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Virtuality 1000 SD restoration

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simon_m74 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 Jul 2014 at 5:01pm
Hi all!

Ok, 

I think I may of mentioned on here somewhere, that I now have 4 VR machines :)
  • my original 1000CS,
  • Alpha`s old 1000 CS that I have restored (both of these will be linked up at revival!)
  • a 3rd 1000CS - that requires a repaired/replacement Amiga 3000
  • and finally - a 1000 SD.


I have been working on the restoration of it since I got hold of it.

The problems I have had are :

Dead Amiga
I luckily had a spare Amiga 3000, that I was using as a test system. This amiga got donated straight into this machine. I am now 2 Amigas short. One is required for the 3rd 1000 CS unit, and a 4th for a test/spare - or even a Camera viewing system.
The Camera setup will place another `point of view` looking at the game action, and then display that on an external monitor - so that in theory, on a 2 player system, 3 displays could be up.
1 for each players POV, and the Camera. I hope to test that sometime soon, but it does require a full VR Expality computer!

HDD Failure
The HDD would not boot anything. I also tested it in my PC with WinUAE, but it just was not working. I have replaced the HDD with a CF card.
To do this, I added a Scsi to IDE bridge card, then IDE to CF adapter. Booting time is still about the same due to set timings for different parts of the system to start. It does give the ability for me to add more games on the bigger capacity storage. Its planned to have a game selection menu up-on boot. This is also planned for the CS units too, but its more focused on the SD unit, as there are many more games for the SD sit down units than the CS stand up.

Missing Visette
A previous owner decided that they wanted to keep the Visette, so it was removed. Lucky, I had two spares! (one from Alpha, other from Gridrunner- Thanks guys). I have had to test the spares to find out which one was working better, and as both their `faults`, I split them both up, and made the best one from the two.
I wired in the new Visette and it worked fine!
I have now been given the original Visette from this SD, but as the one I connected is all good, I have left this one as a spare.

Tracking Issues
The tracking on the SD unit is controlled by Ascension`s `Bird` hardware. Now, I didnt know how to wire in the tracker sensors, as the wires had been cut. I did find that the connection from the tracker source to the computer to have of gotten hot in the past, and the wires were stiff and brittle.
That could easily answer why I had tracking issues. It was only tracking motion once every 3 seconds or so, and its POV was VERY random. I am assuming that the controller PCB had got damaged through a power short.
I had a spare old Polhemus Tracker board, that I got with the kit from Gridrunner. After a lot of careful checking the connections, I wired that system in. 
I had to changed the TX source in the machine for the new hardware, as well as the RX in the Visette.
After power up, all I had to do is to see which way to place the TX unit, so that Left was left, up was up... as in the wrong direction, I could look down, and the view would go left, for instance.
That all positioned correct now, but i need to find a way of securing the TX unit. The Polhemus one is about 1/8th the size of the Ascension one, which was glued in place originally anyway!

I have also had a issue mounting the tracker PCB within the Expality, so for now its resting there on insulated posts. I will design and make a proper fixing for it soon.

Display CRT
After about 2 weeks, the display died... I am on the hunt for a 10" CRT to replace it with, For now, I have fitted a 8" LCD, but I cant get it to sync very well :/

Joysticks
One of the analogue joysticks in its past has had its handle removed, and replaced with what looks like a rubber stamp`s wooden handle!  Neither joystick work correctly, but I think its a bigger issue that just the joysticks.

Sound
The sound is  real problem - which to be honest as I`m at work now, and about to go home - continue this thread later!

I hope to add some pics,

But for more info on my progress,  look for Retro VR on Facebook!
www.retro-vr.co.uk - on its way!
www.bettybeebooks.co.uk - Childrens books for simple life skills!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vib_ribbon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2014 at 5:44pm
at least the shell is all good and intact, yeah?
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simon_m74 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote simon_m74 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2014 at 9:03am
The shell is not bad at all.

a few scratches, and the some of the metalwork is going rusty.
I plan to get the metal work repainted, but that involves a complete strip down!
As for the scratches, they are not bad, so I`ll leave them anyway, rather than trying to sand them out, possibly causing more damage.


www.retro-vr.co.uk - on its way!
www.bettybeebooks.co.uk - Childrens books for simple life skills!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote simon_m74 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2014 at 9:49am
Ok, Continuing the restoration thread..

Sound (and other problems)

This is a real odd one..

The Sound `tries` to work,  as in during booting, it either hums and pops, or stays silent, random!. 
After the game has loaded, the sound is quiet, very distorted and sounds like its missing sections.

The audio from the Amiga is fine, so its not that.

Other problems that seemed to be linked for unknown reasons are that the LCD`s in the Visette do not go bright, when a credit is active, so they are not too bright.

Another problem is that the analogue Joysticks, as mentioned in the first thread. There are 3 trimming pots for each axis. MAX, MIN, CTR. So with 2 Joysticks, 2 axis each, thats 12 trimming pots. NONE work at all!

From all this, I can only assume that its a power problem,  but the PSU seems fine. I have checked voltages in various places which looks ok, so from this, I `dont` assume its a power problem!?

I have traced the audio circuits as much as I can with the time I have spent doing so, so far, and from what I can see;

Audio comes in from 3 sources, the Amiga, the CD, External microphones from other players.
They seem to be mixed together via some DAC`s that I think are acting as switches, to turn that channel on/off, by the Amiga parallel port.
It all them goes through a series of Op-amps, then it splits off to the volume controls. One control feeds the Visette headphones, and the other feeds more Op-amps, then the Main Amp.

At first, I thought it was the Main amps, but its not due to the the Visette audio has the same problem. Could be the Op-amps ? but as I said, I dont think the audio is the only problem.

As there are three Audio sources, but 5 DACs, I will see if the other 2 feed anything else, as it could be the `other` IC that sits between the DAC`s and the Parallel port. If I remember correctly, I think its a 8-bit shift register.

The 12 trimming pots are powered direct from the PSU I think, so I cant understand that problem.

As for the Brightening of the LCD`s, I assume thats a DAC that does that..

Ok, before I continue, I`m thinking out aloud on this thread - I just thought of that LCD issue possible cause!

So could it be the `8-bit` IC I wonder.... or even the Amiga`s parallel port?  though I think that is ok, as it uses that to also turn on the PSU to this PCB.

Right, I know the info here is very sketchy,  but if anyone thinks that they may be able to help solve these problems, let me know, and I`ll do my best to furnish with more info!


www.retro-vr.co.uk - on its way!
www.bettybeebooks.co.uk - Childrens books for simple life skills!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IDCHAPPY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2014 at 10:16pm
I'm delighted things are coming together for you mate
We are the 45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote simon_m74 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 2014 at 4:53pm
Just a quick note..

SD FULLY WORKING!!!!!!! :D

but it needs a few bits sorting...

I`ll get a full update on here soon!

Simon
www.retro-vr.co.uk - on its way!
www.bettybeebooks.co.uk - Childrens books for simple life skills!!


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