ABUG Canada West

meet fellow forum members at these classic gaming/computing events
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KarateEd
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ABUG Canada West

Post by KarateEd » Mon May 28, 2018 4:45 am

Hi Folks,

A new group has formed in Canada, ABUG Canada West.

Though it only consists of 2 members at the moment, the first meet-up was very eventful and successful, and a lot of fun. It is so much more fun to be able to meet face to face with other Acorn owners and discuss and troubleshoot issues.

The current membership is Paul Klintworth and Ed Dorosh and we met for about 3-1/2 hours of Acorn blissfulness.

One of the things we forgot to do was take pictures but we will do that next time.

Project one was to try to revive Paul's PSU in a UK Beeb. All seemed well until we took voltages. Every voltage reading taken was 0 volts. Fortunately I had a spare PSU which I could lend to Paul until he can get that one repaired. It was a bit strange in that when we took the readings, all of them went directly to 0 volts and stayed there firmly. I have a schematic that I'll pour over to see if I can see what's up but it sounds like a component has blown. If anyone could suggest what we might check, that would be awesome.

Paul also had a US Beeb that actually runs an Electron version of Stryker's Run. I thought that was pretty cool as the screen sizes are different in the US model compared to the UK models.

That machine (US model) had a problem as well at first. When we went to boot it up, it made a very small noise and then ....... wait for it ...... nothing!!!! I started thinking about some of the things that have been posted here and also about the most common issues that Beebs have. We decided to swap out one of the 6522s and voila, magically it did the ol' Buh Beep! 2 success stories in one day, how about that. There is nothing like feeling that special pride of bringing to life a couple of the old computers.

Paul was very generous and gave me some diskettes for my A3010 and an Acorn Computing magazine that featured the A3010 when it first came out. I love having reading material in my hand when I read so this is most appreciated and..... I'll love perusing the diskettes. Thanks Paul.

I think the 2 of us, so far, make pretty good techs considering we could know more for these kind of fixes but we did well today.

One other thing we did was play a bit on my Master and my A3010. Paul is familiar with RISC OS, more than I am I'll bet and we had a bit of fun with both machines before the cavalry came calling and it was time to pack up.

So..... the long and short of it is the ABUG Canada West group is alive and well though severely under manned at the moment. Should there be any other Acorn users in the area, it would be wonderful to get together and have an even bigger meet-up.

We haven't scheduled our next meet-up but it may be in North Vancouver (this was in Squamish today) next time where we'll endeavour to embark on more projects which I'm sure we'll be able to handle. I still have 2 motherboards under the weather so we'll see how that goes.

Out for now,

Ed...... :-)
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards

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flaxcottage
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by flaxcottage » Mon May 28, 2018 6:58 am

Sounds like a good meet. :D
- John
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tricky
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by tricky » Mon May 28, 2018 8:24 am

Sounds good.
I've tried to get Gil (see Jeltron, lives in Vancouver) interrested in retro, but he's too busy with current games development.
Do beeb games that drive the CRTC directly (like most of mine) work on an American beeb?

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KarateEd
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by KarateEd » Mon May 28, 2018 2:35 pm

tricky wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:24 am
Sounds good.
I've tried to get Gil (see Jeltron, lives in Vancouver) interrested in retro, but he's too busy with current games development.
Do beeb games that drive the CRTC directly (like most of mine) work on an American beeb?
Hi Tricky,

Do you have an example of a game written that way? I could test it out or perhaps I've already played one. Both Paul and I use the GBS-8200 scanner to get output to the monitor so I don't know how that would work for 'direct to screen programming'.

Or barring that, do you have an SSD that I could test? It doesn't have to be a full program, just something you could write fairly quickly using those techniques and then mail it to me?

Ed...... :-)
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards

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KarateEd
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by KarateEd » Mon May 28, 2018 2:36 pm

flaxcottage wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 6:58 am
Sounds like a good meet. :D
It was a great meet and we actually accomplished something. Paul is very interested also in educational software and it seems a lot of that software will run on the US Beeb.

Ed...... :-)
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards

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tricky
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by tricky » Mon May 28, 2018 5:03 pm

All of my games on bbcmicro.co.uk reprogram the 6845, I just couldn't remember if any relied on the OS changing mode first.
If you leave phoenix on the loading screen, it will swap between the mode 7 splash screen and the lovely mode 1 one by programming UK settings.
They would be outputting a signal with PAL timing, but I guess if you are using RGB, the encoding doesn't matter.
My guess would be that if a UK beeb works with them, then a USA one programmed as a UK one would too, but I don't know.
I also don't know how happy the RF and composite encoders would be, that would take more electronics knowledge than I have.

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KarateEd
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by KarateEd » Mon May 28, 2018 7:54 pm

tricky wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 5:03 pm
All of my games on bbcmicro.co.uk reprogram the 6845, I just couldn't remember if any relied on the OS changing mode first.
If you leave phoenix on the loading screen, it will swap between the mode 7 splash screen and the lovely mode 1 one by programming UK settings.
They would be outputting a signal with PAL timing, but I guess if you are using RGB, the encoding doesn't matter.
My guess would be that if a UK beeb works with them, then a USA one programmed as a UK one would too, but I don't know.
I also don't know how happy the RF and composite encoders would be, that would take more electronics knowledge than I have.
My guess is most of the games for the Beeb aren't going to work well on the US model but I'll get Paul to give it a try. I'll get him to run something like Frogger or Phoenix and see what happens. I suspect the results will be weird.

Ed...... :-)
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards

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klintworth
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by klintworth » Mon May 28, 2018 8:00 pm

Looking forward to the next meet up! Paul =D>
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KarateEd
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by KarateEd » Mon May 28, 2018 8:44 pm

Me too Paul. We should start planning what we will do in the next meet-up, where we'll have it and for how long.

Ed...... :-)
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards

waltermixxx
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by waltermixxx » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:18 pm

I'm in the GTA (greater Toronto Area) and I have a collection of Acorn computers:

Acorn Atom + CoCo Colour card, and 32K of ram, and MMC based storage. :)
Acorn Electron with a PLUS1, pegasus 400 disk controller card, and home made USER PORT with UPPURS PORT expansion card.
Master128 with 2 floppy drives. :)
A7000 motherboard coming my way, which I hope to transplant into a PC tower.

the A7000 will be my focus for the next little while, but would love to pick your brains regarding these risc based Acorn computers. :)

Not sure I would be able join a meeting in person, but would love to setup a skype call for your next one?
Last edited by waltermixxx on Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KarateEd
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by KarateEd » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:01 am

Hi Walter,

Well, interesting. I'll speak for myself and let you know I have an A3010 but really haven't got a lot of knowledge on the RISC PCs. I left Iceland after having a Beeb for about 10 months. At that time, I knew the Masters were coming but never even heard of RISC until I bought the A3010. I have a little knowledge but not a ton.

I'm not sure what Paul knows about the RISC PCs but maybe more than me. It shouldn't be hard to set up a meeting with you when we meet on the 5th.

Why don't you send me your email through the messaging system. I have Zoom which is quite a bit better than Skype and we should be able to hook up that way but I'd have to send you a link to your email.

Ed...... :-)
Last edited by KarateEd on Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards

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1024MAK
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:10 pm

tricky wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 5:03 pm
All of my games on bbcmicro.co.uk reprogram the 6845, I just couldn't remember if any relied on the OS changing mode first.
If you leave phoenix on the loading screen, it will swap between the mode 7 splash screen and the lovely mode 1 one by programming UK settings.
They would be outputting a signal with PAL timing, but I guess if you are using RGB, the encoding doesn't matter.
My guess would be that if a UK beeb works with them, then a USA one programmed as a UK one would too, but I don't know.
I also don't know how happy the RF and composite encoders would be, that would take more electronics knowledge than I have.
For the RGB outputs, the TV system does not matter, as long as the receiver can cope with the different timings.
A monochrome signal via the composite output, again, long as the receiver can cope with the different timings, it should be okay [yes there are other differences, but the official channel bandwidth etc does not really matter here).

PAL and NTSC are however different in a lot of ways, but as the signal is encoded after the CRTC and VideoProcessor, a US Beeb should output the NTSC encoded colour, just on a signal with U.K. system I timings [what many people call a PAL signal, is actually a system I signal with colour encoded with the PAL system]. This is a legitimate signal, but it may confuse a TV receiver, as it's not a common format. The modulator does not care. It just modulates a composite signal onto a higher frequency carrier signal.

But it would be fun to find out what pictures actually gets displayed.

Mark

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KarateEd
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by KarateEd » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:10 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:10 pm
tricky wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 5:03 pm
All of my games on bbcmicro.co.uk reprogram the 6845, I just couldn't remember if any relied on the OS changing mode first.
If you leave phoenix on the loading screen, it will swap between the mode 7 splash screen and the lovely mode 1 one by programming UK settings.
They would be outputting a signal with PAL timing, but I guess if you are using RGB, the encoding doesn't matter.
My guess would be that if a UK beeb works with them, then a USA one programmed as a UK one would too, but I don't know.
I also don't know how happy the RF and composite encoders would be, that would take more electronics knowledge than I have.
For the RGB outputs, the TV system does not matter, as long as the receiver can cope with the different timings.
A monochrome signal via the composite output, again, long as the receiver can cope with the different timings, it should be okay [yes there are other differences, but the official channel bandwidth etc does not really matter here).

PAL and NTSC are however different in a lot of ways, but as the signal is encoded after the CRTC and VideoProcessor, a US Beeb should output the NTSC encoded colour, just on a signal with U.K. system I timings [what many people call a PAL signal, is actually a system I signal with colour encoded with the PAL system]. This is a legitimate signal, but it may confuse a TV receiver, as it's not a common format. The modulator does not care. It just modulates a composite signal onto a higher frequency carrier signal.

But it would be fun to find out what pictures actually gets displayed.

Mark
We will definitely be looking at this when we meet up this coming Thursday. I think we tried one game and it was a mess on the screen but don't remember now. We will test several and try to get a flavour of what works and what doesn't.

Ed...... :-)
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards

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klintworth
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by klintworth » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:24 am

Hi Mark,

Yes, looking forward to playing with my US Beeb to see what games work, and which don't. At the moment I have a UK motherboard attached to the US power supply, but it's easy to swap it out. We'll have fun testing it out on Thursday! Paul
PS Just remembered had trouble getting a display from this motherboard, so that's the first thing to address!
Last edited by klintworth on Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ABUG Canada West

Post by klintworth » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:27 am

Hi Walter,

Looking forward to chatting on Thursday if it works out. I used to have a lot of RiscOS experience, a bit rusty now as I don't have my 32bit machines any more. I used to have an A7000 which I now miss! Paul
BBC B Issue 4, BBC B UNB09 Issue1 (USA), Electron & Castle A7000+

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