Archived news from Retro-Kit

A3000 Ultra VIDC Enhancer build progress

Well, I've been a busy bunny and I've built up 20 Ultra VIDC Enhancer boards for the Archimedes A3000 machine so the build run is going well. There are a couple of snags at the moment though.

Snag one, I ran out of oscillators and the next shipment won't be until late January at the earliest so the boards aren't fully complete, missing only the oscillators.

Snag two, I broke my soldering iron when I dropped it because it hit the solid concrete ceramic tiled floor "tip first" causing the ceramic heating element inside to disintegrate!

Thankfully the iron is cheap and readily available so I have two new irons on their way and I should be able to continue making up more boards (without oscillators) completing the full kits in anticipation of the oscillators arriving.

Right now, it looks like they'll be ready to ship in mid-February.

Posted on: 9 Dec 2018@23:09:29, updated on: 9 Dec 2018@23:09:29.


Starting an Ultra VIDC Enhancer build run

After a few years hiatus due to health issues, I've finally started a build run of Ultra VIDC Enhancers. Currently there are 16 boards completed but they require the "kit" which includes the cabling for fitting to be put together. As the kits are built up, I'll be contacting all those people that have contacted me over the last couple of years to give them the first option to buy an Enhancer. Obviously the time may have passed that a VIDC Enhancer is needed by some of those people but it's only fair to contact them before they go on general sale. 

It's likely that the boards I have will be the last run of VIDC Enhancers due to the difficulties in obtaining the crystals and suitable IC components for the through hole boards. Don't worry though, there are around 140 boards to build so there should be enough to go around for a couple of years at least! My plan once the boards are complete is to re-work the PCB using the existing schematic into a surface mount version of the board, releasing it as open source so that others can build boards if they wish in the future.

To find out more about the Ultra VIDC Enhancer, please take a look at its dedicated pages.

Posted on: 10 Nov 2018@19:53:19, updated on: 10 Nov 2018@19:53:19.


The Stardot community does it again

The latest pre-release of the Acorn BBC Micro family emulator, B-em now includes support for the Hybrid Music 3000 Expander hardware.

The hardware was intended to augment the original Hybrid Music 5000 Syntrhesiser by essentially duplicating the same hardware on a different address on the BBC Micro's 1MHz bus. By doing this, the Hybrid Music system effectively doubled its capabilities allowing for richer synthesised voices, extra audio tracks and generally more depth to arrangements created with the system.

The video showcases the capabilities of the Hybrid Music System when it employs the extra capabilities that the Hybrid Music 3000 Expander delivers.

You can compare the recording above with the same arrangement tailored to using the Hybrid Music 5000 synthesiser on its own in the video below.

You can get involved with the Stardot community and contribute to B-em by downloading the source from Github.

Posted on: 10 Oct 2018@22:18:55, updated on: 10 Oct 2018@22:18:55.


Attic find re-discovers Hybrid Music documents

A recent attic find by Kevin Doyle turned up over 35 documents related to the Hybrid Music System, of which 28 were previously lost.

The discovery of these documents covers flyers, advertisements, installation documents, hardware specifications, commercial and education pricelists and newsletters providing an excellent historical view of all things Hybrid Music!

  • Did you know the "Music 87" was originally marketed as the "Music 7000"?
  • How about the fact that the Hybrid Music System was used to compose pieces for the very popular contemporary TV show, Granada TV's "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" for the episode "The Man with the Twisted Lip"?
  • What about the Music 2000 being developed for the PC186?

Well, these documents reveal all in a veritable treasure trove of Hybrid Music history!

So many thanks to Kevin for sending me all of his scans so that I can put them on the site for everyone to enjoy!

So please browse around the Hybrid Music System pages to discover these fantastic resources. 

Posted on: 18 Apr 2018@21:03:57, updated on: 18 Apr 2018@21:03:57.


Hybrid Music 2000 Installation guide pdf surfaces

I was recently contacted by Kevin Doyle who discovered a copy of the Hybrid Music 2000's installation guide in his possession. He kindly scanned it and has provided a PDF of the document to add to the information about the Hybrid Music System.

Hybrid Music 2000

To download the Hybrid Music 2000 Interface's installation guide, please take a look at the Hybrid Music 2000 page on this site.

Posted on: 18 Mar 2018@22:47:16, updated on: 18 Mar 2018@22:47:16.


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Pre-order your Ultra VIDC Enhancer now

I opened up a list of pre-orders in anticipation of creating a new batch of Ultra VIDC Enhancers in 2016. Due to delays, they're now going to be ready in July 2020. Please contact me to enquire about being placed on a pre-order list. No payment is necessary until the Ultra VIDC Enhancers are ready to ship.

A3000 Ultra VIDC kit

The anticipated price should remain the same at £32.50 each + £6.95 P&P to locations in the UK (other countries may incur greater shipping costs). The package includes the Ultra VIDC Enhancer, all connecting cables, headers and jumpers required for your Archimedes and a 3.5" floppy disc with the software on.

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