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Compu-Cable Systems SpectraView II


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I was organizing my carts and I came across this. All I have is the cart, no box, manual, etc.. I have no idea how/when/where I acquired it. I couldn't get it to work in my 800XL but I think it may have a flaky cartridge port. Or, maybe I just need to clean the contacts. I searched the forums and found the two posts which were informational, but does anyone have any more info or hints on want needs to be done to get it functional?







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Sound like it is for display in old "Ads" on the public TV such as show or expo. You don't have any 8 bits Atari computer to test ?


Yes, it is a application/program that allows cable TV operators to have customized pages. I have a modified 800XL (Newell 256K, SuperVideo, Ramrod XL) and the cart doesn't work on it.



Thanks for the link. I saw that post earlier and was wondering if anyone had discovered more about the cart since those posts.


I played with it a little this evening. The 800XL locks up with a black screen when I boot with the cart. According to the info in the 2009 post the SpectraView II should work with an unmodified 800XL. I don't have a stock 800XL to test with.


Could it be the 256K Newell upgrade is conflicting? Don't know. Could it not be compatible wuth the Omnimon enhancement I have in my XL? Don't know. I don't have an easy way to take my XL back to stock to test. I may see if I can pick up another 800XL somewhere.



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It works!


Here's what happened:


I was using my trusty 800XL and was getting nowhere. I decided to try the newly acquired 1200XL just to see what would happen. Plug the cart in and boot. Same results as the 800XL. I noticed with the 800XL that if I hit reset after booting I would get a very, very brief screen that said "Disk operation in progress. Please wait......." That told me something was working.


With that in mind, I pressed RESET on the 1200XL. Same brief message and back to black screen. I then just started pressing the keys across the top of the 1200XL. Nothing until I pressed the "BREAK" key.


A menu! Hey! But, the L2 LED was lit indicating the keyboard is disabled and nothing worked. But, I had a menu! I shut down the 1200XL and booted the 800XL. Sure enough I can get the menu. And the keyboard works! I took pics of the screens. No pic for option 4 or 5 because I didn't have a disk drive attached.


The cart boots into what is called "Run Mode" and looks for the configured files on the disk. If nothing is configured, it just sits there, doing, well, nothing. Pressing BREAK interrupts Run Mode and puts you into Command Mode. On the 800XL the BREAK key is part of the keyboard whereas on the 1200XL it's up with the START, OPTION, etc. keys. That's why I was able to accidently hit it on the 1200XL but nowhere near it on the 800XL.


Here is the main Command Mode screen:





This is the screen for Option 1 - Revise Date and Time:




Option 2 - Edit a Page




Option 3 - Edit the Scheduler





I was unable to get pics of Option 4 and Option 5 because I did not have a drive attached.




Edited by ryanr256
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according to other posts, it sounds like this was a bank switched cart, so it probably isn't that simple.


That's probably true.


I formatted a blank disk and put Atari DOS 2.5 on it. The cart had no issues saving and retrieving the page information from the disk. I created a couple of test pages and saved them.


I do have to admit that my first attempt at saving/retrieving resulted in multiple "disk error" messages until I figured out I didn't have enough space on my scratch disk. Once I used a fresh disk everything functioned perfectly.



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  • 5 months later...

This is a bank switch cart. It uses the same cart board as BASIC-XL. I used to work with them back in the day. It would be GREAT if we could get a ROM dump of this! Carefully open the cart, and read each of the two chips in a programmer device. They should be 2764's in there, 8K each.


The light on the 1200XL came on because, IIRC, the cart uses extended RAM.



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