• I Hear That Asteroids Machine Calling My Name

    22 Jun | 16
    • in Electronics • 
    • in Asteroids • 
    • by FozzTexx

    I still remember the first time I ever touched an Asteroids machine. It was in a dark arcade in Vallejo, one of those ones that had popped up in an empty storefront in a shopping center. The machine was different than all the others in the arcade, it was a lone cocktail cabinet amid the uprights that were packed anywhere they could fit them. I dropped in a quarter to see if I could make sense of the game, and was amazed at how fun it was controlling the ship. Of course I died quickly because I...

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  • It’s User Serviceable if You Have Gift Wrap and Weather Strip

    04 Jun | 16
    • in Electronics • 
    • in TRS-80 • 
    • by FozzTexx

    My TRS-80 Model II Last weekend one of my usual sources of inspiration, @duhproject, received a Commodore 128. A lot of people on Twitter started talking about  their  128s, so I had to get mine out too. I thought it would be interesting to try out a true 80 column terminal program under CP/M since it was something that the 128 could do that that 64 doesn’t. It didn’t take long before I decided that running CP/M from a 5.25” drive wasn’t “CP/M...

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  • Testing DRAM Using an Arduino

    14 Mar | 16
    • in Arduino • 
    • in Arduino • 
    • in Apple IIgs • 
    • by FozzTexx

    Bad RAM on the IIgs A couple of weekends ago I was in the mood to do some retrogaming and didn’t know what I wanted to play so I asked for some suggestions from Twitter. I played some Castle Wolfenstein, Snake Byte, BC’s Quest for Tires, and Miner 2049er on the Apple IIe and then I wanted to try some games on my Apple IIgs. Unfortunately my IIgs has had intermittent issues for a long time, and it was looking like bad RAM might be the culprit.   The IIgs has an Applied...

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  • Testing an 8-Bit Microprocessor on a Breadboard

    05 Oct | 15
    • in Electronics • 
    • in Retro • 
    • by FozzTexx

    One of the retro computer mailing lists I’m on recently had a side project go by about building a single board computer using a Hitachi HD63C09P 8-bit processor which is a descendant of the Motorola 6809. I followed along with interest and there were some small PCBs designed and when it got to the testing phase the project stalled because they couldn’t get the 63C09 to start up. For some reason the crystal wouldn’t start oscillating, or when using a full can oscillator the E...

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  • Lighting Fireworks With a Raspberry Pi

    09 Jul | 15
    • in Fireworks • 
    • in Electronics • 
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • by FozzTexx

    A couple of months ago I purchased several relay boards and switching power supplies off eBay with the plan to re-use one of my original (256 megs of RAM and no mounting holes) Raspberry Pi model B computers as a sprinkler controller. The parts arrived and I set them aside expecting to have time to work on the project after the 4th of July. About two weeks before the 4th though I realized if I got the project assembled in time I could use the sprinkler controller as a fireworks controller. ...

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