My Tano Dragon 64

My Tano Dragon 64

Postby sbatson » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:23 am

I purchased my Dragon 64 a few years ago, brand new in box from California Digital for about $50 plus Shipping...had some drama getting it which I won't go into right now, but many was it worth it. While the case isn't as attractive as the CoCo 2/3 in my opinion, man that system is built like a tank. The Keyboard is Awesome! I haven't done any type of mods or anything to it, I'm just currently using it with a Composite monitor and at the proper cable I ordered from ebay. I've got a CoCoSDC setup for it and plugged in. A bunch of software loaded on the SD Card. The system works great.

This is another thing I haven't used much and not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I bought it to add to my collection. I figure when I get around to doing some programming any of my Retro stuff, I'll be doing it in BASIC which should make it easy to port from the CoCo to the Dragon, MC-10, etc. unless I get carried away with system specific stuff. This is just a hobby for me and my time is sporadic...I wish I had more time for these cool systems.
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Re: My Tano Dragon 64

Postby paulshoe70 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:10 pm

I got one of those from California Digital, as well, not 2 years ago. It looks pristine (it was brand new in the box), but mine has two minor problems that I haven't been able to fix yet.

First, the PMODE 4 screen colors are a little off. The display itself seems to lose brightness and the artifact colors are pink and green instead of red and blue. I recently replaced the 10K potentiometer "trimmer" which seemed to fix the problem initially, but the problem almost immediately returned. So it must be another capacitor somewhere. The 8 semigraphic colors look just fine on the 32 column screen.

Secondly, although I agree the keyboard feels fantastic, it misses keystrokes if I type at full speed. And I'm not a fast typist, either. I have to type deliberately in order to avoid this. I'm sure that's not normal for these machines either.

When I get the gumption, I'm going to continue to hunt around for information that might help me diagnose these things.
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Re: My Tano Dragon 64

Postby sbatson » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:15 pm

You might want to check out the Dragon Facebook page and see if you can get a pointer in the right direction. I noticed the colors aren't great on mine either, but I've heard they aren't quite the same or as good as the CoCo. I really haven't used mine enough to do anything about it yet.
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Re: My Tano Dragon 64

Postby sixxie » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:55 am

I'm not sure about the colours, as I've never hooked my Tano up to an actual NTSC monitor, but there are board photos here:

http://archive.worldofdragon.org/index.php?title=Motherboard_Pictures#Tano_Dragon

In the CoCo, the modified colour burst is achieved with a small 555 circuit, and I can't see one on there. Green/Magenta might be all you'll get!

However keyboard-wise, there's nothing wrong with your hardware, the Dragon's ROM is just significantly worse at scanning compared to the CoCo's version. I think there may be simple POKEs you can do to improve it (or certainly you could do a ROM->RAM copy and patch the call). Don't know the details off top of my head!

(This should not affect most games, or anything else that implements its own scanning routine - e.g. OS-9).
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