Rahul Sharma (Editor)

1292 Advanced Programmable Video System

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Manufacturer  Radofin
Memory  43 bytes
Generation  Second generation
1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
Type  Home video game console
Release date  December 1976; 40 years ago (1976-12)
CPU  8-bit Signetics 2650AI @ 4.43MHz

The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System is a home video game console released by European company Radofin in December 1976. It is part of a group of software-compatible consoles which include the Interton VC-4000 and the Voltmace Database. The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System included its power pack inside the console instead of an exterior power pack.

Contents

Specifications

  • CPU: 8-bit Signetics 2650AI at 4.43 MHz
  • Audiovisual co-processor (video chipset, I/O Processor): Signetics 2636N at 3.58 MHz, addressing 32Kb of memory in 8Kb banks. This chipset was less powerful than the later model Signetics 2637N used in the Arcadia 2001.
  • Data Memory: 43 bytes
  • Graphics

  • Sprites: 4 single colour sprites (1 can be 8 colours)
  • 1 Score line displaying 4 BCD digits
  • Background consisting of a series of alternating lines
  • Misc

  • The early games cartridges used a 2 K.Byte ROM, later ones, such as Activision branded ones, up to 8 K.Bytes
  • Very basic arcade machine sound.
  • User programming

    An expensive (£49 in the UK in 1977) Hobby Module was available which gave 6.5 kb of user-programmable memory and had a 5 pin DIN socket to allow software to be saved to a cassette tape player. This converted the unit into a halfway house between a home computer and an ordinary gaming console.

    The user had to be familiar with programming in Signetics 2650 assembly language and the unconventional ways and register architecture of the Signetics 2650 processor. For example, on many other processors an opcode 0 indicates "no operation" whereas on the 2650 it instructs the processor to Branch To Address In Immediate Register B. This was a source of many software debugging hassles for budding home programmers.

    Released versions

    The console was produced by different companies and sold with different names. Not every console is compatible with others due to differences in the shapes and dimensions of the cartridge slots (but all of the consoles are software compatible). Here a table of the consoles grouped by compatibility family (due to the slots).

    References

    1292 Advanced Programmable Video System Wikipedia


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