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.
I recently bought a Video Genie II computer off eBay. Now to get it all running smoothly, and try out some enhancements.
My first foray into computer programming happened in 1980 when I was 11 years old. My dad borrowed a ZX80 from a colleague over the autumn half term, and I taught myself to program by reverse engineering the examples in the manual (a skill I still use in my career today).
My parents then decided to get the family a home computer, and after much research my dad decided to get an EACA Video Genie EG3003 (often known as the System 80 in other countries). This was a clone of the Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I Level II. If I remember correctly his main criteria were: full-sized typewriter keyboard, floating point BASIC, and quality of graphics (including a decent number of characters per line for word processing). We got it as a joint family Christmas present for Christmas 1980.