Monday, 8 April 2019

The "Sharp KJS TV Game XG-102"

Hi again folks,

Today i want to show the Sharp KJS TV Game XG-102 which was only released in Japan around 1977-1979 and was a "hotel (?)" game console which you inserted a 100 Yens coins and you could choose between 3 games (err...four actually).


Now this is the game console and by the looks of it, it's pretty heavy and bulky and looks like abit like a CB Radio with it's two green paddles.

Here's the front panel closer:


If you look closely, the first switch (on the left) is for the sound (built-in speaker) which you can either select "Low" (up position) and "High" (down position). The second switch (between the left switch and the big dial) is the "Game Select" which you can choose between two games variations "Game 1" and "Game 2".

The big dial in the middle is to select which game you wanna play: Block, Car Race or Sports and the last switch (to the far right) is the TV/Game Select which is a momentary switch ("TV" in up position and "Game" when pressed down).

Now as for the games: The first is "Block" which is game #3 (Break-In 1) on the GI AY-3-8606-1:


The second game is "Car Race" which is one of the 2 games (1 or 2 players) on the GI AY-3-8603-1:


And the third game is "Sports" which is either "Football/Soccer":


Or "Basketball".  Hockey and Basketball are games in the GI AY-3-8600-1 & AY-3-8610-1.


So this game console has three dedicated games chips and if you mod it, you can easily make a A/V output and play other built-in games in both the AY-3-8606-1 and AY-3-8600-1 (with extra switches).

I saw a few passed by on Yahoo Japan Auction and they usually end around 10,000 Yens (about $100 US) but shipping this beast to North America is a hefty sum as it cost about $150-200.

I wanted one for quite a while but thanks to the seller "taka868686", most of the pictures here comes from his auction (all except the first picture) so now i know exactly which dedicated chip are in this console (but would be nice to see the game board inside). And NO...i don't have this console in my collection since i already have the dedicated chips and have no space for this huge console.

So if you have at least $300 to spare and like BIG (and strange) game console than check out Yahoo Auction Japan as this game console is auction until April 13, 2019. If you missed it, there will be another one in the following weeks as it's the forth one i've saw in the past two months.

And before closing this post, here's more pictures of the console...enjoy!






Sunday, 3 February 2019

Reply to Randall Armstrong (Semore Owl creator)

Hi Mr. Armstrong,

Sorry for the late reply. So you are the creator of the "Semore Owl" ?


Can you tell us the story (me and the readers) on how Semore was created ? Or any insight about the Memorex VIS MD-2500 ? Many would like to know more about this obscure game system. Also do you have a Dev kit ? So many things we wanna know!

Hopefully you will read this post and tell some tids & bits! Thanks again and take care!

--- Sly DC ---

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Alfa Electronics Videotronic

Hi folks!

I have finally got my hands on a pretty rare discrete Pong console (after more than 10 years looking for it) from an Ebay seller in the UK (since i don't know if i can post his nickname or real name, he'll remain anonymous) which is called the "Videotronic" from Alfa Electronics.

So here's some pictures:













And here's a few pics of the "guts" of the console:





The picture with the red clip is where i hooked up to my TV monitor to display in composite video, so here's some screen shots of the games:

 "Tennis" game

"Football" game 

"Squash" game

If you see carefully, player 1 spot has horizontal lines inside the spot:


And the player 2 has vertical lines inside the spot:


which is SSSOOO pratical to know which player is whom. ;)

And this spot:


Well, this spot is the score indicator! Yup, depending on who scored, it goes to the left or right until a player made 4 points then after, the score spot comes back to it's initial position (on top of the center line). 

And here's some pics of the box and manual:

                                      




The cover of the manual looks so much like the cover of the box.

And finally, here's some videos of the games in action:

"Tennis"

"Football"

"Squash"

And i will upload the scan of the manual in a few days with a LOT (all i have found so far in twenty years on the net and self-scanned Pong manuals) first generation game manuals (Pong consoles and related). 

But if you are looking for some second generation game system manual, then go here:
https://archive.org/details/2ndGenerationVideoGameSystemsManuals

And if you're looking for other manuals, roms or scan books, just go here:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A"Sly+DC"

Until next, take care all! =)

--- Sly DC ---



Reply to Cole Johnson

Hi Cole,

Thanks! I heard about your work on a MAME forum on bannister as "seanriddle" posted about you
and the great work your doing for the AY-3-8500-1. I cannot imagine the idea of trying to retrace the
die inside the chip as i've read about the creator of the AY-3-8500 (Gilbert Duncan Harrower) that it took about a 1,000 transistors to make the circuit of this chip. For anyone who wants to read the interview of Mr.Harrower done by Nate Lockhart (a few days ago), go here:

https://thegeekiverse.com/interview-with-gilbert-duncan-harrower-inventor-of-the-pong-on-a-chip/

And i've noyiced that you responded to Nate's interview and writing that the AY-3-8500-1 has
2,318 transistors ?!?! WOAH!! And if this can help, have you read this post: http://discreteconsoles.blogspot.com/2015/10/emulation-of-ay-3-8500-1-and-clones-soon.html

There's a Pong console that is totally made with TTL's (don't know how many) called the "Palestra-2" made in the Soviet Union. In the post, there is a link to download the schematic of this console.

And if anyone from the MAME/MESS team (especially seanriddle) needs the schematic of the uPD777C (Epoch Cassette Vision dedicated chips), i was able to get my hands on it thanks to the developer of  those chips.

And for fun, i've made a Pong clock simulator of the AY-3-8500-1 in 2013 here: https://love2d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=76068&p=156817&hilit=8500#p156817

So keep up the great work you are doing Cole, one day when we will be able to play the games from the AY-3-8500-1 in emulator form, it will be because of the hard work you've accomplished!

P.S., my cat says "meow"! :p (lol!)

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Bandai TV-Jack 1000

Hi folks!

It's been quite a while i haven't posted here (about 8 months) but i haven't closed this blog and neither the others. OK so let's go to the topic: the Bandai (Video Mate) TV-Jack 1000.

I have received 2 days ago some electronic games and game consoles from Japan and since this game
console is going to a long-time friend game collector in the U.S., i thought i would take pictures (and tested it of course) before it hits the road to the "BBQ" state. ;)



It's is quite small and that is understandable as space in Japanese homes is usually small (rather compacted). Even if all the writing is in Japanese, it's really easy to figure out the buttons.

The one on the left top is the "Game Select" (Tennis, Hockey, Squash & Practice", the one on the left bottom is the ON/OFF switch (What gave this away ? LOL!!), the three buttons in the middles are (not in order as i didn't tested those): Ball Angle, Ball Speed and Automatic/Manual Serve aand the big one on the right is the "Reset" button.


The AC adaptor (also tiny) has a 9 volts DC (Direct Current) at 80mA (milliAmpere) with positive tip. 80mA ? That's almost nothing as power consuming and i'll show why later on...Oh and the same AC adaptor can be used on the TV-Jack 1500.

So before i open the beast (the game console)...here's my residential black beast! :P


She is called "Princess" as my daughter loved the Disney Princesses back then, as for me, i call her "Black beast" (when she done something wrong) or "Guidoune!"



This is the PC board of the TV-Jack 1000, not much electronic parts but the "All-in-one Pong chips" back then didn't needed much electronic parts to make it worked.


As you can see in this picture, the chip is a TMS1955NL which is a Texas Instruments "AY-3-8500-1" clone but this chip is almost half size then the generic one (this is the first time i'm seeing a TMS1955NL so small) and that's why the AC adaptor uses so few milliamps!


And here's the chip which colorize the games, the "SN76499N" also made by Texas Instruments, and the big grey thing underneath is the crystal.


And here's the back of the PC board.


And this is where i took the video signal: Pin# 8 of the SN76499N

And here's the screenshots of the games:

 TENNIS


 HOCKEY


 SQUASH


PRACTICE


So that's it for the Bandai TV-Jack 1000, it's a simple 4 game console but can play 6 games as the light gun games are not used (rather not connected) in this game console. So this one will be going to a good home quite soon! =)