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Rev. Rob

Let's take a look at: DINA 2-in-One, AKA Telegames Personal Arcade

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For the sake of not having to type out either long name that this console has, hereinafter it shall be referred to as simply "DINA."

 

dina.jpg

 

Now that that's out the way, what the fuck is this DINA thing that a speak of? It's a console developed by the Taiwanese Bit Corporation. It incorporates both a Colecovision and a Sega SG-1000 into one unit. These were made available to US gamers in 1988 when Telegames USA began distributing the units via mail order for $40. Most units were branded with "Dina 2-in-One," and I've seen pictures of other units with the "Telegames USA" logo. (By the way, does anyone else think it's weird that the they spelled out "One" but not the "two"? This apparently ended in 1994 when the stock was destroyed by a tornado.

 

So, that actually does sound pretty cool. After all, the Colecovision was a great console, had great games, and some of the best graphics in the second generation, easily besting 2600 and Intelevision. The Sega SG-1000 is right on par with Colecovision, only that buying a real SG-1000 can be very expensive. They're highly sought after machines that are impossible to find in the West. eBay auctions for these consoles regularly exceed $200. While the DINA is somewhat rare, auctions seldom exceed $125, and I picked mine up for half that. To dispel an internet rumor, no, the SG-1000 slot was not disabled, it does work with SG-1000 carts, but it doesn't have a card slot. (I don't know if the Card Catcher works with it, but I'm about to find out.)

 

There's even a built in game, Meteoric Shower. Really, it's not bad for a free game. It's par for average Coleco graphics. It's a Galaga clone, except the enemy formations come from both the front and the rear. You have to switch direction to attack enemies. Actually, it's not that bad. I just wish you could move higher up the screen.

 

dina1.jpg

 

All in all, I thought DINA sounded pretty damn cool! I didn't have either an SG-1000 or a Colecovision. It opened up the door to two whole consoles for me; and I've had some great gaming experiences with some of those games. Unfortunately, I have not had a good experience with the DINA. This thing is an unadulterated piece of shit.

 

First, it doesn't come with a power supply. That bullshit is simply inexcusable. It's not like the Odyssey, which could run on batteries, this thing needs a power supply to operate. These were sold separately because they didn't fit in the box. And here I was thinking my whole life, "Gee, wouldn't it be great if I had to buy a power supply separately for every console?" It's not like you can't just buy a power adapter, but you need to know what type, and this thing doesn't come with an instruction manual of any kind. I had to actually track down an owner of one of these obscure consoles to find out that it takes an input of +12v at 300mA.

 

Second, it doesn't come with an RF unit either. Not that it should come as a real shock or anything. It does come with the cable; that sure was nice of them to include. It doesn't even work with a standard RF unit of the era. You know, the "automatic" type, like what the NES came with? No, it uses the manual kind of a "TV/Game Switch" that you have to flip back and forth between TV and console each time you use the damn thing.

 

Amazingly, it does come with controllers. Color me shocked. These controllers suck, however. (The shock wears off.) They're rip-offs of SG-1000 controllers, but they're too light, and the cords come out the sides of the controllers. So, on Controller I the cord is in the way of the action buttons, and on Controller II it's playing goalie, blocking your thumb from getting at the D-Pad. Fortunately, standard Genesis and Master System controllers work just fine, and are recommended (by me).

 

Like the controllers, the console just feels, well, empty. It's almost as light as a Game Boy, and it's four times the size. This thing is absent of any significant shielding. It's guaranteed to put wavy lines all over your TV screen. No shit, it does it even when it's not connected to the TV. Like it's aura of shittiness just cannot be contained.

 

Did I mention that it only works on channel 13? This is an NTSC console, and you need to flip to 13. Not 3, not 4, but 13. There's no explanation I can fathom for that, unless they were trying to subliminally warn people that this console was just going to be bad luck.

 

Well, it is bad luck. Getting a game to work is a chore. I put it in, and get static. I turn it off, unplug it, plug it back in, and it works, but the color is muted. I pick it up, drop it, and the color is fine. Sometimes I need to do this three or four times to really get it to work. After 15 minutes of playing or so, I've found that this thing can get pretty fucking hot, so watch out for that.

 

To reiterate, DINA sucks. My advice is to pork out the money for a SG-1000 or a Colecovision, or both. Buy this console only if it's cheap, or if you really want a SG-1000/SC-3000, but don't want to pay the price for one.

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Heh, "only buy it if it's cheap." You'll be waiting a long time to get one, then! These things are seriously rare and just as pricey online.

 

I guess that's proof you don't always get what you pay for. It's a shame too, because the ColecoVision has problems of its own, and a slimmed down version of the system would have been a welcome alternative.

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To reiterate, DINA sucks. My advice is to pork out the money for a SG-1000 or a Colecovision, or both. Buy this console only if it's cheap, or if you really want a SG-1000/SC-3000, but don't want to pay the price for one.

 

For SG-1000 games, there's also the Japanese Master System which has composite, the ability to play JP Mark III games (and US/EU ones with an adapter that Tototek offers), has a plug for the 3D glasses built in (which I heard can be used with the home theater 3D glasses, which are quite a bit cheaper than the SMS ones), and has FM sound for certain SMS games (oddly enough, even some western games have it built in). I heard it's also cheaper to come by than the SG-1000.

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Just get an SC-3000, great machine and you can play all the SG1000 games on it.....did I mention I have one brand new in box waiting to be sold to someone with a load of cash ;)

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I'm personally a big fan of the DINA. Sure the channel 13 RF is crap, but the composite video/analog audio mod is stupidly easy to do, which provides a very nice picture for both ColecoVision and SG-1000 games. The stock controllers do definately suck, but Genesis controllers work just fine. The Card Catcher required for the MyCard games does in fact work with the console so the entire library of SG-1000 "games" is playable. Games is in quotation marks because BASIC programming carts and a few other "non-games" won't work with the console, but who wants those anyways! The biggest ColecoVision problem with the console is that actual CV controllers, both first party and third party, won't work on the console. This is due to the decoding ICs normally found on the CV PCB are not present so the console can't decode all of the CV controller signals. So to circumvent this minor problem, they added a keypad right onto the console. Now this won't help you with games which require a SAC, Roller, or Driving Module, but those games are fairly minimal in quantity anyways. Another problem I've heard from others is simply that the console doesn't last. While performing the A/V mod to mine, I added heat sinks to the CPU, VDP, and VRAM chips (only 2 in the DINA vs. 8 in the CV), and touched up a few poor solder joints, and have had no problems with mine whatsoever. Long live the DINA!!!

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I actually bought one of these pieces of shit in the late 90's, for well, around $80. I bought it because all the shitty Coleco's out there, unreliable power supplies, etc. In addition to all the stuff you pointed out, apparently some of them are "defective" by Defective, I mean, if you play it a few minutes, the video chip, or whatever gets hot, and goes out. It goes monochrome, and fuzzy, and the sound goes out. What a piece of shit.

 

To bad, itwas a good Idea, but simply not worth what I paid for it (especially since it didn't friggin work, it took a while to figure out why it put out no picture, but yeah, channnel 13 it is, WTF is up with that? As near as I can tell, it's something to do with it being a Palmachine or something :( Anyhow, to bad, I really wanted it to work, if the video mod isn't to hard, I may try that, rip the case off it, get 100 hamsters to blow on it or whatever, and wire it up to my old B/W TV, so when the color goes out, it won't matter anyways.

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Its a piece of shit.

 

I still have mine somewhere in the basement. If these are pricy online because they are "rare" then I'll never understand the human brain.

 

I bought this thing from I think Telegames from the mid 90's online. I remember hooking it up and being completely repulsed by the cheap joystick. I felt totally ripped off. I wanted a replacement from my CV.

 

Unbelievable.

 

(I'm not a serious collector or modder so I look at things from a different perspective)

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First, it doesn't come with a power supply.

 

Blame Telegames, the Bit Corporation ones did.

 

Second, it doesn't come with an RF unit either. Not that it should come as a real shock or anything. It does come with the cable; that sure was nice of them to include. It doesn't even work with a standard RF unit of the era. You know, the "automatic" type, like what the NES came with? No, it uses the manual kind of a "TV/Game Switch" that you have to flip back and forth between TV and console each time you use the damn thing.

 

The bigger shock is that you thought it might. It's not a late 80's console, that's simply when it was imported here. Likewise, neither of the consoles it's cloning (SG-1000 and Colecovision) had automatic switches either.

 

Did I mention that it only works on channel 13?

 

Did you forget it was manufactured in Taiwan for a Taiwanese/South Pacific market?

 

This is an NTSC console,

 

Which implies what?

 

and you need to flip to 13. Not 3, not 4, but 13. There's no explanation I can fathom for that, unless they were trying to subliminally warn people that this console was just going to be bad luck.

 

The US is the only place that uses NTSC-M? Maybe you can't fathom it becuase you mistakingly thought NTSC is only a US thing, and tuning to channel 3 was somehow standard for all NTSC consoles around the world?

 

Honestly, do a little background research before you rant, that's one problem I have with all the AVGN style reviews out there.

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Well, that's a bit of a bummer. I was actually planning on purchasing a DINA (maybe it's good I read this first?), mostly because they look cool. But also, now, because of the SG-1000 compatibility (which I'd read had been disabled in U.S. DINAs). I've read DINA systems were a bit on the chintzy side, but I didn't know they were THAT crummy. I also had no idea they (the imported/Telegames editions, at least) didn't even come with power supplies or manuals. WTF is that?

 

Although the Channel 13 thing is definitely odd (for Americans, anyway), it's a non-issue for me.

Controllers...eh. I've used some pretty weird controllers in my day, some as cheap as they were weird; these don't scare me. And in the worst case scenario, I can apparently use Genesis/SMS controllers instead (never knew that either...there sure is a lot of rubbish written about the DINA).

 

Judging by the majority of opinions, though, it seems I was right to drop my money on another Astrocade (that works) instead of spending the same money on a new-old-stock DINA.

 

Besides Doubledown, does anyone have positive experience with the DINA?

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Well, that's a bit of a bummer. I was actually planning on purchasing a DINA (maybe it's good I read this first?), mostly because they look cool. But also, now, because of the SG-1000 compatibility (which I'd read had been disabled in U.S. DINAs).

 

That was surmising by whoever wrote that. They didn't disable it AFAIK, it just wasn't advertised. Telegames didn't do any of the manufacturing, they were just OEM'd.

 

Besides Doubledown, does anyone have positive experience with the DINA?

 

 

I'll have mine tomorrow (just picked one up), I'll let you know. It'll also be at the MGC.

 

 

Marty

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I actually bought one of these pieces of shit in the late 90's, for well, around $80. I bought it because all the shitty Coleco's out there, unreliable power supplies, etc. In addition to all the stuff you pointed out, apparently some of them are "defective" by Defective, I mean, if you play it a few minutes, the video chip, or whatever gets hot, and goes out. It goes monochrome, and fuzzy, and the sound goes out. What a piece of shit.

 

^^This! You nailed the description of what happens to this thing when it gets hot.

 

 

 

The Card Catcher required for the MyCard games does in fact work with the console so the entire library of SG-1000 "games" is playable.

 

 

I totally respect your love for the DINA, but...

 

Disbelief! I finally got my Card Catcher in the mail today, and I have the MyCard game Ninja Princess. It does nothing but buzz. :(

Edited by Rev. Rob

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Would it be feasible to make a ColecoVision game adapter for a system with similar hardware that didn't suck so much, like, say, the Sega Master System? I'm not overly fond of the SMS but it does have a lot in common with the CV, and the hardware is rock solid... I've never had one give me the problems that people seem to have with the funky, not-so-cold meh-DINA.

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Would it be feasible to make a ColecoVision game adapter for a system with similar hardware that didn't suck so much, like, say, the Sega Master System? I'm not overly fond of the SMS but it does have a lot in common with the CV, and the hardware is rock solid... I've never had one give me the problems that people seem to have with the funky, not-so-cold meh-DINA.

That'd be awesome, but I think the main problem would be getting the CV controllers to work on the SMS.

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...get 100 hamsters to blow on it or whatever...

 

I think you should work on this... figure out how to train the hamsters, then market them as the world's cutest CPU coolers. :)

 

It's too bad the Dina has so many issues... I've thought before that it would be cool to have one.

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...get 100 hamsters to blow on it or whatever...

 

I think you should work on this... figure out how to train the hamsters, then market them as the world's cutest CPU coolers. :)

 

It's too bad the Dina has so many issues... I've thought before that it would be cool to have one.

:lol: Yeah. Hey, I'd buy it :P

 

Well, one thing, the system does look cool I suppose, it's just so different from everything else I got.

 

As far as getting a Coleco to work on SMS because of "reliability" Er...The SMS may be one of the few systems I've come across IRL even less likely to be reliable than a stock Coleco :P (of course, it would open the possibility of using the adaptor on say...a PBC for Genesis, never had problems with those)

 

Maybe I'll open mine sometime and see what is inside of it, the first poster got it right,it feels damn near empty...you wouldn't thinkeven the empty shell of the console could be that light...untill you hold one.

Edited by Video

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I totally respect your love for the DINA, but...

 

Disbelief! I finally got my Card Catcher in the mail today, and I have the MyCard game Ninja Princess. It does nothing but buzz. :(

 

I had a couple issues when I first got mine. One Card Catcher I got was brand new and complete, and the other was loose. And around the same time I got a couple of MyCard games. I cleaned both sets of contacts on the Card Catchers, and then the contacts on the MyCards. The Card Catcher comes apart pretty easily, no screws, you just need to pull the two halves apart. Since I cleaned everything no major problems, with the exception of inserting a Card too far into the Card Catcher. Clean the items, then insert the card into the catcher, then into the console, and turn on the console. If it still doesn't work, pull the card up ever so slightly and slowly untill it works. Usually its about 1/32" - 1/16".

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I'll have mine tomorrow (just picked one up), I'll let you know. It'll also be at the MGC.

 

 

Marty

 

Sweet. :)

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I totally respect your love for the DINA, but...

 

Disbelief! I finally got my Card Catcher in the mail today, and I have the MyCard game Ninja Princess. It does nothing but buzz. :(

 

I had a couple issues when I first got mine. One Card Catcher I got was brand new and complete, and the other was loose. And around the same time I got a couple of MyCard games. I cleaned both sets of contacts on the Card Catchers, and then the contacts on the MyCards. The Card Catcher comes apart pretty easily, no screws, you just need to pull the two halves apart. Since I cleaned everything no major problems, with the exception of inserting a Card too far into the Card Catcher. Clean the items, then insert the card into the catcher, then into the console, and turn on the console. If it still doesn't work, pull the card up ever so slightly and slowly untill it works. Usually its about 1/32" - 1/16".

 

I will try that, but I am beginning to wonder if some DINA consoles have different "guts" than others. The Card Catcher I just bought is very clean.

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Hi there

I am an italian collector and a big ColecoVision fan.

Personally have a DINA system and am satisfied about it.

Colecovision games are all playable and also compatible with the new carts like that produced by Opcode games ( unfortunately have no Collectorvision games yet ).

As a Sega console also it plays well all SG 1000 and 3000 carts. These games are not too difficoult to find in Europe ( Sg 1000 console was never released here but the computer SG 3000 was in big, unsold, numbers ).

The joisticks, very cheap and light..I replaced them using the Sega Master System ones modified by a friend.

 

If I well understand reading the forum there is an adapter that can read bigger Sega master system games.

Can you supply a photo and details (brand, name of the item ) so that we can look for it ? Nothing on Ebay....

Thanks for help

 

( if you want to buy new Colecovision Sunrise games ( silver box ) contact me : [email protected] )

Best regards from Milano, Italy, Axis

 

MAX

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Hi MAX... :)

 

You've just confirmed that a DINA Clone System works fine in Europe.

 

I live in Denmark and you are in Italy.

 

We have both 240V. and 50Hz. -Thank you. :D

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I think I paid all of $90 for mine off of someone from the boards. It was a Telegames box, but a Dina 2 in 1 in it. No issues at all playing SG-1000 games (I've got Lode Runner in the second slot). Of course it's not great, it's more like a Famiclone type machine but it does work.

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Hello again MAX.

 

What power supply do you use for your Dina 2 in One. ?

 

In the U.S. they use 110V. 60Hz.

 

And yous will need at least 220V.

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