Chess Machines

Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

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I've acquired a number of these over the years, usually more for curiosity than actual playing, the relatives have additionally found a few in among their belongings, which may have been mine at some point, though I cannot verify this.


Now I have time to unleash them upon the world.


First up, a Fidelity 6120, better known as Chesster. sporting a 6502 processor and a host of words that are not sportsmanlike.20180915_200019.jpg
 
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Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
27,276
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
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RustySpoons

RustySpoons

Sleepy Hollow
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My Satellite Setup
50E - 30W
2x CM 1.2m Polar Mount/Jack
65E- 65W
Gibertini 1m OP100 - STAB HH100 - Inverto Black Ultra 0.2 Twin
Mutant HD51
Edision Primo IP S2
Dreambox DM800HD
Venton Unibox HD2
Sony Bravia 55" 4K
My Location
South Wales
We need to hear how these things sound.
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
27,276
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
RustySpoons

RustySpoons

Sleepy Hollow
Messages
2,261
My Satellite Setup
50E - 30W
2x CM 1.2m Polar Mount/Jack
65E- 65W
Gibertini 1m OP100 - STAB HH100 - Inverto Black Ultra 0.2 Twin
Mutant HD51
Edision Primo IP S2
Dreambox DM800HD
Venton Unibox HD2
Sony Bravia 55" 4K
My Location
South Wales
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
27,276
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
The Sierra Sphinx - 1992 with Hitachi processor.20181030_190250.jpg20181030_190304.jpg20181030_190348.jpg20181030_190435.jpg20181030_190611.jpg20181030_190616.jpg20181030_190643.jpg
 
PaulR

PaulR

Dazed and Confused Admin
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16,132
My Satellite Setup
-----------See sig-----------
My Location
Wirral, NW UK and Vaucluse, France.
Where's the mechanical Turk?
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
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My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
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I'm not entirely sure how Invicta has made the processor function on a 3V supply, sonce the Rockwell specification says 15V is required.

Rockwell 1.jpgRockwell 2.jpg
 
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PaulR

PaulR

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I remember reading some time ago that the BBC hadn't trademarked Mastermind (perhaps not able to as it's a commonish term?) and this company was able to use the name for its totally unrelated game. And also why there's a photo of two people with nothing to do with the BBC Mastermind on the front.
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

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The Mastermind programme on BBC was first aired 11 September 1972, but the game (according to the manufacturer) had been released the year before. The two on the front cover, along with the chair, might not have been on the orignal packaging though I would need to check.


If you look at the wording on the game I have, Invicta has used two words on the packaging, though the original board game was as one.

Mastermind game.jpg
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

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About those two.

Bill Woodward was catapulted into global recognition as he went on many promotional tours for the game – in fact even his passport was under the name Mr Mastermind!

He discloses some of his secrets behind the photo-shoot including the fact that he was called upon to sit in only after a male model, originally booked, failed to turn up.

Bill, who despite now being in his late seventies, looks remarkably unchanged from 1972, says that in addition to the photograph that was selected some were also taken with a cat sitting on his lap. The idea was scrapped, but not before the moggy had wet itself on his trousers.

Cecilia said that while strolling in Leicester with friends she was approached by people from an agency who wanted her for the shoot. “I was the usual impoverished student and jumped at the chance,” she says.



E-Bulletin: University of Leicester

mastermind2.jpg
 
PaulR

PaulR

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Fabulous follow-up there.
 
PaulR

PaulR

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Bill died in 2013. I kind of suspected it given the article was from 2003.

 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
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My Satellite Setup
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The Space Invader Game, from Entex Tokyo (first edition) manufactured in 1980. At the heart is a Texas Instruments MP1211 processor running a very simple LED matrix and counter, that is cleverly edited by the display mask from a four to three digit display. Unfortunately the case has been neglected and stepped on by the previous owner along with the battery compartment lid and connections suffering acid damage. But once reassembled with a thorough clean and replacement of the sellotape retainer over the display, everything works, though the gameplay is rudimentary.

High score so far is 230 on the beginner setting.

Some reports say the original manufacturing contract was for 100,000 units, eventually selling over 750,000 worldwide.

MP1211 is a TMS1100 series chip (or possibly a 1000), which I believe also powered the original BigTrak, posted earlier in this section.


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Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
27,276
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
The Mephisto Talking Chess Trainer, from Saitek / Hegener & Glaser, circa 2002/3. Not sure what processor is inside but it does make mistakes

Three languages (which all sound the same). The pieces , whilst cheap, plastic and non-magnetic are safely stored in a compartment next to the batteries. Pressure on the board is required to register the moves.

A history of the company

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Somebody on Amazon is extracting the urine

 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
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Messages
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My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
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A Craig M100 translator from around 1979. Made in HongKong by Texas Instruments, overshadowed by the first on the block, the Lexicon LK3000.

Microprocessor installed - the 2k of memory and 64 bytes of executable RAM Mostek 3870

full specification here http://nice.kaze.com/MK3870.pdf

The first version allowed a translation from English, to Spanish, Dutch, German, Russian, Italian or French, though only three languages could be installed in the machine at any one time. A later upgrade increased the wordcount to around 2400.

Originally on sale at $259-299 depending on how many languages came as standard. Upgrades were done by pluging in a DIL chip posted out to the user, between $25-35 each.


One of the original adverts


The manual

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Clones/similar machines included the Philips HL3695 and the Panasonic RL-T500
 

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