The original Jr IDE Rev A went out of stock on the TexElec website about three months ago, when one of the CPLDs went out of stock. At the time, all of the suppliers said it would be May of 2023 before they were back! We decided to make a few updates and we are now happy to introduce the Jr IDE Rev B.
Functionally, the two cards are identical with a few minor changes. The POST display was removed, and we added a battery for the real-time clock. The IDE pinout was inverted, which allows a standard IDC right-angle box header to be used. We put a capacitor near the IDE power pin to help with CF card stability. But one of the most important additions is the new expansion header. The expansion header will allow for lower cost cards to be added on without another sidecar connector or enclosure.
This leads me to our second product announcement, the Resound jr OPL3 / Adlib clone! We ported our popular Resound 2 OPL3 card to the PCjr. We couldn’t add an expansion port without making a card for it! It has a built-in line-level 3.5mm / 1/8″ headphone jack built-in and a 3-pin header if you want to add your own port on the back of the sidecar.
I know, I know, you already bought a Rev A Jr IDE, but how are you supposed to add a Resound jr to your system? Not to worry, the third product we’re releasing is the TexElec jr Expansion / Prototype Board. This board has the same physical dimensions and expansion port as the Jr IDE Rev B. It also comes with a sidecar connector preinstalled! It can be installed in a sidecar just like the Jr IDE, and also has a prototype area for DIY projects!
Lastly, we are releasing the TandyMod for the PCjr. This board has been around for some-time now and will change the PCjr video memory map to match that of the Tandy 1000. This allows many Tandy 1000 specific games to run on the PCjr. With the release of the Resound jr, we thought it would be important to increase game compatibility as much as possible.
We made a video to release at the same time as the product launch. The video discusses the cards in more detail and shows a demo of them in action! It also shows how to install the TandyMod in your PCjr.
Whew, it took us a while to get here, but they are all for sale in the store today. Thanks for everyone’s patience, and continued support of our store. We couldn’t do it without our great customers, and we hope to keep making vintage PC parts for many years to come!
We recently announced the release of our latest sound card, the Resound New Wave MCA is our recreation of TubeTimes Snark Barker MCA for the microchannel bus. I made a video discussing the differences in our card, installation in a IBM Model 70 & some demos thrown in too. If you have a moment, take a look and see it in action!
We’ve been working on this card for many months now, and I will need to type documentation longer than the Magna Carta to describe all of the features and caveats of this card. Honestly any Sound Blaster MCA or variant will encounter varying issues on different microchannel machines. But more on that later.
Thanks so much to Eric (aka TubeTimeUS) for the design of the original Snark Barker MCA and some assistance along the way. I decided to modify the card to be surface-mount and add an OPL3 instead of the original OPL2. I also removed the microphone input to save a little cost and used the same premium opamp circuit I use on our other Resound cards. In addition, I modified the roll-off filter used on the original Sound Blaster to a higher frequency. It may cause noise on some lower quality samples, but 22 & 44khz samples sound much less muddy. There were a few other minor changes, but they do not affect functionality. All the parts have finally showed up after numerous delays, but for now, here is a quick video of the card in action!
We should have them on sale in a few days after posting this video, so stay tuned and thanks for taking a look!
This video describes how the SNES adapter works for The 8-Bit Guy’s new game Attack of the PETSCII ROBOTS. It discusses the pinout for the connector, how it was designed to work on multiple systems and how to connect the power and audio to the Commodore Pet. There is also some bonus footage at the end showing the construction of the adapters. Thanks for watching!
First, we have the adapters back in stock! More importantly, we want to make you aware of a small issue.
If you have one of the original adapters with a yellow resistor pack, and you are having issues, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to chat with you about fixing this issue.
Please read Kevin’s details below, we have also added this information to the top of the product description:
The first batch of floppy adapters we sold had a few reported issues, so I took some time earlier this week to perform more extensive tests. With only one adapter and one standard floppy or HxC, they work very reliably from several tests. I was able to get some combinations of floppy drives to work using two adapters, but they did hesitate at times and could cause disk read errors. Others would not work together at all, or only one drive would work properly. The original design seems to be unreliable in certain combinations. After some analysis we changed the resistor pack values to a less aggressive value and now all my standard floppies work together fine or standalone.
There is one bit of bad news however, the adapter will not work as a second or primary drive while using an original IBM drive. I thought I had tested this before, but I realize now that I only made sure the drive would get through post, which it will without issue. However, it will not work with one of the adapters installed. This is what bogged me down this week and why we are a little later than planned on the release of the second batch. Sadly though, I have not been able to answer why and at this point I want to make sure anyone who wants an adapter understands the limitations. Fortunately, I suspect most folks are looking for a single drive to work in the PS/2, and it is certainly fine for that.
LGR has allowed me to procrastinate on another video I should have made to show this card! He does a quick blerb on our new Resound 2 MCA OPL3! It’s a great way to see the installation of the card, as well as a demo of it in action. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVFl2v_TS3E
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!