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  1. And then there were three. At one point, I had no less than seven complete 1200XLs and a few spare mobos and keyboards. I've always understood that I have way too much stuff, but they were accumulated over the span of seven years. I never intended to have so many and I finally did something about it. I sold off two a year ago, sold off the mobos and keyboards, and in July, I sold two more complete units. So now I am back down to three really nice units. Still, more than a lifetimes supply. Also in the process of selling off surplus other items that I simple have too much off. They were just going to sit in a box in the closet and at least now, someone else will get to enjoy them. Sold these two units this month: USA 1983 12 21-Mar-83 83S DA 051855 123 USA 1983 15 11-Apr-83 83S DA 008463 153 I will admit that much of the fun is finding, procuring and fixing these machines. Life is busy and I just don't have the time right now. I could no longer justify holding on to all that hardware knowing it will sit there as essentially dead weight on a shelf. I'm selling off stuff, but I'm losing nothing and gaining a decent portion of a closet back. Feels good.
  2. Beat me to it. Buried Bucks was the first thing that came to mind. Actually a really fun game.
  3. Just to add to the discussion, I also give the SIO2SD the edge due to potential reliability long term. The SIO2SD is simpler while the SRIVE MAX has a LCD touch screen and a more complicated board. Over the course time, will the LCD screen hold up? Same goes for the computer on a board. I imagine that in the next 10 years, there will be much less demand for 8-bit stuff. We aren't exactly being replaced with newer younger members. If you are under 45, you probably have no clue that the Atari 8-bit ever existed. The point is, in 10 years, with demand low, if this thing breaks, can you get it fixed or even procure another? With low demand in the future, Lotharek and others will likely have lost interest and moved on.
  4. Does anyone know the actual weight of the 400/800 CO17945 9VAC, 50W, 3.4amp power brick?
  5. Let me preface this post that I only have experience with the SIO2SD and original SDRIVE (not the MAX). I first started out with acquiring two SDRIVEs and they were wonderful replacements for clunky a 810 and 9VAC power brick. I always felt the menu screen was the weak link on the SDRIVE. You have several files with filenames well in excess of the 8.3 format and those first 8 can have a lot of commonality. The differentiating part of the name usually follows the 8th character. The menu only allows you to see the full name of the file you are currently selecting at the bottom of the screen. Then I bought one of Lotharek's SIO2SDs and never looked back. Nice professionally made units to include very professional case. The menu on monitor is superior to SDRIVE. I can see the full filenames of all files, not just the one I"m highlighting. The LCD display could be better, but it shows more characters than 8. I believe the SDRIVE MAX does not fix this issue. They choose to use the portrait view with large font thus allowing even less discernible characters on the screen (save the bottom line). This is the big flaw I see in the SDRIVE MAX. If the LCD display was used in the landscape mode, it could show the long screen names which would change everything for me. Until they come up with that variant, I prefer the SIO2SD. Boy would it be great if they modified the SIO2SD software to scroll the complete filename across the top line of the LCD display.
  6. Thanks! That's a non-starter for me.
  7. I recently saw on eBay that "retrohax" has a SDRIVE MAX with a nice molded case similar to Lotharek's SIO2SD. Anyone buy one yet? If so, does it have the UNO2SIO board added?
  8. In order to get it to format as a 77 track DSDD, you have you use 1.2MB HD 5.25" floppies.
  9. When I first started out repairing 1200XL keyboards, I used the expensive Craig Circuit Writer conductive pen. It was hard to work with it's applicator and once opened, it didn't have a long shelf life. Radio Shack started to carry BARE conductive paint which I've used on the majority of 1200XL and three 800 Mitsumi keyboard repairs. It's thicker and seems to match the dark color of the original traces (Carbon based?). The shelf life, once opened, is much better. My preferred method of application is a toothpick. As they say, "a little dab will do ya". I just pull the paint off the dab like an artist's paint pallet. I do find that BARE has a high resistance. This can be confusing at first. If you are bridging a gap say more than 1/8", the resistance is high enough that once dry, a multimeter set for continuity will still see it as an "open". Trust me, it will still work. Even though the repaired trace won't give you a "beep" with the multimeter, it will work. The multimeter is very useful prior to repair as it is excellent at detecting where the trace is broken, even if it's under the white silicon spacer. You just march down the trace for the errant key touching exposed traces that are not covered by the silicon spacer and you will find the break. Usually, the breaks will be obvious as they are generally where the white silicon spacer has torn and separated from the mylar during removal. I agree, this stuff dries hard and is brittle when dry. I'd avoid trying to touch up the mylar at the key touch pads as repeated contact will increase the likelihood of flaking particles and causing potential shorts.
  10. I've only run across five failed bricks. 1) all were Taiwan made. Fuse was blown on all units. 2) two were killed by a 400 with bad PWR board. 3) one was killed when I accidentally touched the tip to a bare 1200XL mobo heat sink. 4) two I received DOA. So only two of them "could have" died for a non-obvious reason. I did notice that even among the Taiwan bricks, there was two different fuse types used. One, most common, was your basic glass fuse and the other was some obscure looking fuse I was not familiar with. I have 15 of the Japanese bricks and have never seen a failure. It appears that the Japanese variant (For Use with the Atari 400 / 800 Computer) was a late production run. Originally shipped 400 and 800s didn't come with these, but a lot of 1020s did. I guess it's kind of like the Mitsumi keyboard for the 800, they had one last run before production ended.
  11. I have a TL866, but haven't tried to read a 1200XL ROM. You could trick it, but it would take two reads. Read the first 4K then tie the high address bit high to Vcc and read the second block of 4K. Append the two files to a single 8K. BITD I did the reverse for burning on a Thompson Proburner. I had 27256 and the Proburner could only do 27128. So I burned the first 16K, tied the high address pin (26) high to Vcc and burned the second 16K block. It was a kludge, but it worked.
  12. I remember BITD that the 360K and 1.2MB 5.25" drives had a resistor termination block. It looks like a 14 pin DIP IC, but it is the resistor termination block. If memory serves me correctly, the last drive on the chain needs to have that block installed. The one upstream has to have it removed. Also the old IBM PC "twist" in the 34 pin cable between drives is not needed. Again, if my memory is not failing, on a IBM cable, there are about 5 lines that flip in order on the cable between the two drives to differentiate drive A from B. I used both 360K DSDD and I used a 1.2MB HD drive. I formatted the 1.2MB as a 8" 77 Track DSDD disk which yielded ~1MB after format. MyDOS thinks its a 8" floppy.
  13. I too have had many 1200XLs through my hands over the years. Also, like you, I retained five really nice specimens that all look new. Only on one occasion did I ever run across a Rev 11 OS 1200XL in the wilds of eBay, but I'm pretty sure it was done by the previous owner (not stock). I think, my theory, is that Atari had decided to use up the lot of Rev 10s with the expectation of using the Rev 11s in production once the Rev 10 chips ran out. Sadly, the 1200XL didn't stay in production long enough to exhaust the Rev 10 inventory. And yes, there are a few software titles that will work on a 800XL, but not on a Rev 11. I'd say Rev 11 has 97%+ compatibility with the 800XL OS. I mod all my 1200XLs with 28 pin sockets, using two 27128s, I burn the 800XL and Omniview OS on them. The 800XL OS retains all 1200XL keyboard and LED functionality. I re-purpose the the channel 3-4 channel selector switch as my OS selector. I also add the ClearPic2002 video mod and of course the R63 5VDC fix to R63. To me, these are the pinnacle of Atari 8-bit engineering achievement. There are memory mods and other upgrades you can do, but to me, my near stock 1200XL and a SIO2SD does everything I need. Also, I have yet to find a keyboard that needed a Best mylar as everyone has been serviceable and easily fixed with BARE conductive paint. The first one is the hardest, but I've gotten so proficient at it, I can fix a keyboard in under 20 minutes (minus the cure time). I've had so many because I enjoy fixing them, and I select the best of the best to keep. It's a fun hobby and it better be because I sure haven't made any money off my efforts (investment of time especially). I do it for enjoyment and part of the enjoyment is knowing there are nice Code 1 working 1200XLs out in the world that might otherwise be in a landfill.
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