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freewheel

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Everything posted by freewheel

  1. Got a big lot today - amazing condition on the carts, I must say. Labels look brand-new. At these prices it's a nice way to fill some holes!
  2. Based on the screenshot quiz results, I bet the group here could identify every signle game in a matter of minutes.
  3. I don't even know that you really need an ET cart to show the internals. Most of the internals I've seen have been very generic. I'm looking at an Asteroids right now that even had a metal shield over the ROM chip, with nothing distinguishable at all on it. The ROMs aren't exactly labelled with the game or anything, at least not that I've ever seen (admittedly I've only opened a dozen or so over the years). A simple Google Image search for "Atari cartridge circuit board" or similar should suffice.
  4. Hell I did my first mod as the most basic mod on a Jr - no parts required, just literally soldering to the board. No resistors or transistors needed at all. And it outputs a signal that most CRTs have no problems with. Transistor mods with pots work best though; it's remarkable how good the picture quality is. And even a solderer as bad as me can do it
  5. Do a basic composite mod at least - you'll never regret it. Unless you're even worse soldering than I am, in which case.. well in that case, VCR throughput it is. I'd recommend that over a VGA converter anyway. You're not going to "gain" anything from using VGA, and the VCR will probably deal with the 2600 signal better. Don't be surprised if you can't get a "good" looking image regardless. The pixels will be several inches high.
  6. The VCR is a MUST. A lot of capture devices/tuners really dislike old console video signals, but generally play nice with VCRs - although this is not always true, you're still much more likely to have success with a VCR than without. I'd also recommend doing a buttload of testing under various conditions before "going live". It's remarkable how many streams and Youtube videos I've seen over the years where people spend half their time apologizing for poor video quality, or bad sound, or what have you. It only takes a few minutes to do a dry run and iron out any bugs in your setup. Capture devices can be finicky, but once you get it going to your satisfaction it's pretty simple to operate a fairly complex rig as outlined above.
  7. Hang onto that TV! It won't be too many more years before that sort of trickery will be rather difficult. I can see a small, but highly interested collector's market for that sort of thing in a couple of decades.
  8. Hey guys - there seem to be a lot of technically-adept folks at AA so I figure I'll give this forum a shot. I have an original NES-001 that refuses to output the color red. Is this something that is easily repairable and I'm just clueless? From poking around over the years I get the impression that RGB isn't exactly easy to isolate on the mainboard, ie: the PPU doesn't even output it as separate signals. Which leads me to believe that the PPU is bad on this deck. Am I wasting my time poking around? If it was a bad trace or cap, it's something that's easily fixed, but I assume that the color signals aren't isolated on the board from what I've read. And no, this isn't a bad connector or dirty cart issue Just a lack of red in the video signal, both RF and Composite. Thanks!
  9. Text came first. Although there was a fair bit of overlap depending on which market you were in.
  10. 30/33 on the second one. Much better without the games-from-the-series-noone-actually-plays. I must type fast, I found found plenty of time in the quiz. I had almost 3 minutes left to guess at the last 3.
  11. I'd first try it on another TV. Modern LCD screens are notorious for hating the video signals from Ataris. Failing that, there's an adjustable potentiometer inside that can be tweaked to fix a lot of these problems.
  12. Interesting, I didn't realize they were all NTSC. They were marketed in PAL countries as far as I can tell, and at least one of the ones I has sure looks like the PAL pallette (even though it seems to have NTSC scanlines). Hell of a website, regardless. It's hard to find PAL information on this side of the pond but a lot of it does show up in the wild.
  13. Yeah I'd be curious to know what the larger community thinks of these rarity numbers, after a while. Apparently I have a bunch of 6s and 7s which is always fun. Also, is there a plan to add dumps anytime soon? Oh - and I've got a couple of Dactar(i) multicarts that don't seem listed, but I'm not sure how anyone could ever keep a complete list of all of that. I'm impressed with the thoroughness. I love the "Fantastic Bird" as a label variation.
  14. Something I've been looking for, for ages. I love how atarimania has it all, but broken out like this is very handy for certain purposes. I also LOVE (I cannot say this enough, LOVE) how you can bring up "ALL" records if you want. I cannot stand sites that limit you to 50 or 100 or 200 records in a query, and you have to click next, next, next and keep waiting for page loads. Sometimes I need a huge result because my search criteria is very broad. This will help immensely when I've got a really oddball cart in my hands.
  15. I would have done a lot better if I had ever played "those" games. I won't mention which,to not spoil it for others, but I never thought anyone actually played them.
  16. As you can seen from the replies, it's basically anything goes when it comes to PAL in an NTSC console. It depends on the game and your TV. I own a bunch of supposed PAL games (things that never had NTSC releases, or so I'm led to believe) that seem to play fine on my regular TVs - it's fairly tolerant of odd scanline counts and such. I have others that tend to give B&W depending on the set. Still others show the classic "PAL colours", and these usually suffer from rolling. For this last set I hook my 2600 into an old Commodore 1084 monitor that has adjustable v-hold, and I can stabilize the image and play them just fine. Most of this I've played around with a composite-modded vader. Not sure how much difference it would make over RF, except for a bit of signal strength - I carefully colour-calibrate every mod I do. Fortunately every CRT I own handles weak luma pretty well.
  17. True, I never thought of pulling directly off the chip. I just have no idea how you would actually convert that into an HDMI signal. This gets way beyond my skillset but I bet it would be a hell of a fun project for shits and giggles. As someone mentions, with some newer TVs going HDMI only I wonder if we're going to see more signal converters cropping up. I still say the look of a 2600 on an LCD is horrid, but I guess given enough time CRTs will be museum pieces only. Oddly my newest TV has only HDMI, and RF. Such a weird combination - RF seemed to have disappeared a while back with the assumption that everyone was getting set-top boxes and the like.
  18. Well you're not going to get any *increased* video quality, as all you'd be doing is putting S-video/composite output into a digitizer. The 2600 doesn't generate, let alone output a digital signal. It's kinda like ripping a VHS tape to DVD. Yeah, it'll play in a modern player, but you're not going to somehow get a better picture doing this.
  19. Oh hey, thanks for the response Batari. You certainly did put a disclaimer... somewhere. And I knew I was taking my life into my own hands with this one It was certainly worth the experience if nothing else - I've been into the whole ROM/emulation scene for close to 20 years now and finally doing it to my own games was mesmerizing. I'll keep poking with the flasher. Done it probably 100 times now so I'm pretty familiar with it. It's never actually failed on me - I always get "download finished" with an elapsed time. To be fair, I only tried the copycart.bin and have never actually flashed back to the normal BIOS, but still... it seems pretty simple enough. I'm pretty sure you're right in that I've blown something. This all actually started when I had to.. shall we say modify my dumping cable a bit. The floppy connectors don't quite work on certain carts - the kinds that don't have a dust cover, but do have the plastic tabs to push open the cover on the 2600 itself. I had debated cutting the carts, but figured I might at well do some trim on the floppy cable instead. So I wouldn't be at all surprised if I shorted something somewhere. I wasn't expecting it to affect the Harmony as *that* end was never touched (in fact I never unplugged it once I got it working) but... without doing a full pin trace over what I might have done, anything's possible. The diode you mention - you say it's there to isolate console and USB power... it could make sense that I accidentally sent +5v over pins I shouldn't have if I really crushed things. Out of curiosity, what's the danger in removing it in general? That someone might hook up USB while it's powered by the console? Would the Harmony work in a console with it removed? With everything being surface mount I doubt I could easily remove it myself - my skills are limited to things the scale of the original 2600s and that's about it - but I must admit you have me curious. I'll PM you if I wanna get you involved in a physical sense. I don't really wanna bug you, as I know I brought this upon myself but if it could help you with other problems, then I'm game. I'm almost certainly going to order the next-gen Harmony anyway, so I may send this back and order that at the same time, cut down on shipping hassles.
  20. I'd say that without sticking it into a 2600, the question and this thread is entirely pointless. Not trying to be rude, but literally the answer could be anything. Hell, it could be full of smuggled 80s cocaine.
  21. Yeah, I'd just steal 5v from the board. USB is what, 100mA max? There should be enough spare power available for that, although I'm not sure how much gets lost from the voltage converter. I bet Ben Heck knows. I seem to recall there's a fair bit of capacity off the main board itself. Or could a person use a higher rated 9v adapter? I've got some that are rated for 850mA, that should give plenty of overhead given that stock is only 500. This is all sacrilege though. A 2600 on anything without scanlines is just ugly. (He says as he currently has a light sixer connected via RF to a brand-new LCD screen, for demo purposes on a pending sale).
  22. "Use with many controllers" - I love it! Awesome find, regardless of its pedigree. I only ever find 2 or 4 game multicarts.
  23. Absolutely. Be a bit careful, try not to touch anything else - odds are you'll be doing this with a metal screwdriver - but there's not much fear of danger. I do it all the time when fine tuning mis-behaving consoles, or adjusting mods. Just make very slow adjustments until things look "good". It's tricky unless you have a reference console to compare to, but you should be able to look at screenshots to get a good idea of what the colours should look like - at least close enough anyway. If sound works and it's only colours that are off... I'm thinking someone else had it right - possibly an NTSC cart in a PAL console. Not much you can do to fix that. I don't know if there's any easy way to tell PAL/NTSC on that game, some are obvious while others are a guessing game. Someone here probably knows better than me,
  24. Interesting. 2003 was a very different time in retro collecting - a lot more stuff existed in the wild, a lot more people sold Atari stuff in general at garage sales, and prices of most stuff has skyrocketed (at least when I think of the NES-SNES era). Tempest, are lab loaners still in that $50-75 range for common, maybe $100+ for more rare ones? It kinda surprises me that there wouldn't have been some price appreciation given the rest of the hobby and how much harder it seems to find Atari stuff in general. At least in my experience, it seems like it's all been landfilled or picked up by overpriced stores ($5 Asteroids, etc). Not living anywhere near California these loaners and protos might as well be moon rocks for me. Also another curiosity, and this is more of a wild-ass guess thing, but.. what kind of numbers do you think loaners exist in? Like say the most common ones - would there be a dozen copies extant? 100? A few hundred? Given the insane prices people pay for crap like Air Raid, I'd have to think it's in the 100s at least, if these things are only worth $100 or less. Obviously no one's doing a census on something semi-common like this, but just curious if you have any sense of actual numbers.
  25. Is the 2600 modded for output, or are you using the factory RF connector? I've seen weird behaviour on modern LCD screens with all connection types, but the sound makes me wonder if it's more than that. Often the only way to narrow it down is test with other TVs, other carts, etc (not always as easy to find another 2600).
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