A new version of Mod Master XT beta 27 by FreddyV is available on Vogons. It lets you hear a lot of music modules formats on any PC under msdos even a PC XT (CGA), for example an Amstrad PC 1512/1640 or a PPC 512/640...
Archives of Genesis8 Amstrad Page from 1999 to 2020 about hardware
The new version of M4FE v2.0.3, a frontend for the wifi M4 board by Abalore is available. It fixes a problem loading SNA files with name lengths other than eight characters.
And the bonus video with Roudoudou himself explaining his return on Amstrad CPC is worth its weight in gold, french inside of course but translated subtitles should be interesting for any computer user.
Pulkomandy has made in February 2021 a new expansion card for Amstrad CPC(+) : Nova. This card is now at version 1.2 and let you use non volatile RAM (32 Kb) which is kept even when the Amstrad CPC is off, and a real time clock. The NVRAM can be used by Unidos (about which I really must write).
Rodrik Studio has made two new videos :
- presentation of the Amstrad PC 1512, 1640 and PPC 512 (with english subtitles)
- reparation of Amstrad CPC disk drives
Abalore (look for his Youtube channel) is not at his first Amstrad production (see below), and today he is at his best as he made a simple electronic interface adding a cartridge slot for the plain Amstrad CPC (464, 664 and 6128) which can only be used normally on an CPC+ or the GX4000 console.
Beware, it doesnt add magically the CPC+ features. But it's the key for games with a monstruous size up to 4 Mb with a simple memory banking.
And you can also use it on an CPC+, the internal cartridge with Burning Rubber or basic is still usable, the Plus2CPC will let you load games or another operating system.
A file to be used with a 3D printer is available on his web site (see above). He can make a version with edge or centronics connector, or MX4, v3 without reset button or v4 with reset button.
On Serdashop you can found audio and video cards to be used mostly on PC. For example there are two cards which are connected to the parallel port of a PC, especially those which can't use ISA/PCI sound cards such as old portables :
- OPL3LPT which uses a Yamaha sound chip : OPL3 which you can found in many msdos sound cards starting with the Sound Blaster Pro 2.0). You can see the OPL3LPT being used wit the Police Quest 3 demo
- S2P, which permits to use General MIDI. MIDI was at msdos time the best sound ever, but MIDI expander were not cheap. You can see the S2P with the game Betrayal of Krondor (nice music)
Pulkomandy has created a card for Amstrad CPC(+) : Willy which lets you use an OPL3LPT or S2P on it. He wrote two programs to use the OPL3LPT which you can found on his page :
- SA2 Surprise! Adlib Tracker player by Madram
- VGM player by PulkoMandy (uncompressed VGM at the moment)
Check the CPCWiki thread for more informations and short videos of the Willy + OPL3LPT being used.
By the way, there are other ways to use MIDI on an Amstrad CPC, but it will be for another day (hint, use serial, usifac, LambdaSpeak...).
I am late as today is the last day to order a V9990 Powergraph Light Rev 2 with built-in adapter by Tecnobytes. It's a MSX cartridge for MSX or Amstrad CPC which you can connect with the Amsdap (MX4 with a cartridge slot), see Prodatron's video in 2018.
Noel Llopis did start 4 months ago a serie of videos about an Amstrad PPC 512 whose screen has suffered just a little bit... The videos are very interesting and my resume below cant show how interesting these videos are. Take the time to see them from start to end as I did.
- first video in which he will open the beast and trying to replace the broken screen with another screen from a PPC donor. Then he will use the CGA2SCART PRO made by Retro Erik. The CGA2SCART Pro permits to replace a CGA/EGA screen with a television using a SCART cable (RGB signal). Then he is running two of his msdos programs he wrote mayn years ago : Return of Frankenstein (3D isometric game) and Bouncing Ball
- second video where the screen will be repaired after many tests, a real work of a police investigagor but in electronics
- third video, it's time for upgrading (adding and testing a Gotek, adding and testing more RAM to get 640 Kb) and some reparations (the handle and the protection hatch at the back) to finish by dumping the spanish ROM of the PPC which wasnt available on internet, to be used with an emulator (MAME or PCEM)
- fourth video, the screen has been repaired but it's not perfect. So the original screen will be changed, two solutions being tested : MCE2VGA (which I use with my own PPC 640) and the GBS 8200
- fifth video, it's the part two of the fourth video where he is using a third solution to replace the original screen with a Raspberry Pi zero and the HAT RGB to HDMI which allows the use the HDMI output of the Pi (bare metal emulation, no raspbian OS used)
Noel Llopis has written an Amstrad CPC diagnostic ROM which is already at version 1.10 and whose sources are available on Github.
Changes since v0.91 :
- New main menu and summary screen
- Checking for 464 vs 664 models
- Fixed crash on DSK build
- Fix: Upper RAM test on Plus and GX4000 working again
- Improved keyboard layout in keyboard test
- Support for 464/664, 6128, and matrix keyboard layout (use TAB to cycle through them)
- Tries to autodetects Amstrad model and pick correct keyboard layout automatically
- Tries to autodetect ROM language and picks Spanish or French keyboard layout if necessary
- Fix: Upper RAM test doesn't trigger FDC
Rodrik Studio which you can read on the System-CFG forum (french) (a good forum on older computers), has done four videos about 3 differents Amstrad CPC models (videos by the oldest to the more recent) :
- restoration of an Amstrad CPC 664 1/2
- restoration of an Amstrad CPC 664 2/2
- Amstrad CPC 6128 Plus restoration and discovery
- Amstrad : the CPC models (1984/1985)
He opens and cleans all machines, and also refresh the exterior of the computer with the retrobright method.
After his video Amstrad PPC512 ISA Expansion Board XTIDE Network Sound PPC640, Retro Theory is showing how to replace the actual RTC chip with another compatible component with its own battery (good for 10 years). You will have some unsoldering work to solder the new Dallas DS12887 RTC inside the Amstrad PPC.
Noel Llopis has written an Amstrad CPC diagnostic ROM which is already at version 0.91 and whose sources are available on Github.
The WIP version 1.0l will permit to test the keyboard, whatever the language (qwerty/azerty).
Changes since v0.8 :
- Fixed ROM test hanging from upper ROM builds
- Detecting and testing all upper RAM up to 4MB (it can take a LONG time to test the full 4MB!)
- Esc aborts upper RAM test
- C3 configuration test uses a pixel not visible on screen
- Paging out M4 lower ROM to access system ROM
- No need to press a key after low RAM tests
- Holding ESC or Fire for 2 seconds exits keyboard test
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