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Print Page Chess Computer Community
    General Category => Discussions about Chess Computers => Message started by: marsalone on May 21, 2008, 03:01PM
	

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Title: Excalibur Grandmaster Alternate Pieces and Mods
Post by: marsalone on May 21, 2008, 03:01PM

Hey everybody,

I just picked up an Excalibur Grandmaster off of eBay and man does this thing bring back memories of my old Saitek Galileo. It is huge and to tell you the truth I am loving it so far. It is much nicer than I thought it would be.

I had been wanting one since they first came out since it was a full sized set but I wasn't too sure about the quality as all of the other Excalibur computers that I've seen out and about looked rather cheap and unattractive. Plus I wished that it had the LEDs to signal moves and didn't like that each square was labeled. I don't mind having labels for ranks and files running along the border like on a real tournament set but having each square labeled is a little annoying.

Anyway I do really like this machine and think that it might be top notch with a couple of modifications. I want to pimp my Grandmaster. First off, I'd like to upgrade the pieces to a decent wooden set. Does anyone here know what magnets would work with the auto sensory board? I figure that I can hot glue some disc magnets to the bottom of the wooden set and then put some felt on that and be good to go. Obviously I want to use the thinnest magnets possible so that it isn't really noticeable. I see that I can get some 0.5 mm disc magnets but would they be strong enough to work with the Grandmaster? What size would I need to get? Has anyone tried? It seems like a good idea and that someone would've attempted this already. If the magnets were cheap, I'd probably just order sets in a few different sizes but the disc magnets are almost $1 each so I like to order the right size the first time around.

Second I'd like to tame that annoying beep that occurs with every piece move and computer response. On the original LCD Chess from Excalibur, it was so annoying that I just took it apart and clipped the wire to the buzzer. I can see where a beep is useful on the Grandmaster but it is so loud that my wife gets upset when I play early in the morning. Ideally I'd like to put in a volume control but if need be I'll just add a switch to cut off the buzzer. For a volume control do I just need to hookup a potentiometer or variable resistor and be done with it or is it some where if the voltage is cut down it just won't sound at all?

Picking this puppy up well under a hundred on eBay was a good deal. I don't know if I'd pay full retail but certainly I'd pay $100 in a heartbeat for this guy.

Anyway, I'm headed out to play a few more games on the Grandmaster. Using a fullsized board really makes you take the game more seriously and play slower and more thoughtful as opposed to playing on an LCD Handheld like the Star Ruby or Maestro which engourages faster more superficial games....

Ciao,
Big D



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