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christo930

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About christo930

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  1. Is it really a reasonable question? The 7800 simply was not ever utilized to the point that the NES was. There was mountains of money going into the NES and very little going into the 7800. Had the 7800 been successful, not only would the system have been exploited in every unimaginable way, there probably would have been better cartridges with more RAM and audio chips and possibly other ways of improving the abilities of the machine. We just never got this and so it's not really a valid comparison. Even when you have the same games that were released at the same time, they most likely were not getting the same level of support and the NES was simply better known/understood because it had so many more games at any point along their lives.
  2. Yes, but not the whole length. A piece of tape would have to cover one side of the holes in order for a mold to work. Then you would have to poke a hole through the finished product. If you only need one of something and you are very good at 3d printing (designing), 3d printing may be the way to go. But anything you will need many of, definitely molding is the way to go. Once you have the mold, you can just keep it. There is a lot you can do with the resins. They come in many different strengths, cure times and you can custom color them as well by using pigment compatible resign. There are a lot of videos on YT showing how do to it. The only time I have ever seen this method in classic gaming is on a handheld repair channel. This was especially helpful in Tomy electromechanical toys that use things like gears and battery covers. A really nice thing about using this method is you can repair broken parts, repairs that would never hold, and then mold repaired part. But an even bigger nice thing is you can make custom parts from either modeling clay or wood or anything else really. All you need is the correct shape of an original. Then you can just pour unlimited (practically) copies. My windows are old and all of their functionality of going up and down and tilting are all enabled by plastic parts. You cannot get the plastic parts anymore. So for $10 in plastic parts, thousands of dollars of windows need to be replaced. I have made some replacement plastic parts and so-far so-good. I don't know how this resin based plastic will hold up to the realities of sitting in a window, but I just don't have 20 grand burning a hole in my pocket to buy new windows. But of course, I still have the molds and these are a 5 minute job to replace them. So if I have to replace them every couple of years, no big deal.
  3. Mold the plug. I'm really surprised this is less well known in the vintage gaming hobby, but you can get silicone molding compound and pourable resin pretty cheap. Once you make a mold, you can pour as many copies as you want. With such a small item, you can easily make a multi-copy mold where one pour will give you 5 plugs. You can copy anything plastic (or metal or wood) using this method. The silicone mold picks up detail so well that you can literally copy records that will play on a record player. New copies of very rare Edison Diamond Discs are being produced this way. Even if the original is broken, you can just glue it together for the mold, just making sure you sand the repair otherwise all of the copies will appear to be repaired.
  4. Have you 100% ruled out the TV and connection to the TV? The only suggestion I have left is when the volume starts dropping is hit components in the audio circuit with upside down canned air. You should not need to continuously tweak things. Have you tried tracing the audio? Did you find out where it is dropping off?
  5. As the sound fades, go around to components in the audio circuit and use some canned air upside down to cool down the component. Also, if you have the ability, just point a thermal camera at it while it's running the game and look for hotter components and try the freeze spray on them. As to the screen quality, the very first thing I would do is spray down the switches with deoxit or other contact cleaner, especially the channel select switch. I had all kinds of screen quality problems with most of my Ataris and that solved it. Colecovisions are rather infamous for the power switch doing similar and more awful things. The switches in the Atari are the same design as the on/off switch in the Colecovision. If you have some powered speakers that you don't care about, you can use them to trace the sound. Take one channel input of the powered speaker and put it to ground on the atari and attach a capacitor to the other lead to that side (negative towards the amp if you are using a polarized cap) and then use the other lead of the capacitor as a probe. The capacitor is not absolutely necessary, but it will keep you from putting DC into your speaker input. You need to trace the sound from the source and then see where you lose it. Having never examined the schematic, I assume it goes through a transistor and that is the most likely place it is going to have this problem (sound getting lower after being on a little while) or possibly an op amp. Again, make sure all your work is correct.
  6. Did you ever find a version of Frenzy? I'd like to get one myself.
  7. I had a similar problem on multiple 2600s. An extremely snowy and unstable picture. It was the channel switch. It was dirty. It just needs a squirt of deoxit. If you don't have deoxit, you can disassemble and clean the switch. The only thing is, you need to unsolder the tin-can part of the switch to get it off.
  8. The first thing I would do is download a test cartridge that will generate a tone and run it if you have that ability. If not, I suppose you will have to find a game that you know is going to be generating sound. Check on the (sound) source side side of the cap in the audio circuit. See if you have the sound there. Then check the other side of the cap. It could be an open cap. If the sound worked before you replaced the cap, you probably either have a dead cap or you made some sort of mistake. I would also double check the socket you installed (not having any idea what it is having not looked at schematics). Find the source of the sound and start probing. See where you lose the sound assuming you have it in the first place. Go back and double check your work. Use a magnifying glass in a well lit area and take your time. Carefully examine everything you did. The ribbon cable getting "squirrely" is not a good sign that all is well. Keep a lookout for frayed wired at the ends where you have them going into through-holes on the board or otherwise connected to something. Also, you should probably do this part first. You don't want to burn anything out. It's also not a bad idea to just go over the whole board in this way and make sure you didn't accidentally drop solder blobs anywhere or otherwise accidentally cause problems in areas where you weren't working but which were necessarily exposed while you were doing the work.
  9. I wasn't aware of such ease of use options. I suppose if you know exactly what you want and you have played around with emulation long enough before taking the dive into real hardware, that takes some of the steep learning curve out of it. I guess too if you have enough money, anything is possible.
  10. It might just be the area that I'm in, but Apple II was never easy to find. Atari and Commodore were fairly regular finds for me at the flea markets and thrift stores. But Apple II, I don't think I ever saw one except a IIIc I saw once that was overpriced for me then, but probably a total steal in today's prices. I would do the flea markets at least twice a month. I had friends and my dad that liked doing it. For whatever reason they just never ended up floating around the flea markets. Perhaps there wasn't a path from the schools to the flea markets.
  11. You are singing the praises of the Apple II as a computer, not as a retrogaming computer. The Apple II is a real 8-bit computer and in that sense, miles ahead of the toys sold in dept stores so many of us cut our teeth on. While they were computers in a certain sense, they just weren't good computers as computers, whereas the Apple was. Most people who bought one of the dept store computers used them primarily for games and most people who bought an Apple II used it primarily to do work of some sort. Just like you can do useful work on a Commodore machine, you could play games on an Apple (and obviously many did). I am assuming that the person who gets the recommendation has no experience. If they did, they would be using what they had experience with and would not be asking me. Whatever you recommend, whatever goes wrong is going to involve a phone call to you. Maybe you just know better people than I do, but the people I know if they asked about a retro-computer and I recommended an Apple II, when it arrives after they have bought it will call me talking about "I got my computer, now what?" I cannot even tell you how many times I went through this when the general public started buying windows computers. I can't tell you how many people asked me 'should I buy computer X" to which my answer was "HELL NO!" Then a month and a half later the call comes... "Remember that computer you told me not to buy? Well, I complete disregarded your advice that I sought out in the first place and bought it anyway. Now can you help me with this problem I am having?" Any answer other than "sure" is going to involve an argument and possibly losing of your friend/acquaintance. At least back then there wasn't a twitter to tell everyone what an asshole you are for not helping them. I am also running under the assumption that the primary purpose for the interest in retro-computing is the games. Only an insane person would try to use a retro-computer to do real work with, work they get paid for. There's always emulation too. That's just a whole lot easier.
  12. In what sense? I can't think of a single good quality for either machine (for the purposes of being a retrogaming computer platform. Not in general.). Both are expensive. Both are disk only. IIG doesn't have many games. They use oddball joysticks. I'm pretty sure the IIgs requires a monitor (but I could be wrong). The Apple II is not a competent game machine (where the GS is a very competent game system, but few games). It has no sound and no sprites. While there are a ton of games for it, the library is smaller than say the Commodore 64 and where a game is on both systems, it usually looks and sounds better on a 64.
  13. I think the answer might differ based on where you are. In America, the easiest 8 bit computers to get into are the Commodore 8-bit computers and the Atari 8-bit computers. Both have pretty large libraries, they both sold in the millions, both have well used cartridge slots and both use commonly available joysticks that also sold in the many millions and are broadly supported and the computers include the ports. None require a special monitor. The C64 has the disadvantage of a giant brick power supply that are known to be failing in such a way that destroys the computer. 16 bit computers are just out of the question. I wouldn't want to be the one to make such a recommendation. They can figure that out on their own. The people I knew with computers back in the day (which was few) used cartridges first. If someone has zero experience with retro computers, cartridges are a nice way to get your feet wet. There is no shortage of cartridges on ebay of the most common and popular games. The barrier to entry is just a lot lower with cartridges. Then, once they have all that squared away and that inevitable call comes "How do I play X?" where X is a disk only game, they have the basics down. I would also create YouTube playlists of the most common cartridge games for each system. They can get a feel for what the games on that particular computer look and sound like. I would strongly encourage them to use an NTSC CRT TV unless their flat screen had a composite or better still, an NTSC tuner (presumably this will not have a delay). RF is fine. I completely disagree with anyone who says otherwise. These are low resolution devices, especially playing games in multi-color mode. The games were designed to be played through RF on a CRT TV. If you have it and you like RGB, SCART, composite or S-Video, good for you. But it is absolutely not a requirement. These same people are usually the ones hooking them up to a high def ATSC flat screen. For DOS, I would tell them to just buy the fastest DOS computer they can find. Or better still, just use DOS box. I have a pretty old PC, a Core 2 Duo with a bottom of the line onboard video and everything I have ever tried to run on it works fine full speed.
  14. Still, unless it has been recently refurbed, you should definitely at least check the power supply if you are capable of doing that. I am not one for "preventative repairs," but there is high voltage here a decent amount of power and probably has not been run regularly in decades. If you can do it yourself, it's not a big deal. It only becomes a big deal when you have to pay someone else to do it. Sounds like you're going to really enjoy it. Congratulations.
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