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bfollowell

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Everything posted by bfollowell

  1. OK, it's been far too long since my computer electronics courses in college. The part datasheet says 16Kx1, and there are 16 chips, so how do you get 32K? I'm not doubting you, mind you, just trying to get the old brain going again and understand. I do see the MM1632 model number though, now, so again, I don't doubt you. The math just doesn't work in my head. As far as I remember, Atari came out with a 48K upgrade for the 400, but I'm not aware of them coming out with a 32K upgrade, so that definitely marks it as an aftermarket board, correct? I guess the Intec Peripherals Corp stamp sort of marks it as non-Atari as well.
  2. I did a little more troubleshooting. I've posted more in a separate thread here. Long story short, the keyboard works perfectly checking with a meter, but lines 1-7 on the ribbon cable are completely broken, or at least flaky, so I need to replace that. I have a NOS keyboard on the way from Best that should arrive Tuesday so I should be able check out the OS then. I'll replace the ribbon cable on the original keyboard later. I did check out the CPU and memory cards. Pictures and details on the other thread. This 400 does have a CTIA card, and if I'm looking at the chips right, 16K of memory.
  3. I don't have my new 400 keyboard yet, or the old one repaired yet, so there isn't much I can do with the Atari itself, but I checked out the CPU and motherboard cards. It looks like I definitely have a CTIA and that memory card doesn't look original to me though, admittedly, I don't really have a lot of 400 experience to base that on. There are 16 16Kx1 chips on there, so is that a 16KB card? Does that look like an original card to you guys? My new keyboard should be in Tuesday, and I'll dig a little further then, to see what version of OS it has.
  4. Thank you. I’ll have to find the time to check these out soon.
  5. Is there a complete list of their work listed somewhere?
  6. Hahahahaha!!! That's so easy. It just never occurred to me to try and copy/paste from Windows into the emulation window. That's awesome. I was able to get it in a completely different way from any of you guys too though. I typed in a simple basic program, listed it to disk, opened disk explorer, then drug the file out to my desktop. I opened it in Notepad and checked the encoding type. Then I saw that all the carriage returns were ›. So I modified using that and the changing the whole program to line long line, saved it and moved it back to the atr. This time, when I mounted the atr and entered the program, it worked perfectly. Then I resaved it. Now it's where I need it to be. Thanks for all the suggestions though. @dely, your solution would've definitely saved me some time.
  7. I don't know what I was thinking. I was at work and it was early in the morning and it had gotten awfully quiet, so I got to playing around and typed up a little Atari BASIC utility program to ID the system type & OS. Nothing big really, and probably not very efficient, but I was just playing around. I was typing it up on my work computer in Notepad and now I've decided that I want to keep it, but I would really prefer not to type it all in again. It's not huge; only about 25 lines, but I'd really prefer to find some way to get from my desktop onto an atr that I can use on an emulator or my real hardware. Is that possible and, if so, how would I go about doing that? I figure using Altirra as an intermediary would be a good way to go about it, but I've not had any luck so far. I saved the Notepad file out with a BAS extension on my desktop. Then I opened the atr in Altirra using Disk Explorer and dragged the file onto the disk. It seemed to work. When boot an Altirra session with that atr in the disk, the file is there. I was able to ENTER the file and it seems to work, but the only reason I say that is because I don't get an error when it loads. However, after loading, there's nothing there. If I try to list or run the program, there's nothing there and nothing happens. I'm thinking it has something to do with the Windows text file format. Am I even heading in the right direction or am I way out in left field? By now, I could've already typed in my program twice, but now I really want to find out if I can do this, and how, in case it's anything I ever want to try again in the future. Thanks for helping me kill time until time to go home and go to bed!
  8. I'm not familiar with the magazine personally, but it looks like Exxos has all 11 issues available. They're not the best scans, as you can see the whole flatbed from the scanner and they haven't been straightened, color corrected, or OCRd, but they're perfectly readable. It sounds like they're still a work in progress, but for now they're posted as-is. There are also 16 issues of Atari Computing magazine. I'd never heard of that one either and have no way of knowing if that is a complete run or not. Remember, Google is your friend. Enjoy. https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/mags/mags.htm
  9. Well, I don't have the keyboard fixed yet, but the troubleshooting is done. I checked at the motherboard connector side of the keyboard ribbon cable and nothing connected to lines 1-5 worked consistently, if at all. I went back to the solder joints on the keyboard PCB side of the ribbon cable and every key press checks out perfectly, so it looks like a bad ribbon cable. I ordered a NOS 400 keyboard from Best today, and I'll use it to checkout the computer further, but more than likely, I'll clean this keyboard up really well and come up with a new ribbon cable and connect setup and get this keyboard going again and use it. Then I'll set the NOS keyboard back as a spare. Or I may use it. It may be kind of hard to not use a pristine, perfect looking keyboard when I know I have it. Either way, I'll still repair this original keyboard.
  10. I went through and checked continuity to each pin on the keyboard PCB side and all of the keys work perfectly, so it's definitely just a ribbon cable issue. I'll come up with a different ribbon cable and connector setup and replace the original cable, and then clean up this keyboard and hang on to the NOS keyboard I ordered from Best and keep it as as spare.
  11. I need to do this. Sys-Check is probably the only thing that I'll ever have that would benefit from it, unless the external U1MB makes use of it, but it's convenient and easy enough to do. Thanks for the pictures and the link.
  12. Overkill for many, maybe? But I think this is a very good idea actually. I think the only problem is the fact that you have this one wire coming off the board, and it would be supporting the entire weight of a DB9 connector all by itself. I believe it would put a lot of strain on the conductor and make it prone to breaking. It's definitely a sound idea in theory though. It just needs a more practical way of accomplishing it so that it doesn't damage the conductor. Also a good idea. I would think this should be easy enough to accomplish. You'd just need to remove the wire and solder some sort of post connector or something similar in its place, and then attach the appropriate opposite gender connector to the wire.
  13. Well, I got my trusty Fluke out and was able to confirm that my keyboard is actually bad. I suspect a broken trace, or several, somewhere on the board. When I get time, I may go through it with my microscope and see if I can find something that I can actually fix, but for now, it looks like I need to get a call in to Brad at Best for a NOS 400 keyboard. Thanks for the help with confirming how a keyboard matrix works. EDIT Actually, that didn't take all that long to track down. I decided to run down through the connections and confirm the cable, and I no conductivity on quite a few conductors going from where they solder into the keyboard PCB to the end of the ribbon cable, so I either have some bad, dry solder joints, or more than likely, breaks in the ribbon cable. I'm still going to order a NOS 400 keyboard from Best while I can, but I'll probably look to change out the ribbon cable and connector eventually, and keep this old one as a backup.
  14. Well, Steve got back with me fairly quickly this time. Typically, it does take a week or two so I must've caught him at the perfect time. He sent me a link, a username, and a password to download the newest version, which happened to be 3.0.14. When I went to save it where I keep my saved apps I checked and, though I'd forgotten, I'd already had 3.0.14 and I'd saved it on 12/14/18, so we're going on three years on the current version, unless he gave me a link to an older version and 3.0.14 isn't actually the most recent version. That's still quite a few versions newer than the trial version available to everyone, but that's still quite a while since an upgrade, so I'm not sure we can say it gets updated a lot, at least anymore. Of course, it's been around for so long, and been so stable, that there really may not be a lot of reason to update anymore, so that may not necessarily be a bad thing. @eightbit, if you can confirm that you have v3.0.15, I'd like to know, so I can check with Steve if I didn't get the most recent version.
  15. Yeah, I'm not necessarily worried about having the "protection" of the interlock, but more concerned about having a unit that's as complete as I can get it. Even when I get a plunger, I'll probably still defeat the switch so I can open the door without the 400 powering down. I just want the unit complete. I'm planning to order an interlock plunger from Brad at Best tomorrow, as well as a replacement speaker and a couple of other odds & ends. I had a 600XL that came in last fall with a partially working keyboard and it wound up having a bad CD4051, so that was an initial thought on this one as well. Thanks for your help in my keyboard matrix primer thread. Now that I'm certain how those work, it'll be fairly easy to pull the old Fluke out when I get up tomorrow afternoon and check out those troublesome keys. At least it should help me narrow it down to keyboard or not. I've downloaded some good manuals for the 400 and one, a Sears 400 repair manual of all things, listed the 3 screw sizes used, so I'll pick those up at Home Depot this weekend. Then I'll need to see if I can figure out a good way to repair that broken screw mount. Once I get that repaired and a full set of screws in it, that should help tighten things up considerably.
  16. It definitely does, and it confirms the way that I'd kind of gotten into my head that it must work. Thank you for your detailed explanation and for confirming my suspicions.
  17. I've been troubleshooting a keyboard issue with an Atari 400 I was recently gifted. I quickly realized that, as much as I've learned about our beloved 8-bit Ataris over the past few years, I know nothing whatsoever about keyboard matrices or how to test/troubleshoot a keyboard electrically. It's a matrix, not like each switch/contact has a pair of wires coming down where I can check for continuity upon a keypress. How, exactly, do you checkout a keyboard for a troublesome key, or a set of troublesome keys? I have a schematic for the 400 keyboard, but I really don't have any idea what I'm looking at or how to interpret it. Both sides of the contact seem to be common with other, but different keys. I think I have an idea in my head how it may work, but I'd much rather hear that from someone more knowledgeable. I thought about posting this in the 600/800XL Keyboard variants thread, but that's for a different machine's keyboards, and it's more about the different styles, not about how they work, and I hate to muddy that thread. I figure the XL and 400/800 style keyboards operate in a similar manner, even if they are different under the hood. I also figure that I can't be the only person that could find this information useful, so I'm hoping this thread will help someone in the future. So, while some specific 400 keyboard information would certainly be appreciated, I guess I'm looking for more of a general keyboard matrix primer. Thanks to anyone that can help or point me in the direction of useful links.
  18. I thought the same exact thing. I'm certain the case is brittle, so I don't want to do much, but I may break out the Dremel and the files and see if I can at least level out the hole and smooth it a little bit.
  19. I was gifted an old, 1979 Atari 400. It definitely needs a lot of work and TLC. She's pretty dirty and needs a good bath. One of the bottome case screws is missing and there were only two internal screws in place. There's some bodge wire going from the power board up through the interlock switch plunger hole in the aluminum shield preventing me from removing the shield, so I'll have to remove it first. The internal speaker is missing and one of the screw mounts inside is broken. More of the keyboard doesn't work than does. I had to fix down the interlock switch as there is no plunger any longer. It has some sort of composite video/audio mod terminating in RCA jacks mounted and soldered to the power board going through a hacked out square hole in the back where the old channel selector switch used to be. They're pretty loose and will probably go eventually in favor of one of TF_HH's Super Color CPU cards. As you can see, I have my work cut out for me this winter, but it should be fun and rewarding. I never really thought I wanted a 400, but once this one just sort of fell into my lap, I've gotten really excited about it. I was hoping to peek & poke around in Basic and find out what version of OS it has and whether it has a CTIA or a GTIA but with most of the keyboard not working, that's really not an option just yet. I guess I can check out the graphics chip visually, once I get the shield off. The keys that are working on the keyboard are: Spacebar, X through M ,./ Left & Right Shift, Ctrl S through L ; + Everything else appears completely dead. Is there a keyboard matrix legend available anywhere or is it the same as the XL machines? I haven't had any luck finding one so far. I'm assuming the 400 uses 4051s to control keyboard input as well, so I'll need to check those out as well. It could be that the keyboard itself is just fine. Anyway, wish me luck with my new project and I welcome any advice and suggestions. I've never had any experience with the 400, and my last experience with any 400/800 was my original 800 that died in 1986.
  20. Oh, I've registered and I use the that version. I didn't mean to imply that it should be there for free download for everyone, but is it really out of the question, as a paid, registered user, to expect an occasional blurb on the APE page saying, Just Out, APE version 3.0.15? You never see that though. That's what I was trying to get at. Why should registered users that paid good money for a program have to email Steve to find out if an update is available? I'm not suggesting that he email all the registered users personally and tell us that a new version is available, but would it really be that hard to post a note somewhere on his site to let us know? It's just a little strange way of doing things. That being said, it sounds like it's high time I email Steve and ask about an update of APE and ProSystem. EDIT And now I have to go back and eat my words! I went to the AtariMax site to grab Steve's email address so I could check in on the most recent version of APE/ProSystem, and what did I see? Yep, you guessed it. Right there at the bottom of the download section, Registered Users: Version 3.0.13 is Available. e-Mail for Upgrade! Has that always been there and I've just missed it?! Well, I have to eat my words now. It looks like Steve does a great job of telling us when a new version is available, assuming you actually look for it.
  21. Well, I guess that kind of proves my point. If you can't find any information on the web site, how in the world are you supposed to know about updates?! It seems really weird to expect your customers to email you every year or so to ask you if an update is available and may I get a copy? Why is it a big secret? Don't get me wrong. Steve is a great guy and a class act, no doubt, but responding to emails and getting info out about software updates are definitely two areas that could use major improvement.
  22. Well, I didn't have a whole lot of time to dig into my new 400, but enough to know it's going to need a little work. It wouldn't power on initially. It's missing the internal speaker and the lever for the interlock switch. I taped that down so I could check things out and it powered on and went to Memo Pad, so it does that much. Man! Has it ever been a long time since I've seen that screen live. I don't have any cartridges handy so, knowing I have all three revisions of Basic on my Ultimate Cart, I inserted that, thinking I'd try some Peeks & Pokes to see whether this is a CTIA machine and which version of OS it has. Unfortunately, those carts are a few directory levels deep and I needed to press the E key, which apparently doesn't work. Some keys do, a few don't. I'll have to investigate that a little further later. Even if I'd been able to load a Basic cart image, I still can't type Peek or Poke without an E, so that avenue is kind of dead to me for now. I thought about removing the shield, but there's a wire running up from the main board, through the interlock switch hole, and connecting to the power board, so I can't take the cover off without first removing that, and I really don't have the time to play with it today. Also, those audio/video connections soldered onto the back are pretty loose, so I'm certain I'm going to want to remove the original composite mod and turn to a Super Color CPU Card eventually. Oh, and I almost forgot. It only has about 1/4 of the original screws and one of the standoffs/screw mounts inside the case is broken, so everything is really loose and floppy. Anyway, 400 keyboards are bound to be getting more and more rare, so even if there's nothing major wrong with this one, I think I'm still going to go ahead and order a replacement. If nothing else, it'll be good to have a backup. I need to order a complete interlock switch assembly and an internal speaker as well, so it looks like I'll be calling Brad at Best Electronics soon. Anyway, after I get things going a little better, I'll post back with details.
  23. MT RAM is definitely used in a lot more machines than just a 65XE. I think it was used a lot in all XL/XE machines. I have at least one 800XL with MT RAM.
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