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Team Pixelboy News Bulletin - January 1st 2021

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Not to hijack the thread, but a sneak peak of the sort of enhancement I have in mind... put together quickly this morning... :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, opcode said:

Not to hijack the thread, but a sneak peak of the sort of enhancement I have in mind... put together quickly this morning...

I'm obviously missing something, because I don't see the difference with the previously-released version.  :? 

 

Edited by Pixelboy

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1 minute ago, AtariBrian said:

Looks like smooth scrolling?

Oh! Right! I was so used to the choppy tile-based scrolling in the original MSX port that I couldn't notice the smooth scrolling here!  :P 

 

Nicely done, Eduardo! Is this running on a regular CV with SGM?

 

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14 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

Oh! Right! I was so used to the choppy tile-based scrolling in the original MSX port that I couldn't notice the smooth scrolling here!  :P 

 

Nicely done, Eduardo! Is this running on a regular CV with SGM?

 

Let's just say it is running on devices with enhanced video support. 

 

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5 hours ago, opcode said:

Let's just say it is running on devices with enhanced video support. 

 

Hmm, sounds like a possible SGM2. I was thinking of starting a thread on "What a possible SGM2 might include" and I had lots of ideas but no hardware development skills to back the real possibilities.

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2 minutes ago, NIAD said:

Hmm, sounds like a possible SGM2. I was thinking of starting a thread on "What a possible SGM2 might include" and I had lots of ideas but no hardware development skills to back the real possibilities.

Well, technically F18A offers enhanced video support. And we have a lot of F18A users out there, and not enough support. :)

 

But yeah, I was thinking about a possible SGM2 the other day. Wouldn't it be cool to have a device that is the same size as the regular SGM, fully compatible, and yet including a turbocharged custom chip that is a natural evolution of the original CV chipset? A custom Video and Sound Chip mk1? But I digress. Enough daydreaming. Quoting Pixelboy, we now return you to your regular forum activities

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3 hours ago, opcode said:

But yeah, I was thinking about a possible SGM2 the other day.

Indeed, don't want to hijack Pixelboy's thread so I'll throw this out and maybe a new thread could evolve from it:

 

SGM2: Custom Video Chip (ie: F18 compatible), Pause Button (ie: Add-A-Halt by Video Additions in '83), PS/2 or USB Keyboard port (ie: CV Keyboard Interface or Phoenix), SD Card slot (ie: Atarimax Ultimate SD MC and Phoenix), USB or SNES Gameport, Speech Synthesizer (ie: him that shall not be named), 32K RAM (SGM1), AY Sound (SGM1).

 

Edited by NIAD

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7 hours ago, Dominic Giordano Jr said:

How do I get asteroids and controller 

Just send me an e-mail at pixelboy at teampixelboy dot com, and let me know which edition of the controller you want (Upright (color) or Cabaret (black & white with woodgrain)). You'll be expected to send me a deposit of 50$US immediately, which will be used to purchase the controller's enclosure.

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8 hours ago, NIAD said:

SGM2: Custom Video Chip (ie: F18 compatible), Pause Button (ie: Add-A-Halt by Video Additions in '83), PS/2 or USB Keyboard port (ie: CV Keyboard Interface or Phoenix), SD Card slot (ie: Atarimax Ultimate SD MC and Phoenix), USB or SNES Gameport, Speech Synthesizer (ie: him that shall not be named), 32K RAM (SGM1), AY Sound (SGM1).

I think this should be done as a "Colecovision II" motherboard replacement project. There's probably more than enough room inside the ColecoVision's casing for a new motherboard that includes all the desired features. The front expansion port could be ditched in favor of a keyboard port and an SD card reader, although the SD card reader would have to be recessed quite a bit in order for the little black front door to stay mobile. Just position the cartridge port and joystick ports in the same spots on the new motherboard (to line them up with the openings in the original enclosure), use the power plug opening for the HDMI female connector, and the RF connector opening for the power cord, and voilà. If it's done this way, there wouldn't be any need to drill holes into the original enclosure, although I expect there would be some design concerns around the HDMI connector.

 

Personally, I would opt for a couple of simple USB ports in the front expansion port area, which could be used to plug in USB drives with ROMs (or perhaps more interestingly, read/write files for savegame purposes, or extra data for new levels that the cartridge software could load into RAM, etc.) or perhaps a USB keyboard or a USB mouse. USB is complex to implement, but it opens the door to a lot of peripheral hardware possibilities if it's done properly, so it would be worth the effort for the board designer to do his homework.

 

And of course, the new board should be backwards compatible with original ColecoVision carts, so the SGM would have to be integrated into the design, along with the Coleco BIOS and equivalent VDP+sound chip solutions.  :) 

 

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9 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

I think this should be done as a "Colecovision II" motherboard replacement project. There's probably more than enough room inside the ColecoVision's casing for a new motherboard that includes all the desired features. The front expansion port could be ditched in favor of a keyboard port and an SD card reader, although the SD card reader would have to be recessed quite a bit in order for the little black front door to stay mobile. Just position the cartridge port and joystick ports in the same spots on the new motherboard (to line them up with the openings in the original enclosure), use the power plug opening for the HDMI female connector, and the RF connector opening for the power cord, and voilà. If it's done this way, there wouldn't be any need to drill holes into the original enclosure, although I expect there would be some design concerns around the HDMI connector.

 

Personally, I would opt for a couple of simple USB ports in the front expansion port area, which could be used to plug in USB drives with ROMs (or perhaps more interestingly, read/write files for savegame purposes, or extra data for new levels that the cartridge software could load into RAM, etc.) or perhaps a USB keyboard or a USB mouse. USB is complex to implement, but it opens the door to a lot of peripheral hardware possibilities if it's done properly, so it would be worth the effort for the board designer to do his homework.

 

And of course, the new board should be backwards compatible with original ColecoVision carts, so the SGM would have to be integrated into the design, along with the Coleco BIOS and equivalent VDP+sound chip solutions.  :) 

 

Most of that could be done inside a small device the size of the regular SGM. So no need for mods, it would be all plug & play. That is, if only VSC1 was real...

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On 1/1/2021 at 5:07 PM, retroillucid said:

We'll re-release all of them (the ones transfered to us) 

Tank Mission needs a re-release alongside your new games.

 

Im also dying to play Yucatan Jungle.

Edited by sn8k
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3 hours ago, opcode said:

Most of that could be done inside a small device the size of the regular SGM. So no need for mods, it would be all plug & play. That is, if only VSC1 was real...

You're probably right, but then the device would depend on a 40-year-old unreliable piece of tech. And then there would probably be issues with people who modded their consoles. With a motherboard replacement, you've got complete control over the hardware setup, all you need are some old non-functional ColecoVision consoles from which you can recycle the casing, so no custom plastic enclosure to design or pay for, and no front expansion port female connector to worry about.

 

Heck, you could probably replace the DB9 controller ports with USB ports, and use off-the-shelf USB controllers, which would cut costs even more. But then you'd lose the 12-key keypad, so maybe it's not such a good idea, with respect to backward compatibility.  :) 

 

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1 hour ago, Pixelboy said:

You're probably right, but then the device would depend on a 40-year-old unreliable piece of tech. And then there would probably be issues with people who modded their consoles. With a motherboard replacement, you've got complete control over the hardware setup, all you need are some old non-functional ColecoVision consoles from which you can recycle the casing, so no custom plastic enclosure to design or pay for, and no front expansion port female connector to worry about.

 

Heck, you could probably replace the DB9 controller ports with USB ports, and use off-the-shelf USB controllers, which would cut costs even more. But then you'd lose the 12-key keypad, so maybe it's not such a good idea, with respect to backward compatibility.  :) 

 

 

What you are describing here sounds like something that is already available. It is called Phoenix. Although your version seems to come in a CV case... 

 

I find this quote from Steven Jobs quite inspirational: "Some people say, "Give the customers what they want." But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, 'A faster horse!'" People don't know what they want until you show it to them."

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a phoenix drop in replacement pcb for original colecovisions that have died.

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1 hour ago, digress said:

a phoenix drop in replacement pcb for original colecovisions that have died.

Ruggers Customs can fix your dead PCB, and give you RGB output. It looks gorgeous with analog RGB CRTs or even modern TVs using a RGB to HDMI converter. 

 

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1 hour ago, digress said:

a phoenix drop in replacement pcb for original colecovisions that have died.

But there are still issues with this approach as is witnessed by those that have had TV and Controller issues and one has to wait for core updates or possibly an add-on hardware item re the Roller Controller.

 

There is no perfect solution, but the one that I prefer is Opcode's approach of staying with an external Expansion Unit that connects to the CV's or ADAM's Expansion Interface at least at first. Then a drop in replacement board could be researched where it be a Phoenix drop-in or Opcode drop-in, but then there would be a tremendous amount of compatibility testing needed to be done to ensure there are the least amount of issues with games and controllers as possible which would be a HUGE undertaking.

 

Aside from that, looks like Pixelboy's thread is officially derailed!

 

Edited by NIAD

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13 minutes ago, retroillucid said:

I'm working on it! :D
I'll try to post an update later this evening 

 

54 minutes ago, NIAD said:

Aside from that, looks like Pixelboy's thread is officially derailed!

 

Alright, I think Pixelboy can now rename his thread "Ongoing discussion on assorted ColecoVision topics 2021". :P 

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9 minutes ago, opcode said:

 

 

Alright, I think Pixelboy can now rename his thread "Ongoing discussion on assorted ColecoVision topics 2021". :P 

Ouch, you're completely right

Sorry Luc about that

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51 minutes ago, opcode said:

Alright, I think Pixelboy can now rename his thread "Ongoing discussion on assorted ColecoVision topics 2021". :P 

That's alright, this is the kind of thread where the first post is the important one, the rest is just gravy.  :D 

 

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A big thank you to Team Pixelboy for the many years of great gaming for us.. I own a lot of the games and love playing them so much.

 

I also have to say if Opcode goes the SGM2 route, my dreams of that sexy Castle vania that were shown could be a reality!

 

I would be psyched for a great add on that can deliver the Prometheus experience!

 

 

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