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Magnavox Odyssey FAQ

                        Magnavox Odyssey FAQ
                          Created 10/29/97

             Original author: Shaun Gegan a.k.a. Loomis

                   Now maintained by David Winter

                Version 3.0.1  revised Jan 8, 2015


For more infos about Odyssey, PONG and similar games, go to http://www.pong-story.com

If you want to contribute to this FAQ, send en email to o1faq@pong-story.com

You are welcome to link and use this FAQ as long as you credit the authors
accordingly. No parts of this FAQ should be removed, altered or modified
without permission.

Version info: X.X.X
              | | |
              | |  \_ Small modifications
              |  \___ New sub-section added
               \_____ New section added and/or FAQ restructured


Last revision:

- minor fixes


Contributors (in alphabetical order):
-------------------------------------

    Andrew Davie (adavie@mad.scientist.com)
    Anthony Leckington (ael@easystreet.com)
    Jerry Greiner (JerryG@hevanet.com)
    Kai (kccomp@ix.netcom.com)
    Lee K. Seitz (lkseitz@hiwaay.net)
    Matthew Kiehl (waffles@swbell.net)
    Mattias Persson (lamperss@algonet.se)
    Ryan H. Osborn (rosborn@mindspring.com)
    Van Burnham (van@wired.com)


Some info gathered from:
------------------------

Herman, Leonard. "Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Video Games", Rolenta Press.
http://www.rolentapress.com


Contents:
---------

    1 - What is the Odyssey ?

    2 - What is the history of the machine's development ?

    3 - Can you describe the Odyssey ?
        3.1 - What sort of games were played with the Odyssey ?
        3.2 - How were the games played ?
        3.3 - What's inside the Odyssey and how does it work ?
        3.4 - Was Odyssey was exported ?
        3.5 - Was the Odyssey upgraded ?
        3.6 - Was the Odyssey improved ?
        3.7 - Were there any foreign Odyssey clones ?
	3.8 - What was the unreleased Golf Putting game ?
	3.9 - What is the unreleased 4-player Odyssey ?
	3.10 - What is the Apex-Magnavox blue card ?

    4 - What items came standard with the Odyssey ?
        4.1 - Hardware
        4.2 - Standard game accessories
        4.3 - Loose documents

    5 - What additional games were available ?
        5.1 - Pack 1
        5.2 - Pack 2
        5.3 - Electronic rifle games
        5.4 - Percepts (#1TL802)
        5.5 - Complete list of games

    6 - Were there any add-on hardware accessories ?
        6.1 - Organizer case
        6.2 - Other add-on hardware accessories

    7 - Are there different versions of the Odyssey ?

    8 - Didn't Atari have a hand in the Odyssey ?

    9 - What technical information is available ?
        9.1 - Replacing the battery pack 
        9.2 - Cartridge pinouts


1 - What is the Odyssey ?
-------------------------

      The Magnavox Odyssey was the very first home video game system. It
    allowed to play "Ball and Paddle" games such as PING-PONG, TABLE TENNIS,
    VOLLEYBALL, BASKETBALL, and others. It was first announced to the public
    in May 1972 and heavily advertised. Over 130,000 units were sold in 1972.
    The machine was discontinued in late 1975 after the release of the Odyssey
    100 and 200. Over 340,000 units were sold in all.
    Additional games were also available, and a rifle pack known as "Shooting
    Gallery" was also available to play shooting games. The Odyssey allowed
    to play a total of 28 different games.


2 - What is the history of the machine's development ?
------------------------------------------------------

      Much of this information has been gathered from David Winter and
    Ralph Baer himself. If you are interested in obtaining more historical
    information then please go to http://www.pong-story.com.

      The video game invention dates 1951 when Ralph Baer joined Loral,
    an electronics equipment manufacturer. Ralph was engaged for his
    television experience. Sam Lackoff, Chief Engineer, told him to "Build
    the best television set in the world". In the line, Ralph suggested to
    add some sort of "interactive game" to the television to distinguish
    his team from the crowd. Unsuccessfull, his idea was not investigated.
    Ralph will continue working on it 15 years later.

      In 1966, Ralph Baer, started the design and implementation of his video
    game invention. The genius of his invention was the use of a television set
    as screen, rather than an expensive monitor, oscilloscope, or other equipment
    that used a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube). At that time, Ralph was working at
    Sanders Associates.

      His idea was to design a system allowing to transform a regular TV set
    into a home game system. The story really began september 1st, 1966 when
    Ralph Baer wrote a 4-page description of his idea. No later than september
    6th, he had drawn the schematics of a simple two-player "Chasing" game. He
    tried it for the first time on May 7th 1967, and demonstrated it on June 14th,
    after improving it with the addition of an electronic gun allowing to
    shoot targets on the television screen. After recruiting Bill Rusch
    (an engineer) and Bill Harrison (a technician) in Octover/November to
    assist him in the development of his system, Ralph designed the very
    first TENNIS game. This marked the first step in the "Ball and Paddle"
    game history, where Magnavox and Atari were the most important actors.
    Ralph demonstrated his finished system between November 9th and 13th to
    several manufacturers such as Teleprompter, and even NYC cable company
    as an interactive cable game system. NYC was skeptical, hence a bad success.
    This "interactive cable game system" idea was extremely advanced and new at
    that time, since games played in network only appeared 15 years later
    when computers were vastly sold for home use, and became a real standart
    in the 1990s with the growth of the internet.

      Ralph patented his invention on January 15th 1968 and began the design
    of a more advanced system playing multiple games: the "Brown Box".
    This system could be configured using simple switches placed on its front
    panel. The video game system was born. The Brown Box allowed to play
    over ten different games, including Tennis, Volley-Ball, Football,
    and shooting games. The games were played using transparent plastic overlays
    (used as background pictures) placed in front of the television screen.
    The Brown Box had a feature that Magnavox did not include in the Odyssey for
    costs reasons: electronically-generated color background.

      Here's a good description of the Brown Box by Ralph Baer:

      "The two horizontal rows of switches on the front panel (also seen in
    pics on my website) were moved for each game with the aid of a card
    placed between the two rows of switches. Each card (for example the
    ping-pong card) had dots next to the switches to indicate which of them
    had to be moved downward. The replacement of these switches with the p.c.
    carts by Magnavox was the major difference between the Brown Box and the
    production version Odyssey 1 unit (good idea). The other difference was
    that my Brown box had electonically-generated colored backgrounds (green
    for ping-pong, blue for hockey etc,). Magnavox did not include the
    color-circuitry for cost-reasons (bad idea!)."

      In January of 1969, Baer demonstrated the revised unit (adding light gun
    and joystick interface). This was the very first fully programmable (via
    switches), multi-player video game system. Demonstrations were made to
    several TV-set manufacturers, including RCA, General Electric, Zenith,
    Sylvania, Magnavox and Warwick-Sears. Most of these demonstrations took
    place at the Sanders Associates plant at Nashua, NH. This resulted in a
    first license agreement with RCA in March 1970, which was later canceled.

      On July 17th 1970, Ralph demonstrated his "Brown Box" to Magnavox TV-Set
    engineering, production and marketing management in their Ft. Wayne, IN
    plant. A preliminary License Agreement was signed with Magnavox on March
    3rd. Magnavox became the exclusive Sansers Associateslicensee: all other
    makers had to be licensed by Magnavox to enter the video game scene for
    manufacturing, selling and using "ball and paddle" or other video games.

      Between March and September 1970, Baer assisted Magnavox engineers
    in the production of the system, which was called Odyssey. The rest is
    history.

      In 1971 Ralph Baer patented the Television Gaming Apparatus:

      "The present invention pertains to an apparatus [and method], in
    conjunction with monochrome and color television receivers, for the
    generation, display, manipulation, and use of symbols or geometric
    figures upon the screen of the television receivers for the purpose of
    [training simulation, for] playing games [and for engaging in other
    activities] by one or more participants. The invention comprises in one
    embodiment a control unit, an apparatus connecting the control unit to the
    television receiver and in some applications a television screen overlay
    mask utilized in conjunction with a standard television receiver. The
    control unit includes the control, circuitry, switches and other electronic
    circuitry for the generation, manipulation and control of video signals
    which are to be displayed on the television screen. The connecting apparatus
    selectively couples the video signals to the receiver antenna terminals
    thereby using existing electronic circuits within the receiver to process
    and display the signals generated by the control unit in a first state of
    the coupling apparatus and to receive broadcast television signals in a
    second state of the coupling apparatus. An overlay mask which may be
    removably attached to the television screen may determine the nature of
    the game to be played or the training simulated. Control units may be
    provided for each of the participants. Alternatively, games [training
    simulations and other activities] may be carried out in conjunction with
    background and other pictorial information originated in the television
    receiver by commercial TV, closed-circuit TV or a CATV station."

      After an initial deal with RCA falls through, the unit was further
    marketed and Magnavox was licensed to manufacture and distribute what was
    released in May of 1972 as the 'Odyssey Home Entertainment System.'

      On a side note, the system was sold primarily through Magnavox-
    affiliated stores. However, dealers made a fatal mistake: not saying that
    the Odyssey worked with any television set. Since the Odyssey was mostly
    sold in a Magnavox store, customers only saw a Magnavox Odyssey plugged to a
    Magnavox television set. Therefore, they thought that the Odyssey could
    only be used with a Magnavox TV set. Limited distribution combined with shady
    and uninformed retailers proved to be fatal blunders that ultimately
    backfired and killed the Odyssey within a year. Magnavox even attempted to
    sell the Odyssey at reduced prices: $75 in 1973 and $50 in 1974. A late 1974
    advertisement even promoted the Odyssey with 6 add-on games for $75. But alas,
    it did not catch a great attention.

      However, the Odyssey was released again in 1974 to be exported in 12
    foreign countries (see section 3.4).


3 - Can you describe the Odyssey ?
----------------------------------

        3.1 - What sort of games were played with the Odyssey ?

      The Odyssey was a very simple machine by today's standards. Microchips
    were very expensive in 1972 (Intel had just released the microprocessor in
    1971). Subsequently, the Odyssey was designed with only 40 transistors and
    40 diodes. It did not keep scores, did not produce sound effects, and
    displayed a black and white picture with its very minimal graphic
    capabilities. The only objects it could display were two paddles (one for
    each player), a ball and a vertical line. All of them were not always
    displayed. TENNIS used them all, but for example, the game called "Simon
    Says" only used the paddles. Note that those paddles were squares and not
    rectangles like in the later PONG games. Even if those graphic elements
    were extremely simple, the Odyssey allowed to play 28 games of various
    types: sports games (Tennis, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Football,
    Basketball, Baseball), money games (Roulette), space games (Interplanetary
    Voyage), shooting games (Dogfight, Shooting Gallery), and even edicational
    games (Simon Says, States).


        3.2 - How were the games played ?

      Due to the extreme simplicity of the few graphics displayed on the TV
    screen, most of the games required the used of additional accessories,
    and those were numerous. Except Table Tennis, all games used transparent
    color plastic overlays which contained the backgrounds of the games.
    Those were to be taped onto one's television, or stored when not in use.
    More than 300 other accessories came with the Odyssey, including several
    sets of paper cards and paper money, dice, and miscalleanous plastic
    chips. These items helped to improve the machine's aforementioned
    simplicity. The Odyssey games were mainly played using those parts, and
    they were selected by using small cartridges (six of them were originally
    provided). Each cartridge allowed playing a certain type of game, hence
    several games using a same cartridge. Some games even required the use of
    two or three cartridges, since they were not always played the same way.
    If the Odyssey allowed to play 12 games, other games were also released as
    add-ons. They were either sold separately or by packs of 6. Each game came
    with its overlays and accessories, and would sometimes come with a
    cartridge when not using one of the six cartridges originally provided
    with the Odyssey. Also, an electronic rifle called Shooting Gallery was
    available. This extension allowed playing four games. This simple light
    gun would only detect light, thus allowing the player to cheat by shooting
    a light bulb. Since no scores were displayed on the TV screen, cheating was
    obviously irrelevant. As mentioned earlier, a rumor wanted that the Shooting
    Gallery rifle would only work with a Magnavox TV set. Although wrong, lots
    of people didn't buy this rifle and only 20,000 or so were sold.


        3.3 - What's inside the Odyssey and how does it work ?

      The game cartridges consisted in a small printed circuit board with no
    components but only jumpers which would merely enable the necessary parts
    of the machine (ball generator, paddle generators, central line height
    and location, collision detection) and select how the collisions between
    the ball and the other objects were detected and what those collisions
    would interract with. The Odyssey is a modular system since it is
    programmable. It contains five types of modules: spot generators (which
    display a rectangle with preset size, location and brightness; one for
    each player, one for the central line and one for the gray backround which
    "illuminates" the overlays), sync generators and RF modules (which
    generate some parts of the video signal sent to the TV set), flip-flops
    (which toggle the direction of the ball and where the english effect
    acts), and gate matrix (which determines how collisions happen and how
    they interract on the objects drawn). Therefore, opening the Odyssey will
    reveal a main board with all the modules mentioned before.


        3.4 - Was Odyssey was exported ?

      In addition to the initial release of the Odyssey in the USA, Magnavox
    also exported it to several countries.

      The very first export was made to Mexico in late 1972 and remained very
    limited. The Odyssey was a US model with english text translated to
    spanish. The package was renamed Odisea and an additional paper pasted
    on the box cover showed the Odisea name.

      The next country where Magnavox expored Odyssey was Germany in late
    1973. Here again, a US game was used and renamed Odyssee with english
    text translated to German. This version contained two manuals instead
    of one, both translated in german. One detailed the installation of the
    hardware, the other explained the various games. Odyssee was sold in
    Germany by ITT Schaub-Lorentz after being demonstraged in a large venue
    in late 1973. The company was supposed to sell a french version called
    Odissee, but this never happened.

      In England, Odyssey was IMPORTED by Wendaford. The company imported US
    models and adapted them to the UK market by ajusting the video signals
    to the european frame rate (50Hz) and by modifying the video cable to
    fit british TV sets.

      In late 1974, Magnavox released another version of Odyssey. Instead of
    being exported to a specific country, it was exported to 11 countries:
    Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Israel,
    Italy, Switzerland, and Venezuela. So far, it has been found in France,
    England, Italy and Germany. This lighter version had 10 games instead of 12.
    It is unknown if it was really sold in the USA, although a few ones were found
    there. Games removed from the original package were Cat & Mouse, Football,
    Haunted House, Roulette, and States. To those 7 original games, were added
    three games originally available as add-ons: Soccer, Volleyball and Wipe
    Out. It is interesting to note that Soccer was rather a re-release of
    Football, in order to match the game rules used in the foreign countries.
    This game can only be found in a 1974 Odyssey package. Also, the Simon Says
    and Wipe Out paper cards were re-printed in order to contain texts in
    three languages (English, German and Spanish or Italian). To finish with
    this special version of the Odyssey, the user manual was smaller: 24 pages
    instead of 36, and the console came with an additional patent list on its
    back side, showing the 12 countries where it was exported.

      For more information about those exported Odyssey units, go to:
                    http://www.pong-story.com/odyssey.htm


        3.5 - Was the Odyssey upgraded ?

      The initial version of the Odyssey was model 1TL200BLAK RUN 1. It was only
    produced in 1972
      The second production run, model 1TL200BLAK RUN 2, was released in fall 1973.
    It was replaced in 1974 by an improved version, model 1TL200BK12 RUN 2, which
    is nearly same as its predecessor but with minor electronic differences.
    Magnavox also proposed to extend the warranty of an Odyssey by renewing it.
    Customers would send their unit, which would be "renewed". Renewed specimens
    can be identified a white RENEWED sticker on their bottom and a new serial
    sticked over the original, which can still be presend in 1972 models.
    Also, the shipping carton box shows a stamped RENEWED in black color,
    with a new BL99 model stamped in large letters.


        3.6 - Was the Odyssey improved ?

      Odyssey cartridges contain no electronic components. The Odyssey does not
    feature on-screen scoring and does not produce any sound effect. However,
    Ralph Baer was interested by these features, mostly because Atari PONG had
    on-screen scoring and sound effects, which gave more tonus to the game itself.
    Ralph decided to modify an Odyssey in his lab. He used the Tennis cartridge
    and added some electronic components. By detecting collisions, he was able
    to add sounds when the ball bounced on a paddle. This active cartridge also
    ball speed increase progressively.
    Then, he tried to use again his 1968 "cable TV" games where the overlays
    were replaced by constant pictures broadcasted through the TV cable. His
    idea was better since in addition to the broadcasted overlays, active
    football players were also broadcasted, thus giving the impression of
    playing with distant players. This modified Odyssey that he called "Super
    Odyssey" was able to detect these additional players and even act on them
    as if they were real players, thus letting users play against virtual ones.
    He demonstrated a working prototype which was successfull, just like his
    original idea. But Magnavox didn't understand and nothing happened.


        3.7 - Were there any foreign Odyssey clones ?

            3.7.1 - Spanish Overkal clone

       Overkal is a bootleg version of the Magnavox Odyssey. It was very similar
    but did not use cartridges. Push-buttons were used instead to select the
    games. This version only played seven games: Tenis (Tennis), Futbol (Football),
    Esqui (Ski), Ataque submarino (Submarine), Persecution (Cat and Mouse), Carrera
    espacial (Analogic), Ruleta (Roulette), and Tenis de Mesa (Table Tennis).
    Seven overlays of two sizes were provided. All the text originally written in
    English has ben translated into Spanish. The two hand controls were hard-wired
    to the unit, which is actually better. As a matter of fact, Odyssey suffered a
    problem with the solders of the controller plugs. Controllers were quite hard to
    plug and disconnect. This resulted in wearing the electronic solders, which
    could result in dead contacts and unplayable games. Hard wired controllers solved
    this problem.


            3.7.2 - Sweedish Kanal 34 clone

       Kanal 34 was shortly released in Sweden. This this strange system housed a
    Magnavox Odyssey circuit board in a larger wood case with a top-loading cartridge
    connector. The rest remained same and the system was announced in 1975. However,
    it was not successfull, probably due to its expensive price, compared to the
    cheaper and more advanced analog systems that were announced at the same time.
    The Kanal 34 name looks a bit strange, but in fact it might be due to the video
    signals sent to either channel 3 or 4.


        3.8 - What was the unreleased Golf Putting game ?

      This game was invented by Ralph Baer and was quite a different game in
    the sense that it didn't use the usual Odyssey controllers, but a special
    joystick on the top of which a golf ball was fixed. It is unknown if this
    game was played by one or two players, but the goal was to hit the golf
    ball with a club, making the ball move on the screen until it reaches the
    hole. It is also unknown if the game was designed to check if the ball
    was in the hole. This would have been possible only in single player mode,
    where one of the player's square would be the hole, and the other the ball.
    Since the Odyssey can hide one of the players on collision, the ball could
    hide itself when reaching the hole. There is little information about this
    particular game, but it was a very smart design for the time and would have
    surely attracted more people than most other games, even if they were pretty
    good for the time. The game has been tested for a short time at Magnavox,
    but never reached the market. Ralph's prototype was believed to be lost
    during the various litigations between Magnavox and other game manufacturers,
    until it was found by David Winter in 2002. It is now preserved in the
    Smithsonian Institution.


	3.9 - What is the unreleased 4-player Odyssey ?

      Later between 1973 and 1974, Magnavox planned to release an improved Odyssey.
    It was basically a 4-player system which inherited of the Odyssey circuits and
    added two players. Existing Odyssey games would be played by two
    teams of 2 players, and more games could be imagined. The system had a totally
    unique feature: a round ball. This was made possible with a very clever design
    of an improved ball generator. David Winter found all the surviving documentation
    about this project. Although no prototype survived, he used the schematics and
    rebuilt a funcional round ball generator, which can be seen on YouTube:

                   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVrYV4Q7l3s


	3.10 - What is the Apex-Magnavox blue card ?

      This may be rarest Odyssey add-on. The blue card is a 2-in-1 double ender
    cartridge which combines cartridges 7 and 8 for playing Handball and Volleyball.
    This cartridge came in a small plastic bag with two spare A4 sheets explaining
    the game rules (they were copied from the Magnavox versions). Amazingly, they
    mention that overlays may not be provided but could be replaced by custom ones.
    It is therefore tempting to think that no overlays ever came with the blue card,
    as little is known about it. It is still unknown why this blue card was
    released, but at least it is not a pirate, and was manufactured and/or
    distributed by Apex-Magnavox in Miami, FL.


4 - What items came standard with the Odyssey ?
-----------------------------------------------

    4.1 - Hardware

    - Master control unit (1TL 200 1 of 4 pcs.)
    - 2 Player control units (1TL 200 1 of 4 pcs.)
    - Game cord (1TL 200 1 of 4 pcs.)
    - RF switch with 2 hanging hooks (1TL 001). Came in its own box.
    - 6 red-label Eveready C batteries
    - 6 game cartridges:
       #1 Table Tennis
       #2 Ski, Simon Says
       #3 Tennis, Analogic, Hockey, & Football (for passing & kicking)
       #4 Cat and Mouse, Football (for running), Haunted House
       #5 Submarine
       #6 Roulette, States

    - 22 Overlays (2 per game, for different screen sizes):
       Anologic
       Cat and Mouse
       Football
       Haunted House
       Hockey
       Roulette
       Simon Says
       Ski
       States
       Submarine
       Tennis


    4.2 - Standard game accessories

    - Stick on numbers (642978-2)
    - Football Game board field/Roulette Layout board (642898 0001)
    - Odyssey stadium scoreboard (two versions)
       * 642964-1 for the normal 12-game Odyssey console
       * IB2874-1 with no detachable paper tokens for the 1974 10-game Odyssey
    - 2 Football tokens (attached to the Odyssey stadium scoreboard)
    - 2 Yardage markers (attached to the Odyssey stadium scoreboard)
    - 20 Pass cards
    - 20 Run cards
    - 10 Kick off cards
    - 10 Punt cards
    - 2 Pass card
    - 2 Run cards
    - 2 Punt cards
    - 30 Clue cards
    - 13 Secret message cards
    - 50 chips (16 red 16 blue 18 white) with ziplock bag
    - Money (approximately 100 each of $5  $10  $50 and $100)
    - 28 Simon says cards
    - 50 States cards
    - Affairs of states (answer folder) (591549-1)
    - States study map (591550-1)
    - Pair of dice


    4.3 - Loose documents

    - Odyssey installation and game rules book (four versions)
       * IB2622-1, 36 pages. Initial 1972 version with pink screens on cover.
       * IB2622-2, 36 pages. Second version with red screens on cover (1973/1974)
       * IB2622-3, 36 pages. Last version with red screens on cover (1974/later?)
       * IB2874-1, 24 pages. Came with the 1974 "export" version of the Odyssey.
    - "How to get service" card (EL2811-2)
    - "Thank you" card (EL3018-1)
    - "Notice" card (EL3028-1)
    - 2 key punch inspection cards
    - A pink coupon to receive a free Odyssey game (Percepts) upon registration
      (this paper also exists in white color)


5 - What additional games were available ?
------------------------------------------

      (Major thanks to David Winter) Add-on games were sold individually at
    the price of $5.49, or by packs of 6 at the price of $24.99. Ten games
    were released. Each game was packed in a black 1x4x17 carton box. Two
    advertising brochures were made: the initial shows the first 6 add-on
    games, and the second shows the later four 1973 games (Brain Wave,
    Basketball, Interplanetary Voyage and W.I.N). No other advertisement
    for these games has been found so far. Because the marketting was poor
    (almost every dealer did not bother explaining that there were extra
    games available), the sales of these games were quite limited. Two
    different game packs were reported so far: the initial one containing
    the first six games ("Pack 1") and the later one ("Pack 2"), which
    contains the four 1973 games plus two from Pack 1. Customers who
    ordered all 10 games at the same time received two packs: Pack 1 and
    another pack containing the 4 1973 games. These 1973 games are indeed
    much rarer than the 1972 ones.


    5.1 - Pack 1

    - Fun Zoo (#1TL900)
      Included two overlays, 28 Fun Zoo Cards, and instructions.
      Used card #2 supplied with base system.

    - Baseball (#1TL700)
      Included two overlays, game board, scoreboard, 26 Line Up Cards (13 Red,
      13 Blue), 10 Power Cards, 10 Big Break Cards, 12 runner tokens (4 red,
      4 blue, 4 white), a pair of dice and instructions.
      Used card #3 supplied with base system.

    - Invasion (#1TL801)
      Included two overlays, 40 Treasure Loot Cards, 300 army tokens,
      4 token chips, dice, invasion game board and instructions.
      Used cards #4, #5 and #6 supplied with the base system.

    - Volleyball (#1TL702), box 982329-1
      Included two overlays, game card #7 and instructions (EL 2790-1).

    - Handball (#1TL701)
      Included two overlays, game card #8 and instructions. 

    - Wipeout (#1TL800), box 982329-4
      "... advance your car along the game board as you complete your laps.
      You must be fast, but also accurate, as you are timed and penalized by
      the timer light. (for 2 to 4 players)"
      Included two overlays, game board (which folds into thirds 643004-1),
      25 pit stop cards, four car tokens (small, skinny plastic cars similar
      to the one in monopoly- red, yellow, green, and blue), and instructions
      (EL 2791-1), and instructions.
      Used game card #5 supplied with the base system.


    5.2 - Pack 2

    - Win (#7302, 1973), box  982329-13
      Included two overlays, 18 word cards, 9 image cards, 18 number cards,
      4 crayons, 4 slates (643211-1), and instructions (EL2913-1).
      Used card #4 supplied with base system.

    - Interplanetary Voyage (#7175, 1973), box 982329-14
      Included two overlays, game board (643208-1), 40 mission cards,
      72 knowledge cards, 4 spaceship tokens, ? message chips, and
      instructions (EL 2910-1). Included cart #12.

    - Wipeout (see above).

    - Volleyball (see above).

    - Basketball (#7123), box 982329-7
      Included two overlays, a Home Visitor Scoreboard (643205-1), game card #8,
      and instructions (EL 2905-1).

    - Brain Wave (#7176, 1973), box 982329-15
      Included two overlays, 1 game board (643210-1), 2 sets of 48 thought
      tiles, 2 dice, 2 memory banks (1 blue, 1 green. 643209-1), 2 power markers
      (1 blue, 1 green), and instructions (EL2911-1). Used game card #3.


    5.3 - Electronic rifle games

      Those four games were included in the Shooting Gallery rifle pack.
    Three came with cartridge #9, and one came with cartridge #10:
        - #9  Shootout, Dogfight, and Prehistoric Safari
        - #10 Shooting Gallery


    5.4 - Percepts (#1TL802)

      Percepts was an add-on game that was originally available for free when
    customers would send a special paper provided with the Odyssey. It is also
    rumored that this game was later provided with some Odyssey consoles, but
    it is better to think that it was ordered from Magnavox dealers and then
    added to Odyssey consoles. Because it was not available in a "usual" way,
    this game is very scarce. It was shipped in a small light brown carton box
    and included two overlays, two decks of 15  Percepts cards (one green, one
    purple) in a small zip-lock bag and instructions. It used card #2 supplied
    with the Odyssey.


    5.5 - Complete list of games

      Finally, here is the complete list of the 28 Odyssey games. It is
    still unknown if more were available. There's a very little rumor that
    maybe 15 extra games were released, but this is absolutely not confirmed.

    [David Winter]: "It is interesting to have a closer look at the black
    carton boxes of the extra games. As a matter of fact, there is a
    number written on one of the four little flaps of the box ends. Each
    different game box has a number. Only its two last digits change,
    ranging from 1 to 15. It is tempted to suppose that 15 different game
    boxes were designed, though only 10 reached the market (in which case
    5 games would remain to be discovered). Being easy to make suppositions
    and change history, we will only stand on what is known: the 10 extra
    games. Also, there is a mysterious cartridge #11. One could think that
    it was designed for an unreleased game. This is false: it was planned
    for Basketball, but then cancelled and replaced by cartridge #8 (used
    with Handball)."

      '72 = Included in the original 12-game release from 1972
      '74 = Included in the later 10-game 1974 release
    EXTRA = Sold as an add-on
    RIFLE = Included in the Shooting Gallery pack
      (*) = Also released as the double-ender Apex-Magnavox "blue card".

      +-----------------------+---+---+-----+-----+
      |         Game          |'72|'74|EXTRA|RIFLE|
      +-----------------------+---+---+-----+-----+
      | Analogic              | X | X |     |     |
      | Baseball              |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Basketball            |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Brain Wave            |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Cat & Mouse           | X |   |     |     |
      | Dogfight              |   |   |     |  X  |
      | Football              | X |   |     |     |
      | Fun Zoo               |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Handball (*)          |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Haunted House         | X |   |     |     |
      | Hockey                | X | X |     |     |
      | Invasion              |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Interplanetary Voyage |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Percepts              |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Prehistoric Safari    |   |   |     |  X  |
      | Roulette              | X |   |     |     |
      | Shooting Gallery      |   |   |     |  X  |
      | Shootout              |   |   |     |  X  |
      | Simon Says            | X | X |     |     |
      | Ski                   | X | X |     |     |
      | Soccer                |   | X |     |     |
      | States                | X |   |     |     |
      | Submarine             | X | X |     |     |
      | Table Tennis          | X | X |     |     |
      | Tennis                | X | X |     |     |
      | Volleyball (*)        |   | X |  X  |     |
      | Win                   |   |   |  X  |     |
      | Wipeout               |   | X |  X  |     |
      +-----------------------+---+---+-----+-----+


6 - Were there any add-on hardware accessories ?
------------------------------------------------

    6.1 - Organizer case

      This is a special case which allowed to carry the Odyssey with its
    accessories, rather than using the original and fragile box. This case
    is white and included loading instructions (EL2942-1). This is a rare
    item since not many were sold.


    6.2 - Other add-on hardware accessories

        - AC adaptor (1A9179) output is 9V DC 40 mA
        - Shooting Gallery: electronic rifle with four games


7 - Are there different versions of the Odyssey ?
-------------------------------------------------


      Several versions of the US Odyssey existed. They are all identified by
    a model, serial and producton run, all shown under the unit. The RUN number
    stands for the production run. The US model is either 1TL200BLAK, 1TL200BK12
    or 1TL200BL99. Only specimens sent back to Magnavox to have the warranty
    renewed had their model updated to 1TL200BL99. Serial numbers start from
    06xxxxxx to 11xxxxxx although the 0 was not printed. The RUN existed in two
    forms. At first, it was printed on a separate square sticker pasted right to
    the serial sticker. This paper says RUN and NUMBER, with the 1 between these
    two words. Shortly after, the production run was stamped in red on the serial
    sticker. Some specimens of the first run happen to have an additional A or B
    letter. Its meaning is currently unknown. It is believed that Magnavox did
    that when replacing the batteries of the units still in stock in 1973. The
    following table compiled by David Winter shows the various Odyssey variants.


    +--------------------+-----+-----------------------------------------------------+
    |       Model        | RUN |                   Description                       |
    +--------------------+-----+-----------------------------------------------------+
    |     1TL200BLAK     |  1  | original model made in 1972 only.                   |
    |     6TL200BLAK     |  1  | Magnavox Odisea Mexican export.                     |
    |     1TL200BLAK     |  2  | Second run of original model made in 1973 and 1974. |
    |     1TL200BK12     |  2  | Second model made between mid-1974 and fall 1975.   |
    |                    |     | Late specimens have a Magnavox logo on front side.  |
    | ODYSSEE 5887 05 01 |  -  | Original German Export Model made in 1973.          |
    |                    |     | Comes with only 10 games, translated in German.     |
    |   YE7100BK11/14    |  -  | Export Model made in 1974.                          |
    |                    |     | Comes with only 10 games, trilingual playing cards. |
    |                    |     | Italian export was renamed Odissea (not to be       |
    |                    |     | confused with Mexian Odisea)                        |
    +--------------------+-----+-----------------------------------------------------+


      In addition to the above data, some of the Odyssey accessories were changed
    during the production:
    - The circuit boards of the cartridges can be made in beige epoxy or brown
      bakelite. Both types were used since 1972 and are sometimes mixed.
    - The labels of the hand controls originally had a glossy finnish, and were
      later changed to mat.
    - The screens of the user manual were originally pink and replaced by red ones
      in late 1972. For this reason, late 1972 specimens may have either colors.
    - The Receive a FREE bonus game paper is often pink, but white ones also existed.
    - The stickers were originally provided on a single sheet, and then on two
      separate ones.
    - The Magnavox logo on the right of the front side of the Odyssey unit indicates
      a 1975 specimen.



8 - Didn't Atari have a hand in the Odyssey ?
---------------------------------------------

      Nolan Bushnell attended the "The Magnavox Profit Caravan" at the Airport
    Marina Hotel, Burlingame, CA, on May 24, 1972. After founding Atari on
    June 27th, 1972, Bushnell and Al Alcorn (his first employee) built the
    famous prototype coin-op Pong machine and installed it in Andy Capp's
    Cavern, a local Sunnyvale bar. Soon after Magnavox sued for copyright
    infringement. Although Bushnell insisted that he did not copy Pong from
    the Odyssey, US District Court Judge John F. Grady was not convinced that
    Bushnell had conceived Pong prior to seeing the 1972 Odyssey demo and
    ruled that Atari must pay royalties to Magnavox in order to market its
    games. A $1,500,000 settlement was awarded in the first ever video game
    lawsuit.


9 - What technical information is available ?
---------------------------------------------

    9.1 - Replacing the battery pack 

      After 25 years of sitting in the attic, basement or garage, batteries
    leak. In their little nasty leakage they create havoc for the Odyssey's
    battery area. This can easily be remedied. You can get these two parts
    from any decent electronics shop:
        * Caltronics 6 "C" size battery holder #BH-118 $4
        * Workman battery snap #L11 $1

      Even though the battery snap appears to be a normal 9 volt style, it
    in not. This snap is half an inch wider. You will have to remove the old
    solder with some solder wick and solder the new snap in place, making
    sure to allow enough wire length to reach the battery pack.


    9.2 - Cartridge pinouts

      The following information comes from the original Magnavox Odyssey
    service manual, and has been verified and corrected from tests done with
    true Odyssey cartridges (the correction was a missing jumper on cart #4).
    As you will notice, all of the 12 Odyssey cartridges have a common jumper
    at pins 2-4. This is the power switch, as the console is turned on when a
    cartridge is inserted.

      The pinout of the connector is somewhat difficult to read since the pins
    are numbered vertically instead of horizontally. Thus, looking at the
    connector from the top, the pins are numbered as follows:

      2  4  6  8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44
      1  3  5  7  9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43


      The "ODD numbers" side corresponds to the cartridge side which shows
    the cartridge number. Here are the jumper sets of the cartridges. Pins
    separated by a '-' are connected together. A space indicates an end of
    connection. For example, cartridge #2 has pins 2 and 4 connected, as
    well as pins 6 and 8.

    Cart #1    2-4 6-8-14-16-20-22 30-34           31-39 35-37
    Cart #2    2-4 6-8                             NONE
    Cart #3    2-4 6-8-10-20-22 30-34 42-44        31-39 35-37
    Cart #4    2-4 6-8-18                          21-23 33-37-39
    Cart #5    2-4 6-8-10-20-22 30-34              21-23-25 31-33-39 35-37
    Cart #6    2-4 26-28-38                        3-5-9
    Cart #7    2-4 6-8-10-14-16-20-22 30-34 42-44  13-27 23-25 31-39 35-37
    Cart #8    2-4 6-8-12-14-20-22 34-36           9-11-13 15-17 31-39 35-37
    Cart #9    2-4 6-24                            21-23
    Cart #10   2-4 6-8-10-20-22-24 30-34           23-25 31-39 35-37
    Cart #11   2-4 6-8-12-14 20-22 34-36 38-40     9-11-13 15-17 31-39 35-37
    Cart #12   2-4 6-8-18 26-28                    3-5-7 21-23 33-37-39
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