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the official Channel F thread!

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A few bug fixes and improvements:

  • Added high score (calculated upon game over, too expensive to calculate/update during play)
  • Delete ship, flea, scorpion and spider when dead or reached new wave
  • Restore undamaged mushrooms when dead (that may have been covered by a flea etc), just don't play the sound
  • Delete last life icon when game over
  • Add a delay before allowing button press on game over
  • Prevent flea being drawn 'off screen' when reached bottom and about to be deactivated because enough mushrooms in player area
  • Scorpion will restore mushrooms on the very edge of the screen when it despawns
  • On a real controller, twist/pull/push will all now trigger a bullet





Edited by Arlasoft
Bug fix - fleas were not appearing
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The blue winged creature is a vut.


He flaps his wings and goes either from left-right or right-left. He starts off the platform so you know he's coming onto it and can react to it. Running into him makes you lose a life. Since he hovers over the platform, the only way to avoid one is to jump over it. This is why I added jumping to the game.


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18 hours ago, Arlasoft said:

There's a large green block on "HIGH".
When suggesting erasing the life - if you have three _extra_ lives, there's three ships, when loosing your first you get a new one (two in the sidebar) then loose your third (one in the sidebar) loose that the last one disappears in the sidebar and you're playing with that last ship. That's common I think, to play the last life without any extra lives visible? Don't know how they laid it out in the original. 
Now you don't play the last round with an empty extra lives indication. Sometimes the extra ship is erased after dying but not every time.
I should maybe watch some gameplay. 

Body part of centipede has a missing dot as soon as it passes about "three fingers" from the left playfield bar, same column all the time.


Is the blue/red thingy (always killing me at the far left :) ) supposed to wipe the red/green blocks?


Red/green blocks still appears out of the blue when shooting, centipede body parts can also pop up next to where the shot goes.

Again with the real screen, if you move "Arlasoft 2021" and "Hit fire" closer to the middle - there's a greater chance it will be fully visible on people's old TV:s.

Same goes for the ship, it's a risk it will be partially outside the viewable area.

I could shoot through two red/green block at the top without getting any hit.

New World Record?


This is the most fun game I've played since Pac-Man. Golf is a close second. 

Edited by e5frog
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just added a composite output to a forum members UK Grandstand, its like a model 2, but has an internal speaker.

Originally, the owner sent me another console, but it was dead on arrival, he hadnt used it in years.  Doing some probing around and it had no -5V, so traced it back to the video chip.  No clock.  As a quick and cheap option I swapped the crystal, but still the same.  Seems its a dead video chip, but if anyone has other ideas let me know before I send this stuff back to him.


The working machine did have a battered case though, so the internals were swapped into the original one, apart from the power board, which had been recapped as the 1000uf cap had split its guts at some time.  I swapped the 2 capacitors on the main board while it was out.


I was surprised at the RF quality of these machine when I tested it before performing the mod, it actually looked ok on a LCD, all the Atari stuff I've dealt with is usually terrible.  Knowing this I made the composite mod that seems a standard upgrade on the forum, and it worked first time.  Very pleased with the video quality, a little colour bleed, but thats expected.  Working fine on a LCD and a PVM.








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  • 3 weeks later...
13 hours ago, kleeder said:

Hey everyone!
I'm finally able to play Channel F Sleisza(Duo/Trio) tracks on real hardware thanks to e5frog's amazing work and will now present you a set of Channel F Tracks played on Real Hardware.



Whole CD worth there! When do the rest of us get a chance to get these fancy things?! ?


Also Kleeder, what happened to the discord channel? I'm really bad at discord was going to ask more questions but I think it was closed... Probably a year ago now XD 

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51 minutes ago, atari2600land said:

I want a channel F flash cart!

It would be handy.

I have a USB solution but I'm busy building carts (and repairing test equipment). 


If you mean the kleeder version I built two, however expensive with a genuine 3M/Textool gold socket. 

If you feel you have too much money I can help ease your burden. 

Edited by e5frog
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23 minutes ago, atari2600land said:

Why does BMP2blit say this image is too large?

I think max might be MAME viewable max of 102x58... I could change it if needed. 

Will check image. 



Size seems OK, did it work before? There are different bmp formats, this is OS/2 V1, maybe open and save again...

You also need an eprom programmer. 

Edited by e5frog
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No, it hasn't worked before. I tried another image i made earlier, and that worked. I tried copying the unworking picture into a former picture and keeping the old file name and it still said it was too large. I'll try making another picture and see if it works.


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1 hour ago, atari2600land said:

What is the difference between the picture I posted earlier and this one?

How I did it is different, I started with a clean slate in Photoshop instead of editing what I had, but why does that make a difference?

thisisanothertest.bmp 3.06 kB · 2 downloads

3090 vs 3134 B - header differs 44 bytes, its info header is 28 bytes shorter and then the data itself. 

If it's a different type/version the converter most likely interpret the wrong data as the size...  it's read according to (a) standard. 
Size is at offsets 0x12 and 0x16
The non working has width as 00 3A 00 66, the working one has width as 00 00 00 66 (which is 102), it would seem size is only shown with two bytes instead of four in the original one as 0x3A is 58. 

That's it, the bitmap data is exactly the same. 

I could see if I find a description of a different standard. I'd guess this is an older one - because of the number of bytes for size. Checking the info header size would be a giveaway as it's supposed to be 0x28 (in the used standard). 

Maybe there are different types of bmp to choose from in your graphics program...?

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5 hours ago, e5frog said:

It would be handy.

I have a USB solution but I'm busy building carts (and repairing test equipment). 


If you mean the kleeder version I built two, however expensive with a genuine 3M/Textool gold socket. 

If you feel you have too much money I can help ease your burden. 

I would have too much money if there was a USB / sd card solution! As pretty as Kleeders device is I wouldn't know the first thing to do with it. 

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9 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

I would have too much money if there was a USB / sd card solution! As pretty as Kleeders device is I wouldn't know the first thing to do with it. 

I'd love to make them. I have a working solution, just need to buy some parts and mash it together with a Channel F cart design. So the old "time and money", usually there's at least time, at the moment none of it.  ;-)

Kleeder has an eprom programmer so it's rather easy to swap the FlashROM IC back and forth between console and programmer. Its intended purpose was to use with available music programs so it's just plain ROM and no RAM, it's as simple as it can be. It uses the full address bus with four banks (64KiB x4 - but 2KiB reserved).


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10 hours ago, atari2600land said:

I'm using Paint Shop Pro to convert the pictures made in Photoshop to 4-bit (Oddly, Photoshop refuses to save pictures in 4 bit, so I have to use Paint Shop Pro to do that.)

My old version of Photoshop also doesn't do 4-bit, after 8-bit there's only two color mode. 
... so I go with Paint Shop Pro most of the time - same version for the last decade or so.  

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just wanna add, im very happy about the protocart-solution ! couldnt have asked for more tbh. i even prefer this way over sd-card/usb-solution for some reason because it feels even more retro .. lol. and it looks way cooler too, with the chip sitting on the socket at the end of the cart hehe

every single $$$ well spent imo, e5frog did amazing work (as always


edit: oh right, a better picture of the protocart is here in my tweet 


Edited by kleeder
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Hi friends, I've finally done it, something which displays, then changes at an input, and has the feel of a "random" element. Its the bare bones of what might one day be called a "game" for the channel F.


I'm supplying both the bin and the asm for those who like me would be better off sticking needles in their eyes than attempting to code in anything 2nd generation.


The experts here will cringe at my code, its not optimised in anyway, but it shows a learning curve about how I managed to actually make something work for once that isn't just a display.


What is it? Its the bare bones of a Simon game. You get a colour pop up on screen, you press a key, then the next colour comes up.


There is no sequence yet, you just react to the last colour displayed. I need to figure out how to store that info (I think that's the easy bit) and then recall it (ok, think I might struggle there). There is no sound, no negative consequences for a wrong answer and no score. Once I can figure out how to keep a sequence, I'll add in more features.


Hopefully for other Fairchild n00bs like me, it might be a starting block to make a game. I've commented the n00b lines with n00b comments, hopefully it helps someone who isn't quite ready to just read code for 2048, Quest or Pacman and know instantly what to do.


It currently uses the console keys 1 (red), 2 (blue), 3 (green) and 4 ("yellow") but will switch it to controller once there is more gameplay in it.


Huge thanks to all the people who have provided code for previous Channel F projects, I've taken what I've learnt from all of them to produce what I have now. The only directly copied code is the blit code, I assume a lot of the startup stuff is the same for most games so might look a bit similar.


Its rubbish, but I'm still a little bit proud.


simon01.bin simon demo test 1.asm

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