Testing the Philips Videopac G7000 Computer

Another computer from my collection for testing. This one has a tatty box and comes with 2 hard wired joystick controllers. One of mine has a broken button which someone has modified with a red switch.

Plugged this into a small TV for testing today and nothing happened. There doesn’t appear to be a power button for these. After tuning in Channel 36 on the TV I managed to get a picture and test one of the game cartridges, 38, Munchkin, a kind of Pacman game.

This console has no serial number that I could find.

Terrible sound and graphics but still great fun and not bad considering it was released in 1978. just need to find my other cartridges for some more retro 8 bit fun.

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Blaze Atari Retro TV Handheld

Got home on Saturday morning to find my Atari retro console had arrived. I initially preordered this in March and after at least two manufacturers delays it finally arrived from Funstockretro.co.uk.

It costs £34.99 plus postage and includes some artwork cards and a gold Atari coin.

It takes 4 x AAA batteries. Switch it on and you are presented with a menu of the 50 Atari games that are built in. The screen is small and can only just be seen. Sound is not good but I still enjoyed playing the retro Atari games.

The build of the console is perhaps a little cheaper than I was expecting and disappointing, although this is advertised as a TV console there is no 3.5mm AV cable supplied. I used my own and at the moment can’t get it to display a picture on my TV. I am going to try another cable just in case but it might be heading back to Funstockretro for a refund! Using it with the small screen would not be very practical in the long term. Overall I have mixed reactions at this stage. I will hopefully something more positive to say if I can get it working on the big TV screen.

 

Update 2/11/18

Have now tried 4 different TV’s and 3 different AV cables that are known good. Cannot get the unit to output onto TV screen. Finally tried pulling the AV cable out of the socket slightly on the handheld and managed to get a picture but no sound. A quick wiggle again and picture and sound but if I push the jack all the way into the socket it doesn’t work. Not sure if these need a particular type of AV cable or this is a fault. I am going to email funstockretro and see what they say. There website doesn’t seem to have the recommended AV cable in stock yet to purchase.

 

Walk The Chalk

This was another Surrey Hills Walk that can be found on the iFootpath app. Its a linear walk of about 7.5 miles from Dorking railway station to Gomshall station.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/denbies-hillside/documents/walk-the-chalk-leaflet.pdf

We arrived at Dorking railway station as the guide suggests and parked in the station pay and display car park. The cost was £3.55 for the whole day and you can pay by app if you forget to bring any change.

We followed the guide and made our way down an underpass, past a school and to the start of the first footpath. One moment you’re walking down streets in a town and then the next you’re making your way into the countryside climbing the Denbies Hillside.

This was perhaps my favourite walk so far. Some spectacular views over the surrey countryside with the sun rising above the mist. There was plenty of wildlife including cattle and deer. You follow the line of the railway tracks for much of the walk and occasionally would see a train going past in the distance below you.

There were some short steep climbs in places to keep it interesting, an old carriage road, chalk footpaths, quite a few pillboxes and some benches to have a quick rest and take in the views.

At the end of the walk you arrive in the beautiful village of Gomshall. . There is a mill, a shop with some model dinosaurs at the front and a café for some refreshments. The station is a short walk but does not have a ticket office so you are expected to buy a ticket on the train or prepay online. We arrived at the station at about 11.55 and the train arrived at about 12.12 after a short delay. A few minutes later after looking back at the views of where you have just walked,  you arrive back at the other Dorking Station, Deepdene. A 2 minute walk sees you back at the Dorking station car park.

I’ve collected some more photos in an album again. Click on the link below:

Walk The Chalk 20.10.18

 

Vtech Pre Computer 1000

 

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This was a car boot purchase, a Pre Computer 1000 than can run off batteries or a mains adapter. It didn’t come boxed and as usual with car boot purchases is always a gamble.

When tested, it worked. Originally this was sold in the late 80’s to early 90’s for children wanting to learn and use a simple computer. It has a slot in the left hand side for additional cartridges although these seem to be quite hard to come by.

The full qwerty keyboard lets you input answers to questions on a simple LCD screen with various beeping noises indicating activity on the computer.

 

 

Raspberry Pi 3B with new DVB TV µHAT

Saturday morning, we got home and found my new µHAT waiting for me on the door mat from The Pi Hut at £22.99 including delivery.

I grabbed the nearest Raspberry Pi 3B that wasn’t already being used for a project.

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Unboxing the Hat… Not much in there.

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The hat, some standoffs/spacers, an ariel socket, a header extension and some screws for the standoffs.

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Fir the header extension.

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Push the Hat onto the GPIO pins on your Pi. Screw the spacers into place. I couldn’t use the third spacer on my model of Pi as there is no hole to attach. Push the ariel socket into place on the end of the Hat until it clicks and locks in place.

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The guide says use the latest the version of Raspbian. My Pi already had a fairly recent o/s, so I decided to boot it up and do the updates.

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Wanted to find the unique serial number for my Pi..

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Started doing the updates…

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Updates all done, ran the command to install the TV software.

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And it failed.

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So started again from scratch but this time started with a fresh copy of the latest Raspbian image. It worked this time.

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Omce installed, a wizard starts and asks you to create login credentials for the administrator.

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Once the TV software is installed on the Pi, it acts as a streaming TV server which you can access from other computers. You are asked to go to a PC and enter a URL to access the server remotely but this didn’t work. Tried again but using the Pi’s IP address and you receive a login request for the administrator credentials you set up earlier.

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Then the wizard starts for configuring the TV software and channels. I found it fairly intuitive but here is the full guide.

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After the software finds the channels, you click on a TV icon next to one of them and here I am watching BBC One on my Laptop being streamed from the Raspberry Pi.

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