In the last quarter of 1989 M.G.T. launched the Sam Coupé. M.G.T. was already known in the ZX Spectrum world for a range of hardware that they sold. The Sam was their pride and joy, and unfortunately to be their downfall.
This was a time when the 16-bit machines, the Atari ST and the Amiga, were really being to take off. Sales in computers such as the Spectrum was in rapid decline. The Sam was aimed to fill this gap, a powerful 8-bit machine with specs that in cases out performed those of the 16-bit machines, at an 8-bit price. It was hoped that current 8-bit owners, particularly Spectrum owners, would jump on the nicely priced Sam rather than a more expensive 16-bit machine.
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Some corrections for you to update the Technical Information box:
END OF PRODUCTION 1992 -$ 1999. The SAM was commercially available up until the start of 1999. It did not stop when SAMCo went under in mid-1992.
SPEED 6MHz with screen off, 4.5 MHz with screen on can be slowed down to emulate ZX Spectrum -$ The Z80 CPU always ran at 6MHz, but /WAIT delays were added when the ASIC accessed the memory to draw the display, giving an ''effective'' speed of ~4.8MHz. Extra delays were added when using the ZX Spectrum graphics mode to make it closer to the speed of the spectrum, so in MODE 1 graphics the effective speed is ~3.8MHz.
CO-PROCESSOR Motorola MC 1377P Video Chip, -$ The 1377P is not a video co-processor, all it does is convert RGB signals to Composite Video.
SOUND sample rate 15.6 kHz -$ The SAA1099P doesn''t have a sample rate. The sample rate depends entirely on the timing on the software controlling it when it''s being used as low resolution DACs.
BUILT IN MEDIA one or two 3.5'''' ultraslim Citizen Double Density Drives (800 kb) -$ Citizen disk drives were used from 1990-1992 until they were discontinued. NEC also produced slimline disk drives which were used for about a year afterwards until they also became discontinued. After that, standard PC style disk drives were used until the end of SAM''s production in 1999.
Still a lot of development going for the SAM Coupe, and I am also please to announce my next hardware project - ''Pandemonium''.
It started with three tweets on my twitter account on 1st January 2019...
(1of3) 2019. It''s now 26 years since I bought my first SAM Coupe and 24 years since I started Quazar and all my frantic developing for the system. It''s a shame the SAM didn''t thrive, but I often imagine what I could do if I ever got my hands on a handful of SAM''s ASIC chips.
(2of3) The ASIC is the unique custom chip at the heart of the SAM Coupe. What could I do if I had some? A new SAM drastically enhanced with my extra peripherals and a faster Z80, plus an eZ80 co-processor? That would surely be some advanced micro! It would be utter pandemonium!
(3of3) I just need those SAM Coupe ASIC chips... Oh wait... I have over 200 ?? Okay... Hmm... Pandemonium... Thats a funky codename for a new SAM! So, I happily announce ''Pandemonium''! I''ve a long way to go but it''s underway! Stay tuned...
While initially sounding a bit cryptic, I did just announce my next hardware project that will follow on from Symbiote!
Codenamed ''Pandemonium'' for the time being, this will be a new SAM!
Yes, you did read that right, a new SAM!
What makes this possible? Well, as covered in my new year tweets, I''ve got my hands on several hundred of the ASIC chips - that''s the customised VLSI logic array designed by Bruce Gordon, that provides all the main system logic of the SAM Coupe - graphics generation, memory paging, interrupts, MIDI, keyboard reading etc, etc.
Why the name ''Pandemonium''? It''s expanding on ''Mayhem'' the name I used for my prototype SAM accelerator. While interest was very low over a decade ago it never fully progressed into a released unit, however on the basis that I''ll be able to make a limited quantity of spanking new SAMs it makes sense to add in whatever I can incorporate, so that does include making it faster if possible. I''ve already updated my accelerator design, so couple that with most of my other hardware peripherals that I''ve designed and released over the years, such as the Trinity Ethernet Interface and the forthcoming Symbiote (an eZ80 based co-processor and audio interface I''m also working on) it''ll be a rather fantastic computer!
please help trying to convert 8bit video for sam coupe this is still not mode 3 interlaced with hmpr bit 5$6 CLUT alterations per scan line HELP we only need a DMA... masterdos/basic atom lite support HELP