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freewheel

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Everything posted by freewheel

  1. Ah yeah, I knew I wasn't just pulling stuff out of my ass. I forgot that a lot of TVs have that "game mode" specifically to deal with their over-processing of analog inputs. It's been a long time since I had anything non-HDMI hooked into an HDTV, so I completely forgot the fix. But I remember the problem from a decade ago.
  2. As Mef states, composite video can be... messy. Google up some comparisons between composite and S-video. On some systems, and some consoles, the difference can be astounding. My own setup - and a lot of people's - hardly shows a difference, so composite is just fine for me. It may not be "good enough" for what you're using. To answer your broader question - RF/coaxial signals can be VERY good from older consoles. The 6-switchers, especially the heavies, have damned fine RF output. I have seen many composite mods that actually degrade the picture, overall. Sure, there's less noise, but when you already have a clean RF signal the "improvement" is slight, while the "degradation" is moreso. My bigger question is what exact composite mod is installed in your unit. They all have their pros and cons, and some are worse for certain effects than others. Personally I prefer a mod that has several variable resistors in it, so I can tune the picture for my CRT, specifically for colour. And I've found that no two 2600 units take the exact same resistance values, so I suspect the pre-built mods might not always be the best answer. I won't pretend to understand enough about video signals to know exactly why, but tweaking each of the luminance signals independently has been a godsend when it comes to getting the colours "just right". I guess it has to do with colour saturation of various elements although I don't quite understand what each of the three does. And you can already play with the chroma with the built in POT.
  3. I long since had to dedicate an entire wall, with matching shelves on either side of the TV. At any given time I've probably got 15-20 consoles hooked up. The real annoyance now is how many consoles had hard-wired controllers, so without hacking into them, no extension is possible - just picked up a Leisurevision finally and it suffers from short controller cords as well. So they end up on the floor anyway.
  4. Because seriously mangled common carts get tossed.
  5. I like the details (specifically the jack guide) on that mod, but I do question one thing - why bend the TIA pins? Surely there's a place to solder to on the mainboard. You're already soldering to several resistors anyway, just find the appropriate connections on the board and do the same with those. With every Atari model, you can trace the TIA pins to one side or the other of a cap or resistor easily. And if you don't have enough room to work, just remove the component. I'd rather wreck a resistor for a video circuit I'm not using than risk destroying a TIA. You pull the pin out and you're SOL.
  6. As mentioned, you need a monitor with adjustable V-hold. Many old Commodore (and other) monitors will have this, not just a 1702 - I use a 1084, for example. It really is worth it just to be able to play PAL games. Colours will still be weird, but it's one of those rare times you can play "imports" without modification etc.
  7. It wouldn't surprise me if there's image processing delay in an LCD. A lot of people complained about various types of lag in the early HDTV days, when consoles started having things like VGA-out options available. Lord knows what kind of analog-digital-analog processing is happening inside. If it's a "smart" TV, it's probably dealing with OS memory faulting or some nonsense. Personally I'll only play on a CRT anyway - LCDs get used for basic testing and that's it.
  8. I think the days of the awesome liquidator deals are behind us. Anything Atari-related has long since been sold, or ended up in what are basically rubbish dumps as shown in those pics. At this point I seriously doubt much pre-Playstation (ie: cartridge) media is out in liquidator land. Between the sheer number of years, and how quickly retro game collecting has grown, there just isn't much opportunity for those rare scores. And it's weird, because something has changed in retail. With every console, you used to eventually find them for like $20 on clearance. Games for a buck or two, that sort of thing. But lately? The PS2 disappeared from shelves and I don't remember them going much below $50. Games occasionally hit $5 but for the most part they seem to stop around $8-10. And christ, PS3s are still selling for $200, and that system is what, 8 years old now? I seriously doubt manufacturers are producing only to demand, either, because it seems like stores are stuffed with unsold games for years - and then suddenly they're all gone, and I'm not finding them in liquidators like I used to. I almost wonder if we're seeing another side-effect of globalization, where all this stuff is being shipped overseas once it's had its run here. I picked up a couple of PS Vita games for $1.50 the other day from Toys 'r Us, simply because it's been so long since I've seen unused games anywhere close to that kind of price. *Someone* out there is sitting on millions up on millions of unopened PS2 and Xbox games, I can tell you that. Unless this stuff is being recycled.
  9. These sorts of places are pretty legit. And Donkey Kong is one of the most common 2600 games, anyone who pays even $15 for it is being ripped off. And this guy charges $5 shipping in the US for a single game?? I dunno man, I'm happier with my 50 cent loose DKs that I have 8 of. Cardboard ain't worth $19.50 to me. These liquidators basically demonstrate why Ebay prices are really unrealistic for a lot of common stuff. We literally have brand new Atari games sitting on shelves, by the THOUSANDS, unsold. 30 years after the Crash. This guy even has unopened Supercharger games for $15, which many people seem to think are some sort of highly-valued collector's item these days. There was a liquidator about 15 years ago who had NIB 2600 and 7800 games, and was selling them for like $1 a piece. Why the hell I didn't grab a ton off them is beyond me (shipping seemed "too high" and I was poorer back then). Place had an Irish sounding name. From what I recall, they had something like 10,000 of each game on the shelves, purchased for pennies on. Still kicking myself over that one, but I do recall most of their inventory and those titles tend to be the most common CIB 2600/7800 out there as a result. Of course people are trying to get $20+ for them.
  10. http://cinemassacre.com/2014/07/23/avgn-movie-screenings-on-sale-now/ It's sold out nearly everywhere, although they do keep adding showings. Digital version coming (no word on format/source) in early September. Physical copies probably a while after, not sure how long production of those takes these days.
  11. Harmony Cart to the rescue! I grew up playing HERO on the C64. It didn't exactly stress that machine's graphics capabilities, and yet was one of the most fun games we had (and like all Commodore kids, we had hundreds on copied floppies). When I first played it on a 2600 (thanks to the Harmony) I was completely blown away by how good it was. With most games of that era that existed on multiple systems, I got used to being disappointed with the 2600 version, if I played it elsewhere first. Not this puppy! The original was perfect, and it was ported pretty much as-is to the C64, where it made for an impressive game. So yeah. Probably one of the best-looking 2600 games in some ways. It's simple, but very attractive. As is the gameplay. The difficulty ladder is just perfect too. You really need to check it out somehow. Emulation is an option, plus it's also been released on some collections.
  12. Agreed x100000. If we as a community are going to spend actual money on new stuff, I'd rather that money go to the talented devs who produce homebrew. Spending tens (maybe hundreds?) of thousands of dollars towards releasing something that already exists in far greater numbers than will ever be consumed? I'd much rather pay a few guys a bunch of money to create even more homebrew. Again, I really don't mean to shit on the idea of this original thread, but I just don't quite understand who this is aimed at. The general public is uninterested in Atari, and of those few that are, they either pick up a Flashback which is more than good enough for them, or they grab a used one and play it for 2 weeks before putting it back into the attic (and end up selling it to me 2 years later, if history is any guide). While a lot of us collectors will go hog-wild and buy damn near anything Atari-related, I just don't see what "need" this is covering. We've got plenty of original consoles and games, enough to last a lifetime. I dunno, this just smells like people making repro carts and charging more than a multicart. I just saw someone selling Earthbound and similar "rare" repros for over $100. You can buy an Everdrive for less than that! What the hell is the point? To have a label? I guess my main objection is that this basic idea serves no practical purpose other than to (in theory) make money off collector mania, much like those repros. It's not addressing some unfulfilled need to either the hobby community nor the general public. We could do a lot better things with our money. IMHO.
  13. And the AVGN movie was released this week. I love how some guy operating on a donation budget making a full cinematic release succeeds, while we're not sure if a mutli-billion dollar corporation can release a documentary.
  14. Don't go looking at the "last game released" page on Wikipedia if the above misinformation upsets you. It's even worse.
  15. I don't recall seeing a thread like this, but if there is one, mods please feel free to merge/delete. I'm thinking along the lines of "what are you playing lately" kinda threads... What is your most recent pickup/acquisition/haul/score? As in, what's the most recent Atari game(s)/gear that you've managed to add to the collection? I'm curious what the average collector is managing to pick up these days. I just grabbed a Pete Rose, boxed (and in incredibly good condition at that) for $10. Nothing staggering but I'm pleased with it. Fills another hole and it's not the kind of cart I see boxed very often. And this was from a store, which surprises me. Stores in Canada charge $5 for unboxed Combats.
  16. That's awesome to hear. I can understand the guy's position, but basically when you sell old tech, you have to expect this sort of thing. And he obviously didn't test it out very well because from what you describe, something's definitely wrong with it. Either the TIA or something on the mainboard, but either way it needs help. This wasn't something *you* could have done to it, it's probably been broken for years. Enjoy the Harmony. I fried mine in a botched experiment (don't worry, this was entirely my fault and they're built very well) and am anxiously awaiting the next release version so I can play with one again. Playing hacks/homebrew/protos/extremely rare games on an honest-to-goodness console is AMAZING.
  17. This is the single biggest reason I started modding many of my consoles. I find RF output looks fine on a lot of pre-NES stuff, but you just can't find good RF switch boxes that have more than 2 or 3 inputs. Composite switchboxes are everywhere and work just fine even daisy-chained.
  18. I'd love to see a visual "how to" with pictures of these connectors. As so much online is for the US/NTSC crowd, it's hard to envision just hooking up a 2600 to a TV without a switchbox, etc. I've never paid that close attention to older TVs when I've been in PAL territories to notice how they're different.
  19. I'm pretty sure they aren't aiming at the grandparents and office worker crowd. I bet the browser statistics for your average Atari site are well under 10% IE on a given day, outside of office hours when people are forced to use it. IE has been outdated for a decade now, regardless of version. From your perspective of making money designing sites and Pagerank etc, you probably disagree, but that's the difference between a commercial enterprise and a hobby. This is most certainly the latter.
  20. Absolutely correct, in my experience. Mostly due to game library sizes. 2600 PAL carts are surprisingly common in North America compared to other systems (except SMS as you mentioned - especially in Canada) which is why there's plenty of interest in this site on AA, even from the NTSC crowd.
  21. And yet the game itself is the standard black background? That IS weird. I wonder if anyone's ever done a code analysis to see if those are even being set separately in the game - that's the first place to look. You got me curious enough to go test out both copies I have, one of each cart style. Tested in my 7800 which happens to be hooked up at the moment, and all black backgrounds here as expected. I forgot how good of a 2600 game this is. Simple, nice animation on the mouth, and lends itself well to the platform.
  22. Colours messed up on just that one game? Weird. Are you using stock RF video, or is this on a modded console? It's really strange how it's only on the one screen. Would love a dump.
  23. Look for a big square of black plastic about the size of your pinkie fingernail (very roughly speaking) with 3 metal legs coming out of it, attached to a metal shield on the back - which is a heatsink. I've never seen a dead one in a 2600 but now that people mention it, I wonder if it's what's wrong with a 7800 I have. Thing doesn't seem to power up at all; it would rock if it was something so simple.
  24. Believe it or not, it's just a simple resistor/pot mod that's been around for ages: http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?t=1154 Easy enough to follow the TIA traces to simple places to attach to, on the mainboard. I don't have pics on hand (I did this one years ago) but that'll give you an idea. You have to poke around a bit on a Vader to find audio/chroma; I've got it written down somewhere where each is and of course Google is your friend. Some people seem to have bad luck with non-transistor mods but to be honest, I've never seen a TV that won't work with this. Plus with the pots, I was able to really tweak it to work perfectly with my CRT. And it works with my new LED TV, my LCD computer monitor, an old Commodore 1084, and a couple of small LCD screens (Playstation era) that I sometimes use for quick testing. So it's my go-to mod at this point as it seems to work on everything. For consoles that either won't output RF at all, or the colours are just plain unfixable with the built-in pot, I find this mod gives you enough to overcome that. The Vader has a nice place on the back of the case that houses an RCA jack panel nicely. It almost looks like it was designed for it.
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