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BallyAlley_r2_c1.gif BallyAlley_r2_c2.gif Astrocade High-Resolution Upgrade BallyAlley_r2_c4.gif

     These five in-depth "packages" (documents) were created by Michael C. Matte in 1986. These documents explain how to upgrade a Bally Arcade/Astrocade from the "Consumer Mode," which uses the low-resolution display (160x102 pixels), to "Commercial Mode," which uses the high-resolution mode (320x204 pixels) used in arcade games such as Gorf and Wizard of Wor.

Initial Letters to Don Gladden and Bob Fabris

Michael Matte initially sent two letters to Don Gladden (who was the editor of Volume 6 of the ARCADIAN) and one letter to Bob Fabris (who replied to Michael's letters to Don). These letters talk about his work on his hi-res upgrade, other Astrocade-related projects and Michael expresses an interest in writing machine language tutorials for the ARCADIAN newsletter.

Letter to Don Gladden from Michael Matte Letter to Don Gladden
By Michael Matte.
June 7 and 8, 1985.

This letter has been OCRed and is available in text format:
  1. Letter to Don Gladden (Michael Matte)(June 7 and 8 1985)- Text Format
Letter to Bob Fabris from Michael Matte Letter to Bob Fabris
By Michael Matte.
December 21, 1985.

This letter has been OCRed and is available in text format:
  1. Letter to Bob Fabris (Michael Matte)(Dec 21 1985) - Text Format
Letter to Michael Matte from Bob Fabris (Dec. 26, 1985) Letter to Michael Matte
By Bob Fabris.
December 26, 1985.

This handwritten letter (which is a draft-- Bob probably typed the final version of it) has been retyped and is available in text format:
  1. Letter to Michael Matte (Bob Fabris)(Dec 26 1985)(Draft) - Text Format

High Resolution Package

These instructions were sent to Bob Fabris on July 3, 1986.

Hi-Res Package - Cover Letter Hi-Res Package Cover Letter (to Bob Fabris)
By Michael Matte.
July 3, 1986.

This two-page letter gives an overall view of the five packages.

This handwritten letter has been retyped and is available in text format:
  1. Hi-Res Package Cover Letter to Bob Fabris, from Michael Matte (July 7, 1986) - Text Format
Hi-Res Package 1 Hi-Res Package 1 - Astrocade System Upgrade
By Michael Matte.

"Package 1" of the Astrocade System Upgrade (low or high resolution graphics, user RAM, composite color video output and audio output) contains fifteen pages of schematics and layouts. Here is what is included in Astrocade Hi-Res Package 1:
  1. Contents
  2. Modified Motherboard Schematic
  3. Modified Motherboard Layout
  4. Power Supply Schematic/Regulator Board Layout
  5. Ram Board 50-Pin Contact Expand Interface Schematic
  6. Ram Board User Ram Decoder Schematic
  7. Ram Board User Ram Schematic
  8. Ram Board Video Ram Interface Schematics (Two)
  9. Ram Board Video Ram Schematic
  10. Ram Board Layout
  11. Ram Board Optional 16K Rom Decoder Schematic
  12. Ram Board Spares
  13. Audio/Video Board Schematic
  14. Audio/Video Board Layout
Drawing Comments
  1. RAM Board Video RAM Schematic - Type 4116 dynamic RAM is used in lieu of type 4027, since it is generally cheaper and easier to obtain.
  2. Ram Board Layout - Close To Actual Size
  3. Ram Board Optional 16K Rom Decoder Schematic - Scheme Is Untested
  4. Audio/Video Board Layout - Type LM377 audio amplifier chip is probably discontinued. Other audio amplifiers can be substituted. Radio Shack, for example, has several audio amplifier chips.
  5. Audio/Video Board Layout - Close To Actual Size
Hi-Res Package 2 Hi-Res Package 2 - Low/High Resolution Modification Procedure
By Michael Matte.

Nineteen pages describing what and how to modify the Astrocade motherboard, plus how to wire the RAM board, which contains video and user RAM.

It is assumed the user of this procedure has a copy of the Bally Service Manual PA-1. Beginning experimenters in digital electronics should not attempt this upgrade. Several unused gate inputs are shown wired to +5V via a 10K current limiting resistor allowing TTL chips to be occasionally substituted in lieu of LS TTL chips. If only LS TTL chips will be utilized, then wire the unused inputs directly to +5V (no resistor). Numbers following procedure statements indicate reference should be made to the note numbers, which are listed following the procedure.

Two low resolution demos and a high resolution demo, for testing purposes, are available on cassette tape. Mail the request for the demos along with $7.00, to cover the cost of the tape, postage and packaging.

Hi-Res Package 3 Hi-Res Package 3 - Copies of some Datamax UV-R1 Schematics
By Michael Matte.

These schematics were used to come up with the Astrocade system upgrade package 1. Comparison of the schematics will show the similarities of the Astrocade upgrade with the Datamax UV-1R. For a complete set of Datamax UV-1R schematics and layouts (excluding power supply) contact DataMax Inc. I paid $30 for one set of prints (21 drawings). The notes on the attached Datamax schematics were added by myself, way back when I was for studying the schematics.

Hi-Res Package 4 Hi-Res Package 4 - 44K Byte Dynamic RAM Add-On
By Michael Matte.

This one-page instruction sheet uses three schematics in "Package 1 Astrocade System Upgrade" to make some deletions for this upgrade.

Add-on requires only +5V power supply. Refer to power supply schematic in Package 1. This add-on is recommended only for use with separate composite video and audio outputs between monitor/TV.

Hi-Res Package 5 Hi-Res Package 5 - 12K Byte Static RAM Add-On
By Michael Matte.

Static RAM does not require any refreshing or special timing circuitry. Data will remain intact as long as +5V is supplied to the board and the write protect switch is on. This feature allows the board to be disconnected from one computer and connected to a second computer or allow cartridge swapping without running loops. In either case, the data in Static RAM will remain intact (unchanged).

The Balcheck II display is optional and is used by Balcheck II software (not available at this time) to aid in troubleshooting the motherboard or static RAM. The videocade connector allows a videocade to be copied to tape. A videocade PC board, removed from its cartridge, is inserted in the videocade connector. Astrocade BASIC (or Bally BASIC) is then used to copy the contents of 6000-7FFFH to tape.

Incidentally, this add-on can be used with the Package 1 upgrade (connected to 50-pin expand header). This add-on requires only a +5V power supply.

This document is six pages of directions, schematics and layouts.

High Resolution Schematics and Layouts

Since image files are compressed in a PDF document I have included some of the package schematics and layouts in PNG or TIFF uncompressed versions. Note that these uncompressed images are included in the original PDF documents. These uncompressed versions are for somebody that needs a really good look at the schematics because they are actually building the hi-res upgrade.

Hi-Res Package 1 Schematics (PNG) Hi-Res Package 1 Schematics in PNG Format

Includes: Bally Motherboard Schematic, Bally Motherboard Layout, Video RAM Schematic and Video RAM Layout.
Hi-Res Package 3 Schematics (TIFF) Hi-Res Package 3 Schematics in TIFF Format

Includes three schematics: CPU Board, Multiple Page Screen RAM, and "Video Board" Detail.
Hi-Res Package 5 Schematics (TIFF) Hi-Res Package 5 - 12K Byte Static RAM Add-On Schematics in TIFF Format

Includes: 50-Contact Expand Interface Schematic, Balcheck II Display Schematic, Static Ram / Videocade Copier Schematic, and Layout.
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