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phoenixdownita

Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?

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The board's very odd shape is weird, too. Dunno what it's from, but it ain't no proto and is not even related to FPGAs, devboards, or videogames by the looks of it. Oh yeah don't rule out that pieces of the PCB edges might be covered with electrical tape, like fingers for PCI/AGP/etc ports. The two mounting holes on the end and the board being quite long and narrow reminds me of a PC card. I don't see any other mounting holes which is highly suspicious. With a board this long you need them to prevent it flexing too much due to the length. Those holes would be used to attach one of those metal brackets you find on the ends of PC cards.

Measuring my clear Jaguar shell, the board is a little over 9cm (3.5" wide), which is the width of a PCI card.

 

post-39360-0-13144900-1456798273_thumb.jpegpost-39360-0-39706500-1456798419_thumb.pngpost-39360-0-18043600-1456798890_thumb.png

Those two smaller QFPs are very very interesting to me- there's two of them and they appear to be identical. They both appear to have a similar complement of components around them, and there's waaay too many parts around them for them to be purely digital (i.e. RAM chips, etc) so that smells like some kind of ADC, DAC, or similar type thing. The SOICs above them just adds fuel to that fire.

I was looking at those smaller Quad Flat Packages earlier too. The one on the right seems to have some centered writing, and no logo. I had a look for manufacturers who brand(ed) their ICs like this, and came up with Techwell, a fabless semiconductor company who made mostly video decoding ICs between 1997 and 2010 when they were acquired by Intersil. Some of the printing on their packages looks really similar to those two smaller QFPs.

 

The 3 images on the left are the original and then enhanced versions from the latest Chameleon 'prototype', on the right is a resized Techwell IC.

post-39360-0-09358700-1456796457.pngpost-39360-0-23155300-1456796463.pngpost-39360-0-34859400-1456796466.pngpost-39360-0-08525100-1456796471.jpg

 

The Techwell chip I resized, and an example video capture/DVR card with similar components to the 'prototype'. I couldn't find an exact match, in fact I had some mich better examples earlier when I looked, but it seems that the 10 to 15 year old cards are pretty similar to the mystery board.

post-39360-0-52923400-1456795921_thumb.jpgpost-39360-0-79078800-1456797127_thumb.jpg

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This is why I offered my cores for a set price. I will be damned if I was going to put anything into someone else's project without getting paid first. Just hope that "Li" (if he exists) didn't get suckered into the "work now, pay later" thing. The Kevtris Core Store definitely only accepts cash on the barrelhead and doesn't take credit.

 

I'm glad you stuck to your guns and didn't get ripped off. Besides I don't think they would know what to do with your cores. A core is useless without the FPGA properly wired to a cart bus/SD card, HDMI port, controller/USB, etc...

 

Besides, what if Mike got your cores, and then his chameleon Kickstart failed, and you sold your Zimba 3000, and Mike accused you of stealing his cores that you licensed? That would suck donkey and I wouldn't put it past them at this point... :mad:

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Measuring my clear Jaguar shell, the board is 9cm (3.5" wide), which is exactly the width of a PCI card.

attachicon.gifimage.jpegattachicon.gifimage.png

 

I was looking at those smaller Quad Flat Packages earlier too. The one on the right seems to have some centered writing, and no logo. I had a look for manufacturers who brand(ed) their ICs like this, and came up with Techwell, a fabless semiconductor company who made mostly video decoding ICs between 1997 and 2010 when they were acquired by Intersil. Some of the printing on their packages looks really similar to those two smaller QFPs.

 

The 3 images on the left are from the latest Chameleon 'prototype', on the right is a resized Techwell IC.

attachicon.gifqfp-original.pngattachicon.gifqfp-darker.pngattachicon.gifqfp-sharpen.pngattachicon.gifTechwell TW9066-small.jpg

 

The Techwell chip I resized, and an example video capture/DVR card with similar components to the 'prototype'. I couldn't find an exact match, in fact I had some mich better examples earlier when I looked, but it seems that the 10 to 15 year old cards are pretty similar to the mystery board.

attachicon.gif923665_20061212BenQFP241WZ_91.jpgattachicon.gifsoftware-font-b-dvr-b-font-font-b-card-b-font-font-b-techwell-b-font1.jpg

Nice! I knew a sleuth would come along to crack this. :grin:

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Nice! I knew a sleuth would come along to crack this. :grin:

It's a smoking gun only, but it looks scarily similar to old off the shelf PCI video capture cards.

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Measuring my clear Jaguar shell, the board is a little over 9cm (3.5" wide), which is the width of a PCI card.

 

attachicon.gifimage.jpegattachicon.gifimage.pngattachicon.gifimage.png

 

I was looking at those smaller Quad Flat Packages earlier too. The one on the right seems to have some centered writing, and no logo. I had a look for manufacturers who brand(ed) their ICs like this, and came up with Techwell, a fabless semiconductor company who made mostly video decoding ICs between 1997 and 2010 when they were acquired by Intersil. Some of the printing on their packages looks really similar to those two smaller QFPs.

 

The 3 images on the left are the original and then enhanced versions from the latest Chameleon 'prototype', on the right is a resized Techwell IC.

attachicon.gifqfp-original.pngattachicon.gifqfp-darker.pngattachicon.gifqfp-sharpen.pngattachicon.gifTechwell TW9066-small.jpg

 

The Techwell chip I resized, and an example video capture/DVR card with similar components to the 'prototype'. I couldn't find an exact match, in fact I had some mich better examples earlier when I looked, but it seems that the 10 to 15 year old cards are pretty similar to the mystery board.

attachicon.gif923665_20061212BenQFP241WZ_91.jpgattachicon.gifsoftware-font-b-dvr-b-font-font-b-card-b-font-font-b-techwell-b-font1.jpg

 

Excellent work! I knew the board looked all too familiar. I believe I still have a card that's near identical to the one shown in the clear case. I'll have to look through my garage, but I'm ready to debunk the entire console.

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You may be right that its a Techwell Video Decorder

 

This looks very similar except for the battery and analong inputs on the side and is used for a security system analog to digital

 

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Excellent work! I knew the board looked all too familiar. I believe I still have a card that's near identical to the one shown in the clear case. I'll have to look through my garage, but I'm ready to debunk the entire console.

Again???

If you do then Pipercub has to make another proto-repro-type :grin: or was repro-proto-type?

Edited by phoenixdownita
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I said I wouldn't investigate further, but after some recent discussion, I had to look for a few minutes.

Searching "DVR capture card" yields some very similar results. I'm sure someone will find it.

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The reason the SD2SNES was resetting was probably because of the 3-in-1 power supply. They seem to be a crap shoot when used in conjunction with the SD2SNES sometimes. We have had issues with SD2SNES and the 3-in-1s before, in fact often the first question we ask a customer who is having trouble with the SD2SNES is if they are using an official or 3rd party power supply.

 

Also, I am pretty sure we (Stone Age Gamer) were the ones that sent RetroGaming RoundUp a SD2SNES for review back in 2012. So Mike should know what an SD2SNES is.

Yes, I ordered it from you (pretty much your entire line of multicarts) aka car payment for ya ;) and have given them all high marks. We reviewed it on our show and he was certainly aware of it. I will 100% back up your claim about the resetting, that cart is ALLOT more power hungry than a normal cart hence if you try to use it in the hyperkin portable on just batt power it is flakey or no-go, plug in the power and it works. Not a design defect, just the nature of the beast for what ICs it has running.

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WOW. So now we have THREE indisputably fake "prototypes"! I wouldn't be surprised if the gold PCI card edge is covered over with electrical tape, as Kevtris says; we all know how much Mike loves his electrical tape!

 

I wonder how he's going to blame "Mr. Lee the Hardware Guy" for this one ...

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What kind of games can you play on a DVR capture card?

They did said their was something else besides a SNES JR in there

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That specific picture where you can see the board is no longer on Facebook.

 

Edit: Darn, beaten.

Edited by TheRedEye
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