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Everything posted by Rolo

  1. 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...
  2. project update: I'm getting questions from time to time: "Do you still make the multi-carts and the adapters?" Yes, I do. 👍 I'm still making the two types of the (Dragon/CoCo II) Multi-Cartridge, "8-16" and "16-32" and adapters for: Odyssey 2 Vectrex Interton VC4000 1292/Advanced Programmable Video System Arcadia 2001 Epoch Super Cassette Vision Just send me a PM. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242786-multi-cartridge-for-dragoncoco-2-available/page-3?do=findComment&comment=4082727 http://atariage.com/...ic/258478-rolo/
  3. Hi guys, I really appreciate the Channel F reaction caused by this post. 👍 Great job, also the missing lid (which was missing from my first console too) looks very good!
  4. Yes, I really think so. This antenna switch confused me in the beginning, when I saw the input socket. It's a nice idea, as long as you don't have to move around the console, like it was back then: everything nicely arranged in a wooden tv cabinet in the living room! 😄
  5. My Channel F / SABA Videoplay adventure - part 2 I explained above, that the controllers did not respond, as supposed to do. Some movements did not react and some movements were permanent. I had a closer look at the controllers. I discovered several broken wires, cracks and brocken parts inside. So, the console was "used"? Surely it was... Loctite super glue was my friend. It was working astonishingly well. Soldering the wires is a delicate job. Not only the wires are very thin, but what is more, the small tin tongues are only attached by fragile plastic noses, which immediately start melting, during the soldering efforts. Neither the tongues, nor the wires are willing to take on the solder tin. 🙄 In the end, I secured the tongues with Loctite - again. Tests showed, the controllers are back again. 👍 Those are kind of rare and we'll probably never get anything like that again, unless we built it ourselves. But still three specific player movements could not be stopped. Measurements of the audio/buffer chip revealed problems with the three corresponding line buffers, which output constant high-signal. See below what I figured out to be inside the chip. The schematics of the issue 1 Channel F proved to be helpful, since those were built of standard ttl-chips. I decided to substitute three defective buffers by an external chip (74LS366). Different from the custom chip, the 74366 is inverting the buffer gates, which means I need to invert the ENABLE-signal. Fortunately there is a 7405 (six inverters) chip on the pcb, which offers two unused gates. 🙂 I used one of them for my purpose, I built a small piggy-pack board and drilled holes for the wires. Currently I'm only using three of the six line buffers of the 74366 and have another three as spare. I bent away the pins of the malfunctioning buffers of the FCM9102. This is what it is looking like. The crippled controls are working nominally again. The 74366 is helping out successfully. But still I have that problem of only every 2nd line being displayed correctly ⁉️ Writing to videoram (EVEN, ODD, DATA0, DATA1) is controlled by port pins of the CPU and of one of the PSUs (which offer more than only ROM-functionality). Measurements showed, whereas the CPU's port pins are behaving normally, two of the port pins of the PSU (port 5-29 and 32) present constant high. They are part of the 6-pin "vertical bus" controlling video chip/ram access. This can't be right, since the remaining 4 pins can only address 16 rows, instead of 64, of the four RAM-chips. Each RAM chip has 64 rows x 64 columns x 1 bit (4096 bits). Quite amazing that the system, different from ATARI VCS, already used a regular videoram, when RAM was very expensive. Obviously the processor is working hard to get this huge amount of databytes stored in time! Still the drawing of lines is noticeable. This is, where my efforts come to an end. Where would I get a new programmed PSU-chip from, without ripping apart another system? Healing this one, probably means killing another one. The PSU is soldered in, so chances of destroying it during desoldering is imminent! What do I do with the console? Probably offering spare parts on ebay to get some money back. Controllers probably are sought for. Some people are looking for retro cases. Or maybe somebody needs a power supply or RAM chips. Especially the socketed, working videochip can be of "high value" as a spare part. => I put a lot of time in it, learnt a lot about the system, but could not successfully end the job. In the meantime, I bought another one from ebay. That one is working and in a good state.
  6. You don't see it on the picture anymore, since I cleaned the switch. Practically all the empty space inside the switch was filled with that strange white, kind of crystalline stuff. I don't know, where it came from. Like from an exploded electrolyte cap or a leaking battery, but there are none of those anywhere around... Big mystery❓ Under the hood, pushing the button is operating two switches, the power switch and simultaneously an inbuilt antenna switch, which cuts off the tv-yagi-antenna on your roof, that can be plugged right into the console, and connects the tv-set with the console output. Quite handy! No external switch needed. I can't remember another system which is offering this feature. 🤔 Due to this construction not only a certain amount of power is needed to push the button, but also some grease is attached on the sliding parts and a moving template of that assembly. Maybe that grease is morphing into this white stuff after a while. I read it quite often in ebay offerings, that the power button is no more working. It seems to be common.
  7. My Channel F / SABA Videoplay adventure - part 1 I've recently bought a SABA Videoplay console from ebay. My first time checking out that console. I don't even remember it from back in the day. I remember INTERTON, but not this one. Well, I'm always interested in exotic consoles using "forgotten" microprocessors, like the Fairchild F8-family. I found a cheap system on ebay, marked as "used". Ok, this is what a used system looks like: I'd interpret this as, yes, "used" certainly, but more as "not working at all". Strange, what some ebay-sellers do consider as "used".He claimed, that it has been working, but probably he would be too dumb to find the channel on the tv-set. I kept it anyway, since I wanted to explore it, maybe repair it or use it for spare parts. I ripped it apart, washed the dirty thing and examined it closer. This is what the Videoplay is made of: A lot of plastic and metal shielding. Quite corroded. Cartridge assembly from below and a cartridge pcb, showing two PSUs (Program Storage Units), one cap fallen of. The chips being directly attached to the pcb, the bonding wires visible and accessible. No IC-housing. I've never seen this before. The famous and very fragile controllers. We can see, the pcb is made by FAIRCHILD. This is already the model with custom chips (video and audio/buffer) and considerably reduced component-count. I injected the video signal of another console, to check, if the rf-part is working. Yes, working. I removed socketed components, cleaned pins, tried again. No change. Later I discovered aged solder joints around the crystal and the clock generation. I resoldered and suddenly had some kind of reaction from the board. Due to bad solder joints the clock generation failed (look at pcb-picture above). Every 2nd line (grey background) is displayed. Game logic is working. Ball is bouncing. Players can be moved, but not all movements. Some controls are alway on paddles moving into one direction. At least, the processor is working. What else did I have? The plastic cap of the antenna plug has fallen to pieces. All of them are doing that after some decades. The power switch was not moving it all. Interesting! I disassembled the power switch. It was filled with some unknown white material, which blocked the movement completely. I cleaned it. The tiny white pistons are operating the contacts of the switch and are pushed into opposite directions by a small spring. Unfortunately, this micro-spring was broken into two pieces. I replaced it with some kind of spring from another switch, but it is not moving really well. to be continued soon ...
  8. project update: Batch sold out! Thanks everybody for the support! 🙂👍
  9. project update: In the beginning, I wanted to announce the start of selling of the new batch, but due to pre-orders half of them are already gone... 🙉 Four kits of the current batch are left, two ready built and two almost ready, waiting for some components to arrive. If you want one, now is a good time to send me a PM. 😀 First come, first serve. They are US$ 65 each, plus shipping. Please read the post above and make sure that you have the tools and skills required. It is not a ready-to-use product, but a kit.
  10. Upps, the last picture is an error. Should be deleted, but I can't edit the post anymore.
  11. How to mount the new VECTREX Joystick Kit v3.2 (2021) This is the content of the kit: controller pcb (built and tested) auto-fire pcb (built and tested) joystick-cable 2 pots with knobs 4 buttons controller stick with central screw The two pcbs are connected with a cable: After checking the pins and colors of the cable, you solder it to the panel of controller pcb. Please note the four poles and screws for mounting the pcb to your panel. At the bottom of the pcb there are two small pots for calibrating the center position of the stick with the help of a little screw driver. You mount the pots directly onto the on the auto-fire pcb and solder the 3-way connections or you mount them completely separate on your front panel, if you prefer. You solder wire-connections to the four buttons. After making the proper cut-offs in your panel, you mount the pcb with two screws. Cut the pots' wells to fit your design. Put the stick onto the analog controller and fix it with the central screw. The screw has a very loose seat. Just turn it with minimum momentum and use a small drop of glue on the end of the screw to sustain it. That's it!
  12. Hi Pingo, Thanks for your interest! I'll put your name on the list. 👍 I still need some time, since I'm also busy with some other retro projects at the moment, which I can't interrupt. Not enough spare time I guess. Or I'm not fast enough. I'll come back to you (PM).
  13. Paddle for the Arcadia 2001 Finally I made a paddle for the Arcadia. Notice, the black-silver knob is an original part of my very first pong console from "Quelle" - a "UNIVERSUM-Multispiel", like this one (Internet picture): Ours just had a silver plate on top of the knobs. It must have been Christmas 1977. There is nothing left of our console, except the two knobs and that selector switch. When the console died, I kept those for use somewhere else. They were lying in a box for decades. I think, this application is the right one, to bring them back to action! 🕹️ A paddle is quite simplistic. I used a linear 500kOhm potentiometer. The button is for future use and does not do anything, yet. The Arcadia does not provide a paddle button, but I might need the paddle for another console someday. The cable is an old PC-audio cable, which I cut into two. The potentiometer is connected to 1 and 3. The button to 2 and 3. The case is a standard electronics-shop housing. A quite nice and good looking component, which is available in different sizes.👍 A little test, playing Circus, the only Arcadia compatible (originally not Emerson) game, I know of: Wow, this is a fast game! 😄 But finally playable.
  14. @Ricardo Cividanes: Did you have a look at http://www.vc4000.de/html/geschichte.html? There is somebody, who specialized on Interton VC4000. He already was in contact with the son of one of the former owners of INTERTON (Gerald W. Türk). Maybe he has more information, than presented on the web-site.🤔
  15. I see your point. A good idea! A kind of "translator"-circuit. Of course, this can be done. Could be a real old-fashioned flipflop-based decoder (anybody still remembers how to do Karnaugh maps? 😆), a rom table or a microcontroller (electronic overkill) or something else. Or even simpler: some 4016 based switch rewiring. Yes, that's simple and straight forward! I may do some thinking. Thanks for your input. Still a two button joystick would be required. The numeric game selection pad of the console is not a problem. It simply stays where it is. No need to have it on the joystick.
  16. No, the plan is to make a new - hopefully better - joystick for the console. In the beginning I was thinking of an adapter, too. But wiring is to different. ATARI style joysticks connect every switch to common ground, so they are all connected to each other. The Super Cassette Vision does not work that way. I'll report in this thread... 🕹️
  17. The datasheet of the 2636 writes on page 2: "PCK | input pin | Position Clock: Generated by the 2622 USG to synchronize the PVI's internal functions. (3.58 MHz, 227 pulses/line)." There is a PAL USG 2621 and a NTSC USG 2622 by Signetics. Datasheet: PAL: "The USG accepts a single 3.55MHz Input clock and generates various timing outputs including vertical, horizontal and composite blanking, composite sync and color burst flag. Several auxiliary clock outputs are also provided." NTSC: "The USG accepts a single 3.5796MHz Input clock and generates various timing outputs Including vertical, horizontal and composite blanking, composite sync and color burst flag. Several auxiliary clock outputs ara also provided." 8.867239 MHz (crystal) *2/5 = 3.546896 MHz (USG) There must be a clock divider, probably the strange PE1X-chip, of which I do not find any information. 3.546896 MHz / 4 = 0.886724 MHz (CPU) and 8.867239 MHz (crystal) / 2 = 4.4336195 MHz (European PAL color subcarrier)
  18. I checked the clock frequency of the 2650 processor: It's 887 kHz.
  19. There are only a few cartridges, which contain extra RAM inside the cartridge: CHESS 1 4 kBytes ROM + 1 kByte RAM CHESS 2 6 kBytes ROM + 1 kByte RAM DRAUGHTS 4 kBytes ROM + 1 kByte RAM BACKGAMMON 4 kBytes ROM + 1 kByte RAM Come-Frutas 4 kBytes ROM + 1 kByte RAM Hobby Module 2 kBytes ROM + 2 kBytes RAM
  20. Hi, Not so obscure, I think. Quite common, but it is true, not so much information available. I opened up my ACETRONIC MPU-1000 and took some photos. PAL-version: crystal 8.867 MHz, obviously divided. Concerning clock, I read the figure 0,887 MHz, which would be something like a quarter of the NTSC color burst (~3,58 MHz). Hmmm, PAL color burst is ~4,434 MHz, the crystal oscillates at twice this frequency. If we divide this by 4, we would end up at 1.108 MHz, which would seem plausible, too. Maximum Clock is 1.25 MHz. Maybe some measurement required. Does anybody know? Microprocessor Signetics 2650AN (40 pin plastic): RAM: There is no real RAM onboard the console, at all. The console is using 37 bytes of scratch pad memory of the PVI-chip (Signetics 2636).
  21. Yes sure, the port pins of port B are isolated from each other with the help of diodes to prevent shorts, when more than one switch is closed. Four diodes inside each controller.
  22. Unfortunately it's completely non-standard. A classic Atari joystick will not work. I know, the decision to take a DSUB-9pin connector is misleading and might be no clever choice. 🤪 I was thinking of taking a DIN connector, but I do not like soldering those and I did not have DIN-connectors in the drawer. A SCV joystick uses four direction switches and two buttons, communicating via 5 wires with the board. Or more exactly, since two lines are in common (PortA0 and PortA1), 8 wires are used for two sticks (8 direction switches and 4 buttons). Obviously this doesn't work straight forward, but needs some scanning, like a keyboard matrix. Without having looked at real signals with a scope, the schematics show, that: Port is when on Pin connected pressed controller to ------------------------------------------ PA0 PB0 left A PA0 PB1 up A PA0 PB2 fire1 A PA0 PB3 left B PA0 PB4 right B PA0 PB5 fire2 B PA1 PB0 down A PA1 PB1 right A PA1 PB2 fire2 A PA1 PB3 down B PA1 PB4 up B PA1 PB5 fire1 B The remaining port-pins of Port A and B are used for scanning the 12 buttons of the keypad of the console.
  23. Detachable Joysticks for the EPOCH SUPER CASSETTE VISION I just modded my SCV. The quality of the SCV-joysticks is questionable, which kills much of the fun of the small game library. First step for an improvement is to make the original joysticks detachable. This is what I'll show now: After disassembling the console, cutouts for the two sockets must be made. I chose a convenient position in the bay. It turned out, that space is very limited on the right side. Next time, I'd probably try a different position, like on the backside of the console, behind the Cassette port. I'm still using the original five pole joystick cables, which I cut off. For future use I added a power supply (VCD, GND). Power supply needed:after desoldering a cap at the cartridge connector, I soldered in a connector to draw the power from and put the cap on the backside of the board.. Now, the art of putting the case together again ... Oh no! Too narrow at the keyboard. I had to make a little notch at the rim of the keyboard for the back-part of the DSUB-connector. Just a little bit, since there is a line running at the rim of the pcb! The pcb is made of some very uncomfortable, aggressive material. Very dusty when mechanically working on it. You notice it immediately in the mouth and throat. Better do it outside the house! There is not much space for the cables and putting it all together is kind of complicated. It's probably better to use flat cables or at least strip off the grey isolation of the original cables! After a while of playing around and trying different approaches, I finally managed to put the two shells together. 👍 A little test in the end. Yes, it is working ... - Rolo 👾
  24. @Gr8dane: No, no, just relax. This was just a little spoiler. I'm not ready, yet. If you like, I put your name on my list. 👍 @OldSlabSides: On the list. 👍
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