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ColecoVision Neo

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I had this idea last night, while I was sleeping.

Most CV are malfunctioning these days. On the other hand, having a brand new CV would require a super expensive plastic case, in addition to a long development time. So in the meantime, why not to offer a simpler solution.

So it occurred me that we could have a brand new PCB to replace the original CV PCB. The idea is to keep the original CV case, but replace the PCB and front plate.

The new PCB would offer a series of improvements:

- All glue logic (74LS chips) replaced with single CPLD, leading to much improved reliability.

- Replace DIP components with SMD equivalents when possible (Z80, memories, resistors, capacitors, diodes)

- Replace TMS9928 with TMS9128, for reduced number of VRAM chips (2 instead of 8 )

- Remove RF and replace with modern audio/video outputs

 

I believe that can be done for under $100.

 

How about that? Something to think about next year and discuss with Coleco later this year. We have a deal for the CV2, so I suppose they wouldn't oppose to something like this either.

 

Eduardo

Edited by opcode
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Not only cost, but I think it would be a far more reliable solution, with the reduced number of components. And of course improved A/V output.

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good idea, but what about the dying out of all the power supplies?

 

That's one of the beauties of such a project, the new PCB would not use the old brick power supply, but rather any generic power supply that you can buy at any Radio Shack store.

 

This isn't the first time this idea of recycling CV console casings with a new equivalent PCB has been suggested. There was talk about it in the early days of the CV2 project. :)

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good idea, but what about the dying out of all the power supplies?

 

That's one of the beauties of such a project, the new PCB would not use the old brick power supply, but rather any generic power supply that you can buy at any Radio Shack store.

 

This isn't the first time this idea of recycling CV console casings with a new equivalent PCB has been suggested. There was talk about it in the early days of the CV2 project. :)

 

Yeah, I know. It is just I was being more, let's say, ambitious when I first proposed the CV2. These days I prefer to think of things with a shorter development time so that I don't get tired of the whole thing halfway through the project. And I think such a board would be developed in a one year timeframe.

But again, that is for next year...

 

Oh, and yes, we would replace the power supply as well. In fact I don't think that the power supply connector in the back of the CV is available anymore, so...

Edited by opcode

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Would you expect any problem in acquiring ample supplies of the TMS9128 and the CV's sound chip? I'm sure the other chips and parts can be replaced easely enough, but there are a few that are surely no longer available today.

 

If I remember the discussions from long ago, there was a part on the CV PCB that was mainly used by the Atari expansion module (the part's name had an "H" in it, IIRC). So removing that part from the design would mean dropping support for the Atari module via the expansion port.

 

Perhaps dropping the front expansion port altogether and replacing it with the SGM built into the PCB would be a nice idea. Otherwise, you'd need to include that "H" part into the new PCB, assuming it can still be found today.

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Would you expect any problem in acquiring ample supplies of the TMS9128 and the CV's sound chip? I'm sure the other chips and parts can be replaced easely enough, but there are a few that are surely no longer available today.

 

If I remember the discussions from long ago, there was a part on the CV PCB that was mainly used by the Atari expansion module (the part's name had an "H" in it, IIRC). So removing that part from the design would mean dropping support for the Atari module via the expansion port.

 

Perhaps dropping the front expansion port altogether and replacing it with the SGM built into the PCB would be a nice idea. Otherwise, you'd need to include that "H" part into the new PCB, assuming it can still be found today.

 

I think the TMS9128 shouldn't be a problem. Not sure about the TI PSG. And I think the H part you are refering to is the A/V selector inside the CV. It was used to select between CV and Atari module A/V outputs. Not sure about availability of that either, but perhaps there is a modern replacement. However the problem is that if we want 100% compatibility, we need the 12V/-5V supply no matter what, because that is available to the expansion port, and I believe at least the Atari module uses some of it. And if you ask me I would perfer to keep the expansion port, otherwise it wouldn't be a 100% replacement. So if we don't use 12V / -5V internally, we still need to produce it, which I don't believe would be a big problem.

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Great idea!! :)

 

I'm thinking to have a system mold someday, I want clear and colored cases

 

 

I know some may think I'm dreaming..... but this is the story of my life anyway ;)

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I think there are power supplies on the market that may well fit into CVs front left side. :-D

 

And the SGM facility be found on the main card, right. ?

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X-cellent idea...

"discuss with Coleco" .. who's around to talk to now?

 

They are now Coleco Holdings. I believe an association of 3 companies.

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Would you consider this something that a n00b could drop in or would we need to ship off an empty case for modding?

If you're doing a new board.. how hard would it be to include an SD slot for ROMs? Right now you need a cart.. (which is great btw)

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Would you consider this something that a n00b could drop in or would we need to ship off an empty case for modding?

If you're doing a new board.. how hard would it be to include an SD slot for ROMs? Right now you need a cart.. (which is great btw)

 

Both options, DIY or ship your CV to have it modded.

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I think there are power supplies on the market that may well fit into CVs front left side. :-D

 

And the SGM facility be found on the main card, right. ?

There are internal power supplies that will fit in that area, but it is a tight fit and a plastic post has to be cut off for it to fit. Plus the supplies are expensive (~$40+). I have modded one of mine and am delighted with the result but it is an expensive and tricky mod to do.

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After 4 unsuccessful CV power supplies, I have over the last few years used a converted PC power supply.

No problems, seems very stable. :)

------

I believe in a ColecoVision version with "a brand new PCB to replace the original CV PCB." :-D

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would a PC power supply from an external scsi cd/HD enclose work? I picked up a couple today for $.99 each and they have PC power connectors, so I wonder if they supply the correct voltage and amperage? The actual ps in internal on a pcb.

Edited by evg2000

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