The Rowtron Television Computer System is another Interton VC-4000 "software compatible" system (saying "clone" would be misleading). That is to say that the internal specs are exactly the same and that games would run on both systems. The cartridge slots are however different in shape, so there is no way simply test that (with an emulator that would be easier).
There are two controllers composed of a 12 keys keypad and an analog joystick. Interton VC-4000 compatible systems usualy have this 12 keys PLUS one or two fire buttons. Here there are only 12 keys and one of these, the "8", is used as the fire button (it is thus colored red). However the quality of the keys is excellent (calculator type) compared to other systems... The top of the joysticks can be unscrewed and stored somewhere safe.
The control panel has always the same buttons found on all systems of this system family: Function (Start), Reset, Cycle (Options) and on/off switch. Underneath one can find a useful sound volume switch. It's not ON and OFF but rather HIGH and LOW, which is helpful enough.
Something very strange about this console, is that on top of the case there is a plastic modeled rectangle at the exact place where it would have been logical to find the cartridge slot. But the real cartridge slot is found on the right side of the system, like an Intellivision... It sounds like the case had been designed for a top-loaded cartridge system, and they had to modify it at the last moment to implement the mother board they finaly got...
On the case is written "Television Computer System" as well as "Home Entertainment Centre". Wow, very promising... Underneath the system, there is label reading SD-090R. The letters SD are often found on obscure systems, and are supposed to mean SOUNDIC, an asian company which produced a lot of obscure systems, especially pong-based systems. But SD-090 systems are usualy quite different from the Rowtron. This remains a mistery to me. However, on the motherboard is written MPT-04, which makes much more sense! MPT-0x is often found on obscure system motherboards. We don't know yet who produced them (Soundic?) and sold them to so many brands but: MPT-02 are RCA Studio II compatible systems, MPT-03 are Emerson Arcadia 2001 compatible systems and MPT-04 / 05 systems are Interton VC-4000 compatible systems!
The Rowtron Television Computer System can also be found under the Teleng brand.
We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system,
please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
Does anyone have a picture of the original PSU, I see conflicting information for the voltage and amperage. I have an original Rowtron TCS from my childhood but its lost the PSU, I want to be double sure I have the right spec before trying anything that will damage it!
Monday 25th July 2016
I wrote up a pretty in depth review of the rowtron console last year. Check it out: