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Socoder -> Hardware and Technology -> Building a Minstrel 4D

Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 07:30
AndyH

Building a Minstrel 4D


TFW8B and Tynemouth Software have release the Minstrel 4D, a Jupiter Ace clone.

I had a lot of fun building the MiniPet a couple of years ago and I've decided to give this kit a try.



www.thefuturewas8bit.com/minstrel4d.html

Will do some updates and photo's of my progress with it. Many more components to solder and mess up than the MiniPET. Hopefully I will have a working computer at the end of it.

-=-=-
Andy H
8-bit games at www.hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 07:38
Jayenkai
Have fun!

...Me and mum are now discussing how the Kit forms of computers used to be the cheaper option!

-=-=-
''Load, Next List!''
Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 07:48
cyangames
That looks like a lot of fun to put together although I've never heard of a Jupiter Ace I love the font on that keyboard there, feels kinda 70's!

-=-=-
Web / Game Dev, occasionally finishes off coding games also!
Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 08:33
rockford
While I've heard of the Jupiter Ace, I don't recall ever seeing one in real life. I don't know anything about it either. Did RetrroGamer ever cover the machine and/or its software? If not, perhaps you could give them a nudge.

These kit projects look like a lot of fun, however my skills with a soldering iron are probably worse than a blind man wearing mittens!
Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 09:01
AndyH
They went out of business quite early. I only heard about them a few years ago.

They appear to be a cross between a zx81 and a spectrum and that's probably why it didn't succeed. Although many people are fond of them.

A couple of things that I have learnt about it are that it uses Fourth instead of BASIC and it has a character display rather than a bitmap.

This model is fully expanded (around 40k instead of 3k) and has a joystick interface and SD card.

I'm kean to learn fourth but would really like to write a z80 game.

-=-=-
Andy H
8-bit games at www.hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 09:08
AndyH


These kit projects look like a lot of fun, however my skills with a soldering iron are probably worse than a blind man wearing mittens!



You've described my skill level haha. Well I guess I have levelled up since the Pet.

Patience is the most important part I found.

The instructions for building are really good. I did buy a better soldering iron than the one I had from school, which was probably a wise thing to do, but other than that it was just time and good light to do the work under.

-=-=-
Andy H
8-bit games at www.hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Tue, 20 Dec 2022, 18:19
Kuron
I had to build my Meggy Jr RGB from the kit. I am good with electronics, and soldering, but with poor eyesight and having slight tremors in my hands, I was very pleased when I finished soldering everything and turned it on and everything worked just fine.
Wed, 21 Dec 2022, 05:35
AndyH
That's the best result. I find I have to take my glasses off these days and get up close to solder, and thankfully the pet worked first time for me also.

> Reveal 🔎

-=-=-
Andy H
8-bit games at www.hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Wed, 21 Dec 2022, 05:45
Kuron
Mostly any soldering now is for guitars, but for me the iron and the solder make a huge difference. When I found the solder and irons I prefer still available on the Radio Shack site, I bought several of each and they made the move. Wrong solder or the wrong iron and components start melting.
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 08:23
AndyH
Started soldering today. Capacitors first. Slow going as I'm not an electronics guy and taking care to use the correct small brown things in the correct holes.



-=-=-
Andy H
8-bit games at www.hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 08:31
Jayenkai
That's so many burnt finger hairs!!
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 12:46
steve_ancell
If only I had a quid for every time I've been burnt by a soldering iron!
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 12:49
steve_ancell
Fuckin' Hell, that thing's 300 quid !!!
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 12:59
Kuron
Any chance of a picture of one of those fruit candies? (If I ever have to bug out of America, what country I choose will largely be determined by what snack foods are available there.)
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 13:33
Jayenkai
They're Starburst.
Opal Fruits are the original name in the UK, switched in .. the late 80s I think. They're currently doing limited edition "the old name!" packs.

-=-=-
''Load, Next List!''
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 13:48
Kuron
Ahh, TY.
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 15:04
rockford
Real Opal fruits have lemon AND lime flavours (separate) StarBurst don't. StarBurst are shit. Opal Fruits rule!
Thu, 29 Dec 2022, 15:27
Kuron
Last I knew, StarBurst over here had lemon and lime, unless they changed them over here. Haven't had any for years...
Fri, 30 Dec 2022, 03:16
AndyH
Well here in the UK they changed the name from opal fruits to starburst. At that time they kept orange and strawberry flavours but merged lemon and lime together and added blackcurrant.

I've never liked the new flavours so stopped buying them. The new lemon and lime taste of nothing and the blackcurrant hurts my mouth when I've had more than two.

Over the last three years I've seen the limited editions with the original flavours pop up every now and then. Can't go wrong with the classic flavours.

Today I will be eating pacers live on camera while soldering a transistor.

-=-=-
Andy H
8-bit games at www.hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net