Author Topic: Just bought a PPC 640  (Read 5888 times)

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Offline chinnyhill10

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Just bought a PPC 640
« on: 02:37, 09 November 15 »
So just bought a PPC 640 for £12.50. Hoping that I can use it to capture the output for my videos. Nice to add an extra format to the channel.


Obviously I'll have to make up a lead, but is the wiring from the PPC's 9 pin connector to a SCART straightforward? Looks like it has the full RGB? Any resistors etc needed?
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #1 on: 13:33, 09 November 15 »
is this the one in EGA instead of CGA ?

Real EGA monitors are difficult to find, also hard to find a suitable soundcard for those.
But it makes up for a nice Ms-Dos era transportable device, a bit sad its diskdrives are only 720k.

Also those early LCD screens weren't good at all with anything animated.


perhaps you may want one of those :
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf2PiKqINCY[/youtube]

Also I fail to find proper infos about its config...
what is the CPU ? 8mhz ? less ? some websites seems to indicate different specs but it seems it is 8mhz... 8086 equivalent.
« Last Edit: 14:07, 09 November 15 by MacDeath »

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #2 on: 13:51, 09 November 15 »
is this the one in EGA instead of CGA ?



Unsure. Think its CGA.


But I don't want a monitor. As I mentioned I want to capture from it so I need CGA to SCART which seems to be possible but details are scarce. There's a thread on here from years ago but all the links in it are dead.

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Offline Bryce

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #3 on: 14:12, 09 November 15 »
CGA to SCART is a simple circuit, I have one here which I use when I am repairing things like the Amstrad EuroPC.

Here's all it takes: http://www.electroschematics.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/adapter-cga-scart.gif

Bryce.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #4 on: 14:14, 09 November 15 »
is it the white or the blueish grey one ?

the PPC640 is supposed to be EGA, EGA having the somewhat same output DB9 as CGA and being retro compatible.

and basically you may need a CGA/EGA to VGA adapter but I'm pretty sure others can give better answers than me on the matter.

Would be good if you can cover both CGA and EGA... EGA deserves more love and I am quite ashamed there are close to no proper modern Demos for it. But I guess EGA may not be as easy to convert as CGA.

If you want to cover and record some game's videos from it, you'll see the internal display may not be fit for anything animated as every LCD monocolour screens from the era. good luck trying speedball 2 on that. ;)
« Last Edit: 14:18, 09 November 15 by MacDeath »

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #5 on: 14:18, 09 November 15 »
CGA to SCART is a simple circuit, I have one here which I use when I am repairing things like the Amstrad EuroPC.

Here's all it takes: http://www.electroschematics.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/adapter-cga-scart.gif

Bryce.


That's the diagram I saw online but there was no text with it to help a beginner like me build it. I have all the kit but I'm not 100% sure about the diagram.


That said if the machine is EGA then that may change things as that won't run via SCART due to the different scan modes.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #6 on: 14:21, 09 November 15 »
Correct EGA will probably require something like the GBS-8200.

What's missing from the schematic though?? Everything you need to build it is mentioned in that drawing.

Bryce.

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #7 on: 14:22, 09 November 15 »
is it the white or the blueish grey one ?

the PPC640 is supposed to be EGA, EGA having the somewhat same output DB9 as CGA and being retro compatible.

and basically you may need a CGA/EGA to VGA adapter but I'm pretty sure others can give better answers than me on the matter.

Would be good if you can cover both CGA and EGA... EGA deserves more love and I am quite ashamed there are close to no proper modern Demos for it. But I guess EGA may not be as easy to convert as CGA.

If you want to cover and record some game's videos from it, you'll see the internal display may not be fit for anything animated as every LCD monocolour screens from the era. good luck trying speedball 2 on that. ;)


I always capture from RGB where available rather than from the screen.


I wonder if this would work just for testing to my Samsung TV/monitor? Its a CGA/EGA to VGA cable. Anyone have any thoughts? GP1019 EGA D9 Male to VGA HD15 Male Monitor Cable 2 Metres | eBay
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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #8 on: 14:24, 09 November 15 »
Correct EGA will probably require something like the GBS-8200.

What's missing from the schematic though?? Everything you need to build it is mentioned in that drawing.

Bryce.


Yes but it assumes I can read the schematic. And while I understand most of it there's some bits I don't (the thick line at the bottom).
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #9 on: 14:26, 09 November 15 »
can you tell use it's exact model name ? also would be too cool to post some pictures of it here...
(with the ports and labels/ marks on it).

the PPC640 is also supposed to have a built-in modem which can be fun I guess if someone knows what to do with it.
It really is the model of choice compairered to PPC512.
I should get me one of those.
A bit like the PC1640 compaired to PC1512 in my opinion.



If you run the PPC in CGA mode it will behave like a standard CGA I guess.

If I remember correctly, some portable computers had an option to "invert" the colours on the built in monitor...

CRT would be black with white letters, LCD would often be the opposite... and you could switch it sometimes, not sure about this model.



Post edit :
ok so you know what to post here when you get you hands on it...
Or better : a video...  ;)
there are a lot of videos about this one, it is really an emblematic model and really a cool piece of retro stuff.
« Last Edit: 14:34, 09 November 15 by MacDeath »

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #10 on: 14:30, 09 November 15 »
can you tell use it's exact model name ? also would be too cool to post some pictures of it here...


I haven't got it yet. Won it last night on Ebay. Only 1 photo provided.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #11 on: 14:40, 09 November 15 »
Yes but it assumes I can read the schematic. And while I understand most of it there's some bits I don't (the thick line at the bottom).

The thick line at the bottom just means Chassis ground. ie: If it's in a metal box or has shielding, then connect this signal to the box/shielding.

Regarding the cable: No.  These will only work if the monitor on the end can actually deal with CGA/EGA signals or vice-versa.

Bryce.

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #12 on: 14:56, 09 November 15 »
The thick line at the bottom just means Chassis ground. ie: If it's in a metal box or has shielding, then connect this signal to the box/shielding.

Regarding the cable: No.  These will only work if the monitor on the end can actually deal with CGA/EGA signals or vice-versa.

Bryce.


Ah that makes sense. Guess I could give it a go when I have time then.


As I understand some TV's that have VGA can sync to CGA and EGA. For 3 quid the cable is worth a go even if I end up butchering it it and reusing it for the circuit you posted.
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Offline MaV

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #13 on: 17:11, 09 November 15 »
The PPC512 and the PPC640 only support MDA and CGA video modes. Even if you connect an EGA monitor to one of these, you'll be limited to CGA.

The PC1640 had an EGA monitor and supported these video modes (while the PC1512 had its special 16 colour mode, next to MDA and CGA support).
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #14 on: 19:10, 09 November 15 »
Then why do many websites say it supports EGA ?
weren't the later models in EGA ?

anyway like I said, many websites would indicate wrong information, sorry if I was wrong.
I guess some peoples would mistook the PPC512/PPC640 with PC1512 and PC1640...
« Last Edit: 19:30, 09 November 15 by MacDeath »

Offline MaV

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #15 on: 20:56, 09 November 15 »
Then why do many websites say it supports EGA ?
weren't the later models in EGA ?
Often the information on web sites aren't as clear as they should be. I've had cases where incorrect info is perpetuated through dozens of web sites and it takes much effort to find the one correct info.

Anyway, the web sites I've checked so far usually refer to the Amstrad PC monitors with which the PPC's can be powered. All of the PC1512 and PC1640 monitors work as a power source for the PPC's, but regardless of that only CGA will be shown. That last bit is omitted, therefore you can come to the (wrong) conclusion that even EGA modes are supported.
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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #16 on: 21:28, 09 November 15 »
The technical manual certainly only refers to MDA and CGA.
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Offline ivarf

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #17 on: 01:33, 10 November 15 »
Do anyone know for sure If the PPC1640 supports the special 16 colour Amstrad mode? I would love to see that in your channel chinnyhill10

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #18 on: 02:46, 10 November 15 »
Do anyone know for sure If the PPC1640 supports the special 16 colour Amstrad mode? I would love to see that in your channel chinnyhill10


I don't see why it wouldn't as they were just reusing bits from the 1512 and 1640. It's only an extension to CGA.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #19 on: 03:20, 10 November 15 »
it seems to support the 160x100x16 or even 160x200x16 modes...
Sadly Amstrad didn't fit all his CGA with the special 640x200x16 "CGAmstrad" and it is quite a shame.
Amstrad was bashed by IBM because they basically upgraded the CGA on PC1512 so they sticked to "normal" CGA after this.
To me they really should have implemented all the low resolution EGA modes indeed... (320x200x16 or 640x200x16... or full free choice of the inks in 320x200x4... still limited to CGA palette though)

seems to have an attribute 640x200x2 mode...

CPC is somewhat graphically more "powerfull" than CGA in many ways. but needless to say the 512/640k or RAM and 8mhz 8086 are another strong asset compaired to CPC's Z80.


THIS may come handy :
Amstrad PPC Technical Reference Manual
« Last Edit: 03:27, 10 November 15 by MacDeath »

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #20 on: 23:39, 13 November 15 »
As people who follow me on Twitter will know, the machine is here and working. Just been cleaning it up.


So far struggling to find software to run on it. It has its boot disk already and writing disks isn't a problem. I've found two Apogee complications of terrible text mode DOS games.


Anything more interesting to run on it before I get CGA working?
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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Just bought a PPC 640
« Reply #21 on: 19:48, 14 November 15 »
Bought this converter board for it so I can try and get it to work on a modern VGA monitor:


GBS-8220 RGB / CGA / EGA / YUV to VGA Arcade Games HD Video Converter Board UK |


Already have the EGA to VGA adaptor cable so in theory it should work once it gets here.
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