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Picked up my first orginal 1979 Atari 800 computer, need advice on parts

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#1 Verault OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:53 AM

I have an original Atari 800 computer (with left and right cartridge) I need some keys to complete my keyboard.

Does anyone have any idea where I can locate replacement keycaps. I was told that the orignal 800 had two style keyboards, mine is the one with the yellow square plungers. Any advice would be appreciated.

1.) Clr-set-TAB (key under esc key)

if you have any at all of these and are willing to sell please contact me. Thanks

#2 larryleffaovell OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:05 AM

I have a complete keyboard https://deskthority....Switchtypes.JPG left in my closet. I killed the second metal springs while cleaning (the first one ~'85), that's why I bought a replacement keyboard last year at BEST, so my original one from '79 is left over.

Located in Germany. Available for millions :)

#3 russg OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:26 AM

Best Electronics (408-278-1070) sells entire keyboards.   I doubt you can buy just

individual keys.


Best Electronics

408-278-1070  1:30 PM to 5 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST)  Mon - Fri

I don't work for them.


It might help if you show a picture of the missing key place.

Edited by russg, Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:49 AM.

#4 EzdineG OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:52 AM

I have purchased individual keys for A800 in the past from Best for $5 each.

Perhaps he will still sell them individually if you ask?

#5 Verault OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:46 PM

I actually got a quote from Best for $47.00..Call me crazy but for the price I paid for the unit I was trying to find cheaper.

Edited by Verault, Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:46 PM.

#6 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:03 PM

In terms of whole keyboards complete and working, I doubt you will find them let alone cheaper..


I've also rarely seen 800's come up for scrap...


I'd suggest you get while you can...better to have than not  :)


BUT you may get luck on here...Fingers crossed for you..



#7 Verault OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:25 PM

Was hoping someone on here might have one,m then maybe another member another. $47, is alot for me... for 5 keys anyway.

#8 bob1200xl OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:14 AM

Can you put up a picture of the keys and the connector? I might have some hiding out.



#9 Verault OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:58 PM

Sure here  is a photo.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSCF2613.JPG

#10 Verault OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Aug 4, 2018 9:08 PM


#11 ClausB OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 6:16 AM

Is it really from 1979? Look underneath for the datecode (see the thread "Calling all 800s" for details)

#12 Verault OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 3:00 PM

Well the date stamp is #153, not getting a clear answer in the thread of what that means. could be 1981 with the #1 or 1983 with the last #3, the serial number is high, 403991

#13 Sugarland OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 8:36 PM

That's 15th week of 83. It has screws holding the top cover on it, correct? Late model. It's still an 800, first on the market in '79, sure.




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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 8:47 PM

If that is the original keyboard than it is not likely an early version, but one more in the second half of production.  The yellow plungers say its a Stack Pole version that came out in the latter half of 800 production.  Early production units would have had white plungers and was made by Hi Tek.  The last production 800's used the Mitsumi keyboards made by the same manufacturer that made the 1200XL keyboard.  The Achilles heal of the Stack Pole is ... wait for it ...... keys popping off.   The walls on yellow plungers were designed too thin and they become embrittled over time and they crack in the corners.  You lose the tight fit and they easily tend to pop off.  I hate the Stack Poles as they are the most troublesome.   I think Best has NOS 800 keyboards, but they will be Stack Poles with yellow plungers.  I've bought NOS Stack Poles from Best and although never used, the keys still easily pop off.  The Hi tek is a more robust keyboard, but my preference is the Mitsumi.  If you are lucky enough to lay hands on a Mitsumi, you will have to fix the oxidized carbon trace issue on the mylar (same issue that plagues the 1200XL).  Once you fix it, you have the very best keyboard to be had.

#15 DrVenkman OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 5:46 AM

Personally I have three 800’s and they all have that “Stackpole Crack” disease. Ugh. I wish someone would look into a new keyboard design that replaces those plungers but uses the same key caps.

#16 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 7:54 PM

thicker plastic solve it, using a material that does not shrink and become brittle, surprising it wasn't solved or done years ago

#17 Verault OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2018 4:12 PM

Yes, the keys pop off super easy, thats why I am guessing I bought it SANS 5 keys.. Regardless of whether or not its a good keyboard I would still like to find the missing keys. I have carbon paint so if that is the issue with the plungers, thats easy and ill cross that bridge when I get to it.


And for some reason best electronics wont return my emails.

Edited by Verault, Thu Aug 9, 2018 4:13 PM.

#18 bandit OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:49 AM

Does anyone remember the First 800 keyboard ? who made it ?

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