Author Topic: The Vectrex 32  (Read 2871 times)

Offline TrekMD

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The Vectrex 32
« on: August 25, 2016, 01:38:21 AM »
Here is a new bit of hardware for the Vectrex called the Vectrex 32.  This Vectrex hardware has been created by VGF user Bob.  Here is the description of the cart in his own words:

Quote
I have created a new cartridge for the Vectrex that effectively upgrades it to 32 bits and allows you to write Vectrex games in interactive interpreted BASIC.

The cartridge, which I call the Vectrex32 SmartCart, is based on the Microchip PIC32. It’s a 32 bit microcontroller that runs at 200 MHz, has a floating point unit, 2MB of flash, and 512KB of RAM. By comparison, the Vectrex’s 6809 is an 8/16 bit processor with 8KB of ROM and 1K of RAM.


The BASIC interpreter and the game run on the PIC32. There’s a dual-port memory chip readable and writable by both the PIC32 and the 6809. The PIC32 writes 6809 machine code into the dual-port memory and the 6809 runs it. Thirty times per second, the PIC32 writes the instructions needed to draw the screen, play sounds, and read the controller. Since the game logic is running on the PIC32, games can be far more sophisticated than anything the Vectrex could do alone.


The SmartCart also has a USB interface. When connected to a PC, it appears as a mass storage drive and a serial port. The drive holds BASIC programs and the serial port can be used with a terminal emulator. You can interactively debug a BASIC program (my version of BASIC supports breakpoints, single-stepping, printing out variables, and more). You can also interactively change things on the screen, e.g. you can experiment to get your shapes looking right and moving right.

The SmartCart provides advanced graphics features like sprites, scaling, rotating, and clipping.

I’ve written extensive documentation and built a web site, Vectrex32.com, to provide support and create a community of Vectrex32 users. People will be able to discuss programming and swap games that they’ve written.

Here is a video demo...

Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline Saturn

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 03:52:28 AM »
By that description is sounds like one heck of an upgraded device. He took care to cover everything it would need.
Too bad I don't have a Vectrex or I'd probably be all over this.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 03:56:43 AM »
Definitely a cool device.  One was sold on Ebay.  Not sure when more will be available.
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline Saturn

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 04:00:12 AM »
Definitely a cool device.  One was sold on Ebay.  Not sure when more will be available.
Do you know if it went pretty high on ebay? I'm curious what the demand or collectibility value is.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 04:07:38 AM »
15 were sold on Ebay, each at $150.
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Offline zapiy

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 06:11:58 AM »
That's a cool device and I guess its not a bad price considering what level of work must have gone into making the thing.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 02:33:08 AM »
A new version, number 1.14, of Vectrex32 has been released.  This includes a new game, new features, and a new video:


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Offline Saturn

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 14:52:15 PM »
Some really cool games included on there and that floating processor is a champ. Talk about taking the headache out of writing programs for it. Great stuff, makes me wish I had a Vectrex that much more 8)

Offline zapiy

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 19:13:46 PM »
That is something else, who the bloody hell has all this skill.. well jell lol.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: The Vectrex 32
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 22:58:37 PM »
Evidently someone does and it ain't me!  LOL
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


 

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