Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

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Commie_User
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Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby Commie_User » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:31 pm

I've seen the fantastic laboratory Beebs and been amazed. But there's surely even better still?

All I can boast on mine is the MMC, line out and digital joystick adaptor, with digital yoke for music play. But surely one of us has the 32 bit processor, 4096-colour adaptor or Prestel thingy.

Can we see? Whose BBC B system looks the right Henry VIII with its humongous girth?

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SimonSideburns
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby SimonSideburns » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:36 pm

My original (from the 1990s) Beeb is in an old Viglen PC case complete with two 5.25" floppy drives.

It has the Chameleon Colour Board (Mike Cook article from The Micro User), an Apex ROM/RAM board (with a battery that I must cut out while I have it out of the loft), twin Voltmace Joysticks and a Datacentre. To top it off, back when I used the machine in the early 1990s I also had (and still do somewhere) an Epson LX-400 dot matrix printer (I think that's the right model). I haven't seen the printer for some time so I fear it's rotting away in the darkest recesses of a large metal shed in the back garden.

I also wrote a password protection ROM in the early 1990s and have that installed into the highest numbered socket. This protects the machine when switched on until you enter a password and security number. These two strings can be included in the !boot on floppy disc and the machine will boot into the password ROM, enter the password and security number and then boot into the on-disc menu. I only enabled this on a couple of floppies that other people could use (mostly games) so the rest of the machine was still 'protected'. CTRL-BREAK would re-enter the password ROM.

It was generally plugged into a Philips CM8833-II monitor but now I have a CUB I may plug it into there, but as the CUB is only TTL I might have to find out how I can feed the colours from the Chameleon into it bypassing whatever part of the circuit does the colour (if it is at all possible).

Anyway, it's not been switched on for ever, doesn't quite fit into the case well enough to access the ports (so I might have to start fettling it with power tools) and doesn't have the proper stand-offs (so I really could do with sorting that out) and the whole thing needs a good clean and a bit of spit and polish, but I'd say it's not far off perfection.
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RobC
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby RobC » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:56 pm

SimonSideburns wrote: but as the CUB is only TTL I might have to find out how I can feed the colours from the Chameleon into it bypassing whatever part of the circuit does the colour (if it is at all possible).

Definitely possible on some Cubs - I modified mine to allow it to work with the Chameleon. In fact, the original Chameleon article showed how to do it:
analogue_cub.jpg

Usual warnings about working on monitors etc. apply!

My main Beeb setup is a Master 128 with matchbox co-pro, dual disk drives, DC, enhanced videoULA, Replay board, Music 5000, Music 2000, Bitstick, mouse, BeebOPL, Integrex colour printer and a Cumana touchpad. I think that ensures that pretty much every interface is used (apart from the TV and composite out)!

I also have a model B with a 256KB/4MHz board, Pi co-pro, Chameleon, GoSDC and SCSI hard drive that is permanently setup. I've got various other co-pros and add-ons that I use as and when I need them plus loads of other machines that aren't used as often (B+s, Compact, M512, Master AIV, Electron etc.).

For me, this is the great thing about the Beeb - it's just so versatile and all those ports allow you to have so much stuff plugged into it at once!

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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:54 pm

RobC wrote:For me, this is the great thing about the Beeb - it's just so versatile and all those ports allow you to have so much stuff plugged into it at once!


Excellent. Are there pictures ready?

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SimonSideburns
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby SimonSideburns » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:36 pm

RobC wrote:Definitely possible on some Cubs - I modified mine to allow it to work with the Chameleon. In fact, the original Chameleon article showed how to do it:
analogue_cub.jpg


Best whip the back off mine to see if I have those jumpers. I've also downloaded the service manual and while I do not have an oscilloscope, I will need to look at the pincushioning (or whatever the opposite is called - an hourglass figure maybe :D ) at some point too.

I am wary around these types of devices regarding mains voltages, and high voltages that are generated.

What's the most sensible and cautious approach to making sure capacitors are discharged? Is it really just a case of making sure they have been shorted out (preferably with something insulated)?

Having seen some youtube videos by a channel called bigclive.com that's all he seems to do before touching things with his fingers. On a separate note, if anyone here hasn't seen his channel where he checks out those deathdaptors discussed here in another thread, they are well worth watching. I am completely the novice when it comes to electronics and circuits, and I have learned quite a bit from his videos.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

RobC
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby RobC » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:48 pm

SimonSideburns wrote:I am wary around these types of devices regarding mains voltages, and high voltages that are generated.

Too right!

SimonSideburns wrote:What's the most sensible and cautious approach to making sure capacitors are discharged? Is it really just a case of making sure they have been shorted out (preferably with something insulated)?

I'll let others comment as I'm no expert. However, I did mine by just being very careful and using some insulated pliers to remove/replace the links. (The monitor had been unplugged for some months before I made the change.)

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Arcadian
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby Arcadian » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:53 am

I'm rather pleased with my Master w/ Cherry keyboard which contains MultiOS, CoPro, DataCentre, CF HD and BeebSID.

Needs a BeebOPL though!!

For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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vanpeebles
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby vanpeebles » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:32 am

I've always been very wary around CRTs. I have a lovely old black Sinclair CUB monitor but it suffers from terrible arcing, going crack! now and then. We had the back off the first time it happened, adjusting the picture. Scary stuff. It was quickly retired for a gba-8220.

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paulv
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby paulv » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:56 am

I'm not sure about it being the most souped up but this one is my most "complete" and most "connected" Beeb...

http://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/content/Acorn-BBC-Micro-Model-B/

It has Econet, Disc and Speech fitted along with an ATPL ROM/RAM board and a Datacentre fitted internally. On the outside I usually run it with an original 6502 second processor, a Technomatic double drive (Master sized) monitor bridge (modified with 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drives), Competition Pro joystick, Cub Monitor with the Microvitec TouchTech touchscreen adapter plus a few other bits and bobs connected. As I've just got a trackball, it's possible that I may replace the UPURS cable with that for a while now so I can have a play.

The only connector underneath that isn't used is the Printer port because I use the Econet to print and the only connectors on the back that aren't used are the UHF and composite video outputs but when I use the Control-IT (http://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/content/Control-IT-buffer-box/) that uses the User and Printer port so that means the only connectors not in use when that is plugged in are the UHF and composite video...

Yup, it's fully connected I guess!

Paul

Commie_User
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby Commie_User » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:10 pm

paulv wrote:I'm not sure about it being the most souped up but this one is my most "complete" and most "connected" Beeb...


I like that. Bonus points for the Archimedes server, plus the particular flash card which is now retro itself.

You doubtless have better luck than I do, as even expensive Commodore 64 disk image servers can crash with fastloader routines or some data formats. Nobody can seem to get the disk drive emulation exactly right somehow. I still copy favourites back to real disks for these occasions.

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sweh
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby sweh » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:17 pm

My "most connected" Beeb...

Econet, UPURS, TurboMMC (2nd user port so both work at the same time), serial port (for kermit to Linux server), tape port (to soundcard), Matchbox CoPro, 5.25" floppy, STL 2M128 Ram board, Epson printer, Acorn analog joysticks, RGB to monitor (via home built video switch box).

I think the only ports not connected are UHF and video out, and the ashtray :-)
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sweh
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Re: Who's got the most souped-up BBC?

Postby sweh » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:18 pm

paulv wrote:I may replace the UPURS cable with that for a while now so I can have a play.

UPURS works with the 2nd user port, so if you build one of those and chain it to the 1Mhz bus then you may be able to use both UPURS and the trackball at the same time :-)
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