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FS: System Fairchild (Channel F) homebrew Pac-Man.


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Good news everybody!


Finished soldering the 18th board today, left to do is to clean cartridge shells, print and put plastic on front and back stickers (edge is already finished), fold and glue box together - pack and ship...
I will probably begin shipping next week starting with the first order which is not necessarily the first number - depending on what was chosen.

I have this list:

-1,-5 and -12







-7, -8








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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh Boy!








This is so excellent!

I can't tell you how long it took me to get the console working...

First TV I try : multistandard... but UHF band only. Dammit!

I try to use a VCR but as it is a SECAM VCR, it only had the picture in b&w, it wasn't a simple passthrough.

Second try on a multistandard TV, more modern with electronic tuner and all... but either the tuner wasn't multistandard or I didn't found how to change from SECAM L to PAL B.


Ironically my best luck was with that modern 2004 made Samsung set.

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Some googling and a visit to "Service menu" will solve that. ;-)
Looks like there's more width missing than height.

Modern TV:s are usually better at keeping overscan low.


I adjusted my lab-TV to show the entire graphics:


After adjusting a bit more I wish I had added blue lines up and down as well - not too late to do that though.
You rarely see a TV display this much without adjusting it.


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I know that, and I think I already have the cods for the service manual, but as I mentionned it's not my main TV. I got it recently form peope lthat replaced it so heh. The TV I usually use for the Nordmende is still in the boxes of when I moved so I had to fiddle with other TVs I hadn't used in a while, including that one.

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Antenna splitter and you can play in STEREO! ;-)
Or if they are differently adjusted you may have view of different parts of the game screen. ;-)


Hope you like the game, my biggest High Score is 44780, I put a Ferro RAM in one cart (to hold the score after power off) and have shipped it back and forth to a US friend, he hasn't beaten it yet - not that we're big Pac-Man wizards...
Unfortunately I have had troubles with the Ferro RAM (record is blank sometimes when I get it back) but as soon as I get the cart back I'll update the code to write differently.

When I have sorted it out I might offer mods or new carts with the function.

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Yes it's some kind of ferro magnetic process - like the good old days. Pretty neat but as I understand it it needs to be written to in a special way for the data to stick so it's usually not a drop in replacement instead of a RAM.


I recently got some information on the subject from a guy making FeRAM memory modules for various old Pinball machines etc (holds scores after power off).

"Users who are modifying existing designs to use F-RAM should examine the memory controller for timing compatibility of address and control pins. Each memory access must be qualified with a LOW transition of CE. In many cases, this is the only change required. An example of the signal relationships is shown in Figure 2 below. Also shown is a common SRAM signal relationship that will not work for the FM16W08. The reason for CE to strobe for each address is twofold: it latches the new address and creates the necessary pre-charge period while CE is HIGH."


As far as I understand you can't write several bytes to the FeRAM - as CE will stay low, you need to write or read another memory area in between so the CE toggles.
It's a simple change in code...

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