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   Author  Topic: Super Constellation  (Read 2841 times)
Kostea
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Re:Super Constellation
« on: September 1, 2014, 10:32AM »
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Sorry about the late response.
I now understand what type of encoding you're referring to, and seems like a good idea.

A few years ago, I have decoded most part of a version of the Mychess chess engine, looking for some pieces of information which I found.
As a secondary effect I ended up decoding a lot of other stuff, including the opening book.
Mychess is using the "from" and "to" encoding for the opening book.

I guess that we'll never know for sure what enc0ding is used for the opening book of Super Constellation, unless someone reverse engineer it.

Regards,
Kostea
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Selective Brute
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 12:12AM »
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Quote from: Kostea on July 12, 2014, 06:08PM   


You mentioned a "serial number of the move's generator".


The move generator is only used when the chess computer is out of book.

The move generator is the part of a program that generates all legal moves available from a chess position. It is there already in the program, so using it to achieve a more compact scheme for the opening book seems like a very good idea.

Quote from: Kostea on July 12, 2014, 06:08PM   

Maybe you meant the "serial number of a position".

Could you please explain a general method of doing that, I'm always open to new ideas.

The move generator is deterministic, i.e. it will always generate the moves in the same order. (What the exact order is will depend on the implemantation of the move generator.) So, starting from some position, the move number n will always be the same. This fact can be used to reduce the bits needed to encode a position.

Quote from: Kostea on July 12, 2014, 06:08PM   

Now the other thing you said about the encoding of moves.

You said this:

"Most positions are less than 256 possible moves, and for others, a specific byte indicate a sudden order greater than 255."

That's not a way of encoding a move, but a way to encode the number of a move.

For example, in this opening:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6

Your method of encoding the moves does not encode the actual physical moves, but only encodes  1 2 3 4 5 which is the number of the move.

You seem to mix the sequence of moves in a game with the sequence of positions that the move generator generates. For example, from the starting position, the first position could be a2-a3, the second a2-a4, the third b2-b3 etc. Mychess's point was that these possible move choices will be less than 256 (one byte) possibilities for any move. Actually, it will for all practical purposes be a lot less. Also if the move generator is more sophisticated, it would generate more probable moves early in its sequence and this would also make further data compressing schemes possible.

Caveat: I'm not a programmer.
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Kostea
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 06:08PM »
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Mychess,


You're right, that was not false advertising, it was a big blatant lie.


You mentioned a "serial number of the move's generator".


The move generator is only used when the chess computer is out of book.

Maybe you meant the "serial number of a position".

Could you please explain a general method of doing that, I'm always open to new ideas.



Now the other thing you said about the encoding of moves.

You said this:

"Most positions are less than 256 possible moves, and for others, a specific byte indicate a sudden order greater than 255."

That's not a way of encoding a move, but a way to encode the number of a move.

For example, in this opening:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6

Your method of encoding the moves does not encode the actual physical moves, but only encodes  1 2 3 4 5 which is the number of the move.




Regards,
Kostea
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mychess
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2014, 11:39AM »
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Hi Kostea,

Novag didn't make a false advertising:
To save a move with a minimum of very expensive RAM, you have only to save the serial number of the move's generator. Most positions are less than 256 possible moves, and for others, a specific value indicate a sudden order greater than 255.
So only 2000 bytes are necessary to save 2000 moves, and 2096 bytes available for the program.
Cordialy,

Mychess
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 01:15AM by mychess » Report to moderator Logged
Kostea
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 06:00PM »
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Tony,

Good to hear that your 2.4v battery is working.
According to the datasheet, the RAM chips can take between 2 - 5.5 volts on the pin that is used for "standby", so any battery in that range should work, of course unless the voltage switching scheme was designed specifically to work with 2.4 volts.

About the extra chip you got.
TMM2332P is an equivalent of 2732, which is a 4kb ROM chip.
I don't remember ever reading about an upgrade chip for the Super Constellation.
My Super Constellation has no spare/empty chip sockets.

Maybe someone else who is familiar with the history and variants of Super Constellation can help here.

P.S.  One interesting thing was that theoretically one can manually program 2,000 moves.
2,000 moves would use 4,000 memory locations which is the whole RAM memory (4kb = 4,096 memory locations).
There would be no RAM memory left for running the chess engine.
The chess engine needs RAM to store the current board position, legal moves, principal variations of the current move, position evaluation, history of already made moves used for take back, and so on.
Basically at some point the manual entries of the opening book would start overlaping and erasing the values stored in RAM by the chess engine, and the chess computer would crash.
False advertising.

Regards,
Kostea
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tony
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2014, 07:41AM »
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final followup to Kostea, I used plastic blade putty knives instead of credit cards and they worked great. It was easier for me to leave the screws in and take off the sides and front first and then remove the 5 screws and just reverse it for reassembly. When I bought my connie it came with a chip in a small bag. It matches only the RAM chips in size and pin number. Both my high and low RAM chips are marked the same. they are:  Toshiba  TC5516APL-2  JAPAN 8344HBK.
The extra chip is marked: TMM2332P  5613  1I  with a large blue dot to the left of the  Toshiba logo. Question, is this chip some type of upgrade for one of the RAM chips? or not related at all. My main board is marked rev.B if that helps and believe it or not the orig. batt. looked great and had a voltage reading of 2.7 replaced it anyway with a 2.4 NIMH.  Tony
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 06:54AM »
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Thanks Kostea, that is great info. I didn't realize there were hidden screws under the feet. About the battery. There are available small cyclindrical 1.2v nicads with with tabs for soldering. 2 in series would give the 2.4 v requred. They are about the size of a "AAA" batt. if the space the original batt. is too small I would look for another location and run wires over.Ithink these small batts. are used in home wirless remote phones. I will try the store "Batteries Plus" if they dony have them, there is a web site that does. they only cost a few bucks.
    Like you my batt. works fine, but I assume its original and want to replace it. I change all my Mephisto batts. every 3yrs. just to be safe. thanks again, Tony
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Kostea
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 10:10AM »
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Hi Tony,


You did an excellent job of reminding me that I have to take apart my Super Constellation and remove my back up battery before it leaks and corrodes the PCB tracks.
I was lucky that my battery has not leaked yet, but I took it out anyway.
I don't use this back up feature at all, and if I had to choose between the chess computer and the feature, I'd rather have a working computer.


About the power supply.
The manual says 9V AC.
However it doesn't matter.
The Novag Super Constellation has a bridge rectifier on the electronic board, it consists of 4 diodes located near the power jack.

Because of that bridge rectifier, the Super Constellation can accept these 9 volts power adaptor types:
- AC
- DC with positive tip
- DC with negative tip

This applies to the Super Constellation and a few early Novags, so please don't try this with all the chess computers you own.
The great majority of chess computers have no bridge rectifiers on the motherboard, and will/could break down if using the incorrect power adapter.



About the RAM battery back up.
The CMOS memory battery has a cylindrical shape and looks like a capacitor.
Mine is yellow, and is located near the aluminum heatsink for the voltage regulator 7805.
A quick Internet search did not find any 2.4 v batteries.
But, for example, I think that this 3.6 v battery (Xeno XL-050F-AX) can be used as a replacement.
Try finding one that has axial leads, so it's easier to solder than the flat leads ones.
Now I'm not 100 percent sure that the 3.6v battery would work because there is a voltage switching schematic with 2 transistors, 4 resistors, and a diode, near one of the RAM chips, the chip that is numbered as "U5" and "HI RAM", that's the back up RAM chip.
When power is lost or turned off, that schematic is switching to the back up battery.
When there is power, then the same schematic is cutting off the power from the battery.
Not sure if that schematic was specifically designed to work with 2.4v or it doesn't matter.
One day I will have to draw the schematic on paper and find out. The most that has to be changed is probably the replacing of one or two resistors with different values, and then it should work with 3.6 volts battery.
But like I said I'm not sure, it may work with a 3.6v battery without any schematic changes.


Taking apart the Super Constellation:

1. Remove the 5 screws, 4 located under the removable rubber legs, and 1 in the middle of the back plate.
2. Remove the left and right plastic parts, the ones that have wood imitation stripes, one of them has a cover for the printer slot.
This is the hard part, I use fake credit cards that I receive by junk mail.
I do it only from the back side of chess computer, slide those cards in like wedges.
It takes a lot of prying and harsh words directed to the ingeniosity of the people that designed that. However I do it very carefully, and do not break anything and no scratches either.
3. Slide the aluminum part to the left or right, the one that says "Novag Super Constellation" on it.


Optional:

Using a small plier (diagonal cutter) cut the battery flat leads and take the battery out.
Under the battery there is a partial drawing of a battery, and it sayd "Cad" (Cadmium).
That will remind me of the location and the polarity of the battery if I ever want to replace it.
If that drawing makes no sense to you, then you will have to use a marker and draw a "+" and "-" next to the battery leads.


Regards,

Kostea

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tony
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2014, 05:04AM »
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Thanks for the tip. I am using now a 9vac 800ma adapter and it run fine. Same one I use on my Fort'.
One more question, How the heck does the back come off?? I removed the 5 screws and it just doesn't want to come off. There are no hidden screws under the label and I don't want to pry with a screw driver and risk breaking it.  tony
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bobosse
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Re:Super Constellation
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 11:59PM »
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As far as I tried, for the super constellation, you really need a strong AC adapter, 8,5 or 9V.
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tony
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Super Constellation
« Reply #10 on: April 3, 2014, 07:42AM »
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Just got a super connie and the manual says to use a adapter with output of 8.5v AC.Other literature says use a 8.5v DC with neg. tip or a 8.5 AC output. Which is best to use?? the AC or DC or does it even make a difference? I think the super Forte' reads the same way. On my Forte I have always used a 9v AC output with no problems. Also where is the 2.4 CMOS batt. located and where can you find a replacement if needed?
any help appreciated guy's, Tony
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