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Author Topic: Famicom Family Basic question  (Read 13434 times)
Protoboy
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« on: July 12, 2014, 01:12:52 AM »

Hey all, I'm new to the Famicom scene, but I'm very interested in collecting a Family Basic for my Famicom. My question is, did Nintendo ever release a SKU of a Family Basic combined with V3 in the same package?

Also, does V3 render the black Family Basic cartridge obsolete in features? Can I do everything the black cartridge can but more or are both needed to get all the features?

Last but not least, was V3 only packaged in an open-face cardboard tray with the programming manual? I'm having trouble finding pictures of the packaging so I'm making sure I'm buying a complete version and not missing and manuals or packaging. Thank you so much!
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UglyJoe
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 01:28:34 AM »

Also, does V3 render the black Family Basic cartridge obsolete in features? Can I do everything the black cartridge can but more or are both needed to get all the features?

I'm not positive about the CIB packaging, but this one I can answer.

The V2 cartridge (or V2.1 -- it's the black cartridge) had a few "extra" modes for doing computer-esque things.  This includes a basic text editor, music composer, and calculator.  V3 gets rid of these and dumps you straight to the BASIC prompt.  V3 also adds more memory, a few more BASIC commands, and packs in three built-in BASIC games (which you can load and then edit).

So, V3 is pretty much the better version, although V2 is easier to find and still pretty capable.  One bad thing about V3 is that the manual that comes with it is more like an addendum to the V2 manual, rather than a full-blown manual.  You can find both manuals on the forums here, though (the V2 one even has an English translation).
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Protoboy
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 01:41:25 AM »

Thank you very much AngryJoe! It's awesome there's an english translation here, I will definitely use it!

So the Family Basic was ONLY packaged with V2.1 (black cartridge), right? There wasn't a retail version of the keyboard packaged with the V3 cart, right?
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 03:23:04 AM »

Hey all, I'm new to the Famicom scene, but I'm very interested in collecting a Family Basic for my Famicom. My question is, did Nintendo ever release a SKU of a Family Basic combined with V3 in the same package?
I don't think so.
Quote
Also, does V3 render the black Family Basic cartridge obsolete in features? Can I do everything the black cartridge can but more or are both needed to get all the features?
As UJ said, there is some extra software in V2.x carts. Notepad, some sort of music tracker, calculator,  BG editor. On the other side V3 provide 4kB of RAM for your programms.
Quote
Last but not least, was V3 only packaged in an open-face cardboard tray with the programming manual? I'm having trouble finding pictures of the packaging so I'm making sure I'm buying a complete version and not missing and manuals or packaging.
No idea about "complete list" of Family Basic related items.
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2014, 09:58:07 AM »

Some clarifications: The black cartridge isn't V2, its title is just "Family Basic". It can contain any version of NS-HuBASIC from V1 to V2.1A, but the V1 is very rare and I've only seen pictures of it online. Supposedly people could call Nintendo and trade in their V1 cart for a V2 one which is partly why it's rare I guess. V2 has one more extra command (SCR$) added and V2.1A has bug fixes. V3 is however a separate title called "Family basic V3".

Packaging for the black cart seems to vary a bit and we have noticed some differences between different manual revisions but I've never seen packaging that includes V3.

It seems that NS-HuBASIC V3 has all the functionality of V2 but tapes from earlier versions will not work in V3. The code should be compatible though so you can type it in manually (goes for BG GRAPHIC as well). Though if a BASIC program uses in-line assembly (or POKE and PEEK commands in some cases) you'll have to do some slight modifications because of the differences of the memory mapping.

I'm currently in the process of translating the V3 manual to English and the link can be found in my signature.
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 11:25:50 AM »

BUMP old thread.

So V1 existed in the form of "black cart"?
Interesting note about incompability tapes V2.x and V3, i will have look code closer sometimes.
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zmaster18
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 11:58:07 AM »

BUMP old thread.

So V1 existed in the form of "black cart"?
Interesting note about incompability tapes V2.x and V3, i will have look code closer sometimes.
Yes. I had one copy of V1. Some believe it was never released, but I can confirm it is real.
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 01:06:30 PM »

I read on a Japanese forum of a person that bought Family BASIC and later his friend bought it only months later and he realized that his friend's version was that of V2 while his own was V1. He called Nintendo and they swapped it for a V2 for him for free.

Interesting note about incompability tapes V2.x and V3, i will have look code closer sometimes.
Playbox BASIC also has it's own tape format that is incompatible with the others. At least the prototype ROM that I tried it with long ago.
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 01:45:29 PM »

@zmaster18 any photos left? Especially photo of pcb.

@P ok, sound like "call back" by some reasons. So at moment we can guess about 4 tape formats

1. Playbox Basic
2. Basic V1.x
3. Basic V2.x
4. Basic V3.0

Another interesting thing. Look at the following images from bootgod's database





Basic V3 have unusual size RAM(6116, 6264, 62256 are most common, but other exist as well), manufactured in 1984. Too expensive for V2.x?

Can't find link to the V1 ROM  Huh
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 03:32:15 PM by 80sFREAK » Logged

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zmaster18
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 06:49:43 PM »

I sold the BASIC set with V1 about 6 months to a year ago and don't have photos of it anymore. Next time I get one, I will take pictures of the board and anything else you guys would like to know. So what was the major difference between V1 and V2? What was missing or defective with V1?
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 06:59:37 PM »

ANYTHING. Usually people making scans of pcb, case, guru's desoldering chips and making scans of bare pcb.

Thanks in advance.
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zmaster18
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 07:09:06 PM »

ANYTHING. Usually people making scans of pcb, case, guru's desoldering chips and making scans of bare pcb.

Thanks in advance.
If I get one, I'll sell it to you or whoever for a cheap price. For the sake of research, and science!!!  Cool
I just checked my sales records and it looks like I sold my V1 set in February.
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P
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2015, 07:36:42 AM »

V2 has one more extra command (SCR$) added and V2.1A has bug fixes.
I think this was from Japanese wikipedia.

I hope the V1 ROM will get dumped. And the V1 Playbox BASIC too since I've only seen the prototype ROM (V0).
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Gered
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2016, 02:37:46 AM »

Hey all, sorry to bump this older topic, but figured I had something to add that was relevant.

Recently I bought a Family Basic set with the original box, manuals/inserts, cart and keyboard and it arrived today. Upon starting it up and booting into the Game Basic mode, I noticed that it was displaying "NS-NUBASIC V1.0". That caught my attention as I thought I had previously read that v1.0 was not released or something like that.

After a bit of Googling, came across this topic and of course zmaster18 confirmed above here that that was not the case and v1.0 was in fact released but it was just a bit rare nowadays (probably due to the v2 trade in offer from back then).

Anyway, I'll have to check on what hardware I'll need to dump a ROM if someone still wants that (I have SNES/GB/GBA ROM dumping hardware but not NES/FC carts unfortunately... go figure! EDIT: Actually, forgot I have an INL Kazzo with 72pin NES connector which doesn't help me for FC carts, but probably can just buy the FC version of the Kazzo and would be good to go).

In the mean time, I took some shots of the cartridge shell and PCB which you can check out here.

The SCR$ function does appear to be missing, CALL works fine. SCR$ is not mentioned in the manual I got with it, but CALL is.

Also of note the trick which apparently works with v2 where you can hold F while turning the console on to boot into Game Basic directly does not work (this is actually a thing, right? thought I read something about that on this forum but cannot find it now). I also read somewhere else something about holding T and switching on the Backup switch, but that didn't work either. Though holding T during boot up does do some RAM test (shows "RAM OK").

Anyway, would be happy to check on anything else if anyone wants me to. I'll post back here too when I am able to dump the ROM image.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 02:53:53 AM by Gered » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2016, 09:19:31 PM »

Thank you for the pictures! Smiley This is great news, it would be great if you could dump it.

Quote
The SCR$ function does appear to be missing, CALL works fine. SCR$ is not mentioned in the manual I got with it, but CALL is.
No surprises here, thanks for confirming. I tested both commands in Playbox Basic V0 (the prototype) and CALL worked already back in that version (but not SCR$). I suppose Nintendo removed CALL from certain later revisions of the manual so they didn't had to get so many questions about it. Grin But they never actually removed it in the software.

Quote
Also of note the trick which apparently works with v2 where you can hold F while turning the console on to boot into Game Basic directly does not work (this is actually a thing, right? thought I read something about that on this forum but cannot find it now). I also read somewhere else something about holding T and switching on the Backup switch, but that didn't work either. Though holding T during boot up does do some RAM test (shows "RAM OK").
I don't think F key should do anything (I've tried it with most keys). Maybe the person mixed it up with the T key.
You hold the T key while you press reset (you don't need to touch the backup switch) to skip the talking computer and go directly to BASIC. In V2 you see "RAM OK" really quick and then you go into BASIC mode directly if you do this. In PlayBox BASIC proto nothing happens at all.
So you say that in V1, holding T while booting does not go into BASIC mode but instead shows a RAM slef-test screen? That's very interesting. It makes sense to use T for Testing too.

Oh and don't forget to check out the stickied Family BASIC Super Thread if you haven't already.
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