This kit has revolutionized my use of RC2014 hardware: it can do so much. Essential for really getting the most from your retrocomputing hardware, and very flexible: at the moment, mine is connected to a standalone Forth-based computer, and I can use it to load and save the entire contents of RAM to SD Card, as well as running debugging sessions. It also replaces dedicate ROM boards, clocks and even a serial card. Get one.
I ordered this video card to put my RC2014 Pro rig properly in the era of the 8-bit microcomputer. I had a PI Zero (non-W) acting as a serial terminal, for both USB keyboard input and the HDMI output, to ease initial connectivity. Whilst there where plenty of VT100 terminals around 'back in the day' most home computers used a parallel-like scanned keyboard and output video as composite, sometimes composite video via on on-board or add-on VHF/UHF modulator or (in Europe) SCART.
The TMS9918A Video Card Kit for the RC2014 goes along way to achieving that retro 8-bit vibe and opens up the possibility to use legacy software, such as ColecoVision, MSX computer and even some Sinclair Spectrum (and variants) games.
This video card, along with the Yamaha chipped sound card for RC2014, makes for a much more compelling retro experience.
Works fine. Bright display. No flicker. Easy to program. One assembly hint: to help get all the LEDs at the same height - solder LEDs in each of the 4 corners first at the exact height desired. Thus you have a reference for filling in the square.
Really love the simplicity and cost of the z80ctrl board. I bought the RC2014 Pro kit (actually 2, since I had problems with the first kit due to my errors in building,) and still had problems getting the kit to work. My troubleshooting skills were either not good enough or the error was so subtle that I could not find it.
Bring in the x80ctrl kit and I was able to replace the Clock, ROM, CF, and serial I/O cards. The ONLY problem I ran into initially was trying to flash the monitor program to the ATMEGA1284P-PU. I kept getting getting errors. However I do have a TL866 EEPROM programmer, and was able to flash the compiled HEX file to the chip.
Once that was done, it was great to see the CP/M prompt! Brings back many fond memories learning to code and work with computers. Great job, and great kit!
The z80ctrl is a system controller that enables running different 8-bit systems. I am pleased with this module, but I have to warn potential buyers that this product is not for beginners. I have successfully assembled and running the module, but it is a bit too complicated for me. The product is well documented but aimed more toward experienced users.
This card adds a lot of flexibility to the RC2014 system and can save you buying a clock card, a card for storage, and a serial interface card--all while given you more power than those cards alone would offer. Great support on the forum and a path to some interesting upgrades over time.
Fast shipping and as described. Only hint I would offer is insert the left sound chip first. One of the pins broke on one of mine (an issue with the IC and me, not the kit), but left is used for mono output which is most likely to be used anyway. I had a spare and am in business.
I am using this card in conjunction with an RC2014 Pro backplane, a 64K memory card and a CPU 2 card. The kit was really easy to assemble and worked the first time I tried it. I was able to create some disk images by copying the original disk images and renaming them under Ubuntu Linux, and then doing an ERA *.* on those disks under CP/M. I then used R.COM to move files from my Linux box to the CP/M disks I just prepared. The whole process was fairly simple, but did require shuffling the Micro SD card between my Linux box and the Z80ctrl. One improvement would be to include a working XMODEM.COM so the Micro SD card did not need to be removed.