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Saba Videoplay (Channel F) Homebrew Project from Juergen Haess

Jürgen Häß and Dieter Blaschek, both Elektronic-Engineers were working in the beginning of the 80ties at this interesting Saba (Fairchild Channel F) Hobbyist´s project.

All parts including Fairchild boards, housings and all necessary parts were once available trough a well known distributer for electronics based in Karlsruhe Germany. A company that mainly sold obsolete electronic devices and parts.
Several manuals, schematics, catalogs, order lists of well known producers (Saba, Signetics, Fairchild, Mostek) were necessary to start building....

(For big size pictures, please click thumbnails).

Saba service manuals, schematics (Videoplay I & II), detailed system description (35 pages)

Several catalogs used to order the necessary parts.

Catalogs from Sygnetics, Mostek & Fairchild

The manual of the Fairchild F8 - Mostek 3870 processor

In the following months two slightly modified and fully playable consoles were built. The following modification were done:

1. A special plug to get Access to EPROM to read & download the program, when attaching an EPROM Reader.

Parts (Fairchild Channel F REV E Boards), Mostek Chips and finsihed and modified console.

2. A handassembled 24-pol keyboard.


3. A module adapter interface was built to get access to the game programs. Also it was planned, to update the system by the handassembled pcb board (see pictures below) , to have all available games including chess on one pcb board for easily selecting between the games. A couple of sockets were built to the pcb to expand the memory of the system.

Adapter Cassette/Module (Interface)

Handassembled pcb board wired in thread technique with memory expansions and 12 & 5 Volt input

Handwritten documents, a disk with interesting software of the system and some games, the system software and the decoded assembler (that was a big thing those days!) of the Channel F - both printed and filed!

Due to lack of time the project disrupted in the aftermath and the console was engrossed by Dieter´s children and found it intended purpose for the next years...

--Many thanks to both Hobbyists for the big heap of informations, dokuments and Hardware!

If you intend to donate us a nice old Pong system or a classic cartridge based console please get in contact with us :-)
In this case we will be happy to pay for shipping.

This one was added to our catalog on Saturday 07 April, 2007.

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