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retroclouds

F18A working!

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This weekend I finally got of my butt and installed the F18A in one of my many TI-99/4A consoles.

While I was at it I also replaced the keyboard. Basically scrapping the keyboard from a non-working console.

 

Now you have to know that I'm a total hardware noob, so the project took much longer as I intended.

Basically I worked Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to get the thing working.

 

Actually it was the first time in my life I cracked open a TI-99/4A and I was very impressed with the size of the TMS9900 processor :-o

That is actually quite a beast!

 

Putting the F18A in was easy, but drilling the matching holes in the case was a bit of challenge, but managed after all.

Also case assembly was a bit more complicated as I expected (had to redo that a second time, because the sideport was a bit off and it prevented insertion of CF7+ and firehose cable).

 

For disassembly and assembly I followed the excellent instructions on Mainbyte's site: http://www.mainbyte....onsole_dis.html

 

Anyway, you can't believe the smile on my face when I saw the TI title screen appear :grin:

 

I have the 1st jumper on the F18A off as I want the "4 sprites in a row"-limit, because I want the original games to run as usual. Also might do some stuff that runs on systems without the F18A so I like thing to be the same.

 

I tried some games (Donkey Kong, Munchman and Warzone II) and the picture quality is just awesome!!

Never played Warzone II in an emulator and it's just incredibly, seeing on a TI-99/4A that the fighter plane is made of multiple sprites.

 

Don't have sound yet, most likely I'll get a small active PC-speaker that I'll mount on the rearside of the monitor. What did you guys do for getting sound. (Pictures please ;))

 

Thanks Matthew! It's an incredible piece of hardware you created. Something you can be very proud of! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

Here are some pictures:

 

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Edited by retroclouds
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really great job ;) i'm jealous... i started 3 weeks ago and look the result today :(...time...always time !

 

i'm also searching for a good solution for sound...

post-25699-0-69520000-1348417104_thumb.jpg

Edited by rocky007

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I was already running my TI through composite audio/video, so when I installed the F18 I just kept the cable for the audio plug, and still draw it from the a/v port.

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The cheap $49 Craig 15" LCD that I have doesn't seem to pass through audio while on the VGA input. Kind of sucks, if you ask me.

 

In the meantime, I have one of these hooked up... http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062620

 

I've had that issue with my display, too, but usually there will be a line input dedicated to the VGA port - often a headphone-style jack. In that case a simple adapter from Radio Shack fits the bill :)

 

Those little speakers work pretty well, though :) I just bought another one a few weeks ago for a different project, and I was surprised that RS still carried them. That was my TI speaker for many years back before I had a monitor :) (because the RF noise was too audible on my cheap TV).

 

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I have the 1st jumper on the F18A off as I want the "4 sprites in a row"-limit, because I want the original games to run as usual. Also might do some stuff that runs on systems without the F18A so I like thing to be the same.

 

The games will run the same with or without the jumper, but any software that used the sprite limitation to mask sprites will not appear correct since the 5th and greater sprites will still be shown. However, I urge you to give it a try with the jumper installed. I think more games than not will benefit from displaying more sprites. Many games made excuses in the manual (like MunchMan) to explain away the problem, something like: "The yellow monster has a special ability to disappear sometimes!"

 

 

Don't have sound yet, most likely I'll get a small active PC-speaker that I'll mount on the rearside of the monitor. What did you guys do for getting sound. (Pictures please ;))

 

Hmm, I guess I assumed everyone with a console was at least using the A/V cable and monitor vs a TV. Maybe not. I use the A/V cable and just hook up the sound output to some powered speakers. The internal speaker mod is good too. Also, you can easily add an RCA-style audio jack to the console if you can solder a little.

 

Thanks Matthew! It's an incredible piece of hardware you created. Something you can be very proud of! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

Thank you. I'm glad people are enjoying the F18A.

 

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