Jump to content

Photo

Mini Saga: Restoring my Childhood 800XL

800XL restoration restoring

58 replies to this topic

#26 mytek OFFLINE  

mytek

    River Patroller

  • 3,213 posts
  • Location:Santa Rosa, CA

Posted Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:54 AM

 

Thanks!  I did very well competing in a total of 12 science fairs with ongoing iterations of the project (3 smaller iterations per year of high school, with a major re-implementation or large new feature each year).  First and second place awards, and a fair amount of cash prizes and scholarship money which helped pay for some of college.  I believe I won a $500 prize at the science fair in this video, and it directly went into Atari stuff - a 130XE, XF551, SpartaDOS X, and ComputerEyes.  A couple months later I won a bit more money and was able to afford a very bare bones 286 PC, and that was the beginning of the end for the Atari as being my workhorse computer.   I remember distinctly it was a debate between a hard disk interface for the Atari or that PC... Bittersweet memories, for sure, but in terms of the potential the PC unlocked for programming languages and growth as a future engineer, it was the right choice.

 

By the final iteration, I had rebuilt the arm out of aluminum, built much better electronics (including an ISA card), made a primitive image recognition system which could automatically pick up objects placed on the table, programmed a GUI from raw graphics primitives in Turbo C, etc.  Super fun stuff, and it laid all of the groundwork for what would turn into a pretty enjoyable engineering career.  And it all started with Atari!

 

attachicon.gifarm_overall2.jpgattachicon.gifinterface.jpg

 

attachicon.gifph3_isa.jpgattachicon.gifguiall.jpg

 

Wow you are amazing! This is stuff I could only dream of when I was in high school, but certainly could never have pulled off (not withstanding the fact that there were no personal computers when I was in high school). Thank you so very much for sharing this.

 

Yeah I held on to my justification to use my Atari instead of a MAC or a PC up until the mid 90's, saying things to myself like who needs a PC when I can get onto Genie or Compuserv at 9600 baud with my A8 just as well. But then 1995 rolled around and I was introduced to what you could do with Windows and AOL (America On-Line), and much faster modems than the A8 could ever hope to keep up with. And the A8 looked very bleak and emancipated in comparison. Also I got a free copy of a DOS PCB layout program for the PC, as well as Corel Draw and a donated PC from my brother just a couple of years before that, and reality couldn't be ignored any longer. And much like you I went into Engineering as a profession, so there was no justifiable reason to pretend my A8 could compete in that world, and it was put aside. Well I'm glad to say that I stopped letting everything revolve around the idea of having to create wealth in whatever I do, and instead I just wanted to have some real honest to goodness fun again so I came back to the Atari. But now I wish I had taken pictures of my earlier A8 creations to share  :(  And yes I too butchered a few A8's in the experimentation period  ;)

 

- Michael

 

- Michael



#27 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:17 AM

 

Wow you are amazing! This is stuff I could only dream of when I was in high school, but certainly could never have pulled off (not withstanding the fact that there were no personal computers when I was in high school). Thank you so very much for sharing this.

 

Yeah I held on to my justification to use my Atari instead of a MAC or a PC up until the mid 90's, saying things to myself like who needs a PC when I can get onto Genie or Compuserv at 9600 baud with my A8 just as well. But then 1995 rolled around and I was introduced to what you could do with Windows and AOL (America On-Line), and much faster modems than the A8 could ever hope to keep up with. And the A8 looked very bleak and emancipated in comparison. Also I got a free copy of a DOS PCB layout program for the PC, as well as Corel Draw and a donated PC from my brother just a couple of years before that, and reality couldn't be ignored any longer. And much like you I went into Engineering as a profession, so there was no justifiable reason to pretend my A8 could compete in that world, and it was put aside. Well I'm glad to say that I stopped letting everything revolve around the idea of having to create wealth in whatever I do, and instead I just wanted to have some real honest to goodness fun again so I came back to the Atari. But now I wish I had taken pictures of my earlier A8 creations to share  :(  And yes I too butchered a few A8's in the experimentation period  ;)

 

- Michael

 

I was very lucky to be born at just the right time where cheap home computers were available at the local retail store, and even more lucky to have parents who sacrificed to buy me one even though money was very tight.  I'm thankful that my dad decided to buy me this 800XL instead of the 2600 I was asking for at the time.  I stand on the shoulders of giants, like we all do!  I was fortunate to have a few mentors along the way that introduced me to computers and electronics and steered me in the right direction at some critical moments.  And, while information was much harder to come by in those days, I was still able to find just enough material like the Forrest Mims books from Radio Shack, the Your Atari Comes Alive book, computer magazines like Antic and ANALOG, and electronics magazines like Radio Electronics and (later) Circuit Cellar that helped educate and inspire.

 

With the perspective I have now, I do still daydream about how things might have been different.  What if someone had introduced me to assembly language back then?  What if I had an Action! cartridge?  I never progressed beyond programming in Turbo BASIC XL on the Atari.  What if I had bought that hard disk interface back then, what would that have been like?  What if I was a little bit more advanced in my electronics knowledge and had built something for the PBI port on the back?  I suppose it's just a geeky form of midlife crisis.  I am in my early forties after all!

 

I think you're on the right path - as long as you've got your needs met, fun is more important than making money.  It doesn't make any practical sense to make a new Atari motherboard in 2017, but you did it anyway, and that's awesome!  Likewise, it didn't make sense for me to spend hours last night poring over the Atari PBI specifications, but I did it anyway, with a potential project idea in mind. :)

 

It must be amazing to be a kid interested in this stuff today.  Everything has become cheap, accessible and amazing - from 3D printing to Arduino and Raspberry Pi.  While I think there was a certain charm to the good old days, having to struggle to find information and resources was not charming at all!



#28 ClausB OFFLINE  

ClausB

    Stargunner

  • 1,578 posts
  • Location:Michigan

Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:28 AM

Congratulations!

 

For those of us who only wished we did something like that in high school, it's not too late. You can become a mentor for your local school's competition robotics team. There are thousands of VEX Robotics teams around the world and very likely one near you. I am in my ninth year of coaching and having fun helping bright students get a start in this exciting technical field. My seniors did well at States this year and are preparing for the World Championship in Louisville next month where the top 540 high school teams will compete. If you can't find a team nearby then start one for under $3000. Grants are available from RECF.

 

http://www.vexrobotics.com/



#29 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:36 AM

Congratulations!

 

For those of us who only wished we did something like that in high school, it's not too late. You can become a mentor for your local school's competition robotics team. There are thousands of VEX Robotics teams around the world and very likely one near you. I am in my ninth year of coaching and having fun helping bright students get a start in this exciting technical field. My seniors did well at States this year and are preparing for the World Championship in Louisville next month where the top 540 high school teams will compete. If you can't find a team nearby then start one for under $3000. Grants are available from RECF.

 

http://www.vexrobotics.com/

 

Looks like VEX competitions are similar to FIRST Robotics.  I help run a large makerspace in New Hampshire (http;//www.makeitlabs.com/), and we hosted a FIRST team in-house this year.  I haven't seen mention of VEX locally, but we're a short drive from Dean Kamen's company and the schools may be dominated by FIRST due to the name recognition and financial support.


Edited by TangentAudio, Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:37 AM.


#30 ClausB OFFLINE  

ClausB

    Stargunner

  • 1,578 posts
  • Location:Michigan

Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:51 PM

Yes, VEX is a bit like FRC but about one tenth as expensive per team per year. FRC is big here in Michigan too but VEX is growing fast. One thing I like better about VEX is that there is no limited and frantic build season. You can build and rebuild all season long so the time demands on mentors and students are more spread out.

#31 kiwilove OFFLINE  

kiwilove

    Dragonstomper

  • 944 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, New Zealand

Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:20 PM

Everything works in cycles - and at certain times in your life - opportunities will arise in which you can play the 'What if?' card - and it is up to you if you want to play it or not? Dependent upon what spare time you have - and what you are doing with your life, etc. 

 

Just like the first time round - things fell into place for that to happen.

 

The same things you learned in childhood - children today go through the same - as to what things they are interested in, and want to learn - and the hurdles to overcome in order to get a good start in their desired hobby or interest.

In many regards, it is the 'same old, same old' patterns present - but it's just the hardware/software that are different today --- but in spite of all the technical/scientific advancement there is - there is not the same advancement with the mental/spiritual side of living and life.

 

Harvey



#32 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:40 AM

I tore down the keyboard again and gave it a thorough cleaning in an ultrasonic cleaner.  Reassembled and the keyboard is working 100%.  It's my original plastic parts (keycaps, plungers, plastic frame), most of my original springs (except for about a dozen of them), and mylar and backing metal from a donor 800XL that had the same style Stackpole keyboard.

 

No progress finding Chelco replacement plastic yet... but I started to look at the donor plastics I do have. This non-Chelco has screws inside so the brown piece can easily be separated from the white piece.  You can see how yellowed it is with the formerly covered plastic right next to the exposed plastic.  Maybe worth an attempt to retr0bright it, though the sun has been in short supply in my area lately.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20170326_155114319.jpg
  • IMG_20170326_160021381.jpg
  • IMG_20170326_163716051_HDR.jpg
  • IMG_20170326_160944628_HDR.jpg


#33 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:14 AM

Not quite on topic, but I unearthed my other childhood Atari 8-bitter and fired it up for probably the first time in a decade.  It's a bit dirty and has yellow teeth now :-D ... but it still works.   Updated my brand new SIDE2 cart with the latest loader and SDX.

 

Waiting for my U1MB to arrive later this week and then I will decide which machine will get that upgrade.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • img_20170328_200851928_hdr.jpg
  • img_20170328_200314359_hdr.jpg


#34 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 3:08 PM

Persistence pays off with ebay.  After looking at what seemed like dozens of 800XL's for the last 3-4 weeks, I managed to scoop up this Hong Kong 800XL in what looks like nearly mint condition, in a box to boot!  It was a bit more than I wanted to pay, but not so much that I couldn't justify it for the project of restoring an important piece of my childhood in the right way.  Hopefully it will be a Chelco model, since I'm just going on the rarity of that black label and the Hong Kong origin.

 

If I'm deciphering the serial numbers right, this one was made in week #49 1983 (December 5-11), and mine was made in week #5 1984 (January 30-Feb 5), so they're within about 2 months of one another.  One difference I can see is the older style power brick with this unit.  I have a memory that I had that older style at one point and either it failed or I also hacked it up and modified it like I did with the rest of the computer, and it was lost to the sands of time and/or my parents' basement.  The only power brick I currently have is a newer style, but it's entirely likely that's left over from one of my XE's.

 

I'll post more info once I receive it.

Attached Thumbnails

  • pic2.jpg
  • pic3.jpg
  • pic4.jpg
  • pic5.jpg
  • pic6.jpg
  • pic7.jpg
  • pic8.jpg
  • s-l1600.jpg

Edited by TangentAudio, Tue Apr 4, 2017 3:11 PM.


#35 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • 3,695 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 3:31 PM

That's the best (IMHO) XL power supply - not catastrophically failure prone like some of them, and can be opened to repair it if necessary. Well done!



#36 gilsaluki OFFLINE  

gilsaluki

    Dragonstomper

  • 789 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 4:48 PM

STOP Modding these works of arts, The Atari Computer in its basic form is all the average Joe needs.  Extra memory....why?  No reason.  Video mods....mostly a let down.  I have done them all...NO MORE!  The time spent is not worth the miniscule results.



#37 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • 3,695 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 5:20 PM

STOP Modding these works of arts, The Atari Computer in its basic form is all the average Joe needs.  Extra memory....why?  No reason.  Video mods....mostly a let down.  I have done them all...NO MORE!  The time spent is not worth the miniscule results.

 

Life's too short to tell other people how to have fun. How 'bout you remember that your opinions are just that - YOUR opinions. Other people may have different ideas. Personally, having now had one of Lotharek's Ultimate 1MB board inside my daily driver 800XL for going on 2 years, and one of Bryan's UAV boards inside the machine for a year or so, I can't imagine using the Atari machines without them by choice. Why go back to one operating system, only 64K, fuzzy RF and no S-video when I can have so much more? 

 

But that's ME. I won't tell you how to enjoy your machines - that's between you and them. And this thread is about TangentAudio and HIS machine. And if you read the whole thread, he is far from the "average Joe" with how he used his Atari as a kid. So more power to him.


Edited by DrVenkman, Tue Apr 4, 2017 5:20 PM.


#38 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 6:03 PM

STOP Modding these works of arts, The Atari Computer in its basic form is all the average Joe needs.  Extra memory....why?  No reason.  Video mods....mostly a let down.  I have done them all...NO MORE!  The time spent is not worth the miniscule results.

 

I don't even know where to begin.

 

1) Works of art?  Please.  These were mass-produced consumer goods, designed to a cost, manufactured by the lowest bidder, and sold cheaply through consumer retail outlets of the day.  Do I appreciate their form and design?  Absolutely.  And I love them as objects, but to call them art is a bit much.

 

2) This particular machine has a lot of meaning to me, and me alone.  I got it as a gift when I was 10 years old.  I cut my teeth learning programming and electronics with it.  I nearly demolished it in my teenage years experimenting with it and modifying it.  I carried the remains with me through several apartment and house moves over the course of a couple of decades, and I've chosen to finally restore it in a way that makes sense to me.  How you feel about it could not be any less relevant.

 

3) I'll grant you that RAM upgrades may not buy you that much in many cases, but all of the other features you get with a U1MB + SIDE2 combination make a night and day difference to using one of these machines in modern times.  If you still want to use your computer in stock configuration, that's your choice.  Enjoy it, but know that you're no more right or wrong than anyone else enjoying their Atari the way they wish to enjoy it.

 

4) Surely your statement about video mods being a let-down must be a joke.  Or you're just trolling.  The 800XL has miserable fuzzy video in stock configuration, and it's flat out missing the chroma signal on the monitor port.  I spent 30 minutes soldering a few spare parts and wires in, and the video has improved tenfold.  If you still want to use your Atari on a 9" black and white TV with the RF modulator, that's your choice, but go rain on someone else's parade while you're doing so.


Edited by TangentAudio, Tue Apr 4, 2017 6:09 PM.


#39 mytek OFFLINE  

mytek

    River Patroller

  • 3,213 posts
  • Location:Santa Rosa, CA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 7:56 PM

He should be commending you, not scolding you. At least you are trying to restore your childhood computer back to a work of art once again  ;)

 

- Michael



#40 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

_The Doctor__

    Flux Capacitor Master Craftsman

  • 6,226 posts
  • Location:10-0-11-00:02

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 1:17 PM

Atari computers are indeed works of art both in design and implementation. Many hard choices were made to cut down on parts and cost which in and of itself became an art form... The original 800 had cards slots and hidden card edges because it was meant to be used in ways and for purposes beyond the original implementations for other uses, these machines ran one off industrial applications like no other.... if you are lucky as some have been you will find some of this strange tech goodness in your travels. The later expansion ports aka pbi/eci were meant to allow just about all manner of hacking and third party items to be attached to our favorite machines and in some instances these beasts had every port plugged up in use and looked like an octopus engulfing whatever it was in charge of doing... the lids were off the old 800's in a factory settings and were often seen looking like the terminator with very little skin left ... that distinctive metal shield with cutting oil or other lubricant smeared on it... no one suspecting it was an Atari at all... often with some label on it that proclaimed what it did or the company that came up with that particular monstrosity.  The original Atari's were tanks, work horses, and yes works of Art. The 800XL was very good in many respects but had some unfortunate smack em in the back of the head defects... and make no mistake they were not meant to be that way... all the monitor signal were meant to be on the connector but whoops a signal was left out(why do you think it's so easy to add back in?).. and the artifacting capacitor choice? do you think that was suppose to be that way? I have pointed that cap out to people from time to time as the 'Mystery' kept rearing it's head from time to time. You won't find any purple christmas trees in my house!

 

I cringe at hacked up cases, this is true... do I loose my mind when I see a card jammed into an 800 with 20 or more wires running from it looking like a mad scientists bad hair day... NO .. I LOVE IT...

 

I smile every time I see that missing wire put back in, and that capacitor replaced. I feel a strange happiness when I see memory added to the later models as the Atari was MEANT to be expanded in this way... We could have only wished the XL line had the slots still in it so much so that the expansion box was in the works to make it that way again... I feel a sense of pride when users make a board that plugs into the expansion edge and gives you more memory, capability, and ultimately functions the Atari can still do even to this day.... I continually laugh at the 8 core machine running the line today.. not doing one thing more or better than the 800 did all those years ago... in fact ... without all the OS upgrade headaches and security concerns. We all can feel strongly towards just about anything. I don't begrudge the off repair or fix, I of course do know there is a line between when it's no longer really an Atari or not. If it hangs off the back...  it uses a slot edge or port.. if it was possible on any of the Atari machines from the first of the line to the last, then you are just restoring what should have been back into the machine.... I don't think it's and insult... in fact it's rather a compliment....

 

Congrats on the restoration! Kudos for reversing that vandalism! I love it when it looks stock and in reality it's all tricked out!

 

Just me,

_T D__


Edited by _The Doctor__, Thu Apr 6, 2017 1:21 PM.


#41 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 1:44 PM

I didn't state it well, but I was largely taking issue with gilsaluki missing the point of this whole exercise.  The damage was already done to my machine, back when I was just a dumb teenager and didn't know any better.  I was fortunate to hold on to the pieces, even if they sat on a shelf and gathered dust for much of that time.  I was fortunate that it didn't take much work to revive the motherboard, even if the mechanical pieces were beyond repair.

 

I was probably a bit harsh in not considering the Atari computers art.  I'm an engineer, and I can certainly appreciate parts of engineering as art.  But even if it is considered art, my point stands that it's not exactly priceless rare art - at least not yet.  There were some 2 million of them sold over the years, and many of them still exist.  When you can still pick them up for $30 used (even if people are trying to fetch 10 times that), it's a sign that they're still out there in numbers.

 

I'm happy that I've got my XL functional again, and that it will soon be restored to near mint condition aesthetically.   I'm also enjoying the fact that this was the exact machine that started my life at the intersection of computers and electronics, and that I'm paying respect to that by actually using it as the development machine for my PBI-WiFi interface project ( over here http://atariage.com/...esignbuild-log/)... Video upgrades and U1MB fit right in with the theme.

 

I'd love to hear more about those applications of the Atari in various industries.  I ran across a thread about a system meant to pull down program guide data from satellite for TV Guide, but I haven't heard of too many other specific cases.  I'm an embedded systems developer in the audio/video broadcast industry by day, so these kinds of applications are right up my alley.



#42 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

_The Doctor__

    Flux Capacitor Master Craftsman

  • 6,226 posts
  • Location:10-0-11-00:02

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 2:44 PM

Your art is inside the chip... embedded system and micro-controller code :) and as an Atari man you prove my theory of why so many went from their beloved Atari to becoming the best in these fields ;)

 

My last Atari haul cost me 25 dollars instead of free or 1.79 at the local thrift shop... So I am in agreement that the crazybay prices of late are far out of line with reality... PT Barnum had some quote with which those folks operate.

 

hmmm now for some fun... can the wifi interface be crazy mad scientist good like this...

wifi box pugged into expansion/pbi/eci

remotely located wifi expansion box with myide ult cart etc etc installed... will it or could it still be fast enough to serve the videos in antic dma? Why not? who says it only wants to do a modem replacement dance?

 

I know I push but... you can go all the way to wireless AC these days... mad scientist hat off....


Edited by _The Doctor__, Thu Apr 6, 2017 2:47 PM.


#43 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Fri Apr 7, 2017 6:50 PM

Received the new XL from Ebay today.  Near mint condition, no yellowing, and still has the protective clear plastic on the cartridge doors and the function keys. It's indeed a Chelco - all the same style plastics (with Chelco stamps), ground wires going from the cart doors and keyboard to the main board, etc.  Revision A1 board, compared to A2 on mine - so the A1/A2 switchover was some time in the ~5-6 weeks between these two units being made.

 

It was sold "as-is/for parts/not working" (which is kind of ridiculous given I paid $90 for it), and indeed it was not functional when it showed up.  I couldn't leave well enough alone and I spent a couple hours tearing into it.  Pulled all the chips and hit the sockets with CAIG De-Oxit D5, that didn't fix it.  Tested all the chips in another board and they were good.  Replaced Q8/Q9 in the clock circuit, no dice.  The soldering on this board was a mess - maybe an early unit out of Chelco before they got their act together.  So I started touching up lots of dodgy looking solder joints, and then touched up a bunch of vias.  Finally hit a via up next to the BASIC ROM and that brought it back.  Must have been a broken connection either in the via or on one of the traces nearby.

 

Anyhow, getting it running wasn't the point, but I guess now I have another socketed XL board to add to the fleet.

 

NewHongKongXL.jpg


Edited by TangentAudio, Fri Apr 7, 2017 6:56 PM.


#44 tjlazer OFFLINE  

tjlazer

    River Patroller

  • 2,141 posts
  • Retro Atari Addict
  • Location:Historic South Tacoma, WA USA

Posted Fri Apr 7, 2017 7:25 PM

Nice!  I remember when I got my 800XL in 1984, and I remember leaving the protective plastic on the keys.  LOL



#45 Stephen OFFLINE  

Stephen

    Quadrunner

  • 7,454 posts
  • A8 Gear Head
  • Location:No longer in Crakron, Ohio

Posted Fri Apr 7, 2017 7:44 PM

Nice!  I remember when I got my 800XL in 1984, and I remember leaving the protective plastic on the keys.  LOL

You never take the plastic protective cover off!!!



#46 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Fri Apr 7, 2017 7:51 PM

You never take the plastic protective cover off!!!

 

I'll confess, I hate that stuff and always take it off! :)  But I think I'll leave it on this.



#47 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:03 AM

A bit of a tangent... We had some nice sunny weather this weekend so I decided to try out retr0brite on that Taiwan 800XL that I originally picked up as a parts donor.

 

This was a single treatment for about 2hrs, using the popular "40 volume creme developer" peroxide paste.  I think it could maybe stand one more treatment, but it did get a lot of the yellowing/brown out.  This will be for a spare 800XL so it doesn't need to be pristine, but it's good that it will look a little nicer.

 

before.jpg during.jpg after.jpg



#48 mytek OFFLINE  

mytek

    River Patroller

  • 3,213 posts
  • Location:Santa Rosa, CA

Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:16 PM

I just unpacked some 800XL's I had stashed in the bankers box that they came in from eBay a few months back, and discovered that 3 of them are Chelco's (sorry I didn't discover this earlier :( ).

 

kYBm8O4.jpg

 

aAFx2oP.jpg

 

Here's the insides of the one reported as working...

 

4eDqT7i.jpg

 

cA9Bvan.jpg

 

Do you still need one?

 

- Michael



#49 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

TangentAudio

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 218 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:47 PM

I just unpacked some 800XL's I had stashed in the bankers box that they came in from eBay a few months back, and discovered that 3 of them are Chelco's (sorry I didn't discover this earlier :( ).


...

 

Do you still need one?

 

No worries, I was able to buy one in excellent physical condition.  It's slightly older than my original one by a couple months (has a REV A1 board in it, mine is REV A2), but the plastics appear to be the same.  Thanks very much for thinking of me though.  Unless one of the ones you have happens to be a really close date match (I couldn't quite read the labels in your photo) I am probably good working with what I have and can consider it "close enough."

 

I do have a leftover 800XL motherboard now that doesn't really have a case (other than my original hacked up garbage) or a keyboard, but I was thinking I might build that into a bench unit for hacking.  I'll probably laser cut or CNC mill a simple enclosure, and I have a solution for the keyboard that might look familiar... :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • tkii-stereo-pcbs.jpg


#50 mytek OFFLINE  

mytek

    River Patroller

  • 3,213 posts
  • Location:Santa Rosa, CA

Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:44 PM

 

No worries, I was able to buy one in excellent physical condition.  It's slightly older than my original one by a couple months (has a REV A1 board in it, mine is REV A2), but the plastics appear to be the same.  Thanks very much for thinking of me though.  Unless one of the ones you have happens to be a really close date match (I couldn't quite read the labels in your photo) I am probably good working with what I have and can consider it "close enough."

 

I do have a leftover 800XL motherboard now that doesn't really have a case (other than my original hacked up garbage) or a keyboard, but I was thinking I might build that into a bench unit for hacking.  I'll probably laser cut or CNC mill a simple enclosure, and I have a solution for the keyboard that might look familiar... :)

 

Serial Numbers...

 

7YJ HA 01831 45 3

7YJ HA 01844 45 3

7YJ HA 16923 48 3

 

I don't know if that tells you anything, or even what the date code of your original one was. But let me know if any of these are in the ball park. The cases are all in very nice condition, just a bit dusty. The 'No Power' one is the cleanest by far, and still has the protective plastic film on the Cart door and only a few very slight scuff marks on the clear plastic bezel on the right (would polish right out). Even the brushed aluminum buttons are in very good condition. Of course any bottom can be swapped with any top. I got these cheap in a lot of 5 for about $20 each. I opened up one of the non-Chelco ones that also said 'No Power' and it was missing about half of it's Atari chips. So I think I'll check out the Chelco one and see if it has the same problem ;)  I would be willing to sell you any one of these for $30 which should cover my cost+shipping to you if it'll help get a bit closer to your childhood system's time period.

 

I like your keyboard solution :thumbsup: ;)  It does look some what familiar :ponder:

 

- Michael

 

EDIT: The 'No Power' Chelco was simply missing the power LED. It seems to work fine otherwise, with just a few keys on the keyboard not always working.


Edited by mytekcontrols, Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:04 PM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 800XL, restoration, restoring

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users