Meetup #11 – 2020-12-12

Meetup number 11 was another in a string of good times. There were six in attendance with a variety of different technology in tow. Sean was first on the scene, bringing his Fujitsu FM-8 complete with kanji ROM set and a Sharp MZ-centric magazine for some light reading. He also brought a few items for repair – a keyboard for diagnosis and solder reflowing, and an FM-7/77 sound card and speaker set to have a new connector put on the speaker – courtesy of Edoardo, who showed up a bit later with his full arsenal of soldering implements.

Soon after came Greg with many different things to show off, for example his very unique Mega65 developers system, a beautiful piece of equipment with a great aesthetic and a classy-looking keyboard. He showed off the Commodore 65-looking startup screen and the included maze game that takes advantage of the 40MHz CPU mode, as well as some classic Commodore 64 games. Sven also tried testing if cartridges were compatible by loading up his 1541 Ultimate II+ with a cartridge image file, but it ultimately wouldn’t work.

Greg also brought other goodies, including his modern-day Nintendo Game & Watch, MiSTer, and Atari ST. The Game & Watch features a full-color Super Mario Bros. 1 & 2 as well as the classic Ball. The MiSTer is loaded and prepared to emulate many classic machines, for example the PCEngine. The Atari ST pumped some Star Wars action through Curt’s PVM.

Curt came with his Robotron KC 87, which is unfortunately not ready for action, but got some thorough diagnostics for future repair. It’s a computer released in East Germany that, much like the FM-8, is built like a tank. Edoardo and Curt also worked together on a power supply for running the European Atari ST on the Japanese electrical system.

Sean’s FM-8 got some attention not only for its enormous footprint, distinct appearance, and its very simple games – Black Jack and Lunar Lander – but even some crude tools such as a word processor and a drawing tool got some curiosity use.

3 thoughts on “Meetup #11 – 2020-12-12”

  1. Thanks to Edoardo for helping to build a small load that the +12V rail of my four-output (+5/+12/-12/-5) PSU requires, and extra thanks to Greg for letting his Atari ST be the first experimental subject of the PSU. This should actually power any retrocomputer system directly from 100-240 VAC wall power, avoiding the need to have a large step-up converter (as seen in the photos above) for microcomputers with PSUs designed for European usage. I’ve designed and built a standard cable and header for the PSU output so it’s now easy to build an adapter cable for any individual system and power it from the PSU. Hopefully this will make life easier for all our owners of European computers.

    (The next step for me, of course, is to build an adapter cable for my Robotron KC 87. Greg’s step-up converter was also very helpful here to test the Robotron from wall power to make sure that what comes out of its original PSU is really what the markings on the board indicate.)

  2. Looks like a ton of fun. If not for the Corona situation I would have joined one of the meetups. Currently in the process of bringing 4 old C64s back to life and exchanging ideas would have been very useful! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment here, too! Yes, by all means let us know when you might want to join. Always interested in meeting new people. Good luck with the Commodore 64s!

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