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  Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
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   Author  Topic: Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!  (Read 15704 times)
marko
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2007, 03:53PM »
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Quote from: Ismenio on November 17, 2007, 02:26PM   

Great info Marko! Thanks for the pics, info and videos. I got mine yesterday but won't be able to play with it until next week I'll share my thoughts on it.

I do like th size, the compartment for the pieces and the "rubbish" feel on the case. I had to turn on it on at least once and I find it a bit noisier than the Mirage and didn't like the fact that it doesn't automatically aligns the pieces upon start nor when the human makes the move.

By the way, based on the greeting "I'm Chessica" I tend to think that it is the same program of the handheld model "Chessica". On yeah, the "Special Effects" sounds are definitively annoying! And the default is ON for those
It makes me want to put batteries in to test whether it saves the settings for you so you won't have to turn those effects off every time you turn it on.

Best regards,

Ismenio

PS: I also got it from Sharper Image



I noticed that you can have the Phantom Force set up the chessboard by placing each piece on the oval containing the piece’s image and color. Then press the following keys in sequence: SETUP, OPTION, YES, NEW GAME. That should ensure alignment.

-Marko
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marko
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New Sharper Image Promotion
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2007, 11:21AM »
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I noticed that The Sharper Image is now offering $20 off any $75 purchase until Dec. 31, 2007. See: www.sharperimage.com/offers/29864

-Marko
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2007, 06:56PM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on November 15, 2007, 04:56AM   

Niggemann now have the Phantom Force on their website.

Available approx 2nd half of January.
199.95 Euros.
4 languages including German !

I guess they will be first to sell them in Europe?

The shipping cost quoted by The Sharper Image to the UK for shipping now is $85 (Air Mail 5-10 business days). Not sure whether The Sharper Image at $199.95 is the lowest price seller that will ship to Europe?

Marko please tell us, is it worth getting?


Mike


Robotic chess computers are mostly a novelty. It is hard to say if it is worth $200 (US dollars not euros). It depends on what you are looking for. I am happy with the unit so far.

One thing to note, the Phantom from the Sharper Image only has three speaking languages: English, Spanish and French (no German).  And the instructions are only in English. Excalibur must be making a different version for Niggemann. By the way, Niggemann says the playing strength is:
ELO Manufacturer: 1750
ELO SSDF 1400

-Marko
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 07:01PM by marko » Report to moderator Logged
TurboKing
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2007, 03:48PM »
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Quote from: sderyke2002 on November 14, 2007, 03:59PM   

Did you get someone to purchase one of those for you?  I would be willing to do this as long as it doesn't turn into a side business with everyone here asking me to smuggle these things into the continent. 

Hello
Nobody answered except you.
If it is ok for you I'll pay upfront by the end of the month
pm for how and when.
Thank you for your help

Boris
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Ismenio
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2007, 02:26PM »
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Great info Marko! Thanks for the pics, info and videos. I got mine yesterday but won't be able to play with it until next week I'll share my thoughts on it.

I do like th size, the compartment for the pieces and the "rubbish" feel on the case. I had to turn on it on at least once and I find it a bit noisier than the Mirage and didn't like the fact that it doesn't automatically aligns the pieces upon start nor when the human makes the move.

By the way, based on the greeting "I'm Chessica" I tend to think that it is the same program of the handheld model "Chessica". On yeah, the "Special Effects" sounds are definitively annoying! And the default is ON for those
It makes me want to put batteries in to test whether it saves the settings for you so you won't have to turn those effects off every time you turn it on.

Best regards,

Ismenio

PS: I also got it from Sharper Image
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Robert Weck
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2007, 12:59PM »
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Hi marko,


Quote from: marko on November 16, 2007, 10:57AM   


Quote from: Robert Weck on November 16, 2007, 01:50AM   


@marko: could you please post some games here? and also the settings, that you were using (especially the level)


Thank you!
Robert



Hi Robert,

As I mentioned, I am only a casual player but I would be happy to post a game between the Phantom and another of my chess computers. Maybe the Mephisto Travel Chess Computer or the Radio Shack 2150L (Saitek Prisma)? Can you suggest a level setting for each machine?

-Marko

What Nick suggested, would be perfect for me!

Another option: you could enter the same opening in Phantom and Ivan II and let they both play black and white at the same time. If they play identical games (with identical evals, times and so on) it should be clear, that they have the same program.

It's your choice... 


Robert
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2007, 08:46AM »
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Quote from: marko on November 16, 2007, 11:06AM   

Hi Tom,

Sorry you couldn't access the videos on YouTube. If you are still having problems I can put the files on XDrive (or other free sharing site?) for you to download. I have a 20 minute QuickTime video of the full autoplay game but it is over 200 MB. If anyone is interested, let me know.

-Marko

Thanks for the offer, Marko!

I normally use a notebook pc. But now I tried to view the films on my desktop machine and experienced no trouble: the Phantom Force appeared in all its glory. Laptop computers seem to be more prone to video-related problems.

Best regards,

tom

« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 08:49AM by Overtom » Report to moderator Logged
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2007, 02:40PM »
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Hi Marko

The levels look excatly the same as Alexandra and Ivan II.  It would be great if you would try a game against your Ivan II at level  FH030 and then perhaps try to set them up again and by replaying the game with the other machine (force the same opening and then let the other machine play on its own after the opening.  If the other machine plays back all the same moves then we might have an exact match here.  If it plays a different move then note it, takeback the move and force the move from the previous game and this way you will be able to note how many times it deviates.

PS playing against RS2150 might also be interesting at level 30 secs per move to see how it copes against RS2150L rated at ELO @ 1720-1750.

Best regards

Nick



Quote from: marko on November 16, 2007, 10:57AM   


Quote from: Robert Weck on November 16, 2007, 01:50AM   


@marko: could you please post some games here? and also the settings, that you were using (especially the level)


Thank you!
Robert



Hi Robert,

As I mentioned, I am only a casual player but I would be happy to post a game between the Phantom and another of my chess computers. Maybe the Mephisto Travel Chess Computer or the Radio Shack 2150L (Saitek Prisma)? Can you suggest a level setting for each machine?

-Marko
« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 02:43PM by spacious_mind » Report to moderator Logged
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2007, 11:06AM »
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Quote from: Overtom on November 16, 2007, 01:08AM   

Yes, the photos are very pretty! They do indeed offer a sharper image than what I've seen so far.

Needless to say I was eager to see the spectacle of autoplay. unfortunately, all I saw was a notice saying "Error on page". Are there more people who experience this problem?

Best regards,

tom


Hi Tom,

Sorry you couldn't access the videos on YouTube. If you are still having problems I can put the files on XDrive (or other free sharing site?) for you to download. I have a 20 minute QuickTime video of the full autoplay game but it is over 200 MB. If anyone is interested, let me know.

-Marko
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #49 on: November 16, 2007, 10:57AM »
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Quote from: Robert Weck on November 16, 2007, 01:50AM   


@marko: could you please post some games here? and also the settings, that you were using (especially the level)


Thank you!
Robert



Hi Robert,

As I mentioned, I am only a casual player but I would be happy to post a game between the Phantom and another of my chess computers. Maybe the Mephisto Travel Chess Computer or the Radio Shack 2150L (Saitek Prisma)? Can you suggest a level setting for each machine?

-Marko
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2007, 10:42AM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on November 16, 2007, 12:40AM   

Hi marko

Excellent photos and videos.
The first on the internet !!!

Any idea of the playing strength?
Did you beat it?

Noticed that the pieces were not centred towards the end of the setting up process. Did this cause a problem?
The very lightweight pieces will be to minimise problems with the motors etc. What do you think of the build quality?

Thanks for the pictures
Mike


Glad you liked the photos and videos.

I'm not sure of the playing strength. I am only a casual player. Excalibur claims that the Phantom has a "Tournament Strength Program" with 136 Levels, with 120 for Play and 16 for Analysis. (See manual excerpt of the level settings below.)

I too noticed that the pieces were slightly off-center after the reset but I put the pieces away after that. I don't think it would have caused a problem since the pieces are self-centering when attracted to the moving magnet. I'll watch for future issues.

The build quality seems good. I didn't notice any defects. The unit has a black rubberized paint that doesn't show fingerprints. The brushed aluminum trim pieces adds to the look.

-Marko

Manual excerpt on levels:

Levels of Play
The Phantom Force features six level types. Two of the levels (PLY and MATE) are for analysis. The other four levels are for play.
1. To see the current level, press LEVEL.
2. To change to a different level, press LEVEL repeatedly.
3. To return to normal play, press CLEAR.
4. Level types Beginner, Fixed, Sudden, and Tournament can be adjusted to three different skill positions. While viewing the level, press the +OPTION key to select ‘E’ for Easy, ‘A’ for Average, or ‘H’ for Hard.

Beginner Level
Press the < or > key to select 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, or 15 seconds per move.
BE001 BE002 BE003 BE004
BE005 BE007 BE010 BE015
BA001 BA002 BA003 BA004
BA005 BA007 BA010 BA015
BH001 BH002 BH003 BH004
BH005 BH007 BH010 BH015

Fixed-Time Level
Press the < or > key to select 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45 seconds, and 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 5:00 minutes per move. Fixed-Time Level “inf” is infinite time. The Phantom Force stops thinking only when the MOVE key is pressed, or a mate is found.
FE001 FE002 FE003 FE005
FE010 FE015 FE020 FE030
FE045 FE100 FE130 FE200
FE230 FE300 FE500 FEinF
FA001 FA002 FA003 FA005
FA010 FA015 FA020 FA030
FA045 FA100 FA130 FA200
FA230 FA300 FA500 FAinF
FH001 FH002 FH003 FH005
FH010 FH015 FH020 FH030
FH045 FH100 FH130 FH200
FH230 FH300 FH500 FHinF

Sudden-Death Level
Press the < or > key to select the amount of time, in minutes, for the entire game. If you run out of time, you forfeit (lose). FORFT is shown on the display.
SE 05 SE 10 SE 15 SE 20
SE 30 SE 45 SE 60 SE 90
SA 05 SA 10 SA 15 SA 20
SA 30 SA 45 SA 60 SA 90
SH 05 SH 10 SH 15 SH 20
SH 30 SH 45 SH 60 SH 90

Tournament Level
Press the < or > key to select the amount of time in HOURS MINUTES format to play the number of moves shown on the left side of the display. If you run out of time before you play the indicated number of moves, you forfeit (lose). FORFT is shown on the display.
40 TE030 45 TE045 40 TE100 40 TE130
35 TE130 45 TE155 40 TE200 45 TE225
40 TA030 45 TA045 40 TA100 40 TA130
35 TA130 45 TA155 40 TA200 45 TA225
40 TH030 45 TH045 40 TH100 40 TH130
35 TH130 45 TH155 40 TH200 45 TH225

Ply Level
Press the < or > key to select the depth of search from 1 to 8 ply. A ply is one half move.
PLY 1 PLY 2 PLY 3 PLY 4
PLY 5 PLY 6 PLY 7 PLY 8

MAtE Solver Level
Press th < or > key to select the number of moves to mate the program will search. NONE is displayed if no mate is found.
----------

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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2007, 01:50AM »
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Quote from: Overtom on November 16, 2007, 01:08AM   

Yes, the photos are very pretty! They do indeed offer a sharper image than what I've seen so far.

Needless to say I was eager to see the spectacle of autoplay. unfortunately, all I saw was a notice saying "Error on page". Are there more people who experience this problem?

Best regards,

tom

no problem with the videos here...

@marko: could you please post some games here? and also the settings, that you were using (especially the level)


Thank you!
Robert
« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 01:54AM by Robert Weck » Report to moderator Logged
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2007, 01:08AM »
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Yes, the photos are very pretty! They do indeed offer a sharper image than what I've seen so far.

Needless to say I was eager to see the spectacle of autoplay. unfortunately, all I saw was a notice saying "Error on page". Are there more people who experience this problem?

Best regards,

tom
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2007, 12:40AM »
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Hi marko

Excellent photos and videos.
The first on the internet !!!

Any idea of the playing strength?
Did you beat it?

Noticed that the pieces were not centred towards the end of the setting up process. Did this cause a problem?
The very lightweight pieces will be to minimise problems with the motors etc. What do you think of the build quality?

Thanks for the pictures
Mike
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2007, 10:40PM »
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Here are pictures of the box and unit:



















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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #55 on: November 15, 2007, 06:21PM »
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The Phantom Force from Sharper Image arrived this afternoon. It works as advertised and seems very similar to the robotic Excalibur Mirage. As mentioned the sound effects are annoying but can be disabled. One complaint, the chessmen are small and are made of a very light-weight plastic.

I put a video of the unit resetting the pieces after a game on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/v/Srre_v4WKj8

I also have a video of the first three minutes of autoplay game:
http://www.youtube.com/v/QJADuhQAUQ0


Let me know if anyone has any questions.

-Marko
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 09:36PM by marko » Report to moderator Logged
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #56 on: November 15, 2007, 10:14AM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on November 15, 2007, 04:56AM   

Niggemann now have the Phantom Force on their website.

Available approx 2nd half of January.
199.95 Euros.
4 languages including German !

I guess they will be first to sell them in Europe?

The shipping cost quoted by The Sharper Image to the UK for shipping now is $85 (Air Mail 5-10 business days). Not sure whether The Sharper Image at $199.95 is the lowest price seller that will ship to Europe?

Marko please tell us, is it worth getting?


Mike


Yikes, 199.95 Euros = 291.76704 U.S. dollars!! 

The Chess House has the Phantom Force for $219.95 and they offer a discount coupon for  "$25 off your next order of $200+" if you sign up for their free "Chess Sets Guide". The company has free shipping to the US and also ships internationally. Here is a link to their international shipping FAQ:
http://www.chesshouse.com/help_answer.asp?ID=24#24


I'll let you know my opinion of the unit as soon as I get to try it out. (It is supposed to be delivered here today.)

-Marko
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #57 on: November 15, 2007, 04:56AM »
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Niggemann now have the Phantom Force on their website.

Available approx 2nd half of January.
199.95 Euros.
4 languages including German !

I guess they will be first to sell them in Europe?

The shipping cost quoted by The Sharper Image to the UK for shipping now is $85 (Air Mail 5-10 business days). Not sure whether The Sharper Image at $199.95 is the lowest price seller that will ship to Europe?

Marko please tell us, is it worth getting?


Mike
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - 7 Weeks !!
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2007, 03:59PM »
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Quote:
[quote author=TurboKing]
Hello
today I have tried to order one EPF from their site but I could not go further because it said that only orders within the US could be accepted

So how about we do this : for those of us who are willing to buy EPF from this site , why not ask a US member to order  , receive and then send to Europe ( or wherever else except US) ?
If OK I'll pay upfront. Even though the shipping fee is high , it would cost less than 249 $
What do you think ?


Did you get someone to purchase one of those for you?  I would be willing to do this as long as it doesn't turn into a side business with everyone here asking me to smuggle these things into the continent. 
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Re:Excalibur Phantom Force - Now Shipping !!
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2007, 09:06AM »
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I received a notice from The Sharper Image that said that the Phantom Force that I ordered was shipped yesterday (the 12th)! Delivery is expected on Nov. 15th.

-Marko
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