Jump to content
Mehridian Sanders

New_User_Request

Recommended Posts

Salutations all,

 

I am new to the world of the TI-99/4a, I purchased one, which should be arriving tomorrow, because of the sleekness of design and the fact that it would be a fun project for me to revive. I wanted one when I was a kid, and now it seems that fate has granted my wish, for the small cost of $28.75. 

 

I got my Bachelor's in Elec. Eng. and went to work for a tech company in Folsom CA. Since I began working there, it was seemingly a derivative of what I wanted to do when I went to school. I miss the Voltmeter, the soldering iron, and the smell of components removed from a board. I was the proud owner of the Commodore 64, long long ago. Now it seems I am to restore this TI-99/4a. I have been working with Raspberry Pi's and making smaller gadgets for the house. including trying to get a old 3 section serial port keyboard functional. 

 

Aside from doing JediMatt's Sidecar, are there any recommendations as to where I should go for a routine bring up of this sleek system?

 

Thank you all kindly for your criticism and advice,

 

M.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Mehridian Sanders said:

Salutations all,

 

I am new to the world of the TI-99/4a, I purchased one, which should be arriving tomorrow, because of the sleekness of design and the fact that it would be a fun project for me to revive. I wanted one when I was a kid, and now it seems that fate has granted my wish, for the small cost of $28.75. 

 

I got my Bachelor's in Elec. Eng. and went to work for a tech company in Folsom CA. Since I began working there, it was seemingly a derivative of what I wanted to do when I went to school. I miss the Voltmeter, the soldering iron, and the smell of components removed from a board. I was the proud owner of the Commodore 64, long long ago. Now it seems I am to restore this TI-99/4a. I have been working with Raspberry Pi's and making smaller gadgets for the house. including trying to get a old 3 section serial port keyboard functional. 

 

Aside from doing JediMatt's Sidecar, are there any recommendations as to where I should go for a routine bring up of this sleek system?

 

Thank you all kindly for your criticism and advice,

 

M.

Welcome to AtariAge.  You're coming on board with a real TI-99/4A, just as I'm leaving most of my real hardware behind.  We could have been neighbors at one time, as I lived in Orangevale, next door to Folsom until December of 2008.  Due to health issues my ability to maintain TI & Geneve hardware has severely tanked, so now I will almost be MAME emulation only.  Although, I do intend to keep my SNUG TI-99/4P system in the hopes that I will find someone to repair my EVPC card.  Years ago I used MESS for emulation as it was the only one that supported TI-99/4A, SNUG TI-99/4P and Geneve systems.  Now MAME has pretty much taken over those systems.  It too, has been a slow learning process for me, but I'm very determined to continue a few software development projects; mainly for the SNUG TI-99/4P system, of course.

 

With your background I'm sure you will build and enjoy your ideal TI-99/4A system for many years to come.  I wish you all the best.

 

Bill

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! Read a bit on the various threads to see what is going on in the community (there is quite a lot), which will lead you to a lot of interesting questions. More engineering types are always welvome, as that increases the number of folks who can potentially fix old hardware or designe new things to amuse the masses.  :)  Once again, welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!  I would say that that there is a lot of utility in getting a Final Grom.  It greatly reduces wear and tear on the cartridge port and gives access to lots of great programs easily.  Just make sure you don't have a QI version of the console. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all need the soldering iron and the tin, beyond the oscilloscope and more ..... Here you have a lot to read .....welcome.... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Mehridian Sanders said:

Aside from doing JediMatt's Sidecar, are there any recommendations as to where I should go for a routine bring up of this sleek system?

Welcome! My favorite info/links and go-to collections:

Thierry Nouspikel's site is a good source on components, hardware parameters, theory of operation, and DIY projects: http://www.nouspikel.com/ti99/titechpages.htm

Static pages of Ron Reuter's is a good source on history, peripherals, schematics, and DIY upgrades: http://www.mainbyte.com/ti99/

Rich Polivka's site is a good source on history, cross-referenced database of databases, and literature: http://99er.net/

 

... and of course the pinned forums here https://atariage.com/forums/forum/164-ti-994a-computers/ and here https://atariage.com/forums/forum/119-ti-994a-development/

Doug

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, LASooner said:

I agree, you need a Final Grom to get the most out of the TI

I am looking forward to mine.  I am eager to start trying to program this beast, and being able to make a custom cart image quickly and easily looks handy as hell.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/13/2019 at 2:36 PM, FDOS said:

Welcome to AtariAge.  You're coming on board with a real TI-99/4A, just as I'm leaving most of my real hardware behind.  We could have been neighbors at one time, as I lived in Orangevale, next door to Folsom until December of 2008.  Due to health issues my ability to maintain TI & Geneve hardware has severely tanked, so now I will almost be MAME emulation only.  Although, I do intend to keep my SNUG TI-99/4P system in the hopes that I will find someone to repair my EVPC card.  Years ago I used MESS for emulation as it was the only one that supported TI-99/4A, SNUG TI-99/4P and Geneve systems.  Now MAME has pretty much taken over those systems.  It too, has been a slow learning process for me, but I'm very determined to continue a few software development projects; mainly for the SNUG TI-99/4P system, of course.

 

With your background I'm sure you will build and enjoy your ideal TI-99/4A system for many years to come.  I wish you all the best.

 

Bill

Thank you kindly to all,

 

Fortunately, after a wild fiasco with the USPS, the TI will be arriving today... supposedly. I was also able to procure a dark purple "Parsec" cartridge, so we will see how this goes. The seller made no guarantees about "working condition", but I figured, if I had to repair it to working condition.... what better way to become familiar with the system. 

On 9/13/2019 at 10:25 PM, LASooner said:

I agree, you need a Final Grom to get the most out of the TI

This seems to be the consensus. I will definitely be getting one.

 

and .... it has finally arrived!! My wife was gracious enough to open it. She says that it looks like " an old laptop ". I truly do love her.

 

More when I get home from work.

 

Thank you all for the warm welcome!

 

M.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am considering an upgrade to the 2 cassette cable from the single cassette cable I currently have.
(I picked up ANOTHER cheap walmart ONN cassette recorder. It will be much easier to configure cassettes with the FINDEX program with 2 cassettes, so I can quickly load the indexer.)

Should I go ahead with that plan, do you want/need a cassette cable?  Without some kind of storage device, the system is kind of a pain to use aside from cartridges. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fine with me. I can use the setter routine to move the tape, then save programs to cassette 2. :P

 

The reading of the index is optional with the FINDEX program.  It's default mode is to seek to an index, which does not require a read. (Fixed temporal indexes).

 

So- Keep index routine on cassette 1, and load between pulling wav files in. Save wav file data to cassette 2. A simple poke here and there will make the program work on cassette 2 instead of cassette 1, at least as far as seeking to indexes is concerned. 

 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The deal is that it simply pulls motor control high, requests that you press FF, then puts it low for a fixed interval of time (fixed temporal indexing) in order to set the tape to the next program position.  A CD in a player will not reliably FF like that.  (But putting WAV data on a CD as a track is an interesting idea. 44100khz @ 16bit resolution is more than adequate.)  This is for setting up actual audio cassettes with multiple programs on them, for people without a minute counter. (the cheap walmart ONN recorders I have lack a minute counter. However, the fixed temporal indexing of the FINDEX program works just fine to reliably seek to the start of each program, at least so far.)

 

This would let me get many programs on cassettes easily. that way I don't have to fumble around with my home-made audio lead being connected to my laptop, played through VLC with the audio at 125%, etc... I can just use the tape indexer to move the tape to the right index, then do the needful.

 

Since I would need a 2 cassette cable to do this, (and already have a legit original 1 cassette cable that I would then not need) I can be a good netizen and just ship it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, wierd_w said:

I am considering an upgrade to the 2 cassette cable from the single cassette cable I currently have.
(I picked up ANOTHER cheap walmart ONN cassette recorder. It will be much easier to configure cassettes with the FINDEX program with 2 cassettes, so I can quickly load the indexer.)

Should I go ahead with that plan, do you want/need a cassette cable?  Without some kind of storage device, the system is kind of a pain to use aside from cartridges. 

Thank you kindly ! I do not know yet. it seems that there is still much to do to bring my new/old friend up to speed. 

 

I did find out that it has the mechanical keyboard as opposed to the other.

 

starting a new thread on the restoration and cleaning.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

Well o.k., but a digital recorder(they're really cheap) already has indexing... plus I just say the program name into the mic. right before each leader. Wait time, 2 sec.

:grin:

Sure-- There are even shoebox cassette decks that have a fancy USB port on them to read digital files off the USB stick even.  walmart.com carries them.

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Naxa-NPB-300-Portable-Cassette-Recorder-Digital-Converter/529348725

 

Neat little switch and everything.  However, the ONN one was right there in the store, and I could get it that day. :P  Pick which kind of convenience you want.  I resisted the purchase because the audio format is MP3, not WAV.  I dont know how the compression routine will mangle the data being put down.

Edited by wierd_w
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Naxa cassette recorder looks interesting. I hadn't seen one with USB before. Looks like it will only record to USB and not play the files from USB through the amp and speaker/earphone.

 

I still have my TI data recorder with tape counter. Like Home Automation I unplug the Mic cable and speak the program name at the start and end of it; also a hand-written note with any details like what cart is needed and the index counter's number. By partially depressing levers, I can move the tape at a faster clip and still hear audio. Zoom it ahead while listening for the steady tone or my sped-up chipmunk voice.

 

I made a dongle with a meter movement, plus jacks & plugs on short wires. A diode in series with the meter changes the AC audio to a steady DC voltage that lets the meter act as a playback level indicator. One of the added jacks has a resistor for a reduced volume monitor. Set the playback for the proper load volume using the meter and listen in via the monitor.

-Ed

LoadMeter cassette.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The turn off to me, is the number of people reporting negative reviews of the product.

 

However, the user manual says it DOES do playback from the USB device.

http://www.naxa.com/downloads/NPB300EnglishManual.pdf

 

Quote

USB Play and Recording from MIC

1. Insert the USB device to USB port on the top of unit.

2. Set USB/TAPE(OFF) switch to USB.

3. Press PLAY/PAUSE button to playback music from USB device. Press PLAY/PAUSE button again to stop play,at meantime the red USB indicator will blink once about a second.

4. Press and hold the PLAY/PAUSE/REC button to record from the MIC(built-in), the red REC indicator will keep blinking rapidly. Press the PLAY/PAUSE/REC button again to stop Recording.

5. Then press and hold the PLAY/PAUSE/REC button once again to play music or the sound recording from USB device. Press PLAY/PAUSE button again to stop play. -

7 - 6. Set USB/TAPE(OFF) button to TAPE(OFF) to stop USB playing mode and to TAPE mode.

 

The controls are clunky and foolishly put the playback and record functions together in a way that is easy to mess up a recording.  (If you hold in the play/pause button, it starts recording!)

Since it has track selection buttons (but no display to show which track) it would be easy to put one program per track. Again though, Not sure if it supports .wav or not.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So ... does the power supply (pc 230w) go directly past the power board into the main board? Does the TV matter? This vizio has av connections.

 

*sorry just did a power on test and got no sound no pic 

Edited by Mehridian Sanders
Clarity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So ... does the power supply (pc 230w) go directly past the power board into the main board? Does the TV matter? This vizio has av connections.
 
*sorry just did a power on test and got no sound no pic 
Cleared up in another topic

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...