In the early to mid-90s, the Texas Instruments Ti-82 Graphics Calculator (or Graphing Calculator) was introduced and became a requirement in some high schools. I never had the official serial link cable to connect mine to a PC, but it came with a calculator-to-calculator link cable. That cable was very popular during math lessons for trading pictures, programs and games. We had several games back then, but I only remember one game, a Breakout clone programmed in TI-BASIC that was painfully slow.
I still have this calculator, but it was sitting in a drawer for more than 20 years. In this article, I will bring it back to life and connect it to a modern Windows 10 PC to install a Breakout clone or something better on it.
The second generation professional and authoring CD-i players of the Philips CDI60x series feature a DE-9 RGB port. To improve the video quality of my CDI605T/20 and also to prepare for future experiments, I built a prototype RGB SCART adapter. The needed pinout is documented in the 605 and 605Tuser manuals on ICDIA.
After the first tests were successful, I made this schematic for an adapter with a SCART socket (output) for both RGB video and audio:
This Hori Joystick-7 (HJ-7) for the Nintendo Famicom has been sitting on my shelf for many years. When I finally took it out to use it for the first time, I noticed that the stick got stuck when moving it all the way to the left or right. In this article, I will open it up and fix that issue.
The Cuckoo CRP-N0681F rice cooker doesn’t run Doom (yet; see below), but it can talk, sing and chuff like a steam locomotive. It also prepares all kinds of rice. One day, the display went blank. The next time I plugged it back in, it greeted me in Korean and wanted me to set the clock. It seemed that the internal battery had died and the user manual agreed with that:
About Lithium battery – This product contains lithium battery for improving blackout compensation and time. Lithium battery lasts 3 years. – When current time is not displayed on the screen, it means the battery is exhausted. It should be replaced.
Unfortunately, that’s all what the manual had to say about this topic. A quick search on the internet didn’t reveal any clues about the battery replacement, so I opened it up to have a look inside.
Last weekend, marqs released firmware v0.91 for the CPS2 Digital AV Interface. The new firmware finally has an OSD implemented and brings back the scanlines. Further features include TX mode, quad stereo output and two additional VESA resolutions (1280×1024 and 1600×1200). You can find all functions and some explanations among the OSD menu structure and the sample pictures below.
It has been on my table for a while to figure out a working Philips CDI490 RGB SCART modification. The topic caught my interest when it came up in the community on The world of CD-i last year. Back then, I thought it would be quite easy because the small 470 and 490 CD-i players share a certain mainboard (Mono IV) with their big brothers 660/00, 220/80 and 210/60. There are only some components missing that could be figured out by looking at the service manuals.
However, I couldn’t try it out back then because I didn’t have a working 470 or 490. I focused on repairing my 470 first and then adding a PAL/NTSC switch. Eventually, I bought the needed components and two broken 490s to experiment with.
This is a follow-up to the modifications I did to a NTSC VA15 Saturn. In this article, I will implement the following Sega Saturn (PAL VA3) modifications: Region-free BIOS, FRAM, and a 50/60 Hz switch (SW4).
After finishing the last article, I took three broken PAL Saturns that I had lying around apart to see what I could repair and modify next: A Model 1 with VA1 mainboard, a Model 1 with VA3 (aka “PAL VA SD”) mainboard and an almost identical Model 2 (VA5, also “PAL VA SD”). I had only one working Type-B power supply, so I had to make a choice. I went with the VA3 Model 1 because the mainboard was in the best condition and only needed a working disc drive and power cable, reset button stick, power suppy and some cleaning. This is how is looked before:
Right now, it seems to have a bug when used in combination with a SuperCIC. As soon as the SuperCIC is enabled in the configuration, there is no picture and sync is lost (also, weird readings on the OSSC display). Upon switching the frequency, the LED of the console turns red and is stuck in that status. According to this thread, a firmware update is needed for one of the SuperCIC chips. I’m looking forward to see if this can be resolved through a SD2SNES firmware update. Otherwise, I’ll have to desolder and flash one of the SuperCIC chips.