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36 minutes ago, koolmoecraig said:

This is all above my pay grade but if you were able to pull that off with a Baby Pac you'd sell a ton.

I think that people would love a version with a better video portion to the game. Something more Pac-Man authentic.  BTW, @koolmoecraig it's nice to see you still kicking around. 

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10 hours ago, FarmerPotato said:

That's thought-provoking... what about using the gpu to do it? To have another sprite track the ghost's location. Without modifying the game code.

Very doable.  You would have to characterize the sprite use and see if there are any available for eyes.

 

10 hours ago, FarmerPotato said:

Is there any way to flash a gpu program, so that it loads up and starts every time? (feature request idea) An arcade game cabinet with an F18A would have a single purpose.

Yes, this is possible.  I have been thinking about the F18A in coin-ops since 2012.  I have also used an F18A board (totally different HDL) to add VGA to my wife's centipede without modifying the original PCB other than to install a socket.  The original horz and vert signals drive the video, along with picking up the color information when it is still in digital form.  The LCD does not look as good as the CRT, IMO, but then again, the original CRT kept crapping out despite a cap-kit, new flyback, HOT, and other parts; plus is had some screen burn.  A 19" 3:4 aspect LCD fit perfectly and the game is running great.

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10 hours ago, koolmoecraig said:

This is all above my pay grade but if you were able to pull that off with a Baby Pac you'd sell a ton.

Well, at least to a handful of Baby Pac-Man owners, maybe.

 

9 hours ago, Tighe said:

I think that people would love a version with a better video portion to the game. Something more Pac-Man authentic.

IIRC Pac-Man could have 4-colors per sprite.  The F18A can easily provide that, as well as a custom palette to match the original.

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19 hours ago, matthew180 said:

Well, at least to a handful of Baby Pac-Man owners, maybe.

 

IIRC Pac-Man could have 4-colors per sprite.  The F18A can easily provide that, as well as a custom palette to match the original.

I'm a programmer by trade, but I haven't done any machine code since college and that was over 20 years ago, but I'd totally over love to give it a go! I thought that they got multiple colors per Sprite on the Colecovision by stacking sprites. I didn't know 9918 could do more than 2 color sprites!

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11 minutes ago, Tighe said:

I'm a programmer by trade, but I haven't done any machine code since college and that was over 20 years ago, but I'd totally over love to give it a go! I thought that they got multiple colors per Sprite on the Colecovision by stacking sprites. I didn't know 9918 could do more than 2 color sprites!

I'd be willing to bet that if you pull off refining the graphics and adding eyes to the ghosts that you would sell a bunch of kits.  Gauge interest on KLOV and I bet you'll be surprised.

 

Just don't mess with the ghost A.I.  The difficulty of Baby Pac is what gives it such great staying power in a home arcade.

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39 minutes ago, Tighe said:

I'm a programmer by trade, but I haven't done any machine code since college and that was over 20 years ago, but I'd totally over love to give it a go! I thought that they got multiple colors per Sprite on the Colecovision by stacking sprites. I didn't know 9918 could do more than 2 color sprites!

It can't. But the F18A can. ;)

 

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53 minutes ago, Tighe said:

I didn't know 9918 could do more than 2 color sprites!

Uhm, this is the F18A MK2 thread... ;) As Tursi mentioned, the 9918A family cannot have sprites with more than 1 color.  Layering sprites was used to add more colors, but you would quickly run into the 4-sprite-per-line limit.  The F18A removes the sprite-per-line limit, and also provides 2bpp and 3bpp color capabilities, as well as as programmable 64-entry 12-bit palette (and a lot of other enhancements).

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10 hours ago, matthew180 said:

Uhm, this is the F18A MK2 thread... ;) As Tursi mentioned, the 9918A family cannot have sprites with more than 1 color.  Layering sprites was used to add more colors, but you would quickly run into the 4-sprite-per-line limit.  The F18A removes the sprite-per-line limit, and also provides 2bpp and 3bpp color capabilities, as well as as programmable 64-entry 12-bit palette (and a lot of other enhancements).

LOL, I knew you added capabilities to the the F18A. I misunderstood that you were saying the 9918A could do more than one color.  Is it really 1 color if you have transparent too? Doesn't that count as 2? LOL. 

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I put u09 into a 6800 dissembler I found and from looking at the output it looks like it handled it right? Honestly the Assembly code I did in college was simpler with just a single processor. The vidiot board has a 6800 and 6809 in it. Seems like a fun project to play with.

891-16-u09.dasm.txt

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@matthew180, I've been getting my old TI system back up and running, and I would love to get one of your F18A Mk. 2's.  I've read a lot of the praise from people here on the original version.  Is it still possible to put my name on the waiting list, and if so, where would I do so?  I saw your web page and the comments there, but I didn't know if that was an "official" waiting list or not.

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9 hours ago, Tim Hamilton said:

@matthew180, I've been getting my old TI system back up and running, and I would love to get one of your F18A Mk. 2's.  I've read a lot of the praise from people here on the original version.  Is it still possible to put my name on the waiting list, and if so, where would I do so?  I saw your web page and the comments there, but I didn't know if that was an "official" waiting list or not.

@matthew180, if there's a waiting list, I'd like to be on it too!

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10 hours ago, Tim Hamilton said:

Is it still possible to put my name on the waiting list, and if so, where would I do so?

 

1 hour ago, hansliss said:

if there's a waiting list, I'd like to be on it too!

 

It is more of a notice list really.  It does not commit you to buying nor a quantity; it is really just a list of people I will email when the MK2 is ready.  For the first run of MK2 boards I will probably do a pre-order so everyone who wants one can get as many as they like.  After that I will try to keep some quantity always available.

 

Send me a PM here with your email, or via the contract form on my website.

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4 minutes ago, matthew180 said:

Send me a PM here with your email, or via the contract form on my website.

Contract form? Are you sure it doesn't commit you to buy? 🙂

 

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28 pages...  Anyone remember if/what the estimated cost per unit will be?  Got the money now, but with an unknown time table, I'd sort of like to know how much I'll need to try and keep a hold of.

 

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10 hours ago, matthew180 said:

Send me a PM here with your email, or via the contract form on my website.

Great!  Done, and thanks a lot for the quick response.

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On 5/2/2020 at 2:19 AM, Pheonix said:

Anyone remember if/what the estimated cost per unit will be?

Unknown at this point since the BOM is still changing on a per-revision basis, and there are now *FOUR* PCBs instead of just one, more connectors, more cables, more confusion, more complexity.  Supporting all the feature requests is adding cost for sure.  Not sure if it will meet the goal of being similar cost to the MK1, but my feeling is that the MK2 will cost more.

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On 5/2/2020 at 12:12 AM, matthew180 said:

Send me a PM here with your email, or via the contact form on my website.

 

If you send me a PM to be on the notification list, I need your email address...  You can't just say "add me", I do not have access to your email information via AtariAge, unless you give it to me.  I'm sorry, but sending PMs as a means to notify people is not an option simply due to the number of people on the list (+300).  Notifications will be via bulk BCC email, sorry, very impersonal I know, but this is a hobby and no ones time is infinite.  Even with BCC, I'm getting worried about the number of recipients, since it is getting to the size where I might get flagged for spamming.

 

Alternatively, watch the forums.  I will make announcements anywhere I can.

 

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I have been wanting a MK1 since 2017, I want both actually, but when will I be able to get a MK1?  I have been on the mailing list the whole time. 

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@retroclouds That is very cool!  But, quite a huge project itself.  I might get to that point one day. :)

 

@Tighe Not sure about the MK1, trying to keep my focus on the MK2 for now, it really needs to get finished.

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It has been a while, so I just wanted to post a quick update.  So far with the Rev-K board everything seems to be working.  I finally got around to testing the 512K SRAM and it seems to be working correctly.  I still want to do more extensive testing on it though, to make sure it is reliably performing as it should.

 

I also started working on getting the new USB interface working.  For those who did not see whatever post it was a few pages back, I decided to add a USB port to the MK2 in place of the user switches.  The reason was two-fold, 1. the USB header is actually smaller than the smallest 4-position switch I could find (and on the MK2 size matters!), and 2. USB provides a universal way to update the MK2 firmware.  The user options are still necessary with the MK2, and they will be set via the USB interface as well; I'm working on that software right now to make sure it will all work.  A side effect of having the USB interface is that the MK2 can also be powered by the USB connection, so it provides a means of troubleshooting and/or using the MK2 externally as an FPGA development board, etc.

 

So far getting the USB interface working has been pretty straight forward, and it does not look like there are any problems overall.  I still have to get the interface software more complete so all the functionality can be tested, but it is coming along.

 

Sorry, no photos for this update, there was really not much to show other than maybe screenshots of source code.

 

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4 hours ago, matthew180 said:

I also started working on getting the new USB interface working.  For those who did not see whatever post it was a few pages back, I decided to add a USB port to the MK2 in place of the user switches.  The reason was two-fold, 1. the USB header is actually smaller than the smallest 4-position switch I could find (and on the MK2 size matters!), and 2. USB provides a universal way to update the MK2 firmware.  The user options are still necessary with the MK2, and they will be set via the USB interface as well; I'm working on that software right now to make sure it will all work.  A side effect of having the USB interface is that the MK2 can also be powered by the USB connection, so it provides a means of troubleshooting and/or using the MK2 externally as an FPGA development board, etc.

 

Are you planning to have a USB port available on the 2nd board (with the VGA/HDMI port,)  Or will removing it be necessary to update the firmware or change the user options?  Not familiar off hand with the user options that will be available, are they just used to set it for the machine it will be placed in?  If so, then the second part of that is  moot point :)  If it's just the firmware, I, personally, wouldn't have a problem with giving my system a tail until the firmware becomes more stable.

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