Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
CrossBow

Ivory Tower Collections - Tech, Game and More Videos!

Recommended Posts

ITC# 57 went live ahead of schedule and finally has me taking that needed break from hardware work and videos and getting back to playing some video games! Join me as I go through a complete long play of the unreleased game for the Atari 5200, The Last Starfighter! I give you information about how the game is played and some interesting tips I've found to help make playing the game easier. In all honesty, this being an unreleased prototype and only thought to be the final completed game, could be me exploiting some bugs that remained in the game not yet polished out. But who cares, as it is a lot of fun to play!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 58 is finally released! Been very busy with commissioned console work again and haven't had much time to create much less edit any videos LOL. But I had been meaning to make this one for a while and a recent purchase for more battery holders jogged my memory to get this one done and released. Here I go through the process I follow when replacing out batteries on game cartridges. Specifically I install a battery holder that I have to modify to make as low profile as possible to fit in the confines of the cartridge case but I also show you how I do it without the possibility of losing any potential save game data on the game.
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 59 is finally done and published. I've actually had this footage in the can for nearly a month but been so busy with my actual day job and retro commissioned work that I simply hadn't had a chance to edit it and get it online.

Finally I go into greater detail in the process I use when installing a UAV (Ultimate Atari Video) board into an Atari 7800. The most critical parts of this video compared to the overview of the installation I did previously, is that I show the most likely way you might want to install one of these into a 7800 without removal of any components at all. I also show my current method for filtering and routing the audio that keeps the TIA and POKEY/External audio volume in balance and doesn't kill the audio from the RF modulator as my previous video would have shown.

Links are provided in the video description for my UAV installation instructions and on where you can order UAV boards for your own Atari console and computer needs. As always, thank you for watching and for any comments left that help me improve the channel and its content.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC#60 shows you the awesome AgaCart designed and sold by Rafal Jankowski for your Atari Lynx! The AgaCart is pretty feature packed micro SD flash cartridge that initially comes preloaded with lots of roms and programs to play on your Atari Lynx. I show you the cartridge up close so you can see the 3D printing on it and how it looks when in use. I also go into some details on the different operation modes the AgaCart supports. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC#61 is now available for public viewing. It has been long overdue, but I finally put together my game play review on the wonderful little homebrew game for the Genesis known as Miniplanets! It is a fun overhead platformer with some great visual tricks to simulate rotating play fields. Originally programmed by Sik whom is well known at the Sega-16 forums back in 2016 and released in physical form back in 2017/2018. Hope you enjoy and thank you again for watching!

 

 

Edited by CrossBow
Video numbering was incorrect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC#62 was brought online this morning. In this video I got through the process I use for installing the new BennVenn LCD upgrade for the Lynx model II. This kit is simpler overall to install vs the McWill and much easier on the pocketbook as well. The video is not done as a comparison between the two and only details the install process. Both LCDs have their pros and cons and it is really great that we have the option between them to suit our needs. Thank you for watching the video and I hope they are of benefit to others now and in the future.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 63 is published and available for view. In this non tech video, I go over in detail, the New Wave Toys 1/6 scale replica arcade cabinet of Atari's classic game Tempest. The New Wave Toys replicade series are very detail accurate mini arcades with full playable controls that play the actual arcade version of the games. They are emulate though I do not know the full details of what exactly is running inside to make the magic happen. Still, they are perhaps the most detailed of these mini arcades I've seen and they have another one on the horizon that I plan to get as well in the future. Enjoy this look at this wonderful adult toy for retro gamers and thank you for watching!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In ITC#64 I talk about a common issue that plagues many Sega Saturn gamers today. That issue is none other than the gave save juggling required between external game save carts and the Saturn when the internal coin cell battery goes dead. Sure you can change the battery, but aside from Dreamcast VMUs, the Saturn has to be one of the most hungry 2032 battery eaters that exists. In this video I show you that this can be remedied by removing the old battery backed sram memory chip that the games save are stored onto, with the use of a non-volatile ferroelectric or FRAM memory chip instead. This mod doesn't take long to do, but as the chip is semi small and an SMD device, this isn't something I'd advise for beginners. Still an inexpensive and very worthy/needed upgrade to the Sega Saturn. Enjoy and thank you in advance for watching!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do things a bit different and more technical in ITC#65, out first video for the new year. In this one, instead of detailing the DIY steps for a particular mod or upgrade, I instead go through the steps used in fixing a damaged audio circuit on an Atari 5200 using the board layout diagram to identify where components are located in addition to the schematic of the audio section to help isolate broken traces that need repaired. The repair itself didn't require too much but I thought I would detail the process for others to see some of what is required in troubleshooting and repairing classic consoles like these. You also get a look at my entire work space which, until now has never been shown due to how messy it usually is! LOL! As always, thank you for watching!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In ITC#66 I go through the process of installing a UAV (Ultimate Atari Video) upgrade board into an Atari 5200. Yes, this was discussed and a video also made of this exact topic 33 videos ago. But I was never quite happy with the final results of that video and the fact that there seem to still be some confusion regarding the overall process of what is or isn't required to do this. So I took the opportunity to redo this with in a more detailed and hopefully more logical manner this time around. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/24/2020 at 8:52 AM, CrossBow said:

You also get a look at my entire work space which, until now has never been shown due to how messy it usually is!

If a workbench is not messy then it is not being used properly :D I would love to add a Saturn to my collection and I hope to someday.  I liked it and thought it did do some things better than PlayStation.  If only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, CrossBow said:

In ITC#66 I go through the process of installing a UAV (Ultimate Atari Video) upgrade board into an Atari 5200. Yes, this was discussed and a video also made of this exact topic 33 videos ago. But I was never quite happy with the final results of that video and the fact that there seem to still be some confusion regarding the overall process of what is or isn't required to do this. So I took the opportunity to redo this with in a more detailed and hopefully more logical manner this time around. 

 

These are TERRIFIC "How-To" instructional videos @CrossBow!! Always great stuff! I may have to try this 5200 mod myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I published ITC#67 this morning and this video goes into detail the process to install what I would consider an essential upgrade/modification to the 4-port 5200 system, the RF power bypass kit from console5.  As I'm sure most of you are aware, the earlier 4-port units used a unique for the time automatic RF switch box that also doubled as the power input source for the console. At the time this all-in-one cable solution Atari came up with for power and video was pretty cool! But..over the years, this is more of a hindrance since the switch box is unique to the 4-port units and they go back and become hard to find like anything else. This modification is relatively easy to do but some confusion can be had on where what components go where. Hopefully this video is helpful for those looking to do this mod themselves and make it all clear. Thank you for your time in watching!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

I published ITC#67 this morning and this video goes into detail the process to install what I would consider an essential upgrade/modification to the 4-port 5200 system, the RF power bypass kit from console5.  As I'm sure most of you are aware, the earlier 4-port units used a unique for the time automatic RF switch box that also doubled as the power input source for the console. At the time this all-in-one cable solution Atari came up with for power and video was pretty cool! But..over the years, this is more of a hindrance since the switch box is unique to the 4-port units and they go back and become hard to find like anything else. This modification is relatively easy to do but some confusion can be had on where what components go where. Hopefully this video is helpful for those looking to do this mod themselves and make it all clear. Thank you for your time in watching!

 

 

I always loved the 4-Port 5200, and the whole idea of standardizing 4-Player consoles. Warlords on 2600 was such a fun "party" game with 4 simultaneous players. The 5200 had so much potential with this, especially with Centipede. Get a room full of family and friends and you can have hours of fun in the living room.

At the same time, when I first brought home my 5200 and hooked it up to the television set, sparks flew. Connecting the power into the automatic RF Switch Box and having one cable to attach seemed simple, but it sparked at me and was legitimately the scariest moment I've had with a game console in 35 years of playing. This looks like a nice mod. Thanks for sharing!

:atari_5200:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 68 is public as of this morning. I'm very late getting a video out since the last one and this one features yet again the "Big Sexy" 5200. But I think the 5200 is a great console with a lot of good games for it and it is an oft misunderstood system. In this video I go through the troubleshooting I used to find out why my top fire buttons weren't working on a controller that seems to actually be fine from using a simple controller self test for the fire buttons. This might be a boring video to most since I break out the old BK 1474 scope on this one to look at some quick readings to help isolate the issue. But I had a lot of fun making this video and hope it can show you that it isn't always the controller to blame if something isn't working right with it. It could very well be that your 5200 itself isn't behaving properly. Enjoy!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 69 is now finally edited and published for the masses. It has been WAY too long since I released a real video on my channel and the truth is that I've just been busy with other projects both in my real life and in our hobby. In addition, there just hadn't been that much I've had come in to be worked on that I didn't already cover in some aspect on my channel. That finally changed with a Colecovision sent in recently that will be undergoing some services and finally gave me an excuse to create another set of videos featuring the Colecovision on my channel. This first video is a simple one regarding Capacitor replacement. While replacing capacitors isn't anything new that I've shown, there are some tricks to be had on the CV in regards to how to disassemble and teardown the CV plus the caps hiding within the RF modulator that might get missed by those unfamiliar with the Colecovision. Enjoy!

 

 

Edited by CrossBow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the video @CrossBow -- your voice, delivery, tone, pace, and the music... so good. I thought I was watching a PBS show. I really appreciate the fact that folks like you are out there keeping the hobby alive and accessible for many of us who'd probably burn a hole in the mainboard if we had a soldering iron in hand and can't tell the difference between capacitors and resistors and all the other electronic doodads. 👏👏👍

But that ending there... of course you'd test the Colecovision with Donkey Kong. Why wouldn't you test the system with the game that put it on the map? For me as a kid, Donkey Kong on a home console was a sore spot. Call it envy. My mind was blown the first time I saw the TV ad for Colecovision and Donkey Kong -- it really looked and sounded like the arcade version, and my 2600 games looked nothing like that.

Edited by socrates63

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, CrossBow said:

ITC# 69 is now finally edited and published for the masses. It has been WAY too long since I released a real video on my channel and the truth is that I've just been busy with other projects both in my real life and in our hobby. In addition, there just hadn't been that much I've had come in to be worked on that I didn't already cover in some aspect on my channel. That finally changed with a Colecovision sent in recently that will be undergoing some services and finally gave me an excuse to create another set of videos featuring the Colecovision on my channel. This first video is a simple one regarding Capacitor replacement. While replacing capacitors isn't anything new that I've shown, there are some tricks to be had on the CV in regards to how to disassemble and teardown the CV plus the caps hiding within the RF modulator that might get missed by those unfamiliar with the Colecovision. Enjoy!

 

 

I'm sorry if I missed it in the video, but why was the capacitor replacement necessary?  Was the CV broken?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RickR said:

I'm sorry if I missed it in the video, but why was the capacitor replacement necessary?  Was the CV broken?

Thanks!

No it wasn't broken at all. In fact I didn't even have to do any cleaning to the mainboard it is overall in excellent condition. The client sent it in to have the works done to it and that included replacing the caps so I did. Because the caps in the RF modulator are usually missed when I've seen others sent to me that have had prior recaps done on them, I wanted to focus on that part mostly. 

But to answer your question, no. There wasn't anything wrong with this CV. Then again, any old electronics has caps in them on a limited lifespan since they weren't designed to last more than about 20 or so years anyway.

4 hours ago, socrates63 said:

But that ending there... of course you'd test the Colecovision with Donkey Kong. Why wouldn't you test the system with the game that put it on the map? For me as a kid, Donkey Kong on a home console was a sore spot. Call it envy. My mind was blown the first time I saw the TV ad for Colecovision and Donkey Kong -- it really looked and sounded like the arcade version, and my 2600 games looked nothing like that.

I honestly am not a fan of CV DK. The game that made me want to get a CV was the first time I played its port of Popeye and 2010 in emulation in the late 90s. I actually had test footage with Moon patrol and a few other games as once I get to playing for testing, I can easily spend an hour to two playing a few other games. But in the end I felt it was the one that most people who enjoyed the CV would have the most memory for. Another of my favorites on the CV is The Heist but again...not that iconic.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 70 is now available for viewing. What?! Two videos in the same month?! Well, this one was meant to originally be done as one of my shorts, but during editing I quickly realized that it would end up being a much longer video and decided to add it to my ITC main video series. So do please forgive the horrid camera work with this one as I was using my cell phone for all of this footage and audio. The issue in this video was interesting because initially I didn't know there was a problem with the system or else I wouldn't have bothered to have already installed a UAV etc into it until I had that corrected. This was because all other games I had tested with it, worked fine and didn't exhibit any graphic issues or lockups. It wasn't until another AA forum member posted about flickering issues on an early revision 7800 specifically with Ballblazer and Pole Position II that I decided to check out those two games. I'm glad I did as this issue could very well have escaped me since again, it wasn't manifesting on any other games I tried on this system. This video also shows you the importance of schematics (Up to date ones), that still play a needed role in helping to troubleshoot and diagnose issues today. Enjoy and thank you for watching!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 71 was released this morning and once again focuses on the Colecovision. This time I show you the process I use to install one of the common composite upgrades into a Colecovision console. There are several kits available through online resources, ebay..etc. But from what I've seen, they all seem to use the same circuit design for amplifying the composite video within the RF modulator and use essentially the same installation instructions. As I like to keep wiring simple I do show you some alternate points that I use in this video for attaching to the composite video board but like all things in my videos, the DIY types can find other places to mount the board and locations from which to attach the wires for voltage, ground, etc. I also have a card in this video that pops up taking you to a specific ITC short on how to disassemble the Colecovision. I extracted it from a previous video I released on the Colecivision. There will be at least one more tech related video to be released within the next few weeks on the Colecovision so if you find these interesting, be sure to look out for that one in the coming future. Thank for watching and enjoy!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC# 72 has been made public as of this morning and features the Colecovision once again. This time I go through the complete process to install one of the new TMS-RGB boards on the Colecovision using a Megadrive/Genesis 2 AV out 9-pin connector. The connector allows me to also connect up composite video in addition to the RGB and make for only a single AV out being needed that a wide range of AV cables can be used with. There is some modification required on the TMS-RGB board when using it with a 9-pin mini din like this and all of that is detailed in the video. I also show the process I used for attaching the 9-pin connector and how I mark on the case where the output hole needs to be made in a very easy manner. As some SMD components are involved, this video is for those more comfortable with a soldering iron with some level of experience. However, while I don't state this in the video, you can in fact leave the TMS-RGB alone as it comes from Mobius and it will still work but the overall image on RGB will be a little darker than you see at the end of this video. Thank you for watching and enjoy!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has taken longer than it should have but ITC# 73 is finally released as the first new video for the New Year! As many of you know, the 7800 is a great console that never really got its due back in the mid to late 80s. It was a console designed with expansion ability not seen in previous Atari consoles and with features that were never fully realized. Well, it has taken 35 years, but we now have not 1 but 2 flash cartridge solutions available now for the 7800. This video focuses on the current most compatible and feature rich of these two current solutions known as the Dragonfly. While the DF cart is primarily listed as being a flash cart, I argue that it is much more than that. With additional functions added to it, it expands on the hardware abilities of the 7800 in a way we haven't seen available or viable for use until now. I go over the cartridge functions, we take a peek inside it and of course, we show it off with some recent demos and projects in development. Thank you again for watching and happy new year!

 

 

Edited by CrossBow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...