My resurrected PCjr

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My resurrected PCjr

Postby jltursan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:54 pm

I've finished a first stage repairing and pimping up my first working PCjr. After replacing the original drive with a 3.5" one (the PCjr is lighter than ever now!) and the 8088 with a NEC V20, here's my setup:

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Running a Cartridge BASIC 256 color demo

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Detail of the BASIC program

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3.5" drive close-up


Now I'm going to focus in tune the DOS boot disk (migration to DOS 3.2, DRIVPARM, etc.) and some hardware bits like the Tandy video mod. I also hope to get a jr-IDE in a near future :D
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby Vorticon » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:38 pm

Nice job. The Tandy mod is really nifty for some games. I think the next best thing you can do is add more RAM. I did mine by modifying a 128K sidecar up to 512K for a total of 640K (details on Mike's site). Certainly opens up a lot more possibilities in terms of software.
Have fun!! Please let us know if you need any software to keep you going.
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby jltursan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:06 am

Thanks!, as I don't have a sidecar expansion there's no easy way to upgrade RAM. I suposse that it must be my next adquisition...

About the software, I want to test the Tandy mod; so any suggestion for a program compatible with 128K and having Tandy graphics?, a little game maybe?
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby Vorticon » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:04 pm

Battlechess would be one, but I'm not sure of the memory requirements.
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby jltursan » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:18 am

Thanks!. In the modding article itself I've found a list and BattleChess appears:

  • Battle Chess
  • Flight Simulator 3
  • Deluxe Paint2
  • Deskmate Software
  • Tetris
  • Grand Prix Circuit
  • Rack'em Billiards
  • Sorceror Lord
  • Leisure Suit Larry II
  • King's Quest IV
  • Police Quest II

I'm afraid that most of these games (except maybe Tetris) are going to need more than a mere 128KB :roll:

In this old thread I've found your own comments about your setup and some software info; but as most of you have 640KB, I guess that I'll need to test them by myself. I'll keep seeking for info...
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby Vorticon » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:05 pm

Grand Prix Circuit is my favorite! I first played it on the C64, and it had great SID music and slick play. The PC version was fine too minus the music.
I have never actually played it on the Jr, so I'm going to transfer it and see how it goes.
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby Eric » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:51 pm

I kind of like the floppy drive you've installed. You have a nice start with this system, but it can use some RAM. Especially since you've performed the Tandy mod. Many of these games, (Heck, some of the PCjr games, like Leisure Suit Larry) require more RAM than the stock 64k/128k.

Also, that LCD looks a little funny. :P Probably not as funny as the HMDs I've had connected to my Junior once. Whatever.

Are you not a fan of CRT displays?
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby jltursan » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:17 am

Hehe, yep, the tiny LCD screen looks funny; but is specially handy when you're testing machines here & there. As for now, my PCjr doesn't have a RGB cable; so using only composite, this LCD gives unexpected good results. If finally I put my hands on a RGB cable the PCjr most probably will end plugged to my main LCD screen :)

About the memory, I know, 128KB is not enough; but I've recently purchased a jrIDE from alanh and I hope that it'll be here soon to test most of the software. There're other mods apart from the Tandy one I want to do: Replacing the power card, Tandy audio (although it seems that no hardware mod is needed) and overclock swapping the crystal.

Too much projects given my scarce spare time... :|
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby Eric » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:27 pm

jltursan wrote:Hehe, yep, the tiny LCD screen looks funny; but is specially handy when you're testing machines here & there. As for now, my PCjr doesn't have a RGB cable; so using only composite, this LCD gives unexpected good results. If finally I put my hands on a RGB cable the PCjr most probably will end plugged to my main LCD screen :)

Yeah, I was under the impression that you were using the LCD for testing purposes-- You are still working to get the system running, after all.

jltursan wrote:About the memory, I know, 128KB is not enough; but I've recently purchased a jrIDE from alanh and I hope that it'll be here soon to test most of the software. There're other mods apart from the Tandy one I want to do: Replacing the power card, Tandy audio (although it seems that no hardware mod is needed) and overclock swapping the crystal.


Swapping the crystal is said to will "leave you with a dead screen and a dead keyboard". If you want more speed, install a V20 and follow speedup.txt

jltursan wrote:Too much projects given my scarce spare time... :|

I'm in the opposite situation, I've recently found myself with plenty of time; but a dead power card is preventing me from using my PCjr and testing mods. :/ … XD Before this was the fact that I had no way to transfer files from one system to the other.


jltursan wrote: There're other mods apart from the Tandy one I want to do: Replacing the power card

Replacing the stock PSU with a more compact compact, high wattage power brick is something many Peanuts could use.
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Re: My resurrected PCjr

Postby Vorticon » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:58 pm

Well, I have a 512K RAM sidecar, 2 parallel port sidecars and an IDE sidecar, and they all run just fine using the original PS. Not sure what else I would add to require more power...
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