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Unstable XEGS

XEGS

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#1 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

newtmonkey

    Star Raider

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  • Location:Nagoya, Japan

Posted Mon Jan 7, 2019 7:53 PM

Hello all,

 

I recently got a "new old stock" XEGS, and it's been acting really weird.  Long story short, sometimes it works fine and I can use it for 25-30 mins without issue.  Other times it won't even start, or will start and then glitch out/freeze after just a couple minutes.

 

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More details below:

 

The power supply is one of the more reliable ones, but I also got an aftermarket one just to be safe.

 

The first thing I did when I got it was to run the internal diagnostics.  It's went through them all lightning fast (so fast you could barely follow what was happening on the screen).  I chalked it up to it being NOS or cold or something, so let it sit for a bit.

 

After letting it sit for a bit, I did the diag test again, and it passed fine (all performed at regular speed).

 

Next I tried the built in Missile Command, and no problems.

 

Next test was to start up BASIC and run a hello world program for a few minutes.  I was sad to see that I couldn't even get that far—halfway through typing the second statement, the screen turned gray and froze.

 

I opened the unit to see if there was anything I could reseat, but it looks like everything is unsocketed on these MBs.

 

A short while later I tried running some games with my UNOCART, and surprisingly was able to play without issue for 5-10 mins.

Resetting into BASIC, this time I could get a simple program running on loop for 5 mins straight without a problem.

 

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The next day, I booted it up, and basically could get nothing to work without the unit either glitching the graphics and freezing, freezing to a gray screen, or not even booting (no image at all, or just a cursor).

 

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I think the thing is basically on its last legs, and the random nature of the failures suggest to me the RAM is bad, but would appreciate any input/knowledge you all could share.

 

Returning it is basically out of the question, and if it's an issue I could track down and resolve by replacing some chips, it would be an interesting project to work on in my spare time.  However, the random nature of the freezing is really throwing me for a loop.  I haven't touched the unit in a few days, but there would be time where it worked fine for 25-30 mins, and other times where it hardly works at all.

 

Thanks for any knowledge you can share!



#2 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

_The Doctor__

    Flux Capacitor Master Craftsman

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Posted Mon Jan 7, 2019 10:21 PM

I wouldn't say a new old stock unit should have bad ram, but rather cold solder joints or bad caps, the XEGS has a few things that do go bad however, and the forums here address those items, a quick search will get you a couple of fixes. rom, ram and component correction for the machine (our sleuths here on AA found something to fix :) as usual )

 

after you check ram and cpu, etc consider these as well

 

http://atariage.com/...s-and-solution/

 

http://atariage.com/...s-c101687-chip/

 

there is some other mention rattling around in my head concerning paddles or driving controller and the XEGS as well... give it a search as well


Edited by _The Doctor__, Mon Jan 7, 2019 11:19 PM.


#3 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

newtmonkey

    Star Raider

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  • 91 posts
  • Location:Nagoya, Japan

Posted Mon Jan 7, 2019 11:30 PM

Thank you for the resources! I'll give these a look over this weekend. :)



#4 Marius ONLINE  

Marius

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 2:24 AM

Perhaps a weird advice but first thing I would check is that terrible power-switch. It is so squeaky and unstable that is caused weird behaviour on one of my xegs. Could you force the behaviour to happen when you touch it?

 

What  happens when you move the cats or turn it up side down while it is running? 



#5 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

newtmonkey

    Star Raider

  • Topic Starter
  • 91 posts
  • Location:Nagoya, Japan

Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 2:25 AM

Perhaps a weird advice but first thing I would check is that terrible power-switch. It is so squeaky and unstable that is caused weird behaviour on one of my xegs. Could you force the behaviour to happen when you touch it?

 

What  happens when you move the cats or turn it up side down while it is running? 

 

Very interesting idea!  I'll give this a try this weekend, or earlier if I can get around to it! Thanks :)



#6 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

newtmonkey

    Star Raider

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  • 91 posts
  • Location:Nagoya, Japan

Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 5:21 AM

Hey guys, thanks for all of your help.  I had some time to open it up and take a look in preparation for more detailed inspection.  I had opened it when I first got it to check for anything leaking, etc. but didn't find anything.

 

Tonight, I completely removed the mainboard from the shielding, inspected it closely for problems (by sight for now), and saw nothing... until I turned it over and saw that SOMETHING had leaked all over the bottom of the board.  The entire center of the board was covered in this clear somewhat sticky fluid that had hardened.  Really not sure what it was!

 

I cleaned it up with some rubbing alcohol and a tooth brush and got it very clean indeed, waited for it to dry and... now it works perfectly (knock on wood).  Just got done playing various games on my Unocard for the last hour or so, and haven't had a single problem.



#7 Marius ONLINE  

Marius

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 5:38 PM

Perhaps leaked electrolytic capacitor?

#8 Nezgar OFFLINE  

Nezgar

    Stargunner

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 6:32 PM

If it works OK with keyboard attached, and flakey without, definitely review the thread in the Doctors first link.

#9 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

xrbrevin

    Moonsweeper

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 6:36 PM

probably sugary drink spillage...



#10 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

newtmonkey

    Star Raider

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  • Location:Nagoya, Japan

Posted Tue Jan 8, 2019 8:27 PM

Perhaps leaked electrolytic capacitor?

 

I'm really not sure, the leak is in a really weird place.  It was spreading from the center of the board, but on the bottom.  There's a hole right in the center of the board through which a mounting screw passes, and it seems like it was leaking from this hole.  At first I thought someone might have spilled something on the box and it leaked through this hole, but I can't see how that could happen since the Atari warranty seal was still in place over the screw hole.  It really doesn't seem like anything on the board itself is leaking, but I'll keep an eye on it.  Really bizarre!

 

I booted the XEGS up this morning, and it's still working fine, so (fingers crossed) I hope this has resolved the issue.  I'll open it back up again in a week and see if there's any new leaking. :)



#11 Nezgar OFFLINE  

Nezgar

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 12:35 AM

probably sugary drink spillage...

 

pfffff... must read to bottom of thread before commenting lol



#12 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

_The Doctor__

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 11:43 AM

probably sugary drink spillage...

dang kids and their sugary drink spillage!



#13 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

xrbrevin

    Moonsweeper

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 2:35 PM

dang kids and their sugary drink spillage!

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  • meddling kids.jpg






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