Any Spectravideo users here?

protek

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I recently acquired a Spectravideo 328 with a PSU and a tape drive. It was working but it was missing one keycap and the rod of the key was broken. Therefore I then got a second unit that was also missing some keys, dismantled both and got one complete unit and the other as spare. Both units work and even the keyless one can be used. I got only one PSU though.

Here's one picture of my SVIs:
05012010013.jpg


Spectravideo 328 has a pretty good basic but it is not easily expandable. To base unit you can pretty much attach only the tape drive. For everything else you need an expander unit that provides a slot for other peripherals. For example, if you want to have a disk drive, you need the expander slot, a disk drive interface and then of course the disk drive. At the other end there is the SVI 605 expander unit that transforms the meager 328 into PeeCee like behemoth with 5 expansion slots and bays for two disk drives or even hard disks. Those expanders are ultra rare at least here in Finland. Would be nice to get at least a disk drive and few game cartridges though.

Has anyone else on this board owned a Spectravideo?
 
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UberFreak

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I want one of these BAD, but was never able to find one locally.
I bought a bunch of original tapes for it in a flea-market some years back, been looking for a unit ever since.
 

protek

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In Finland, you can usually find Spectravideos at local auction sites like huuto.net relatively cheap. The thing is that the machines are usually missing the PSU, which can be harder to come by. The PSU itself is a simple transformer, outputting 9 and 16 vAC, so it could be pretty easy to construct. The only thing is the pretty non-standard PSU connector.
 

protek

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It so happened that I'm getting an SV-801 floppy disk controller for my Spectravideo. Not 100% sure but I think the controller has a standard 34 pin connector for the drive and a modded PeeCee floppy might work in it. At least it's been done on MSX. The only problem with the controller is that I need at least a single slot expander to get it connected to the SVI. I wonder if it's just a direct pin to pin connection with an 90 degree angle or does it contain some other logic?
 

protek

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I now got the SV-801 floppy controller. It has a card edge connector that is a mirroring image to the card edge to the card edge connector on the SVI-328. I wonder if I'd just solder two ISA slots together, I'd have a working adapter. It wouldn't hurt to have the schematics of the single slot expander...
 

protek

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Found an old mobo that has ISA slots. The trace density seems to match.

Now, if I just found the SV-602 single slot expander schematics from somewhere, so I could decide whether to re-work these slots off from the mobo and start working on an adapter...
 

protek

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The Spectravideo doesn't seem to have the same kind of effect on people on this forum as the other "Spec" seems to have. :) Is it just us living in the Nordic countries that got to see the pre-MSX Spectravideo lineup?
 

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Well, I for one liked them a lot! I was a bit sad when I bought an MSX, it felt like a downgrade... the Konami cartridges were great ofc, but only because it had an 8-chan sound chip inside. Many of the nice games already existed on tape-version for SVI.

Performance-wise it was better with a video buffer mapped to normal memory, but on MSX you had to squirt bytes out on a port to write to the separate video mem. This explains why they put blitter chips etc in later cartridges.

First memory of the SVI period was: 'Wow, a diver bouncing off an electric spring board... but what do I do in the game?' This was S.A.S.A., one in a slew of extremely excellent and innovative and enjoyable games by Mass Tael. They really were ahead of their time and had a talent for game design beyond the ordinary (even greater than most other game companies). This impression (from the computer store) is the reason I bought one. :)

Other memories... sampled speech in some game with a bouncing policeman and a baby in a tram?? (Found it: Punchy) Advancing to some bonus stage in Turboat... fierce wars vs my brother in Armored Assault... correctly animated tank treads in a shooter like Scramble...

If someone wants one, I could sell one of my SVI-328's - I'd have to look if I have a PSU and tapedeck for it though.
 

protek

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I've got one but UberFreak above might be interested. I myself am trying to find either a single slot or superexpander so that I colud get my SVI-801 floppy controller connected.
 

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In Finland, you can usually find Spectravideos at local auction sites like huuto.net relatively cheap. The thing is that the machines are usually missing the PSU, which can be harder to come by. The PSU itself is a simple transformer, outputting 9 and 16 vAC, so it could be pretty easy to construct. The only thing is the pretty non-standard PSU connector.

That PSU connector was used by the Colecovision. If I were to adapt another power supply for use by the Spectravideo, it should be a simple matter to scavenge one from a Colecovision power supply.

---------- Post added at 20:42 ---------- Previous post was at 20:35 ----------

Has anyone else on this board owned a Spectravideo?

I have a growing collection of Spectravideo. PAL - I have a boxed SV-318 Mk II, a nice SVI-738 X'press in original carrying bag....my laptop ;)
NTSC - two 328's oddly enough I had the same missing key issues and scavenged from one to complete the other.
I have the SV-603 Colecovision adaptor, several tape drives, various models. A LOT of documentation from back in the day, kind of press kit type of docs. A few MSX carts, several tapes. The graphics tablet. Some more stuff too numerous to mention. My intention is to do a Youtube on the collection because there seems to be precious little on the subject on that forum at present.
ALWAYS interested in some swaps for things I have duplicates of. (No dupe PSU's though)

---------- Post added at 20:51 ---------- Previous post was at 20:42 ----------

The Spectravideo doesn't seem to have the same kind of effect on people on this forum as the other "Spec" seems to have. :) Is it just us living in the Nordic countries that got to see the pre-MSX Spectravideo lineup?

Spectravideo Canada's head office was in my city, Toronto. In fact one of the founders, Oscar Jutzeler still owns a watch shop just blocks away from the old office.

You see 318's and 328's in N America mostly, I believe later models were either not offered for sale here much or didnt sell much.

I love collecting the Spectravideo line. Kinda 2nd cousin to the Coleco ADAM which is my other primary focus in collecting.
 

raritynine

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Recent auction win

Recent auction win

Has anyone else on this board owned a Spectravideo?

I just won an auction off Ebay Australia.
Completes a lot of the collection I was seeking like 2 disk drives, the Colecovision adaptor, expansion box (apparently 3 modules inside).
ebay1.JPG

ebay2.JPG
 
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protek

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@raritynine:
Thanks for the insight!
How is the SVI peripheral base in North America? I've been looking for a single slot or a super expander so that I could attach my SVI-801 floppy drive interface into my 328. Then again I need the floppy drive too.
Do you know if a PC floppy drive can be used with SVI-801? I know that PC drives have been converted to MSX drives.
 

raritynine

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@raritynine:
Thanks for the insight!
How is the SVI peripheral base in North America? I've been looking for a single slot or a super expander so that I could attach my SVI-801 floppy drive interface into my 328. Then again I need the floppy drive too.
Do you know if a PC floppy drive can be used with SVI-801? I know that PC drives have been converted to MSX drives.

I have never seen anything SVI in the wild. Ebay only and the odd time on Craigslist. I have gone ahead and spent a bundle of money on ebay auction #320503901443. Have a look at it and see if you think I did ok?
I wanted especially the boxed 728, the Colecovision adaptor (I have one already and intend to use it as trade bait for other items I seek), the 601 and the two disk drives. It has to come from Australia so I wont see it for about a month or even more.
I saw a great bundle on Tradera about 6 wks ago including a 605 expander but I tried to register so I could bid, thinking it would be a simple matter. they came back and said I couldnt register because they couldnt verify my information (???). Then the auction closed. I complained "aloud" on Twitter, they somehow found my complaint and registered me right away but it was too late for that auction. Maybe it would have been difficult because the language challenges could have been a show-stopper.
Like right now I am doing another deal with Ebay Germany and the seller doesnt speak English and doesnt communicate in German much either, its like pulling teeth to get anything out of them. I have to use an online translator but it doesnt handle jargon well, I laugh to think what I might be telling him in my ignorance....
I am struggling with finding info on hardware conversions like the one you ask about. The number of resources for this type of info is dwindling. Like I am hoping both these disk drives work but if I need to get some off-the- shelf parts to fix them, I havent seen much information on that subject anywhere.
 

protek

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raritynine

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Nice catch there! Any chance you might be persuaded to part with one of those disk drives?

Shipping was expensive so I went with the economical route. Probably wont land on my door until May/June at which point I will see what is functional or not and assess what I want to perhaps trade.
 

protek

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Yay! I won an SVI-602 single slot adapter from Tradera. :D I'm one step away from being able to read disks on my Spectravideo and that is the disk drive. The controller has a 40-pin connector so I have to dig into the possibility to get a 3,5" disk drive modded into it. I know that PeeCee drives have been converted to MSX, so it might not be that far fetched.

Raritynine, I just realised that we were both bidding the same item here. Hope you don't mind. :oops:
 

raritynine

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Tradera

Tradera

Ah yes, I was really interested in obtaining the Colecovision adaptor, even though I already own one, I thought it would be good trade bait for other items.
I did wind up with the memory expander from that same seller. BTW he and I have been exchanging emails, seems like a nice guy.
Sorry I bid the price of your win up higher!;)
 

protek

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Ah yes, I was really interested in obtaining the Colecovision adaptor, even though I already own one, I thought it would be good trade bait for other items.
Sorry I bid the price of your win up higher!;)
NP. :)

BTW, the SVI-602 isn't the Colecovision adapter. The SVI-602 just provides one expansion slot for peripherals like floppy disk controller. Like the SVI-601 but only one slot. The Colecovision adapter is SVI-603. If you look from here, you can see that the adapters are quite different from each other.
 
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