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CollectorVision Phoenix Pre-Order is now live!

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It looks fantastic! Wishing for Adam and... other cores too. Will be interesting to see the continued development of the FPGA cores!

 

awesome to see an ADAM core. I know we got Atari 2600. Any plans to support Atari 7800 as there were some cool arcade replications in that generation (i..e Joust)

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I don't understand enough about how FPGA chips work... I guess you set them up so that they not only have a CPU core, but also have sub-cores for various support chips. Like if it was an Atari 8-bit, you would have the 6502, plus Antic chip, etc. Or a C64 would be the 6510, plus a VIC-II and SID sub-core. So the ADAM would need to be a Z80, plus the 6801 sub-cores (because you already have video and sound chips on the board already)... or would you even need to simulate the 6801 chips? I can't seem to wrap my mind around how it would work (but I'm sleep deprived, so that's that). Would the Phoenix hook up to a USB inkjet/laser printer to simulate the daisywheel, or would you not bother with printing? Also, I hope someone produces a ADAM keyboard interface box so we can use the ol' keyboard on the Phoenix... that would be so sweet!

 

Sorry, actually falling asleep while typing this out. Going to bed now. Sorry if it doesn't make sense.

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awesome to see an ADAM core. I know we got Atari 2600. Any plans to support Atari 7800 as there were some cool arcade replications in that generation (i..e Joust)

 

Here's our thoughts on this...

 

We want to add as many cores as possible

So I guess you can say it's on our checklist ;)

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Here's a game we are working on for the Phoenix

It's going to work ONLY with Phoenix and will still be in our ''Game Wafer Pack'' serie

 

Game Wafer Pack are enhanced ColecoVision games, with enhanced graphics, music and more screens, features and extra levels

post-11933-0-27739700-1547875829.png

Edited by retroillucid
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I would think everyone ordering already has Sydney Hunter so Im just wondering about this. Is there an option to not include the game or have an alternate choice?

 

And what exactly is the SNES controller being offered? It seems the best SNES controller to use would be the Super Famicom NTT Network one which I assume is not the one being offered due to price/availability. Itd be neat if an option was to forgo game in favor of NTT controller.

 

Regardless I plan to purchase Phoenix sooner I hope rather than later. Luckily I have two empty HDMI ports still available in my setup but Im going to somehow have to free up a power socket. Which begs the question what does the power cable look like? Will it be streamlined cable or will it have box at middle or end like original?

Edited by rodge2001

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I would think everyone ordering already has Sydney Hunter so Im just wondering about this. Is there an option to not include the game or have an alternate choice?

It's a new Sydney Hunter game that's not been released yet.

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I don't understand enough about how FPGA chips work... I guess you set them up so that they not only have a CPU core, but also have sub-cores for various support chips. Like if it was an Atari 8-bit, you would have the 6502, plus Antic chip, etc. Or a C64 would be the 6510, plus a VIC-II and SID sub-core. So the ADAM would need to be a Z80, plus the 6801 sub-cores (because you already have video and sound chips on the board already)... or would you even need to simulate the 6801 chips? I can't seem to wrap my mind around how it would work (but I'm sleep deprived, so that's that). ...

 

Field Programmable Gate Array == FPGA. A chip full of logic gates that you can reload in the field. The term "programming" refers to loading the chip, not the process used to design the bitstream that the FPGA loads. People working with FPGAs use a Hardware Description Language (HDL) like VHDL or Verilog to "describe hardware", you are not "programming" in the sense that you think of with computers.

 

Think of an FPGA as having a very large number of logic gates that you can easily arrange in any manner you like. You use an HDL to describe your circuits, and tools to "synthesize" your description into connections between the logic circuits inside the FPGA. If you describe enough logic in the right way, you can get an FPGA to behave like a Z80 CPU, or whatever other circuit you want. The process is similar in idea to code, compile, link, run on a computer, however with the FPGA you are truly working with hardware electronic circuits. Another way to think of it would be like having a very large amount of 74LSxxx TTL logic chips that you can easily connect in any way you want by using software instead of physically breadboarding the circuit.

 

These days, the number of gates in an FPGA is massive compared to the amount of transistors used in older 8-bit and 16-bit CPUs (and even modern 32 and 64-bit CPUs), so you can describe a Z80 CPU, and all the other support chips and glue-logic in a retro-computer, and the FPGA "becomes" that computer when you load the bitstream into it. When you describe a particular circuit, like a CPU, those are generally referred to as a "core", and lots of companies sell cores to people working with FPGAs (and lots of people write open source cores too). This is not unlike buying a CPU and other chips to make a computer or other circuit.

 

FPGAs come in various sizes, typically measured in the number of "logic cells" they provide, and it is hard to correlate an FPGAs logic to what kinds of circuits will fit inside it. However, suffice to say, smaller FPGAs available at hobbyist prices ($20 to $25 for the FPGA) have enough logic to easily fit a retro-computer plus lots of extras. FPGAs also get very expensive for the really big ones, and you can easily spend $1000 on the FPGA alone! I think that is why many people think FPGAs are too expensive to use. But like anything, it depends on what you use.

 

For example, the Phoenix is using a Xilinx Spartan-6 LX16 FPGA. The LX16 has 14,579 Logic Cells and costs about $25. With the LX16 you can fit the Z80 CPU, F18A core, HDMI video circuits, audio core, joystick logic, ROM data, and the other miscellaneous glue logic to make an enhanced CV computer. The current design is using about 80% of the LX16's logic resources. If you step up to the LX45 FPGA (about $35 or so), this same design would be about 38% of the FPGAs resources.

 

So, as you can see, low cost FPGAs are a great match for recreating retro computers. Also, since an FPGA is truly hardware, it is not "emulation" or "simulation" like you think of with software emulators. With the FPGA, you are doing actual hardware reproductions of the original hardware, down to the level of the individual transistors inside the original chips! That does not mean you can't get it wrong though. Making a CPU core for an FPGA is not exactly trivial, and you can certainly get something wrong and your core might function slightly differently from the original chip.

 

Also, since the FPGA loads its configuration when it powers on, the configuration can be changed (hence the "field programmable" part of the name) and your FPGA can become a completely different circuit. This is what allows a system like the Phoenix to be a CV, ADAM, 2600, or whatever. It cannot be all those systems at once, but it can reload its bitstream to become a different computer.

 

... Would the Phoenix hook up to a USB inkjet/laser printer to simulate the daisywheel, or would you not bother with printing? Also, I hope someone produces a ADAM keyboard interface box so we can use the ol' keyboard on the Phoenix... that would be so sweet!

 

Sorry, actually falling asleep while typing this out. Going to bed now. Sorry if it doesn't make sense.

No, it does not work like that. To use USB the computer described in the FPGA's circuits would have to be able to talk to the USB hardware at a low level, and the software running on the computer would have to be programmed to use the USB hardware and talk to the device at the other end of the USB link. This would be the same as trying to add a USB interface to a real CV. Having and FPGA does not make this any easier. Even if you have the hardware, you still need a lot of software to make it work. Modern computers make using USB devices seem quick and simple, but the hardware and software to support being able to just "plug in" a USB device is very complex.

Edited by matthew180
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Here's a game we are working on for the Phoenix

It's going to work ONLY with Phoenix and will still be in our ''Game Wafer Pack'' serie

 

Game Wafer Pack are enhanced ColecoVision games, with enhanced graphics, music and more screens, features and extra levels

So I guess something like these? https://www.amazon.com/Pack-Wafer-media-ColecoVison-Atari-ColecoVision/dp/B07B4SS6VG

I presume the savings will be passed onto us and for me, cheaper games means more homebrew purchases! Win win. Changing the subject ever so slightly, I haven't downloaded any roms yet, being strictly old school with actual carts but once I have my Phoenix, I intend to use that SD card slot. Just hope downloading these roms is easy for a technophobic, computer illiterate like me.

Edited by insertclevernamehere
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So I guess something like these? https://www.amazon.com/Pack-Wafer-media-ColecoVison-Atari-ColecoVision/dp/B07B4SS6VG

I presume the savings will be passed onto us and for me, cheaper games means more homebrew purchases! Win win. Changing the subject ever so slightly, I haven't downloaded any roms yet, being strictly old school with actual carts but once I have my Phoenix, I intend to use that SD card slot. Just hope downloading these roms is easy for a technophobic, computer illiterate like me.

Nothing special about those, just standard sd cards

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Nothing special about those, just standard sd cards

 

OMG, how is that "wafer guy" keeps popping up everywhere trying to convince the world that his "wafers" are somehow different from any other standard SD cards or SD Multi-cart in existence? :D :-D

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Nothing special about those, just standard sd cards

I'm just trying to gather what is meant by "game wafer pack" as mentioned by retroillucid and found the above link when I googled it. Yes, they look like SD cards and assumed that is what CollectorVision is going to release some games on, which should be cheaper than carts and therefore cheaper games for us. I never said anything about them being better than SD cards.

 

OMG, how is that "wafer guy" keeps popping up everywhere trying to convince the world that his "wafers" are somehow different from any other standard SD cards or SD Multi-cart in existence? :D :-D

Um, who are you calling "wafer guy"? I hope not me. Never mentioned them before and I'm clearly just trying to clarify what is meant by "game wafer pack".

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It's a new Sydney Hunter game that's not been released yet.

 

Thank you for clearing that up for me. In that case the boxed version is what I expect to order.

 

I'm anxiously awaiting a picture of the real injected molded Standard edition. Although at the moment the Adam version looks strikingly good making it a tough choice between the two. It's hard convincing myself to not order both and that way get an unboxed Sydney Hunter as well for the loose pile. Although my wallet is telling me that one standard system/game is enough.

Edited by rodge2001
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Thank you for clearing that up for me. In that case the boxed version is what I expect to order.

I'm anxiously awaiting a picture of the real injected molded Standard edition. Although at the moment the Adam version looks strikingly good making it a tough choice between the two. It's hard convincing myself to not order both and that way get an unboxed Sydney Hunter as well for the loose pile. Although my wallet is telling me that one standard system/game is enough.

We should have pictures of the standard system early next week. There was an issue with the wrong color on the bottom of the case. We will be getting new ones in a couple of days.

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Um, who are you calling "wafer guy"? I hope not me. Never mentioned them before and I'm clearly just trying to clarify what is meant by "game wafer pack".

 

No, no... not you! lol Just someone that keeps coming up over and over again... because... "wafers!" :D :P

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The Game Wafer Pack are pretty much what Coleco had in mind back in the days (see attached pic)

The Phoenix Wafer Packs are designed exclusively for the Phoenix and won't work on a stock ColecoVision, even if you own a SGM

They contains stunning advanced graphics, music and alot more features!

 

post-11933-0-66609500-1547951191_thumb.png

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About the Phoenix Wafer Packs

 

As an example, a former Coleco employee gave us photos of unreleased Super Games (From the 80s)
Never before seen stuff!

Yeah, some former Coleco employees are onboard with us with the Phoenix Console ;)

Stay tuned, there's way more good stuff to come! :)

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Those screenshots are stunning.

 

Can be possible to build a phoenix module for Colecovision?

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Those screenshots are stunning.

 

Can be possible to build a phoenix module for Colecovision?

 

Could be, but we only want to focus on the Phoenix for now

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About the Phoenix Wafer Packs

 

As an example, a former Coleco employee gave us photos of unreleased Super Games (From the 80s)

Never before seen stuff!

Yeah, some former Coleco employees are onboard with us with the Phoenix Console ;)

 

Stay tuned, there's way more good stuff to come! :)

 

Tempest is correct, it's not a dump of the cartridge version that the software title "Coleco Presents: Software for the ADAM" is referring to.

 

What exactly does "considering the other things on that page" mean anyway?

 

Anyway, here is part of a page from the the 1st edition of the 1984 Coleco Electronics dealer catalog. While the 1982 and 1983 Coleco Press Kits have a lot of great stuff in them as well as flyers, the two 1984 catalogs are jaw-dropping for any CV & ADAM fans... especially the 2nd edition with numerous Arcade Cabinet boxes pictured.

 

What about Super Star Trek? NIAD posted an advertisement

showing this game as part of the Adam Super Game Pack collection. Any idea

If this could be developed? That sit down arcade "captain chair" version

with actual actor voices and movie sound effects was awesome. The standard Star Trek CV game is

ok. I wounder what improvements the Super Game had?

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What about Super Star Trek? NIAD posted an advertisement

showing this game as part of the Adam Super Game Pack collection. Any idea

If this could be developed? That sit down arcade "captain chair" version

with actual actor voices and movie sound effects was awesome. The standard Star Trek CV game is

ok. I wounder what improvements the Super Game had?

 

It can definitely be done

 

Do you have the direct link to what NIAD posted?

I would be curious to check this out

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The voices can be done. Any one screen can be done but the fluid movement of vector lines is the problem.

 

The biggest problem is the colecovision is a bitmap tile based graphic system and not a vector based system. using f18a it might be possible as the core is faster it's not really meant for it though either as they are bitmap based.

 

This reminded me though of a 2 disk star trek game I programmed in the 80's that only about 5 people ever seen for sanyo mbc 550. I might have to dig that out and make a video. Wonder if it would be hard to convert over. was 2 - 360kb disks

 

What about Super Star Trek? NIAD posted an advertisement
showing this game as part of the Adam Super Game Pack collection. Any idea
If this could be developed? That sit down arcade "captain chair" version
with actual actor voices and movie sound effects was awesome. The standard Star Trek CV game is
ok. I wounder what improvements the Super Game had?

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And what exactly is the SNES controller being offered? It seems the best SNES controller to use would be the Super Famicom NTT Network one which I assume is not the one being offered due to price/availability. Itd be neat if an option was to forgo game in favor of NTT controller.

The SNES controller that can be purchased with the system is just a generic standard SNES/SFC controller not the NTT. You are correct about the price/availability being an issue as they go for about 60-70 on ebay.

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About the Phoenix Wafer Packs

 

As an example, a former Coleco employee gave us photos of unreleased Super Games (From the 80s)

Never before seen stuff!

 

Yeah, some former Coleco employees are onboard with us with the Phoenix Console ;)

 

Stay tuned, there's way more good stuff to come! :)

 

Good god! I can't wait to see these pics! This is exciting news for sure!

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