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DistantStar001

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About DistantStar001

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  1. I have thought of making an adapter for my VIC-20 bricks. I made the opposite toggle for my 1050 PSU some time back, but it didn't end well for the PSU (I guess the VIC was too much for it). Since then, I've been using the PSU from my old cable-box. It works, but I don't entirely trust it. I've since gotten several original VIC-20 bricks and they seem a lot beefier (10v 3amp) than their late Atari counterpart. It seems that a simple barrel adapter should work. Best part would be that two of them are the larger early versions. The bottoms are held on with screws, making them serviceable if needed. Or I could just add a second cord with a barrel jack for the 1050. But then I'd have an unused cord dangling off the brick. So... Maybe not.
  2. So I ended up going with the USB adapter for now. It seems to work well with my spare iPad charger. Which is nice since I can attach it to a longer power cord and not be so closely tethered to the wall. I might try to build the adapter for my Ray Carlson PSU some day, but for now, this works! Also, the video output has never looked better. Thanks to all for your help and liberating me from that ingot!
  3. The problem here is that I still need a PSU for my C64s. But in essence, what you're suggesting would basically do the same thing, just earlier in the power line.
  4. I tried something similar as a two brick solution for my C64, but no matter which USB brick I used, the 5v lines would drop to 3v under load. Maybe the wires in the USB cable I used were too thin? That's my thinking anyway, since all the USB bricks I tried still manage to charge my tablets and iPods. Maybe the Atari has lower power demands? I'll give it a try. Under Volting the system shouldn't be too much of a problem as long as it's only for a few seconds. In any case, if you've done this, what USB brick did you use? Maybe yours are better than mine.
  5. Ok. First I'm not crazy. There is no way that I am going to plug in a Commodore PSU straight into my Atari. I know that would kill it. But at the moment, all I have is an original ingot, which as I understand it is no safer than the original Commodore units. Currently, my C64s are using an after market PSU I got from Ray Carlson, which provides a consistent 5.2v at 3 amps. Now I'm curious if I could build an extender for the 5v DC rails without the 9v AC. Basically, a female 7 pin din connector extending the 5v and ground on pins 5 and 2 to pins 1, 4, and 6, and to pins 3, 5, and 7 respectively, on a male 7 pin din on the other side. If I'm right, the 9v AC would dead end, while the 5v DC would pass through to the Atari. My questions are: Has any one ever tried this before? And would this be safe for my Atari?
  6. The hardware. Console generations have less to do with the year they came out as it does with advancements in technology. 4th generation consoles were marked by the introduction of 16 bit processors, where the C64 game system was 8 bit. Also, it's based on the same specifications as the Commodore 64 (minus the keyboard), putting it more in line with the NES, Sega Master System, and Atari 7800 than the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive or SNES.
  7. That reminds me. Apple doesn't have a functioning backspace key either. The back arrow acts as a backspace, or at least it does on my Model III. Better than my Apple II's. The key may say "Delete", but that's not what it does! Also, What about Sinclair's decision to the same port for power as the cassette input/output?
  8. I don't think that can be done with a simple cable. The C64 only puts out RF, composite, or chroma-luma. You can build an S-Video cable, and I think that there might have been a SCART cable as well, but it won't do RGB on its own. And even if it did, it wouldn't be a signal that VGA understands. For VGA, you'll need an adapter like a retroTINK or similar device. It might be easier to get a DVI or HDMI adapter, as those are the current standards. Personally, I've been using an old TV with a composite input. Most modern TV's will support RF in some fashion, and composite isn't completely dead yet.
  9. They have a tendency to over-volt after a while without warning. This tends to fry chips, and I've lost a couple of boards as a result. If yours is original, then it's best to replace it with a modern one, or at the very least get an inline power saver. You can get either or both from Ray Carlson's site: http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen/ I got the North American "P64 Mini" unit from him about a year ago. It works great! And I highly recommend them.
  10. It works!!! I had to use DriveWire 3 and an old Intel iMac running 10.6 to do it, but it does work! For those curious, the process is as follows: 1) Follow all the steps to load HDB-DOS on your CoCo (CLOADM:EXEC) and launch DriveWire on the server machine (in my case the iMac). 2) Load your desired virtual floppy image (.dsk as .dmk won't be recognized) in Device 0 on DriveWire. 3) Type "BACKUP 0 TO 4" on CoCo and press return. This is because the four virtual drives on DriveWire are devices not drives! That was the major breakthrough for me, as this information wasn't well documented. Each virtual "Device" has 256 individual "Drives". When you load a disk image into the "Device" it defaults to "Drive 0". By default, DriveWire will treat the other "Drives" 1-255 as blank (but not empty). Effectively by "backing up" the disk in "Drive 0" its contents are copied to the blank in "Drive 4". Side note, you can use any "Drive" number 4-255 for this process, but I will be sticking with "drive" 4. 4) Type "DRIVE OFF" on your CoCo and press RETURN. This will reassign the virtual "Drives" 0-3 as your physical floppy drives. This is why I needed to backup from the virtual "Drive" 0 to "Drive" 4 or above. Once in "DRIVE OFF" mode you lose access to the virtual "Drives" 0-3. 5) If you haven't already, format a floppy disk by typing "DSKINI 0 ( or your drive number)" and allow it to do its thing. 6) Type "BACKUP 4 TO 0 (or your drive number) and press enter. That's it! Obviously, the reverse of this process will allow you to backup physical floppies to .dsk images. But you will need to create a blank .dsk file and load it in to the DriveWire virtual "Device" and "BACKUP 4 TO 0" in "DEVICE ON" mode so that the information will be saved on the .dsk file. I will probably need to figure out DriveWire 4 to use this process to make floppies for my Model III, since DriveWire 3 doesn't recognize .dmk images which seem to be more common for the TRS-80's. But this is a start! So I'm Happy.
  11. OK! So getting closer. The first problem I had was getting HDB-DOS to recognize the physical drive. Took some Googling, but found this site: https://sourceforge.net/p/drivewireserver/wiki/Using_DriveWire/?version=30 Summery: the DRIVE OFF command allows physical access to drives 0-3 and networked virtual drives 4-255. From there, the site said to use the BACKUP 4 TO 0 command to make a copy. However, this doesn't seem work. While the two sides did communicate, and the Mini Disk did write something to the floppy, the physical disk itself has no directory in Disk Extended Color BASIC. Additionally, in HDB-DOS's DRIVE OFF mode, I am un able to get a directory for any disk, physical or virtual. And in DRIVE ON mode the physical drives are ignored entirely. So it's hard to verify results without rebooting. This could simply be an issue with the floppy disk I'm using. It's a little wonky, as I didn't want to test this on a fresh disk until I was sure it worked. Still the two sides are talking, so progress!!! But I still have a couple of questions. First: How do I do this? And would this allow me to save files from tape (.wav) to floppy? Second: Assuming that this does work... Is it possible to use this method to write disks for other Radio Shack computers, like my Model III? Or are the formats not compatible?
  12. The title pretty much sums it up. I have a CoCo 2 and made a DriveWire cable, but have to load the DOS from the cassette port, which is time consuming. I recently received a floppy drive with controller, and now I'm wondering if I can boot to HDB-DOS and then interface with the floppy controller to copy disk images to real floppies or vice versa?
  13. OK! New information! This is definitely a tint issue. I adjusted the tint on my screen. A red shift on a blue VIC corrects to a teal screen, where a green shift makes a 'teal VIC' go blue. From what I understand, this phenomenon should be limited to NTSC machines. Since, to the best of my knowledge, PAL signals don't require tint adjustments the in the same way that NTSC machines do. Unfortunately, this does little for me to narrow down the possibilities. Without age, usage or manufacture data, there's no way for me to narrow my hypotheses. Still... Getting closer.
  14. Interesting. I tried adjusting the pots on both of the 'blue screen' VIC's with no effect on the border color. Brightness and saturation, but not color tint. The thing is, the the text color appears to be right on all three. It's only the border color that's different. The only thing that changed the border on the 'blue VIC's' was swapping chips. All I did was swap chips and suddenly my 'blue VIC' was teal. Out of curiosity, what are the date codes on these machines? My current hypothesis is that there was a modification or refinement to the design of the VIC chip in 1982 that continued through the rest of the line. If I'm correct, then all VIC chips manufactured before a certain date should produce a blue boarder, while later ones give the customary teal. I'm kinda shaky on my usage and age hypothesies, since one of the 'blue VIC's' show only minimal signs of use. But not knowing the history of the machine, I can't rule it out completely. If someone has a heavily used machine with chips manufactured after the 50th week of 82, then that would demonstrate that use and age are factors, rather than a change in chip design/manufacture.
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