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Old September 26th 07, 06:35 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Excalibur Chessmaster 747K Chess Computer MODs

I just received my Excalibur Grandmaster Chess computer, and I really
love it for the price. Paid about $100 bucks. Cheapest auto sensory
FULL size chess computer you can buy. But I was wondering if anyone
had done any mods to theirs.

Today I plan to try two mods

WOOD PIECES MOD - I picked up some cheap magnetic material. (since
the Grandmaster uses magnetic switches to identify where the pieces
are) and I plans to cut the material to fit the bottom of some nicer
weighted wooden pieces I have, then cover the magnetic material with
felt. So it will look the same but the the think black material
between the wood and the felt, not even noticeable. This material is
the same black magnet material people use for refrigerator magnets.
You can buy it dirt cheap on line. I'm hoping this will work, and
allow me to use a much nicer, set of pieces with my board. I think
this is a nice idea too for people who already have a nice set of
pieces, but want to convert them to be used on this board.

SOUND MUTE MOD - I'm going to stop by radio shack and pick up a small
$2 push button, and install it on my grandmaster, so that when it is
pressed, it will cut off the wires to the speakers. The beeping noise
drives my wife crazy. And as of yet I can find nothing in the
instructions of the board, that allows you to turn off the sound. I
could just cut the wires. But I like the idea of flexibility.
Nothing is damaged, and if you want sound you have it, if not you
don't.

What do you think?

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Old September 26th 07, 10:40 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jul 2004
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Default Excalibur Chessmaster 747K Chess Computer MODs




wrote:

I just received my Excalibur Grandmaster Chess computer, and I really
love it for the price. Paid about $100 bucks. Cheapest auto sensory
FULL size chess computer you can buy. But I was wondering if anyone
had done any mods to theirs.

Today I plan to try two mods

WOOD PIECES MOD - I picked up some cheap magnetic material. (since
the Grandmaster uses magnetic switches to identify where the pieces
are) and I plans to cut the material to fit the bottom of some nicer
weighted wooden pieces I have, then cover the magnetic material with
felt. So it will look the same but the the think black material
between the wood and the felt, not even noticeable. This material is
the same black magnet material people use for refrigerator magnets.
You can buy it dirt cheap on line. I'm hoping this will work, and
allow me to use a much nicer, set of pieces with my board. I think
this is a nice idea too for people who already have a nice set of
pieces, but want to convert them to be used on this board.


I am having trouble understaning why you don't already know whether
it works. Didn't you try a small chunk of it on your board?

If it doesn't work, please post here; I am an engineer with a
*lot* of experience with magnetics, and will be glad to help.

SOUND MUTE MOD - I'm going to stop by radio shack and pick up a small
$2 push button, and install it on my grandmaster, so that when it is
pressed, it will cut off the wires to the speakers. The beeping noise
drives my wife crazy. And as of yet I can find nothing in the
instructions of the board, that allows you to turn off the sound.
I could just cut the wires. But I like the idea of flexibility.
Nothing is damaged, and if you want sound you have it, if not you
don't.


Make sure that the switch is SPST (single pole single throw, having
two positions -- ON and OFF). If you can only find SPDT, DPDT, DPST,
and don't know how to wire the switch, let me know.

Most pushbutton switches are momentary contact, so you might need to
get a toggle switch instead of a pushbutton.

You also might wish to consider a volume control to make that beep
quieter and less annoying instead of completely disabled.

If possible, take pictures of the insides while it is open and ost
them on the web. Or at least post the numbers on the major chips,
if any (they may all be under globs of epoxy).

--
Guy Macon
http://www.guymacon.com/






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Old September 27th 07, 03:05 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Excalibur Chessmaster 747K Chess Computer MODs

Thanks for the comments. I did pick up a nice little "soft feel" push
button, on and off switch. I drilled a small hole near the speaker,
and installed the button right above it. When I was done it looked
like the board originally came that way. I cut the two speaker wires,
and soldered them to the button. Works great. When my wife is up the
beeping drives her mad. So I just hit the new "mute" button. When
she's in bed or in the other room, I "unmute" the machine and it works
great!

However the magnetic material still doesn't work. I suspect I need a
stronger magnet, but I want it to be the flat magnet material, so I
can cut it to shape, and attach it to the bottom of my wood pieces,
without having to try and fit a metal magnet inside each piece. I
dont know much about how to firgure out the strength of magnet I need
to activate the switches. But i do know the material I got is about
half as strong (when I compare it to the pieces the board came with).
I tested them by attaching them to my fridge and getting a feel of
which held stronger. hehehe very primative. I wonder if the make
the flexiable magneic material with a stronger magnet.

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Old September 28th 07, 11:52 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jul 2004
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Default Excalibur Chessmaster 747K Chess Computer MODs




wrote:

Thanks for the comments. I did pick up a nice little "soft feel" push
button, on and off switch. I drilled a small hole near the speaker,
and installed the button right above it. When I was done it looked
like the board originally came that way. I cut the two speaker wires,
and soldered them to the button. Works great. When my wife is up the
beeping drives her mad. So I just hit the new "mute" button. When
she's in bed or in the other room, I "unmute" the machine and it works
great!

However the magnetic material still doesn't work. I suspect I need a
stronger magnet, but I want it to be the flat magnet material, so I
can cut it to shape, and attach it to the bottom of my wood pieces,
without having to try and fit a metal magnet inside each piece. I
dont know much about how to firgure out the strength of magnet I need
to activate the switches. But i do know the material I got is about
half as strong (when I compare it to the pieces the board came with).
I tested them by attaching them to my fridge and getting a feel of
which held stronger. hehehe very primative. I wonder if the make
the flexible magneic material with a stronger magnet.


The "flexible magneic material" is rubber with iron filings
mixed in, and this material is notoriously weak. We can do
a *lot* better.

Look he
Neodymium disc magnets:
http://www.engconcepts.net/List_Of_Disc_Magnets.asp
http://www.supermagnetman.net/

I would advise buying one each of the thinnest one that is the
right diameter and the thickest one that you would be willing to
use -- any thicker and you would abandon the project. I advise
this because the thicker magnets have a higher field strength
and the thinner magnets are more convenient and lower cost.

Note that these are very, very strong magnets. It is very easy
to accidently bring them too close to each other and have them
ripped out of your grip as they slam together. They *will* draw
blood if they manage to pinch you. Here are some in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uET76b7GtXU

--
Guy Macon
http://www.guymacon.com/

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Old September 29th 07, 07:34 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,999
Default Excalibur Chessmaster 747K Chess Computer MODs

You should call them they have a support tech who mite give you some
ideas too along with the other guy on here...
I have seen that chess board and i like it too and you got a great
price on it.....
Hey when you want to play black does it make you play black from the
first and second rank ?
My IVAN does and that kind of bugs me a little especially when i want
to play other computers.
You got a good computer for a good price and you should get years of
good play from it..



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Old October 5th 07, 05:12 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Posts: 5
Default Excalibur Chessmaster 747K Chess Computer MODs

Do you need two sets of pieces?

The simplest source of piece identifiers are INSIDE the pieces that you
already have. Remove the identifier (whatever it is) place in the
bottom of the new wooden piece.
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