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Ricardo Cividanes da Silva

Radofin 1292 advanced programmable video system

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Neat :) I guess the "1980" date commonly seen for the European release is an average . It also may depend how you consider sale figures; does a system that was released for December 1979 count for 1979 (when talking on a general scale of influence) or more 1980? In France the 2600 was delayed up to 1981 (a side result being that no 6 switch variants of the SECAM 2600 are know to exist, and probably never existed).

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Given the importance of Christmas sales, I think a system released on December 1 counts towards that year. A system released on December 27 probably accounts for very few sales on the remainder of the year, depending how weekdays lie of course.

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Interesting stuff regarding dates, my understanding is that Backgammon and Planet Defender (32, 33 on the acetronic line) came out in 1982 so presumably it was still selling for a portion of the year. I've not seen any evidence for the Acetronic/Radofin line being released before 1979 but 1978 seems to be a commonly mentioned date. I have similar issues dating the PC-50x line, as its claimed to be 1975/6 but the chips used I don't think came out for a year or two further up. Confusing stuff.

 

Is there any dating for games beyond what year they came out for (months, any magazines with games for sale etc)? It would be great to know.

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Most games are listed as copyright "??? 19xx" but a few have been pinpointed.

http://amigan.yatho.com/igg/

 

Note that the oldest verified games are dated 1980, one game is dated 1979 with question mark. Certainly if the VC-4000 was released in 1978 the earliest games must date from then or slightly before but it hasn't been verified. Possibly back then it would be a drawback to put dating on the games as it quickly would be apparent if the games were a couple years old or not.

Edited by carlsson
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@Ricardo Cividanes: Did you have a look at http://www.vc4000.de/html/geschichte.html?

There is somebody, who specialized on Interton VC4000. He already was in contact with the son of one of the former owners of INTERTON (Gerald W. Türk). Maybe he has more information, than presented on the web-site.🤔

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On 1/14/2021 at 1:04 PM, Ricardo Cividanes da Silva said:

Were these games made by each company or were there third parties developing since it seems that they are compatible between them?

Most of the games were coded independently, and then the machines franchised out to various different companies in different countries. As part of this, there is a few main types of cartridge sizes, some are physically compatible and others are not - however they are all compatible software wise,and with a converter it's possible just fine. Converters existed back then too, I have a database game converter to run on an Acetronic system. This seems to have been sold by database themselves, rather than pushing sales of their own console, which is interesting.

 

It was a lot more common at the time, but nearly never seen now. There was a big rumour that the New X Box was going to be franchised in Japan under a sega name but it didn't happen. 

 

@carlsson thanks, I've used this site a lot as it has possibly the most centralised and useful information on the system, but no luck with much else. I've been dubious of the 1978 start date for awhile, and a late 1979 seems more likely (December can be a popular month!).

 

As almost the entire system is cloned games from atari, the dating works being later. As the 1292 line was very European as well, it had more chance of fair competition with delayed 2600 releases. 

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Note that also German magazine Elektor published from Apr to Dec 1979 some articles and schematics explaining how to build and program a "TV Game Computer" that is quite similar to Interton/Radofin one, based on Signetics 2650A & 2636. Then, from Jan 1080 to Jul 1982 they published some other articles regarding this machine.

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6 hours ago, boulinha said:

Note that also German magazine Elektor published from Apr to Dec 1979 some articles and schematics explaining how to build and program a "TV Game Computer" that is quite similar to Interton/Radofin one, based on Signetics 2650A & 2636. Then, from Jan 1080 to Jul 1982 they published some other articles regarding this machine.

Yes, the Elektor "TV games computer" uses the same hardware as the Interton/1292 APVS consoles. The expansion board for the computer published In one of the later articles included, among the other improvements, two cartridge ports to use the commercial games for the Interton and Radofin consoles.

 

The Elektor articles also mention that a few readers actually modified their consoles instead of building the computer from scratch. 

 

The Hobby module for the Radofin console (and the similar units for the Voltmace, Rowtron and Occitane)  basically turn the console into the Elektor computer in its basic version. Apparently the tape format is also compatible, so you can load the software published by the Elektor magazine into an Hobby module. The two monitor software look almost identical to each other, and all the commands and the layout of the keys are the same.


I tried both (with an home built eprom cartridge) on my Interton VC4000 console.

elektor TVGC:

elektor1.thumb.jpg.89223132c3345d3915b744259c268672.jpgelektor2.thumb.jpg.a386eef7d4a178a2c379d53c15ceaf48.jpg

 

Hobby Module:

hobbym1.thumb.jpg.42c037a95fdc341cd11cf7ad8a61cd90.jpghobbym2.thumb.jpg.bc2c147d5fe85635210e600fd0a8254a.jpg

 

 

hobby_module_interton.thumb.jpg.86a1ad449ef33dcd6ca3dfefad007fbc.jpg

 

hobby_module_interton_keyboard.thumb.jpg.8b9a261efb64ae99f826c0d84594d0f1.jpg

I'd like to build the cassette interface some day...

Edited by alex_79
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On 1/17/2021 at 3:20 PM, Mikebloke said:

Converters existed back then too, I have a database game converter to run on an Acetronic system. This seems to have been sold by database themselves, rather than pushing sales of their own console, which is interesting.

The purpose of the adapter was to enable sales of Munch&Crunch and Leapfrog cartridges to Acetronic owners.

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On 1/10/2021 at 5:13 PM, Ricardo Cividanes da Silva said:

Another point is the amount of memory. Everybody all speak in 32. But, 32 Kilo bits or 32 Kilo Bytes?

  Most likely, by the time and the cost of memory at 70's, it would be 32 Kilo bits which would give about 4 Kilo Bytes.

The 2650 is capable of addressing up to 32 kilobytes of memory, in four pages of 8k. However these consoles do not take advantage of page addressing so the processor can only address the first 8k. Included within this 8k memory map are the PVI and peripheral chips for reading the keypads and controlling audio circuits etc, so not all 8k can be used for ROM or RAM.

I am currently writing a Wikibook, Signetics 2650 & 2636 programming, which might provide you with more technical information if you need it. There has been a lot of misinformation published and propagated on the web over the years.

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On 1/11/2021 at 4:43 PM, Rolo said:

There must be a clock divider, probably the strange PE1X-chip, of which I do not find any information.

It is a PAL encoder, probably a prototype number for the TEA1002. And yes, it takes the crystal oscillator input and divides it by 2.5 for the 2621 Sync Generator, which in turn divides by 4 for the processor clock.

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On 1/11/2021 at 9:26 AM, Ricardo Cividanes da Silva said:

 Signetics 2636, as I understand it, is a kind of video processor .......

I think 'processor' is not a good term to use; I've even come across people calling it a co-processor.

In reality it is just a bunch of registers, counters and logic circuits and should really be considered as the same type of chip as say the 6521 Peripheral Interface Adapter, except that it outputs video rather than handling parallel I/O.

Its full title is Programmable Video Interface and is totally controlled by setting values into its registers. It just chugs away counting horizontal and vertical lines and using data from the registers at appropriate times to output RGB values.

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On 12/2/2021 at 1:32 PM, Derek Andrews said:

I am currently writing a Wikibook, Signetics 2650 & 2636 programming, which might provide you with more technical information if you need it. There has been a lot of misinformation published and propagated on the web over the years.

Amazing Derek! I will read and learn it

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