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the official Channel F thread!

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At the current insane prices, no wonder people are digging them out to sell. 

 

It's the most rare _original_ _game_ cart, right?

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33 minutes ago, e5frog said:

At the current insane prices, no wonder people are digging them out to sell. 

 

It's the most rare _original_ _game_ cart, right?

   For sure. 
 

   I’ve collecting for the ChF for almost 20 years now, started on late 2001 when I’ve imported my first system out of curiosity. And I immediately fell in love for it. 
 

   For the first 10 years or so I’ve picked whatever I managed but without crazy spendings or active hunts. I’ve managed to grab maybe 17 of the games this way. Later on I’ve focused on the Saba set (love the art!), and that was really easier than I’ve pictured, within 6 months I had it under my belt.

 

   But for the last 5 years or so I’ve decided to hunt down the USA set. The last one (besides checkers) was Whizball, got it CIB for like 80 USD some three years ago. It is insane to see the prices they’re reaching now.

 

   Still missing a Democart 2, and my Democart 1 is loose. But I can live with that. 🙂

 

   Maybe I might focus on white boxes for a while. I do have only like 4 of them...

 

   And I would LOVE to have more Luxor around, I think I only have three of them. 😞

Edited by lazzeri

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On 1/23/2021 at 12:59 PM, lazzeri said:

  I’ve collecting for the ChF for almost 20 years now, started on late 2001 when I’ve imported my first system out of curiosity. And I immediately fell in love for it. 
 

   For the first 10 years or so I’ve picked whatever I managed but without crazy spendings or active hunts. I’ve managed to grab maybe 17 of the games this way. Later on I’ve focused on the Saba set (love the art!), and that was really easier than I’ve pictured, within 6 months I had it under my belt.

 

   But for the last 5 years or so I’ve decided to hunt down the USA set. The last one (besides checkers) was Whizball, got it CIB for like 80 USD some three years ago. It is insane to see the prices they’re reaching now.

 

   Still missing a Democart 2, and my Democart 1 is loose. But I can live with that. 🙂

 

   Maybe I might focus on white boxes for a while. I do have only like 4 of them...

 

   And I would LOVE to have more Luxor around, I think I only have three of them. 😞

Started my journey in 1995 after finding the childhood type of machine online, sending USD cash in envelopes to the US. E-mailing everyone (that was not popular) on the University asking to buy - and I actually got a hit - a rental Luxor unit in a SABA carry bag with a couple of carts, that had the alternate BIOS... seems to  be unusual. 

Yes, the SABA set is much easier, have a complete set with some odd extras, for example missing "SYSTEM" on front labels on some of the early ones and a couple of B/W edge labels in Fairchild original style (plastic on paper). Then there's the plain American version as well as German on #3, such "meaningless" details.   ;-)

 

White boxes and labels in black/white or "orange/brown" are pretty neat. 

You should make friends with a Swede... 

Also check https://www.tradera.com/en/ for items. 

Some are crazy expensive though, don't know what they have been smoking:

https://www.tradera.com/en/item/301704/442138051/luxor-video-entertainment-kassett-8-fairchild-channel-f-saba-videoplay-

https://www.tradera.com/en/item/301704/442138052/luxor-video-entertainment-kassett-2-fairchild-channel-f-saba-videoplay-
Large set, descent price:
https://www.tradera.com/en/item/301704/417966875/18-spel-luxor-fairchild-channel-f-

Unusual single paper manual with this one:

https://www.tradera.com/en/item/301704/401020358/bowling-luxor-fairchild-svensk-manual

 

 


 

 

 

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What's real fun about trying to grab the last few cars I need t prices over $200 and when I ask the seller if it's tested "no but it's in good shape". Well, that's awesome, it might make a very nice, expensive paperweight then. ..lol. 

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Yep, sign of investment collectors. They stick out even more for systems like the channel F because realistically the only games you'll find is going to be with a console or the owner of a console. 

 

The next question would be "why the hell do you have it and why do you think it's worth that much when you can't even play it!?" 

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It's unusual that they don't work as long as there's no rattle from loose chip lids or it's the "rubber" chip coating. 

A loose lid could have fallen out though - opening the cart may damage the edge label... 

So, decide if it's worth the money to add it to the collection even if it might be broken. 

If function goes before collector's value it's not a problem making a working circuit board. 

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5 hours ago, e5frog said:

It's unusual that they don't work as long as there's no rattle from loose chip lids or it's the "rubber" chip coating. 

A loose lid could have fallen out though - opening the cart may damage the edge label... 

So, decide if it's worth the money to add it to the collection even if it might be broken. 

If function goes before collector's value it's not a problem making a working circuit board. 

Are there any copies of carts 19 or 23 in circulation that don't have the rubber chip coating?

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Don't think there's #19 in anything else than blob type but there are #22 and #23 with the large square plastic covers. 

 

The square plastic cover version has pin numbers in the copper layer, you can read 22,12,11,1 at the sides of the connector pads, the traces also attaches to the pads on the left side - and not in the middle, as is usual.

 

Blob versions have no numbers at the connector and traces attaches in the middle of the pads.

You should be able to ask a seller for a photo of the connector to make sure. 

 

Regarding my #23 with plastic covers, that one has the black print only kind of Zircon label. I'm guessing it was the last version. 

 

In conclusion, I have two variations of both 22 and 23, each with a blob version and one with the large square plastic cap. 

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Thanks for the info. My copies of 19 and 22 are both plastic Blob and both are non-functioning. I take it that if all copies of 19 have the blobs that means all copies will eventually degrade and stop working if left I'm their original state? At least they are both in-box and in good (outward) condition....large.20200923_180355.jpg.44f9489c36773f400809e86e6c567bdc.jpglarge.20200923_180249.jpg.147e88dd485f4474d00b7d2fbecbc082.jpg

23 works though.

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1 hour ago, Jorbus said:

Thanks for the info. My copies of 19 and 22 are both plastic Blob and both are non-functioning. I take it that if all copies of 19 have the blobs that means all copies will eventually degrade and stop working if left I'm their original state? At least they are both in-box and in good (outward) condition....

23 works though.

Very nice looking boxes!
The #22 and #19 sometimes share the same PCB and this type can be jumpered to either version. If they're both not working maybe it's worth trying to re-jumper them to the other type. 

There was a good image showing it... can't find it atm. 
So here's mine: I put a switch in one to toggle between them, so the jumper closest to the 74LS02 is the one swapping. 

Last image is jumpered to slot, not sure it helps - as you can't clearly see but if you check your #22 it should be the other way.
250895355_CheckersandSlotPCBsback.thumb.jpg.f0e3f6cf7b2452637ff06c342171cc6d.jpg

 

 

414796750_CheckersandSlotPCBsfront.thumb.jpg.7de3cb7badc1df4ad6ca609d9be3f423.jpg

Hpim9086.thumb.jpg.8f2407d5934545ed546c84d172522156.jpg

 

Not sure if the goo affects the actual chip or bondwires (which can bee seen poking out on some carts) or perhaps thermal stress causing the bond wires to loosen.

It's possible the goo shrinks after some years and rip the bondwires from the chip...

 

 

EDIT:
Found a good one of mine, I know I have posted this before somewhere.
Shows the two jumper positions of the one closest to the IC, don't bother changing the other one.
842329223_ZirconPCBswitches.thumb.jpg.a08e5dda67b908eaa1afebd6ff273e6c.jpg

 

Edited by e5frog
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On 2/4/2021 at 10:38 AM, atari2600land said:

Odd eBay find: A cartridge holder. Probably homemade with a 3D printer or something.

Interesting, I'd have been up for getting one for my loose US carts but shipping to the old world blues strikes again.

 

I recently upgraded the Channel F collection to its own shelf, but after arranging everything else I had to squish them in a little, so they are still in their own exclusive shelf and not sharing with the PC 50x now but they are all on the side for space.

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Bond movie from 1967?

Originally meant to be several games?

They just changed their mind? 

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Hiya everyone!

 

Well, boldly, proudly, here I am in the Channel F havers club.

 

I love this thing.  I wrote a couple of pms to other members recounting my experiences so far, and I think it might be worth posting a couple of excerpts in the future (spoiler alert, the built in Hockey is awesome).

 

Im at a point where I'm encountered a head-scratching situation.  I have a handful of carts, but two of them are behaving wonky. I'll describe the situation and maybe someone here can offer me some insight.

 

I also have to say that I lucked out a bit on this. I bought an ebay Fairchild model 1 that was being sold as-is non-working.  I paid a fairly low price for it, and figured I bought a project that would really put my repair skills to the test.  Low and behold, on my first attempt, there was the "G?" on the screen front and center.

 

I invited a friend over to give built-in Hockey a go.  Wow... That was the most epic game of "pong" either of us ever played.  The controllers seemed to work flawlessly.

 

My other game carts are:

Alien Invasion

Bowling

Robot War (aka videocart 13)

Schach (saba videoplays chess)

Hangman

Sonar Search 

 

I've given each of this carts a priliminary spin. Not extensively tested but they mostly work as expected.  I'm not sure about chess yet, since I didn't really know what I was doing, but I'll try that again soon.

 

Of these, Hangman and Sonar Search are definitely doing weird things.  I don't know if it's common for carts to partially fail on this system?

 

Sonar Search is acting like player 2s controller is perminently pressing plunger down and pushed to the left. If I pull the plunger up, it acts like it's not being pressed. This is weird because the controller functions fine in Hockey.

 

Hangman is resetting constantly.  On power-up the graphic of the gallows appears and just redraws the screen over and over again. It never gets to the "G?".  Pressing reset will stop the screen from redrawing, but that's the only response I can get from the game.

 

I thought I'd post this for advice on what to try next. Any suggestions or pointers are welcome. Thanks!

 

Edited by CaptainBreakout

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Certain cartridges can do weird things. I had a Pro Football cartridge that was acting weirdly, so I put it in the 'use for donor carts' pile.

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15 minutes ago, atari2600land said:

Certain cartridges can do weird things. I had a Pro Football cartridge that was acting weirdly, so I put it in the 'use for donor carts' pile.

How hard is it to reburn and replace the roms in the cart?  Is this an easy or hard process?

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I don't think that's possible. You'd have to get a whole new chip to put the game on. I think you'd be better off just buying another one.

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Really?  Dang.  I was hoping there was just a chip I could desolder and replace with a burned eprom.  I guess these games aren't built that way.

 

Hangman especially wasn't cheap. 😬

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Well, you can replace the chip with another chip. That's how I made my Trimerous cartridges. But I don't think you can reuse a chip that has already been used.

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