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Just got an untested, dirty 800XL cheap


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#1 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 8:11 PM

Although I have Atari 8-bit experience (I got my XEGS in 1987, and a 1050 DD around 1991), I have always wanted an 800XL, as I love the look (the XEGS is too deep for my desk) and compatibility. Well, I finally bought an 800XL the other day, and today it came in the mail.

 

The seller said it was untested, and didn't have a power supply or any other cables (although it did have the original box, foam, and "An Introduction to the Atari Disk Operating System DOS 3" book). The system is dirty, which in my experience has always been a good sign for sellers saying it's "untested." Why? Because if it's clean, the seller likely took it apart and cleaned it, and was unable to get it working. This one is dusty and looks like it's never been opened. It also has a piece of paper taped to it which appears to be loading instructions (forgive me, it's been a while).

 

Although I can't test the video yet (I ordered a cable on eBay the other day), since my XEGS' is different, it does use the same power supply. The light goes on when powered on. Another very good sign. It is currently apart, with the body soaking in bleach and detergent (I always restore systems and computers with this method, so don't worry guys lol). I will then have to use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Then onto the dirty keyboard. Anyway, Here are several pictures of what it looked like when it I got it. Expect the after pictures soon.

 

Feel free to input anything at all. Odds of this working right off the bat? 85%? :)

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#2 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 9:01 PM

ugh bleach, and magic eraser.... I am so sorry that's the methods used and always used.... I think it will work though... bought plenty all have worked or needed a simple chip swap



#3 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 9:03 PM

The cleaning aspect is coming along very nicely. It really looks great so far! I didn't even have to use Magic Eraser, which surprised me. Can't wait until it dries so I can put it back together...

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#4 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 9:07 PM

ugh bleach, and magic eraser.... I am so sorry that's the methods used and always used.... I think it will work though... bought plenty all have worked or needed a simple chip swap

 

Turns out I didn't even need the Magic Eraser. I thought they were scuff marks, but I guess it was just dirty. As for the bleach, I swear by it. It has never let me down.



#5 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 9:49 PM

Here it is, after I completely dried it off and put it back together. I only soaked the bottom case for two minutes, because I did not want to damage the serial number label (which I patted dry with a paper towel). The other parts of the case were submerged for about 30 minutes. Perhaps I'll use Pledge, but for now it looks fantastic, except that it's missing one foot underneath. Now, if only I could test out the video to see it it works. The wait continues until the cable arrives...

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#6 tjlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 10:12 PM

Damn!  Turned out nice!  Looks brand new!  What mixture do you use to clean it?



#7 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 10:25 PM

Damn!  Turned out nice!  Looks brand new!  What mixture do you use to clean it?

 

Thank you! I took apart the case and submerged it in bleach and detergent for 30 minutes, used a scrub-brush with a handle, then rinsed and dried. As for the insides, I used 91% peroxide with a towel and q-tips. I then used an air-can. I did not even have to take the keys out. I know many frown upon bleach, but in my experience it brings out the best in colors, not to mention kills every germ.:)  I have been doing this for years and always get good results.



#8 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 10:48 PM

Two pleasures:

 

(1) Scoring like-new, clean Atari 8-bit computer stuff, in fantastic condition.

 

(2)  Bringing dirty Atari 8-bit computer stuff back to new condition.

 

The best thing is, YOU CAN'T LOSE!!  :)  :)



#9 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 10:57 PM

Two pleasures:

 

(1) Scoring like-new, clean Atari 8-bit computer stuff, in fantastic condition.

 

(2)  Bringing dirty Atari 8-bit computer stuff back to new condition.

 

The best thing is, YOU CAN'T LOSE!!  :)  :)

 

The weird part about me is that sometimes I like option 2 better. It's almost as if I brought something back to life and did my good deed for the day. I get great joy out of restoration. :D



#10 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 1:57 AM

Well done and I recognize that feeling. How did the PCB look ?

 

I recently washed a 130XE PCB that I had laying around (bare) for....20+ years.....then fixed it by replacing all RAMs.

 

Washing a PCB is not scary. there is only one thing: dry it completely and directly using f.i. a hair dryer. Especially important are the chip sockets, arrays of resistors, color pot and connectors....as water tends to "hang on" in those spots because of capilar effect.

 

Very satisfying :)



#11 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 4:06 AM

ugh bleach, and magic eraser.... I am so sorry that's the methods used and always used.... I think it will work though... bought plenty all have worked or needed a simple chip swap


Don't use Magic Erasers unless absolutely necessary. Even a mild abrasive can destroy the texture of the plastic. Warm soapy water and a toothbrush can take care of most dirt. Isopropyl alcohol and CIF for the stubborn stuff.

#12 kheller2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 10:24 AM

Looks beautiful, and the thing a find most wonderful is finding those old dirty and ugly units that still have the plastic over the silver parts.  It brings such joy to clean the entire computer, and then peel them off and it looks brand new... especially if they never removed the plastic protection on the cartridge port. :)



#13 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 10:47 AM

Don't use Magic Erasers unless absolutely necessary. Even a mild abrasive can destroy the texture of the plastic. Warm soapy water and a toothbrush can take care of most dirt. Isopropyl alcohol and CIF for the stubborn stuff.

 

Well CIF is pretty abrasive.....and at a more course level than Magic Erasers.

 

I love Magic Erasers......plenty of arcade side-art was cleaned up with them by me :) Yes....sometimes it took away a _tiny_ amount of paint....but that was what brought out the fresh colors again....of course that is not applicable to A8's though :) 



#14 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 11:14 AM

 

Well CIF is pretty abrasive.....and at a more course level than Magic Erasers.

 

I love Magic Erasers......plenty of arcade side-art was cleaned up with them by me :) Yes....sometimes it took away a _tiny_ amount of paint....but that was what brought out the fresh colors again....of course that is not applicable to A8's though :)

 

Well: I speak only from the experience of using my techniques renovating Atari cases for the past nine years, and I certainly don't want to start a debate on restoration methods. I use Cif when all else (soap and water or alcohol) can't remove an isolated stubborn mark. Likely one could use a Magic Eraser in the same situation, but I wouldn't advocate using either as the first port of call for general cleaning.

I've had plenty of mishaps over the years (blooming from Retr0Briting, attempted fix using Magic Eraser, and resulting loss of plastic texture; latterly melted keys, which would be funny if it hadn't cost me an ST keyboard) and have learned from them. Knowing the pitfalls which can hit even someone interested in crafts all his life, I tend to consider what newcomers to the forum are going to take away and what they're going to inflict on their Ataris. Go at a light cleaning job with neat bleach and a Magic Eraser and the outcomes could be... variable. :)
 


Edited by flashjazzcat, Fri Nov 3, 2017 11:21 AM.


#15 GlowingGhoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 11:31 AM

I appreciate someone willing to rescue these old machines...

 

But with new 600XLs, 800XLs, and 130XE's fairly easy to acquire in the last few years, I prefer not to deal with the biohazard conditions of some of these things.

 

"Eww, what the hell are those little hairs falling out of the keyboard. Are those fingernail clippings?? Why is it sticky?"

 

sg7vnhzwho0hupyrcih7.jpg



#16 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 12:02 PM

Wait wait.....who said that bleach in combination with a magic eraser would be a good idea ? Not me ! I only used them with plain water !!! 

 

And of course you have to think about how long/intensely you use them. And maybe just as a last resort. I haven't really needed them for any A8 cases...



#17 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 12:29 PM

No - bleach was mentioned previously, and I was positing what I regarded as a worst-case usage scenario for a first-time renovator. :)

 

I completely agree about longevity and intensity of treatments. It's the same with Peroxide. Basically, once you go beyond soapy water and a toothbrush, the outcomes can initially be quite surprising. I once had to use WD40 on a 1200XL case to dissolve picture fixative which was supposed to block UV light. It didn't, and when I had to treat the case with Peroxide again, I first had to strip off that "protective" layer, which sat on the plastic like varnish. Nasty. :D


Edited by flashjazzcat, Fri Nov 3, 2017 12:30 PM.


#18 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 9:16 PM

 

Thank you! I took apart the case and submerged it in bleach and detergent for 30 minutes, used a scrub-brush with a handle, then rinsed and dried. As for the insides, I used 91% peroxide with a towel and q-tips. I then used an air-can. I did not even have to take the keys out. I know many frown upon bleach, but in my experience it brings out the best in colors, not to mention kills every germ. :)  I have been doing this for years and always get good results.

 

As pointed out by another user, I just want to say that I mean 91% isopropyl alcohol. Definitely not 91% peroxide!  :-o



#19 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 12:03 AM

Well, just checked tracking on the composite cable and it's not coming until Monday. Since I wanted to test it while I'm off, I figured I'd try the RF connection. I found an old Coleco TV switch box and 75 to 300 ohm adapter and hooked it up to a VCR/DVD combo. Although it has quite a bit of static (likely from either the 35 year old switch box or my many connections nearby), it works! I tested the memory, sound and keys, which all work. I then tested the cartridge port, with Flight Simulator II. Works. Next I hooked up my 1050 DD to it, and put on Tapper. That works too! So happy with my purchase, and will really get into it in the morning. Can't wait for the composite cable to arrive. Changes are that'll most definitely work as well.

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Edited by Zap!, Sat Nov 4, 2017 12:05 AM.


#20 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 3:16 AM

Great !

Actually.....I would have been more surprised if it hadn't worked. The XLs are reliable beasts. They don't make them like that anymore ;) ;) ;)

#21 NISMOPC OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 11:24 AM

Even though you are getting a DIN to RCA cable, you could also purchase a RF to COAX adapter to eliminate the need for the switchbox when using the RF out. Usually can find for only a few dollars locally or super cheap on eBay.



#22 Zap! ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 11:50 AM

Even though you are getting a DIN to RCA cable, you could also purchase a RF to COAX adapter to eliminate the need for the switchbox when using the RF out. Usually can find for only a few dollars locally or super cheap on eBay.

 

I know I have a better switch box from Radio Shack with the coaxial on it, it's just the problem of finding it. I didn't know about the adapter to eliminate the switch box entirely though. I'll pick one up today in RS, it can always come in handy for my other older systems. Thanks for the tip. This is it, right?:

 

https://www.radiosha...-f-male-adapter



#23 NISMOPC OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 12:13 PM

Yes. That's it...

#24 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 12:31 PM

Here it is, after I completely dried it off and put it back together. I only soaked the bottom case for two minutes, because I did not want to damage the serial number label (which I patted dry with a paper towel). The other parts of the case were submerged for about 30 minutes. Perhaps I'll use Pledge, but for now it looks fantastic, except that it's missing one foot underneath. Now, if only I could test out the video to see it it works. The wait continues until the cable arrives...

 

Pro-Tip for the future: Make a label protector.

 

Cut a thin sheet of plastic-something, make it a little bigger than the shape of the label. A potato chip bag will do. Then place it over the label so as to cover all of it. Then take silicone sealant and draw a bead around the edge of the plastic. Half on the plastic, half on the housing. This will form a seal which will protect the label from extended soaking and washing. Tape will also work, but protection time is much shorter, especially on a textured surface. Both will simply peel off when you're done.

 

Alternatively, remove the label. Use a hairdryer. But be aware that the label may develop curlies or simply not stick as well had you left it alone.


Edited by Keatah, Sat Nov 4, 2017 12:35 PM.


#25 gilsaluki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 1:52 PM

A cleaned, working XL....a thing of beauty.  Loves me some Atari 8-bits.






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