finally bought one

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Eli the Bearded

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Jan 29, 2021, 6:18:27 PMJan 29
to
No idea if people are still reading this group, but since Computer Nerd
Kev is active in other groups and apparently has been active in hacking
on Vextrex systems, maybe yes, and group is just idle.

After years and years of wanting one, I happened to get some extra money
at a time when owning a Vextrex was on mind. Bids were made, an auction
won, and today a system arrived in the mail.

I have three game carts (Armor Attack, Blitz, and Star Trek), plus light
pen and Animaction. The controller I have seems a little soft. I see
Nintendo style replacement controllers available, and I've looked at
the schematic Tube Time (@tubetimeus on twitter) has created for a
controller (it's in the scoptrex package on github). Controllers
look easy to build.

I don't know if Pitrex, which seems to be a Computer Nerd Kev, project
is still in active development, but it looks interesting.

And I see various multicarts available from various places, which should
be enough to get me Scramble and Berzerk, the other games besides Mine
Storm and Armor Attack that I recall being particularly good.

I expect I'll be able to find documentation of how Animaction can be
used, but I did notice that the vectrex.fandom.com site does not seem to
have details on that "game".

What else should I be looking at in 2021?

Are there plans or kits for homebuilt 3-D viewers?

Elijah
------
not great with electronics, but can solder

Computer Nerd Kev

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Jan 29, 2021, 8:23:21 PMJan 29
to
Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
> No idea if people are still reading this group, but since Computer Nerd
> Kev is active in other groups and apparently has been active in hacking
> on Vextrex systems, maybe yes, and group is just idle.
>
> After years and years of wanting one, I happened to get some extra money
> at a time when owning a Vextrex was on mind. Bids were made, an auction
> won, and today a system arrived in the mail.

I've long wondered about your User-Agent header, glad to hear you've
finally got the hardware to match!

> I have three game carts (Armor Attack, Blitz, and Star Trek), plus light
> pen and Animaction. The controller I have seems a little soft. I see
> Nintendo style replacement controllers available, and I've looked at
> the schematic Tube Time (@tubetimeus on twitter) has created for a
> controller (it's in the scoptrex package on github). Controllers
> look easy to build.

The original Vectrex service manual also includes the controller
schematic. It's certainly among the easier controller designs to
copy, though if you build one with an analogue joystick it might be
tricky getting the sensitivity right.

> I don't know if Pitrex, which seems to be a Computer Nerd Kev, project
> is still in active development, but it looks interesting.

It's still slowly coming together. I'm always getting stuck with
whatever I try to work on with it software-wise (most recently
trying to build XFree86, as asked about in other groups), but
Graham Toal and Malban have got a number of arcade emulators
working. Also a Vectrex emulator that makes it a sort-of multicart.

> And I see various multicarts available from various places, which should
> be enough to get me Scramble and Berzerk, the other games besides Mine
> Storm and Armor Attack that I recall being particularly good.
>
> I expect I'll be able to find documentation of how Animaction can be
> used, but I did notice that the vectrex.fandom.com site does not seem to
> have details on that "game".

The best copy of the original manual would be here:
https://vectorgaming.proboards.com/thread/849/vectrex-manual-project

There was also a Vectrex FTP site, I'm not sure where that is
online now, I thought it was at the Internet Archive but now I
can't find it. There's probably nothing in it that hasn't been
reproduced elsewhere on the web by now, but I look in my local copy
for plain-text game manuals and other documents.

> What else should I be looking at in 2021?

VecFever and Vextreme are other things along the lines of the
PiTrex. There are lots of homebrew games available, as you've
probably already seen.

> Are there plans or kits for homebuilt 3-D viewers?

It's possible to modify LCD shutterglasses from 3D TVs, though you
don't have the colour effect of the original that way.

There are some older mechanical designs:

https://www.playvectrex.com/projex_f.htm
https://old.madtronix.com/html/3d_imager.html

Plus there was some info about that on the FTP site as well.

--
__ __
#_ < |\| |< _#

Phillip Eaton

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Jan 30, 2021, 6:55:59 AMJan 30
to
On Saturday, 30 January 2021 at 02:23:21 UTC+1, Computer Nerd Kev wrote:
> Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
> > No idea if people are still reading this group, but since Computer Nerd
> > Kev is active in other groups and apparently has been active in hacking
> > on Vextrex systems, maybe yes, and group is just idle.

This group is not completely dead.

Congratulations on becoming a Vectrex owner !

Mike Garcia

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Jan 30, 2021, 7:13:07 PMJan 30
to
congrats!

----------
http://mgarcia.org/

Eli the Bearded

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Jan 30, 2021, 7:47:29 PMJan 30
to
In rec.games.vectrex, Computer Nerd Kev <n...@telling.you.invalid> wrote:
> I've long wondered about your User-Agent header, glad to hear you've
> finally got the hardware to match!

I have wanted one ever since I first learned about them, but the
combination of extra money and thinking about it took a while to match.

I did a little research on my User-Agent: header history. Originally I
was using rn then trn 3.x and neither had any header identifying them.
Then someone somewhere added a X-Newsreader header into Pnews, the
helper program for making a post. I disliked that and changed the value
to suggest I was posting from a "Sony Playstation 5 (MIPS)". At the time
I was working for a company that was owned by Sony and was probably
thinking of WebTV posts.

A few years later, I found some standards document that suggested
User-Agent was more appropriate than X-Newsreader and changed my game
console choice to match. That was in about February 2003.

> Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
> > I have three game carts (Armor Attack, Blitz, and Star Trek), plus light
> > pen and Animaction. The controller I have seems a little soft. I see
> > Nintendo style replacement controllers available, and I've looked at
> > the schematic Tube Time (@tubetimeus on twitter) has created for a
> > controller (it's in the scoptrex package on github). Controllers
> > look easy to build.
> The original Vectrex service manual also includes the controller
> schematic. It's certainly among the easier controller designs to
> copy, though if you build one with an analogue joystick it might be
> tricky getting the sensitivity right.

https://console5.com/techwiki/images/a/a7/Vectrex-Service_Manual.pdf

III. MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY TIPS

Your Vectrex Arcade System will bring you many years of fun and
excitement.

:^)

Is the test cart mentioned in that manual the "Test Rev. 4" I see listed
in multicarts? I do think the screen needs adjustment on mine. In
Animaction I'm seeing text that is going off the edge. The test patterns
on the test cart sound useful for adjusting it.

Is there a FAQ for common repairs / fixes? I've got the audio buzz, too.
I know vaguely there's a grounding fix for that, but I don't know the
details.

> It's still slowly coming together. I'm always getting stuck with
> whatever I try to work on with it software-wise (most recently
> trying to build XFree86, as asked about in other groups), but

I saw that post. It has been a long time since I've tried to build
XFree86, so I didn't have any non-obvious suggestions.

> The best copy of the original manual would be here:
> https://vectorgaming.proboards.com/thread/849/vectrex-manual-project

Thanks. Animaction has a rather long manual.

> There was also a Vectrex FTP site, I'm not sure where that is
> online now, I thought it was at the Internet Archive but now I
> can't find it. There's probably nothing in it that hasn't been
> reproduced elsewhere on the web by now, but I look in my local copy
> for plain-text game manuals and other documents.

Are you referring to ftp://ftp.csus.edu/pub/vectrex?

I guess that Internet Archive gets FTP sites, but I have had trouble
verifying that. I used their contact form to ask about ftp.uu.net once
and got back a response that didn't seem to understand my question.

This might be that site as a web mirror, it is a web mirror of some
Vectrex ftp site:

https://web.archive.org/web/20180322025919/http://www.vectrex.com/Mirrors/FTP_Mirror/

It is sadly not complete, but seems to have a lot of it.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180322071818/http://www.vectrex.com/Mirrors/FTP_Mirror/pictures/notavail.jpg

I think that needs some sort of context that I am missing.

>> What else should I be looking at in 2021?
> VecFever and Vextreme are other things along the lines of the
> PiTrex.

Unlike Pitrex, those don't seem to have recent (eg 2020) updates.

>> Are there plans or kits for homebuilt 3-D viewers?
The Madtroix one looks good.

Elijah
------
excited

Eli the Bearded

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Jan 30, 2021, 7:49:09 PMJan 30
to
In rec.games.vectrex, Phillip Eaton <pjea...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This group is not completely dead.

Just sleeping, like alt.games.mame. Good to know.

> Congratulations on becoming a Vectrex owner !

Thanks.

Elijah
------
has to figure out where to set it up permantly in the house

Computer Nerd Kev

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Feb 1, 2021, 3:10:33 AMFeb 1
to
Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
> https://console5.com/techwiki/images/a/a7/Vectrex-Service_Manual.pdf
>
> III. MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY TIPS
>
> Your Vectrex Arcade System will bring you many years of fun and
> excitement.
>
> :^)
>
> Is the test cart mentioned in that manual the "Test Rev. 4" I see listed
> in multicarts? I do think the screen needs adjustment on mine. In
> Animaction I'm seeing text that is going off the edge. The test patterns
> on the test cart sound useful for adjusting it.

Yes, that "test.bin" ROM image is the one the manual talks about and
has various calibration screens. I've never tried Animaction though,
so I'm not sure whether that might be normal (software is able to
draw offscreen even when the hardware display settings are correct).

> Is there a FAQ for common repairs / fixes? I've got the audio buzz, too.
> I know vaguely there's a grounding fix for that, but I don't know the
> details.

Well the Vectrex FAQ covers those, this seems to be the latest
copy:
https://www.pugo.org/collection/faq/10/

This may be the tutorial that it links to:
http://www.atarihq.com/vectrex/no_buzz.zip

I kept the buzz. It's actually proven a bit of a debugging aid
doing the PiTrex stuff (eg. with those lines that can be drawn
offscreen).

Also see here:
https://vectorgaming.proboards.com/thread/1845/common-vectrex-adjustments-repairs-links

>> There was also a Vectrex FTP site, I'm not sure where that is
>> online now, I thought it was at the Internet Archive but now I
>> can't find it. There's probably nothing in it that hasn't been
>> reproduced elsewhere on the web by now, but I look in my local copy
>> for plain-text game manuals and other documents.
>
> Are you referring to ftp://ftp.csus.edu/pub/vectrex?
>
> I guess that Internet Archive gets FTP sites, but I have had trouble
> verifying that. I used their contact form to ask about ftp.uu.net once
> and got back a response that didn't seem to understand my question.

It's not part of their Wayback Machine project, but there is a
separate FTP archiving project that uploads to the file archive
part of the site:
https://wiki.archiveteam.org/index.php/FTP
https://archive.org/details/archiveteam_ftp

I thought I'd seen someone had manually uploaded an archive of the
Vectrex FTP site, but I might have been dreaming because I can't
find it now.

> This might be that site as a web mirror, it is a web mirror of some
> Vectrex ftp site:
>
> https://web.archive.org/web/20180322025919/http://www.vectrex.com/Mirrors/FTP_Mirror/

That's it, that site was its final home.

Eli the Bearded

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Feb 2, 2021, 2:56:18 AMFeb 2
to
In rec.games.vectrex, Computer Nerd Kev <n...@telling.you.invalid> wrote:
> Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:

> It's not part of their Wayback Machine project, but there is a
> separate FTP archiving project that uploads to the file archive
> part of the site:
> https://wiki.archiveteam.org/index.php/FTP

Started 2015. Ouch, I expect uu.net was gone by then.

> https://archive.org/details/archiveteam_ftp

It's pretty unusable in that state.

> I thought I'd seen someone had manually uploaded an archive of the
> Vectrex FTP site, but I might have been dreaming because I can't
> find it now.

Pick an "Archive Team FTP Site Download", eg:
https://archive.org/details/archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538

Click on "ITEM CDX META-INDEX" see text that appears to describe what's
inside that particular chunk.

edu,monash,ftp)/pub/linux/ubuntu/archive/pool/universe/f/fence-agents/fence-agents_3.1.5-2ubuntu4_i386.deb 20160612214359 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 150120 154289
edu,oregonstate,ftp)/.1/cran/src/contrib/archive/icenreg 20160612191622 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 304409 150149
edu,oregonstate,ftp)/.1/fedora/linux/updates/22/x86_64/drpms/texlive-babel-czech-svn30261.0-11.fc22_svn30261.0-12.fc22.noarch.drpm 20160612220519 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 454558 144504
edu,oregonstate,ftp)/.1/vectorlinux/veclinux-6.0/gsb-2.22/packages/applications/python-dateutil-1.4-i586-2gsb.meta 20160612181640 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 599062 134150
edu,oregonstate,ftp)/.2/gnome/binaries/win32/dependencies/cairo-dev_1.8.10-2_win32.zip 20160612224228 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 733212 128492
edu,oregonstate,ftp)/.2/nslu2/feeds/freesmartphone/fso-unstable/armv4t/gnome-keyring-locale-mk_2.20.0-r2_armv4t.ipk 20160612195027 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 861704 148299
edu,oregonstate,ftp)/.2/nslu2/sources/darkstat-3.0.708.tar.bz2 20160612232430 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 1010003 139036
edu,oregonstate,ftp)/.2/videolan/vlc/1.0.5/win32/symbols-1.0.5/libaccess_tcp_plugin.dll.dbg 20160612205134 archiveteam_ftp_20160613015538.cdx.gz 1149039 119886

Hey, look, it at least says "vector"!

It also looks like ~20 items newer than 2016.

Elijah
------
sad about FTP

David Griffith

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Feb 14, 2021, 10:56:25 PMFeb 14
to
Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
Get a copy of the service/tech manual and consider recapping your Vectrex.


--
David Griffith
da...@661.org

Eli the Bearded

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Feb 15, 2021, 1:53:12 PMFeb 15
to
In rec.games.vectrex, David Griffith <da...@661.org> wrote:
> Get a copy of the service/tech manual and consider recapping your Vectrex.

I did get the service manual and now have a multicart with the test cart
image. I found a company called Console5 (.com) has a wiki page on the
recapping and sells recap kits. I bought a set from them, but I haven't
put them in yet.

Soon.

Elijah
------
console5 also has debuzz advice

David Griffith

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Feb 19, 2021, 6:06:36 PMFeb 19
to
Eli the Bearded <*@eli.users.panix.com> wrote:
> In rec.games.vectrex, David Griffith <da...@661.org> wrote:
>> Get a copy of the service/tech manual and consider recapping your Vectrex.

> I did get the service manual and now have a multicart with the test cart
> image. I found a company called Console5 (.com) has a wiki page on the
> recapping and sells recap kits. I bought a set from them, but I haven't
> put them in yet.

I don't remember where I got my cap kit. The job is quite easy to do.
You just have to make sure you give proper respect to the high-voltage
stuff in there and be extra careful not to bump the rear of the CRT.


--
David Griffith
da...@661.org

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