Thursday, January 14, 2016

A/V modding the Toshiba Visicom COM-100

Looks like "déja vu" for me since i did tell how on Atari Age forums to mod a Toshiba Visicom with Audio & Composite Video output (see here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/209519-rca-studio-ii-gold-mine-an-interview-with-the-studio-2-production-manager/?view=findpost&p=3214733 ).

Well the picture i've uploaded on the forum has vanished into oblivion, but fear not! Here's the original picture:


So since it's pretty late and i'm beginning to be sleepy (and lazy at the same time...lol!), i'll copy-paste what i wrote of the forum:

"It is really simple actually, you will only need to solder (or tie together...not the best thing but only do this if you don't have a solder iron) 3 wires! One for the video, one for the audio and one for the ground. At first when i've opened the console, i was hesitant since everything written is in Japanese but once i saw only seven wires connected to the RF modulator, it was much easier than to translate...lol!

There is three yellow wires which are connected to a switch, these three you can cut since it's only for channel 1 & 2 and you can also cut the wire next to the yellow indicated by a weird "N" symbol (that one is the +5V). Now that four wires are cut, there is only three left (those that we need). Now cut those three and solder/wire them to the appropriate output (video = yellow, audio = red and ground ....is ground! lol!). Voila! Told you guys that it was simple!"

And this is no joke, it is actually one of the simplest mod that can be done. So for the next A/V mod, it will be M-1200/MPT-02 clones as "phreak97" (from Atari Age forums) is testing out the A/V mod
on a Soundic Victory MPT-02 (and another Soundic for "space_man73") and it's going great!

Oh and i have almost finished the schematic of the color circuit for all M-1200/MPT-02, this will be a great help to understand how it's done and how to make a good A/V mod. =)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A/V modding the RCA Studio II (with other mods too)

I wanted to make a history of the RCA Studio II as my second post but this will have to wait for the moment. Now some of you may wanted to mod your Studio II with composite video and audio output for quite a time now and to say "bye-bye!" to the dreaded RF switch box, well now here's your chance.

You won't need a crash course in electronics to do this i assure you as i only used a few components to do this. You will only need 1 Transistor (2N3904) and x3 Resistors (x1 4,700 (4,7K) ohms, x1 10,000 (10K) ohms and x1 1,000 (1K) ohms). See picture below:


First, you need to find the two resistors (those circled in blue) and where those two resistors are connected, you will need to do the following circuit (in red) to amplify the video signal. The two resistors just below the CDP1861 (aka Pixie) are the SYNC and VIDEO combined. After doing the circuit now is to test it if it works or not. To solder to GROUND, you can solder on the metal RF modulator as it is grounded and as for the +5 Volts, either take a multimeter and find a solder point which has the +5V or you can simply solder directly to the 9 Volts input.

If everything is OK, then this should happen:






And as you can see on the last picture, there is a switch and a Coleco Perma Power plugged in the Studio II. Those are other simple mods i added as i have thrown out the RF switch box at least a year ago. Check the pictures just how i've done it:





As you can see in the second picture, i reused the RF cable to connect the 9 Volts input jack as the cable is already isolated (and a way to recycle too!). And the last mod i did a the last minute was to install a green LED which blinks each time a sound is made (great if you muted the "BEEP" while listening to music). To do this i used the tape circuit of the Cosmac VIP and modified it as i takes a hex inverter but i used a 2N3904 (love those little transistors!) to invert the signal.

Check the video i have posted on my Youtube channel:


Now it's very late and i'm almost sleeping on the keyboard so good night folks! (RRrrZZzz....)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Blog for 2016!

Hi folks,

I have just created this new blog about anything related to the RCA Studio II like clones, games, homebrews, programmers, stories, mods, etc... ever since Blazing Lazers started a topic called "RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!" on Atari Age (http://atariage.com/forums/topic/209519-rca-studio-ii-gold-mine-an-interview-with-the-studio-2-production-manager/), things have really moved for the Studio II and everything related and it's not about to end!

Many web sites are dubbing the RCA Studio II the "Worst Console Ever", which i find disturbing. OK the Studio II doesn't have colors, quality sounds or joysticks but it is the second cartridge-based game system ever released (the Fairchild Channel F beat the Studio II by a few weeks) and has it's place in the Video Game History (if you want the worst game system ever, just think of the Nintendo Virtual Boy...that thing gives me a headache in less than 10 minutes...i have more fun playing a Tomy 3D handheld game than playing a Virtual Boy!).

But why the RCA Studio II ? Well...first, this game system (or any clones) never was sold/released here in Canada so i only discovered that this game system existed in 1996 as i "surfed" the web for the first time. But it wasn't before meeting Al Backiel (of Digital Press) at the Phillyclassic in 2001 that i was beginning to be more interesting of this game system and the European clones, which a few weeks later i gave some information about the European clones to Al to put into the DP guide and without any warning, i was credited along Al for the RCA Studio II cartridge listing (and i also became a Guide Editor for the 6th and 7th editions thanks to Al). So since then, i still keep an eye out to any new information about the Studio II (and clones).

Back in 2007, i was thinking of modifying an RCA Studio II with 2-3 mods like Audio/Video output (done it - great to finally throw out the damn RF box!), independent power jack (also done it...sort of) and a ON/OFF switch (seems stupid but very useful which i still didn't do it). But after some time, my list of mods have grown to more than 15 mods. I will discuss those mods in time due, that's a promise!

So keep a watch from time to time in this coming year! =)