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Swainy

So the Vectrex then

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I wanted a Vectrex during the 80’s ever since my cousin got one for Christmas back in 1983. Anyway the years passed and I eventually picked one up for £50 back in late 2011 when we started the Retro Asylum podcast and ever since then it’s become my favourite console.

 

I recently bought a homebrew title called Vector Patrol which is basically Moon Patrol which never received an official conversion. It’s the most impressive game I’ve ever played on the system and is a joy to play and it’s really re-ignited my interest in the Vectrex. Has anyone else here got one and if so, what are your favourite games for it?

 

Here is a review I’ve done for Vector Patrol if you want to take a look at it:

 

 

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I lusted after one for years ever since seeing one on demo in my local video rental store when it launched. Finally got one about 15 years ago in the golden era of car booting for the sum of £4 with 4 games.Of course it handled vector games brilliantly despite no official Asteroids license and the conversion of the lesser known Star Castle was pretty good. But then they were left to try to copy sprite based licensed titles like Scramble and the rival consoles did that so much better. What they tried to do with a stand alone vertical screen, arcade style colour overlays  and the unique arcade look of vector graphics was niche and brilliant. Unfortunately mine no longer worked last time I fired it up so it's now long gone but I'm glad I had the chance to own one for a while.

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Yeah, I had one for a couple of years. I had that Defender clone Protector for it, which was very impressive and easily the best thing I played on it. It did have a lovely feel - the true vector display, and although the controller was small and the stick a little fiddly it was very precise. I moved it on in the end because it was really a curio for me, but I'm glad I experienced it.

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I think was lucky with the controller that came with mine as it works perfectly. 

 

Im hoping to pick up a new controller for it called a RadPad.

 

S9PGYVY.jpg

 

They are about £100 though.

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It's a console I want to add to my collection, but the risks of having problems with it/it breaking down puts me off

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The worst that can happen is that it will need recapping at some point. Pretty much like any piece of hardware really. There’s plenty of people out there in the arcade scene who can help you out with the CRT side of things if need be.

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I've had 2 go over the years. One was a complete screen blow out and the other was knackered caps.  Well worth owning though especially with a flash cart.

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I've had two as well. The first I lent to a 'mate' at work who then moved away and forgot to return it...

The second I bought last year from FB Marketplace - seems to be quite dodgy as the screen has a tendency to go mental flickering about every now and then. Sometime it 'sorts itself out' though, not sure what's wrong tbh but it's a pain in the arse.

I love the Vectrex, have done since it was first out when we we far too poor for me to have one as well as my 'proper' computer (I had a Ti994a yay!).

Anyway, any advice on fixing the screen flickering would be gratefully received as I'd love to get it working again.

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I bought one of these off a forumite years ago. I love it, but it makes a loud buzzing, which is a common theme of most Vectrex units.

 

There's a fix you can do if you can be bothered.

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The buzz is part of the charm but yes, there is a buzz off kit that you can buy... I think it’s a guy on Atariage.com that sells them.

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Love them!

 

Probably explains why I always put in cheats for games that have wireframe modes (Wioeout 2097 on Saturn, Moto GP 2 on Xbox among others) and then imagine this is what a Vectrex 2 console would have been like if it had been released

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1 hour ago, Lorfarius said:

That's a pretty good price and looks fantastic. Thanks for showing it off Swainy, you sound chuffed to bits.

It’s a great joypad that looks as if it could have been a genuine Vectrex product due to the styling. Hopefully the review will generate a few more sales too.

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I love my RadPad as well, such a quality product.

 

Can anybody help with something? My vectrex arrived a bit beaten up :( and missing it's front panel controller retaining clip. I'd like to get a replacement clip.. can't find anywhere that sells them but I did find this thread where a guy created a model for 3d printing: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/300839-vectrex-front-panel-controller-retention-clip/

Does anybody know a place that would print one for me from the .STL file for not too much outlay?

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7 hours ago, Ninja Doctor said:

Laserbear?

I don't think they print your own models? I can only see an option to buy from their own list of prints unless I'm missing something..

Know of any other 3d printing services?

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Is there anything stopping a reproduction Vectrex being created with built in games to follow the retro minis craze?

 

Edit: I know it would need a specialised display etc, but COULD it be done?

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Shapeways? 
 

alternatively find a local maker group on the facebucks and see if someone there will make one for you?

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2 hours ago, Rex Grossman said:

Is there anything stopping a reproduction Vectrex being created with built in games to follow the retro minis craze?

 

Edit: I know it would need a specialised display etc, but COULD it be done?

I guess anything can be done, whether the license for the Vectrex along with the third party games (Scramble for example) can be obtained and then it being financially viable to produce a relatively small run of specialist CRTs is another matter.

 

I would guess that the screens would be the weak link as the mini market aims at a relatively budget price point which custom CRTs surely can't meet.

Also, how do you make something mini when it has a CRT?

 

Obviously you could sack off the vector CRT and go for LCD or just have a TV out but making a Vectrex that uses a non-vector screen pretty much misses the point. That really would be a case where a Raspberry Pi could do the job just as well.

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2 hours ago, cubik said:

I guess anything can be done, whether the license for the Vectrex along with the third party games (Scramble for example) can be obtained and then it being financially viable to produce a relatively small run of specialist CRTs is another matter.

 

I would guess that the screens would be the weak link as the mini market aims at a relatively budget price point which custom CRTs surely can't meet.

Also, how do you make something mini when it has a CRT?

 

Obviously you could sack off the vector CRT and go for LCD or just have a TV out but making a Vectrex that uses a non-vector screen pretty much misses the point. That really would be a case where a Raspberry Pi could do the job just as well.


Yes for it be of interest it would need a true vector CRT and same form factor.

i don’t know enough about the technology to know if it’s feasible let alone cost-efficient. My guess is the price would make it a non starter.

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14 hours ago, Rex Grossman said:

Is there anything stopping a reproduction Vectrex being created with built in games to follow the retro minis craze?

 

Edit: I know it would need a specialised display etc, but COULD it be done?

 

I have an iPad with the Vectrex app on it and play with an iCade which feels like a very close experience. 

 

 

Although I'm not sure if you can still download it, but you might be able to get an old jailbroken iPad and install it. Plus you can use MAME.

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14 hours ago, Rex Grossman said:


Yes for it be of interest it would need a true vector CRT and same form factor.

i don’t know enough about the technology to know if it’s feasible let alone cost-efficient. My guess is the price would make it a non starter.


IIRC a vector display is an ordinary CRT tube with different controller hardware. So you could probably source the actual tubes from old stock of mini portable TVs. But then you’d have to have someone confident enough with high voltage electronics to make the control hardware and getting it certified safe might be a challenge.

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