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CrossBow

Ivory Tower Collections - Tech, Game and More Videos!

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Guess I never really noticed this forum dedicated for stuff like this. I've done quite a few YT vids over the past 2 years or so. I just completed a new one this weekend with my game play review of the newly released Port/Homebrew of the excellent platformer known as "L'Abbaye des Morts" (The Abbey of the Dead) for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive. Lots of cool game appearance modes with this one!

 

Enjoy!

 

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I forget about this thread... I've two significant updates to put here, though I posted them in other threads on the forums already.

 

First is my installation process for a customer who wanted an AV and power mod done on their 4-port 5200. So here is the video showcasing that, though it mostly just focuses on the UAV installation into the 5200 itself.

 

 

 

 

 

And then, I recently got a new piece of retro computer tech to play with and have fun and playing with and having fun I have! here is a video on my Roland MT-200 and why it is pretty darn cool!

 

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I've done a quick video on this tech before, but after my frustrations with lack of information on the web about this specific sound module, I thought I would do a small sieres of videos detailing more about it and what I've discovered in using it. Here is part 1 where I cover the basics on the functions or the modules various buttons and describe the uses of the ports along the back. Especially important is that I do a basic overview of the hidden diagnostic/test menu that is hiding within this module and I suspect others as well. This is Part 1 of what I predict will be a 3 part video series.

 

Enjoy!

 

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And here is part 2 of my MT-200 Tutorial. Mainly covering how to change the date and time because believe it or not, that isn't covered in either of the two main owner manuals these come with and certainly hasn't been documented online anywhere before...until now. Additionally, I go over the full functions of diskette operations such as using the built in format function and how to copy songs back and forth..etc. Finally I show the music playback from diskettes and jukebox mode.

 

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As some might know by now, I've got an MT-200 that I picked up over a month ago now. Really cool little device from Roland that was originally intended for use in teaching music. But these devices have the ability to play back midi files through built in disk drives that use IBM formatted 3.5 inch disks. They can also be used as sound modules and with modern day computers can still be made to be used with ScummVM and Dosbox for classic gaming. Anyway I was getting frustrated with my disks seeming to work one day and then a week later suddenly given me read errors. So I read up on using one of these cheap Gotek floppy emulators into mine. But information on actually making one work with my MT-200 wasn't to be found. I did find Gotek's pre-configured to work with devices like my Roland MT-200 and its variants on eBay, but at $80 + shipping that seemed crazy to me. So I bought a generic Gotek with the intention of figuring out how to make it work in my Roland MT-200.


 


I was quite successful and it turned out to be MUCH easier than I thought it would be. I did a video last week on the process of which jumpers are needed, the installation, and the software I found to make it all work in my Roland MT-200. I now share this knowledge in my recently released YT video so that you don't have to pay those crazy prices on eBay either and can hopefully find this useful:


 



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Part 3 and the final video is now done and upped to YouTube on my Roland MT-200 Tutorial series. In this video, I go over the basic hardware needed to connect the MT-200 for use on a modern day computer. I also cover how to get the software drivers along with how to configure ScummVM and DosBOX for using an external MIDI device. Finally I demo how I have my MT-200 connected to my modern day Windows 10 PC along with my Roland MT-32 connected through MIDI Pass-thru. I then demo how I use the two modules in DosBOX on the game Space Quest 1 (VGA Remake). The audio is heavily compressed on this part as Geforce Experience software compresses the audio to mad levels for streaming. But you get the idea on how it works all the same.

 

 

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Got another unique cartridge in the mail over the weekend. Below I present you the entire Future 2612 album created by Th4 D34D and published by Chip Beats! Additional information is found in the video description.

 

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And to kick off the month of April and my 40th official video since I started the ITC YouTube channel, I present to you my unboxing & game play review for the Atari 2600 home brew game: Spies in the Night. Specifically this was the limited special boxed release from last summer. Enjoy and thank you for watching!

 

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Video #41 has been released! In this video I go over the box contents and game play for the excellent home-brew game for the Atari Lynx titled "Weltenschlächter". It has been said quite a lot before that this game compares to Yar's Revenge and that is somewhat true, but then YAR didn't have a bunch of eneyships coming at him all at once at high speed where some require more than one hit to take them out either! It is really fun game and my first purchase (Hopefully not my last) of a Luch Soft title.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Video # 42 is released. This one is a mix of both my passion for midi and classic games. This video is a compilation of midi files I've found for mostly Sega Saturn games that have been sequenced. Here I play them back in really old school style using the old DOS midi playback program known as Mega Mid. This audio and video was captured in real time through my PC from my Roland MT-200 with all audio unfiltered and unedited other than normalizing the audio for consistent volume as many midi files can have their volumes set all over the place between songs. This would probably be more interesting to Dallas since he actually sequences songs himself, but still these are some wonderful sounding compositions through my MT-200 sound module.

 

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Video #43 was uploaded a few days ago, but thought I would show something pretty cool. I recently received a VecFever cart to my collection and it has a cool Jukebox that contains over 3 hours of veccy chip tune music! So, I did what any chip tune, veccy, loving retro guy did and captured the whole set list in real time on video! My Vectrex in this video features the Buzz Off! kit from and V.A.T. (Vectrex Audio Tap) that allows for clean audio output from the vectrex. Both of these are available from Obtanium-Gaming who sells his products via Ebay. This is my longest video to date and took quite a while to create the track listing in the video description as most of these tunes have only a second or less of space between them.

 

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ITC# 47 focuses on a strange pong clone I picked received in this week. Haven't been able to find anything about it so I cover what I could figure out here. I like this clone for its looks and the fact that it has some odd quirks in the game play. Let me know if you have any additional information about this particular unit besides it being from the 70s and sold and branded by JCPenney hehe.


 



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ITC# 48 is available to view. It has been a while since I last released a video and that is only because I've been busy with other projects that took priority. In this video I show you in depth game play on the newly released home brew for the vectrex - Stramash Zone. It is the port of Atari's Battlezone we never got and should have. Worth noting that my camera has trouble with the vectrex and so it appears to flicker much more than it actually does. Not sure the best way to combat that as I figured shooting at 60fps (Fastest my camera can film) would help with that.


 


Enjoy!


 



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This is small series of videos I took freehand with my camcorder during a complete audio/video upgrade of the game room. It is in three parts and doesn't have any real editing, title cards or anything. Still I thought it might interest some people to know how I have everything connected up in my game room and how it all operates and what it looks like.

 

Here is part 1 where I go over the equipment that will be used for everything.

 

 

 

Part 2 goes into more detail about the cabling I will need to use the Extron 7SC for various connection types.

 

 

 

And with part 3 I show everything in place and how it all works and looks.

 

Edited by CrossBow

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ITC#49 has been published....

 

In this video I demonstrate the difference in audio between a stock Sega Genesis model 1 va3 and the same Genesis with Firebrandx's new audio bypass amplifier mod board. In a nutshell this board replaces the internal audio amplifier Sony chip with a new one. It provides much more rich audio and increases the volume to properly line level audio output.

 

This mod is really designed for those who like myself, have RCA audio output jacks installed on their genesis for line level audio to AV receivers. The only editing done on these audio tracks in the video was that all audio samples were normalized for similar volume levels and 5 sec fade outs added to each sample. YT hoses up the sound quite a bit but even through their compression system, you can still hear the difference this new audio amp board makes. 

 

There are a few issues with it as has recently been discovered originally by me while making this video that have been replicated on others. So the purchase of these boards might go on pause for a bit until those minor issues are figured out. In the meantime...if you thought the model 1 Genesis already had excellent sound (And it does compared to the other later models), then you are in for a treat.

 

Enjoy !

 

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ITC# 51 is now online and documents the process to installing a very interesting new mod PCB that has been developed and hopefully will soon be released to the masses. It is called the M1 Double Mega. It is a plug in pcb board specifically designed for the model 1 HDG genesis systems that have separate YM2612 synth ICs in them (Most model 1s do as only the va7 doesn't have one). It allows you to use both the stock YM2612 and CMOS improved pin compatible YM3438 with the ability to switch between them. The YM3438 improves upon the 2612's stereo separation field and has an improved DAC circuit to provide cleaner PCM samples from the Genesis/Megadrive. There are some small audio comparisons at the end where I switch between the two chips on the fly.

 

Enjoy!

 

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If you were ever curious to see the process a modder goes through to install the McWill LCD upgrade into an Atari Lynx II or perhaps curious to try it your self, here is ITC#52 to help guide your the process. While it does look quite easy to do this mod in this video, it actually can be a challenge to remove all the components needed unless you have the right tools. But if one takes their time and is careful, the results are amazing! After this video, I will be focusing on some gaming stuff again to keep the variety there.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Been a while since I did a real video on my channel and that is simply because I've been busy with clients sending me their systems for modification and repairs. However, I decided to use that oppurtunity with a 7800 I was working on to come up with this short video regarding compatibility issues with some 2600 games on the 7800. Especially those 7800s made in the late 80s.

 ITC# 53 demonstrating some of the compatibility issues that are commonly known and one very simple and quick fix I tend to use to correct most of those issues in one go.

Enjoy and thanks again for watching!

 

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Uploaded today is ITC#54 where you come with me to see the process of replacing the capacitors on a model 1 Sega Genesis. The video is sped up through most of it but was originally shot in real time so that you can get an idea on the amount of time involved with a project like this. Features a few midi tunes as captured from my Roland MT-200. So sit back, relax, and see what is takes to replace the capacitors in a classic console such as the Sega Genesis featured in this video:

 

 

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ITC # 50 - has been replaced with a new video. This was done because I had comments (Mostly be email) advising me to remove the video since the original board featured in that earlier video was no longer available and had been replaced with a different board set. This new ITC # 50 episode details the installation of this new board now known as the M1 Mini Mega. It is both an amplifier and mixer replacement board for use with the model 1 Genesis systems va0 - va6 only. There are a lot of odd edits in this one and that is because originally it was shot with the intention of showing both the M1 Mini Mega installation alongside an M1 Double Mega board installation. However, the M1 DBL Mega isn't available currently and I already have a separate video detailing the installation of that board. 

 

Thanks for watching as always and comments are always welcome!

 

 

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ITC # 55 is now released. In this short video I show you my collection of unique Music albums for the Sega Genesis that have been released over the past couple of years. These albums aren't normal albums in that they are on actual cartridges or in the case of one of them on Sega CD. As such they are designed to be listened to on the actual Sega Genesis or Megadrive itself. There is some amazing sounding music on these cartridges and really shows what the original synthesis chip on the Genesis was capable of. This video doesn't show any specific music graphics from these carts but there are links throughout the video and in the video description where you can view the carts in action. While these aren't games, they are a very unique part of my collection and one I'm always happy to add too as more of these get released. Thanks for watching and enjoy! 

 

 

Got a new camera about a month back and this is the first video shot with it. Still doesn't handle low light as well as I had hoped but still has more clarity with less graininess compared to the older camera I was using. Done in 4K as well, though not sure how many videos I will actually shoot in that mode as my nearly decade old computer had a heck of a time with it during the editing process even with GPU acceleration enabled.

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ITC# 56 went live this morning. This will likely be the last hardware tech video I do for a while as it seems that is all I've been doing for the last several months. Truth is, I've been so busy doing commissioned modification work on other retro gamer enthusiasts consoles, that I haven't really had any time to play any actual games as late. So it was easiest to just make videos of the consoles I was modifying at the time and well...there you go.

With that, here in ITC# 56 I go through the process and give you some tips should you ever need or decided to replace the capacitors in your Roland MT-32 sound module. It is pretty retro game related as this module, along with the original Adlib is what really started the sound card boom of the late 80s and early 90s. Therefore if you were a PC gamer in that era, you likely had or knew someone with an Adlib or Sound Blaster card, but all of you were drooling for one of these MT-32 modules like I was! Video features some new custom music composed for my channel and music from some well known PC games that really pushed the MT-32.

Thanks for watching and enjoy!

 

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