Dedicated Chess Computers

ChessEval Journal
About Dedicated Chess Computers

The Odyssey of the Caravelle, Part II
Written by Maurice M. Ohayon
First edited | 04/29/2014 | by MMO
Last edited | 02/04/2016 |
Additional Information:
Additional references: Hein Veldhuis, ChessComputerUk,
Ohayon MM
Reference to cite: Ohayon MM. The Odyssey of the Caravelle Part II, ChessEval Journal, 11, August 2014,

The odyssey of the C
aravelle continues...
In the first part of our report, we were wondering about the differences between the MK10 and the Caravelle.
The red color of the board and a new version of the microchip (5G3) were the most salient facts.

I am revisiting these differences with the second exemplar of the Caravelle that I discovered by chance..
I offered this exemplar to Hans Van Mierlo as a gift.

The two Caravelle are identical.
By their serial number, this new one is older than the previous (described in the first part of the paper).
The first goal is to verify if they have the same version of the microchip.

Box and board of the Second Caravelle

Serial Number (rear label)

The Microchip

In summary
- Microchip: 5G3 version for the 2 Caravelle (1985)
- 5G1 version for the MK10 (1985)
It seems that the MK10 was never built with a  5G3 version of the microchip. However, that remains to be verified.
This  5G3 version is probably different of the 5G1 version in term of library, with as a consequence, a different way to play than the MK10.
Another question could be to know if this 5G3 version were installed in other computers of the series (Travel Mate II, Courier V and Rapier).
The next step is to test the Caravelle versus the MK10 and the other computers of the series: a comparison of their way to play.
- version 5G3 for the Caravelle (1985)
- version 5G1 for the MK10 (1985)

The Hitachi HD44868 is a single chip microprocessor in a 4 bit architecture.
This CMOS 4-bit single chip microcomputer contains ROM, RAM, I/0 and Timer/Counter in a single chip.
The HMCS47C has an efficient controller and arithmetic function.
This CMOS technology provides to portable microcomputers a long life battery (more than 1000 hours according to SciSys).
Made specifically for company application (in this case SciSys), it is almost impossible to know the content of the ROM.
No documentation on the versions of the application made for SciSys was found.

- SciSys, 1985 (versus 1984 for the MK10)
- Program by Craig Barnes,
Julio Kaplan

- Table top chess computer
Microchip Hitachi HD44868 version 5G3 (versus 5G1 for the MK10)
- 0.6 MHz 

- RAM 80 bytes 
- Pressure Sensory
- 16 edge LEDs
- 8 levels of play

- Size: 24cm x 24cm x 2cm (versus 23.8 x 23.8 x 2.0 cm for the MK10)