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Everything posted by bfollowell

  1. The weather is getting more mild, so I thought I'd go out into my garage workshop and work on putting this cable assembly together to get my keyboard going again. Holy Guacamole! Am I ever shaky and trembly!! I knew I was getting more so for fine work as I'd gotten older, but I had no idea until I saw it under a soldering microscope! I know everything under there is magnified, but sheesh! Anyway, I bought an Andonstar AD407 soldering microscope and that helped much more than my magnifying goggles. Also, this was my first try at SMD. I didn't try drag soldering or any of the techniques I'd seen on Youtube. I just tacked the connector down with one pin on each end, then went slowly and methodically across, pin by pin. I had to fix a couple of solder bridges, but other than that, I don't think I did too bad. I checked continuity from the connector to the end of the molex cable, and everything looks good, with no shorts except for pins 18 & 19 and 20 & 21, which seem to be shorted by the board, and not my shaky hands. Soldering the keyboard PCB to the keyboard shouldn't be too bad. Those are much larger, more normal soldering and I shouldn't mess those up too bad, shaky hands or not. I just need to get the motherboard side connector board soldered and the old keyboard connector desoldered and the new keyboard connector soldered in its place and I'll be ready to try it out. I'm not sure I'm up for any more today though. I'm not sure my old nerves could take the stress. I think I'll wait and get the motherboard connector one day during the week. I should have it going again soon though. I bought a 12" molex cable too, so I shouldn't have any trouble having plenty of slack to pull the keyboard and motherboard apart in the future, regardless of whether or not I actually disconnect the cable.
  2. Now I'm intrigued. What is Connect95-97-98?
  3. I'm not so sure about this part, anymore at least. I think the current version came out about three years ago and, if there's been an update since then, I haven't been able to find out any information about through official or unofficial sources.
  4. Well, he's got APE working with his physical drive and he's making copies that way, but he still can't ProSystem to work, and that's really odd. APE recognizes the SIO2PC-USB, but ProSystem doesn't. But he has it copying now, and that's the main thing.
  5. You don't do anything in APE as far as your physical drive. You assign your real drive to drive 1, or whatever number you want it to be, using the switches in the back just like you normally would. Then you assign any other virtual drives you're using their drive numbers and insert the disk images to them using APE, then you boot off your real physical drive just like you normally would. Or you could boot off of a virtual drive and have your real drive setup as 2 or 3 or whatever. All you do in APE is setup your virtual drives. You assign your physical drive's numbers with it's switches just like you always have. You can have any number or combination of real and virtual drives. The only thing APE does is control the virtual drives. If it were me, I'd put Disk Wizard in disk #1 in APE, assign your 1050 as drive #2, and then maybe a blank floppy image in disk #3. That's assuming that Disk Wizard actually allows you to use more than 2 drives. I know it worked with 2, but I can't recall if it would work with more than that. If it doesn't for some reason, I'd boot off of Disk Wizard in drive #1 in APE, have your 1050 assigned as drive #2, and then swap a blank floppy image into drive #1 after booting and copy from drive 2 to drive 1. I'm working off the top of my head here and decades old memories of using Disk Wizard II.
  6. You can't just check there, because those links to the main listings never change. You also need to check the addendum page to see if the stock status or the price has changed. The link is below. Luckily, the Pokey chips still show in stock, though limited to 1, and still for $20. https://www.best-electronics-ca.com/addendum.htm
  7. You can't beat Fluke meters for quality and features. You do pay for those though. They do have some cheaper models though, if you don't need a full-blown industrial meter. They have quite a few that would be good for an electronics workbench for $100-$150. I've heard some decent things about some of the Extech meters, and many of those have capacitor/diode/transistor checking capability and are considerably cheaper than most Flukes, but I have no direct experience with them myself.
  8. I looked back through my old emails and the AtariMax forums. I couldn't find much other than to make certain to use one of the USB ports on the back of your computer, the ones coming directly from the motherboard, not one of the ones from the hub on the front of your PC. Also, make certain to get rid of anything non-AtariMax related as far as drivers. Beyond that, I really don't have anything. Sorry, I thought I'd have more to offer.
  9. Yeah, there's really no need to use the ProSystem, but if you're like me, you still want it to work correctly. It is very strange that one works and the other doesn't. I can't remember if that was my issue, or if nothing worked. I remember once, having a lot of trouble getting one or the other or both running, and I finally got it. Then later, my SIO2PC-USB single-port wouldn't do anything and nothing I or Steve tried or he suggested would work. We finally determined that it had just died. I returned it to him and he sent me a dual-port version just because that's all he had in stock at the moment. He was really great to work with, but he can be very hard to get in touch with. He has a very busy life at the moment and hasn't been working with Atari stuff as much lately. I think he has kids at home, so I can certainly understand that. With no kids at home anymore, it's easy to forget how busy family life can be at times. My grandkids are taking up more and more of my time though, so some of the freedom I've had for the past several years is going towards them now, but I'm not complaining. I'll try to look into my past issue this week and see if I still have any old emails from Steve and will check his forums as well.
  10. Probably not, but if you've done the 5V to PBI mod on an 800XL, then that's all the SysCheck needs, so why would you connect it to the joystick port as well? That's just silly. Why go to the bother? Maybe I'm missing something.
  11. Well, first of all, this has nothing to do with your ProSystem not working but, assuming the disks in question, that you want to image, aren't copy-protected, you can easily copy them with APE by using your sector copier of choice and copying from your real disk drive assigned as one drive, and a blank atr image in a virtual drive assigned another number. There's really no reason to use ProSystem over this regular method other than, in my experience, ProSystem may be just a little faster, but not greatly so. I think the main reason for ProSystem's existence is that it was an early way to try and allow you to make images of copy-protected disks. The drawback is that they're only compatible using APE/ProSystem. It seems like I had an issue similar to yours a year or two ago, but I can't recall what I wound up doing to fix it. I do know you should probably go back and delete anything and everything you installed thinking you needed FTDI drivers. All of that stuff certainly isn't helping things at all, and could be messing things up. If you have an AtariMax SIO2PC-USB, then all you need is software/drivers from AtariMax, nothing else. I'll look back and see if I can recall what I did to fix my connection issues a couple of years ago. If I find anything, I'll post back here.
  12. I'm sure you could do it. I'd be glad to help you if I could, but like you, I never acquired that particular set of skills. Also like you, I have some projects I'd love to see on our beloved 8-bits. I'd love to see one of the more modern z-code (Infocom) interpreters ported to the A8, but no one seems ready to undertake it. I've thought about trying to teach myself enough to take it on myself, maybe make it a retirement project, if I ever retire, but I haven't started yet. Too bad we're too far away or maybe we could both take it on and challenge and help each other. Remember, you're never too old to learn new things. Good luck with your rapping resurgence. Definitely not my type of thing, but I wish you well with it. For what it's worth, I'd love to see Phoenix and other great arcade ports on our A8s, 5200 and computer versions.
  13. I agree whole-heartedly. You, BIGHMW, seem to come on here frequently, requesting someone do this or that, or requesting other's help in convincing someone else to do this or that, often in an almost badgering tone, sometimes a downright belligerent tone, though that doesn't seem to be the case in this particular thread. For as much as you'd like done, and as many games as you'd like converted from or to one system or another, it really seems like you should take on the task of bettering yourself and learning to code and do these things yourself. I'm certain you'd find creating these excellent ports and providing them to your fellow Atari lovers, very rewarding. In a way, it might be a way of insuring your immortality.
  14. Yeah, I've noticed quite a few around Indy, and I know there's at least one fellow 1088XEL owner up there. Indy is about 2.5 hours away, depending on weather and traffic. I'd definitely go up for a big meeting or a show or something, assuming I heard about it.
  15. Wow! That sounds like an enormous amount of work. Thank you for doing this! It is much appreciated. I look forward to reading through this.
  16. I've not found another in 20+ years. Actually, I'm usually thrilled when I find a fellow AA user within 100 miles.
  17. Man, I'd love to start something like this! Of course, this is 35 years later, and Evansville, Indiana Atari Enthusiasts just doesn't have the same ring to it. Thanks for all the scanning and archiving you do Allan. It is much appreciated.
  18. If you really want to use RespeQt, or just give it a try and compare it to APE, you can build an FTDI-based SIO2USB cable relatively easily for less than $20, assuming you have a spare SIO connector or an old SIO cable you can sacrifice. I used this cable to make one last year and it works great. I still have and use my AtariMax SIO2PC-USB Dual Port interface and it works great. I love APE and ProSystem software, but RespeQt is pretty great too and works really well. It's a toss up as to which I use sometimes. I just like having options.
  19. You're definitely right. I can't imagine using an old retro computer of any type, that much, for that long, and have things still running. I think @ParanoidLittleMan asked about maintenance over the years. I too wonder if he's ever had to re-cap the PSU or anything over the years, or if this thing has actually been running, out of the box, for 30 some odd years.
  20. Well, if the SCART to HDMI converter that @mistapaul uses works, then I'd be willing to bet that it'll work just fine with my OSSC. Still, I'll give it a try this weekend and confirm.
  21. I can't. I've been looking and can't seem to find anything now. Since I've thrown it out there, and since I really need to get mine checked out anyway, I'll try hooking mine up this weekend, even just temporarily and precariously mounted, and check it out, just to make certain I'm getting good signal and see what the image looks like. Assuming I actually get an image, I'll post pictures of my results.
  22. Well, like I said, I haven’t gotten mine quite hooked up and working yet, but that’s the idea behind me buying it. I’ve read of others using it, but I can’t personally say that it works or works well. I’ll have to pull mine out soon and give it a try, even if I don’t have it fully mounted, just to make sure things work.
  23. Cool Novelties makes an RGB to SCART cable which can then be used with an OSSC to produce beautiful, crystal clear images. I have the VBXE, the cable, and the OSSC for use with my 1088XEL, but I've never gotten around to getting my VBXE mounted above my Sophia and getting everything working yet. It's on my fall/winter project list though. Technically, it doesn't mention the OSSC, so I guess you could use the cable with any SCART compatible display or device. I guess SCART wasn’t west you asked about, specifically, but I know the OSSC has SCART input and HDMI output, so that’s how I intend to use the cable. Here's a link to the cable if you think you'd like to look into it.
  24. Yeah! What a scam! Trying to get us to believe that he's been using that system for 36 years, when there's no possible way he could've been using it for more than 34, maybe 35 years.
  25. Man! That was one nasty looking XEGS! Of course, that just makes the results that much more dramatic. She looks beautiful now. You did a great job restoring it. Congratulations on your first A8!
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