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Old 17 November 2010, 00:09   #1
Retrofan
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Chameleon 64

Hello:
I've just seen this http://www.vesalia.de/e_chameleon.htm at Vesalia and I would like to know what is possible to make with it exactly. The links in that page don't seem to open. Here's the description:


Chameleon 64

Flickerfixer, REU, Turbo Board (and A LOT more!) for the Commodore 64


Chameleon 64 is an extremely user-friendly cartridge that can be used without opening the computer. It is just plugged to the expansion port of the C64. Everything a C64 user would expect from a multi-function cartridge is there -- plus a lot more, as you can see in the features overview.

The Chameleon cartridge can also be operated as a stand-alone unit (since it's basically an FPGA computer like the C-One or the Minimig in a C64 cartridge case), replacing the computer, the floppy drive and the heavy power supply. When used as a stand-alone unit, a USB power adapter (available separately) or active USB hub can be used as a power source. Even a USB-enabled computer (or LCD TV, DVD players, ...) can be used to power this nifty little cartridge.


Technical data in short:
  • VGA-output with 60 Hz refresh rate or more
  • Turbo function with full 6510 processor compatibility (incl. illegal opcodes)
  • Cycle-exact REU (memory expansion) with 16 MB RAM
  • MMC/SD card slot with MMC64 compatibility and 1541-emulation
  • Connector for PS/2 mouse and PS/2 keyboard
  • Freezer (compatible with Retro Replay)
  • Bright yellow case with blue buttons
  • Battery-backed real time clock (battery not included)
  • IR receiver for CDTV remote control
  • Stereo audio out for stereo SID emulation
  • USB link to a PC for debugging and data transfer
  • Connector for RR-Net (10 Mbit Ethernet)

(image shows prototype version)

The Chameleon 64 cartridge is under constant development. Since it is a re-configurable platform, hardware updates can be installed by updating the flash of the cartridge. This does not require expert knowledge, and it doesn't even require opening the cartridge. All you need is an internet-enabled PC (running Linux or Windows) with a USB port, this lets you perform the update via a USB connection. The special breakout-cable required for this connection is included with Chameleon 64.

Last edited by Retrofan; 18 November 2010 at 03:21.
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Old 17 November 2010, 01:22   #2
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Old 17 November 2010, 02:50   #3
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Seriouly, I want more info from JEns too. I am always confused by it but at t esame time I REALLY WANT IT :P
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Old 17 November 2010, 09:29   #4
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I REALLY WANT IT :P
Yeah, it does sound REALLY cool
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Old 17 November 2010, 12:03   #5
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What? It's Individual Computers again? They are everywhere!

Yes, it seems to have a lot of things. The only I don't like is that I believe it needs an external power supply only for it.

Actually I'm using a C64Sd and I can play the games connecting it directly to the C64 without external PSU. Yes, it's true I only get this, instead of all the things the Chameleon has, but I wonder if they could use the same solution the C64Sd adopted to get power, then you surely woudn't need nothing else that to change the Commodore PSU.
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Old 17 November 2010, 14:27   #6
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You dont need teh supply unless you wanna use it in standalone mode. That's what I understood.

Also, flickerfixer is a godsend. This is what I need (besides the 1541 and freeze cart emulation )
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Old 17 November 2010, 14:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
You dont need teh supply unless you wanna use it in standalone mode. That's what I understood.

)
Yes, they don't tell a word about it, but I put my hand on fire that it needs external PSU in the Commodore. They have to tell it.

Last edited by Retrofan; 18 November 2010 at 03:36.
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Old 17 November 2010, 15:19   #8
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You don't need an extra PSU, and as "standalone" version is works with a USB Power adapter like this, or on a normal PC, TV, DVD-player USB port.
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Old 17 November 2010, 16:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
You don't need an extra PSU, and as "standalone" version is works with a USB Power adapter like this, or on a normal PC, TV, DVD-player USB port.
?...That works as external PSU. So, as I've said I believe in the Commodore it needs external PSU too, I don't believe it draws enough power from it.
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Old 17 November 2010, 16:15   #10
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Well, you can "believe" in a church. No, you need NO EXTERNAL PSU if you plug it into your C64.
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Old 17 November 2010, 16:44   #11
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I wish you are true.
Edit: Wow! 7.166 post! You must be right!

I would like to know if surfing the web will be better (and different) with it.

Last edited by Retrofan; 26 December 2010 at 19:22.
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Old 19 November 2010, 16:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Well, you can "believe" in a church. No, you need NO EXTERNAL PSU if you plug it into your C64.
I have to tell you are right. As the Power consumption is under 3W, the standard PSU can handle that.

Then it will be perfect
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Old 07 December 2010, 00:57   #13
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no joystick ports ? (for stand alone mode) that sux , if they include the ports i will buy it for sure
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Old 07 December 2010, 01:18   #14
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Yeah, I'm also interested in this (for the VGA output), but I wonder if the 'floppy emulation' will match the 1541 Ultimate II... Also, having a keyboard socket for standalone mode BUT NO JOY PORTS is simply insane.

I guess it is aimed at the serious users and not 'teh gamerz'. I guess you can tell that from the price too
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Old 15 December 2010, 03:38   #15
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Interested if the unit can be used on the C128.
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Old 15 December 2010, 13:15   #16
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I do own a 1541U II, and i have to say it works really well, i do use it directly plugged to the C64 without use of any cables or external power supply.

I have to say Chameleon seems to outperform 1541U (in theory), but i would like to know about the 1541 compatibility before i decide to buy one or not.

If it performs great on 1541 emulation i'll probably sell my 1541U to buy one Chameleon instead.
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Old 15 December 2010, 15:21   #17
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What i am hoping is for the ability to create the disc images using kryoflux and being able to play them through the Chameleon. Especially those games using 1541 copy protection routines

Is that too much of a pipedream?
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Old 15 December 2010, 16:23   #18
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Originally Posted by rkauer View Post
Interested if the unit can be used on the C128.
Jens has stated in the past that he does not support the C128, and AFAIK the MMC64 and MMCReplay were not 100% C128 compatible, so I doubt chameleon will be either
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Old 17 December 2010, 09:47   #19
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But it will work with a c128 in 64 mode though won't it?
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Old 17 December 2010, 15:03   #20
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1541u with ethernet are cheaper Chameleon while being better is more expansive
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