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djmat56

Atari 1010 Rambit upgrade Ebay find

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Hi all. Just thought I would share my latest find and experimentation. Found a seller on Ebay last week selling a spare Rambit upgrade. I had one years back when I had my original 800xl. Got it a few days ago and tonight got round to installing it in one of my working 1010s.

 

Worked first time! Have used the Turgen system to create a few Rambit tapes and, again, worked first time. As an example, I now have a copy of Master of the Lamps on tape (was never released on tape) and it loads in 2 minutes 7 seconds.

 

I know tapes are deemed bad but just love the nostalgia tapes bring to an 8-bit machine

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Very cool. As far as I know, there were no turbo-tape upgrades available in the U.S. back in the day. Most people just moved to disk drives sooner or later. Even if they cost as much or more than the computer. The U.S. market pretty much reconciled to needing a computer "system" which at minimal required a disk drive too, especially after software houses stopped making tape software. But I did start off with just the 130XE, a week later I bought a third-party tape drive as it was still a 3rd the price of Atari's tape drives. But I had a 1050 before I'd had the computer a year. Having a strong nostalgia for those short days of tape drive use, I've always kept one around with my Atari, even if I used/use disk drive or modern media loaders 95% of the time. I love using the hardware as much as the software, and I love to upgrade it. So a couple of years ago I set out on a quest, with help from @baktra and Nir Dary and others to build my own Rambit from scratch, and added a couple other bells and whistles to my 1010 at the same time, like auxiliary inputs and an LED that flashes only when it's a Rambit tape loading (and a power switch, I hate devices without power switches). I love using my 1010, and I can be patient, but if I can make any kind of drive load faster, I will.

 

Also using Turgen System, I've started a modest collection, so far, of some of the newer homebrew releases, especially Spectrum ports. I record the standard cassette version to the front, and Rambit copies on the backside. I also record Rambit copies to the backside of my modest original tape collection too. Of course with Rambit and other tape loaders, there isn't much time to listen to anything on the audio track while the program loads.

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Posted (edited)

3300-3600 baud is really great. Can you make a video? I would like to see it in action.

Edited by archeocomp
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2 hours ago, archeocomp said:

3300-3600 baud is really great. Can you make a video? I would like to see it in action.

No problem.  Will sort a video out later tonight

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5 hours ago, djmat56 said:

No problem.  Will sort a video out later tonight

Cannot wait for the video...

Which loader are you going to demonstrate? Original, Modern or Modern 2?

The source code of the modern loaders is available too.

 

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2 hours ago, baktra said:

Cannot wait for the video...

Which loader are you going to demonstrate? Original, Modern or Modern 2?

The source code of the modern loaders is available too.

 

I've been using Turgen system to generate the tapes so it will be the modern loader. Is there more than one? Turgen just lets me choose the bouncy line colours and thats it unless I'm missing something 

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Here you go. Short video showing the Rambit in action....and with a game never officially released on tape!

 

 

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Wow...less than 2 minutes!

That's impressive.

 

@djmat56can you please post a picture of the Rambit upgrade? Never seen one, my guess is that this is installed inside the 1010...correct? Is this upgrade reverseable? I.e. can it be un-installed and leave the 1010 as it was originally?

Kind regards,

 

Luis.

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That was incredible. No need for floppy drive at all. 

Is that silence normal? Czech Turbo could be heard while loading.

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This is the upgrade.

 

932752361_rambitupgrade.thumb.jpg.087f1d8d9d41d236395473fda221083b.jpg

 

It can be uninstalled just be desoldering the 4 wires but the 1010 works with normal tapes anyway with this inside.

 

And yes its normal for the loading noise to be silent during the turbo part.

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23 minutes ago, archeocomp said:

That was incredible. No need for floppy drive at all. 

 

On that game yes, on multi load stuff its craps out..

 

Very nice tho...

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just for shits and giggles I just tried to convert Commando to tape. A game that requires 320k of memory and it loaded in around 5 minutes and worked perfectly!

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I would like to know if the Rambit circuit based on 6 Schmitt trigger CMOS device is compatible with Turbo2000 fast loader. I will primarily target Czech system when making mod but compatibilty with Rambit and maybe others would be great.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, djmat56 said:

I've been using Turgen system to generate the tapes so it will be the modern loader. Is there more than one? Turgen just lets me choose the bouncy line colours and thats it unless I'm missing something 

First, thanks a lot for the video. Much appreciated.

 

With Turgen System, you can choose between three loaders: Original, Modern (default, shown in the video) and Modern 2. The original one displays colorful letters on screen during loading. Displaying these letters prevents certain games from loading. Both modern loaders do not have this flaw.

The modern loader shows two different colors. The Modern 2 loader displays shades of one color. The modern 2 loader provides more pleasant and smooth experience. With TS you can choose the displayed colors.

 

To choose the loader, go to Tools>Preferences>Rambit Turbo Tape and choose the loader.

 

This also reminds me that I should publish the loader as a .xex file, so it can be launched from a universal cartridge (and not by booting from cassette).

 

I am surprised not to hear any sound. The left channel is silent, but I would expect at least a cross-talk to the AUDIO IN anyway.

 

Edited by baktra
typos

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Yeah @baktra I discovered the different loader settings after making the video. Think I prefer modern loader 1 to be honest. I seems to remember back in the day when I first had the upgrade that there was never any sound during the turbo part. Because I have the stereo pokey upgrade I don't get any sound from the left channel anyway as I posted here recently about this issue when trying to use tapes with music recorded on the other channel

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48 minutes ago, archeocomp said:

I would like to know if the Rambit circuit based on 6 Schmitt trigger CMOS device is compatible with Turbo2000 fast loader. I will primarily target Czech system when making mod but compatibilty with Rambit and maybe others would be great.

I would say yes. If you take Czech Turbo 2000 upgrade and feed signal from it to the INTERRUPT pin, Rabmit loader can sense the signal. So it can work the opposite way. Connect output of the Rambit upgrade to the DATA IN and Czech T2000 loader should sense the signal too.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, djmat56 said:

This is the upgrade.

 

932752361_rambitupgrade.thumb.jpg.087f1d8d9d41d236395473fda221083b.jpg

 

It can be uninstalled just be desoldering the 4 wires but the 1010 works with normal tapes anyway with this inside.

 

And yes its normal for the loading noise to be silent during the turbo part.

Here is a picture of my home-brew DIY. I didn't have needed resistors at the time, so I used three in series as an equivalent.

 

Here is the schematic from Nir Dary that I used at the time. Although, IIRC, there was one error to it, and I have to take a look at the bottom of the board to remember, but I think pins 4 and 5 have to be connected, which it didn't show on Nir's schematics. This was discussed with Nir himself at the time, and Baktra and others.

 

Also a PDF of the Rambit manual.

 

 

20200806_205939.jpg

Rambit_Schematics.jpg

rambit_manual_AtariAge.pdf

Edited by Gunstar
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Does your Atari 1010 Rambit move high speed just like ADAM computer's internal tape recorder ? SUPER FAST LOADING on ADAM tape recorder ! SO I thought if it is the same speed on rambit , too ?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Caterpiggle said:

Does your Atari 1010 Rambit move high speed just like ADAM computer's internal tape recorder ? SUPER FAST LOADING on ADAM tape recorder ! SO I thought if it is the same speed on rambit , too ?

No, standard speed 4.76 cm/s. The key is different and more efficient coding of 0s and 1s compared to standard tape records.

It is fast semi-software decoded PWM vs. slow hardware decoded FSK. 

Edited by baktra
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Posted (edited)

Okay compare to ADAM's tape recorder, what is it's speed ? cm/s ? Compare to Rambit 4.76 cm/per sec. And again, what is normal speed on Atari 1010 without any upgrade ? 1.0 cm/per sec ?

Edited by Caterpiggle

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44 minutes ago, Caterpiggle said:

Okay compare to ADAM's tape recorder, what is it's speed ? cm/s ? Compare to Rambit 4.76 cm/per sec. And again, what is normal speed on Atari 1010 without any upgrade ? 1.0 cm/per sec ?

Turbo upgrades or not, The speed of all Atari data recorders is always 4.76 cm/s. This is the standard speed for the compact cassette defined by Philips back in 1963.

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2 hours ago, Caterpiggle said:

Okay compare to ADAM's tape recorder, what is it's speed ? cm/s ? Compare to Rambit 4.76 cm/per sec. And again, what is normal speed on Atari 1010 without any upgrade ? 1.0 cm/per sec ?

The tape runs at the same speed as always. In layman's terms there is more data crammed into the same length of space on a tape, so the software loads faster without the tape moving faster.

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encoding and bits per cm are upped with the turbo mods not the speed of the tape in the transport

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Posted (edited)

And here comes the pseudo-binary loader as a .xex file. It should be loadable from universal cartridges. You can tell Turgen not to prepend the loader.

Note that this works only for files converted to the pseudo-binary format, not for monolithic files.

rambit_segmented_modern_c0.xex rambit_segmented_modern_c1.xex

 

And I happened to find an older video. That shows the original loader.

 

Edited by baktra
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