Any idea what this is?

Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by Cameron James, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. Cameron James

    Cameron James Newly Registered

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    Found in my friend's house, his relative used to work at Nintendo. It looks like it has a little keyboard port in the back or something. Google didn't really turn up anything.

    found some clues courtesy of some guy on 4chan "April 1996: BT runs an interactive TV trial in Ipswich and Colchester. Interactive ads for Walkers Crisps allow viewers to play a quiz, watch the 10 greatest goals or play a spot-the-bag game."
    http://www.telecompaper.com/news/bt-joins-forces-with-nintendo--59186

    looks like it's a chip commercial lmao
     

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  2. rso

    rso Gone. See y'all elsewhere, maybe.

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    Looks like a mini DIN 8-pin connector to me. No clue what for, but it's not a common keyboard plug afaik.

    What's the board look like? Screws are already out, might as well look inside, right?
     
  3. Cameron James

    Cameron James Newly Registered

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    took this earlier, I'll try to get a better picture later

    apparently it might have been some kind of streaming service
     

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  4. rso

    rso Gone. See y'all elsewhere, maybe.

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    Noice. Looking forward to more photos.

    I was thinking, that plug might be somehow tied in with the "greatest goals" feature (and others that needed to play videos), since you'd need to interface with some kind of player. So maybe it's an output to control a video player or sth like that. User: "Show me footy", cart starts the tape, switches video source to player, waits n seconds or until next user input, switches back - sth along those lines.

    Those ICs on the left are NOR memory (might be interesting stuff in there still, wiating to be dumped).
     
  5. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    The two chips on the left are 1MB (8Mbit) flash chips - that brown socket looks like it's designed for a PLCC EPROM, which probably contained the actual operating program - but it looks like it's missing.

    One surprising thing is that the board has a 411 CIC soldered on it - which is the CIC for NTSC machines (the PAL ones used a 413) - I'm rather confused why a cart that was apparently supplied by BT would have a NTSC CIC, since it would render it incompatible with a standard PAL SNES. Unless that was the idea...
     
  6. Cameron James

    Cameron James Newly Registered

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    Here's a better shot of the board
     

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  7. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

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    Whatever it is, it's got to be rare as can be if no one has heard of it.
     
  8. rso

    rso Gone. See y'all elsewhere, maybe.

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    I'm curious about the traces to the DIN connector, but those seem to be on the other side (or this board has even more than the usual two layers)...
    And there seem to be two very thick studs going through the board right below the NOA label, I wonder what those could be?
     
  9. Syclopse

    Syclopse .

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    47th week of 1995 is the latest chip date I see.
    8 pin din looks like old school apple serial maybe for input of keyboard or numpad to enter cc# or even dialup?

    Or programming from the serial port of a MAC
     
  10. MisterEnthusiast

    MisterEnthusiast Robust Member

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    Interesting find, dude!
     
  11. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

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    It was to be the UK equivalent of Satellaview.

    BT ran a trial of their interactive TV service to 2,500 homes in two towns in 1995-6, but it didn't amount to much. It used the Voyager 2000 set-top box and there were nine services. BSkyB were interested in partnering with BT the following year, and I think was scrapped in favour of Open TV. I don't know what they ended up using in Sky boxes, but it wasn't the same as the trial.
     
  12. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    I think it probably is a serial port - that xtal at the top left of the board seems to be 3.6864MHz - which is 32 x 115200 bps. This could be a coincidence, but I doubt it. There doesn't appear to be any UART on the visible side of the board, though. It's probable there are more parts on the back of the board, though - not least the other 16Mbit of flash if that "32M Flash" is to be believed.
     
  13. abveost

    abveost Robust Member

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    Yeah, would be great to see the other side of the board.
     
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  14. TheRedEye

    TheRedEye Robust Member

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    I was just poking through news archives, and this is more or less what I came up with too. I suspect that this tech was recycled into the British Airways in-flight system.
     
  15. 3197A

    3197A Newly Registered

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  16. retrorgb

    retrorgb Spirited Member

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    Thanks for posting the video link!
     
  17. ryansimmons323

    ryansimmons323 Member

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    I've known about the BT (British Telecom) Interactive TV service for a while. It was quite innovative for its day. It was shown on popular British technology show "Tomorrow's World" (from 3:24) -



    (nothing about the SNES part in that though).

    However I should also mention that Apple designed and built the set top box for this service, known as the Apple Interactive Television Box - it featured a DIN port on its rear - see here - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Apple_set_top_box_back.jpg

    Apple built the box in partnership with telecoms companies such as BT, with BT rebranding the box as their own Voyager 2000.
    The cart probably connected into the rear of that.

    Oh, and there's even a manual for the set top box on Apple's website (despite the fact it was never sold directly to people). https://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/1000/MA1458/en_US/0306983AppleTVBox.pdf

    The manual refers to the DIN port as Apple System/Peripheral 8.

    I'd love to see this cartridge loaded up on a SNES - it could contain some of the only remaining pieces of software relating to BT's interactive TV trial.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  18. rama

    rama Gutsy Member

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    Is that Lara Croft advertising the service? :D
     

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