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Everything posted by NoahsMyBro

  1. follow-up - the newsgroup thread I linked to above references a long-gone-away webserver I used to run. If you're interested let me know & I'll power up some older machines & try to find the images. EDIT: Found bits/pieces of the page here: http://web.archive.org/web/20020929142924/http://www.jacobshome.org/ Some of the images are missing, but many are still there.
  2. Don't know how much, or whether, this will be helpful, but I went through a (potentially) similar repair process many years ago. - https://groups.googl...air/LsQJUZWCjBA Nutshell - a previous owner connected an 8-bit power supply to the 5200. Blew the power regulators & the IC connected to the power switch. Don't remember if other components required replacement. The regulators were very common parts and easy to find. I'd expect they are still very easy to find. I'd try Mouser or Digikey. Another possibility would be to just buy an entire motherboard from Best Electronics, assuming they still have them. (Haven't checked their site in years.) And honestly, I don't think they do, but if AA sells the motherboards you should consider buying it from here considering the service they provide the community with this forum. Good luck.
  3. I only ordered my copy of Tempest last Tuesday, and received it on Thursday (!!!!). Awesome turnaround time, Al! For the most part my impressions align with those already mentioned - outstanding packaging - the box, the label, the manual, all first-rate. The game is great as well - sound is out-of-this-world, graphics are pretty good, features & functionality are splendid. I've only got two spots of concern, both of which might just be my own equipment or personal lack of skill, and no fault of the game itself - Control - with the joystick I find the game nearly unplayable. I've always been the staunchest defender of the 5200 joysticks, but with this game I find myself rocketing wildly around the playfield, unable to control myself with any precision at all. WIth the Trak Ball things are much better. Maybe my POKEY needs adjusting? Maybe I just need to practice? The display is very, very dark, and the enemies are almost impossible to see. My 5200 has 8-bit domain's AV mod installed. The composite video is connected to the composite input on a Panasonic DVD recorder, and the DVD is connected to a Panasonic plasma TV via component. In order to viably see the playfield and the enemies, I need to turn the brightness all the way up to 99. I normally watch TV with the brightness set at 50 (out of 100). Given the connections is this something to be expected? Does it suggest I need to adjust something in the 5200? Other than those two issues I think this game is 'radical', to turn a phrase from Tempest's heyday.
  4. I've been away from the board for a long while, so I'm sorry if this was already explained somewhere, but is the screenshot above from the 5200 Tempest, and if so, why does it have a 1984 copyright?
  5. Me too. I like this game a lot. Prior to the HSC I'd never played it, but after spending some quality time with it I found it's a really good, and underrated game.
  6. Man, no time at all to play/practice this round. I just got in a few games, and the best I could do was 10,950. Last time we played this game I scored over 23,000! :-( Put me down for 10,950.
  7. I thought AA is supposed to be a politics-free zone?

  8. Looks like it must just be me, but I never really liked this game. Just played once, scored 32,550. Still don't like it much, but I admit it isn't as bad as I remember. So, put me on the board for 32,550, and I'll take the single point for playing....
  9. I can vouch for Nick. (Though you might now be wondering who I am, I suppose!) Nick's been around the NJ videogame scene for longer than I have, his store is real. Personally, I bought a used XBox from him 2 or 3 years ago and the last time I turned it on it was still kicking. Nick's a good guy. -- Steve
  10. 58,713 Been too busy to spend any quality time with this lately. Hopefully I'll have more time next round.
  11. I received mine today also. Looks terrific. I didn't load anything on to the cart yet, and only played Beef Drop, but I'm looking forward to taking full advantage of my new toy. Thanks Steve!
  12. 1800 I still don't like this game. It isn't as bad as I remember, but I don't have any urge to improve. -- Steve
  13. God Kangaroo is SOOOOOO very bad. Can I vote again? If I say I'm from Chicago, then do I get to vote again (Vote early, vote often )? Please?
  14. I guess we can all see where Astrochase stands. I feel a little bit sorry for it. Hee Hee....
  15. Toward the end of last year I got busier, and I've had a hard time making time for the HSC. But I'm still around, and kept wanting to return to the contest. Starting fresh, with Berzerk no less, how could I resist? Put me in the running - 9,260. Just like Sdamon, I don't think I lost a life until after 8,000, and then they all went in a flash. Welcome back, great score too. Thanks. I doubt it will be good enough though. 28,000+ ?? Wow. I've never approached that. Anyway, my last score for tonight - 13,370.
  16. Toward the end of last year I got busier, and I've had a hard time making time for the HSC. But I'm still around, and kept wanting to return to the contest. Starting fresh, with Berzerk no less, how could I resist? Put me in the running - 9,260. Just like Sdamon, I don't think I lost a life until after 8,000, and then they all went in a flash.
  17. And I've just pre-ordered mine as well. This year was the first time I ever won a Super Bowl pool ($200) and many people asked me what I planned to do with my winnings. Until 5 minutes ago I had no answer. I'd piddled away a little bit here & there on cables from monoprice and a lot of random comic books at Woot (god I'm a geek!), but I've just now spent the remainder of the windfall. Can't wait to receive it!
  18. Yeah, the fire thing was a joke. I began writing it thinking I'd have the switchboxes cause the Challenger explosion, but decided that was too tasteless, so I used Grovers Mill instead. If I wasn't supposed to be working I'd have taken time to write up a mock Wikipedia article for background. Truthfully, I think the auto-switchbox was a terrific idea, and I like the elegance of the whole 5200 setup a great deal. One wire from the TV to the coffee table. The 5200 on the table, with the controllers neatly stored inside. Very nice, very classy. By the time I had a 4-port to play with I'd gotten away from RF altogether, so my system is AV-modded and I only use the switchbox for power, but I do like the idea, and wished I'd had a 4-port in the '80s in order to take advantage of it. At the time I was annoyed that I had a 2-port and Atari had, IMO, gone backward by using the standard RF switchbox. As for the cost of a 4-port switchbox, I've found many tutorials online describing how to fabricate your own. I'd guess it isn't very difficult, but obviously everyone has to decide that for him/herself.
  19. You've undoubtedly read online complaints about the spark that occurs at the switchbox as people are hooking the wires up. Consider, these started coming out in the early 80's. Atari was legendary for over-producing inventory, so it stands to reason there are A LOT of these out there after a few years. One unfortunate day in early 1986, when atmospheric conditions were just right, many people in the small town of Grovers Mill powered up their 5200s at the same time, and a fire spontaneously ignited in the sawmill, killing 7 townmembers. Now, I put it to you, was the switchbox really all that bad? If you were 7 and your Dad was one of the sawmill employees trapped in that hellish inferno, would *you* think the switchbox was all that bad?
  20. 12,670 is the best I've done so far. And my controller failure wasn't as weird as I thought - looks like it's as simple as a broken cable. I've been an avid videogame player since seeing Pong in a pizza parlor sometime in the '70s, and I've never before encountered a broken controller cable that didn't have visible signs of abuse (dog/cat cheing, severley strained due to wrapping the controller wire around itself, etc...). I guess after almost 30 years of use, this cable finally decided to retire. I'm jealous.
  21. I've been away fro the HSC for a couple of months and thought I'd try to get some Galaxian in tonight to see if I could lodge a respectable score before deadline. Weirdest thing - my joystick will absolutely not register the fire button, no matter how hard or softly I press, no matter which fire button I press, and no matter which direction/angle I applky the pressure from. BUT, if I hold the controller upside-down, it fires easily, consistently, and perfectly!! I swear I'm telling the truth! Needless to say, I can't play with the controller upside-down, so I'm about to take it apart and see if cleaning the contact has any effect. Just thought I'd share the amusing story. Happy 2011 fellow 5200er's!
  22. When power enters the 5200, it is split into two paths. One path leads to the audio/video circuitry, and the other to the computer circuitry. My guess is that either there is something dead on the computer side of things (so the AV circuits send a plain black screen), or the chip that routes the power is defective. I don't have time to figure out which chip I'm thinking of & point it out on a schematic, but there is a chip that is activated when you press the power button. I'm not a trained electrical engineer. The way I think of this chip is that it is like a 'splitter', akin to the splitter used when you want to take the cable for your cable TV, and run it to two TVs instead of one. BUT, instead of splitting a video signal, you are splitting a switch. SO when you press the power button on the top of the 5200, the chip then turns on *two* other things. One of those things is the AV circuitry, the other is the computer circuitry. My bet is that chip failed. My recollection is the chip is near the bottom-right of the circuit board (near the power button). I don't remember whether or not it is socketed, and I *think* it was a 16-pin chip.
  23. Just for that I'm even more sorely tempted to place my order for one of these!
  24. Atariksi! Stop Doing That! I've matched your score of 62 - But I really need to focus on work, and I don't think I can get all 64 with the reamining time before deadline.
  25. I scored 60. I don't know how I could improve any further. The hostages keep being felled by enemy fire.
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