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MrPix

New, cheaper SGM clone.

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Hi folks,

I've been working on some Adam and CV upgrades over the last several months. One of the upgrades included compatible Super Game Module™ functionality. I mean, it's not that complicated - it's just a 32K SRAM and an AY-3-8910, plus a small CPLD to act as a decoder and register to map the SRAM. Nothing novel or fancy about it at all.

Eduardo at Opcode™ has asked me to not release this. Apparently, it's his. He claims to own this really obvious and primitive design. I have an attorney on retainer. As a bit of an IP expert, she confidently stated that he owns a copyright in the PCB layout and CPLD equations, but that is all. I've never owned or possessed a Super Game Module™ and everything I know about it came from published sources - Eduardo's own programmers reference guide to using it. Therefore, I'm on solid ground to make a compatible and inter-operable device.

Opcode™'s reception has been hostile. Despite this making Opcode™'s games far more approachable...

I have therefore decided to release a low cost Super Game Module™ compatible device. It won't have a fancy label or case, or come in a pretentious made-in-Japan box. It will be 100% compatible. It will use newly written equations in a different CPLD. Infringement of intellectual property rights isn't possible using this method. Just to make this matter very decisive, I wanted to mention that I have vast quantities of 32K SRAM, CPLDs and AY-3-8910, and I am willing to sell FAR more cheaply than at market price. Whatever retail price Opcode™ charges, I will charge half that price exactly, down to cost price. I'll call it "Mega Mod™" - and also release it as open hardware with all plans, designs, schematics, gerbers and equations available for free.

 

If I get 100 sign ups, I will include a nice 3D printed case and label at no extra cost. It will match the CV, be half the depth of the Super Game Module™ and way more stylish.

Sooo, to get in line for a Mega Mod™ sign up here: https://signup.com/go/TavLTgr.

 

No commitment to buy. Estimated price $45 plus shipping. Estimated delivery: November.

I'm not going to enter into a discussion with Eduardo or any representative of Opcode Games™ but I'll happily discuss my plans and goals with anyone else.

Super Game Module™ and Opcode™ are trademarks of Opcode Games.
Mega Mod™ is a trademark of 68K Computer LLC.

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Nooo. I'm a competent EE and the main part of the work is already done. ;)

I just stand up to bullies.

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Bad move, Mr Pix. 👎 It's Ed's thing.. PLEASE don't start drama here. We've been through this clone shit already with someone else, so if you plan to stick around here on AA, I'd reconsider all of this if I were you. There's little tolerance for bootlegging Coleco stuff around here, so, Please, I ask you again, reconsider and leave it be. Opcodes SGM is a high quality product and is priced very fair, so there's really no need for all this, especially with involving lawyer's and all that nonsense.

 

If you're going to concentrate on anything, just stick with the Intellivision RGB boards that you mentioned over in the Inty section or something else hardware related... ANYTHING would be better than another SGM clone! My .02 🤷🏻‍♂️

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37 minutes ago, MrPix said:

Nooo. I'm a competent EE and the main part of the work is already done. ;)

I just stand up to bullies.

It's not that dude, it's his thing, time, effort etc.  You want to make it for your own use?  Hey, of course, you made it, totally cool.

 

But honestly your whole post screams "confrontation" and we've had enough of that over the years, we don't need any more. 

 

Especially not now, 2020 has just been one suck ass year from the start. 

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MrPix, please desist.

Edoardo worked hard to build the current homebrew scene for the colecovision. The incomes from the SGM are used to keep alive his own activities on arcade and msx ports. 

There is no glory in having reproduced an SGM, as you say it is ram, an AY8910 and a small cpld to code the mapping.

Selling the board at cost is maybe legal but it is an act of disrespect that will kill his activities.

 

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1 hour ago, SiLic0ne t0aD said:

Bad move, Mr Pix. 👎 It's Ed's thing.. PLEASE don't start drama here. We've been through this clone shit already with someone else, so if you plan to stick around here on AA, I'd reconsider all of this if I were you. There's little tolerance for bootlegging Coleco stuff around here, so, Please, I ask you again, reconsider and leave it be. Opcodes SGM is a high quality product and is priced very fair, so there's really no need for all this, especially with involving lawyer's and all that nonsense.

 

If you're going to concentrate on anything, just stick with the Intellivision RGB boards that you mentioned over in the Inty section or something else hardware related... ANYTHING would be better than another SGM clone! My .02 🤷🏻‍♂️

WHAT?

 

From what I know, ALL of their stuff comes from open source.  Most of the games they publish are unlicensed ports of old MSX games.

 

WHY is it "discouraged" for this guy to create a compatible module using his own engineered plans and publicly available chips?  Is denying the spirit here somehow wrong?

 

I'm sorry but you are just completely wrong. Opcode has not a leg to stand on.  I fully support this guy if he wants to make a coleco product and sell it.

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38 minutes ago, 128Kgames said:

It's not that dude, it's his thing, time, effort etc.  You want to make it for your own use?  Hey, of course, you made it, totally cool.

It's not about that. He put little time and effort into it. He recovered his investment completely with batch 1. He's now on batch 5. He doesn't proceed unless there's enough demand to make his costs really low. 

38 minutes ago, 128Kgames said:

But honestly your whole post screams "confrontation" and we've had enough of that over the years, we don't need any more. 

Of course it's a confrontation. I'm confronting anti-competitive behavior.

38 minutes ago, 128Kgames said:

Especially not now, 2020 has just been one suck ass year from the start.

Word. 

1 minute ago, artrag said:

MrPix, please desist.

Edoardo worked hard to build the current homebrew scene for the colecovision. The incomes from the SGM are used to keep alive his own activities on arcade and msx ports. 

You mean the guy selling all the unlicensed ports of vintage games, with the lock-in that you need to use an expensive bit of hardware only available from him and protected by peer pressure? You're literally saying I can't 'steal' it from him because he 'stole' it already.

1 minute ago, artrag said:

There is no glory in having reproduced an SGM, as you say it is ram, an AY8910 and a small cpld to code the mapping.

Selling the board at cost is maybe legal but it is an act of disrespect that will kill his activities.

I'm not doing it for the glory. I'm doing it for the community. I would prefer to be anonymous, but I'm not going to hide what I am doing or why.

When has it EVER been good for a market if the incumbent leader in that market gets to decide who is a player and who isn't?

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, artrag said:

MrPix, please desist.

Edoardo worked hard to build the current homebrew scene for the colecovision. The incomes from the SGM are used to keep alive his own activities on arcade and msx ports. 

There is no glory in having reproduced an SGM, as you say it is ram, an AY8910 and a small cpld to code the mapping.

Selling the board at cost is maybe legal but it is an act of disrespect that will kill his activities.

 

 

Please desist?  Are you his lawyer or something?  If not, that takes some pretty brass ones.

 

 

How will it kill his activities?  The SGM is like ten years old at this point.  You can only buy it once in a while when there is a run of them.  There are a bunch of cartridges that won't run without it.  If there is another source of these things, it might very well encourage more games.  Frankly, I don't think anyone is that spiteful that they would do it at cost basically in perpetuity.

 

 

Edited by christo930
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4 minutes ago, MrPix said:

You mean the guy selling all the unlicensed ports of vintage games, with the lock-in that you need to use an expensive bit of hardware only available from him and protected by peer pressure? You're literally saying I can't 'steal' it from him because he 'stole' it already.

THIS^^^^^

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I think there isn't any real market anymore as most people already have one or the phoenix which has it bult in no matter if you make them or not.

 

perhaps something else.

 

a pointing device such as a mouse/lightgun or drawing tablet

a bank switching pcb up to or beyond 512kb available all the time cuz i always run out.

a proper text to speech card. 

 

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Just now, digress said:

I think there isn't any real market anymore as most people already have one or the phoenix which has it bult in no matter if you make them or not.

Indeed. The market is saturated. This is why it has taken so long to get enough pre-orders to do batch 5 and why it "may be the last batch".

Just now, digress said:

perhaps something else.

 

a pointing device such as a mouse/lightgun or drawing tablet

For MM2 (my SGM2) you'd be looking at a pair of mirrored controller inputs that have a software defined pinout, so you can configure it as Genesis, Atari, Amiga, whatever you want.

Just now, digress said:

a bank switching pcb up to or beyond 512kb available all the time cuz i always run out.

I did a 16MB expansion for the Adam, but found out the SGM used the second IO port for memory paging instead for memory switching, which conflicts with Coleco's vision. Granted, they didn't anticipate Adam users' needs or future designs, but it was an inconsiderate move, considering they only used 1 bit, and they used 1 bit of another IO port too.

Just now, digress said:

a proper text to speech card. 

In progress. I'll likely have the choice to add this to the board as a build time option for maybe $10 or so.

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I think you are going to make some great additions to the community and clearly you know what you are doing.

 

I would recommend reading through this thread here first though so you can better understand why I think it might be better to make something new rather than this.

 

 

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I will read this thread when I get back from a couple of hours drive to clear my wife's head. Lockdown is killing us, and we need to go breath some fresh air and walk in some woods.

Back in a few hours.

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13 minutes ago, MrPix said:

It's not about that. He put little time and effort into it. He recovered his investment completely with batch 1. He's now on batch 5. He doesn't proceed unless there's enough demand to make his costs really low. 

Of course it's a confrontation. I'm confronting anti-competitive behavior.

Word. 

You mean the guy selling all the unlicensed ports of vintage games, with the lock-in that you need to use an expensive bit of hardware only available from him and protected by peer pressure? You're literally saying I can't 'steal' it from him because he 'stole' it already.

I'm not doing it for the glory. I'm doing it for the community. I would prefer to be anonymous, but I'm not going to hide what I am doing or why.

When has it EVER been good for a market if the incumbent leader in that market gets to decide who is a player and who isn't?

He put a lot of time and effort into it.  I don't think you've been around here long enough to make that kind of statement.  Unless you've gone the route he has, you haven't a clue how much he invested in it.  I don't get the feel you're confronting "anti-competitive" behavior, rather your post sounds like you wanted to produce something someone else already had, and when you received some push back, decided "well I'll show him and release my own anyway!"  You're doing it for you, come one, admit it.  You can say you're doing it for the community, but be real.  And good for a market?  Come on, this is a hobby for most of us, this isn't Microsoft vs Sony vs Nintendo.  Don't become another Cardillo please...

12 minutes ago, christo930 said:

 

Please desist?  Are you his lawyer or something?  If not, that takes some pretty brass ones.

 

 

How will it kill his activities?  The SGM is like ten years old at this point.  You can only buy it once in a while when there is a run of them.  There are a bunch of cartridges that won't run without it.  If there is another source of these things, it might very well encourage more games.  Frankly, I don't think anyone is that spiteful that they would do it at cost basically in perpetuity.

 

 

There is another source, and its licensed, its called the Phoenix.  And Opcode is making more SGM's so again, no need for this.  

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18 minutes ago, digress said:

I think there isn't any real market anymore as most people already have one or the phoenix which has it bult in no matter if you make them or not.

 

perhaps something else.

 

a pointing device such as a mouse/lightgun or drawing tablet

a bank switching pcb up to or beyond 512kb available all the time cuz i always run out.

a proper text to speech card. 

 

A text to speech ad on for the Coleco would be cool, I know its been talked about being added to other devices over the years but I would totally get behind someone making a "ColecoVoice!" (feel free to use that!) 

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Yeah not really thinking this will do well.  The juicebox bullshit created enough drama, we don't need more.  Your attitude honestly seems in line with the person who made the juicebox.  Not sure how many you think you will sell but most of us, I think, are up to paying more for a known, trusted and quality product like Eduardos SGM than give any money to someone spewing venom and pretending they do it "for the community".  You may want to try your hand at another product.  Just my opinion.

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2 minutes ago, 128Kgames said:

A text to speech ad on for the Coleco would be cool, I know its been talked about being added to other devices over the years but I would totally get behind someone making a "ColecoVoice!" (feel free to use that!) 

It's gimicky. Speech rarely adds much to a game.  Though it might be kind of cool for a Berzerk port to have the same speech as the arcade original.

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A direct quote from MrPix on 06/18/20 (full post found HERE)

 

"I don't have any incentive to make an SGM. Anyhow, I have better ideas that make the SGM look like a toy ;)"

 

Yet here we are, with what I understand to be  a direct clone.  Why the 180?

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1 minute ago, christo930 said:

It's gimicky. Speech rarely adds much to a game.  Though it might be kind of cool for a Berzerk port to have the same speech as the arcade original.

Oh, totally gimmicky, but who doesn't love gimmicky?  I bought the steering wheel add on back in the day and it supported what, 1 game?  I don't think I drove anything other than the Turbo it came with.  That being said, I love using the AtariVox with my Vectrex.  

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I see, you are frustrated. You are frustrated because I don't want your help. You are frustrated because no matter which super duper device you can come up with, it is useless without games. I am not supporting you, I don't think CollectorVision will be supporting you either since they have their own console, and while I can't speak for Pixelboy, I have a feeling you won't get support there either. So you are frustrated because you can't get games. First you approach me cordially, then you threaten to compete with me if I don't support you, then you move into revenge. You can't get games, so the only thing you can do is to copy something that already exists, to use the games that already exist. That is disappoint for such a brilliant engineer you like to brag about being... And I also have this feeling you are damaging your reputation here beyond repair with all of this.

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On the simple side, without drama or anything.. Do we need another sgm/clone? I mean it's already covered in software emulation, the phoenix, and the first sgm.

 

 

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Hi MrPix 

I would suggest you move with another project
Doing the similar projects would not serve the communty well 

Of course you're free to pursue with your SGM clone, but I would suggest you to bring something new to the community
In the past, there's a guy who tried to do a SGM clone, he ended up being banned here (and on all CV Facebook page as well) 

Sure, you can keep going with your project, but I don't think it would be welcomed here and will probably cause useless drama.

I had my shares of ''troubles'' with Eduardo, but there's one think you can't deny about him, Ed is very passionated and dedicated to the ColecoVision community, and I respect that (and you should too)

Anyway, like I already said, you're free to do whatever you want
But the community will react according to your decicision to keep going or not 
 

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4 minutes ago, retroillucid said:

Hi MrPix 

I would suggest you move with another project
Doing the similar projects would not serve the communty well 

Of course you're free to pursue with your SGM clone, but I would suggest you to bring something new to the community
In the past, there's a guy who tried to do a SGM clone, he ended up being banned here (and on all CV Facebook page as well) 

Sure, you can keep going with your project, but I don't think it would be welcomed here and will probably cause useless drama.

I had my shares of ''troubles'' with Eduardo, but there's one think you can't deny about him, Ed is very passionated and dedicated to the ColecoVision community, and I respect that (and you should too)

Anyway, like I already said, you're free to do whatever you want
But the community will react according to your decicision to keep going or not 
 

The problems with the phoenix are cost and TV connection.  They are like 250 dollars and cannot connect to an NTSC TV.  I use my classic game systems exclusively with CRTs when not using computer emulators.  Even if I wanted to play the games on my flat screen, I have a hard time justifying spending 250 dollars on a Colecovision.

 

There are long periods of time when there are no SGMs available.  People keep saying there is no demand for them. To whatever degree that might be true, it's a stretch to say therefore you shouldn't do it. It's just a rationalization to say don't do this because it hurts the SGM guys. This also runs into the assumption that these things will be made and sold indefinitely.  Having additional sources of very low volume hardware is a good thing.  People are just getting offended for some unfathomable reason.

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1 minute ago, christo930 said:

The problems with the phoenix are cost and TV connection.  They are like 250 dollars and cannot connect to an NTSC TV.  I use my classic game systems exclusively with CRTs when not using computer emulators.  Even if I wanted to play the games on my flat screen, I have a hard time justifying spending 250 dollars on a Colecovision.

 

 

Price is $199 + shipping 
SMG is built-in ($75) 
F18A is built-in ($90)
No need for multicart ($100) 

Maybe the Phoenix is just not for you, that's it
 

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