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RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!

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Hello,

 

@Tempest:

I have details on the "programming cart" you referred to, including:

 

Picture of the front and back of the cart PCB

Instructions on it's use

Schematic of the cart

Hex listing of the ROM

 

I can dig it up if it would be helpful.

 

ED

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Hello,

 

@Tempest:

I have details on the "programming cart" you referred to, including:

 

Picture of the front and back of the cart PCB

Instructions on it's use

Schematic of the cart

Hex listing of the ROM

 

I can dig it up if it would be helpful.

 

ED

I think people would like to see that. Please do.

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Hello,

 

Here are the "programming cart" files I mentioned.

 

http://www.avionline...2_prog_cart.zip

 

Let me know if they were useful.

 

ED

 

That's really neat--thanks for the scans! Do you know what source those pages came from? It sounds like some sort of newsletter, though I can't tell just from those pages if it was exclusively about the Studio II or not. Do you have any other documents?

 

Interestingly, it sounds like it first started talking about making the programming cart after RCA had already abandoned the system.

 

Was there a way to save/load the games, or would you have to type them in every time?

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Just heard back from Al Backiel, he gave permission to post his message. Here it is:

 

Yes, I and also some of my user friends did see an RCA Studio II Bingo complete in box at the Philly Classic 2001. That was a long time ago and I think it was packaged in a red cardboard box.

I had my own table at this show and I was able to speak to the owner and inventory the related items for the Digital Press Guide.

He had his own table at this show that was to the left of mine.

He was selling other games and I believe he just wanted to get offers on the Bingo.

Unfortunately, I did not have a camera at the time.

I can't find his name anywhere or remember if I even got it.

Things got pretty hectic at my table and I was unable to get anything further..

The only person left who might be able to track him down based on the information above is David Newman,

who ran all the Philly Classic shows.

Sorry, I no longer his current email address or know if he still maintains a web site.

Hope this helps,

Al Backiel

 

 

So, with the fact that both Ianoid and Tempest and now Al Backiel himself have all seen Bingo at PC2K1, there shouldn't be any doubt as to what was seen. The message also confirms that the sighting at the show is the source of the information in the DP Guide, which might not have been clear. Thus, the sighting at PC2K1 may still be the only sighting at all of Bingo ever, as nobody besides the Dan guy seems to have seen it anywhere else. So as I gather, per the Usenet post, "Dan" (MacIntyre?) found the Bingo copy at a fleamarket, and posted about it on Usenet. The next year, he decided to show it off at PC2K1, to solicit offers and such. That sighting is the source of all our knowledge about the game. What still isn't known is if it sold at all or not, and to whom. And if that copy of Bingo is the only one ever made or not...

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Seems that the "Bingo" mystery will be going on if Matt (aka Tempest) can't remember the guy how he looks like (the guy that's bending/

out of focus in this picture in the right corner beside you Matt):

attend2.jpg

 

which is in fact Dan McIntyre. The guy with the black t-shirt standing on your right, is it Curt Vendel (?).

 

If you can recall his face and look through here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20011031044247/http://www.phillyclassic.com/pc2k1/

 

Maybe we'll have better chance to find Dan if we can put a face on his name.

As for me, i'm out of options to find this guy.

 

Maybe other RCA employes from Deptford, NJ could know about Bingo ?

The problem is to find people who did worked back in 1977-78...sigh!

 

--- Sly DC ---

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I had a quick search of obituaries in the USA.. I couldn't find any Dan(iel) McIntyres that might be him.

Edited by TLD1985

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Seems that the "Bingo" mystery will be going on if Matt (aka Tempest) can't remember the guy how he looks like (the guy that's bending/

out of focus in this picture in the right corner beside you Matt):

attend2.jpg

I'm pretty sure the blurry out of focus guy is Curt.

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The fact that Bingo includes the box, chips/markers, and cards suggests to me that it was a full-production release rather than a one-off.

 

As for the fact that only one has ever surfaced, how often do other games from this time period turn up? Personally, I have never seen a Studio II (or an original Odyssey), and even one dirt-common pong consoles are becoming a rare sight. The game (presumably) did not sell many copies 35 years ago; I'm not surprised that it is staggeringly rare today.

 

I had a quick search of obituaries in the USA.. I couldn't find any Dan(iel) McIntyres that might be him.

 

http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693

 

There does not seem to be any way to limit it to post-2001 deaths, other than by searching each year individually.

Edited by jhd

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The fact that Bingo includes the box, chips/markers, and cards suggests to me that it was a full-production release rather than a one-off.

 

As for the fact that only one has ever surfaced, how often do other games from this time period turn up? Personally, I have never seen a Studio II (or an original Odyssey), and even one dirt-common pong consoles are becoming a rare sight. The game (presumably) did not sell many copies 35 years ago; I'm not surprised that it is staggeringly rare today.

 

 

http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693

 

There does not seem to be any way to limit it to post-2001 deaths, other than by searching each year individually.

 

I don't think any of the other USA games are spectacularly rare. I recall getting a system and all the other carts relatively quickly and inexpensively. I got all mine on eBay. I just now searched for "RCA Studio II" and found ten auctions with one or more carts. I don't see a system for sale right now, but I'd say there's one on there more often than not.

'

But I'll agree that Bingo could very well have just been the last USA release before RCA abandoned the system, and totally flopped.

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Gunfighter/Moon Ship (or whatever it's called) is hard to come by.

That's the truth and they tend to get pricey. Recently saw one come in on Ebay but it got out of my price range :-(

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That's the truth and they tend to get pricey. Recently saw one come in on Ebay but it got out of my price range :-(

I was bidding on that one. Naturally, it got sniped. Still looking for a copy, as well as Biorhythm and Speedway/Tag.

 

Go figure that the best Studio II game is one of the harder ones to get!

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I was bidding on that one. Naturally, it got sniped. Still looking for a copy, as well as Biorhythm and Speedway/Tag.

 

Go figure that the best Studio II game is one of the harder ones to get!

Speedway/Tag is another tough one. Those are probably the two hardest to come by with Tennis/Squash being the easiest.

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I thought Casino/Black Jack was the easiest to find. At least that is the one I got most duplicates of from a very short time of Studio II collecting.

 

For what it is worth, I tried to sell my copy of Biorhythm to someone on the forum a few years ago, but the buyer thought it was too expensive and backed out.

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I think TV Schoolhouse I & II, Blackjack, Fun With Numbers, Baseball, Space War, and Tennis/Squash are about a horse a piece as far as rarity is concerned. It seems just about anyone who owned a Studio II in the '70s had one or more of these games.

 

I'm guessing that Gunfighter/Moonship Battle, Speedway/Tag, and Biorhythms were later releases and that by the time they came along, people had lost interest in the Studio II.

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I'm pretty sure the blurry out of focus guy is Curt.

 

Humm...then who is the guy standing on your right ? because Dan was between Al and Curt table (in that peticular corner).

After Curt, it was your table and on the other side of Al, it was Tom Zjaba. I can remember names but i still don't remember

the Bingo game or simply i never paid attention to Studio II stuffs back then...scrap! (like in the latest Transformer TV serie).

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It's been 3-4 days now i'm trying to "clean-up" my database of Studio II stuffs and clones. As i was writing down notes

on paper (just in case my HD brakes down...) about the Hanimex MPT-02, i just discovered that this game system

(and maybe also the Soundic Victory MPT-02) doesn't have any built-in games!

 

Upon checking a picture of the unit board:

hanimex_mpt-02_hard.jpg

 

You can see that U13 and U14 are missing and these IC's are the ones that have the built-in games. So now i

understand why the hell there is the "Grand Pack" cartridge since all other clones (surely accept the Soundic)

doesn't have this cartridge listed or available. For those who doesn't know, the "Grand Pack" cartridge contains

the same five games found in all other European clones: Doodle, Patterns, Bowling, Blackjack 1 player and

Blackjack 2 players.

 

So if anyone has a Soundic Victory MPT-02, could you open it up and tell us if this one also doesn't have any

U13 & U14 chips ? Also, a high resolution of the Soundic board would be greatly appreciated since i wanna know

why the MPT-02 has a bright magenta for background instead of the blue backgound found in M-1200 series

(Conic/Sheen M-1200 and Mustang 9016). Still leaving the Academy Apollo 80 wondering which color background

it has.

 

And for last, there is 3 other Studio II homebrew games made by Lee Romanow: Outbreak, Climber and TV Arcade 2012..

These roms are available on Yahoo rcacosmac group ( http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/rcacosmac/ ) in the files section

under the "Studio II and clones" folder. Also, the TV Arcade 2012 rom, it's a 5-in-1 multi-games which contains these games:

Craps / Moon Lander / Repeat After Me / Space Rescue / Nim.

 

--- Sly DC --- (has left the studio... - instead of "left the building"...LOL!!!)

Edited by slydc
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Stupus has mentioned that he has friends with Soundic MPT-02s and they have the in-built games.

 

Grand Pack seems to be a completely unique French Hanimex title. Which I assume came with the system.

 

One theory I had regarding the "pink" screen is that.. they are photos of a SECAM TV.

 

The only way to prove it is to get a clone system and connect it to one and then connect it to a PAL TV.

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Could there be legal or tax related reasons why consoles in some regions would have some games either built-in or on a cartridge?

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Humm...then who is the guy standing on your right ? because Dan was between Al and Curt table (in that peticular corner).

After Curt, it was your table and on the other side of Al, it was Tom Zjaba. I can remember names but i still don't remember

the Bingo game or simply i never paid attention to Studio II stuffs back then...scrap! (like in the latest Transformer TV serie).

I have no idea. I'm not really good at remembering faces.

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Could there be legal or tax related reasons why consoles in some regions would have some games either built-in or on a cartridge?

Might be.

there is a perfect example with the Amstrad CPC series : the first model was the CPC 464, with 64k of RAM.

In Spain, for tax reasons, a dead, useless RAM chip was soldered on the board... It has no other purpose than avoiding a tax.

 

I don't recall any kind of tax like that in France, and only some years after, the Sega Master System was sold with a build-in game with no overpricing or anything.

So maybe it was either a legal reason, such as a fast way to pull out the carts without pulling out the systems in case of licencing issue about the game.

 

Or simply Hanimex though that the system was looking too much alike the Pong systems of the time and decided to sold one version looking like "real" consoles, with no build-in games.

 

For the color shifting, it's a common sight on Pong systems too; the color encoding chip on those cheap RF boxes is very sensitive and they tend to shift with aging. Nothing related to SECAM itself, just the use of low-end electronics.

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Stupus has mentioned that he has friends with Soundic MPT-02s and they have the in-built games.

 

Grand Pack seems to be a completely unique French Hanimex title. Which I assume came with the system.

 

One theory I had regarding the "pink" screen is that.. they are photos of a SECAM TV.

 

The only way to prove it is to get a clone system and connect it to one and then connect it to a PAL TV.

Hey Guys,

I do have 2 victory units one from Australia and 1 from Spain. So I will be able to open 1 or even both and take some pics to post and help verify for sure the chips inside.

But I am almost certain the regular victory units do all have the built-in games, the victory manual specifically mentions their inclusion:

 

post-26050-0-29643600-1377639421_thumb.png

 

What I had mentioned before to tld1985 was that my friend with a nos boxed victory unit in Germany had verified that the victory units did not come with the grand pack game as a pack in cart.

Also the grand pack cart seems to have nothing to do with the victory line. My friend had no knowledge even of the grand pack cart, which would lead me to believe it was never in Germany and probably exclusive to the Hanimex/France.

I also did some digging on my HDD and found I did still have a screen shot saved that the person took that I bought 1 of my victory units from that was from Spain. Maybe it can help shed some light on the color output...sadly its just the 1 image.

I really need to get a pal tv or convertor so I can test all the stuff myself.

 

post-26050-0-38198100-1377639767_thumb.jpg

 

hope this helps, I'll try and get some pics of the insides of a unit if still needed but it will take me a day or 2 likely.

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