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Topics - retromod

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1
Retro News & Chat / Atari 2600 Junior White Edition
« on: April 09, 2015, 22:02:19 PM »
Just finished the prototype of the Atari 2600 Junior White Edition.

A refurbished Atari 2600 Junior console painted in white with silver function keys and brand new brezel. Included is a RGB led built into the on/off switch only visible during power on. It gives a nice rainbow color effect. Internally the best AV mod (AV Plus) is built in and "Simple Stereo" for audio output. Offering a nice stereo effect (not this simple channel split as provided by NTSC versions of TIA chip).









The package included a nice box (see picture), an updated quick reference manual, one brand new black nunchuk controller fitted for Atari use (having a silver fire button according to console design). A bunch of popular Atari games is included as well together with a brand new power supply. Estimated price will be 99 Eur, there will be only 10 consoles available.

the highlight of this console is the brand new brezel manufacturer process which also allows to recreate original brezels of the consoles (without 3d Atari logo stamp of course). The old process was limited to plastic brezels only but this one also applies to metal and silver shining plates. It is also useable to repro Coleco console front plates (project already started).

2
Retro News & Chat / Nunchuk Controller Mod
« on: April 09, 2015, 08:06:24 AM »
NUNCHUK CONTROLLER FOR ATARI JOYSTICK COMPATIBLE CONSOLES

During last years a large amount of broken Quickshots were stranded in my storage. I would estimate about 100 items with all kind of flavours. As I do not dump broken items for spare part reason I now found the right project to reuse parts of them: The Nunchuk Controller Mod

A Nintendo Nunchuk Controller was modified to deliver a digital signal instead of the analogue one. It is quite easy to get a digital signal from an analogue one by using electronic parts but the common joystick cable lacks any power support, there is simple no 5V line integrated. Sure if you buy special cables or extract them from highend joysticks with autofire you might get one - but this is all about resources and finally target price.

So it was necessary to find a way to get a digital signal out of the analogue controllers without using an additional circuit. The 2nd attempt worked and modding a nunchuk controller requires only a few minutes if you have all tools and material available. The used method works on ALL analgue sticks as they use similar components inside.



The result is a joystick which fits into one single hand. Two fire-buttons (not independent as on Atari 7800 due to cable limitations) with a direction stick. As you can see on the picture the joystick tester device properly detects the direction. Now it is time to check how it works in real game play and if the mod works reliable over an amount of time.

The design itself might change. The fire buttons will be red on the final product or white (as it is delivered with the upcoming white Atari 2600 edition). Not sure if I should change the black stick to grey to match the Atari CX24 stick colors/design.


3
If you follow ebay auction 161638140583 you will notice bids of a user with name "0***l (678)".
This user is the same! So he bid on his own articles to generate a higher price.

the named accounts are all of the same person. So most likely used in combination.

Here are the details:


Auction, notice same location.


Auction bid list.


an auction of the 2nd user profile "lucy2802" which is "0***l (678)" in the bid list


4
Retro News & Chat / Atari 2600 Cartridge Repair Kit
« on: March 11, 2015, 22:11:32 PM »
I've got a lot of cartridges together with console having broken or missing shutters. So the cartridges simple doesn't work with consoles like Woodgrain or Darth Vader anymore as these having shutters for their cartridge slot.

After a quick study the problem can be easily solved by an inlay I've developed within a few minutes.





Atari cartridges are most likely affected as Imagic and others do not use shutters instead having single pins on the back. Those will break of course as well but not in the same way.

The developed inlay will be installed within a few seconds without opening the cartridge. It is fixed by a rubber band and was successful tested with different consoles. I will test with other cartridges as well and will alter it to work with most of them as well. Price is currently at ~ $1/item but after optimization of production process it will be cheaper of course. this is the next step to final production.

this might save many cartridges to be dumped.

5
Retro News & Chat / Atari CX40 Repair Kit
« on: February 18, 2015, 12:06:20 PM »
My storage contains several boxes full of CX40 joysticks and I recognized that more and more joysticks suffer from faults. As we completely refurbish those joysticks we are looking for a way doing that in an efficient way.

Currently we offer 3 versions of CX40:

1. Original
we repair them and ensure the enclosure and cables are in good shape. There are quite rare as most likely the painting is gone or the rubber is damaged.

2. Silver Edition
refurbished controllers with silver design. Having replaced dome switches or metal switches. These are shipped with Atari 2600 Darth Vader consoles



3. Gold Edition
refurbished controllers with gold design. Having replaced dome switches. These are shipped with Atari 2600 Light Sixers, Junior Wood consoles and Classic boxed versions and starter kits.



We use the following new dome switches, having 4 legs instead of 3 and are better quality than original one. You hear a clear "clicking" inside of the joystick. these are also available within our shop.


The typical CX40 issues are:

1. dome switch problem (broken or simple too flat)
2. Cable broken (on plug or directly after leaving enclosure)
3. broken stick (100% directly on the contact plates)

as our offered repair kit addresses issue #1 we decided to develop a repair kit for issue #3. the first prototyp is working fine but is complex to be integrated. the reason is we fix it by adding an overlay and this increases the height so requiring adjustment inside of the controller. So there is room for improvements but we hope to get it done soon. The first fixed joysticks were delivered to beta testers and we'll hope to get some inputs here. Test in lab with professional joystick testers outlined no differences between an unbroken and repaired stick.

6
Retro News & Chat / AtariVOX Clone Project
« on: January 24, 2015, 22:09:26 PM »
I've got some nice input from customers about one piece of hardware I was not aware: The AtariVOX.

This little piece of hardware will be plugged to the 2nd Joystick Port of an Atari 2600 or 7800. It allows to output text to speech, load/store highscores and some additional soundeffects (including an amp as well).

Bad side this is not supported by any former game and requires current homebrew to be used (it suffer finally from the fact it is an enhancement of the hardware and do not improve existing one).

After a short review it outlines to be driven by a SpeakJet chip which is available for $25/item. This little chip requires very less connectivity and simple uses phonem to build the speech samples. The highscore feature works similar as the SpeakJet is controlled by a MCU. this chip filters the additional commands given by joystick signals and used it's internal nonvolatile memory to store the highscores. An amp and a simple "Vox" circuit for audio output completes the design.

In common nothing I'm not able to redo in better and cheaper technology  :16:

I've made a quick test with an MCU and PCB I designed for an other customer in the past and by using a recompilation of the phonem converter of the Amiga with some sampled phonems the output is similar to the SAM software for Atari Homecomputers. It sounds also similar to the Intellivoice modul. The quality was ok despite some noise but this can be improved easily by altering the code and improve the sample rate of the phonem's.

Currently missing is an implementation of the SpeakJet commands (API) and additional funtionality. A test environment with AtariVOX ready games must also be prepared. Meanwhile development will take place with Stella Emulator.

An internal mod is the best option as external one require WEEE certification in europe and this is quite costly. Advantage is, that the audio inject is simpler (as it is required to mix the 2600 signal with the AtariVOX output audio). It is also possible to implement a selftest within the OSD menu.

As I use a common MCU (I currently think about splitting funtionallity by implementing two MCU possibly) the cost is not more than $25 for the whole mod so far beyond the originally version.

7
Marketplace / 0711spiele opens it online shop
« on: January 20, 2015, 08:39:59 AM »
beside games, consoles and modding service/repair across europe it also offers rare spare parts for all kind of retro consoles.

check out http://www.0711spiele.de/


8
Retro News & Chat / Upcoming Sega MegaDrive modded consoles
« on: December 29, 2014, 21:24:09 PM »
I will offer a series of modded Sega Megadrives (model 1 and 2) beginning 2015.

The base are refurbished devices with an unique design:
 





9
Retro News & Chat / Upcoming mods in 2015
« on: December 23, 2014, 15:07:36 PM »
2015 will be THE year for retro consoles.

I just completed a new mod to allow CRT feeling on modern TV sets. This will be shipped with all highend models of our product lines and will be part of the AV Plus/X mod delivering the best AV picture in PAL universe and best game feeling on modern TV sets.

In the pipeline are the RGB console mod's. Intellivision and Coleco are quite easily to mod for RGB as the consoles support it out of the box - this will be quite low hanging fruit as all required information is in the internet for up to 20 years (!). The prototype boards are currently in dev phase. Next are the Atari consoles 2600, 5200 and 7800. All of the RGB mod's are coming with CRT emulation mode of course.

Real Surround and USB joystick mod will be in between. HDMI will most likely start with the Atari 5200 consoles and later with others depending on progress.

For Videopac I will deliver a replacement power supply, several mods like atari joystick support, AV Plus/X and stereo/surround. MegaDrive will be fitted with 3D Audio, CRT emulation mode.

Other mod's will be: OSD mod, AtariVox, Highscore for Atari devices and game library mod with USB or SDCard (specially the AtariVox, Highscore and Library mod will replace/obsoletes several known existing add-ons with a quite cheap solution).

10
Retro News & Chat / Philips Videopac Power Supply Replacement
« on: December 23, 2014, 14:39:19 PM »
I've bought a Philips Videopac for notstalgic reason. I immediately noticed the power supply connector is identical to the Atari 7800 one, so with a slightly modification it fits into the console.

And here voila it is: The upcoming power supply replacement kit for Philip Videopac consoles.

Available soon.

11
Retro News & Chat / Philips VIDEOPAC 7200/7400 JOYSTICK ADAPTER
« on: December 15, 2014, 00:58:13 AM »
This adapter was announced nearly one week before and is now available.



It allows to connect any 9-pin joystick (Atari compatible) to your Philips VIDEOPAC 7200 or 7400 game console. Simple plug the 6 pin end (male) into your console and the other end to an Atari joystick.



In comparison to other solution this one looks quite nice and professional as the plugs are dedicated joystick plugs and not made out of normal RS232 cables.

12
Retro News & Chat / Atari 7800 Hifi Rack Version
« on: November 13, 2014, 08:29:11 AM »
I currently work on an interesting project: A customer ordered an Atari 7800 in a hifi rack housing.

We finally agreed to include an AV+, Stereo/Surround and Pause mod (for Atari 2600 mode).
A background light in blue which can be switched off completes the design. Power supply is internally and a SCART plug including the joystick ports on the back. Pre-fitted with PSX joystick mod.

I started with a mockup how it would looks like after completion:


Picture: front view


13
Homebrew Chat / eBay conduct regarding homebrew games
« on: November 12, 2014, 14:15:14 PM »
We got the information from ebay, that it is not allowed to use the wording "homebrew" in our offers as this is automatically an invitation to use unlicensed software. this is not supported by eBay so they block any offers.

It seems the homebrew scene is automatically guilty for copyright and license violations according to that statement - a fact I personally do not understand but is obvious if you visit special websites supporting those violations in trademark and copyright without any notice.

As game vendors pays to be allowed to offer legal games on specific platforms (like PS3/PS4, XBOX etc.) it make sense to block those offers allowing to bypass the protection system. But to block offers only containing links or praise the scene for homebrew titles is not ok because these talented guys also offers game for system which do not deal with licensing of the protection system nor does all systems contain one to lockout developers. On the WII there is a homebrew scene which is allowed to offer games online for example. So what happens if I offer a WII with the text "supported by homebrew titles"?

Finally eBay is not right to assign homebrew programmer automatically to the gray market scene and associate them with mod-chips and copyright/trademark violations.

14
Retro News & Chat / Atari Paddle Repairkit
« on: November 04, 2014, 00:56:41 AM »
Available soon the Atari Paddle Repairkit.

It contains brand new potentiometer you are able to replace without soldering.



There will be also a limited edition with silver knob and firebutton.


15
Retro News & Chat / Atari CX40 silver design
« on: October 28, 2014, 11:10:21 AM »

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