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Getting Started with a TI-99/4A?


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Okay, this is for those of you with a TI console and not much else (so far)...

The first thing I recommend is a FinalGROM cartridge available << HERE >>.  With this one cartridge and a 32K board, you'll be able to play about 95% of the games ever created for the unit.  But you ask, where can I get a 32K board?  Well, there are a variety of different "flavors to choose from, so it really depends if you plan to continue expanding, or just want to play games.

If you NOT plan for future expansion, there is 32K only memory addition << HERE >>

If you want to keep your future options open, go with TIPI+32k board << HERE >> which is not always available.  There are other flavors of TIPI expansion, but they are more expensive in the long run and have more cords to deal with.

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

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Thanks for this! I do have a finalgrom but do not have any mem expansion on my Ti. I don't plan to ever have a full setup for anything other than gaming so the RAM only cart seems like the best deal for me. I think The Brewing Academy offers a 32k expansion as well...let me check again real quick...

Yeap...here it is. About the same cost although the TBA version apparently requires you to power the 32x sidecar externally if you plan to use this in conjunction with a speech module? The one you posted doesn't seem to require this and might not be usable with the speech module attached as well? Seems the speech module doesn't provide power through and that is the reason for this.

https://thebrewingacademy.com/collections/ti-99-4a/products/ti-99-4a-32k-external-expansion

Edited by CrossBow

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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17 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

Thanks for this! I do have a finalgrom but do not have any mem expansion on my Ti. I don't plan to ever have a full setup for anything other than gaming so the RAM only cart seems like the best deal for me. I think The Brewing Academy offers a 32k expansion as well...let me check again real quick...

Yeap...here it is. About the same cost although the TBA version apparently requires you to power the 32x sidecar externally if you plan to use this in conjunction with a speech module? The one you posted doesn't seem to require this and might not be usable with the speech module attached as well? Seems the speech module doesn't provide power through and that is the reason for this.

https://thebrewingacademy.com/collections/ti-99-4a/products/ti-99-4a-32k-external-expansion

You are correct about the speech module.  You have to modify it to have a passthrough for 5V.  Fortunately, it's a very easy thing to do. 

If you are going to PRGE, you can buy what you need and get any questions answered personally from Greg of ArcadeShopper.  He always has a booth full of TI goodies. 

https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/store/#!/32k-sidecar-memory-expansion-with-case/p/202969060

You could e-mail him and make sure he will have these at the show and that would save you on shipping :)

My setup is for games only.  I've got a stock TI 99/4A, a modded (by me) speech module, the 32k sidecar, and the older SD card cart (I don't remember the name) and also an adapter to use Atari joysticks. 

 

Edited by RickR
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Nice! sounds like there will be quite a few options for those interested in the Ti. Brewing Academy will also be present with a booth. I confirmed this just last week with Marlin as he and I are working on some new additions for the 7800 UAV stuff. Hopefully there is news on that soon.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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@RickR is right.  That little 32K only card CAN be powered through a speech synthesizer after soldering on single wire about three inches long.  I recommend watching the video below as it's the variant of 32K I recommend.  Why?  Because it'll also give you TIPI capabilities in the future with the addition of one little Raspberry Pi Zero W.  What will that get you?  Watch the video, especially at the end, trust me, once you get into the TI, you can easily get hooked, so a couple of dollars extra at first can save you hundreds later.

 

 

<<< My YouTube Page >>>

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1 hour ago, CrossBow said:

Nice! sounds like there will be quite a few options for those interested in the Ti. Brewing Academy will also be present with a booth. I confirmed this just last week with Marlin as he and I are working on some new additions for the 7800 UAV stuff. Hopefully there is news on that soon.

 

Cool!  Brewing Academy is another great option.  I think my 2600 joystick adapter is from them. 

 

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1 hour ago, - Ω - said:

@RickR is right.  That little 32K only card CAN be powered through a speech synthesizer after soldering on single wire about three inches long.  I recommend watching the video below as it's the variant of 32K I recommend.  Why?  Because it'll also give you TIPI capabilities in the future with the addition of one little Raspberry Pi Zero W.  What will that get you?  Watch the video, especially at the end, trust me, once you get into the TI, you can easily get hooked, so a couple of dollars extra at first can save you hundreds later.

 

 

TBA's 32k sidecar also is large enough to allow a TIPI install at a future time should one want to. So... again it is very likely something I'm going to look into and if someone at PRGE is selling them, that is most likely when I will pick one up.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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1 hour ago, RobertLM78 said:

I got my FinalGROM from Brewing Academy.  There's also the nanoPEB/CF7+ option too.

In all honesty, since the TIPI came to market with all the features it offers, I'd avoid the older outdated NanoPEB/CF7 cards if at all possible, besides they also have a reputation of being a problematic device.

<<< My YouTube Page >>>

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Well my plan to pick up a 32k sidecar or something didn't happen as it appears that the Brewing Academy didn't actually setup at PRGE. Although they were on the floor plan I never saw them. So I guess I'm back to looking for the best way to have a 32x expansion an still be able to use the speech module?

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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1 hour ago, CrossBow said:

Well my plan to pick up a 32k sidecar or something didn't happen as it appears that the Brewing Academy didn't actually setup at PRGE. Although they were on the floor plan I never saw them. So I guess I'm back to looking for the best way to have a 32x expansion an still be able to use the speech module?

 

It's super easy.  If I can do it, you can do it in your sleep I'll bet.  Anyway, here's Omega's guide on the mod. 
 

 

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