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  Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
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   Author  Topic: Novag Constellation Expert..any info?  (Read 2079 times)
Stefan Ottow
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« on: November 23, 2005, 01:01PM »
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Quote from: Robert Weck on November 23, 2005, 12:31AM   

Ah, that's interesting! I always thought, all Experts were running at 4 MHz!

Robert



Hi Robert,

I thought this as well... until I read the Chess Computer Reports Fall/Winter Edition 1986. There it is clearly announced (at least for the US) that the Expert is released with 4, 5 and 6 MHz!

In addition to that you can look up the old CSS 2/87 page 10 (yeah!! the famous index of the CSS DVD worked in this particular case ), there you will find exactly this statement from Peter Auge.

best regards
Stefan
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Robert Weck
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2005, 12:31AM »
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Quote from: drawmeister on November 22, 2005, 09:21AM   

Forgot to mention that the box had a sticker which said ' now with 5 MHz '.

Ah, that's interesting! I always thought, all Experts were running at 4 MHz!

But such a sticker doesn't always really mean, what it says:

I have a Super Forte C, whose box has a sticker: "now with 6 MHz"; this baby was (and is) still running with 5 MHz!!

When i opened it, i found out: indeed Novag built in a 6 MHz 6502 CPU, but still used a 5 MHz-quarz!! 

Quote:

I guess i would rate it around 1850 elo ? which seems good for quite an old machine.

I would guesstimate about 1800; its successors Forte A/B with 5 MHz are a little above this and the 4 MHz-version is at 1790...


Robert
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Endspielgott
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2005, 09:41AM »
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Quote from: drawmeister on November 21, 2005, 11:32AM   

  I have played it a few times and it is a fun program with it's main weakness i think being King safety. One game i was 2 pawns down { sacrificed honest !} in a double rook and queen ending with my only chance being the computers exposed king which had won it the pawns and luckily after much manouvering i did finally manage to trick it. Enjoyable !.

Ian.


Ian,

welcome to David Kittinger
The only King his programs are interested in is yours!

Christian
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drawmeister
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2005, 09:21AM »
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Forgot to mention that the box had a sticker which said ' now with 5 MHz '.

I guess i would rate it around 1850 elo ? which seems good for quite an old machine.
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2005, 11:32AM »
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Well i  managed to pick this beauty up and it is really mint with all packaging {ovp} and it looks to be hardly used. { Before you ask no it was not the same one on E-bay for 700 !!!}. It also had the Novag printer - same one as shown on Ismenios collection site.

Strength wise playing fairly quickly it had a hard time against the Mephisto MM V  3-0, but did better against the MM IV  2-2.  I have played it a few times and it is a fun program with it's main weakness i think being King safety. One game i was 2 pawns down { sacrificed honest !} in a double rook and queen ending with my only chance being the computers exposed king which had won it the pawns and luckily after much manouvering i did finally manage to trick it. Enjoyable !.

Ian.
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Ismenio
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2005, 10:06AM »
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Thanks for the reply Stefan. I agree with that. I only had to handle an IC that was soldered directly into the circuit board once and it was very difficult! I did use the technique you mentioned with a screwdriver and a long soldering iron. Even though I was successful, I would not want to do it again!



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Ismenio
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Stefan Ottow
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2005, 07:42AM »
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Ismenio,

it is relatively easy when the CPU is mounted on a socket ond not soldered. You can use a special tool (IC plier) for chips and/or a flat screwdriver trying to loosen it alternating from both sides. You just need to keep the orientation of the chip in the socket when you install the new one!

I never changed a soldered CPU and I really do not recommend this unless you are a professional equipped with the right tools.

Of course the CPUs need to be compatible and this is one of the most complicated questions nowadays. Its almost impossible to get the old type WDC 65C02 CPUs (the excat type is W65C02P-X with X being the speed in MHz) with speeds of 6 MHz or even higher.

On many of my computers I have replaced the quartz by two small sockets soldered on the board, which allows to change the quartz very easily w/o soldering. With this installation I can change for instance my Super Forte C from 5 to 6 or even 7 MHz in about 5 min!

best regards
Stefan
« Last Edit: October 31, 2005, 07:43AM by Stefan Ottow » Report to moderator Logged
Ismenio
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2005, 04:50AM »
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Hello Stefan and Welcome! Great to see you around here

I have a question. Would this technique work for other computers as well? I'm just curious as I do play with electronics a little bit and I've been able to even fix a few of my computers. I know it's very tricky to replace CPUs, at least it's not easy for me because of the many pins and usually they're not in a socket like some CPUs in regular computers

Regards,

Ismenio
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Stefan Ottow
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2005, 05:58AM »
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Ian,

I have an EXPERT and I like it very much. I once bought it in the US. It was in a somehow bad condition (water splodges etc) but I renewed it completely and its now in a good condition again. I also upgraded the speed from 4 to 5 MHz by simlply exchanging the built in 3 MHz CPU against a 4 MHz one and changing the quartz to 10 MHz. It runs fine. I also read in an old amercican chess computer magazine that 6 MHz machines have been issued (only in the US?).

Regarding the playing strength I guess its slighly better than the Super Conny (even with the standard 4 MHz version), I think it will have around 1875 ELO points in our list at http://www.schachcomputer.info., so quite a strong machine, but so far we do not have a sufficient number a games for full evaluation.

I am currently running a big tournament with old 8 Bit machines and the Expert is not that bad at the moment:

1-1 against the MMIV (HG440) and also 1-1 against the Monte Carlo IV LE 8 MHz.

best regards
Stefan
« Last Edit: October 30, 2005, 06:41AM by Stefan Ottow » Report to moderator Logged
drawmeister
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2005, 01:30AM »
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Thanks for the info guys, just what i needed to know ! 


All the Best

Ian.
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Mike Watters
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2005, 01:22AM »
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Hi Ian

It's a nice machine. Known as the Monster when it first came out. I do not know why, presumably marketing hype. It has a place in chess computer history because of its strength (for 1985), good looks and being the first wooden board produced by Novag.

What it doesn't have is a display. The Super Expert has a display and lots of functions. It also works with the printer, which I am not sure the Expert does. So the Super Expert is more popular and fetches more money, but the Expert is harder to find.

All the best
Mike
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Alain Zanchetta
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Re:Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2005, 11:17PM »
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Hi,

Infos / Strength :
  • This page has information about many Novag computers
  • SSDF rates it 1689

For the price on ebay :


Best,
Alain

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drawmeister
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Novag Constellation Expert..any info?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2005, 02:37PM »
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Grateful for any info on the Novag Constellation expert, maybe somebody has one ?.

From photos i have seen it looks to have quite a nice wooden board and pieces and technically it seems to be running at 4MHz with the 65CO2 processor.

Does anyone know what strength it plays  elo ?, or maybe what price they sell for ?.

Thanks

Ian.
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