Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

876 Excellent


About ballyalley

  • Rank
    River Patroller

Contact / Social Media

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Albuquerque, NM

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Yes, I believe Michael means a digital photo of the Printed Circuit [Board]. I think he is looking for one of higher quality then he currently has found. Thanks for this information in the MAME source code. I've pointed Michael to it. You're a freshly approved member of the Astrocade discussion forum now. Maybe you can post there about the games that you've written that you want to port to the Astrocade. Adam
  2. Michael has a new Hi-Res project in the works for his private Astrocade. He sent me this announcement about two weeks ago: ----------------------------------------- MCM Design Announcement By Michael Matte February 17, 2021 ANNOUNCEMENT - MCM Design's 3rd And Final Hi-Res Astrocade Prototype Feb 2021 Below is MCM Design's vision for its final low/hi-res static screen RAM (SRAM) Astrocade, a wire wrapped prototype with a 3 board add-under. MODIFIED ASTROCADE MOTHERBOARD The motherboard will be modified to run the low/hi-res static screen RAM add-under Board 1. Connection to Board 1 will be via a 28 pin dual in line (DIL) ribbon cable (RC) socket mounted at the bottom front of the motherboard. No 50 pin motherboard expansion lines will be required to run the screen RAM in Board 1. Design Note: The two custom data chip's Serial 0 (pin 11) and Serial 1 (pin 12) lines must be disconnected from ground. The hi-res video scan serial lines will be wired to pins 11 and 12. ADD-UNDER BOARD 1 STATIC SCREEN RAM (SRAM) BOARD Four 32KB static RAM chips utilized, providing 4KB low-res mode, 160 x 102 pixel resolution or 16KB hi-res mode, 320 x 204 pixel resolution either mode software selectable possible med-res mode 160 x 204 pixel resolution? Optional hi-res 16KB 8 page multi-pager, total 128KB of screen RAM software selectable Single +5v power operation 28 pin DIL RC socket mounted in front of Board 1 to connect to the motherboard 28 pin DIL RC socket mounted in back of Board 1 to connect to Board 2 ADD-UNDER BOARD 2 USER ROM/RAM BOARD A. 32KB user hi-res ROM B. 32KB user RAM 6000-7FFFH C. 32KB user RAM 8000-FFFFH A. 32KB user hi-res ROM, dual-carted with two 16KB banks ROM will be 32KB EEPROM with internal data protection enabled Bank 0 addressed 0000-3FFFH 16KB hi-res demos/games Bank 1 addressed 0000-3FFFH 0000-1FFFH low-res to hi-res conversion, UPI + subroutines power up routine menu at power on? demo(s)? 2000-3FFFH sentinel at 2000H to indicate this ROM is active extended graphic subroutines with EUPI software support for Board 1 multi-pager? software support for Board 3 pattern transfer board? Manual switches mounted in front of Board 2 1. DIP (mini toggle?) to disable low-res ROM, enable hi-res ROM low-res ROM only enabled option allows execution of already existing MCM Design 2000-3FFFH programming along with hi-res programs that include all the necessary (self-contained) hi-res routines 2. mini toggle to disable (turn off) Bank 1 ROM 2000 – 3FFFH toggle allows use of 8KB hi-res cartridge in cassette connector with access to only hi-res UPI plus subroutines at 0000-1FFFH 3. mini toggle to select Bank 0 or Bank 1 B. 32KB user RAM, multi-carted with four 8KB banks addressed 6000-7FFFH or 2000-3FFFH via mini toggle 28 pin ZIF socket compatible with EPROM/EEPROM using jumper reroute socket or optional pre-wired module switches mounted in front of Board 2 1. 2000/6000H address mini toggle select switch 2. write protect mini toggle 3. two DIP multi-cart C. 32KB user RAM addressed 8000-FFFFH 28 pin ZIF socket compatible with EPROM/EEPROM using jumper reroute socket or optional pre-wired module write protect mini toggle mounted in front of Board 2 Single +5v power operation 50 pin header socket to connect Board 2 to motherboard via RC 50 pin header socket to connect Board 2 to Board 3 via RC 28 pin DIL socket to connect to Board 1 multi-pager via RC ADD-UNDER BOARD 3 PATTERN TRANSFER BOARD Similar to WOW pattern transfer board single +5v power operation 50 pin header socket to connect to Board 2 via RC 50 pin header expand socket to connect to remote BalcheckHR board via RC AUDIO/VIDEO BOARD A composite video driver and audio driver board with a quick connect replacing the Aztec RF modulator two RCA phono jacks mounted in back of the A/V board allowing A/V cables to run out the back of the Astrocade console a ground wire to connect to the motherboard ground ADD-UNDER CONSOLE WITH 3 BOARD RACK SET UP MCM Design managed to purchase on eBay a 3 PC board rack styled support system for only $15 plus shipping. This setup will hold 3 boards in the vertical or horizontal position. The rack system will be mounted within an open framed stained wood console. Additional supports will be used to position the rack system precisely. MCM Design has access to a table saw, router and miter saw to create the console and supports. The Astrocade will be mounted on top of the wooden console having the same width and length as the Astrocade console. An 8.5 x 17" Vector board prepunched for wire wrap socket installation will be cut in half to provide precise 8.5" wide WW boards for the 3 board rack system. All 3 add-under boards will be 8.5"square? The rack set up will have to provide a means to allow the hook up of a frequency counter, logic probe, VOM or logic analyzer so the 3 boards can be troubleshooted with their +5v power on. A +5v power supply and a fused custom 120vac jack for the Astrocade motherboard power transformer will also be mounted inside the wooden console. A main fused 120vac power on/off switch will be mounted on a side of the wooden console so that the motherboard and all 3 add-under boards can power on simultaneously. The motherboard rear mounted power on/off slide switch will be left in the "on" position for the simultaneous power on. ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE SUPPORT Modified Astrobasic cartridge with 32KB EEPROM multi-carted for four 8KB programs listed below 1. Astrobasic 2. Upgraded Bit Fiddler's MLM with 2000 baud audio interface subroutines including "An In-Depth Look At ..." series programs and demos? 3. Hi-res MLM with 2000 baud audio interface subroutines including hi-res demos 4. Hi-res Multi-Pager Test Demo Note: 2 and 3 audio interface subs will be useable from 6000-FFFFH low-res, 8000-FFFFH hi-res Hi-Res Incredible wizard, Hi-Res Seawolf plus ? in a 32KB package addressed 8000-FFFFH Upgraded BalcheckHR board with 32KB diagnostic package End OF MCM Design Document Feb 2021 ----------------------------------------- Michael has finished all of his previous hi-res projects and this one looks to be his most ambitious one yet! Good luck, Michael! Adam
  3. I re-posted your question on the Bally Alley Astrocade dicussion group on Groups.io: https://groups.io/g/ballyalley/topic/run_of_new_astrocade_power/[...] I encourage you to join that group if you're not already a member there. Adam
  4. That's a LOT of power supplies! I'm going to re-port your question over at the astrocade discussion group. Adam
  5. There still isn't any off-the-shelf fix unless you make it yourself. Is that what you meant? Adam
  6. Over the last few days, Michael Matte has sent me and Lance information about his newest idea for his personal hi-res Astrocade. This isn't a secret: Michael said that I can post about it online. Michael hopes to create a new add-under for his modified-for-hi-res Astrocade to add some of the hardware functions that are built into the arcade game "Wizard of Wor." As is common with Michael, he has quite a bit of the details already worked out in his mind already. Here are Michael's slightly-edited emails to Lance and me. There are many ideas to absorb here; don't feel overwhelmed by it all. If you don't understand exactly what Michael is talking about, then just let the general idea wash over you and smile that exciting new hardware is still created for the obscure-- for many people (not us!)-- Astrocade! I'll continue to post about Michael's project as it moves along, with a few additional posts that should follow later today. Adam ----------------------------------------- Subject: WOW Documentation And More From: Michael Matte Date: Mon 2/15/2021 3:33 PM Hi Adam. I just wanted to let you know I have at this time a Wizard of Wor folder containing 21 items. [My WOW folder is in my Windows 7 desktop.] This folder is slowly growing over time. The WOW folder at this time contains: 17 hardware pics 2 documentation pics zipped speech chip doc pics WOW ROM coding I have a particular interest in the WOW pattern transfer board with a pile of documentation related to this board including the applicable CMOS technology utilized. Why? I'll give you a hint. This interest is related to my 3rd and FINAL modified low/hi-res Astrocade version, which I will label as a "Modified Low/Hi-Res Static Screen RAM (SRAM) Astrocade, version 2". This version has been roaming around inside my head the last several weeks. I'm thinking in terms of a 3 board add-under. I'm very excited about this custom, personalized version and coincidentally the word "wow" really describes my excitement. My plans over time are to fully document the building of this version with a build procedure, photos and videos. I will also work a little at a time on my various and many other side projects. I have NOT abandoned my "An In-Depth Look At ..." series. I am hoping this week to at least start a recording of a MCM Design intro video - A Tour Of MCM Design Projects. Bye. MCM ----------------------------------------- Lance wondered, "I'm guessing this would give the Bally/Astrocade the 'blitter' features missing from the video chip? More like the Amiga Blitter than just the pixel transforms built into the chip? Michael sent us this more technical response. ----------------------------------------- Subject: RE: WOW Documentation And More From: Michael Matte Date: Tue 2/16/2021 7:28 PM The following is what a portion of my examination of the WOW transfer board has revealed to me. I spent this time examining the board to see if this board was feasible as an optional add-on for a modified hi-res Astrocade. My conclusion is that yes this board is very feasible as an optional add-on. By the way, this board would not be usable in the low-res mode unless it could be modified to optionally add 40 bytes to a pattern screen line instead of the hi-res 80 bytes per line. Maybe all that would be needed is to add a manual mini toggle to switch from the 80 adder to 40. That would be something to look into. The pattern transfer board provides 6 pattern bit control (manipulation) modes via its output port 7AH, which are listed below. Direction (shift left or right 1 bit?) Expand (double/triple size of pattern?) Constant (0 = use same size, 1 = expand pattern size?) Flush (set pattern pixels to a fixed color?) Flip (turn, rotate 45°? Rotate CW, CCW?) Flop (similar to magic flop?) Looking at this functions list, it seems that this board really doesn't offer much more than the Astrocade motherboard custom chip magic functions. What the board really offers is processing speed. The WOW Parts And Operating Manual provides a board theory of operation, but no details on the above 6 control (manipulation) modes. I will very likely be able to determine how each mode functions by examining the board's schematic and by breadboard experimentation. Here is a link to the Wizard of Wor manual: https://arcarc.xmission.com/PDF_Arcade_Bally_Midway/Wizard_of_Wor_Parts_and_Operating_Manual_(Jun_1981).pdf The board operates similar to a ML graphic write subroutine. Five graphic parameters must be output to the boards output ports 78 thru 7EH. The 8 bit pattern height parameter must be the LAST output (port 7EH) to activate the transfer board. The board tri-states the Z80 off, writes the pattern to RAM, then returns control to the Z80. The board writes a pattern faster than the Z80 because no Z80 M1 (instruction fetch/RAM row address refresh) cycle is utilized. There are no Z80 M1 cycle delays or Z80 instructions executed when the transfer board is activated. I think the minimum M1 cycle lasts 3 system clock cycles. One system clock cycle is 560ns long. So, the M1 cycle is a substantial delay before any Z80 instruction is even executed. The board utilizes the Astrocade motherboard system clock and generates its own active low MREQ, RD and WR signal lines writing the pattern via onboard chips (digital electronics) which decode, count up/down, multiplex, tri-state, etc. acting like a ML graphics write subroutine. It looks like the intent of the board is to write directly to screen RAM, but may be able to write to Magic RAM with possible limitations. The user in the Magic RAM case would also have to output the appropriate magic function to the custom data chip magic register port 0CH. A system x,y coordinate to non-magic (or magic) address subroutine would also normally be executed by the user prior to outputting the 5 transfer board parameters. This board has 43 chips on it, but less than a dozen of them are paired off and actually used for pattern byte manipulation/processing. I plan to break down the schematic into separate parts so it's easier to determine how the board functions to process and write a graphic pattern to screen RAM. This building block approach can be used during the breadboard and testing phase of the project. I will utilize a 555 timer to generate a simple, slow 1 PPS (or higher) visible clock tester along with LEDs, used temporarily to run experimental tests. I have a PC photo of the board's top, but only a paper print of its bottom. It looks like all the chips are powered by +5V. Did the WOW transfer board utilize Motorola MC14xxx series chips? Yes, it did. Surprisingly, Mouser Electronics is well-stocked with CD4xxx, 74HC or 74HCT substitutions. These chips typically cost around $0.60 a chip (less if you purchase 10 packs). For example, Mouser is selling the specialty chip CD4516BE priced at $0.56 (10 at $0.445) having over 1600 in stock. Compare that price with eBay. I think you now have a general idea of how the WOW pattern transfer board functions. Bye. MCM ----------------------------------------- Michael is looking for a bit of help with two questions concerning Wizard of Wor that relate to his interpretation of the pattern board project. I'll post these questions in a separate post. He has also written an official release announcement called "MCM Design's 3rd And Final Hi-Res Astrocade Prototype," which I'll post soon. I wish Michael the best of luck with his newest project to modify his Astrocade. Go, Michael, you crazy hi-res idealist, go! Adam
  7. The updated (and now, complete) "High-Res Astrocade Machine Language Subroutines" by MCM Design (Michael Matte), from February/March 2020 and January 2021 are available as a PDF document, here: https://ballyalley.com/documentation/hi-res_packages/hi-res_packages.html#High-ResAstrocadeMLSubroutines The following high-resolution subroutines for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade were created by MCM Design and sent to Adam Trionfo as photocopies and text documents via email in February and March 2020. Adam compiled this collection of subroutines from ten documents in January 2021. It contains Z80 machine language subroutines for use with a modified-for-hi-res Bally Arcade/Astrocade home videogame console. The contents of this documents are: Low and High-Res Comparisons - An Overview for Vector (Motion), Coordinate Limits and Graphic Pattern Data Blocks. Briefly describes the purpose of each Hi-Res ML subroutine. Convert High-Res Coordinates to a Magic Address Standard Hi-Res Stacked Graphic Pattern Write Subroutines Custom High-Res Move (Vector) Subroutine Custom Hi-Res Multi-Pager Graphic Pattern Write Subroutine Each subroutine is extensively commented on, including a note "This subroutine is similar to low-res sub #__" plus you might see a Nutting Manual reference page from where the hi-res sub was created. These ML sub docs are strictly for someone who has access to a modified hi-res Astrocade, is experienced in ML/AL programming and is looking for a custom hi-speed subroutine application. The doc's intent is to help a hi-res programmer get started with custom programming hi-res graphic patterns and moving patterns around the screen without the need to create this particular hi-res application from scratch. These ML subroutines, except the custom subroutine example for MCM Design's hi-res multi-pager, function similar to their low-res equivalent. However, these hi-res subs must be called directly. There is no processing UPI (User Programmer Interface). Note, MCM Design's upcoming Hi-Res ROM will include sub's similar to these subs and will utilize a UPI. The ROM UPI and sub's will be well documented. Perhaps someday in the future, someone with machine/assembly language experience may acquire or build a modified hi-res Astrocade and might find this info useful. Enjoy! Adam
  8. Yes, I can copy files to my CoCo via the CoCo SDC, at least I think that I can do that somehow. I mean, I can put DSK images onto the SDC and then run them on the CoCo. I guess what you're suggesting is that I paste the text from an OCRed BASIC program into VCC and then save the program to a disk image. That might work... except, I have experience with trying to OCR BASIC programs. While it might seem like it should work okay... it really doesn't work as well as one might expect. There are so many little errors that are introduced into the BASIC program via OCR that are difficult to see. One good example is the replacement of the number "1" with the lower-case 'l' or the letter "O" with the number "0." This topic pops up now and again in other forums, especially in the Atari area. I still believe that these sample programs from the BASIC manual are floating around out there just waiting to be used. I don't expect that they were probably ever on an official disk or tape from Radio Shack, but I can't be the first person since 1986 who wants to see all, or some, of the programs running without needing to type them into the computer. I'll check around in other forums and see what I can find. This topic might make a good discussion for CoCo Talk! Adam
  9. Thanks for the tip to get more than one title at a time. And, yet, I prefer not to find games using the Get-'em-all-now method. I'll only ever play a handful of the possibly many hundreds of games on this system, so I don't want to wade into the muck of software blindly and without reason. The three games which I chose already were picked on purpose, not because I was familiar with them, but because I chose the May 1984 issue of "Rainbow" magazine because it happened to be the first month where I got my first computer magazine. I had a C64 and I bought the May 1984 issue "Compute's! Gazette." I was curious what was going on in the CoCo world at that same time. For this same reason, I'm looking for specific programs from the BASIC manual. The CoCo community has been around, in many forms, since 1980 or so. I'm confident someone has compiled the BASIC programs in one place. If not, then surely someone can point me to a collection of the Color BASIC programs. I'd like to start off, not with the best CoCo 3 programs, but ones that a beginner to the system would have had available out-of-the-box when they picked up the computer in 1986. Adam
  10. I didn't look around deeply anywhere; I'm much to new to this system to know where to look for a compilation of software. I briefly looked on CoCo Archive: https://colorcomputerarchive.com/repo/ I figure that someone has put all of the programs in the CoCo 3 BASIC manual on a disk or two. I really have only, since yesterday, been looking much into software for the CoCo. I'm positive that someone knows better than me where to find and track down software. Adam
  11. Thanks for the tip about holding down the F1 key. Yesterday I pressed reset MANY times on my CoCo 3 without any palette changes. Pressing F1 brought up the second palette right away and now the three games look like they're supposed to look on my TV. Adam
  12. Thanks for the compliments on the podcast. Now that I have a CoCo SDC, I can try saving and loading some BASIC programs. Of course, I've also tried some assembly programs. So far I've played "Tut's Tomb," "Time Bandit" and "Candy Co." (which I don't understand). I'm probably going to make a second video about my setup. Here's a link to my first one from the beginning of January: https://youtu.be/EQ6KrhOh4C4 (and since my links to YouTube never seem bring up a thumbnail, here's the URL again: https://youtu.be/EQ6KrhOh4C4) The computer is neat, and I think it was pretty inexpensive for when it came out. Adam
  13. I am looking for a disk, or disks, that have the programs from the "Color Computer 3 Extended BASIC" manual. The book looks like this: These programs are on pages 257-275. That's just the "Sample" programs. The manual also has other programs. I'm referring to this manual: https://colorcomputerarchive.com/repo/Documents/Manuals/Hardware/Color%20Computer%203%20Extended%20Basic%20(Tandy).pdf#Page=274 In particular, I'm looking to run and record the Computer Art/Video Art programs such as: "Looping Loop" (Sample Prog. no. 27) and "The Artists Palette" (Sample Prog. 24). Can anyone point me to a disk image with a collection of the many programs from the manual. I want to load the BASIC programs onto my real CoCo 3 using my CoCo SCD SD disk drive emulator that I used for the first time yesterday. Adam
  14. I added a new "FAQ" to BallyAlley.com called "Bally Arcade / Astrocade Motherboard Troubleshooting: Hints, Tips and Fixes: An Exchange of Ideas" by Michael Matte,compiled by Adam Trionfo. You can download it here: https://ballyalley.com/faqs/faqs.html#Astrocade_Motherboard_Troubleshooting_Hints The default download for this document is pdf. It is also available in a RTF and TXT formats. This document contains all of the emails (or most of them, I think) where Michael Matte, a member of the Astrocade community, discusses fixing six dead motherboards sent to him by Allen, another Astrocade member who fixes people's motherboards. The document, which includes an introduction by Adam Trionfo, is 22 pages long. It includes some email from Allen and Adam too. The information in the document is probably not likely to be understood by non-tech readers, at least in part. Just read the introduction and skip the bits that you don't understand. This collection of email is sort of a hardware-fixer's paradise. There is a true narrative told here, even though that wasn't Michael's original intent when he started sending emails to Adam and Allen. If you read the entire compiled document from start to finish in one sitting, then you'll find that it's a GREAT read; you'll love it! When you read through the document, then be aware that there are some bits that might be wrong or outdated. Don't consider this a draft that needs fixing; it's not that at all. This is a document that compiles a story and stories aren't perfect: the bits of a story that are rough around the edges are what makes it great. Enjoy! Adam
  15. Thanks for a link to that video. I just watched it. I'll join join the CoCo Talk! discord channel this week. I watched CoCo Talk! for the first time, and participated in the the chat, for the first time last weekend. It was recommended that I get a CoCo SDC, which I purchased. I got it three days later! That's Ed Snider; you're the fastest shipper in the West! I used it for the first time today and it worked great. Seeing that I have very little experience with the CoCo, I just picked a few games (Tut's Tomb, Time Bandit, and Candy Co.; these were all advertised or reviewed in the May 1984 issue of Rainbow!) and each loaded fine (once I figured that "EXEC," not "RUN" starts a binary game; I'm such a newbie!). My "deluxe" joystick needs some tuning, but it does work sort of okay. My issue is with colors, but I'll figure this out via the Discord channel; thanks for the link! I had no idea that you could use voice chat via Discord; maybe I'll use my "Blue" mic for something other than my rarer-than-rare Astrocade podcast or my narration for my videos. Oh, and watching the discord video made me think that I need to make a Discord channel for the Astrocade... unless one already exists? I've never checked! Adam
  • Create New...