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Turbo-Torch

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Everything posted by Turbo-Torch

  1. Sounds like you missed the word MOST in two of my sentences. Furthermore, none of those games you listed appear to be running at more than EGA and I guarantee they don't need a 386, let alone a 486. Not to worry, both of my P70s work just fine. Horrible system to use as an example as the speaker is a piezo the size of a dime and there are no vent holes in the case to let the sound out. I put the camera right next to the case where the speaker is and the fans still tend to drown out the sound. 1st system is running in 486 mode. It's running so fast, the music is pretty much noise. Game is unplayable due to speed. 2nd system was booted in native 386 mode and the music is exactly as in the video. Still next to impossible to keep the car on the track. VGA was selected for both.
  2. The music is from the game title screens and cut scenes. The music wasn't playing during actual game play, so yes, that part of the video is faked. A few games like Mean Streets pulled it off with short clips like the really cool gun shots. As far as the games needing a 486...lol, most are playing in CGA and a few in EGA and have 80s copyrights. Most of those games were designed to play on an 4.77 mhz 8088 machine and if you had a faster clone, you often had to turn off the "turbo" in order for them to play properly.
  3. So real... I was reading the comments when the Space Racer clip started playing and that really brought back memories. I had many of those games and my EX played them well. Unlike XTs and most clones, the EX had a decent built in speaker, volume control and headphone jack which worked nicely with an external speaker (or amp) so those games rocked! The 1000 SL I bought later had an amazing DAC system built in but not many games supported it.
  4. Good story, many people were still using cassette storage throughout the 80s. In June of '87 I turned 17 and had already been working 30+ hours a week in a grocery store for a year. When the EX went on sale for $599, I saw my chance to leave TRS-DOS enter the MS-DOS world. At first I was using the composite out hooked to a TV but got lucky and found a CM4 color monitor on clearance for $100. Within a few months I had the system where I wanted. Color monitor, 640K (DMA), RS232 card and a 3½" external drive. All that and I still had one expansion slot open. Sure the slots were proprietary, but I think some people were (and still are) under the impression the EX/HX had no expansion slots at all. Only major thing it lacked was a HD kit, but there were many 3rd party companies that produced them. Cost for all that was slightly under $1,000. Now yes, I could have bought the "expandable" SX for $1,000 right from the beginning. I would have had NO MONITOR, 256K, one disk drive and no RS232 to use with my modem. Basically I would have been right where I started with the EX but for $400 more, and $400 was a hell of a lot of money to a teenager back in '87. The car I was driving cost $800 and was very nice. Now if my parents were mega rich and buying things for me, a $6,000 286 setup would have been sweet...gotta have a high end monitor, 60 Meg HD and blazing 2400 baud modem too! I also would have been driving around in a new Porsche instead of a Chevy Vega. As to the Amiga, I had little experience with it since Commodore didn't really put it out there. My friend who had the IIe was hell bent on getting one but that never happened. While stores like Sears, Wards and Service Merchandise offered C64, Atari, Apple clones and countless XT clones, I don't recall ever seeing an Amiga. One day our mall had a big computer expo and there was to be an Amiga booth so we made sure to get there early. I remember being somewhat impressed with the bouncing ball until I found out it wasn't a game, only a demo. I also remember a short video clip of a blond woman saying something and it was on a model that cost over $2,000. Then there was the software. Go into a place like Egg Head and you have row after row of software titles for IBM, Apple, C64 and Atari. The Amiga section looked like the Betamax corner of a video rental store in the 90s. And as I mentioned earlier, where were the Amiga BBS systems with all the freeware, shareware and warez?
  5. Exactly. My best friend was still using his IIe in '87 (still has it too). I remember browsing the giant Computer Shopper magazines and the 286 and 386 systems advertised were a fantasy...no different than looking at ads and articles for the latest Lamborghini and Ferrari. I don't know of any PC games from the mid to late 80s that required a business class machine that cost as much as a modest new car.
  6. Serious question...how old were you in 1987 and what type of computer were you using? In my world of the Chicagoland area, most people were using the C64 and Atari 8 bits and a floppy drive was a luxury item that the luckiest of kids had. Adults with money had an 8088 XT or clone and was often used when bringing their work home. Tandy made it affordable with the EX and HX. For under $1000 you could have 2 disk drives, 640K along with better graphics, sound and speed than most clones at twice the price. In 1987 a Tandy 3000 with HD was $4,300 and that's a 286! That's nearly $10,000 today...did you have that kind of money back then? A loaded Compaq 386 Deskpro was $12,500 (or over $28,000 today) LOL! I'd love to know how many households had a 286 or 386 system back in '87. And FWIW Outrun for the PC came out in '89 (2 years after the EX) and my EX ran it just fine along with Test Drive and all the expansion packs. I later bought a new 1000SL so that I could add a 32 Meg hard card and Sound Blaster. I had no issues with its 8086 running games.
  7. I bought a brand new EX back in the day. It was on sale for $599 ($200 off) in 1987. The HX did NOT come out at the same time, it was released in 1988 and at that time the EX had a price drop to $599 and the HX was $699. Everything was always on sale for those machines. The 3½" external floppy drive had a list price of $279 but was constantly on sale for $99. The 5¼" external floppy was normally $249 but almost always available for $149. Odd that it was more than the 3½" drive. The Memory Plus Expansion Adapter was not expensive even at their regular price. For $129 it added DMA, bumped memory to 384K and added two more expansion slots. Additional standard memory then bumped it up to 640K. I believe I paid $79 for that adapter. It didn't come standard with an RS232 and I wasn't happy paying $79 for that. I used a CM4 color monitor that was on clearance for $99 when the CM5 was released. That computer NEVER had any compatibility issues! I had free access to two of the largest BBSs in the world, one being Rusty & Edie's which allowed me access endless amounts of software...I probably had 500+ disks full of commercial software. With 640K, it ran anything I threw at it. I had been using BBSs with my Model III for at least 4 years before buying the EX in '87. BBSs and software was the main point and made it a no brainer to choose the EX over an Amiga. There were no Amiga BBSs in my area, never once logged into one. Lots of Atari, C64, some TRS-80 and then endless amounts of IBM. While the Atari and C64 were usually run by kids after their parents went to sleep, the IBM systems were the big ones with hundreds of megs of storage and multi lines.
  8. Looks like an original cabinet that's pictured on the arcade flyer. Very ugly and plain for an Atari cabinet, even the side art was nothing more than a small square piece slapped on like a cheap conversion. The arcade scene was dying by that point and I think Atari just said screw it...get them out as cheaply as possible. It's JAMMA, so nothing special. Atari also sold a generic conversion kit and a cabaret which actually looks a bit better than the full size.
  9. Cool find. It would be interesting to see what's on those floppies. The cassette deck play function is most likely fine and simply needs a load command for it to start.
  10. This is my basic bench setup. Also have a dedicated workshop in the garage, but it's mostly automotive. Scopes are Agilent. Several digital VOMs and my ancient Simpson because sometimes you just need analog. Various power supplies, signal generator etc. Lots of light and magnification as getting old sucks. The mini TV at the right is awesome, it changes from an 80s looking clock radio to a TV like a Transformer. It was a Craigslist find from a few years ago along with 2 TRS-80 Model 100 computers for free.
  11. I may have been wrong on how I put that...I have an aftermarket drive kit/controller in my Model III and still have the documentation sheets which lists 8" drives and 80 Track 5.25 drives. I'm not sure if the original factory controller will handle an 8" setup. If it does, you'll need a good OS such as LDOS or NEWDOS-80. I have double sided 5.25 drives which Radio Shack never offered and mainly use LDOS to take advantage of them. Everything about it is 100X better than TRSDOS anyway. Going to 8" is definitely not plug n' play as you need to make a cable adapter and the power supply is odd @ 24 volt, +5 and -5. I have an old Tandy Bernoulli Box which I think will house both 8" drives and a power supply nicely. From what I've read, 3.5" is an easy swap if you wanted something different.
  12. I've not tried a different brand other than a TEAC, but if you have some spares kicking around, I'd give them a try. As far as those screws, I don't know what makes them loosen up. The Tandons have been in my Model III for over 30 years and it was after several years of non use that they got out of whack and were surprisingly loose. The other Model III I bought a few years ago was an all original fully loaded unit that looks like it had never been used. Same issues. I personally like the look of the original full height drives, but you can stick something in there like up to 4 half height TEAC drives if you wanted. Odds are your Texas Peripheral drives will be perfectly fine after a tune up. Before attempting alignment, give them a good cleaning. The grease on the track bars hardens up and the stepper motor can't operate (this may be part of the set screw issue too). Clean all that off with rubbing alcohol soaked q-tips and relube it. Of course check that the belts are still there and not slipping. They're usually fine as they're nothing like rubber belts in audio equipment. Next check the speed. There are two patterns on the flywheel, one for 50hz and the other 60hz. When spinning, the 60hz pattern (in the US) should appear stationary when viewed under a fluorescent or neon light. This has to be an old school fluorescent light with a starter can, those modern curly deals don't work. If the pattern looks like it's moving, you can adjust a pot until it appears to stop. You definitely need to clean the heads. If you don't have any of those old cleaning disks, you need to find some on eBay. Floppy disks are getting old and leaving more behind, so you'll be cleaning much more than back in the 80s when everything was new. If after all that, you still have issues, it's time for an alignment or good used drives. Guaranteed tested drives are getting pricey, figure on $50 each if you want to settle for one with an IBM logo on the front. This is an excellent source of repair info on these drives. https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2010-06-28-alignment-tandon-m100.htm It's for the Tandon brand, but the Texas Peripherals (which you probably have) are very similar. Test points are different, and RS used two different series over time, so you'd need to buy or download the Model III Technical Reference Manual to figure out where to hook up your scope's leads. With a bit of info from the manual and that site, it's possible to get perfect alignment without the impossible to find alignment disk.
  13. Drives will probably need an alignment, which will require a scope and a program like Floppy Doctor. I have DS Tandons in my original Model III which are aftermarket. Also have a spare Model III with factory SS Texas Peripheral drives which are a cheap version of the Tandons that Tandy decided to use. Those drives have one thing in common which drove me batshit crazy, and that's a setscrew on the stepper motor shaft that magically loosens itself over the years. Both makes, all 4 drives...get things aligned perfect on the scope, read/writes perfect on all tracks and then anywhere from a few days to a few minutes, everything is botched up again. Turned out that stupid set screw was loose on all 4. Once secured and aligned again, all have been working perfect for years now.
  14. I've been trying to figure out the 2 vs 4 pin key switches. I had my original Model III since new and it is a very early production unit bought in mid 1980. I also picked up a spare a few years ago that was manufactured Dec. 22 1982. It had to be one of the last shipments as the Model 4 was released a few months later in April. Both the use 4 pin keys, although the newer unit does not feel as nice as the older one. I had bought a pack of new replacement keys off eBay and was disappointed when they turned out to be two pin. Did you notice any date stamps on your Model III or whether the keyboard was made by Alps?
  15. Good to hear you got it 100% functional. There are 4 solder points on each key and circuits daisy chain in many different directions through the keys. Remove one key and a section of the keyboard will die. Enough conductive filth under that little plunger and weird things may happen.
  16. May or may not be dirty keys. If you decide to clean them, remove the keyboard, unsolder the keys, disassemble them and clean the insides with a pencil erasure. You can also adjust the spring tension for better sensitivity. Real easy to ohm them out and they don't have to be anywhere near zero ohms when pressed, but if reading in K ohms they need cleaning. DO NOT just pop a key cap and try to spray any type of contact cleaner in there. If it's an early production model, it might work but if it's a later model, you'll destroy the carbon pads and have to cover them with foil dots or get new keys.
  17. Have you ever used any Cromemco equipment? I have a new unbuilt Cromemco joystick and a few other things like a large power supply. I always thought it would be cool to toy around with some of those mid 70s systems but after pricing the equipment, that ship sailed long ago.
  18. I have two brand new 8" drives that I plan on using as externals 3 & 4 on my Model III. The disk controller inside the Model III supports them but you still need to make cable adapters and use a non standard power supply.
  19. One of my favorite games and I was always happy to find one on location as it was quite rare. MP was on my want list when I used to attend auctions but that was one game that never showed up. Even had an eBay search string setup and never had any luck in my area.
  20. Bottom left, last two on bottom right and top right look like they have bent fingers. All appear heavily oxidized. Then there's that annoying bug next to the #30.
  21. Always on sale for $1.99 and they are one of HF's best buys imo. I have several sets that I use on the job and in my garage...I've yet to break or even bend one.
  22. Simply Google Colecovision power switch and you'll find countless how to instructions and even videos. Hard to believe a switch can cause so many issues, but it does.
  23. There were a number companies that offered new picture tubes for the TRS-80 line in Green, Amber, Red or Blue. You could also choose the decay time of the phosphor. Price was about $80 bucks in the early 80s. I would love to find a red tube for my Model III. I'd settle for a good used amber tube from an old monitor, but even those are getting difficult to find. The redish/orange gas plasma in my IBM P70s are phenomenal. Never liked green and wouldn't consider it.
  24. Clean up the power switch as mentioned by 4300 and all your problems will be gone. That issue has been a plague to the ColecoVision just like controllers to the 5200.
  25. Have you hooked a VGA monitor up to it yet? I need to get an adapter as there was something odd about the connector...I think it was an extra pin that serves no purpose. I had a giant box of old cables I gave away and I'm still kicking myself over that because I didn't realize several of them were drive B: cables for the P70.
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