Leaded Solder


  • Go Back to GBS

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    There are a lot of people buying fancy upscalers these days. And who can blame them? Old videogames are great, but new monitors are lazy and inept. What, the signal is too slow for you? Clearly all these great old arcade boards, computers, and game consoles are just not a big enough challenge for the input logic in modern LCDs, who prefer to spend their considerable brainpower decoding much higher-frequency syncs. To solve this problem, I’ll spend not very much money.

  • Call In The PROs When You Need Power (X68000 PRO Part 2)

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    Now that I had a reasonably clean X68000 PRO to work from, I set about restoring power. Rather than doing things the cheap way and strapping up my Meanwell four-voltage test supply, I decided to go whole hog and lay out a brand-new power supply PCB.

  • Set Sails For Piracy!

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    Have you ever wondered how it’s feasible for AliExpress sellers to produce knock-off Sega Genesis cartridges for under five bucks? I sure was, so I bought one and then tore it apart for your edification. You can thank me later.

  • Call In The PROs When It Gets Dirty (X68000 PRO Part 1)

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    What happens when you bid on a Sharp X68000 PRO without looking too closely at the photos? For one thing, you win the auction. What also happens is that the computer spends a while in your garage, waiting for all of its little tenants to be vacuumed out.

  • Raising the PC-8801MH

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    Hirofumi Iwasaki’s book on PC-8801FH/MH repair says that the head loading solenoid is so loud that you should be careful using the computer in an apartment at night, lest the neighbours complain. I am not hearing that, or any other noises from the floppy drives. Let’s investigate.

  • Tengen-trifying the Neighbourhood

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    Years ago, I was offered a copy of the Tengen version of Tetris for the NES, and passed it up because $60 was way too much for a boxed NES game. I regret that. Let’s make one.

  • A Timex-Sinclair 1000 learns to love again

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    The fellow who sold me the Macintosh LC520 back in 2018 had another listing, a $10 Timex-Sinclair 1000 that needed some work. I decided I’d pop out and go grab it, and see if I can make the machine more reliable than Sir Clive did.

  • MC-10 Hammered

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    Radio Shack worked hard to get their machines into every possible price tier of the home computer market, so what happened when they went super-budget? Nothing good. Thanks to hard-working community members, this unloved 6803-based computer has gone from doorstop to delight, so it’s high time that I picked one up. Of course, by law, any computer I pick up has to be at least a little broken.

  • Presentcomputer 1000

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    What if I told you that you can still buy a Z80-based computer from the 80s for only twenty bucks? It has a full keyboard, a pretty solid BASIC interpreter, and there’s even an expansion bus of sorts. And it runs off batteries!

  • Make Your Own ColecoVision At Home (Bonus Episode - The Real Thing)

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    Through the more-than-generous offer of a ColecoVision, I now have a real machine to use as a basis for comparison. Just what is the real machine like inside, and could it possibly be better?

  • Make Your Own ColecoVision At Home (Part 4 - Quadrature Controllers)

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    We got conventional ColecoVision “hand” controllers working well in the last entry. I’ve never used any of the ColecoVision’s more exotic controllers before; will they work properly on my clone machine, even though I didn’t really understand them?

  • Make Your Own ColecoVision At Home (Part 3 - Joystick Fix)

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    In the last entry, I was left with a working ColecoVision-compatible board, albeit one with a very stuttery controller that would only work when connected to what I thought was the second controller port. Let’s fix that, and then enjoy the cheapo ColecoVision games that I spent all this effort building this thing for in the first place.

  • Do you want to come for a ride in my Jaaaaaaaag?

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    One of the most unloved machines in my hoard collection is the Atari Jaguar. It’s not because I don’t have good games for it, or because it’s not working. No, it’s because the Jaguar came used with only the RF adapter, and I hated setting it up with a TV. After testing it out, and collecting a few games for it, it ended up getting boxed away for a move about a decade ago and hasn’t come out since. And that’s a crying shame.

  • Can't keep The Most Useless MSX down

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    Even after I got it to boot by replacing the video chip, the Casio PV-7 MSX1 still had a bunch of problems. Top of mind were the broken keyboard and the corroded power jack. Let’s fix these issues too, so we can get back to enjoying this el-cheapo computer and the free programs on offer in the manual.

  • TI-83 Plus One More

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    Although it may not be considered an “old” computer, a TI-83+ from the futuristic year of 1999 has a lot of appeal. It’s got a Z80, it runs a BASIC interpreter with machine-language program support, and lots of fun homemade games were built for it over the years. There’s also the small matter of me wanting a desk calculator with which to do binary/hex conversions, so I picked up this broken one to attempt to nurse it back to health. Will my efforts add up to a working calculator?

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