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1292 Advanced Programmable Video System FAQ

               1292 Advanced Programmable Video System FAQ
                              By Dale Hansen
                        (www.ConsoleDatabase.com)

                       Version APVS.01 - July 2002

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Copyright (c) 2002 Dale Hansen. This document may not be reproduced in 
whole or in part without permission from the author. Please contact me 
first if you want to post this FAQ on your website. I will probably say 
yes as long as it remains intact, including this copyright statement, 
and no fee is charged for the information. Please contact me via the 
Console Database website at http://www.consoledatabase.com/contactus

The information provided here is for informational purposes only. While 
care is taken to make sure information is as correct as possible, no 
warranty is made with regards to the accuracy of the information in 
this FAQ.
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Additional contributions are welcome. Please contact me via the Console 
Database website at http://www.consoledatabase.com/contactus

Where to find this FAQ:
       - Console Database: http://www.consoledatabase.com
       - Digital Press: http://www.digitpress.com
       - Game FAQs: http://www.gamefaqs.com

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Table of Contents
-----------------
1.0) Introduction
2.0) What is the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System?
3.0) 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System Technical Specifications
4.0) The Interton VC-4000 Group
5.0) Compatibility
     5.1) Cross-compatibility
     5.2) Emulation
     5.3) Emerson Arcadia 2001 Compatibility
6.0) Games List for the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
7.0) Other Questions
8.0) Links/References
9.0) Credits

1.0) Introduction
-----------------
Hello and welcome to the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System FAQ. 
The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System is a machine that is not 
well known and only a few websites give useful information on this 
system. There is still a lot of information that some websites do not 
include. When working on my website, I like to include as much 
information as I can while keeping it clear and simple. This FAQ is an 
addition to what is written on my website to help clarify information 
that some people are unsure of. A 1292 FAQ has never been made before 
and I felt it was time we got one on the net so that more people can be 
educated about this system. I hope you find this FAQ very informative.

2.0) What is the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System?
---------------------------------------------------------
The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System is an early video game 
console. It was first made by Radofin in Europe in 1976 and was then 
licensed to other companies to make their versions in other countries. 
These companies and their countries are:
Radofin (Germany and other parts of Europe)
Hanimex (Australia and parts of Europe)
Fountain (Australia and New Zealand)
Prinztronic (United Kingdom)
Lansay (Parts of Europe)
Grandstand (United Kingdom and parts of Europe)
Audiosonic (Parts of Europe)
Acetronic (Parts of Europe)

On the base of some systems, patent numbers and countries are included. 
This gives us some indication as to what parts of the world received 
the system. This is the patent list:
* Australia: 440,524 440,977 441,126 442,967
* Belgium: 730.002 739.124 751.008 754.932
* Canada: Patented 1972 and 1973
* England: Patent no. 1,256,224 Patent no. 1,328,223 Patent no. 
1,319,410 Patent no. 1,268,821 Patent no. 1,318,051 Patent no. 
1,268,822
* France: Licence Without Guarantee of Government. Cert S.G.D.G.
* Germany: Patented
* Italy: Licence N. 897,269 Licence N. 901,545 Licence N. 899,737
* Switzerland: Plus no. 512,864 Plus no. 512,865 Plus no. 529,491 Plus 
no. 534,989
* Venezuela: Patented
* Covered by one or more of the following U.S. Patents: 3,728,480 RE 
28,507 3,809,395 RE 28,598
* British Design Registration no. 984366

The specific systems in this series and their years are:
* Radofin 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System (a.k.a. "Radofin 
Programmierbares Video System" in Germany) (1976)
* Radofin 1392 Advanced Programmable Video System (1976)
* Hanimex HMG-1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
* Hanimex HMG-1392 Advanced Programmable Video System
* Fountain Force 2
* Fountain 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
* Fountain 1392 Advanced Programmable Video System
* Grandstand Advanced Programmable Video System
* Lansay 1392
* Audiosonic PP-1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
* Audiosonic PP-1392 Advanced Programmable Video System
* Prinztronic VC-6000 (1977)
* Prinztronic Tournament
* Acetronic MPU-1000 (1979)
* Acetronic MPU-2000 (1979)
(See http://www.consoledatabase.com soon for pictures of these systems)

All of these systems use a Radofin XM-2050-# PCB inside (the # varies 
from system to system. The Hanimex HMG-1292 uses an XM-2050-F circuit 
board and both the Audiosonic PP-1292 and Acetonic MPU-1000 use an XM-
2050-0 circuit board).

The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System uses 32-pin cartridges (16 
pins on either side). The system comes with 2 controllers, which are 
hard-wired to the system. These controllers have 12 buttons and a 2-
axis analogue control stick (look similar to ColecoVision, 
Intellivision, etc). The pack-in games that came with most systems were 
"Olympics" and "Invaders".

The Acetronic MPU-1000 is one of the more well-known systems in the 
series because their systems were one of the more widely distributed in 
the series. Acetronic seem to have been a sub-distributor below 
Radofin, channelling games with their names on them out to different 
parts of the world, where a smaller company would distribute them 
again. For example, the Hanimex HMG-1292 game boxes are actually 
Acetronic boxes but a Hanimex sticker has been placed over the top of 
the Acetronic logo. In this case, Acetronic has manufactured the games 
under the direction of the main company, Radofin, and then distributed 
them out to different countries, including Australia where Hanimex was 
the distributor for games and systems.

3.0) 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System Technical Specifications
---------------------------------------------------------------------
* CPU: 8-bit Signetics 2650AN at 4.43MHz
* Audiovisual co-processor (video chipset, I/O Processor): Signetics 
2636N at 3.58MHz, addressing 32Kb of memory in 8Kb banks. This chipset 
is powerless, unlike the later model Signetics 2637N used in the 
Arcadia 2001.
* Data Memory: 43 bytes
* Sprites: 4 single colour sprites (1 can be 8 colours)
* 1 Score line displaying 4 BCD digits
* Background consisting of a series of alternating lines
* Controllers: 2 x 12-button with 2-axis control stick
* Power Supply: Input 250V, 50Hz; Output 9.5V, .4A & 15V, .11A (note 
that the 1392 and MPU-2000 systems have the power pack inside the 
console rather than an exterior power pack)

4.0) The Interton VC-4000 Group
-------------------------------
The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System is part of a group of 
consoles that all use a Signetics 2650A CPU inside (the same processor 
used in the Emerson Arcadia 2001). This group of consoles is believed 
to have started with the Interton VC-4000 (produced as early as 1974, 
but sold in 1978), because out of the group, this console has the 
largest amount of games. The games on the 1292 are also similar to the 
games on the Interton VC-4000 (some have same titles and numbers). 
There are about six sub-groups within the Interton VC-4000 group. These 
are:

* The Interton VC-4000 sub-group
Interton VC-4000
Grundig Super Play Computer 4000

* The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System sub-group
Radofin 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
Radofin 1392 Advanced Programmable Video System
Hanimex HMG-1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
Hanimex HMG-1392 Advanced Programmable Video System
Fountain Force 2
Fountain 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
Fountain 1392 Advanced Programmable Video System
Grandstand Advanced Programmable Video System
Lansay 1392
Audiosonic PP-1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
Audiosonic PP-1392 Advanced Programmable Video System
Prinztronic VC-6000
Prinztronic Tournament
Acetronic MPU-1000
Acetronic MPU-2000
...and possibly Lansay 1292 (needs confirmation as to whether this 
console exists) and Acetronic MPU-3000, released 1980 (compatibility 
with the 1292 series needs to be confirmed).

* The Database sub-group
Videomaster Database
Waddington/Voltmace Database

* The Television Computer System sub-group
Rowtron Television Computer System

* The Video TV Game sub-group
Karvan Jeu Video TV (Karvan Video TV Game)
Societe Occitane Electronique OC-2000 (Occitane Electronic Company OC-
2000)

* The MPT-05 sub-group
ITMC MPT-05

5.0) Compatibility
------------------
5.1) Cross-compatibility
Consoles are directly compatible with the other consoles in its sub-
group, i.e. the cartridge sizes are the same. It is quite possible (in 
some cases, depending on which machine is being used) that games can be 
played on another sub-group's console, but a converter would be needed. 
It is known for a fact that games made for the Database group of 
consoles can be played on the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System 
sub-group because Voltmace made a converter that would allow this. The 
converter was advertised but its release is unconfirmed. Database games 
can definitely be played on Interton VC-4000 sub-group consoles. 
Voltmace made a converter to allow this and it was released. It is 
quite possible that all of the consoles in the Interton VC-4000 are 
cross-compatible, if only the correct converters were made. This would 
mean that the only thing restricting us from playing one system's games 
on another system within a different sub-group would be the cartridge 
size and only the cartridge size.

5.2) Emulation
With cross-compatibility in mind, it is appropriate to mention 
emulation. It may be difficult to make converters to test the 
compatibility between these systems. It would be easier to test game 
compatibility using an emulator. Paul Robson attempted writing an 
emulator for the system but says he "got no further than a program 
which would display the game options on the Pong game. The hardware of 
the machine is very limited (worse than the Odyssey 2) and is quite 
timing dependent". He also said that Peter Trauner of the MESS team 
dumped a large number of games, but does not have a working emulator.

Paul Robson's emulator was intended to be for the 1292 Advanced 
Programmable Video System sub-group, the Interton VC-4000 sub-group and 
the Database sub-group. These are the systems that we already know are 
compatible with each other because, as mentioned above, converters were 
made for them. But if one day an emulator is complete, it would be 
interesting to try dumping games from the other three sub-groups and 
testing their compatibility.

5.3) Emerson Arcadia 2001 Compatibility
It was mentioned above that the Arcadia 2001 also uses a Signetics 
2650A Processor. Some people believe that it is even possible that the 
Arcadia 2001 can play games from the Interton VC-4000 group if the 
right converter was made (or with emulation) but other than the 
processor and a few other parts, the Arcadia 2001 is quite different 
inside and compatibility may not be possible. Ward Shrake (from the 
Arcadia 2001 website. See links below) believes it is not and tests 
have been done to prove it.

6.0) Games List for the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
---------------------------------------------------------------
Games for the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System came with boxes, 
instructions and overlays to place over the controller buttons so you 
know which button does what. There were 34 advertised games for this 
system. Three of these are unconfirmed as to whether they were 
released. These are: Bowling, Backgammon and Sea Wolf. Hobby Module was 
released in Radofin format (#3016) but it is unconfirmed as to whether 
it was released in the other format. Each game was numbered. The games 
with the Radofin label were numbered differently to all of the other 
labels. Some of the games with the other labels have different game 
titles. In the other series, games are available with red boxes or 
black (Acetronic) boxes.

Games with the Radofin label
#3001 Pro Sport 60
#3002 Autosports 10
#3003 Blackjack
#3004 Tank/Plane Battle
#3005 Air/Sea Attack
#3006 Shooting Gallery
#3007 Basic Math
#3008 Math 2
#3009 Computer Challenge
#3010 Code Breaker
#3011 Super Maze
#3012 Horse Racing
#3013 Circus
#3014 Prizefight
#3015 Soccer
#3016 Hobby Module
#3017 Follow the Leader/Electronic Music
#3018 Treasure Hunt
#3019 Golf
#3020 Head On
#3021 Draughts
#3022 Spiders Web
#3023 Chess
#3024 Othello
#3025 Electronic Pinball
#3026 Super Knockout
#3027 Invaders
#3028 Bowling
#3029 Shoot Out
#3030 Space Attack
#3031 Laser Attack
#3032 Backgammon
#3033 Planet Defender
#3034 Sea Wolf

Games for all other systems
#1 Olympics (a.k.a. Pro Sport 60 in Radofin series)
#2 Grand Prix (a.k.a. Autosports 10 in Radofin series)
#3 Blackjack
#4 Tank/Plane Battle
#5 Air/Sea Attack
#6 Shooting Gallery
#7 Basic Math
#8 Math 2
#9 Challenge (a.k.a. Computer Challenge in Radofin series)
#10 Codebreaker
#11 Supermaze
#12 Horse Racing
#13 Circus
#14 Prizefight
#15 Soccer
#16 Hobby Module
#17 Musical Games (a.k.a. Follow the Leader/Electronic Music in Radofin 
series)
#18 Treasure Hunt
#19 Golf
#20 Head On
#21 Draughts
#22 Spiders Web
#23 Chess
#24 Othello
#25 Electronic Pinball
#26 Super Knockout
#27 Invaders
#28 Bowling
#29 Shoot Out
#30 Space War (a.k.a. Space Attack in Radofin series)
#31 Laser Attack
#32 Backgammon
#33 Planet Defender
#34 Sea Wolf

See http://www.consoledatabase.com for pictures of games.

7.0) Other Questions
--------------------
Q. What does "MPU" stand for?
A. Micro Processor Unit

Q. What's the difference between a 1292 and 1392 (or MPU-1000 and MPU-
2000)?
A. The 1392 (or MPU-2000) has its power pack inside the console rather 
that an exterior power pack. According to Hanimex Australia, the 1392 
was marketed to appeal to schools as an educational tool (probably 
because of the Mathematics games and other games that may have 
educational value), even though the games are the same as the 1292 
(which Hanimex could not find any information for. On a related note, 
Hanimex also said that the 1392 would have retailed for about AU$220 in 
the early 1980s).

Q. Why are "Olympics" and "Invaders" the easiest games to find?
A. Because these games were the pack-in games with many systems. It's 
like Super Mario Bros. with the NES.

Q. I'm confused! Why is game #3001 in the Radofin series called "Pro 
Sport 60" and why is number #3002 called "Auto Sports 10"? Why are 
those numbers there? Is it because "Pro Sport" is listed as game number 
60 in another series and "Auto Sports" is listed as game number 10 in 
another series?
A. "Pro Sport 60" is called this because there are 60 game variations 
on the cartridge. Games 1-10 are different Ping-Pong variations, games 
10-20 are different Hockey variations, games 21-25 are different Tennis 
variations, games 26-30 are different Volleyball variations, games 31-
40 are different Basketball variations and games 41-60 are different 
Breakthrough/Knockout variations. These games can be selected using the 
"Select" button on the console. "Auto Sports 10" is similar, with 10 
variations of play.

Q. I thought the Acetronic MPU-1000 came first.
A. No. Radofin was first to produce this system in 1976. Acetronic was 
1979. Because the Acetronic systems were so widely distributed, some 
people believe this was the main system and it came first.

Q. The Acetronic MPU-1000 and the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video 
System aren't compatible, right?
A. Wrong! The systems are the same inside, the cartridges are the same 
size and games are interchangeable between these systems. The Acetronic 
cartridges even say "Suitable for Acetronic, Radofin 1292 & Prinztronic 
Microprocessor Systems". Some people have said that the two aren't 
compatible. This is either a false assumption or it may be because of 
some sort of compatibility problem of an unknown cause or maybe even 
just dirty cartridge connectors. These systems should all be cross-
compatible.

Q. Is there are relationship between the Emerson Arcadia 2001 and the 
1292 Advanced Programmable Video System?
A. The Emerson Arcadia 2001, released in 1982, uses the same CPU as the 
1292 Advanced Programmable Video System. The Audiovisual co-processor 
in the Arcadia 2001 uses a Signetics 2637N chipset while the 1292 
Advanced Programmable Video System uses a powerless chipset, the 
Signetics 2636N, which is an earlier version of the 2637N. See the 
"Compatibility" section for more information.

Q. Is the Grandstand Database another version of the 
Videomaster/Waddington/Voltmace Database?
A. No. The Grandstand Database is a clone of the Emerson Arcadia 2001.

Q. What other information is there?
A. There was an Acetronic club that could be joined by those who bought 
Acetronic MPU systems. There was also an Invaders Club that could be 
joined by those who bought the game "Invaders".

8.0) Links/References
---------------------
* Console Database: http://www.consoledatabase.com
* Chris Hind's Classic Video Games Page: 
http://www.geocities.com/chris.hind
* The Video Game Consoles FAQ by Sylvain De Chantal (Sly DC) and 
Olivier Boisseau: http://www.consoledatabase.com/faq/vgcfaq.txt
* Digital Archaeology - Arcadia 2001: 
http://www.digitpress.com/the_digs/arcadia
* Classic Consoles Center: http://www.dieterkoenig.at/ccc
* Old-Computers: http://www.old-computers.com
* CyberYogi=CO=Windler's Historical Videogames Page: 
http://www.informatik.fh-hamburg.de/~windle_c/e_vgames.html

9.0) Credits
------------
This FAQ was written by Dale Hansen with contributions from:
* Chris Hind
* Peter de Vroomen
* Paul Robson
* Ward Shrake
* Gary Guymer
* Hanimex Australia

Many thanks to all those who contributed.
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