[Coco] The Coco3FPGA - Bringing the Color Computer 3 into the new Millenium!

Francis Swygert farna at att.net
Wed Feb 8 18:56:25 EST 2017

Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2017 07:11:15 -0600
From: Ron Klein <ron at kdomain.org>

I used to think the same thing (real Coco 3 vs CoCo3FPGA) as far as the
real hardware being a bit less expensive.  I can tell you, at least for me,
it's not the case.

I'm just using some price examples here:

Coco 3 (128K)  $100
Triad 512K RAM  $50
Ed's 2 slot MPI  $80
Orchestra 90 cartridge  $35
RGB to VGA solution (various available)    $100

If you don't want to add for a CoCoSDC (as comparible to the SD card slot
on the CoCo3FPGA), Drivewire will save you a bunch so I'm not including a
storage device cost.
If you are a NitrOS9/OS-9 person, the extra RAM on the Analog board can't
easily be matched for a real Coco 3, though I think there's discussions
about Ed or possibly Jayeson offering something in the future.

When going the CoCo3FPGA route, everything is new.  Thanks to Cloud-9, Ed
and others you can get most hardware new when using a real Coco 3 ((other
than the Coco 3 itself) so that's a plus.  In the end, going either route
is expensive and I don't see any significant savings from one over the
other.  There are always exceptions with great deals, but those are not
always easy to come by.

Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2017 07:58:06 -0600From: Dave Philipsen <dave at davebiz.com>

Few advantages?  Try 25 MHz and a new 640 x 450 256-color graphics mode
for starters (there are more).  You won't get either of those with a
'real' CoCo 3.  I suppose it comes down to personal preference and
whether you just want to stay stuck with the status quo of 1986.  At
least the CoCo3FPGA gives a high degree of backward compatibility with a
real CoCo 3 while giving the opportunity to explore and use some new

And, by the way, the DE2 is not a 'currently produced' development
board.  It has been discontinued by Terasic although both the DE1 and
the DE2 are readily available on the used market.  I just sold a DE2 to
a gentleman for $120 and I have sold DE1s for $90. Currently, the
implementation on the DE2 is no different than on the DE1 so there would
be no immediate benefit unless you plan on doing some additional
development that would make use of a certain feature that the DE2 has
but the DE1 does not.


Good point Ron. If getting everything from scratch there is actually a price 
advantage for the FPGA, and you get more for the money, really. 

Dave, I was talking about the advantage of an emulator over the FPGA. 
Both emulators and the FPGA unit have speed advantages over a "real" CoCo3.
There are a couple things the FPGA does that aren't in the emulators, like 
the extra hi-res mode, at least as far as I know. Hope that gets corrected. 

I wasn't aware that the DE-2 had been discontinued. The Terasic website still 
lists a DE-1 as available for $150 ($127 academic) though. No DE-2 listed. 
 Frank Swygert
 Fix-It-Frank Handyman Service

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