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New Prototype Complete! Resound 2 MCA aka PS/2 Microchannel!

Pardon the mess, but it works! Ok, I’m getting ahead of myself, here is our latest working prototype the Resound 2 MCA! What is it? It’s a stereo Yamaha OPL3 (OPL2/Adlib compatible) sound card for the IBM PS/2 microchannel bus! I don’t usually like to show prototypes, but it was just too exciting hearing sound from a PS/2 machine this evening, so I had to show it!

TubeTime recently completed a replica of the Adlib for the MCA bus and I was very interested in the heart of his card, the P82C611 MCA bus controller. After doing quite a bit of deciphering of datasheets and schematics I was able to adapt the OPL3 chip to work on it just fine! The P82C611, while a bit difficult to get a hold of, does give me a lot of ideas… 🙂

I am performing a few minor fixes to the card, and I will be send off for them very soon and hope to have them available for sale within a month!

BTW… We have several new products coming out soon. I was doing a lot of design work during the lockdown, and a few things are about to hit the pipeline. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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Where do you source your parts?

The overwhelming majority of our parts come from Mouser Electronics. They have a great online ordering process and the shipping times are great. They are also located relatively close to us so if needed we can run up and get some parts. This being said there are times when we just can’t find the parts we need there. We build cards for vintage machines so sometimes parts like chips and even connectors are discontinued or on their way out and the prices are just too high to even consider purchasing in bulk. In these cases, we will check Octopart for vendors who may have stock of these discontinued parts. On a side note, if you ever decide to start seriously getting quotes from these vendors dealing in obsolete parts, be prepared for an influx of phone calls from several vendors with suspiciously similar prices and sometimes added fees once the price has been agreed upon.

When these part gathering efforts are fruitless, we turn to eBay. This is a risk as there are many grey market chips on eBay so a lot of research and testing is involved. To explain it in more depth we have made a video about our experience with grey market chips as it is a lengthy and detailed discussion. That being said, we go through a rigorous process to ensure each card we build is fully functioning. This is the same for all of our products, not just the few that use hard to find parts. Not only do Kevin and I test parts when we get them in, but we also test every single card we build before it hits the door to you!

I would also like to take this time to acknowledge the conversation surrounding grey market chips in the vintage/retro community. As you may have already seen, Clint aka LGR released a video on his LGR Blerbs channel a few days ago discussing “fake” chips. He was intrigued by this subject matter after seeing a video made by David of Plogue. If you watch that video you will see Clint talking about cards made by companies like us and our SAAYM card was shown specifically. Needless to say, we felt it was very important to respond with our point of view. Therefore, Kevin and I have spent a few days preparing a video to go into more detail about grey market chips and our personal experience. The video also touches on our involvement with the Commander X16 as well as the birth of the SAAYM card. Please take some time to watch our video. After we were named specifically by Clint, we felt we needed to make certain that our current and future customers know that we are running our business in a transparent manner, with only good intentions.

Thank you for your time and kind regards!

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SAAYM Pre-Release Sound Card

Happy Thanksgiving from TexElec! We hope you’re having a great holiday! I have a quick update to share on the SAAYM dual SAA1099 & YM2151 ISA sound card. I spent about a week tweaking the audio levels and incorporating several changes into the card to get it where it needed to be. I sent it off for a small pre-production run a little over a week ago. Late last evening, DHL showed up with our boards and we immediately went to work building one. Just after midnight, our first test was immediately a success! The card is now recognized as a CMS / Gameblaster and works with DOS games which support it. SBVGM v1.7 by OPLx also supports this card and will playback VGM/VGZ files in DOS on real HW! There are a few more cool features on this card I will discuss in more detail upon release which I hope to be in the next few weeks! I have a few minor physical tweaks to do, but here is a sneak peek of what the final card will look like. Take care everyone!

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Dual SAA1099 & YM2151 ISA Sound Card “SAAYM” Demo – Commander X16 Audio System

Hey Everyone! I’ve been working on a ISA card for the PC with 2 SAA1099s & 1 YM2151. It’s not complete yet, but it is working, mostly. (I plan Gameblaster / CMS compatibility, but I made a little mistake, which will be resolved.) I designed this so I could tweak the audio circuit for the final system, and have at least part of the Commander X16 sound-system available on another platform. It’s working well enough for a demo, so here goes!

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Commander X16 – The Prototype is Working!

Hello Everyone! Have you been wondering what we’ve been up to all year? We planed to develop and release new products but it seems fate had other plans. Many of you may know that we’ve been working with The 8-Bit Guy on various aspects of the Commander X16 project. As time progressed, we were tasked with developing the motherboard itself! It’s been several long months of reading data sheets, forums, and routing in KiCad; but the prototype machine is complete, and it works! David just completed the second video for his “Dream Computer” series and it explains the system with great detail. Thanks to David and the whole Commander X16 team for making this all possible, it’s really amazing to be part of this project!

(Just as a little inside for my followers, we do have it working @ 8Mhz now, it just didn’t make the cut.)

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Microsoft Campus Building 26 Memories & Windows 2000 Beta / Launch

Good Morning Everyone! A few days ago, I saw an image of Building 26 on Microsoft Campus being demolished. This building was pretty special back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. It turns out, I was involved in the Windows 2000 beta cycle myself so I happen to have some video and pics of events tied to it and the subsequent release. There are a few photos of me in there too, and lots of folks involved in the Windows 2000 release. Goodbye 26, we had some great memories and insanity!

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Tester with a Yamaha C1 Music Computer Needed!

**UPDATE: We have found a tester. Thank very much to everyone who responded! We will post another update once the card has been fully tested.**

Please share, retweet, help us spread the word however you can. Maybe you have a friend with a nice computer collection or maybe you have one yourself. We need someone who has a Yamaha C1 Music Computer. It looks like this:

James at Lo-tech has designed a Yamaha C1 HDD interface that will allow a CompactFlash card to be used as a hard drive in a Yahama C1 Music Computer. The Yamaha C1 Music Computer uses an MFM hard drive, over time these commonly quit functioning properly which, of course, renders the machine very difficult to use to say the least. Here is the development thread started by James on the Vintage Computer Federation forums.

As you can see, the prototype is ready to go, now we just need someone to test it for us:

Please contact us if you have a Yamaha C1 Music Computer and would be willing to do some testing.