The Amiga and C= computers that refuse to die

The Amiga and C= computers that refuse to die

Turbo Chameleon tested.

Commodore 64Posted by Jurgen Van Den Bossche Wed, February 01, 2012 16:52:00
Main web page:
http://www.syntiac.com/chameleon.html

Resellers:
Amigakit
http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1033
Vesalia ---- http://www.vesalia.de/e_chameleon.htm


Company:
Individual Computers. (eg Jens)

Creator:
Peter Wendrich

To say this the simple and easy way, this cartridge can be compared with a commodore one, natami, fpcga replay etc.. But it can be plugged in a c64.

The Chameleon is a cartridge that started life to duplicate the VIC II screen on a vga monitor, in other words it brings a vga connector for the C64.

As the original author had an fpga in his hands features where added like 1541 emulation and much more.

Below this review is the current specification list taken from:
http://www.syntiac.com/chameleon.html

Please note that this cartridge can work in two modes one is referred as stand alone mode, the other is plugged in a c64!

In standalone mode you use a CDTV remote, ps/2 mouse and keyboard, usb cable to power it. It has those ports thanks to a so called break out cable. It even has a serial connector so you can hook up a real drive and transfer disks without a c64.

When it is plugged in the C64 you take power from the c64, use the 64 keyboard and c64 joystick ports. However the ports stay active so the pc keyboard can be used. Wich also can be used is the cdtv remote controller so you can relax in a chair while you play a game.

Sadly when you start the Amiga core you loose the joystick, keyboard, ports of the c64.

Wich is quite interesting it can emulate the 6510 fast.

It has two cores for the moment. A c64 core and an “Pamiga” core.

Once you load the “Pamiga” core it acts as an minimig. There is one downside once you start minimig core joystick ports at the C64 are lost.

Therefore they have a small docking station developed that features 4 db9 ports. It is available at Amigakit for the moment.

Probably there will be more to come..

When it is plugged in the C64 it enhances the c64 and emulates an 1541. I never need one but a REU is in the list. There is a lot possible, but what is great to hook it up to vga monitor, and to use an emulated 1541 on an SD card. CRT or cartridge can be loaded wich is handy. It features Georam as well.


Final words: It is clearly a Beta product looking at the software emulation part, but it has a lot to offer already. If you are serious about a C64 and the Amiga this product is worth every eu.. If you expect to run every title, forget it at the moment some C64 titles do not run in stand alone mode, and the Amiga mode has bugs. Nevertheless I am very happy about this promising product. I think this is one of the best releases in 2011. ** Please note that I am a critical user wich tested a lot of different software... your mileage plugged in into the c64 might be a lot better **

Please visit the Syntiac Pages/Turbo Chameleon for more detailed in-depth documentation on the Turbo Chameleon 64 cartridge. There's also a mailing list for betatesters with first-hand information.



Features taken from there website:

• VIC-II screen duplication on VGA through intelligent bus snooping techniques
• Cycle accurate REU memory expansion emulation (upto 16 Mbyte)
• Cycle accurate geoRAM emulation (upto 4 Mbyte)
• MMU allowing access to all of the 32 Mbyte SDRAM using 4 KByte blocks.
• Turbo function with full 6510 emulation (illegal opcodes)
• MMC/SD slot (software compatible with MMC64)
• Cartridge emulator with freezer logic. ROMs can be stored in onboard flash or read from MMC card (as .crt or binary files). Emulation of the following utility and game cartridges:
o 8 or 16 KByte (EP)ROM cartridges
o Simons Basic
o Ocean type 1
o FunPlay
o Super Games
o Epyx Fastload
o Westermann Learning
o C64 Game System (system 3)
o Warpspeed
o Dinamic
o Zaxxon
o Magic Desk
o Comal-80
o Ross
o Mikro Assembler
o StarDos
o EasyFlash
o Prophet-64
o Mach-5
o PageFox
o Business Basic (S'More)
Emulation of the following freezer cartridges:
o Action Replay
o RetroReplay
o Final Cartridge 3
o Expert Cartridge
o KCS Power Cartridge
o SuperSnapshot 5
o Capture
• diskdrive emulation (1541 compatible, so fastloaders/speeders will work)
• PS/2 keyboard connector with joystick emulation on numeric keypad (for C64-tower projects)
• PS/2 mouse connector with emulation of a 1351 mouse (GEOS compatible)
• Infrared (IR) receiver compatible with an Amiga CDTV remote.
• Clockport connector (designed for optional RR-net board)
• 16 MBytes of user writable flash rom for firmware updates and storage of custom roms
• 8 bit microcontroller with USB for startup control, firmware upgrades and debugging
When in standalone mode:
• Cartridge is powered through a USB cable (5 volt)
• Cycle accurate emulation of the two CIA chips
• Cycle accurate emulation of the VIC-II video chip
• Stereo SID chip emulation (at 1 Mhz sample rate, very clean sound with no aliasing!)
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