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Found 6 results

  1. I started looking at a disassembly of Melody Blaster, after I became curious as to which ECS games supported tape expansions. My hope is to create virtual tape images for jzintv that can be used to allow extra music into the game. As an intermediate step, I'll try creating a ROM hack with new music in it. The ROM follows the standard memory map for 12K Mattel games: 8K in the $5000-6FFF range, and 4K in the $Dxxx range. Most of what's in $6xxx is the Help text, and it overflows a little into $D0xx. After that is the 11 tunes. There are a bunch of calls in the code to functions at $40xx and $41xx, so the ECS "Executive ROM" must be located there. The ECS does have onboard RAM, and I'm pretty sure tunes are loaded there and then parsed by the ECS EXEC. The list of pointers to the starting addresses of each tune starts at $57E7 (cartridge ROM), with the low-order byte listed first, and the starting address for the current tune is loaded into $354 (16-bit system RAM address). The game allows for one extra tune to be loaded into memory, either from a tape or by playing a tune (one channel only). I hope tape tunes aren't limited to a single channel, but I don't know yet. All the music data fits into 8-bit words, probably because that's the width of the ECS RAM. As for the tunes, the first 18 bytes comprise the title. I looked at the first 2 tunes so far, which both had a 9-byte signature starting with 0 1 1 9 6 6 9 4. After that was the data for each of the 4 channels used by the game (2 sprite-based notes per channel). The channels' lines are listed separately, in order from low to high, and not all of them are used. The music data consists of byte pairs: a note ($18 is Middle-C) or $80 for a rest, and then a duration in "ticks". In most cases, channel data is separated by the signatue 1 1 $80 1, but I found an exception in Tune 2 "ROW,ROW THE BOAT". That signature appears twice in a row in Tune 1 "BLASTER'S BLUES" because one channel is not used. In many cases, channels' music data is prefaced with a rest, because another channel has a starting pick-up. The first channel for BLASTER'S BLUES is the left-hand harmony line, which has a small pause to allow the pickup in the right hand melody line. Then the channel-separator signature appears twice, followed by the melody line. Strangely, the fourth channel has a series of rests which add up to 234 ticks, where it is then used to play a second note in the right hand at the tune's end. There are a total of 9 consecutive rests here, the first 8 of which are 25 ticks each ("$19"), and the last of which is 34 ticks ("$22"). There's a little more data here which I haven't yet deciphered. ROW,ROW THE BOAT is played as a round, with the harmony line picking up a measure behind the melody line. The same value $18 is used for the C note in their respective octaves, which leaves me to believe that the ninth byte in the signature following the title contains bits to tell us which channels have octave offsets (in other words, are meant to be played by the left hand or the right hand). The end-of-channel signature is also absent at one point, so maybe the header signature tells us which channels are not used at all? That's as far as I got so far. I'll take the time to study the other tunes later today. Another interesting point is that there will sometimes be tiny spaces between notes at what appear to be arbitrary points: a note played for 2 ticks followed by a 1-tick rest in one hand and for the full 3 ticks in the other hand. That indicates to me that the music data was created by a device that a MIDI keyboard was connected to, and that data was only moderately cleaned up afterwards to get a consistent tempo across all channels.
  2. Hey all. How many people that play Intellivision games own an ECS (hardware or emulated)? I have a game in the works (destination is a cartridge), and it would be cool to use the extra sound chip in the ECS, but I don't want to make something that will please like 6 people. 100 people, I could do.... (not actual size) Thanks.
  3. I can't seem to get past the title screen in jzIntv or Nostalgia. Granted, I have not hooked up a CGC or Ultimate interface yet, but jzIntv doesn't recognize the .itv from Intellivision Rocks as WSMLBB, it lists it as (Incomplete) in the title bar of the window. Also, my searching skills must be lame, as I can't determine if either of these emulators allow you to provide ECS keyboard input without a CGC. TIA for any advice.
  4. Hi, I have an ECS Computer Module that I really don't want any more. I used to have World Series Baseball for it, but I sold that (to Kefka14). It was my only game for it and I don't really anticiapte getting any more so if anybody wants it, I'll sell it. Actually come to think of it, I have a loose copy of Mind Strike for it, I'll throw that in. It has the keyboard and the actual attachment, and it has the power adapter. And like I said I have played it before so it does work. I don't have a price in mind or anything like that, just message me if you're interested. I have done some selling on here before, you can ask IntellivisionDude or Kefka14 for some feedback if you like. Thanks! Oh and I can send you pictures upon request. As of right now I don't have any but I can take some for you.
  5. Took a gamble and bought the ECS on eBay for $88 CDN shipped. Paid off. Now I need to figure out how to get it on the internet to watch YouTube.
  6. While doing some other research, I discovered that Mattel actually was issued a patent for the color coding they implemented in ECS BASIC! US Patent 4,617,643: Syntax error correction method and apparatus I've attached the full PDF. Or, you can follow the link above. US4617643.pdf
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