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briantw

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About briantw

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  1. The Arduino Micro will definitely do the trick! 20 digital I/Os and HID still leaves you with 5 I/O pins for other stuff
  2. Here's a completely different way of doing it, which won't require opening the TI at all. It requires a little piece of hardware to plug into the side of the console, with a bit of code running at >4000 to hijack the console as soon as you turn it on. Once the code residing in the external hardware takes over, it will just run a keyscan routine and output the keystrokes via USB. It's more complicated, but doesn't require opening the console, and it was a method used by the Triton TurboXT bridge box to get the TI to act as a PC keyboard, back in the day.
  3. Agreed, but only 480 are actually active and addressable. In order to avoid confusion, I must reiterate that, in my diagrams above, I am ONLY discussing the lines and pixels in the signal that are actually active and visible. Front porch, back porch, blanking and sync are not taken into consideration; only the active image area. It's pretty clear from the datasheet, but, for NTSC this means 243 active image lines on a screen that shows the entire field, and 294 in PAL. The 262.5 and 312.5 lines for NTSC and PAL, respectively include inactive lines that are not shown on the screen in anyway, are not part of the display, and have thus been removed from consideration. I did learn one thing from this discussion, however: Apparently VGA 640x480 includes a border of 8 pixels at the top and 8 pixels at the bottom, as well as 8 pixels on the left and right, making the full displayable area 656x496. I did not know that. It's great when I can learn something from a discussion. http://www.epanorama.net/documents/pc/vga_timing.html 2 lines front porch 2 lines vertical sync 25 lines back porch 8 lines top border 480 lines video 8 lines bottom border Read more at: http://www.epanorama.net/documents/pc/vga_timing.html
  4. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/-M50p14KFx4 My bad memory - the Philips monitor isn't running an original TI in PAL; it's also a PC running an emulator. The only real TI there is the one on the TV. Aspect ratio difference still visible though.
  5. Hey Matt I've never been able to adjust horizontal or vertical size on old CRT televisions (not without opening them up or sticking a screwdriver through the back of the TV console), nor would I have been advised to when I was sharing the family TV with everyone else who would like to watch their sitcoms in the correct aspect ratio. So, the PAL I was subjected to as a kid was always very squashed. It is possible, to a degree, with CRT monitors, but because the squeeze was so extreme in 50Hz, it's not always possible to get to square pixel territory. I managed it with a Philips CM8833-II, but not with my Sony KX-14 CP1. The latter monitor, which I still use, has no H-size option, and the V-size allows for slight variation. That's very close to the 1.52 rounded off in the figure above! I think I may be mistaken in my recollection of the V9t9 emulator (not discussed above). I believe it was running at 320x200, not 320x240, so the image was even taller than the F18A, i.e., on the opposite extreme of the 50Hz chip. I need to fire V9t9 up again after almost 20 years, but I don't have the hardware to support it. However here's a video I shot in the late 90's. You can hear the difference between the emulator at 60Hz (left) and the TI at 50Hz (right). You can also tell the difference in corrected aspect ratio (monitor on the right vs. big TV that has no adjustment possibilities externally). I'll post the link below as I'm going to have to download the vid from FB and up to YouTube. V9t9 does look a little extreme in the vid.
  6. Nice! I'm actually already tempted to get one, but I wasn't able to determine the shipping method from the website. I don't trust no stinkin' post office
  7. I didn't want to be that optimistic, but hell yeah!
  8. Are those new or repurposed cartridge shells?
  9. My father had a book in military aircraft or something. One of the image attributions was to Texas Instruments. The image was of a mounted missile with a TI logo on it. As a 12-year-old with a TI, I thought that was pretty darned cool.
  10. Because those chips are no longer manufactured, is there any thought around creating whole new chips that are compatible with the old? Kind of like was done with the F18A. That way, you might find that you can replicate a whole bunch of ICs on a modern, programmable chip, saving a ton of space on your new, improved motherboard. Once you're using just a quarter, or less, of the motherboard real estate, you have a lot more space for upgrades, such as a NanoPEB equivalent, etc. Not that I could expect a small kickstarter to produce the level of large-scale integration that you might get from a Chinese chip plant, but just as an example of the miniaturisation possible, I have one of those Commodore 64-in-a-joystick thingies.
  11. As a kid, I was fascinated by the phasing you'd get from CALL SOUND(4250, 110, 0, 111, 0, 112, 0) for example. I thought, what if you could do that with more channels? So I had my cousin bring his TI over, and plug it into a separate TV. Naturally, I hit 113, 114 and 115 Hz on his, while playing the original on mine, but the results were unspectacular. For that brief moment, however, we did have some stereo going on there
  12. Ah, THANK GOODNESS for something positive to come back to the thread for. When I posted my "concerns" as you requested in the poll, I had no idea that the creator of the product frequented this forum, sorry. I had just had a discussion about the same product on a Facebook group, and I waded in here unwary of any potential dragons. I have no reason to attack anyone or any product, other than if I were attacked first. But really, come on, we have a passion for the TI. It's about hardware and software. How do these threads manage to get so personal so quickly. Isn't that discouraging to people who are keen on the 1s and 0s, after all? I remember reading about such juvenile playground politics in TI newsletters in the 80s, but, the difference then is that none of them were aimed at me. I was not prepared for character judgements by people who know nothing about me. If I may defend the comments that rubbed you the wrong way, and, hopefully contribute something in this message that will be about the product itself, and not The Days of Our Lives. $78 seemed expensive to me as a final product. I buy a lot of bare-board electronics, and this was just a wee bit of a stretch for me. $50 would have been a suitable price point for me. But, I have to reiterate this for the 100th time: That's me. It's not meant to ruffle any feathers. Frankly, if I'd know the creator of the product was around here, I might have softened the comments somewhat. I apologise if it came across a bit harsh. My opinions remain unchanged, but the to-the-point phrasing could have been more subtle. It's not a contradiction when I say that I am not that sensitive to cost when I am obsessing over building something myself. I tend to put blinders on and climb right in there. I don't even bother to take stock. That's passion for you. But throwing costly components at a hobby project is different from buying a final product that takes 8 minutes to install, after which all you can do is sit back and enjoy it. The "to look like an emulator" comment is directly related to the price. It's nice for it to be as clear as an emulator, but, for $78? Just, I could do that with an emulator in the first place. That's just my personal pocket speaking. "if he does not want his TI to look like an emulator, why all the fuss about HDMI?" Well, I have a lot more ideas about a potential HDMI product, which I didn't bring up because I was trying to keep this thread on topic. But, since you asked, forgive me for elaborating: With HDMI, you can potentially go into a much higher resolution mode, and introduce some MAME-like goodies, such as scan lines and a simulated aperture grill. If you're on a large, wide screen, you may even simulate a physical TI monitor, by placing it as a frame around the original TI image. The possibilities, for me, are exciting, but I don't want to hijack this thread. Finally, thanks for coming back with something that wasn't just yet another character attack or judgement thereof. I've said many encouraging things here, but I fear they've been missed over a few negatives that I mentioned. I still think the F18A is an awesome product, and, the more I've discussed it and reasearched the numbers, aspect ratios, etc., the more I am actually thinking of purchasing one. An active discussion around it has made me more interested in it. To Matt, I fully understand you taking a personal interest in the product, but I didn't expect some technical opinions to be met with opinions on my personal motivations and integrity. Sorry for ruffling your feathers, but I didn't know you'd be here. If I wanted to talk to you specifically about the product, I'd have sought you out on your website. Thank goodness, because these negative politics are so damned tiring, "stirring the pot" allegations notwithstanding. I have a passion for the TI.
  13. I'm assuming that, as you typed that, the irony of what you were typing was lost on you. Thank you so much for your positive contribution to the technical obsession I have, as a 30-year-plus veteran of the TI community.
  14. This discussion is not even about the product anymore. It's now becoming about the attitude. My needs and yours are not at odds with each other. We can have different needs to each other, and that's what makes the community so diverse. I don't disagree with anything you've said about this product, and, just because I mentioned some areas where one particular product doesn't meet my particular needs, doesn't mean that any of what you said is invalid to me. Both can be true: 1.) The F18A is the greatest thing since sliced bread for you (and others) and 2.) There is a potential for a product for me (and others) that outputs HDMI for the latest monitors and for future compatibility. Those statements are not at odds. No one's forcing you to choose, or throw your beloved F18A and VGA monitor away, so I'm not getting what the big defensive is about. To pit ideas about future improvements against what already exists is a false dichotomy. I've read your reasoning, such as not wanting to outlay on replace your VGA monitor, but that was never suggested as a requirement. Why is it that noting what doesn't work for me means that you have to throw away what you love? It doesn't. Keep what you love, but let me have my reasoning, please. I can dream of HDMI, 50Hz, possibly aspect ratio correction. (Potentially a lot more, but let's not go into further options, since those first three are already causing upheaval.) Is it illegal to state what I would like to have in a (separate) product and why this one is not perfect for me? "I seriously, doubt anyone here could make a plug-in HDMI replacement any cheaper than what Matthew is selling his F18A for, and if they did, start to design it, and manufacture it, I wonder how long it would take to make it to market?" Again, It's not a competition. Still, what you've laid out in that sentence is quite within the bounds of possibility, but you're extrapolating based on your own vantage point. For me, a different product that meets different needs doesn't have to meet all of those criteria. It's not about how long it takes (my envisioned problem-solver would still be relevant in 6 years) or what it costs (HDMI is worth a lot more $ than VGA, for me, but I still don't think it can't cost less), or the market (I want it for me - "can we have a little obsessive fun here?", not to start a manufacturing company around). Saying it can't be done shuts down the conversation and blocks progress. You're almost saying it shouldn't be done. I also didn't say the picture would necessarily be any clearer at the same resolution. (Don't discount the possibility of having higher resolution modes, however. It's not impossible to do 1920x1080 from the TI if you have a new video controller, but I'm trying to avoid digressing too far -- let's keep future product options in a separate thread). That wasn't the point of having HDMI out, either. It was more about compatibility with the very latest products and their advanced standard video modes. For me (and not anyone else), three years ago, I had composite RCA everywhere with VGA as an option, so the existing product would have been more relevant to me then. Now, everything is digital. I have HDMI switched throughout my system, and there's no VGA anywhere to be seen. My HD satellite set-top-box has HDMI out, so I don't use the yellow composite cable. It also does digital audio via that same cable, so my 25 years of collected RCA cables are obsolete. My 3D Blu-ray player has only an HDMI and an Ethernet connection! My amplifier switches between several HDMI inputs. My Dell laptop has no VGA output - it's DisplayPort and HDMI only. Again, that's me, not you, but it suggests to me what direction consumer display electronics is going, and it suggests, to me, further upgrades for the TI. So please, guys, let's stop pitting my criteria against yours, and don't take such offense when I mention some demonstrably correct assertions about why a product doesn't meet several OF MY needs. Just because someone has an extensive analogue 12" LaserDisc collection, doesn't mean someone else can't come along and say "hmmm... I'd like to see a digital version of that. On a 5" disc."
  15. P.s. If you don't mind making holes in the console then ignore the bit about desoldering anything. Your audio jack just needs a suitably sized hole and to be wired to the audio. Actually, now that I tthink of it, the neatest thing you could possibly do is to make up a single audio cable with a 5 pin DIN on the end of it: no further modification to theconsole, no uunnecessary video cable.
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