Throughout March I tinkered with some Video Genie computers as part of the Retro Challenge.
The idea was I would learn to use a couple of new diagnostic tools for digital hardware, and then use them to fix some of my old computers.
Here’s a summary of what I did.
I’ve now got replacement drive belts for the cassette decks in my Video Genie computers. Here I fit them and try to diagnose further cassette problems.
In my last post I tried (and failed) to fix the 9v voltage regulator circuit for the cassette interface on one of my Video Genies.
Today I had another go. (Spoiler) I fixed it!
For the next repair, I return to the Video Genie I worked on last time. I had fixed the CPU board, but still had problems with the power supply on the cassette interface board.
Here I have a go at diagnosing and fixing it. Sadly it’s still a work in progress!
Today I tackled the second broken Video Genie (TRS-80 clone).
This one has an interesting home-made mod on it too, which I investigate.The main repair was quick and easy, but it still has a minor fault that I need to investigate.
A much more productive day on the Retro Challenge.
I managed to fix one of my two broken Video Genie computers. The Video Genie (aka System 80) is a TRS-80 clone which I grew up with.
Quite a few interesting diagnostic steps in this repair! Watch this 32 minute video for the full story.
So March is already turning out to be busier than I expected!I have a lot of work on at the moment, so the original plan was to just spend each weekend on the Retro Challenge.
But life gets in the way, and by 6pm on Sunday I haven’t yet started!
Still, let’s try to get something achieved anyway.
The Retro Challenge is a one-month long excuse to do cool stuff with old computers and blog about it (vaguely wrapped up as a competition).
In 2017 I created the RetroMatic 2000 as my entry.
In 2018 I tried to restore two Osborne 1 portable computers. One restoration was completely successful, but with the other I couldn’t narrow down the problem in the disk controller as I lacked sufficient test equipment.
This March I’ll be doing a light-weight entry to the Retro Challenge as I don’t have too much time available.