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What mods would you like to see on a "new" 7800?

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Hey-

 

We have recently started on a project to develop a "modified" 7800 ProSystem that would have a few new features that the normal Atari 7800 and OShea 7800s dont offer.

 

What I'd like to know is what would you like to see worked into a modified 7800. What would your dream 7800 have? S-video? Modified power input? Built in games? The works?

 

Im really interested in hearing your ideas!

 

 

Justin

Atari 7800.com

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Thou not a big 7800 fan Id like to see the following (for any classic console :) )

 

S-Video, def - make life simplier to hookup/play

Normal PS - YES

labels for the 2600 dif switches (is left A or right A or is left B???)

smaller package - 7800 jr :)

ability to read a 3 1/2 floppy with rom files on it :) or CD

True 2600 compat (all carts can fit into slot)

 

There you go!

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S-video? Ah what the heck, go for RGB Scart, even better!

 

Hmmm do Americans know what that is though? :D

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I would have to go with Goochman on the roms issue. There are some carts I won't have for some time, but would like to play them on the original hardware. If we are talking extreme, I would like to have one unit that would do the 2600, 5200, and 7800. This would have to include a massive mod, but I have thought about trying to merger a 7800 and 5200 into on case and just have to flip switches between the two.

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Ok, here are some wild ones:

 

An extendable reset-switch (on my 7800, I hooked the reset button up to a 9-pin male adaptor such that I could plug a controller into it, hit the button, and it would reset the game).

 

Perhaps make the High Score cart built into the unit?

 

S-video

 

A built in soda-dispenser?

 

-John K. Harvey

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Ok, here are some wild ones:

 

An extendable reset-switch (on my 7800, I hooked the reset button up to a 9-pin male adaptor such that I could plug a controller into it, hit the button, and it would reset the game).

 

Junie's Ultimate 15 VCS takes this idea much further -- all the console switches are available to controllers. Of course, you need a new controller to go with it. I'm working on hooking up unmodified Playstation controllers to Atari 2600's and 7800's and I plan to support the U15VCS in addition to unmodified consoles.

 

I've mentioned these two issues before: S-Video and RCA audio out, and some way other than a cartridge to load a game, with support for 7800 games. It would be difficult to make a system read data from a floppy or CD (not audio), but it is easy to get a microcontroller to talk to a computer over a serial connection. I've done that. It is also easy to connect the microcontroller to an RS-485 style link, as opposed to RS-232, so that Cat 3 cable can connect a microcontroller and a computer more than 15 feet apart (RS-232 limitation). Much more, in fact. And it should be easy to make a little RS-232 <-> RS-485 converter box. On the computer end, it is easy to write a POSIX compliant C program to work with the serial port. That allows a lot of computers and OS's to be supported. I did that recently, too.

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S-video? Ah what the heck, go for RGB Scart, even better!

 

Hmmm do Americans know what that is though?  :D

I bet most don't. The Stella and Maria chips output signals roughly equivalent to chroma and luma signals. This makes S-Video easy, if you can do the soldering, and makes RGB considerably more difficult.

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S-video eh? What about good ol A/V?

If the schematics for it were put up, a built in POKEY would be cool, though I don't know what the point of it would be, other then to be a good help to new 7800 homebrews.

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@Viso... ah if that's the case, then yeah, S-video would be the best option. I no longer run my C64 through RF, and the difference is big...

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S-video eh? What about good ol A/V?

If the schematics for it were put up, a built in POKEY would be cool, though I don't know what the point of it would be, other then to be a good help to new 7800 homebrews.

There are readilly available adapters that convert S-Video to composite video, so it shouldn't be a problem. POKEY is a custom chip, so its availablity may be too limited unless a clone can be made. The clone would only need to handle sound, so that should help.

 

 

About the CD-ROM thing, it is possible to get a microcontroller to interface with IDE (see http://www.barrymichels.com/ide/). Most, if not all, such projects focus on using hard drives. This means they don't support ATAPI, which is used to send SCSI commands over IDE and is used by all IDE CD-ROM drives, and they don't support ISO-9660. That leaves a lot of work to be done. The project at the link I gave uses 16-bit RAM. That means 16-bits of data at each address. I think the 7800 will need 8-bit RAM.

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Actually having S-Video In and Out would prob be helpful so we could chain the 7800 in the rest of our TV components.

 

Have 5200 compat would be great except controllers issue and such would prob require a whole 5200 system be incorporated.

 

Id really like to see the best 2600 system out there which would include 7800 compatibility (Supercharger working, Multicarts working, Cart slot fits everything, works seemlessly with the TV, normal power supply(something we can buy from Radio Shack), etc......)

 

I think that would be the best bang for the buck IMHO.

 

I was going to mention on board Pokey but since the 7800 carts already ahve them I dont see the point (unless for new development where we dont have to scour for Pokey chips)

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These choices are all good ones. My top couple:

 

1) RCA video out and audio out. Let's get the ability to connect to the RCA jacks on TVs and VCRs like almost everything else.

2) Stronger video signal. Get rid of the fuzzies in the screen.

3) Standard power supply.

4) sturdier buttons (ie. PAUSE)

5) Smaller size. It would be cool to have a portable 7800 even!

 

Since this board reformatted, I can no longer login as MarkR7800Fan, so I've gone back to DracIsBack for all postings.

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The onboard POKEY clone was what I was after for, so developers wouldn't have to find them, and still have good sound.

 

May as well call this the 3600 UltraSystem ;p

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I have a 7800 that has been modified to output S-Video and this is the single most important mod you can make, in my opinion. The picture is immensely sharper and more vibrant, without any of the interference you get from an RF signal. If I could modify all my classic game systems to output S-Video I'd be a happy camper. If I could further modify them all to fit in a rack mount, then color me pink. :)

 

Goochman: I love your avatar, I'm a huge Ultima fan.

 

..Al

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The onboard POKEY clone was what I was after for, so developers wouldn't have to find them, and still have good sound.
If only new games are to be supported, the additional sound device wouldn't even need to be a POKEY or POKEY clone. As long as it can be used effectively in the system, proper bus interface for example, it could be put to use by new games. The only real problem would be support for playing games that use a POKEY without the cartridge (CD-ROM, copmputer download, etc). I've been told that only Ball Blazer uses a POKEY, so I don't think that'll be a big issue.
I have a 7800 that has been modified to output S-Video and this is the single most important mod you can make, in my opinion.
I'm envious. If only my soldering skills were good enough to solder to the 7800's PCB . . .

I agree though -- RF, no matter how you do it, sucks.

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An easy way to avoid RF issues with the 2600 is to play your games on a Coleco Adam with the 2600 adapter, like I do.. the Adam will output to any standard Commodore style monitor.. it gets a really sweet picture.

 

Of course, you have to deal with the big honking printer/power supply.

 

KA

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Off the top of my head here are what I have done:

S-Video

Real Pause Switch

http://home.earthlink.net/~resqsoft/7800.htm

 

 

Addtionally, I'd like to see:

Stereo Mod

Marked A/B switches

Modified Genesis controller (2 button setup, like I have)

All 7800 roms and 2600 roms built-in (ala Bankzilla)

or... alternatively a built-in Cuttle Cart and CD with CCU collection with all the 7800 roms as well.

 

 

Curiously, you can get RGB for about $30 using a Video to VGA converter. I have have mine hooked up to a 19" VGA monitor and it looks great. Takes care of the PAL issues as well.

 

 

-Lee

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8) As far as video goes, let's get really far out and go for component video. Just need to split the chroma signal up somehow.

 

:idea: How about splitting the two audio channels into fake stereo? Maybe even add a small amp and speakers to the unit as well as a 5" LCD color display. Then make it fit in a Lynx II case.

 

If you change the power supply, how about making it internal to the unit?

 

A SCSI hard drive option would be SO cool! You could put all the 2600 and 7800 games on a small drive. You'd have to put extra RAM on the system to accomodate that.

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You guys keep suggesting a disk drive, cd-rom drive, discman/supercharger/cuttle-cart mod, etc....

 

In the interests of weight and dimensions, why not implement some sort of flash-storage? Memory Stick, CompactFlash, SmartMedia, etc... All of those can be connected to a PC/Mac easily using readily available USB adapters. While we'll all likely have different formats, most of us probably already have at least one of these types of cards for some other consumer electronics product, so at least a subset of us will possibly have a headstart, at least on the media.

 

The flashcards are lighter, smaller, and have ample capacity. I'm guessing they use the least juice as well, less important in a home system as opposed to a portable device, but still nice in an environmentally sound sort of way.

 

I personally don't have a clue how a flashcard like those I've mentioned could be integrated into a homebrew thing. I suspect there's a lot more grass-roots knowledge/docs/ability to use the more mainstream storage ideas like the disks (floppy, hard, zip, cd). But if it's feasible I think a flash-card is the way to go.

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Well,

 

If we used a smartcard/memory stick what application would we use to 'load' it? My Smartmedia Digital Camera will only allow me to load .jpg and .gifs.

 

If we go with this media we'll all have to buy something $$$ that we may not want/need just to write our smart media.

 

A USB cable link would prob be one of the best bets to load stuff from PC I would imagine?

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you could contract some cuttlecarts mod em for 7800, make it like the default thing to load when no cart is in.. pop the unit on bam 7800 cuttlecart, load in some roms and go, or pop in a cart to override that... hows that for doable??

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What good is a storage device with so few games. How about the programming mod for the 7800 that's on the Net. A nice mod so that you can write software on your Mac/PC and then download it to your 7800 for testing is really needed. To me this is the most important mod someone could make. This would incourage more people to start writing games if they could send their 7800 to someone and have them modify it for uploading/downloading programs. The only other important mod would be the 7800 Keyboard. I'd love to write programs on the 7800 basic.

 

Allan

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