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Posts posted by bfollowell

  1. 11 minutes ago, Crc_Error said:

     The cases will they be easy to 3D print?


    I don't think there were designed to be put into a new case, not that you couldn't if you designed one and had it printed. I'm pretty sure these were meant as replacements for original motherboards inside existing cases.


  2. 49 minutes ago, DjayBee said:

    Why do it so difficult if you have a PC and a network available?


    In this video Thomas Cherryhomes shows how to print from Atari Writer directly to a PDF which is then picked up by a PC and can subsequentally be printed from the PC without further doing:



    You certainly do not need to load anything over the internet as he does for demonstration purposes. Everything can be local, even on a physical floppy drive connected to the Atari.


    And as I already wrote: FujiNet is cheaper than SIO2PC plus APE software.


    I still love my AtariMax SIO2PC-USB and APE/ProSystem. That being said, it gets very little use now that I have a FujiNet.


    • Like 1

  3. 4 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

    A DIY cable and APE is indeed an inexpensive route to go for printing and emulation of a large swath of Peripherals for the Atari.


    Another choice though, I am not sure where printer support stands with RespQT (which is another sio2pc peripheral emulation software package)


    Has anyone ever gotten APE or ProSystem to successfully work with anything other than an AtariMax SIO2PC interface?


    I've had an AtariMax SIO2PC-USB Dual Port interface and registered versions of APE and ProSystem for several years. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about RespQT, so I made my own SIO2USB cable last spring when we were homebound. My cable build was successful and I've played around a lot with RespQT using it, but I could never get it to work with APE or ProSystem.


  4. I've not had a lot of luck over the years reaching anyone, and even when I do, nothing that I've ever donated has ever been added. I don't want to complain too much though, as I know the guys that run it are extremely busy and they have a top-notch, wonderful site that has been of immense help to me over the years. It can be a little frustrating trying to get items added to the site though.


  5. I was gifted an early 400 a couple of months ago. It also didn't power up. When I opened it, it had no plunger for the door interlock switch. I taped the switch down and it worked just fine. The keyboard ribbon cable had broken wires as well. I ordered a NOS 400 keyboard, an internal speaker and a door interlock switch plunger from Best Electronics.


  6. 2 minutes ago, desiv said:

    Just hijacking this necro thread as my 400 has the same issue.

    I just got it (it was sold as non-working, so not surprised) a couple of days ago and JUST got the PSU an hour ago, and then tried my first power up.

    Unfortunately I can't do any real testing yet, as we have family over, but I did sneak into my office to plug it in for a quick test.

    I'm cautiously optimistic about my first test because there is zero indication of life.  No LED, no nothing...

    I did make sure the cart door switch was down.  I could hear it click.  But nothing.


    So I am hoping that might mean there is something in the power supply circuitry (diodes, etc) or the switches that is keeping it from working.


    I love having this particular family over, but I really wish I could start tearing this thing apart right now...  ;-)


    Just because the door is completely shut and you heard it click, doesn't mean that anything is actually making connection to the door interlock switch. It could be something as simple as a bad door interlock switch or a broken or missing door interlock switch plunger. From there it could get more involved and technical.


  7. 3 hours ago, Larry said:

    Thanks, so much for your efforts!  I never subscribed to AIM, so I look forward to reading/browsing these.


    Edit:  Was AIM an offshoot of Michigan Atari Magazine (MAM)?  I seem to remember some connection, but not sure.



    I guess it could've been. I know that I received it as the club "newsletter" when I joined BRACE, Bluegrass Regional Atari Computer Enthusiasts, back in Kentucky in the early 90s. I think it definitely had strong ties to the Atari user group community, whether it started from MAM or some other.


  8. 40 minutes ago, scelbi8h said:

    I don't understand much about switches... Are those SKFL switches something you can buy new? Reading your post I checked my 800xl and noticed it comes with ALPS switches too. If one day it fails, it would be interesting to replace this board with a modern one with new switches.


    I'd be surprised if you could ever find any new, unless you lucked into someone that had a ton of NOS somewhere. I've seen a few of them on ebay though, typically reclaimed from old keyboards.




    At $4.95 a key, plus $4.45 for shipping, you probably wouldn't want to order too many though.


  9. It seems like every other day someone is coming up a with a new keyboard project. I've come up with another of my own. I have a type 1 ALPS mechanical keyboard in my original 800XL. The original cable was damaged beyond repair, so I tried adding my own connector, but the pads for the original 24-pin connector cable were unbelievably fragile; much more so than any pads I've ever tried desoldering in the past. Of the 24 pads, 10 of them lifted completely, most within a couple of seconds of applying the iron. I tried repairing, but it was in just too bad a shape. That being the case, I want to recreate the PCB and transfer the ALPS switches to a new PCB with newer, better traces. If I'm going to recreate the board, I'll probably have a 24 pin header like the original, but also bring to the side a 1mm molex connector as well, so that I can take advantage of newer, better cables.


    Here's where the trouble starts. I've looked and haven't had a lot of luck finding an ALPS switch model/footprint that I can use with KiCAD. Is anyone aware of there being one for the ALPS SKFL standard switches and where I may find it if it exists. If it doesn't, I'm going to need to try and create my own. In that case, is anyone aware of a detailed datasheet for the ALPS SKFL standard switches? I've not had any luck on that front either.

    Thanks to anyone that may be able to offer information.

    • Like 1

  10. 1 hour ago, reifsnyderb said:

    I am using KiCad.  It's open source software and you can get it at https://www.kicad.org/.  

    That was it. Thanks!


    I just stared downloading it, but it is unbelievably, horribly slow. At this rate, it may be done downloading this time tomorrow. I'll install it and try to start learning it then.


    EDIT: I switched to the European mirror. The Worldwide download site was moving at a whopping 16KB/sec. European was more like 20MB/sec. and it was done before I was even able to edit my post! It's funny how quickly we've all gotten soiled to crazy fast downloads.


  11. I probably missed it, but what design program did you use for these, and is it free to download/use?


    It seems like I've seen most of the designers on here using a package that starts with a K, but the name escapes me at the moment.


    Thanks for all that you've done. These designs are looking awesome!


  12. Nothing to add on what some of those items are, but you mentioned SIO cables, which were never used with anything other than the 8-bit Atari line. So, it sounds like you have a mixture of things, and since those SIO cables are in there and they have nothing to do with the 16-bit line, some of those other items may be unrelated as well. Just something to keep in mind.


  13. 7 minutes ago, Faicuai said:


    Well, after all it turns out that a LOT of folks that got the 400 ended up typing tons of Basic programs on it... so no surprise the theme resurfaces in that context (and with a vengeance, because typing on it was not exactly the easiest or fastest...)


    So far, the thread seems doing pretty well and alive (whether you like or not, though).


    Yes, I'll definitely grant you that. There's no way a discussion of the Atari 400 keyboard could be had without someone bringing up the long hours of typing in some BASIC program on it, which leads to a discussion of how it was easier with this BASIC or that one, and so on. Also, you guys are right, normal human discussions change and evolve as the conversation goes on, and that's normal. I was just surprised at how quickly and how greatly that thread got away from the original topic, at least for a while. I guess as long as computers in general, and Ataris specifically, are being discussed, there's only so far off-topic we can get.


    For what it's worth, it does look like the thread has come full circle and 400 keyboards are actually being discussed again.


    So, more on topic, since I've veered off. For those of you that have multiple video options, like I do in my 1088XEL, which do you find yourself falling back to and using the most and why?


  14. 2 hours ago, Faicuai said:

    Feel free to drop in there... it is alive and well (with plenty of bright people actively involved !)


    You can safely ignore the fictitious depictions regarding its evolution.




    There's absolutely nothing fictitious about it. It started off as a thread about the Atari 400 keyboard and quickly devolved into page after page of people arguing about various versions of the BASIC programming language that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the original thread in any way, shape or form. Someone there definitely needed to pipe in with some well placed stay on topic comments.


    But now I'm replying to your ridiculous reply and we're off-topic again, so I'm as guilty as anyone else.


  15. 11 minutes ago, Gunstar said:

    Not as long as people aren't robots and conversations are fluid and lead to other questions and ideas not necessarily the ones the conversation started with...;)


    You got that right! Look at the way the 400 membrane keyboard thread got completely and, in my opinion, rudely, hijacked onto a completely unrelated discussion. It was quite ridiculous in my humble opinion, but then, here I am going off-topic, so I'll get back to work now.


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