Jump to content
decle

Replica TV POWWW system and games

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

I put together a voice activated replica TV POWWW system for my talk at the Intellivision Virtual Expo 2020 (big thanks to @Rev, @DZ-Jay, @Zendocon, @Steve Jones, @First Spear and everyone else involved in organising the event):

 

 

In the talk I promised to publish details of both the little circuit I used, and the ROM containing the IntyBASIC recreations of the three unreleased TV POWWW Intellivision titles known to have been played:

  • KSlots - the first sight of Las Vegas Slots, complete with POW branding
  • KSoccer - a Roberto Carlos style shooting game
  • KSpace - the single player version of Space Battle, where I think you get to take potshots at a Battlestar

 

Well here we are, you can find the instructions to build the voice trigger circuit here and the game ROM in this zip archive:

 

tvpowww.zip

 

If anyone builds a similar system I'd love to see it, or should you have any problems getting my hack working, please just ping me a PM and I'll try to help you out. :thumbsup:

 


Cheers

 

decle

 

  • Like 15
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this.  I don't think I'll build the circuit, but it's great to have the games and be able to use them with a regular controller.

 

I remember seeing the Soccer and Space games on TVPixxx Channel 11, WPIX NY.   They didn't use the Soccer too much as it seemed too hard.  You saw Football, Space Battle and every once in a blue moon, the slot one.

 

Thanks again!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job, and great video, Decle. 

 

Here's a couple of TV Powww! recreations I've made in the past based on the Fairchild Channel F (aka Grandstand VEC over here in the UK).

 

Geek 2015: SpecialEffect TV Powww! exhibit

 

SpecialEffect 10th Anniversary - very short video here

 

The first effort used a hacked GPO phone with the microphone connected to an in-line amp, then into a PC running vocal joystick software. This was for Bowling on the Fairchild.

 

The second effort worked much better, using a Shout Box and switch interface to a Raspberry Pi running modified code for Shooting Gallery.

 

This may be of interest. 1975 Children's TV show Crackerjack.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose this is fair moment to toss in some rambling memories. I'm not checking the facts, just noting what I recall off the top of my head, which may have degraded over the years...

 

This was in the early 80's when Intellivision had been on the market a couple of years, and the original team was still at APh. I think there may have been regional variants of the show, but my recollection of the name is "Say POW", and it was broadcast by a local TV station, KTTV, at what I recall to be a late time: 10:00 or 10:30 on Sunday night. The KTTV studios were on Sunset Blvd. just west of the Hollywood freeway. The show didn't have a very long run.

 

The nature of the game require a live show. No tape, no delays, because the caller had to see the live image. They invited a studio audience, so one night four of us tech boys piled in a car to see how the sausage is made. It was a small studio, and we were practically the only people in the audience. So the cameras never panned the audience, and if they used any crowd reactions, it would have been canned sound. I think it was a version of Hal Finney's "Star Strike" that was used for games, and I suppose there were others. I hadn't done any mod work to render games pow-accessible, so I hadn't been concerned about the gory details.

 

Nothing noteworthy happened during our visit, but a couple weeks later Hal Finney (who hadn't been with us) went to the show and came back with an odd anecdote. I had no independent verification that this actually happened, but Hal was not a teller of tall tales, so I assume it's real.

 

As I said, this show was necessarily live, and the emcee had a phone for the purpose of connecting to the contestant. Apparently that phone had a direct-dial number, rather than just being a switchboard extension. And apparently some joker knew that number. So, as Hal reported it, as the emcee was chatting with the contestant as the game started, a joker somewhere in the world was picking up a phone and calling the phone company operator and telling that operator there was an emergency and it was necessary to immediately cut in on such-and-such a line. I'd never thought about this, but I guess it makes sense that operators would do this in an emergency situation. So the POW game would sputter as an operator came on the line and announced an emergency, and then cut in with the joker who would start to curse. The emcee would hang up and try to restart, and of course another "emergency" would happen. The emcee was struggling to tell the operator that there was no emergency and not to put the joker on the line, but it was an uphill battle.

 

That's what Hal told us. If it's not true, then it should be.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, David Rolfe said:

I suppose this is fair moment to toss in some rambling memories. I'm not checking the facts, just noting what I recall off the top of my head, which may have degraded over the years...

 

This was in the early 80's when Intellivision had been on the market a couple of years, and the original team was still at APh. I think there may have been regional variants of the show, but my recollection of the name is "Say POW", and it was broadcast by a local TV station, KTTV, at what I recall to be a late time: 10:00 or 10:30 on Sunday night. The KTTV studios were on Sunset Blvd. just west of the Hollywood freeway. The show didn't have a very long run.

 

The nature of the game require a live show. No tape, no delays, because the caller had to see the live image. They invited a studio audience, so one night four of us tech boys piled in a car to see how the sausage is made. It was a small studio, and we were practically the only people in the audience. So the cameras never panned the audience, and if they used any crowd reactions, it would have been canned sound. I think it was a version of Hal Finney's "Star Strike" that was used for games, and I suppose there were others. I hadn't done any mod work to render games pow-accessible, so I hadn't been concerned about the gory details.

 

Nothing noteworthy happened during our visit, but a couple weeks later Hal Finney (who hadn't been with us) went to the show and came back with an odd anecdote. I had no independent verification that this actually happened, but Hal was not a teller of tall tales, so I assume it's real.

 

As I said, this show was necessarily live, and the emcee had a phone for the purpose of connecting to the contestant. Apparently that phone had a direct-dial number, rather than just being a switchboard extension. And apparently some joker knew that number. So, as Hal reported it, as the emcee was chatting with the contestant as the game started, a joker somewhere in the world was picking up a phone and calling the phone company operator and telling that operator there was an emergency and it was necessary to immediately cut in on such-and-such a line. I'd never thought about this, but I guess it makes sense that operators would do this in an emergency situation. So the POW game would sputter as an operator came on the line and announced an emergency, and then cut in with the joker who would start to curse. The emcee would hang up and try to restart, and of course another "emergency" would happen. The emcee was struggling to tell the operator that there was no emergency and not to put the joker on the line, but it was an uphill battle.

 

That is an interesting and funny story.  Thanks for sharing it, Mr. Rolfe!

 

5 hours ago, David Rolfe said:

That's what Hal told us. If it's not true, then it should be.

As they say, se non è vero, è ben trovato;)

 

     -dZ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone is interested in making the audio circuit that @decle has referenced - they are rather cheap on ebay.

 

You can purchase this kit for $1.51 and install only the components mentioned in decle's documentation.

 

https://ebay.us/zF1WaH

 

Or do a search for ICSK050A Kit

 

Unfortunately the DB9 connector, cable, and batteries, or other power source, will be much more expensive.

 

There are better versions around, but if you want to cheap out and get a cheapy "Extension for Sega Genesis" cable for a few bucks:

https://ebay.us/RB490c

 

Then you can get a 4x AA battery holder/enclosure:

https://ebay.us/1QtMpe

 

A bit of foam-doublesided sticky tape to stick the circuit to the battery enclosure and your assembly is done

 

So for around $10-$12 you can get a working TV POWWW! 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fdr4prez said:

Then you can get a 4x AA battery holder/enclosure:

https://ebay.us/1QtMpe

I guess 4x AA batteries will be 6v, so if you want to be closer to the recommended 5v input, then you can use a 3x AA battery holder (as decle's document recommended):

 

https://ebay.us/kRF4Vw

 

 

hmmm, but if you use rechargeable AA batteries (typically they are 1.25v), so a 4x AA battery holder will still be OK

 

oh, the decisions one must make

:banghead:

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, fdr4prez said:

If anyone is interested in making the audio circuit that @decle has referenced - they are rather cheap on ebay.

 

Unfortunately the DB9 connector, cable, and batteries, or other power source, will be much more expensive.

 

There are better versions around, but if you want to cheap out and get a cheapy "Extension for Sega Genesis" cable for a few bucks:

https://ebay.us/RB490c

 

Looking forward to seeing the end result! :thumbsup:


I think the toughest thing to source is a good connector / cable.  I've discovered the connector I used does not fit the ECS (and possibly the Intellivision II) because the controller ports are heavily recessed.  Like you I've found the narrow moulded plugs on the Genesis extension cables fit fine.  However, because the cables have 9 cores the wires are very fine (and fragile) which is less than ideal.  It looks as though original 2600 joysticks may have beefier cabling, I may try to pick one up and see:

 

image.thumb.png.e71a07537fe151a6fdd041652286adc2.png


Edit: It looks as though a 2600 joystick cable is no good because pins 5 and 7 are not used and therefore won't be wired to the connector.  Back to the drawing board.

 

If you find a better solution, please let me know.

 

Personally I'd go with 3 AAA's for the power source, the slightly small form factor opens up one or two cool options for packaging ;)

Edited by decle
Correction of Atari 2600 applicability

Share this post


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

Personally I'd go with 3 AAA's for the power source, the slightly small form factor opens up one or two cool options for packaging ;)

Yes, last night I was thinking that 3x AAA would be great, too, especially for the smaller size it offers.

 

Or you can solder on a microUSB female connection and then you can use your old mobile phone chargers and look at how much real estate is saved by not having batteries - it is just not as convenient  :) 

 

8 hours ago, decle said:

Edit: It looks as though a 2600 joystick cable is no good because pins 5 and 7 are not used and therefore won't be wired to the connector.  Back to the drawing board.

 

If you find a better solution, please let me know.

Yeah, none of the Atari controller types have all the wires in there.  I think that allows them to use larger wires.

 

When I've used the Genesis extension cables in my other projects, I gloop some hot glue on the wires at the solder joints to help act at a strain relief for the fine wires, and I secure the cable at the exit point of the housing I am using to help prevent accidental pulling/breaking the wires off at the solder joints.  not an elegant solution, but it is serviceable.

 

Maybe get some junky - used - Sega controllers off of ebay, garage sales, etc, and use those cables.  Or look for some cheap untested/nonworking Colecovision controllers.

 

  • Like 1

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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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...