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Everything posted by Turbo-Torch

  1. I resurrected my Model III last month. My uncle bought it new in '81 to take care of his finances and it wasn't what he expected. I loved playing with it so he paid for me to go to a BASIC training course at the local Radio Shack computer center. Funny riding there on my bike at 12 years old and being in a class with 40+ year old business people. After passing that class, I then attended the Level II class. When I got my second certificate he told me to come by and pick up the computer...it was mine! I still have the books and certificates from those classes too. Started off as a cassette based 16K system. I bought the technical reference manual and started to dig into it. First big mod was the RS232 board and 300 baud modem. I had to mow two lawns to pay for just one hour on Compuserve but it was well worth it...being "online" in '83 was beyond cool in a War Games sort of way. Next was upping it to 48K. Each 16K kit was $119.00 at their computer store but next door at the regular RS, the exact same 8 RAMs were $8.00 a set. Eventually I bought an aftermarket disk drive controller and installed double sided floppies. Also had an Orchestra 90 synthesiser. In late '86 I bought a new Tandy 1000EX to take advantage of the massive BBS scene and the Model III didn't see much action anymore. Eventually a cap blew out in the power supply and it got put away. It's stayed with me for the last 32 years. After many many hours of work and a new drive 0, it came to life a few weeks ago. I'll never let it go to hell again. It was surreal firing it up with the last disk used and seeing the write dates of Aug. 1988. I even put new belts in the cassette deck and replaced all the capacitors to get it up and going. Some of my cassettes were corrupt but I was still able to load up many basic programs I wrote back in the day. Found a site with probably 1,000+ programs and I've been downloading them with a null modem. Having just as much fun with it now as I did back in the day.
  2. Very impressive collection. Is that periodic table of controllers a poster? If so, did you make it?
  3. I just replaced all the capacitors in mine and it would be kind of hard to short anything out. When you pulled the flex cables, did you pop the clips up to unlock them? If not, you may have ruined the flex circuit. Another very common issue is a bad transistor that controls the power; although, if it was working before you took it apart, that's not likely the problem.
  4. Not a whole lot to mess up as they're pretty straight forward when it comes to taking them apart. Dumb question, but do you have a cartridge inserted?
  5. Nope, those were mine from the Saturday morning junior league. Here's another view where the score didn't turn out but I'm glad I have it as it shows the early stages of the addiction. I'm thinking late '81 (11 years old). The 2600 was my first big purchase and I must have mowed a million lawns and shoveled a ton a snow over 1 ½ years until I had the $$$ saved up. Oddly I can remember what store each of those games came from and how much I paid.
  6. Received my Encore last week and the day it arrived ranks right up there with the day I bought my 2600 in 1981.
  7. If this works, I want my Laser Blast patch! I never did get around to sending this in...
  8. One other thing I forgot to mention... Make sure the little felt pressure pad in the center of the tape path is still there. I have at least a half dozen cassettes where the felt pad fell off. Without it in place, it'll read for a little bit and then drop out. I glued them back in place and the cassettes worked fine after that.
  9. My analogy works perfect, especially when it comes to comparing a real pin to emulated. How about something like MC with a Maxi Trackball? Also, did Twin Galaxies start accepting high scores from MAME?
  10. Thanks for the compliments, guys! I'm not into Nintendo; however, I do like the VB. It sorta has a mystique similar to the Vectrex.
  11. Could be dried up caps. The cassette deck for my TRS-80 worked fine when I last used it in '86 but was useless when I tried it a few weeks ago. Of course the belts were shot but even after replacing them the sound was horrible and no data could be read. Ended up replacing every capacitor and it now works like new.
  12. Back in the day I gutted that RS amp and installed the PCB inside my Model III with its own speaker, power supply and on/off switch on the back. Just one of many experiments I did with it as a kid. For a home computer that technically had no sound, it pretty much blew away every other computer and game console at the time when it came to sound and clear speech. Big Five Software really knew how to get the most out of that line of computers. This year I decided to bring that computer back to life (owned it since 1981) and did away with the RS amp...always had a buzz and no way to adjust the volume. Most modern amplified speakers have no volume control but I found a nice one on eBay for $10 bucks. Volume works well with the line-in and it also has a FM tuner and MP3 player. Then there's the killer Orchestra 90 that goes to a set of PC speaker with sub-woofer.
  13. Consoles are kind of hard to see...Jaguar, 7800, TurboGrafx-16, Intellivision, Heavy sixer, JVC X'Eye (with 32X), 5200, ColecoVision and Odyssey2. Four switch I bought new in '81 is what's running. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Igaz10GnL8c
  14. I'm the complete opposite. My arcade games are as original as possible down to requiring a quarter to play. The furthest I've strayed is a Clay's MultiPac kit which at least requires the original hardware and can be removed in 5 minutes. Just purchased a Harmony Encore so I can play games on my original 2600 without having to use some emulator. Emulators and Multicades (especially emulating pinball machines) remindes me of playing Tourist Trophy on my PS2 and selecting the Hayabusa vs. going out for a ride on my real Hayabusa...there is no comparison. And don't get me started on those who destroy a vintage arcade game by turning it into a Multicade. That's just as blasphemous as destroying a vintage Chevelle or Mustang. I pretty much got out of the collecting loop about 12 years when I felt my collection was where I wanted it and RGVC and RGVAC started to die off. Starting to get back into it and I have to say I'm a bit shocked at some of the viewpoints towards real hardware.
  15. With the foil tape, no glue is needed. It's just a mild pain to get the paper backing off the dots once they're punched out...an exacto knife helps. I've always felt the carbon pads were 100% at fault and not the flex circuits. When I used the copper resin, I had over 10 years of use without ever having to take them apart. That many years and countless hours of use was a good run but I think the foil tape will be far better.
  16. Better yet, HVAC foil tape (not duct tape) and a standard paper hole punch. Takes about 20 minutes to do the entire controller and should last a lifetime. I originally coated the pads with rear window defroster repair resin back in the 90s but that started to fail after 10 years. That stuff still works well for bridging broken flex circuits.
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