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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: 09-Dec-2018@23:09:29, updated on: 09-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.


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Acorn BBC Master 128

The Acorn BBC Master 128

The Acorn BBC Master 128 was an evolution of the 8-bit Acorn BBC Micro and contained a lot of features which made the machine more usable such as Sideways RAM, dedicated paging system memory areas, a slightly faster CPU whilst still retaining a high level of compatiblity with the original BBC Micro computer.

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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 February 2019. 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 each + £4.95 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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