VIDEONULA questions

discuss both original and modern hardware for the bbc micro/electron
drfloyd
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VIDEONULA questions

Post by drfloyd » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:12 am

Hello, here is the french frog who speak english like spanish cow :)

ABOUT VIDEONULA

I have some questions :

- where is this card on sales ?
- On your motherboard, does it come on addition, or does it replace the current video chip ?
- does it create incompatibilities with games catalog ?
- The recent games take advantage of this card ?
- Does it improve the speed/fluidity of the games ?
- Others great advantages ? (emulator of Amstrad CPC with a Rasp Pi ?)

Thank you

mr-macrisc
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by mr-macrisc » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:44 am

Rob C in here sells them (if he has any at moment )

It replaces the original Nula chip so in most bbc just a pull and replace but on master it’s a de-solder to swap it.

They don’t break games but they do allow you to use custom palettes on them which makes commando look like coin-op rather than using silly colours and that can make quite a few games look a lot better.

Yes there is also the emulators spectrum and cpc look great.

Also hope with it appearing in some beeb emulators now it could be new software or updated software will appear that takes advantage :)

RobC
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by RobC » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:41 pm

I don't usually keep them in stock any more but am always happy to make small numbers to order (as long as people understand that they take time to make).

mr-macrisc has answered most of the questions but I'll just add that the VideoNuLA board replaces the original Video ULA chip. This is usually socketed on the model B but is often soldered in on the B+ and Master. If you're not confident with desoldering, I offer a free service if you pay the postage costs (only the PCB needs to be sent).

It won't make existing games smoother but can improve their palettes (as has been said). It does also offer smoother horizontal scrolling but, although there are a couple of demos that use it, there aren't any new games that use it yet.

Tricky's Frogger is an example of a new game that uses the extra colours available.

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egel
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by egel » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:22 pm

Will a VideoNuLA fit next to an ATPL Sidewise ROM board? From what I can see it will be very tight.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by drfloyd » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:32 pm

ah the ULA can be fixed, i will have to check that when a have a BBC

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by RobC » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:51 pm

egel wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:22 pm
Will a VideoNuLA fit next to an ATPL Sidewise ROM board? From what I can see it will be very tight.
Not next to but it should fit *under* the ATPL board. You may want to raise the ATPL board up a little by using a couple of sockets just to be absolutely sure of clearance. I include one turned pin socket in case you want to replace the original (or if the Video ULA needs to be desoldered) but am happy to include a couple more if asked.

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tricky
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by tricky » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:08 pm

This image is a little out of date as the non-NuLA version has Magenta logs, but I think the rest demonstrates what can be done if the game is written for the NuLA.
Image
And also what Moon Patrol looked like about a year ago on NuLA, which is the last time I actually did any real work on it!
Image
I think some of the custom palettes for existing games make even more of a difference.

Did anyone mention DOOM (search youtube bbc micro doom) on the beeb, it is another of RobC's emulators, but at least it is playable (very).

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by drfloyd » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:19 pm

Arcade Perfect

What a shame that there was not a BBC Master + in 1986 with a 16 color palette !

Yes Doom, incredible... apparenty even playable without NULA in 8 colors.

And Wolfenstein 3D ?

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by RobC » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:51 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:19 pm
And Wolfenstein 3D ?
You are the second person to ask about this in the last 24 hours! :D

It could definitely be ported - it's just a matter of compiling the C source code and hooking up the keyboard, graphics and sound. I may eventually get round to it (got to finish Doom first!) but am happy to help anyone else who want to take it on.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by roobarb! » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:25 pm

I'm sorry, Doom? I've clearly not been listening. :shock:

Whoa, Spectrum emulator? CPC? I only got my NuLA to mess around with colours and replace the twitchy space heater ULA in my old Beeb! What rabbit hole is this!
BBC Model B - 32K, Issue 4, IFEL RAM/ROM, Speech System, Turbo MMC
A3010 - Unknown condition, hiding in the loft!
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by egel » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:01 pm

RobC wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:51 pm
egel wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:22 pm
Will a VideoNuLA fit next to an ATPL Sidewise ROM board? From what I can see it will be very tight.
Not next to but it should fit *under* the ATPL board. You may want to raise the ATPL board up a little by using a couple of sockets just to be absolutely sure of clearance. I include one turned pin socket in case you want to replace the original (or if the Video ULA needs to be desoldered) but am happy to include a couple more if asked.
The ATPL board cannot go any further up because some chips are already pressed against the bottom of the keyboard. So if the VideoNuLa does not fit next to the ATPL board, the VideoNuLa must be raised.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by Kazzie » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:20 pm

egel wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:01 pm
RobC wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:51 pm
egel wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:22 pm
Will a VideoNuLA fit next to an ATPL Sidewise ROM board? From what I can see it will be very tight.
Not next to but it should fit *under* the ATPL board. You may want to raise the ATPL board up a little by using a couple of sockets just to be absolutely sure of clearance. I include one turned pin socket in case you want to replace the original (or if the Video ULA needs to be desoldered) but am happy to include a couple more if asked.
The ATPL board cannot go any further up because some chips are already pressed against the bottom of the keyboard. So if the VideoNuLa does not fit next to the ATPL board, the VideoNuLa must be raised.
That's interesting. My ATPL Sidewise has worked the contacts loose in the ADC socket, and yesterday I sat a set of dual-wipe sockets inbetween the Sidewise and the motherboard to improve the electrical contact until I get the soldering iron out, and I still managed to fit the keyboard and case on.
BBC Model B 32K issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
RiscPC 600 under repair
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by RobC » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:37 pm

egel wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:01 pm
The ATPL board cannot go any further up because some chips are already pressed against the bottom of the keyboard. So if the VideoNuLa does not fit next to the ATPL board, the VideoNuLa must be raised.
In that case, I suspect you won't need to raise up the ATPL board any more as VideoNuLA will simply fit underneath. However, I'll also check that VideoNuLA can be raised above it.
roobarb! wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:25 pm
I'm sorry, Doom? I've clearly not been listening.

Whoa, Spectrum emulator? CPC? I only got my NuLA to mess around with colours and replace the twitchy space heater ULA in my old Beeb! What rabbit hole is this!
VideoNuLA has a Spectrum attribute mode and can match the CPC's palette. You need a Pi co-pro though as they use the native Pi ARM core for the emulation. If you want copies of them, search for "Spectrom" and CPC emulator on here or contact me directly.

Doom needs a Pi co-pro and hard drive as the program and WAD files are so large. There are three modes: 16 colour mode 2 NuLA, 8 colour mode 2 non-NuLA and 4 colour mode 1 non-NuLA.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by drfloyd » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:56 pm

DOOM need a hard-disc ?

bad news

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danielj
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by danielj » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:09 pm

You can emulate a hard disk with another raspberry pi zero dangling off the 1MHz BUS.

d.

drfloyd
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by drfloyd » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:15 pm

A second Pi to emulate a hard disk ?

i become crazy

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by Kazzie » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:39 pm

Then maybe use a Pi connected to the User Port to provide an MMFS system, another Pi to emulate a floppy drive / gotek, and yet another Pi on the printer port to let you print tweets online... :P :lol:

Edit: actually, that last one could be interesting to do. It sort of reminds me of this: https://mobile.twitter.com/StrongBadAct ... 7781980160

Image
BBC Model B 32K issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
RiscPC 600 under repair
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

mr-macrisc
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by mr-macrisc » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:59 pm

Or a beeb scsi or datacentre for the doom files?and there is a post in here about running from an SD interface as well.
Last edited by mr-macrisc on Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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danielj
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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by danielj » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:27 pm

Given that neither of these are readily available, I'd say the Pi is the easiest option :)

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by RobC » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:54 am

drfloyd wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:56 pm
DOOM need a hard-disc ?

bad news
Sorry - it uses the original Doom WAD files which are several MB in size so a hard drive is the only practical option without lots of floppy changing.

The Pi->1MHz bus option is probably the cheapest (and gives other great features like the Music 5000) but there are others - I believe Doom has been also been run from a DataCentre, GoSDC, BeebSCSI, MMC and even an original SCSI hard drive.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by egel » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:12 am

Kazzie wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:20 pm
That's interesting. My ATPL Sidewise has worked the contacts loose in the ADC socket, and yesterday I sat a set of dual-wipe sockets inbetween the Sidewise and the motherboard to improve the electrical contact until I get the soldering iron out, and I still managed to fit the keyboard and case on.
My board has long bendy legs, approximately this length but more bendable, making ic51, the OS ROM, touch the bottom of the keyboard.
PRODPIC-2264-3.jpg
Maybe you have shorter legs.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by Kazzie » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:46 am

egel wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:12 am
Kazzie wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:20 pm
That's interesting. My ATPL Sidewise has worked the contacts loose in the ADC socket, and yesterday I sat a set of dual-wipe sockets inbetween the Sidewise and the motherboard to improve the electrical contact until I get the soldering iron out, and I still managed to fit the keyboard and case on.
My board has long bendy legs, approximately this length but more bendable, making ic51, the OS ROM, touch the bottom of the keyboard.
PRODPIC-2264-3.jpg Maybe you have shorter legs.
My board also has long legs, but they may be slightly shorter than those.

I myself definitely have long legs: it makes buying trousers a pain! :lol:
BBC Model B 32K issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
RiscPC 600 under repair
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by Naomasa298 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:27 pm

I want one with three slips, a short leg and a silly mid-off.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by mr-macrisc » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:44 pm

danielj wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:27 pm
Given that neither of these are readily available, I'd say the Pi is the easiest option :)
. There is a way to run from SD as well

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by egel » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:11 pm

egel wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:22 pm
Will a VideoNuLA fit next to an ATPL Sidewise ROM board? From what I can see it will be very tight.
p1030777.jpg
Yes it fits. It's on the same level now. A challenge is to lay the fly-lead in such a way that the big yellow spring clip falls between the small chips so that the Sidewise ROM board fits above it.

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by drfloyd » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm

i unterstand that it is not easy on Master 128 to replace the video chip for a Nula ??

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by RobC » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:38 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm
i unterstand that it is not easy on Master 128 to replace the video chip for a Nula ??
You usually have to desolder the original ULA on the M128 (IC42).

I'm happy to do it free of charge if you cover the postage costs. (You only need to post the motherboard to me.)

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by drfloyd » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:21 pm

i will not post this from france to uk, the shipping cost x 2 will be crazy

it's a shame...

I keep 8 colors ;)

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by Kazzie » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:43 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:21 pm
I keep 8 colors ;)
Or 16 if you count flashing them on and off! :wink:
BBC Model B 32K issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
RiscPC 600 under repair
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

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Re: VIDEONULA questions

Post by Naomasa298 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:56 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:21 pm
i will not post this from france to uk, the shipping cost x 2 will be crazy

it's a shame...

I keep 8 colors ;)
I don't know how it works in France, but I can get something the size of a Master to a French address for £15 using DPD - which is owned by a French company La Poste. I imagine you'd be able to find an agent there to get it to the UK for about the same.

https://www.dpd.fr/

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