Hippo Gnu Ear

Well, it’s a new year and I’m still waiting on things I ordered in November ๐Ÿ˜€

Firstly, you’ll most likely have noticed I moved to a new host. There are a few “goodies” I can get with the new host, including plugins, so I have moved.

Last year featured a LOT of PCB design and manufacture. I’m still working on the controller replacement PCBs for the CreatiVision, but hopefully we’re at a “release candidate” now.

This year I hope to add a bench power supply to my mix of tools, as well as a logic analyser. WIth those two in hand, I’ll be pretty much set up to work on any of the systems I am likely to encounter.

In the dying days of 2022, I did manage to get some “goodies” that I appreciated.

FinalGROM99 and CoCoSDC

First up, Ebay seller 8Bit-Tronics sold me both a FinalGROM99 and a CoCoSDC, which means the TI -99/4a and the TRS CoCo respectively now have mass storage. I’ve been happily playing games on both, although a lack of joysticks on them is… limiting. That’ll be a project shortly.

I also swapped a working Commodore 64 for a dead Commodore 64 (Long story. I owed someone a favour) and promptly fixed it. It had a bad RAM chip and a hacked power supply switch, and I had spares on hand. I have two others I haven’t had nearly as much luck with, but this one was an easy fix.

Replacement RAM in place.
The replacement switch.
The underside of the switch, neatly soldered in.

In the closing days of 2022, two more things turned up. First up, a friend in the local Retro community gave me a Dick Smith VZ200, plus a RAM expansion and a cassette deck for it. It’s a lovely little machine that I remember from my childhood. I need to make up a cable to allow me to play some games into it, as the one that came with it was unfortunately dead from cable rot.

On the bench. Yes, it does use the same video chip as the CoCo.
It works!

Finally, Greg (Hi Greg!) contacted me with some more Apple II goodies.

First up was a box for an Applied Engineering Datalink modem.

Inside, is not only all the manuals and original hardware, but also a bunch of Beagle Bros software!

There were stickers too!

In the next two boxes were more Apple II cards.

There was also a box for a Serial Card. It’s exactly the same box with a different sticker.

Inside these boxes were an unused Parallel Port card, complete with unused cable, an Apple Tablet card (So if anyone has the Tablet, reach out to me!) and finally what was initially a “mystery card” to both Greg and myself.

Note the unused rainbow ribbon for the Printer Interface card
The “Mystery card”

Turns out the card is an ALF Music Card MC16. An early sound card for the Apple II family of computers. I’ve already made up a pair of flyleads for audio out from it ๐Ÿ™‚

There was also a PROM for a Apple Serial card. Odd, but useful.

One final thing: If you have a GBS-Control, it works fine with the TI-99/4A ๐Ÿ™‚

Excuse the janky box. I pulled apart an existing project to get to the GBS-Control





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