some cabling is required. An analog switch IC (i.e. CD4066, two of the four switches used), too, which is operated manually by the buttons or repeatedly by the auto-firing circuit.  Simple GND-switching like on the 2600 is not working, since a defined port signal of the SCV's processor port (PB2/PB5) has to be fed through. The schematics of the SCV-joysticks are available in the internet. Power & ground, needed by the auto-firing board, are fetched from the console, with two additional wires of the cable. This is shown in the post above. 

    IMG_9226.thumb.jpg.bfcc596d609c460654adca7d68197962.jpg  IMG_9228.thumb.jpg.77c5699bce5f20fb2ff3f5c45199eba6.jpg

     

     

    This is the whole set-up, somewhat larger than the original controller. A functional check with NEBULA and BOULDER DASH, played from the Dragon Multi-Cartridge attached to the SCV-adapter.

    What a difference it makes! A decent controller changes games a lot. Suddenly, there is some fun Pushing manufacturing costs, by making cheap controllers, is not a good idea. A crappy controller spoils the whole system. The SCV could use some more well designed games. It is a quite powerful console, with a much too small (and odd) game library. 

    IMG_9248.thumb.jpg.6c1c7df6f1a49f8f5c1f670cde21d32d.jpg  IMG_9245.thumb.jpg.015a4a6722e97c3d73617f54b9b0cff1.jpg

     

    :waving:

     

     

     

    • Like 1

  13. Yes, I have adapters for: 

    • Odyssey 2
    • Vectrex
    • Interton VC4000
    • 1292/Advanced Programmable Video System
    • Arcadia 2001
    • Epoch Super Cassette Vision

    I can serve two brother systems of the Interton/1292 type. And the same would be with Arcadia 2001 and MPT-03, the two main members of that type of console. 

     

    Soundicvision SD-200, Hanimex HMG-7900, Rollet Video-Color and ITMC SD-290 seem to belong to a completely different system familiy, as far as I understand it, using a special scarcely documented NEC-microprocessor. 

     

    But I have had only two or three questions concerning a MPT-03 console so far and I believe that an adapter probably won't be needed. I can save my time and energy for something else, I suppose.

     

    Rolo

    :)

    • Like 1

  14. I was thinking, if I should make an adapter for using the DRAGON/COCO II Multi-Cartridge together with the MPT-03-family, besides the adapter for the EMERSON-ARCADIA family... 

    Is there a demand for that? If so, how many items would I need? Five, ten, twenty? I have already enough things catching dust on my shelf, maybe it is a good idea to check in advance.

    If you would be interested please let me know...

    :)

     

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