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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Fri May 13, 2022 11:06 am

Thanks for the head's up!

I ran to mine and tested it out and mine works as I would expect it to - whew!

At this point I only have 2 issues with the Mega65, and both I can live with. One is the case shell warping issue we've discussed already. The other is software related (something that should continue to improve over time, with caveats).

The Mega team do seem to be avoiding the case issue a bit at this point and simply focusing on the praise. I can't blame them. They must be totally exhausted. And I can get past most of the software stuff. That's going to be the reality of the M65 for a very long time and honestly it is what we signed up for.

The case being wonky kinda stunned me, though. German manufacturing standards are legendary and it never even crossed my mind something like this could have happened. It's as if they didn't have Quality Controls on the line. So, yeah - it's a bummer. I still love the machine and once I fix the case warp I'll get over it. But I'll have to do it sooner rather than later because it's going to bother me.

The other issue I alluded to above is a bit deeper than just software not being compatible. That's to be expected for a while - on both the C64 and M65 sides. What worries me is similar to the feeling I get with my zz9000. Amazing, glittering hardware. But the software support is entirely dependent on the community. In theory, that sounds awesome. In practice, though, it can be a mixed bag. And for me, it's a stunning lack of NTSC support. And this goes all the way down to the hardware levels from what I can tell.

I set my machine up as NTSC, but the ROMs still launch the demo disk as PAL. Is the demo disk PAL-only? That can't be. One of the M65's key selling points was the ability to flip either way. It makes me nervous we don't have any US hardware or software "champions" - just users and fans like me. So we will have to sit and wait and see what happens.

Example:
I popped in 11 C64 game cartridges. Now - this could be the C64 core being sub-par. But of the 11 I tried, 5 didn't work at all. Black screens. I'm talking old classics like Donkey Kong (Atari), Gyrus (Parker Bros), Zaxxon (Sega) and others.

Pitfall (Activision) loaded, but with screen glitches.

But for now, I'm putting all of that aside. I'm going to keep riding this wave of affection I have for a brand new "Commodore" hardware release even with its obvious flaws. And holy crap, guys - the keyboard is sensational!

As my friend Dan said:
A project this complex at this scale coming together as well as it has feels like a small miracle.
I have to agree. And I'll find ways to work around some of what we're seeing in the early days.

User avatar
3D-vice
Germany

Posted Fri May 13, 2022 12:15 pm

intric8 wrote:
Fri May 13, 2022 11:06 am
The Mega team do seem to be avoiding the case issue a bit at this point and simply focusing on the praise. I can't blame them. They must be totally exhausted. And I can get past most of the software stuff. That's going to be the reality of the M65 for a very long time and honestly it is what we signed up for.

The case being wonky kinda stunned me, though. German manufacturing standards are legendary and it never even crossed my mind something like this could have happened. It's as if they didn't have Quality Controls on the line. So, yeah - it's a bummer. I still love the machine and once I fix the case warp I'll get over it. But I'll have to do it sooner rather than later because it's going to bother me.
Well, I can't blame them too. But I have to agree with you: I've also expected a much higher quality control from Hintsteiner (the mould manufacturer) and thus a much better precision fit of the case. I've contacted Trenz by email and got this reply:
Dear Mr. (...),

please excuse the inconvenience with your MEGA65.

Please contact the MEGA team for troubleshooting and further procedure to the MEGA team.
Well, let's see if they Mega65-Team comes up with a solution... There are several posts on Discord where people have used hair dryers to heat up the warped rear part of the lower case, but - to be honest - I'd like to avoid trying this out on a machine worth of 800,- Euros. Until now, this however seems to be the only solution so far.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Fri May 13, 2022 7:42 pm

It's a an expensive machine, yes, but it's a break-even deal for them from what I've read. At such a small scale its remarkable to me even now that it was produced. I think the chance of getting a replacement case is very slim. Since you're local, though, maybe you've got a better shot at it. For the rest of us I don't think so. The shipping alone would be crazy.

Here's a shot of my top shell. You can really only see this in very good lighting situations. But it's there.
IMG_8095.JPG

Note the "teenager's legs stretchmarks" across the top-back area. Those striations are very likely the cause of my issue. I feel like I've a better shot at leaving the bottom half alone and trying to move the top area to fit. Since it's already visually not perfect, seems like a place to start. You know what I mean?

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3D-vice
Germany

Posted Sat May 14, 2022 4:36 am

intric8 wrote:
Fri May 13, 2022 7:42 pm
Note the "teenager's legs stretchmarks" across the top-back area. Those striations are very likely the cause of my issue. I feel like I've a better shot at leaving the bottom half alone and trying to move the top area to fit. Since it's already visually not perfect, seems like a place to start. You know what I mean?
Yep, I hear you and I see it. I think all of the cases have those striations. I've checked mine an it looks exactly the same. However, the top half of my machine looks pretty straight, so I'll give the bottom half another try to fix the warp.

By the way, my first try using a hair dryer was not successfull. I think the applied heat was not enough to affect the plastic, but I hesitate with applying more heat; I do not want to damage the plastic...

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Sat May 14, 2022 8:12 am

By the way, my first try using a hair dryer was not successful.
Well, that sucks. Good luck on the 2nd try! Are you keeping the motherboard inside when you do this or taking everything apart?

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Sun May 15, 2022 3:46 pm

Quick update from me.

I have updated all of my programs (core, freezer, etc.) and have that all going well.

Today I popped open the case and put the proper coin cell battery in there for the RTC. There have been reports of some folks' RTCs behaving very erratically. Happy to report mine seems just fine.

Oddly, my friend and site member dddaaannn has the same RTC chip as I do (only 4 serial numbers away from mine) and his is one of the sketchy ones.

While my case was off, I bent on the bottom shell plastic - without using a hair dryer or anything. The plastic is very soft and easy to bend. Surprisingly so. Anyway I pulled on it in 4-5 locations and after putting the top shell back on, so far I seem to have eliminated the slipping and popping of the top half. I'll have to see if that's still the case tomorrow after letting it sit for a day, but so far so good.

That case is so soft it's like white chocolate! Note to self: don't ever put this computer near a heat source of any kind. It might turn into a puddle.

At this stage, though, I think my machine is all up to spec finally.

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fxgogo
London, U.K.
Website

Posted Sun May 15, 2022 4:05 pm

Wow, I have not been following the tribulations you all have been having. Growing pains for sure and although it is not nice, I guess some of it is to be expected. I am surprised by the case though. I wonder if shortages of raw materials had anything to do with the problem?

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3D-vice
Germany

Posted Mon May 16, 2022 7:25 am

intric8 wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 8:12 am
By the way, my first try using a hair dryer was not successful.
Well, that sucks. Good luck on the 2nd try! Are you keeping the motherboard inside when you do this or taking everything apart?
I kept the motherborard inside while applying the heat, but I appied it only to the top edge. IF I attempt another heating approach, I'll probably take the mainboard out first.

User avatar
3D-vice
Germany

Posted Mon May 16, 2022 7:29 am

intric8 wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 3:46 pm
Quick update from me.

I have updated all of my programs (core, freezer, etc.) and have that all going well.
I am somehow struggling with updating my programs and finding the correct file on the File Host. It's a bit overwhelming for me...

Could you do me a favor and post which files exactly you've downloaded and how you did the updates (especially the freezer and ROMs)? Right now, I'm a bit confused by which file needs to go on which SD-card, etc.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2022 8:34 am

I've nearly finished creating a Quick Start guide for the M65. I hope to get it out in the next couple of days.

EDIT:
Check your email.





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