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About Beeblebrox

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    Atari 8 Bit, VR gaming, Cycling, Woodworking

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  1. Hmm, interestingly I also happen to come across this on Ebay relating to the aforementioned The Last Starfighter: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/140951863831?hash=item20d162c217:g:rpIAAOSwRBFd~U7B Here is the listing info, very interesting: "Game Cartridge Last Starfighter 8-bit cartridge for the Atari 800/XL/XE. This game was never released by Atari. New label. I found Last Starfighter along with many others unreleased games in desks at Atari after one of their famous layoffs. We are producing this un-released game for others to enjoy. We are selling this as a UN-released cartridge but believe it is complete. The original had no label or case so we have made a label and added a new original Atari made case and backing. The EPROM proto board is original Atari made. This game is identical to the original UN-released game I found at Atari. IT IS NOT THE ACTUAL GAME CARTRIDGE I FOUND AT ATARI but a reproduction of it using original Atari parts!!! No manual or box. This game was originally planned to be released as "The Last Starfighter" but Atari had to make changes after they decided against a license agreement for LS. Here is a good Review of the History Comments by Pierre-André. See full comparison at link listed below. THE LAST STARFIGHTER / STAR RAIDERS II VOCABULARY I - Spaceships Mainly, there are three types of ships: The Deckfighters which act as the easiest targets (they really are our tie fighters), The Xurian ships too rare in the movie play the destroyer role in the game and protect the final ship, the Command Ship. The names change between the two "versions" so here is a table of conversion if you wish to find the "spirit" of the movie in your game. THE LAST STARFIGHTER STAR RAIDERS II Ko-Dan Ships Zylon Ships 1- Deckfighters 1- Zylon Fly Fighters 2- Xurians Ships 2- Destroyers 3- Command Ship 3- Commands Ship (only one by level, exactly like in the movie) (one by squadrun, 5000 points each) 4- "Little" Command Ships 4- No Equivalent (those attacking the frontier) (the frontier plot is totally lacking from SR II) Your Ship: . - The Gunstar - The Liberty Star II - Planets Virtually identical, ATARI had to make a few changes due to to the names copyrighted by the original movie, The Last Starfighter. THE LAST STARFIGHTER STAR RAIDERS II Celos IV System . 1- Rylos 1- Teris 2- Galen 2- Imbri 3- Seridus 3- Seridus 4- Arcanum 4- Arcanum Procyon System . 1- Ko-Dan 1- Zylon 2- Gaon 2- Gaon 3- Morkoth 3- Morkoth Finally, to all the "raiders" who have never tried The Last Starfighter, I just would like to communicate them their order of mission if someday, they wish to become starfighters: "Greetings Starfighter..... You have been recruited by the starleague to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada." Don't forget that in bonus you'll have a 1984 fantastic intro so don't hesitate: To try it, it's to adopt it! Some will always say that Raiders II is faster but Starfighter is really "the movie in your Atari" so have a wonderful experience. Let me say it a second time: Too bad, they never released it officially! Newsflash! We now have brand new original mint Atari Released version of Star Raiders II on disk for sale in a separate Ebay(also on our web site) auction. Last Starfighter 8-bit cartridge for the Atari 800/XL/XE. New label
  2. And don't forget the 'Real" Star Raiders II sequel (rather than the commecially rebranded release of the tie in to The Last Starfighter flop movie). I only found out about this the other day. Read more here - makes for compelling reading if you download the two PDFs as well:
  3. See here http://atariprojects.org/2018/08/05/purging-dangerous-power-supplies-15-60-mins/ Also IHMO personally I ditched any original brick PSU because you can get the USB ones dirt cheap on Ebay and the don't take up any room, get hot, etc etc: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143807813716 Course it means I have loads Atari PSUs in a box now heh heh!
  4. @-^CrossBow^-I have UAV ReV D installed in my 800XL and on S-Video and I still have faint jailbars which I put down to the same DIN to S-Video (unsheilded) cable I am using in my posts earlier in this thread. I have enquired about the Hercules Workshop (Canadian) shielded cable they sell. This is because all the European and Ebay based sellers I've contacted who sell S-Video cables for A8s confirm their cable's Chroma and Luma wiring is not sheilded. http://herculesworkshop.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-product.cgi?d=hercules-workshop&item=59616 Pain I potentially have to source a cable from Canada. I know I could build my own of course. Far as I am aware from what I've picked up reading related AA threads is XE A8s have a lot more noise owing to the placement of some of the components, etc than the XL lines. However far as I am aware with UAV Rev D installed in either an XE or XL AND a Shielded S-Video cable I would expect to see a clear image and no jailbars. My UAV install saw the removal of the 4050 IC btw, and the usual 5 x wires hooked onto various points on the 800XL's PCB. Again I defer to others who have vastly greater knowledge and expertise in this area, so please do correct me if I am wrong.
  5. @Nezgar Thanks - I'll have a proper read of your advice/comments when I have some time. Just to say I don't have a US Doubler 1050. I only have 2 x stock 1050s and this Happy (or Lazer) modded 1050. The 2 x stock 1050 drives work fine. 25+ years ago I owned a both US Doubler and Happy drives.
  6. I enjoyed reading this thread over the summer. One modern game I'd love to see, despite the obvious challenges/limitations on the A8, in some form perhaps utilising some of the technicolour tricks of the likes of Albert - is the PC game "Tales of the Neon Sea": I played it on my laptop earlier this year and it was compelling with great atmosphere. Aside the obvious high end graphics/effects, gameplay mechanics and obvious size of the world in this game, I do wonder what could be done on the A8 to some degree. I realise this would be clearly very ambitious. Just a guess but for outdoor scenes a lot of background city scape art could be siloluetted and parallexed, DLIs could bring in some great colour. Minimise the "sprites" on screen. For indoor a lot is static aside the glipse of cityscape through wndows and again DLIs could be employed. (Thinking the stained glass windows of the WIP game ADM and also what Michael achieved with Bettie's Issues and the colours he managed to cram onscreen). A moody noir cyberpunk sound track playing quietly in the background. One thing would be ensuring you load/and or uncompress every few screens independantly. (So you'd not be talking about cramming it all into 64K or 128K in one go. From what I've read of recent discussions there are some fantastic compression algorithms being used in a lot of Homebrew/moderm A8 releases/WIP). Anyhoo I highly recommend the game on PC.
  7. BTW the mod board plugs directly into the original MPU socket. (Ran out of editing time for my post above but wanted to mention it).
  8. Hi. Opened up the 1050 Happy (or Lazer) modded drive and took out the module to take a closer look at the underside. Few pics below. Basically since booting a few disks I've noticed quite a few disks don't load that have no problems on my stock 1050 drives. I've already cleaned the head and also the mech moves along the drive rails no issues, so it isn't these. (Besides my Mecenary disk loads with no issues). I've been trawling through AA for various threads on fixing up common issues with 1050s and will go through those to see if I can pinpoint anything. I will try and use the 1050 diag software ATR whilst doing so although struggled to get the software to recognise the D1 1050 where I am using my Side3 and spartaDOSX to load the ATR. So far it could be any number of things. I may need to fine tune the RPM speed with the Vr2 pot because I read they can slip over the decades. It could also be the felt pressue pad needs replacing, or the drive belt is loose (latter unlikely as seems ok). Also possibly a bad IC somewhere, or the drive mechanism limiter is stopping the drive head from accessing the lower parts of some disks surfaces. Anyways, here are a couple of pics of the Happy or Lazer mod (yet to be determined) as well as the 1050's PCB where you can see 2 x chips have been removed/moved for the mod: The Texas instruments logo'ed IC here has faint markings either ending 704 or 784: Here is the 1050's PCB with 2 x IC's removed. (From what I can tell the 74LS86, I.C. and MPU, 6507 (1MHz), I.C. (according to the 1050 field service manual): (It also appears a leg of one of the 1050's stock IC on it's PCB has been deliberately removed for the purposes of the mod): The chip in question, according to the 1050 field service manual, is FDC, WD2793-02, I.C.
  9. @Lostdragon The sub game in Alley cat I loved the most was the one where you have to attempt to drink the sleeping dogs milk from under their noses. Then probably the birdcage sub game. The animation and sounds effects for a this 1983 released game were definitely more accomplished than a lot of games at the time with their random bleeps! I've seen it mentioned before but if only you could go back in time and show everyone at the time just what the A8 was capable of in the sound and graphics dept, (and in some cases depth of gameplay). Showing them platform/addenture games like Flob, Prince of Persia, Betties Issues, and the WIP's ADM and Great Giana sisters would have blown their minds. Of course that is not to rubbish many classics of the time. Ah, to be a kid again with no other concerns aside navigating a small black cat around a giant block of cheese!
  10. @CharlieChaplin ok, found it here:https://atari8.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Ultimate-1MB-Incognito-and-1088XEL-U1MB-Firmware-Manual.pdf on page 50. As you rightly stated you just need to use the right extenders. So I renamed the stereo conversions with the extender PDS, popped the SDcard back in my SIDE3 cart and powered it up. Bingo - stereo playback! The quality of the Origa Rise stereo conversion is particularly impressive in Stereo! The A8's never cease to amaze me. Thanks so much and a big thanks to @flashjazzcat for the PDM player function in Side3.
  11. I have been playing this great lil game on and off. Great colours and feel. Gotta say I am finding it a challenge, especially as you only get one life and it's very easy to deplete energy. Soon as I make any real progress I find I have almost run out of energy and then die on the next screen. There you have to start all over again! All part of the challenge. (BTW I know there are bonus hearts/lives to collect). Also got stumped and fair few times with where to go next - again all part of the gameplay. I am not 100% clear about the top left bar and what it indicates? Does collecting the little coloured balls do anything obvious as I am not noticing anything. Knowing me I've missed something obvious heh heh With the greatest respect to Mike the production values from Angry Betty to Betty's issues is a massive jump IMHO.
  12. Just thought I'd report on my own results following this Simple XE video (S.X.E) 4 stage mod in the above video. Yesterday I decided to do the mod on both my stock 65XE and also 800XE. The mod: Replace R204 with a 68ohm 1/4W resistor Replace R205 with an 820ohm 1/4W resistor Bridge/jump R116 Add a short 24AWG or larger wire from pin 8 or 9 of the 4050 (U20) to a ground point near the RF modulator First thing to note is that I used the same Din to S-video cable bought off Ebay so the cable is definitely contributing to the vertical lines and noise. I am also using my newly aquired LG Flatron M227WD LCD TV which has an S-Video port. Secondly just to say I ran the video above by @tf_hh who kindly drew my attention to FJC's documented UltraVideo XE 1.0 mod (PDF attached). (FYI the Ultravideo XE 1.0 mod derives a lot from Charles Cole's SuperVideo XE mod btw - more details contained within the PDF). He mentioned that there are variations and a few more steps detailed there that will improve the video output for my XEs further. However from what I've read of the process the Ultravideo XE mod removes composite completely, (unless I guess if you install a switch which I've seen documented on an AA topic somewhere). It also involves removing the RF unit. I want to keep both S-Video, Composite and RF on both of these XEs and also wanted to keep it simple. So I decided for now I'll leave it having done the S.X.E 4 part mod. Gotta say I am pretty happy with the results. So first off is the stock 65XE. This is what I was getting before the mod using the S-Video cable, which I am sure you'll agree is pretty poor with jailbar zigzag vetical lines and checkerboard, plus other noise and duller test colour: BEFORE S.X.E mod and this is after carrying out the S.X.E 4 part mod as detailed in the video above with the same S-Video cable: AFTER S.X.E mod So jailbars still present but far less pronounced and the horrible zigzags are minimised. Colours, (especially the text), are brighter and sharper. **************** Next up my 800XE with same cable with some of the same issues as the 65XE but with more pronounced nasty green vertical zig zags bleeding in: BEFORE S.X.E mod: AFTER S.X.E mod: So still some green vertical bleeding coming though but a much crisper and brighter text with zigzag and checkerboad all but gone. I took the liberty of snapping a couple of other pics of the 800XE's output after the mod here, (again S-video on LG TV): The colours on the Albert spash screen are very vibrant U1MB menu is crisp and bright. ******************** Composite output I also tried both my stock 65XE and 800XE after the mods with another Ebay Din to composite cable I have with the LG's composite in port and here are the results: 65XE after S.X.E mod on composite: Pretty pleased with the composite out on the 65XE where the jailbars have all but gone, although colour wise it appears to be less blue and text has some horizontal lines. And here is the 800XE's composite out: Still some jailbars but not too bad, again with some horizontal lines passing through the text. ******************* Again I know both my Din to S-video and Din to composite cables are also causing noise because they are unsheilded. Plus it's likely I need to tweak the colour pots on one or both of the XE's. However for 30mins of soldering work, and the low cost of 1 x 68ohm and 820ohm resistors and some wire, I am fairly happy with the immediate improvements for both machines at this stage. It's certainly not perfect. One thing is for sure - the XE models certainly don't have as good a stock video output as the 800XL and 600XL A8s I have on both S-video and composite. I guess that was the price to pay for Atari cutting costs and also, (from what I understand), having components closer to each other on the PCBs that would cause interferance and weaker video quality. Thanks to the Retro channel guy, (sorry I couldn't find your name), for the video and devising the mod. And thanks for Tf_hh and FJC re the Ultravideo mod which I may do later with one of my other XEs. It's clear it brings superior results then S.X.E but at this stage I wasn't willing to loose composite and RF, (should I sell the machines on at some stage. I am very likely to sell on the stock 65XE). UltraVideo XE 1.0.pdf
  13. Ah that explains it.. Many thanks. 😁
  14. I am having trouble getting Fujiconvert0.1 to convert at 44khz in stereo. It always outputs at 22khz and mono. Whilst it sounds ok the sample quality is lower and I really want to see what Stereo is like. I've also tried via a different browser (Both Chrome and Edge just in case). I am trying to convert PDM 44khz stereo for playing on SIDE3 on an 800XL U1MB PAL A8 with Stereo. I am using the IDE player output media and selecting 44khz, with the following settings: EDIT: I've just seen with Stereo selected it halves the output of the 44khz. So I get that now but not why I am not getting a stereo output. I definitely have stereo enabled as just played the Cyberpunk demo and it recognises Stereo in the config and then outputted in Stereo to both speakers. Soon as I play a Stereo PDM Fujiconverted 22khz file it only outputs in mono. (Files attached) Any ideas? Thanks in advance. Origa-Rise pdm16 stereo 22135Hz ide pal.pdm 3 The Son Of Flynn pdm16 stereo 22135Hz ide pal.pdm
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