I’ve been stripping / cleaning / repairing my old Omnibot 2000. Something I’ve been meaning to do for the last 7 odd years since I bought the fella.
I’m nearly at an end with stacks of pics on strip down and rebuild and lots of ideas on how to replace dodgy components.
Will make a new page under the “Geeky” section of the retrotechy website once Omnibot 2000 rebuild is complete and he’s fully functional again.
Until then, here’s a pic of Omnibot 2000 helping out around the lab….
Cassette adapters that allow you to plug your mp3 player into your car cassette deck are a cheap and viable alternative to buying a new sound deck with a media port included however I couldn’t believe the difference in sound quality between some of these units!
I started off with a cheap unbranded universal adapter that I picked up from Asda (I say cheap….It was actually £7 and have since found the same ones on line for like £1.50).
I thought that these devices were pretty simple and therefore there wouldn’t be much difference between one manufacturer and the next. Was I totally wrong!
The cheap adapter suffered from several issues:
1. An annoying background hiss even at the lowest volumes
2. The Bass would completely disappear at higher volumes leaving tinny treble sound
3. the sound output was biased towards the left hand side of the stereo output meaning I had to offset the car stereo balance to compensate.
So I decided to do some research on whether I could get a better adapter.
I found this helpful review http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/fall-2005-cassette-tape-adapter-shootout/ from back in 2005 which named the Sony CPA-9C adapter as the best of the bunch.
I then found a later review on the same website http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/philips-ph2050w-mp3-cd-cassette-adapter/ which named the Philips PH2050W as an even better adapter.
A quick google and I found that the price of these was around £12 except for one seller who was selling two brand new ones for £6??!! (Cheaper than the “Cheap” one I owned and a spare one included!).
I ordered and plugged in and WOW, what a difference! No background hum, No left right balance offset, big deep booming bass and immediately noticeable sound quality improvement.
The Philips PH2050W cassette adapter is by far the best adapter to use. This technology is getting old now and is no longer being developed but if you do have cause to require one, get on google and track a Philips unit down. Its well worth it!
Ok, I’ve heard of “Rose Tinted Glasses” a lot in the retro gaming world. Getting a chance to play an old game from your past on an emulator only to find that it was a pile of crap!! It leaves you wondering why yourself and everyone else went totally banzai over it!!
Well time for the old switcheroo….reverse rose tint! I had a quick play of “Fire Track” on BeebEm the other day and was amazed to find that it was a smooth acomplished lil shoot-em-up. From what I remember of playing it “In The Day” on my Beeb B it was gregariously couloured, jerky and generally left you with a headache and some travel sickness!!
Playing it on emulation was a pleasure, and I kept going back for another go! Most shmups on the Beeb were hideous affairs (Some exceptions!) but this lil fella kept me hooked…In fact i want another go right now!!
Kudos to BBC Micro B Fire Track. A kuul Shmup still worthy of todays attention!!!!!
The second of my Game Gears that I’ve stripped down is the single ASIC version. This has a higher wet capacitor count on the motherboard by one.
I now have one final Game Gear to open and check before I have to decide on the actual caps I’m using as replacements. I currently thinking dry alluminium electrolytic ones to negate having to replace them all again in 15 years time!