Virtual Reality CS-1000

Last year at Retro Revival  I got the chance to don a Virtual Reality headset and step into a vintage CS-1000 VR pod.

Me, sticking it to the virtual man.

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Since then, the owner of this particular pod and other VF gear has teamed up with Andy at the Retro Computer Museum to have the equipment available at their gaming shows and the exciting prospect of having two pods linked together for multiplayer gaming.

Check out this 1990’s episode of Gamesmaster featuring the VR game Dactyl Nightmare running on two VF pods.

It’s been ages since I’ve popped down to the museum and having an item to drop off and collect I thought I’d take a little time out from our DIY work  and go see what they’re up to…

…and as luck would have it, a glimpse at the technology behind one of the Virtuality pods

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That’s the Matrix there and it’s powered by Commodore Amiga technology.

 

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This particular unit is having a few video issues but owner Simon was confident that they could be resolved. By the time I’d finished drooling over some the museums software archive a little later on, video of  Dactyl Nightmare was being displayed on one of the headset tv screens.

 

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The CS-1000 pod in storage and awaits a clean and it’s brain refitting. Hopefully this second unit will be up and running soon and fingers crossed, will make an appearance at one of this years retro gaming events.

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Sinclair QL testing pt2

Hopes for a working QL floppy drive expansion board were dashed when visiting the Retro Computer Museum yesterday as trying it on the Sinclair QL setup showed nothing, nader and zip 😦

When connected, the QL simply refused to boot.

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It’s a shame really and these things appear to be quite expensive to replace judging by eBay. There’s one listed now at £69 and another at £149.

Jim fancied a poke around inside so after removing the plastic covering and surveyed the circuit board, we discovered, on the bottom side, what appears to be some sort of minor repair job. It was a bit of a mess and so we headed into the (delete where appropriate) ‘restoration room’, ‘technicians delight’, ‘cave’, ‘uber geek den’ and fired up the solder iron.

Returning to the QL we had somesuccess. It booted, a GUI was loaded from a rom cartridge but that was about it.

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Back at the bat cave, Jim didn’t like the look of the voltage regulator and so he swapped this out with a spare. He also swapped out a dodgy looking ram chip and swore at the others in the event that they also decided to rebel.

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Still nothing and this went on for about about another hour including a chip shop run for lunch. Attached to the expansion card is what appears to be a daughter board sitting on top of it. I’m not sure what is is without researching but we removed it and tried again.

Well, whaddaya know it worked and was able to load a game from floppy disk.

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Well, it worked on that particular game, most of the others didn’t for some reason. these appeared to be games that had more colour, more on screen sprites and generally a lot more going on than the basic game that worked. Maybe the daughter board is some some of failed ram?

I had one of my QL’s with me and so Jim has taken the lot home with him for further testing. Fingers crossed!

One other project we thought we start whilst we were there is to turn one of the arcade cabinet shells into a classic Mame cabinet.

The donor is a gutted Taito Space Chaser cab that’s been sitting at the museum gathering dust. Originally a vertically mounted monitor we thought we’d keep this aspect to run all vertical classics like Moon Cresta, Phoenix, 1941 etc.

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Apart from a shot screen, bust marquee and dodgy controls, the rest of the cabinet is in pretty good condition including the impressive stencilled side artwork.

Jim is going to work on the screen whilst i prep a PC and look at the controls. I have plenty of spare buttons etc and we’ll be using another ipac to interface with Mame. The coin door and mechanism appear to be in ok-ish condition so with a bit of TLC we might be able to get this to work with Mame too.

I’ll be back with more on this as we progress.

Many thanks Jim!

Retro Computer Museum gaming event – machine list

Andy at the Retro Computer Museum has posted a list of all the computers and consoles that will be available to play at their gaming event being held over next (bank holiday) weekend at the Snibston Discovery museum – Leicester.

Hope to see some of you there?

‘List of machines for next weekend (subject to change)

— Systems —
Atari 400
Sega Master System
Atari 2600
Commodore Vic20
MB Vectrex
Aari ST
Sinclair ZX81
Atari Jaguar
Acorn Archimedes A3020
CGL/Sord M5
PCEngine
Timex 2048
Sinclair 48K
Sony PS2
Acorn BBC Model B
Nintendo SNES
Commodore 64
Sega Megedrive + MegaCD
Panasonic MSX CF2700
Dragon 64
Amstrad CPC464/664
EG2000 Colour Genie
Apple IIGS
Atari 800XL
Sega Dreamcast
Sincalir Spectrum +3
Nintendo NES
DosBox PC
MGT Sam Coupe
Sony PS1
Acorn Atom
Acorn BBC Master
MAME Cab (Bartop)
Commodore Amiga 1200
Nintendo Gamecube
Texas Instruments TI994a
Sinclair QL
Nintendo 64
Microsoft Xbox
Commodore +4
Tatung Einstein
Commodore Pet 2001
Commodore CD32
Sega Pico
Apple Mac Performa 5200
Commodore SX64
Mattel Intellivision
Amstrad GX4000
Sega Saturn
Enterprise 64
Commodore 64 + Piano Keyboard

— Handhelds —
Astro Wars
Scramble
Munchman
Galaxy Invaders
Caveman
UBoat
Nintendo Gameboy
Sega Genesis Nomad
Sega Game Gear
Atari Lynx

— Arcade Cabs —
MAME Cab
60-in-1 Arcade Machine’

Busy bees at RCM

I’ve spent most of today down at the Retro Computer Museum with the rest of the chaps as we ready a large collection of equipment for our next gaming event at the end of this month.

We’ve been invited by the Snibston discovery museum at Leicester to showcase some of our computers as part of their retro computer gaming event being held over the weekend of 26th & 27th November.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been sorting and testing (including PAT testing everything) and today was all about getting it ready for transportation.

Making a mess of our main room as all computers and consoles are packed away leaving various monitors and tv’s. Some of these old CRT as flippin heavy….or are TFT’s making us weak 🙂

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All in all we’re showing 60+ computers and consoles including everyone’s favourites 8 bit like the c64, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Dragon 32, ZX Spectrum, Oric, Atari, TI99a, MSX, Amstrad and 16 Bits like the Amiga’s, Atari ST, Acorns.

They’ll be plenty of consoles from the Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Intellivision, Vectrex, NES, Sega Master System, Genesis, Snes, Jaguar, CD32, 3DO, PSX, PC Engine, Gameboy, Lynx, Nomad.

We’ll also have some of the rarer classics like the Jupiter Ace, ZX80, M5Sord, Campus Lynx, Commodore SX64 and many more.

Various comps ready to be placed into their transport boxes like this Tatung Einstien and Amstrad 464+

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The piles of crates starts to mount up as Andy ticks them off the list.

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Lunchtime and at the chip shop with Jim who I’ve snapped with my iPhone camera with my new C64 camera app 🙂

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Packing continues but couldn’t resist a quick go on the wonderfully quirky Nintendo Virtual Boy.

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Richard’s still non working 21″ DIY ‘frankenstien’ Vectrex should be working in time for the event he says. Hope so as I can’t wait to see it running. Spare a thought for my back though, this thing is heavy!

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I thought I knew everything at RCM but then Stu whips out this TRS 80 from the storage shelves! Just oozes retro style 🙂

By the end of the day, everything is almost ready but we’ve still got a few weeks to finish off a few bits n pieces. Tired but very happy!

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