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T-Card for the Intellivision


Lathe26

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T-Card for the Intellivision

 

T-Card – The development board for games for the Mattel Intellivision console.  It used off-the-shelf RAM and ROM chips.  Thanks goes out to Frank Palazzolo and Evan Allen for their hard work.

 

 

 

Abzman’s GitHub for T-card schematics and PCB layout:

https://github.com/abzman/intellivision-t-card

 

Abzman’s Blog post:

https://abzman2k.wordpress.com/2022/12/29/intellivision-t-card-t-cart-replica/

 

FRAM kit replacement (no battery needed) for DS1220 battery-back SRAM:

https://www.tindie.com/products/tebo/dallas-ds1220-replacement-without-battery-2/

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7 hours ago, Walter Ives said:

Nice video. But not a development board: T-card's weren't of much use for development except in conjunction with a Blue Whale.

 

WJI

T-Cards were used for testing, which is part of development. Yes a developer wouldn't normally put small changes on a T-Card to run, but they were certainly used on in-development games.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/12/2023 at 3:48 PM, BSRSteve said:

T-Cards were used for testing, which is part of development. Yes a developer wouldn't normally put small changes on a T-Card to run, but they were certainly used on in-development games.

    I concur. They were used for QA testing, by marketing to evaluate alternatives (like which synthesized words sounded better or which steering to use in Auto Race), to present in-development games to focus-groups and to gauge buyer interest in meetings or at trade shows, all arguably part of the greater development process. They were also used for non-development purposes such as incoming material inspection, diagnostic and point-of-purchase programs while awaiting for masked ROMs thereof to be fabricated.

    That being said, we also seem to be in agreement that programmers didn't download programs into them for day-to-day debugging except as part of a blue whale setup, in which case Lathe's referring to them as "development boards" seems misleading enough to casual perusers of this forum to warrant a comment. Agreed?

    Another picky point to aid the archaeologists lurking here: they were called T-cards on the schematics of the day. Do you agree that at the time they were usually referred to as T-cards, not T-carts? Also that no one back in the day would have been bothered if someone had called them T-carts?

 

    WJI

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On 4/25/2023 at 2:49 AM, Walter Ives said:

    I concur. They were used for QA testing, by marketing to evaluate alternatives (like which synthesized words sounded better or which steering to use in Auto Race), to present in-development games to focus-groups and to gauge buyer interest in meetings or at trade shows, all arguably part of the greater development process. They were also used for non-development purposes such as incoming material inspection, diagnostic and point-of-purchase programs while awaiting for masked ROMs thereof to be fabricated.

    That being said, we also seem to be in agreement that programmers didn't download programs into them for day-to-day debugging except as part of a blue whale setup, in which case Lathe's referring to them as "development boards" seems misleading enough to casual perusers of this forum to warrant a comment. Agreed?

    Another picky point to aid the archaeologists lurking here: they were called T-cards on the schematics of the day. Do you agree that at the time they were usually referred to as T-cards, not T-carts? Also that no one back in the day would have been bothered if someone had called them T-carts?

 

    WJI

I think they were usually called T-Cards, but if someone said T-Cart instead, we might not have even noticed.

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