Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

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RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:02 pm

TheCorfiot wrote:Can I have 2 boards please Rob...I do really need to come and see you my friend.

Sure - I'm hoping to have another batch finished this weekend. I'll put you down for two and then offer the others.

alienkidmj12
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby alienkidmj12 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:11 pm

any of these left, im interested, i have a bbc 32k and a master 128k. will it fit in either ? what is the price for board and shipping to uk

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TheCorfiot
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby TheCorfiot » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:50 pm

RobC wrote:
TheCorfiot wrote:Can I have 2 boards please Rob...I do really need to come and see you my friend.

Sure - I'm hoping to have another batch finished this weekend. I'll put you down for two and then offer the others.


Thanks Rob
That's one way of making sure I come and visit lol...

See you soon my friend ;)

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:01 am

alienkidmj12 wrote:any of these left, im interested, i have a bbc 32k and a master 128k. will it fit in either ? what is the price for board and shipping to uk

I'm hoping to have some ready later today. I'll probably put up a new thread in the "for sale" section but happy to reserve some for you.

The boards have been tested in all models (Beeb, B+, Master and Compact) but the original Video ULA IC is soldered in on some models so needs to be desoldered.

The price including UK shipping is £52.50.

aotta
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby aotta » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:35 pm

And shipping cost outside UK, in my case, for Italy?

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:19 pm

aotta wrote:And shipping cost outside UK, in my case, for Italy?

Price is £57.75 including delivery to Italy.

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martinw
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby martinw » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:15 pm

Loving my new Nula :D

IMG_5385.JPG

IMG_5389.JPG


Cheers Rob =D>

Martin

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:12 pm

Great setup. Glad the Cub->analogue conversion worked okay :D

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martinw
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby martinw » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:47 pm

Thanks Rob, swapping the jumpers around with one hand behind my back was a doddle :lol:

IMG_5368.JPG


Tha darker colours don't show up so well but the brighter ones look mega.

The Electron looked OK but I preferred the "digital" look so brought my other Cub out of retirement for Electron duties :D

Martin

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:26 pm

martinw wrote:Thanks Rob, swapping the jumpers around with one hand behind my back was a doddle :lol:
...
Tha darker colours don't show up so well but the brighter ones look mega.

Just had a quick look at the Cub service manual: VR111 adjusts contrast and VR134 adjusts brightness. Both are found at the rear of the main PCB when fitted apparently...

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martinw
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby martinw » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:32 pm

Thanks Rob, I'll have a tweak at some point, with my other hand behind my back again of course :D

Martin

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:45 pm

Just opened mine up. Had to remove a load of dirt/dust to read the markings :D

The contrast control is mounted on the back of the monitor (and is labelled as such #-o). In my defence, the service manual implies that the colour saturation is on the back panel. The contrast control has no effect when in analogue mode.

My PCB doesn't have VR134 fitted but there was a pot nearby (back left as you look into the monitor from the rear) marked "Brightness" that seemed to do the same job.

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martinw
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby martinw » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:51 pm

Cheers Rob, you're a gent =D>

Martin

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martinw
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby martinw » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:24 pm

Tweaking (not twerking :shock:) done.

Beautiful ...

IMG_5394.JPG


Cheers Rob =D>

Martin

aotta
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby aotta » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Mine arrived too... mounted in a few minutes on my Compact (but i've desoldere the old ULA last days..) and now i can play with true colors!!
Great package, professional Manual, incredible project realized from scratch... i can't believe it's an hobby for you: my compliments Rob!!

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:11 pm

Thanks Andrea and Martin. Glad you like them :D

aotta
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby aotta » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:51 pm

i am testing a bit more videoNULA, and got it editing my palette (but is possible to save it when launching the rom *VNPALETTE version? :? ) and use new colours in old application, but the example program in your disk don't work and give strange coloured pixel (ATTR1 and ATTR2, GRSCALE instead works fine). And i can't get all colors in new special mode (for example, in mode 101 i can see only 4 color).

What i missed? thank in advance for who can help me!

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:39 pm

aotta wrote:i am testing a bit more videoNULA, and got it editing my palette (but is possible to save it when launching the rom *VNPALETTE version? :? )

You can change filing system within the Palette program by '*' and entering the appropriate *command (e.g. *DISC).
aotta wrote:but the example program in your disk don't work and give strange coloured pixel

Which program are you having problems with?

aotta wrote:And i can't get all colors in new special mode (for example, in mode 101 i can see only 4 color).

What does the text look like? Does it look like mode 5 (i.e. 20 column text) or do you get the new narrow font? If it looks like mode 5, have you turned the new VDU drivers on (*VNVDU ON)?

aotta wrote:What i missed? thank in advance for who can help me!

Feel free to email me with details/screenshots etc.

Best wishes,

Rob

aotta
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby aotta » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:50 pm

Thanks Rob, you solved almost all my questions, and i hope your info will be useful for others VideoNula users: i missed VDU On before using (i thought it was on by default...) and the *disc command before pressing "S" for save palette does its job.
For the test programs, the attr1 worked fine (i expected a bigger output, rereading your manual i understood the output was that little rgb pixel in the upper left corner... :oops: )

The only thing remain strange is the attr2 program: it shows for a second all vertical white bar on the screen then clear it with prompt in the top.. it's the expected output?

Thanks again for your support, and for your great project!

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:25 pm

aotta wrote:Thanks Rob, you solved almost all my questions, and i hope your info will be useful for others VideoNula users: i missed VDU On before using (i thought it was on by default...)

No problem - really glad I could help. It's understandable that you thought the extended VDU drivers should be turned on by default but they default to off to ensure compatibility with existing software (e.g. games). Once on, they'll remain on until you issue a *VNVDU OFF or power off the machine.

aotta wrote:The only thing remain strange is the attr2 program: it shows for a second all vertical white bar on the screen then clear it with prompt in the top.. it's the expected output?

Yes - that sounds correct. If you type anything at the prompt, the text should be multi-coloured (red/purple/grey etc.). The ATTR1 and ATTR2 programs are only really there as examples of how to setup the standard palette for attribute modes and how to enter the control codes to enable them. So, they don't really do very much - sorry for any confusion.

aotta wrote:Thanks again for your support, and for your great project!

Always happy to help - please do feel free to contact me on here or by e-mail if you have any questions.

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grobda
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby grobda » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:08 pm

had a muck about with the joust (skirmish) palette, unfortunately the scores have a cross hatched background that means they get lost, and the pterodactyl looks rubbish, but the rest is looking quite close to the arcade. I tried editing out the cross-hatch (the screen graphics are in skirm2) using a hex editor but the game overwrites it from elsewhere.

Image

good fun though :) do like a good meddle even if im mostly clueless.

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grobda
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby grobda » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:17 pm

I seem to remember a hex editor for the atari st that displayed data as pixels (2 pixels per byte as it also had 4bpp palette) which you could edit and i think import/export... something between a hex editor and paint program. fuzzy memory mind you this was over 25 years ago. any such tools exist for windows or the beeb?

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bakoulis
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby bakoulis » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:22 pm

I have just checked my Master's ULA and unfortunately is soldered.
:(
I will check my other Beebs, but I am afraid all are soldered.

On Amiga usually the upgrade boards put over the original chips.

Is it possible to the future, a new version of VNuLA, which will put the boards over the soldered ULAs without removed the old chips?
:wink:
2xElectron, 3xBBC B, BBC Master.
2xAcorn A310, A420/1, 2xA3000, 2xA3010, A3020, A4000, A5000.
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RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:43 pm

bakoulis wrote:Is it possible to the future, a new version of VNuLA, which will put the boards over the soldered ULAs without removed the old chips?

Possibly though you'd still have to disable the original as you wouldn't want both the VideoNuLA and original ULA generating the system clocks and colour output. (I guess the point is that the connections are not just there to pick up signals from the motherboard - they also replace signals generated by the original ULA.)

Ensuring a good connection would be important as, if the board came loose, you wouldn't want to power the Beeb for too long without the clocks being present. I haven't tried mounting the board over the existing ULA yet so don't know how stable it would be - I'll try to give it a go soon.

Also, I am happy to remove the original ULA free of charge if people are prepared to cover postage costs (but understand that this is obviously more difficult/expensive for those living overseas).

jregel
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby jregel » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:09 pm

I'm very late responding to this thread, because Rob very kindly installed a VideoNuLA in my Master back in August.

Due to real life, I've only just started playing with it properly and just need to say what a fabulous piece of kit it is and what a total gent Rob was for installing it for me (my soldering skills would have probably resulted in a dead Master!). Was totally worth the trip down the M5 and across the bridge to Wales :-)

IMHO, probably the best upgrade you can put in your Beeb. Thanks Rob!
BBC Master Turbo
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garfield
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby garfield » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:46 pm

Is this new device compatible with the specifications / usage of similar add-ons from the Beeb's heyday?

i.e.
1. the original Palettemate device
and
2. the SPX (the Saturn Palette Extension) device

RobC
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Re: Palettemate / enhanced video ULA with 4096 colours

Postby RobC » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:37 pm

garfield wrote:Is this new device compatible with the specifications / usage of similar add-ons from the Beeb's heyday?i.e.1. the original Palettemate deviceand2. the SPX (the Saturn Palette Extension) device

I've not been able to find any documentation for either of these boards so don't know if the VideoNuLA is compatible with them at a hardware level.

As I've said before, my main reason for building this was my failure to find a Palettemate - I even tried to contact Pete Wild. If you have any details, that would be awesome!

VideoNuLA is certainly comparable as it gives 16 colours in mode 2 and a 4096 colour palette. However, it also adds attribute modes and smooth horizontal scrolling :D

From a software point of view, VideoNuLA allows you to use the last three bytes of a VDU 19 command to set the analogue r,g,b value of each of the 16 colours. From the adverts I've seen for the Palettemate and SPX, it seems that they also used VDU 19 in this way so there is compatibility at that level at least.


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