Fountain, it goes!

Reminisce about those old games and dedicated gaming hardware

Fountain, it goes!

Postby SpidersWeb on Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:28 am

Ok I'm pretty sure these are common, Fountain Games Console, two controllers with 12 keys + 2 fire buttons + joystick, uses cartidges.
Not sure on age, but the games are compatible with consoles dating from 1976 to 1982 - so I'm figuring around 82/83??

Anywho hooked it up to my 42" LCD, did an auto-scan and it found a black screen. I flicked it to OFF and it went to fuzz - I'd found it!
Powered it back on, black screen, then press reset and up comes (what turns out is a preview) of ping pong :D

It does make a buzzing noise when plugged in, which made me a little uneasy, but worked great.

Took me a while to work it out, but (at least for the Olympics 1 cartridge):

- press reset to load cart
- keep pressing (or hold down) select until the game number you want comes up then let go
- wait until the screen alternates colours - this mean the game is loaded (it has to copy from ROM to RAM apparently)
- press start
- PROFIT

Not my webpage, but link to the games: http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~pinwhiz/fountain.htm
My console looks more like the ROM tester at the bottom than the Force 2 above it. Nothing is dated.
Think mine is the generation before the Force range.

If anyone knows more about these, I'd love to hear any information you have.
Wanted - Dead or Alive - Reward $$$: Compaq Deskpro 8088 / 286 / 386 - IBM RT 6150/6151 parts - AT&T 3B2 parts
VC Twitter
SpidersWeb
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby tezza on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:30 am

I remember Fontain video consoles being around in the late 70s/early 80s. Never played with one though. Good find.

Dedicated video game consoles were knocked off their perch for a few years by" home computers" only to make a reappearence at the end of that period in the form of Sega/Nintendos.
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
Twitter: @classiccomputNZ | YouTube: Terry Stewart
Trade Me: tezza5
tezza
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 pm
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby Radar on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:49 am

That's actually my website, so I know a little bit about these :)
There were two releases - Fountain Force 1 and Force 2. No real major differences between them.
System wise its a clone of the Interton VC4000 family of consoles..

Probably the most successful sales wise of all the early NZ consoles and they used to be pretty easy to find in the wild.
I've got dozens of spare games if anyone is looking for them.

I think I have a full set of the NZ released games + lots of the overseas variant as well (Hanimex / Interton / Radofin)

The most interesting (and rarest) release is the "Hobby Module" (progamming add-on) - grab one if you ever see it.
It allows machine code programming (the cartirdge has a DIN port for connecting a tape deck)
It effectively turns the Fountain into a "Elektor TV Games Computer"

There is actually a copy of an original TV ad for the Force 2 online which is pretty neat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvTpA3hafdA
*edit* - can't work out how to embedd youtube clips so just a link to youtube.

There is a great emulator that includes the Fountain + other early systems (Amiga and PC versions)
http://amigan.1emu.net/releases/
Radar
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby SpidersWeb on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:53 am

Epic :) Thanks for that :)

do you know what year they were released? and what year the Force 2 replaced the original?
Were the NZ games actually written here, or copies of overseas games assembled here?

Pretty sure my games list is (most in original packaging):

Olympics (60 ways to convert sports in to version of pong apparently)
Tank Battle
Space Invaders
Golf
and I'm sure there is another couple.

Will photo/video when I get home.
Don't think I have ANY controller overlays tho.
Would be keen to buy the little screw on handles for the controllers if you have or know where I can get spares/something else that fits.
Wanted - Dead or Alive - Reward $$$: Compaq Deskpro 8088 / 286 / 386 - IBM RT 6150/6151 parts - AT&T 3B2 parts
VC Twitter
SpidersWeb
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby Radar on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:21 am

SpidersWeb wrote:Epic :) Thanks for that :)
do you know what year they were released? and what year the Force 2 replaced the original?
Were the NZ games actually written here, or copies of overseas games assembled here?


I believe the "Force 2" dates to circa 1984 - it was "old" technology wise when it was released.
I really need to sort through my collection and put together a better timeline.
Somewhere I've got copies of various Magazine ads / toyworld brochures that feature the system for sale that will more acurately date it (+ give original sales prices)

I first saw one at large Computer Show in Palmerston North (at the Showgrounds?) and at the time we thought it was a bit of a jok.
I was full on into the Apple II at that stage and the Apple games were lightyears ahead. This was 1985? I know we saw lots of Apple II gear on display + IBM Jr.

None of the Fountain games were written here - they are all copies of overseas ones!
They were assembled here (hence the Factory ROM Checker that I own) and boxes / plastics made here - all to qualify for the "Made in New Zealand" status.
Radar
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby SpidersWeb on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:04 pm

Sweet, cheers for that.
Going home tonight for multiplayer pong action and maybe some space invaders.
Push my Xbox360 to one side.

And yeah I figured it was pretty low down in the scheme of things hehe. Just amazed it still works!

I imagine using the hobby cartirdge would've been rather painful, did you ever try one out?
Wanted - Dead or Alive - Reward $$$: Compaq Deskpro 8088 / 286 / 386 - IBM RT 6150/6151 parts - AT&T 3B2 parts
VC Twitter
SpidersWeb
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby Carcenomy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:52 pm

You just totally reminded me that I have the Acetronic version of the Force2 in the shed. It didn't work properly last time I tried it, but that was easily ten years ago, likely more. I bought it back then for $2.00 at a garage sale ;) Might have to drag it out and have a squizz.
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
Carcenomy
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:59 pm
Location: Invercargill

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby SpidersWeb on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:38 pm

Pictures of my hardcore gaming system:

Image

and

Image

apparently tho, the Golf box is empty and I had a spare Space Invaders...
Got manuals for a couple of the games, but no controller overlays.
Stickers on the box say '29.95' which is then crossed out and someone has written FREE and circled it.

I'm not sure if my left controller is worn or if the Space Invaders on this console was just really bad. I can move left and right ok but if I let the joystick go too far down or move too quick while press fire - it doesn't move until I change direction again. Olympics was fine (response wise), might try 2 player to see if it's just a bad controller or if Space Invaders was just too much for the 1975 8 bit proc and I'm being picky.

NB: not sure if it matters, but it's not marked as a "Force", or was that just a nickname given to the model before the Force 2? Just says Fountain Programmable Gaming System (or something like that).
Wanted - Dead or Alive - Reward $$$: Compaq Deskpro 8088 / 286 / 386 - IBM RT 6150/6151 parts - AT&T 3B2 parts
VC Twitter
SpidersWeb
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby kevman3d on Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:04 pm

Holey cow! That was the first console that we owned - my parents said "If we buy you kids this machine, you have to promise to stop wasting money on those video games at the dairy" - Fat chance that worked. :lol:

I recall I also had the programming cartridge for this one - it had a whopping big DIN plug on it to save games to tape, but I never bothered to try learning since I already had the Speccy... Ah, the good old days...

Theres a great page about this console (and its related other variants) here:

http://www.videogameconsolelibrary.com/pg70-1292_vc4000.htm

Nice list of cartridges + info:

http://amigan.1emu.net/igg/

Nifty Winarcadia emulator that emulates this (and other) machine:

http://amigan.yatho.com/

And a nice archive of old games for this emulator from Amigan (Winarcadia site) is listed under the "packs" section of the above mentioned site... Direct link below. Ah, the good old days are alive once again!

http://amigan.yatho.com/games.rar
"kevman3d" on trademe.
Blog
Youtube
kevman3d
 
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:54 pm

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby meetpatty on Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:27 am

Nice to see some other NZ fans of the fountain console.

I was "lucky" enough to be given one by my uncle a few years back, and it has started a slight obsession which has resulted in the me now owning four consoles and many (but not all yet) of the released games.

Image

My personal favourite: The hobby module, which I picked up complete with box, manual and overlays.

Image

I also made a programmable cartridge:

Image
meetpatty
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:04 pm

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby mrad01 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:22 am

Wow! My first console.... I clocked the crap out of Space Invaders...
mrad01
 
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby Carcenomy on Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:22 pm

I had a dig and found mine, but damned if I can find the power adapter and its no standard pinout. Anyone able to give me some insight into what the pinout is and what volts it needs before I start trawling the internet?
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
Carcenomy
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:59 pm
Location: Invercargill

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:27 am

It's odd seeing my internet nickname on a game cartridge haha
Nice collection!

Carcenomy - if I don't forget I'll have a check on mine, from memory mine just had a mains cable coming out the back? Could be wrong though.

I haven't done much with my unit unfortunately, I somewhat had my moment of nostalgia (was my first console too) but couldn't really enjoy the games enough to keep it a regular thing. I should probably test again and bundle it up to pass on to someone else, along with that extra XT (a man only needs so many 5160's).
Wanted - Dead or Alive - Reward $$$: Compaq Deskpro 8088 / 286 / 386 - IBM RT 6150/6151 parts - AT&T 3B2 parts
VC Twitter
SpidersWeb
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby falco on Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:01 pm

I have an enormous pile of these, probably more than 20 consoles and a fair number of games. I was interested in trying to build up a complete collection of games at one stage, but they're not really my focus any more, and I have a feeling they really aren't worth anything much. I even have a few boxed ones, though I'm not sure if the boxes are all that good...
falco
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:43 pm

Re: Fountain, it goes!

Postby SpidersWeb on Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:21 pm

You know what is Fountain gold though....
The cover plates for the controllers. Mine are mostly boxed, some with instructions, but not a single cover plate.

But yeah value for them is really low.
Wanted - Dead or Alive - Reward $$$: Compaq Deskpro 8088 / 286 / 386 - IBM RT 6150/6151 parts - AT&T 3B2 parts
VC Twitter
SpidersWeb
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Wellington

Next

Return to Vintage Computer Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests