TI99/4A Computer and Joystick Adapter

Recently I scored a great TI99/4A Home Computer plus games from eBay. There are some really good games on this 8bit micro, and luckily most can be picked up relatively cheaply.

The item was pick up only, and in another state. Luckily I had a mate visiting that same area at the time, and he was able to pick it up for me and bring it back in his luggage. How is that for service!

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The only bad thing in my opinion about the TI99 is the terrible joysticks! So after a clean up of the unit, the first task was to make a joystick adapter allowing the use of standard sticks, such as the Atari 2600 controllers.

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Sega Shinobi Suicide Fix

Same mate who had the Warriors of Fate PCB also got a Sega Shinobi PCB in a cab he got hold of. Again these boards also have a suicide battery which maintains an encryption table. These boards are very easy to modify to bring them back to life after the battery dies.

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Warriors of Fate CPS1 Suicide Fix

A mate of mine got hold of a Warriors of Fate CPS1 (actually 1.5 due to Q sound) PCB. Not knowing much about them apart from the fact that it was a Capcom board he threw some $$$ at it not knowing that this board contains suicide batteries. These are batteries that keep some PCBs alive by maintaining power a decryption table. This is required to decrypt  encrypted program ROMs. Once the battery can no longer provide power to maintain the table, the code on the ROMs can no longer decrypted, and the game will no longer work. There are a number of Capcom and Sega boards in particular that work like this. Lucky for my mate this issue can be fixed using decrypted ROMs, and I have the tools to do it. Note the following details are specific to Warriors of Fate.

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Chase HQ Upright Restore – The Teardown (Part 1)

My next project will be a restore of a Taito Chase HQ cabinet. I have to say that as awesome as Chase HQ is, the quality of the build of this particular cabinet is really bad. Terrible chipboard, really not made to last. So I really do have my work cut out on this one. A quick check of output voltages on this before the teardown showed 12V on one of the 5V lines, enough to do serious damage to a PCB if plugged in. First thing to do is a complete teardown before moving on to bodywork repair, rewiring, and sprucing up the cabinet. Luckily Chase HQ is such an awesome game. Any less, it would only be worth parting out :S First up the purpose of this post is to retain pictures for reference when I do the rebuild. Might be useful to any other owners in a similar situation.

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Atari Basketball Arcade machine restore

A while ago I picked up an Atari Basketball arcade machine. This is a black and white game made in 1979. I really like this one as it has trackball controls, so it is a bit unusual. I also really like the style of the machine, with a very 70s feel.

This machine is actually in quite good condition, and it is working. I really want to just neaten this up and make it look “nice”.

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Spectrum 48k Joystick Interface & Tape Loading Emulation

As per my latest post I have a nice cleaned up ZK Spectrum 48k. Now the most important part, playing some games! Now I don’t have a tope deck to load games, nor do I have a joystick interface. Here is what I did to fix that.

Below: the end product!

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Spectrum 48K New overlay, clean up and composite mod

Locally in Australia Sinclair Spectrums weren’t very common. At the time Commodore 64s were the most popular 8 bit computers amongst anyone I knew, followed by Amstrad CPCs with smatterings of other 8 bit micros around. I cannot ever remember seeing a Spectrum for sale locally, although I am sure some places did stock them. As a Commodore 64 owner I was never really fussed by the seemingly limited computer I used to read about in C+VG, but I was intrigued how some games could be so good on the Spectrum, but rubbish on the C64. Chase HQ springs to mind. Anyway I have wanted one for a while now, and a mate manged to snag a couple of Spectrums locally, so he kindly sold me a 48k rubber keyed version. I gotta say, in good condition these look awesome.

So below you can see mine. The keyboard plate is fairly scratched and unappealing. But there is plenty that can be done to make it better!

Spectrum 1 Before

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Reproduction Neo Geo MVS storage boxes

There are a number of great Neo Geo MVS cartridge storage boxes available, in particular shockboxes and great printed inserts. See http://southtown-homebrew.com/index.php?cPath=170 for an example.

However, I actually like the simple boxes and label that MVS cartridges originally were shipped with. An Australian supplier http://www.noodleshirt.com/store is now offerring reproduction boxes, labels and ant static bags.

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New Arcade Projects Chase HQ & Space Invaders

I haven’t had as much time as I would like lately to spend time on my projects. I have been tinkering away at a few things, but haven’t got to the point where it is worth writing about. Anyway some project arcade machines became available locally, so I couldn’t let them pass. These need a fair bit of work, but I reckon I can bring them back to life.

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Intellivision Stuff

One thing I like about old consoles is some of the accessories you can get for them. The Intellivision has several accessories, and recently I was given an ECS computer module and keyboard. The computer module was touted that it could turn the Intellivision into a computer, making it possible to write programs and store them to tape, and interface with a printer. However I believe that the ECS computer module provided very limited ability to do much that was useful. It is needed for some games that require the extra capability provided by the module.

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