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New to me Atari 800


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#1 random_rodder OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:26 AM

Back when I was a kid, most of my friends had an Atari 400 or 800, one had a Colecovision with ADAM, and one kid I didn't particularly like had an Apple ][. When I finally talked my parents into a home computer, that's what we started looking at. However, several of my older cousins had TRS-80 Color Computers, and one had a TI-99. Since nobody else in the family had an 800, I wound up with a 64k CoCo system (Okidata 82a printer, cassette and floppy disk) for my 12th or 13th birthday. It was a great little system that started me on my career path I'm in today. Since then. I've been basically a Tandy guy as far as retro stuff goes. This week, though, the inner child in me came out, and I finally picked up 'the one that got away'. 

 

The unit works fine so far, except I have to track down a SIO cable for the floppy drive, and of course, some disks. I'm pretty much Atari illiterate, so, I have some reading to do, but man, could Atari build a nice looking, sturdy machine.

 

The date code says 412 - Am I interpreting it right saying it was built in the 41st week of 1982?

I don't have a BASIC cartridge for it, only Pac-Man, so I can't really do much testing. Is it safe to say since it' was built towards the end of the run that it has the GTIA? I know there's a POKE that'll help identify that, but, no BASIC.

The 1050 drive looks to be in great shape, and I'm looking into possible upgrades for it. Have a lot to learn about these drives still.

Also looking into a SIO2PC adapter of some sort. I use DriveWire or a CoCo-SDC for my color computer stuff all the time - much more convenient than having tons of floppies laying around.

 

Thanks for any input/advice!

 

Brian

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#2 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:50 AM

That's a nice looking 800.  It can't be a really late model because of the cased modules and the flip latches.  The latest 800s top cover was screwed down, and the modules inside had no case.  This caused the modules to run cooler, and it was cheaper for Atari to produce.

 

According to the serial number, yours is newer than mine.  I have a GTIA, but I don't know if it originally came that way.

 

Here's a thread about 800 serial numbers: http://atariage.com/...ling all 800s

 

Lotharek has a nice SIO2PC adapter: http://www.lotharek....duct.php?pid=98

 

AtariMax has Happy 1050 upgrades (and many other things) : http://www.atarimax....eeshippingsale/

 

 

There are many, many options for your 800.  Look around here, you'll find lots of info.



#3 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:38 PM

I can only tell that my 800 works flawless with Lotharek's sio2sd....

And I got gtia, too as I have the same cases etc

#4 Android8675 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:40 PM

If you want a great drive mod, see if you can get your hands on a Maxidrive. Gotta be comfortable ripping out a few ICs, soldering 6 wires to the 1050 mainboard and if you have a dremmel you can make the front panel look pretty. Mod lets you load any other drivemod firmware and it'll run as that drive (Indus GT, Happy 810, Happy 1050, USDoubler, etc), Also loads utilities from built in firmware and you can single drive copy because the board has a ton of ram on it. (Flashable bios)

 

that plus and SIO2PC adapter is about all you need.

 

Incognito would be icing, but they are hard to get a hold of.



#5 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:52 PM

I'll throw in with this thread, as I am in a similar boat.

 

I just decided to take a gamble on an "untested" Atari 800XL with disk drive listed on ebay, because the computer was being sold close to my home.  Got the computer, a 1050 disk drive, a 301 modem, and an 850 port expander for $74.99 since I was the only one who bid.  It seems it was a sucker's bet, however, because I cannot get a picture from the computer.

 

This computer did come with a whole mess of stuff, including two power supplies.  So I've tried running the computer through both PSUs, through both an older CRT television with have which works (and which my Coleco ADAM is hooked up to), and through a Commodore 1084 monitor I have using the composite video cable that was included in the package.

 

When I try with the monitor, I just get a black screen with both power supplies.

 

When I try with the TV, one power supply gives me a black screen, the other some reddish tinged feedback - not a picture, but not nothing.

 

Where should I start?  I'd also love to know if the disk drive is any good, but with am not sure how to test it if I can't get the computer running.



#6 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:59 PM

First, please post pictures of both power supplies.  Do you have a voltmeter?  If so, measure the voltage coming out of those supplies and let us know.

 

I would not suggest powering it up any more until we know more about your power supplies.



#7 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:26 PM

First, please post pictures of both power supplies.  Do you have a voltmeter?  If so, measure the voltage coming out of those supplies and let us know.

 

I would not suggest powering it up any more until we know more about your power supplies.

 

I don't have a voltmeter... but I should get one.  Let me see if I can do that this weekend.

 

In the mean time, I'll work on getting some pictures up.



#8 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:39 PM

OK, so here are the promised pictures.  The two power supplies that go with the computer are identical; the first one pictured is the one that produces the blue/red tinged feedback on the screen (I have now also tested the computer using this PSU on my television using a composite video cable, so I've tried three methods of connecting - composite to monitor, composite to TV, RF to TV - and with this PSU I get black screen, blue/red feedback, blue/red feedback on those tests):

 

IMG_20160219_182941_zpsqwo3d3q4.jpg

 

Here is the other PSU.  It produces only a black screen no matter what I try:

 

IMG_20160219_182847_zpslgm1icoi.jpg

 

Here are the other PSUs that I got with the package.  The first I believe is for the Atari 850 port expander, the last two are identical and I think are for the 1050 disk drive:

 

IMG_20160219_183351_zpscqsjblfm.jpg

 

Here is the computer:

 

IMG_20160219_183035_zpsp59ktevf.jpg

 

And the underside, with the serial number:

 

IMG_20160219_183223_zpsyiemgkxh.jpg

 

I also took pictures of the front, top, and bottom of the drive... but I'll spare everyone for now.  The power light on the drive comes on when I plug in a PSU and hook it up (good), but I don't hear any sound from a motor or anything on power up (bad?).



#9 1050 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:11 PM

Close the door on the drive and try it again, should be a second or two of spin up at the very least. Power supplies marked 31VA are for the 800 and 1050 drive. I also believe you are correct on the 850 power supply. Both those +5 volt computer power supplies are the better ones, I doubt they are bad, but the voltmeter is the only way to be sure. And it's always best to test the power supply alone for 5 volts + - 15% BEFORE trying to use it on the computer. Wait for the voltmeter.

#10 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:27 PM

Sorry 1050, but those sure look like ingots to me.  DV-512CM is an Ingot. http://mcurrent.name...ri8bitpower.txt

 

Use the voltmeter.  Also, was there ever any hum or buzz sound from the speaker?

 

Text from above linked page:

Atari#: C061982  (nicknames: "Ingot" or "Ugly Klunker")
    "Power Supply"
    UL Listed: 94H6, Made in Taiwan
    Type: DV-512CM
    Input: 120V AC  60Hz  40W
    Output: +5V DC  1.5A
    Shipped with: 600XL(most),800XL(most),65XE(some),130XE(some)
    Works with/NOT recommended for: 600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,XEgs
    NOTE: This unit is known for its ability to fail in such a way that it can
          damage your computer.  While the 600XL/800XL are somewhat immune, 
          the XE computers are particularly vulnerable to such damage.

Picture: http://mcurrent.name/powersupplies/61982-Ingot.jpg

Very dangerous.  Throw away, and do not use.

 

It has already damaged your computer.  Hopefully, it is only the RAM chips that were damaged.  That is usually the case.

 

 Not all DV-512CMs are Ingots, this one is good.

http://mcurrent.name/powersupplies/61982-Black_Brick-top.jpg

Edit: Why won't my links show up as links?  Copy and paste into your browser....


Edited by Kyle22, Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:36 PM.


#11 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:20 PM

Yeah, cut off the power leads of the Ingots to reuse and TOSS THE rest of the PSU !


Edited by AtariGeezer, Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:22 PM.


#12 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:22 PM

There was buzzing of a sort when I had them hooked into the Commodore monitor I owned, but not really from the television that I remember.  I've put it all away and now I am not sure I want to try again.  Of course, it sounds like there is a good chance the computer is fried or partially fried anyway, and was when I got it.  

 

Ballocks.



#13 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:26 PM

Your 800XL was made in Hong Kong.  That is good.  It most likely has socketed chips.  You can find a set of 8 4164 RAM chips cheap and replace them.  They are usually what gets destroyed first when the Ingot fails.

 

Don't give up on that 800XL.



#14 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:34 PM

I won't, but this will be a slow process.  Have to be a bit careful with money for a while.  I took the plunge on this because it was a now-or-never proposition and there was a chance I'd be getting a great deal.  Now it is a project.  Such is life.  Looking at "loose" PSUs for the XL on eBay, looks like I can count on at least another $30, plus whatever the RAM will cost.

 

C'est la vie.



#15 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:38 PM

But while I am thinking along these lines, anybody on this board do service work on Atari 8 bits?  Just wondering what my options are.  I started taking the computer apart once i saw it wasn't working (my initial thought was that there was something wrong with the RF component) and I of course immediately noticed I'll probably need a tool I am not sure I have to take the metal covering off the motherboard.  I have a socketed wrench set but I don't think it can do the fine work necessary to get the hexy bolts loosened so I can get to the board underneath.



#16 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:42 PM

There should be screws, push clips or twisted tabs holding the shield on.  No need for a wrench at all.  Please send pictures.

 

Also, depending on where you live, there are many people who can easily and cheaply repair it if you're not up to it yourself.



#17 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:43 PM

Looking at "loose" PSUs for the XL on eBay, looks like I can count on at least another $30, plus whatever the RAM will cost.

 

C'est la vie.

You can get one of these: eBay Auction -- Item Number: 231851168007



#18 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:49 PM

You can get one of these: eBay Auction -- Item Number: 231851168007

 

 

hmm.  Thanks, may take the plunge on one of those soon, if only as a stopgap measure.



#19 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:30 AM

Your 800XL was made in Hong Kong.  That is good.  It most likely has socketed chips.  You can find a set of 8 4164 RAM chips cheap and replace them.  They are usually what gets destroyed first when the Ingot fails.

 

Don't give up on that 800XL.

 

 

Would these work as replacement RAM:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...lkAAOxy-WxTA3Xp



#20 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:00 AM

Just make sure not to get the 300ns ones.  They may be too slow.  The same seller has some 150ns chips here: http://www.ebay.com/...~MAAOxyYSdTA3Av

 

I like the Hitachi ones.

 

Edit: part number HM4864AP-15


Edited by Kyle22, Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:02 AM.


#21 BillC OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:25 PM

@mozartpc27

 

You can also get a similar power supply without the DIN plug for much less, and connect the plug from one of the INGOTs.

CAUTION: reverse polarity will do major damage.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 351350515872



#22 shoestring OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:46 AM

I wouldn't go with any DRAMs slower than 150ns.

There could be lots of reasons for a dead computer other than bad DRAMs but I definitely would rule out the PSU first. I'd be trouble shooting cpu, reset signal, cpu clock, rom & the mux's used for DRAM addressing.

That's where you need a logic probe or scope to see what's going on.

Edited by shoestring, Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:55 AM.


#23 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:01 PM

So, I got a multimeter yesterday, picking up the cheapest one I could since money is a bit tight... and, predictably, it didn't work.  Tried the computer first, got no reading, eventually tried reading batteries I know worked, still nothing.  So I returned that today.  I guess maybe I'll see what they have at Home Depot later this week.  There is also a local retro mostly game but also computer shop where I've bought some things - hoping they might be able to help me out by letting me test the machine with various power supplies they may have on hand.



#24 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:58 PM

Do you have a Harbor Freight store nearby?  They have a cheap meter for $5.99.

 

http://www.harborfre...eter-98025.html

 

 

Edit: Sometimes on sale for $3.99.


Edited by Kyle22, Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:59 PM.


#25 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:23 PM

Do you have a Harbor Freight store nearby?  They have a cheap meter for $5.99.

 

http://www.harborfre...eter-98025.html

 

 

Edit: Sometimes on sale for $3.99.

 

I didn't realize they were brick-and-mortar as well as online.  There is one nearish to one of my jobs... will go there this week.  Thanks!






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