Peer testing notes / findings / suggestion etc

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    hey Peer also get yourself a couple of spare via chips because they are cheap

    you cant get some from here, this link:
    i have purchased from this ebay seller before and they are perfectly good, i am using these via chips in my vectrex’s and everything works great

    (and then, you dont have to worry about damaging a via when you remove it from your vectrex because they are cheap to buy so it doesnt matter if you damage a via removing it, just throw it in the bin and put the new one in) πŸ™‚

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by vtk.


    Darn, I am running out of thank yous! It was my turn to send you something, not the other way around πŸ˜‰

    Great, thanks a lot for the VIA!!! Let me know how I can compensate you. I will try the new VIA on the trouble maker and let you know what happens.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Peer.


    Thanks for the link! I will now wait for the VIA Malban sent me and try that first. Will let you know about the result.


    Ok, this is not much, but worth saying anyway:

    I finally came around to playing some more rounds of VectorBlade. Not much, only got up to level 13 again. But so far the difficulty (easy) seems right to me. I am certainly not yet a good player, and I still have to learn about the add-ons and achievements. For me, the first levels of the game are right now still difficult enough to be challenging and to keep me hooked. Turned out that I am apparantly quite good at the Mine Storm stages though πŸ™‚ Not yet good at avoiding the one-shot or other down-grading drops.

    I am using original Vectrex controllers only (do not have any others), which adds a bit to the difficulty as they are quite worn und thus control is sometimes a bit fuzzy.

    Love the music! Have been listening to it many times during all those debugging experiments, and still like to hear it πŸ™‚


    I purchased exactly the same Rockwell’s VIA chips, got them installed on both my veccys and I confirm that both work just perfect.


    cool, it’s certainly good to have some spares especially when they are currently cheap to buy


    Peer it’s a shame you dont have any more controllers such as a modern vectrex controller, as those original controllers are not so great are they (even when they are in good condition!) πŸ™‚


    When comparing VIAs… this is the one I sent Peer:


    here are some i have here:

    (right side pictures are the undersides of the chips)



    Don’t mess with me – young Padawan:


    Whenever you test the VIA, tell us.

    Maybe that problem does occur more often than we think.
    Look at at the bottom the topic from “mooshue” and following…


    Yes, will start VIA testing as soon as possible and report the results.

    Yesterday, we had an open door day at the university (Science Night), and I have been teaching two workshops the whole afternoon and the whole evening. Good thing: got a note that your packet / VIA has arrived (thanks!). Bad thing: it is still at the university’s central post office and has not yet been delivered to my personal post box. Today is a public holiday, but I will see if I can drive out there and get entry to the post office. Another good thing: the busiest part of the semester of over now, and there will definitly be more time for “vectrexing” from now on.


    Ok, “hacked” myself into the post office, fetched the packet, and did the tests. I like the outcome, and they probably shed some more light on this.

    Short version: VectorBlade now works on all my 4 consoles.

    Long version:

    Just to be sure, I initially checked Mine Storm and VectorBlade an both my no-buzz consoles as they were. As before, Mine Storm works on both, Vectorblade does not work on the trouble maker, but on the other console.

    Removed VIA-a from my no-buzz lab console (the trouble maker) and tested the new VIA that Chris sent me in it: VectorBlade now works, Mine Storm works πŸ™‚

    Removed VIA-b from my no-buzz home console and tested VIA-a in it as a cross-check. As expected, VectorBlade does not work, Mine Storm works. Conclusion: there is some PB6 issue with VIA-a.

    Removed VIA-a and re-inserted VIA-b in my no-buzz home console. Mine Storm still works, but VectorBlade does not work anymore πŸ™

    Removed and re-inserted VIA-b several times. No change πŸ™ Theory? Well, I freely admit that I probably suck at hardware stuff. I tried to be as careful as possible while doing this. Nevertheless, I might have damaged VIA-b in the process???

    As this was unsatisfying, I tried once more removing VIA-c from the broken, non-working spare-part console I still have in my lab, until I finally succeeded. Then I inserted VIA-c in my no-buzz home console. Mine Storm works, and now VectorBlade does work agin πŸ™‚


    I strongly guess that the reason of Vectorblade not working was due to either a single faulty VIA, or due to a specific VIA model, on which PB6 does not work. Here is some data:

    VIA-a, the non-working one from the trouble maker:
    top side reads “8251 SY6522”, bottom side reads “3040/251 KOREA”
    If we find some other machine that uses this model, and on which VectorBlade works, then we could conclude that my issue was due a single faulty chip. If we find other machines that use this model, and on which VectorBlade does not work, then this could hint to a problem of this specific model.

    VIA-b, the one working before, and then not anymore:
    top side reads “R6522AP R6522-33 8330”, bottom side reads “R6522K MEXICO 0951-1″
    Ok, I probably damaged that one…

    VIA-c, the old working spare one:
    top side reads ” R6522AP R652233 8322″, bottom side reads “R6522 K1 0898 KOREA”
    If we find some other machine that uses this model, and on which VectorBlade does not work, then that would most likely be due to a single faulty chip.

    Does that make sense?

    Anyhow, either way this should not discourage you or prevent you from going on with VectorBlade development, as putting in a new VIA (e.g. of the model you sent me) seems to solve the problem. And because VectorBlade is a great game!


    Since I find it rather unlikely that I damaged VIA-b in such a way that only PB6 is affected and everything else still works, here is another wild theory:

    Could it be that in fact all my VIAs are essentially fine and working, but that in certain combinations “specific VIA-model vs. specific logic board model” the PB6 thing does not work as VectorBlade or certain Multi-carts need it to work?

    As far as I know, whatever parts were cheapest or were most easily available at that point of time were used when the consoles were manufactured back in the eighties. To my understanding, the PB6 functionality was never official or intended? The manufacturers would not have cared if the specifications of VIA type or board type would not have matched in that regard. That could explain why today on certain consoles certain multi-carts (and VectorBlade) do not work, but on the vast majority do.

    I am not sure if I really want to do this, but one experiment would be trying all combinations of my 4 consoles and the VIAs I have at hand, including those deemed “damaged”…


    Just came home from a long trip (being a holiday today…)

    Thanks for your tests Peer!

    I think we can be certain of 2 things:

    a) The non working of 100% bankswitching is VIA related
    b) It can be remedied by inserting a (at least for that vectrex) good VIA

    My impression from what Thomas theory is, that it seems the PB6 voltage level is not
    always stable enough to be recognized as ON/OFF.

    As a not to electronic guy, I would be interested in:
    – is there a simple circuit that I could insert on my pcb, that would
    make the PB6 voltage level more stable (from the cartridges point of view)

    So that the address line (as which the PB6 signal is used) works always 100% as intended?

    Anyone care to way in?


    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Malban.
Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 78 total)
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