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Mef

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About Mef

  • Rank
    Chopper Commander
  • Birthday 12/04/1982

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Kraków, Poland
  1. PAL 60 for ease of porting and keeping the timings intact. It's not like the developers cared much for the expanded resolution of regular PAL, better to have games that play the same on both sides of the pond (outside the inevitable color palette approximation).
  2. Mef

    Interesting box

    Pictures of boxes in the marketplace usually mean you get the box along with the other items.
  3. I need to keep track of this...
  4. Ski Hunt! I am quite reluctant to say it's totally unpopular, as Taiwanese carts were very common in Europe, but it's not exactly showing on any of the VCS' top-lists either. How much I love this game, oh man! And the copyright note reads 1983, so it was ready almost at the peak of Activision's success with the system. There's smooth-scrolling background, interesting shaded sky and mountains on the horizon, no flicker and colorful sprites for the protagonist and these, uhm, animals? that he shoots? what? This is great, absolutely insane wildlife killing action for another 20 or 30 miles! Then the obstacle race again, but what's that!? My winter scourge is getting seizures or war flashbacks? Am I in some kind of psychodelic trance from all those killing sprees? Or wait... It's only on these dodging sections that the screen intermittently goes black and white, flickers and rolls more and more often. So all the murder is actually therapeutic, it gives me peace and focus! It's when the bloods stops to flow, that I'm going out of my mind and the race of life gets harder and harder, to a point where you just crash into something constantly. By that time, the music has already lowered down it's tone to the liking of something you'd more likely connect with Silent Hill rather than an Atari game. Oh, did I mention that the slaughter levels are completely silent? You can only hear your gun, a break in that repeating pitch-shifting cacophony that serves a s a background music is more than welcome. And then, after another frantic round of shooting a mix of enraged animals, the next level re-syncs the game speed with proper refresh rate or line count or another, and it's all calm again. No disorienting shakes and double vision, no flashes nor color loss. The catharsis is over, you are free to leave the ski and the gun. But not until you set a high-score none of your friends can beat. Not until you beat your own high-score again today. Its so well done, so polished on the visual side, has background music - agonizing mostly, but music generally seems rare on the VCS, so props for that. If only they did their lines/refresh rate math properly for their display routines (kernel?), that would have been pretty much a perfect product... ...If not for the totally ridiculous and random premise of shooting a bunch of wild animals on your way down the slope. What the hell, so absurd! 10 out of 10, would Ski Hunt again anytime.
  5. Hi, I know the topic is quite old,but... Is there a chance for Atari 2600 Jr cover still? What would be the price?
  6. H.E.R.O. is one of the main reasons I got Harmony. At least half of its cost was "sponsored" by my desire to play this game on a real VCS.
  7. Well, shame on me... I assumed there would be a clearly visible screw-hole for adjusting the trimpots in the modulator itself, like in my C64. Turns out I can't see any opening ont he pics of Vader's RF box. If you're cool with opening the unit, you could try to locate it somewhere on the modulator (if it's there...), or gently try with the big orange one below the cartridge slot. It sure isn't the far-left one on the motherboard, as that's the one for color/hue. Either way, if everything else fails and noone can help you out, you can still try one of the A/V or S-video output mods around, so you'd never have to worry about tuning the TV in again. Plus the picture & sound quality is slightly better on A/V (not really noticable with properly shielded cables), and far superior on S-video. Hell, they've even made a mod for RGB output.
  8. It's the RF modulator (the circuitry responisble for translating Atari video output into TV-antenna-grade signal) going out of expected frequency. I've had the very same thing with my C64 after messing around with the trimpots on the RF box, and some simple tuning back with a screwdriver did the trick. Which model do you have? How familiar are you with electronics?
  9. Hopefully just 7805 acting up. Before you replace it tho, try removing the screw & heatsink, clean the residue left from the old (possibly completely dried out now) thermal paste and apply a new layer. I've had a very similar issue with one of my Juniors, which had the 7805 soldered slanted in such way that the screw to hold it down wouldn't fit thru the hole. So it didn't even touch that flat piece of motherboard that doubled as heatsink. The effect was is went black-screen every couple minutes because of the thermal shutdown of the regulator.
  10. Nothing wrong with your console! They all do that with certain games. It's a matter of a programming trick for more sprites in one picture frame than the official TIA specs allowed (relocating them after scanlines above are already "drawn"). It causes kind of indents or "comb" pattern on the left of the screen. Clever programmers (Activision was prominent with this technique) used to mask this unwanted side-effect with a solid bar of black in that place. Your image looks as if it's not filling the entire screen, while it actually is, only with this black stripe along the left edge. It's easy to check with emulators, or modern widescreen TVs. On the contrary, the simplest games which don't re-use graphical objects within one picture frame, like Combat, Outlaw, Indy 500, etc. will appear to span the whole screen width instead.
  11. Must be all those nombers banging on the loan command post.
  12. Could you correct the link? Right now it points to this very topic and I was quite curious to see the results you're speaking of.
  13. I love the outside design of Junior. It actually is possible and not very hard to install low profile microswitches under Reset and Select, just need to file down the protruding plastic on their underside a bit. Only thing I dislike about Jrs. is how they passed on the opportunity to move the controller ports to the front of the console while doing the overhaul.
  14. Mef

    Atari Clone

    These units come in 2 variants of the top plate: either black with red print similar to original VCS font (and xxx-in-1 print or stickers) or in silver with a slightly different print. Internally, these are based on the same architecture with multiple motherboard revisions for both variants. I've seen those having place for more ROM chips in certain versions, different arrangement of ROMs depending on the EEPROM sizes available within production run, even piggybacked ROM chips with extra wires leading to the ROM-select switch (in the place of Chanel switch), as if they decided to squeeze in more at the final stage. Check the pictures closer for the likeness in general design of the box: the small dotted pattern, the common Rambo pic and identical joysticks for both.
  15. Mef

    Atari Clone

    For that price I'd pass. In here (Poland) you can find those clones for $7-20. Most expensive I saw was some $40 for a perfect boxed Rambo one. I can't say for sure about all clones, but unlike Gemini or some of the Brazilian ones, each of the Rambo/Rinco/Video Game Compatible 2600 I saw, suffered a couple drawbacks: - No analogue input lines, to use the cheaper Atari-in-a-chip (mostly chinese UMC) design = no paddles support! - No B/W switch (it's used to cycle games, duh!) - Low motherboard quality in general, usually no shielding to speak of and only very small heatsinks on 7805. - One of the ground lines in cartridge port is used to sense whether an external cart is plugged in. For certain carts that don't have lines 12 & 24 connected together, this will cause the console to boot into internal ROM only. Now for the good part: - The case looks like a perfect copy of a Vader unit, quite possibly they were even using decommissioned/scrapped moulds. - Built-in games, including some of the really good 2-4k classics like Air-Sea Battle, Combat, River Raid, Pitfall!, Berzerk, Missile Command and dozens of others. - Video signal is internally very good and damn easy to mod for Composite or S-video. Actually, there's no mixing of Luma levels here, the all-in-one chip outputs the video on just 2 pins: Luma and Chroma, ready to just amplify with a simple transistor driver. - You can hack the AoaC into a system the size of a lighter. Fun fact about Rinco and Rambo being their product: Once when I opened a Rinco-made Famiclone, 2 pieces of the board (motherboard and built-in games board, which was literally a cart board soldered onto the mobo on a ribbon cable!) were separated from coming into contact by a piece of cardboard from the Rambo box!
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