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Thread: Videobrain

  1. #1

    Default Videobrain

    Any Videobrain collectors here? I have a small VB section on my website that I'm in the middle of updating. If anyone here is a VB collector and has new information or pictures for me to add, let me know.

    http://www.atariprotos.com/othersyst...videobrain.htm

  2. #2

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    I have two videobrains. One together and one in pieces. Of course you know about the google group for the VB ans the channel F?
    I've been planning on using a ROMICE to play coding the VB but it has been on low priority for some time.
    I don't have any game other than a couple you already have.
    The VB had a really great video chip for its time.
    Dwight

  3. #3
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    Default

    I have a Videobrain and have had two Expansion 1's. I had originally thought there were 100 of these or less, based on every serial number I've seen to date being below 100, but the second one I got had a serial number in the 800s. So perhaps as many as 1000 were made. The latter one had a revised design, the front was black with white lettering. The other one has a kind of chrome finish on the face.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I cleaned up the battery terminals and plugged in two fresh AA batteries and we have -3V at pin 1. So, that's that mystery solved.

    I also pulled up the board with the serial UART on it and took a picture to try and figure out the wiring. Ugh!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/14FY...ew?usp=sharing

    Near as I can tell, we have wiring from the keyboard going into that lone 1702 board, then coming out of there and going to the UART board. I did some continuity testing to see if I could detect links between the UART and the 1702 beside it, but only found one pin where resistance dipped to about 1000ohm. I might be doing something wrong, and i'm not 100% sure I understand the path of data and where to look.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    I cleaned up the battery terminals and plugged in two fresh AA batteries and we have -3V at pin 1. So, that's that mystery solved.

    I also pulled up the board with the serial UART on it and took a picture to try and figure out the wiring. Ugh!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/14FY...ew?usp=sharing

    Near as I can tell, we have wiring from the keyboard going into that lone 1702 board, then coming out of there and going to the UART board. I did some continuity testing to see if I could detect links between the UART and the 1702 beside it, but only found one pin where resistance dipped to about 1000ohm. I might be doing something wrong, and i'm not 100% sure I understand the path of data and where to look.
    Wrong thread?

  6. #6
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    Default

    Yeah.. darn.. didn't switch threads properly. Sorry guys!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    I have a Videobrain and have had two Expansion 1's. I had originally thought there were 100 of these or less, based on every serial number I've seen to date being below 100, but the second one I got had a serial number in the 800s. So perhaps as many as 1000 were made. The latter one had a revised design, the front was black with white lettering. The other one has a kind of chrome finish on the face.
    Did you get this one? http://www.atariprotos.com/othersyst...black%29_1.jpg

    I never knew that design existed. My Expander 1 is #29!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tempest View Post
    Did you get this one? http://www.atariprotos.com/othersyst...black%29_1.jpg

    I never knew that design existed. My Expander 1 is #29!
    No, I never got an expander. The Video brain by itself has very limited internal resources. To make it useful for things like Basic would require some tricky things done in a cartridge or, as was done, some form of expander. The expanders were, complete, separate micro computers that used the VB as a terminal.
    The F8 is tricky to program with. It was hard to find people that could write programs for it. Processors like the 6800, 6502 and 8080 were much easier to learn. The promise of some type of basic was a difficult one. People were just beginning to learn uPs. Finding someone that could write a basic interpreter and program a F8 was not an easy to find combination.
    Dwight

  9. #9

    Default

    I'd really like to know if APL/S really does exist. I've had someone tell me they had it back in the day, but I'm still not 100% convinced. I mean at least TWO demo carts have turned up, but not one APL/S?

  10. #10
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    No one I know claims to have one. I actually wrote to Dave Chung, I think.. or Albert.. can't remember, to ask, as I was beginning to get suspicious that it was vaporware, but unfortunately they had recently passed away. I still kind of doubt its existence. It's been suggested collectors have a couple and have been approached about dumping. But it's third hand info that I've never been able to verify. I doubt a serious collector with something like that would resist at least posting a picture for bragging rights. I've never seen even an historical photo of that cart. You'd think there would be at least one.

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