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New Ti Board?

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The guys over at Individual computers made a new board for the C64 with nice features right on board, like 9v power and S-Video. Do you think the 99 can use a new board? Maybe with an F18A integrated and new power adaptor?

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Interesting. This would help with the eventual death of original equipment. Kind of a cool concept actually, still being 100% compatible because it uses the original CPU and what not.

 

Not being a purist, I would want to make a 'couple of additions' to the board though... :skull: I know.

 

1) I'd want to have SAMS onboard to free up an additional slot in the P-Box, or to allow cartridge only software like Rasmus games or XB.27S to use it without a P-Box.

 

2) Like you said, F18A onboard.

 

There are a couple of other things "I'd like", but a guy has to draw the line somewhere.

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This C64 motherboard is a very good job but I'm not excited by this kind of project, too modern for me. The original 99/4A motherboard is very old, full of defaults but it is what I like, she has a soul. I love to use the 99/4A without any modern artifice. Nostalgia. And if my 99/4A computers fail, I repare them and I will do the same until I will have parts for that (I made a stock to prevent out of stock :) )
If I want to use an modern computer, I use my Core i5 iMac, Macbook Pro or PCs

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Actually, an updated board for the TI-99/4A has existed for a long time--it is called an SGCPU. It includes 1024K of SAMS memory too. It does not have video or GROM on board--it expects two additional boards: an HSGPL for GROM/GRAM and an EVPC (or an EVPC-2) for full 80-column video using a Yamaha V9938 (or a V9958 in the EVPC-2). All of these slide into the PEB, and will also work with the rest of the known PEB boards--and when using an HRD-16, that card is enhanced in an SGCPU system, as it is on the 16-bit bus. . .

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This C64 motherboard is a very good job but I'm not excited by this kind of project, too modern for me. The original 99/4A motherboard is very old, full of defaults but it is what I like, she has a soul. I love to use the 99/4A without any modern artifice. Nostalgia. And if my 99/4A computers fail, I repare them and I will do the same until I will have parts for that (I made a stock to prevent out of stock :) )

If I want to use an modern computer, I use my Core i5 iMac, Macbook Pro or PCs

 

It is also a lot easier to something like this with the Commodore 64, IMO, since the C64 board saw numerous revisions over 12 years. By the time 64 ended production the main board had far fewer than what it had started: the final 64C main board had combined the PLA, color RAM, and other functions into a single chip called the MMU. This kind of large-scale integration could be considered more "modern" than most of the 8-bits from the 80s. In this sense, we got to watch the Commodore 64 grow and mature over time, whereas the 4A suffered far too early a demise.

 

The C64 Reloaded also uses the original chips, including the PLA or the new replacement PLA (these die frequently and are difficult, but not impossible, to find) eschewing integration into the MMU of the 64C. You plop your 6526 CIAs, PLA, 6581 or 8580 SID, and a few other chips, and TAH DAH! a working Commodore 64 using a refreshed mix of 80s technology with modern stability and reliability, and a pinch of some of the hacks we used to do to our stuff, anyway.

 

I imagine a 4A Reloaded board would consist of the ability to have 32k on-board, LOAD interrupt and reset buttons, a socket to hold either a real 9918A or F18A (perhaps even both available via selection,) switchable over-drive options for both wait-states and CPU clock, sockets for the 9900, 9901, etc. Take several of the on-board circuits and reduce the number of chips required, reducing power consumption, while maintaining original operation.

 

And why not a "mini-PEB" slot inside which would be pin-compatible with the PEB but far smaller (think PCI to miniPCI) so one could take the original PEB card designs and shrink them down. (This would be a limited market, but what the heck -- this is all academic, anyway!)

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Actually, an updated board for the TI-99/4A has existed for a long time--it is called an SGCPU. It includes 1024K of SAMS memory too. It does not have video or GROM on board--it expects two additional boards: an HSGPL for GROM/GRAM and an EVPC (or an EVPC-2) for full 80-column video using a Yamaha V9938 (or a V9958 in the EVPC-2). All of these slide into the PEB, and will also work with the rest of the known PEB boards--and when using an HRD-16, that card is enhanced in an SGCPU system, as it is on the 16-bit bus. . .

 

Yes, they're fantastic. I love my SNUG system, I'm taking it with me when I die. :)

 

Gazoo

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Might as well put:

 

1.) onboard speech card

2.) SD Card floppy emulator

3.) SAMS

4.) F18A

5.) 32k

 

then you'd have almost everything needed without keeping a PEB hooked up all the time :)

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I imagine a 4A Reloaded board would consist of the ability to have 32k on-board, LOAD interrupt and reset buttons, a socket to hold either a real 9918A or F18A (perhaps even both available via selection,) switchable over-drive options for both wait-states and CPU clock, sockets for the 9900, 9901, etc. Take several of the on-board circuits and reduce the number of chips required, reducing power consumption, while maintaining original operation. And why not a "mini-PEB" slot inside which would be pin-compatible with the PEB but far smaller (think PCI to miniPCI) so one could take the original PEB card designs and shrink them down. (This would be a limited market, but what the heck -- this is all academic, anyway!)

I understand, but I am not really interested. I am a Mac/PC technician, I can use all modern hardware that I want and if I still use my TI-99 hardware and many peripherals made for it (by Texas Instuments or third party) until 1990 is to remember me the happy days past with my TI-99 computer, by nostalgia. Also when I modify my TI-99/Geneve 9640 computers or I build extensions (for my peboxes or side-car type), I only use components made during their period. This restriction is important for me, I build them as if they had to be built in the past. My goal is to be totally immersed in the 80 years. So, I have no real pleasure to use modern things. Of course, some modern extensions are a very good job (and I congratulate their authors) but they are really not for me. This said, I totally understand that some people like to use modern materials to simpllifier things and that they are very useful for them.

 

The last extension I have made (is the HX5102M (protoype wired version), : http://www.ti99.com/misc/hexbus/HX5102M2.mp4

 

It could have been achieved with an FPGA but It was not my goal.

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Thank you Ciro :)

Just for fun, here are some pics about my earlier version that I made (fonctional too):

3.jpg
5.jpg
2.jpg
6.jpg
11.jpg
10.jpg

I made a second version because I wanted a smaller case. The size of second version (seen on the video) is now equal to hexbus TI peripherals like HX-3000. The construction of the case is in progress.

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Actually, an updated board for the TI-99/4A has existed for a long time--it is called an SGCPU

Hi Jim :)

 

The SGCPU ( aka TI99/4P ) is a really good board! As all the cards made by the SNUG. The team ( Michael Becker, Harald Glaab, and others) is great !

 

Edited by fabrice montupet
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I understand, but I am not really interested. I am a Mac/PC technician, I can use all modern hardware that I want and if I still use my TI-99 hardware and many peripherals made for it (by Texas Instuments or third party) until 1990 is to remember me the happy days past with my TI-99 computer, by nostalgia. Also when I modify my TI-99/Geneve 9640 computers or I build extensions (for my peboxes or side-car type), I only use components made during their period. This restriction is important for me, I build them as if they had to be built in the past. My goal is to be totally immersed in the 80 years. So, I have no real pleasure to use modern things. Of course, some modern extensions are a very good job (and I congratulate their authors) but they are really not for me. This said, I totally understand that some people like to use modern materials to simpllifier things and that they are very useful for them.

 

The last extension I have made (is the HX5102M (protoype wired version), : http://www.ti99.com/misc/hexbus/HX5102M2.mp4

 

It could have been achieved with an FPGA but It was not my goal.

 

Got it: you are not the target demographic.

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I understand, but I am not really interested.

It could have been achieved with an FPGA but It was not my goal.

 

I hear ya! All sorts of different people come here for different reasons. We all have "our own ideas" and "plans to expand". The TI is great because it gives us so many avenues to follow. In some ways that in itself is one reason I like the TI so much, it's not "cookie cutter"... like so many other systems out there these days. If we all went down the same path, this place would get boring quick.

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I think a new board with the right upgrades would really bring a lot of new people to the Ti community. A lot of the community seems to be those that had the system growing up, but some like myself that fell into it just recently would love a simple way to get a foot in the door.

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... would love a simple way to get a foot in the door.

 

THAT, is a very good point! Many of the old guard are getting older, many have already passed away. I'm all for anything that will bring more people in. The tent is big enough for everyone. :)

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Single board computers are coming back in a big way, just look at the raspberry pi it has a huge following! What I think the big draw to older computers for me is and I might be the only one but it's the noise or lack there of. Every PC you buy today has a noisy fan going and my desktop has 5 fans going if I include the video card, it sounds like a tornado. No one wants to hear that when you are just trying to type something up in word. Plus distractions like social media and youtube.

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I think someone should create one if that is what they want. The more options, the better. I don't think I would buy one though. I would just run an emulator. What I desire is a TI-99/9 from an alternate dimension where the IBM-PC didn't take over the market and where social media, YouTube, and cloud computing failed I want it like the TI-99, but with an evolved basic, faster CPU, more memory, higher resolution, more colors, better sound, and a flashcard drive. I always wonder what kind of market it would be if the diversification of what existed in 1983 (the year I graduated high school) had continued on.

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Yes, too modern hardware for the TI-99 is not for me but I am happy that they render services and please some people. More generally, all materials for the TI, it is anachronistic or not, that help the TI-99 to survive delights me, so all projects are welcome, of course! :)

 

I hope I do not make any mistakes to express myself in English, I am French. In advance, thank you for your indulgence :)

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The SGCPU board is a great example of what would be possible if we did this again today. The problem with it for me is that it's a PEB-only solution, I would love a new motherboard for the console that has extra memory on board (SAMS compatible preferably) but still maintains all of the TI's interfaces (side port, cartridge slot, casette port, joysticks, ...). Just something than can be populated with existing components where possible, and modern replacements where original chips are becoming hard/impossible to find (e.g. GROM chips), or for those looking for upgraded functionality (e.g. F18A).

 

In terms of nostalgia, I generally tend to think of things "that were possible" back in the day as meeting that criterion. I wouldn't care of we used a single-chip SRAM approach instead of 24 separate chips in a new version of the SAMS, and I don't mind the F18A using an FPGA since it really doesn't do anything that was technically impossible back in the 80's.

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Yes, "a new motherboard for the console"! Console is the keyword here! I like this Idea.

 

I never miss a SAMS (I don't know for what this is good for, but every time I read this acronym, I have to think at "Das Sams" von Paul Maar, a german children's book), so its not important for me. But a build in (16 bit wide?) 32 K expansion is nice (the Scratchpad could be larger too), also an option to install different VDP (one socket for either a 9918/F18A and another socket for a 9938/58). A build in speech is also ok, but not important, because I use this rarely. (But this little device is too small for a slot in the PEB and it looks terrible on the right side of the console.)

But important to me is that the new board gets a better and cooler power supply and the IO connectors (particularly the GROM port) are better protected against failures (that save the live of the CPU) and the GROM hardware architecture gets a rework. Then eventually a build in GRAM cracker, or something like this, can be realized, so it would be possible to expand each GROM bank optionally with an separate socket for a 64 K SRAM chip. It would be great to replace the TI Basic with the TI Extended Basic.

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I have followed the development of that C64 Reloaded board up close, the developer has rejected a LOT of requests for “improving” the new C64 board. The result is an “authentic” and stable functioning Commodore 64 board, recreated from the best revision of the available C64 main boards. All IC’s that makes it a Commodore 64 are NOS or pulls from the past, so the compatibility is 99.99% guaranteed. The PCB, glue logic IC (that connects the main IC’s together) and the power supply are new and come with warranty. You have to buy at least one functioning C64 of a specific type, to make use of the new board, that makes the price about €200,-.

 

IMHO, the quality of the TI-99/4A main board is much higher than that of the Commodore 64. Making a new board would rise unnecessary costs, which would be better invested in a new PEB replacement.

 

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I wonder how many of those new C64 boards were up for sale, because I'm not sure if I should be impressed that all the units were sold. The C64 user base was also larger than the TI's, so that would have some impact on overall sales as well. From appearances, it looks like the guy found a nice niche market of willing buyers. How this would translate to the TI, I'm not going to speculate.

 

OLD CS1 is right, the C64 had more revisions over it's longer life than the TI's. We had the 99/4, 99/4A then the QI debacle. How the TI would have evolved over the years is anyone guess, but I imagine, like OLD CS1 mentioned, there would have been more integration and fewer components just to reduce unit cost if nothing else. What TI would have added, could be debated. I doubt they would have put speech internal though, their marketing plan seems to have been designed towards add-on devices... and the revenue they generate.

 

Sorry Iwantgames, I'd leave off the SD card, simply because that was not a period item. Non period updates of equipment, I believe should be left up to the individual owners wants and tastes. Video, of course, is another issue.

 

Now I only mentioned the SAMS internally because the TI needs some standard in the community, and while it's not really been exploited to it's full potential YET, it seems like the 'evolved standard' . Considering the limitations and architecture of the TI, it could very well have been a path TI might have taken. Remember the 'memory wars' from back in the day? Some people bought computers based only on the size of that number. Besides, if something like this ever came out, it might encourage program development, and then ALL TI'ers would benefit.

 

Now reality check time... while I would love to see all of this come to pass, I doubt any of this will ever happen. Most new hardware design and updates appear to rest on the shoulders of one individual, a guy that already has so many projects in the pipeline that another one would be years away.

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