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About Novag Model 38706 Agate Plus (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

ABOUT NOVAG AGATE PLUS  MODEL 38708 ELECTRONIC CHESS COMPUTER

 

NOVAG AGATE PLUS Electronic Chess Computer -  Picture taken from box.

NOVAG AGATE PLUS Electronic Chess Computer -  Picture taken from box.

 

Your NOVAG AGATE PLUS can be your tutor if you are a beginner or your challenging chess partner if you are already a chess player.

 

NOVAG AGATE PLUS Electronic Chess Computer -  Picture taken from box.

NOVAG AGATE PLUS Electronic Chess Computer -  Picture taken from box.

 

MAIN NOVAG AGATE PLUS MODEL 38708 GAME CHARACTERISTICS

 

  • Elegant table top chess computer with easy to operate SENSORY TECHNOLOGY makes it a joy to play.
  • Ideal for novice to experienced players.
  • Very strong 16K program working with 8 MHz system clock speed.
  • Choose between 128 redesigned levels including training and tournament levels, as well as problem solving levels up to mate-in-6 moves.
  • Extensive opening book containing more than 8,500 half moves and fascinating middle and endgame strategies.
  • Programmed in accordance to the International Chess Rules, knows en-passant moves, castlings and pawn promotion.
  • A multitude of special features can be chosen and displayed via the Liquid Crystal Display if desired.
  • Check, Stalemate and Mate announcement.
  • Very fast response time.
  • Plays against itself.
  • TAKE BACK function for easy correction of weak or wrong moves (25 half moves).
  • Provides HINT, TRAINING and REFEREE features if you need advice.
  • Position verification and position set up for problem solving.
  • Saves game position in MEMORY when switched off.
  • 100 hours of challenging chess from 6 AA alkaline batteries or optional mains adapter (Novag Art. No. 8210) for long term economy at home (both not supplied).

 

Excerpts taken from the NOVAG Agate Plus  user manual and box.

 

WHAT IS THE PROCESSOR INSIDE THIS COMPUTER?

As a result of some reported Ron Nelson comments with regards to having to switch to lower cost yet more efficient semiconductors in the 1990’s resulting in a new range of Excalibur Electronics computers launched around that time using Intel 80C50 manufactured by Asian semiconductor companies.  The same transformation most likely took place with all the other manufacturers of electronic chess computers, beginning in the late 1980’s.

Novag never advertised the processor used inside many of their computers which made it more of a guessing game of what they actually used.  However by indicating in their sales literature the speed, ROM and RAM size, it does allow you to narrow your best estimate down to what kind of processor it may be.

None of the electronic chess computer manufacturers produced volumes that allowed them to specify custom microchips and therefore had to rely on what was easily available for purchase in Hong Kong and China.

Novag in some previous models had used Intel MCS-48 based 80C49 processors so it stands to reason that at the time of Novag Agate Plus utilized the next generation Intel MCS-51 based processor 80C51 manufactured by Asian semiconductor companies.

The 80C51 semiconductor matches exactly in configurable specifications what Novag had advertised as 8 MHz 8 Bit 16 KB ROM and 256 Byte RAM used in some Novag chess computers as well as 8 KB ROM and 768 Byte RAM which was used in many other Novag chess computers from around 1996 onwards.

To encourage discussion and further research a ? is shown behind the Processor OEM name and Processor in the table descriptions below.  Perhaps someone has a broken computer and is willing to open it up and take it apart to check this further.  In the meantime please enjoy the information below as a best estimate.  The truth probably lies somewhere between 80C49 and 80C51.

 

Information on Novag Model 38706 Agate Plus (1997) Electronic Chess Computer
Novag Model 38706 Agate Plus (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Technical Specification

Novag Agate Plus (1997)

Novag Model 38706 Agate Plus (1997) Box
Novag Model 38706 Agate Plus (1997) Computer Label
Novag Model 38706 Agate Plus (1997) User Manual

Box

Computer Label

User Manual

Spacious Mind

Schachcomputer.Info

Active 2017

Tourn. 2015

1373

-

T1

T2

T3

T4

T5

Final

-

-

-

-

-

-

MANUFACTURER

PROGRAMMER

Novag Industries Ltd.

David Kittinger

1880 USCF

1997

$149,00

1500

Year:

MFR ELO:

Original Price:

Wiki ELO:

Model #:

38706

My Serial #:

443567

Processor OEM

Philips Semicon?

Processor:

80C51?

Speed:

Type:

8 Bit

8 MHz

ROM:

16 KB

RAM:

768 Byte

Battery Type:

6 x AA

Power Adapter:

9V DC 300 mA -/+

Display:

LCD 4P7S 16LED

Board Type:

Press Sensory

Overall Size:

Board Size:

8x8 in

11.3/4x10.3/4x1

Options Select:

Button Select

Play Levels:

128

Opening Book:

8500 Half Moves

Take Back:

25 Half Moves

Position Setup:

Available

Position Verify:

Available

Move Analysis:

Display Info:

Not Available

Not Available

Solve Mate:

Mate in 6

Save Game:

Available

Ponder:

Not Available

Search Depth:

12 Ply Max.

Provide Hint:

Available

Teach Mode:

Available

Change Sides:

Available

Active Level:

TM Level:

WF6

Infinite Level:

BF5

WE7

Hardware Specification

Game Features

Matchplay & Test ELO Ratings

Computer Game Rating

Rating Test

Other  Computer Chess Ratings

USCF

USCF

Spacious Mind

Human Rating

USCF

CCR

CCNS 2013

Ply

FIDE

USCF

-

1575

-

1541

1459

Class C Level Electronic Table Top Chess Computer!

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