Superlectron, a company known for making pocket and desktop calculators since the early
1970s (some used nixie tubes), released two models: TV Challenger 2000 (model
TVC-2000) in 1976 and TV Challenger 3000 (model TVC-3000) in 1977. While the later used a GI
AY-3-8500 chip, the former used discrete circuits and played three basic games: Tennis,
Hole in the Wall, and Holes in the Walls. In this last game, both players
are transformed into a wall with a hole at the place of their paddle. Except Tennis, the
other two games feature an rare and interesting wobble effect where both players oscillate
a little bit to increase the difficulty. Although the Hole in the Wall game play is
obvious (put the ball in the hole), Holes in the Walls is different. The first wall has
a partial hole and the second wall has a normal hole.
Another very uncommon feature of
this system is the scoring. The system case has two rows of numbers used for marking
the scores using two plastic chips (one blue and one red). A similar scoring method was
used with the Videomaster Olympic. Other than that, the only
difficulty level that can be changed is the ball speed. The system produces a unique
beep when the ball bounces on a player.
A version with partial french translation
also existed as model TVC-2000F. The word WINNER has been translated to GAGNANT.
H.HOLD and V.HOLD were translated to HORIZONTALE and VERTICALE
respectively (sync is female in french). SPEED bacame VITESSE, GAMES became
JEUX. Amazingly, ON and OFF became OUV and FER respectively (a quite uncommon
translation, as MARCHE and ARRET would have been more relevant). However, SERVE
was not translated on the hand controls and the SUPERLECTRON label wasn't changed.
This system contains eleven chips of unknown type (their references
have been erased). Like most systems designed with TTL / CMOS chips, vertical and
horizontal holds can be adjusted, mainly because the components of the sync generators
can slightly differ in value, thus requiring a manual correction. The picture
quality seems quite poor, but a better picture can be obtained by taking the composite
video signal just before the RF modulator. The system pictured here is dated 20 October
1976 under the printed circuit board. It is also one of the first 5000 specimens produced.
While the exact number produced is unknown, it is possible that not much more were
manufactured. Like most similar systems, it was hand assembled. As shown in the picture
below, the assembly quality is quite poor.
- SUPERLECTRON TV CHALLENGER SERIES 2000 GAMES -
The classic game without on-screen scoring.
||HOLE IN THE WALL:
A classic variant played by analog systems.
The hole oscillates up and down (wobble),
which increases the game difficulty.
||HOLES IN THE WALLS:
A rare variant where both holes wobble.
Left: poor quality circuit board with eleven chips. Right: hand controls.