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

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I've got a Conic M1200 and a bunch of S2 games. No European releases though. As you wrote, Biorhythm displays in colour. I could check some more of those games I've got.

 

It makes me wonder, is there a reliable rarity list for the Studio 2? I find that Space War, Baseball and Blackjack are "everywhere". I bought a Studio 2 console and a couple sets of games. Suddenly I had triplets (!) of Blackjack out of a total of about a dozen games.

 

Nice to see that everyone have gathered in this thread, from original production crew to homebrewers and dumpers. About ten years ago, I had the intention to learn 1802 and made some first test programs to run on the S2 emulator by Paul. I never got very far, and fully believe him describing the limitations and what types of games it really might be able to pull off. I'm sorry to say, but it makes the Channel F look like a wonder console, in particular considering that Fairchild got their machine on the market a few months before RCA did. (And yes, Atari's VCS was not too far behind and blew both out of the water but that doesn't really have to be mentioned on this forum)

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I've got a Conic M1200 and a bunch of S2 games. No European releases though. As you wrote, Biorhythm displays in colour. I could check some more of those games I've got.

 

It makes me wonder, is there a reliable rarity list for the Studio 2? I find that Space War, Baseball and Blackjack are "everywhere". I bought a Studio 2 console and a couple sets of games. Suddenly I had triplets (!) of Blackjack out of a total of about a dozen games.

 

Nice to see that everyone have gathered in this thread, from original production crew to homebrewers and dumpers. About ten years ago, I had the intention to learn 1802 and made some first test programs to run on the S2 emulator by Paul. I never got very far, and fully believe him describing the limitations and what types of games it really might be able to pull off. I'm sorry to say, but it makes the Channel F look like a wonder console, in particular considering that Fairchild got their machine on the market a few months before RCA did. (And yes, Atari's VCS was not too far behind and blew both out of the water but that doesn't really have to be mentioned on this forum)

 

The programmer behind the Emma02 emulator is looking for screenshots/photos of the clone systems in action... so that he can get the correct colours for his emulator. Would be helpful and interesting if you could take some photos and show the colours the Conic M1200 outputs. Probably good idea to use the doodles 'game' and biorhythm as examples. :)

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Aha! I've had some interaction with Marcel (I suppose?) on the COMX Club forum, as Emma02 also emulates the COMX series of computers which mostly have the 1802 in common with the Studio 2.

 

I'll dig up some setup and take pictures. Actually I have a video capture card that takes both RF and composite video, so I might plug in the console and capture video instead of just taking pictures that would rely on the TV, light conditions etc. Last time I played with it, I found that I needed a rather old (1986 or earlier) CRT TV to get a good picture. Even on 1990's CRT's, the picture would bleed terribly. I haven't yet tried my LCD TV but I have strong doubts it will look good if even a "modern" CRT fails.

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Would be great! I'd be interested in seeing it too. There doesn't appear to be any real footage of the clones 'in action' online.

 

 

I think I said it earlier in the thread or another thread.. but there essentially seems to be 2 or 3 groups for the Eur/Aus clones.

 

 

First you have the 'MPT-02' family.. which has all the same molding but just different branding and have "pink" as the main background colour.

 

mpt_02.jpg

 

Second you have the 'M1200' family which all have the same molding and again different branding and they have "blue" as the main background colour.

 

 

m1200.jpg

 

 

Thirdly the Apollo 80... now that has it's own molding... but I do not have any leads on what colour it outputs... so not sure if it's the same as the M1200 or it's own unique thing.

 

ap80.jpg

Edited by TLD1985
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Kaboom is ready to go - okay it's a beta probably, but it is complete and works. I have tested it on my own S2 development emulator and Emma02 and it works fine. Not tried MESS.

 

Temporary storage, no proper hosting :)

 

http://www.robsons.org.uk/kaboom.zip

 

Source, Bin and ST2 format files included.

 

This is great! And thanks for posting the source too.

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Does anyone know if the Euro carts work on a US Studio II?

 

yes they should work.

 

 

When it comes to the Japanese carts.... I'm not so sure about those ones

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yes they should work.

 

 

When it comes to the Japanese carts.... I'm not so sure about those ones

 

So it's the console that is PAL or NTSC not the cartridges? That's the way it is for Intellivision anyway.

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An interesting note is that my Conic M1200 has a channel 3/4 switch on the underside. I've always found it rare for European machines to have such channel switches at all, they often have RF output on UHF 36 rather than VHF, or at least that is how most home computers worked. There is a hole for another switch next to the 3/4 switch, but the second hole is not populated. I suppose I might as well disassemble it and take pictures of the inside, unless those clones have been documented on the inside already?

 

Well, colour me surprised but I got a VERY nice picture on my 40" Toshiba LCD. For many years I feared upgrading from CRT to LCD because vintage computers and consoles would not look good or might not even display at all on a LCD but this unit seems actually to work best with very old CRT's and modern flat screens...

post-5454-0-84008600-1363995946_thumb.jpg

Edited by carlsson
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The clones aren't as well documented.

 

Mostly fragments of info here and there.

 

 

but I do strongly believe that the foreign clones are linked with this "Studio 3" rumour.

 

It would explain why Biorhythm is programmed in colour...

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OK, the scans are all organized and uploaded now. I've made them archive quality--300 dpi color PNG's. There are also some photos from my digital camera for the systems themselves, and the system box that's too large to scan easily. Feel free to distribute, reformat, etc. My U.S. collection is just about complete, though I don't have a box for TV School House I. For the clone carts, some I don't have boxes and/or instructions. Some of what I do have is kind of beat up. If anyone is able to scan missing items, or scan more pristine items, that would be great. I'm also including some miscellaneous scans I got from Peter Trauner (PeT). I'm not sure how widely these have been distributed.

 

Clone cartridges: http://www.mediafire.com/?a6rvdkkd26zyyzc

 

Studio II cartridges: http://www.mediafire.com/?wudbpn9erc98pw2

 

Owners and Service Manuals: http://www.mediafire.com/?7jod7m8a63za1n9

 

Studio II Cartridge Instructions: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?khuy39x2dzimy9r

 

Clone Cartridge Instructions: http://www.mediafire.com/?ybzl5fm12tblbpb

 

TV School House I Booklets: http://www.mediafire.com/?737ozbndlar93zw

 

System Photos and System Boxes: http://www.mediafire.com/?5ebmvf28e73709c

 

Cartridge Boxes: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?95wih39jrj6ow49

 

PeT Scans: http://www.mediafire.com/?ojxprk04sqwfihf

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post-5454-0-84008600-1363995946_thumb.jpg

 

I'm surprised the main background colour is green. From the brief photos I've seen of the Sheen M1200 and Mustang 9016 both have blue background colours.

 

From what I understand of the clones the colour was simply piggy backed onto it by another board in the system...

 

here is a photo of the MPT-02:

 

 

hanimex_mpt-02_hard.jpg

 

 

OK, the scans are all organized and uploaded now. I've made them archive quality--300 dpi color PNG's. There are also some photos from my digital camera for the systems themselves, and the system box that's too large to scan easily. Feel free to distribute, reformat, etc. My U.S. collection is just about complete, though I don't have a box for TV School House I. For the clone carts, some I don't have boxes and/or instructions. Some of what I do have is kind of beat up. If anyone is able to scan missing items, or scan more pristine items, that would be great. I'm also including some miscellaneous scans I got from Peter Trauner (PeT). I'm not sure how widely these have been distributed.

 

Clone cartridges: http://www.mediafire...a6rvdkkd26zyyzc

 

Studio II cartridges: http://www.mediafire...wudbpn9erc98pw2

 

Owners and Service Manuals: http://www.mediafire...7jod7m8a63za1n9

 

Studio II Cartridge Instructions: http://www.mediafire...khuy39x2dzimy9r

 

Clone Cartridge Instructions: http://www.mediafire...ybzl5fm12tblbpb

 

TV School House I Booklets: http://www.mediafire...737ozbndlar93zw

 

System Photos and System Boxes: http://www.mediafire...5ebmvf28e73709c

 

Cartridge Boxes: http://www.mediafire...95wih39jrj6ow49

 

PeT Scans: http://www.mediafire...ojxprk04sqwfihf

 

 

wow those are great. Very interested in the clone scans...

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Well, the background colour seems to depend on which of the buit-in programs I run. It's 1 AM right now, but I'll give a better rundown later on. It might also depend on whether I play one of the built-in programs or plug in a cartridge.

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and the moment a lot of people have been waiting for... at least the European version....

 

 

BINGS2.jpg

 

 

Now according to the old posts about the US Bingo... it contained bingo chips... which WOULD make sense with this game.

 

 

It also means that the Japanese "Gambler II" is a different game.. as that one involves dice and a slot machine.

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Instructions are particularly important for the Studio II, as it's not always intuitive even how to start a game. TV School House I makes no sense whatsoever without the question booklets that came with it.

 

For the clone instructions, I have a mix of English and French, along with some boxes in German. I don't have the instructions for Baseball/Sumo, but there is some Japanese text on the back of the cart, which might be a summary of how to play it.

Edited by ranger_lennier
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Does anyone know where the idea of a US Bingo release originated? Did someone say they saw one? Are there ads for it? I just know that I've seen it on some lists, but I've never seen one for sale, or even seen pictures of it.

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Instructions are particularly important for the Studio II, as it's not always intuitive even how to start a game. TV School House I makes no sense whatsoever without the question booklets that came with it.

 

For the clone instructions, I have a mix of English, French, and German. I don't have the instructions for Baseball/Sumo, but there is some Japanese text on the back of the cart, which might be a summary of how to play it.

 

I have a photo of the front covers of the Japanese instructions.. but sadly none of the inside.

 

The Japanese games also included 'instruction film' which attached itself to the Visicom console itself.

 

 

Does anyone know where the idea of a US Bingo release originated? Did someone say they saw one? Are there ads for it? I just know that I've seen it on some lists, but I've never seen one for sale, or even seen pictures of it.

 

It was seen by reliable people at a gaming convention about 10 years ago... a brief story of how it was found but has since vanished.

 

But now a programmer has apparently admitted to programming the game...

Edited by TLD1985
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Next up : Pacman for the Studio 2.

 

 

 

Awesome! I can't wait to see how that turns out.

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I'm surprised the main background colour is green. From the brief photos I've seen of the Sheen M1200 and Mustang 9016 both have blue background colours.

Today I ran through all the games I've got. I even made video captures, but my Bt848/878 PCI cards (yes, I've got multiple) in my AthlonXP produced very poor results when plugging in the RF cable. Also despite how much I fiddled with the settings, I didn't get any sound recorded. Thus I'm planning to obtain some newer (USB based) and hopefully better TV tuner/capture device that I can use on one of my newer PC's and eventually get better results. While technically all my PC's have at least one PCI slot, I doubt installing one of those older cards into a newer computer would yield better results.

 

Anyway, as for the background colour, all RCA cartidges give me white graphics on dark blue background, with the exception of Biorhythm that gives me four different colours on dark blue background.

 

When it comes to the built-in programs in the Conic M1200 console, the plot/sound program (not sure what it is called - Doodle?) gives me the dark blue background. It then paints in red, medium blue, medium green, dark green, light blue, white/yellow and black plus that it beeps in eight different frequencies, enough to play Freire Jacob on the keyboard. :-)

 

The Bowling game has white graphics on dark blue background for player 1, and white graphics on dark green background for player 2. Yes, it changes background colour between each player.

 

The Blackjack game has dark green background in both one and two player modes, as you saw from the screenshot.

 

I might take some more screenshots using a camera pointed to the TV, to illustrate the different colours even though they might not show the perfect RGB values. Of course I could upload some of the captures I already made, or at least extract screenshots from those, but they're of sub-standard image quality so I can just start to imagine how many nitpicking comments I'd get on YouTube... ;-)

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I put together a few screenshots that illustrate the quality of my capture card...

post-5454-0-97863800-1364081920_thumb.jpg

 

One thing I noticed is that the cartridge version of Blackjack lets you bet 1-10 dollars (I presume) per turn. The built-in version in the Conic waits for two keys to be pressed, meaning you can bet 1-99 dollars per turn.

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