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Everything posted by DavidMil

  1. I never got any further than I am now. But I'll post what I have. Mainly it concerns buying the best ship and getting credits quickly without getting: blown to pieces, crashing on a planet, being left behind when you shuttles leave, running out of ore IV, or starving to death. The info also included using two drives so as to cut way down on disk swaps, and a set of coordinates for the fasted hyper drive jumps. Give me a day or so and I'll post what I have in a pdf file. David
  2. If you've not done much solder/desolder work, the main thing to remember is don't PRESS the soldering iron down into the solder joint!!! Let the weight of the iron do the work. Someone said to snip the legs off the IC. This is the way I've done it for years, and it works very well, but remember to use a very sharp and very pointy set of cutters(don't try to use diagonals). Keep the cutters perpendicular to the board and cut the legs as close to the IC as you can. When you've cut all the legs off and removed the IC, flip the board over and cut off as much of the legs that protrude through the board (don't cut so close that you scratch the board). Now you can flip the board back over and use a fine set of tweezers at the top of each leg while you apply the soldering iron to the base of the leg. Again don't press hard, be patient, when the solder melts just pull the leg of the IC up and out of the circuit board. One of the best things you can do to when desoldering, (and I highly recommend this) is that you buy a small tube/bottle of liquid flux. Use it liberally on all the solder joints. Flux servers as a transfer medium for the heat and will cause the solder to melt MUCH faster. It also helps to prevent solder bridges from forming. After you have removed the legs of the old IC, you'll need to get some solder wick (braded stranded copper), again apply some flux to the wick, rest the wick on the solder joint and put the iron on the edge of the solder joint. This will draw the solder from the hole into the wick. Don't remove the iron too quickly as this may leave some of the solder in the hole. One more thing; good soldering starts with a clean soldering iron tip. A dirty tip prevents heat transfer. When you get flux and desoldering wick, also get some sort of soldering iron tip cleaner. After you clean the tip flow a liberal amount of solder over it and keep doing that each time you heat the tip and then again when you power the iron off. If the solder doesn't stick to the tip, clean the tip some again using the tip cleaner . Also I use a wet sponge every so often on the tip while using it (this removes any crud that collects on the tip during use) just drag the soldering iron tip over the wet sponge so that the direction is from the handle to the tip of the iron (the tip of the iron is the last thing to touch the sponge). All this stuff (flux, desoldering wick, and tip cleaner) can be purchased through Radio Shack or any online electronics parts outlet. WOW. This turned into a beginners lesson on soldering. Sorry, my wife says I'm long winded too! David
  3. I believe that you can get any of the 1050 chips at Best Electronic [email protected] This doesn't sound like a power problem to me, but it wouldn't hurt to look at all the electrolytic capacitors in the back half of the drive to make sure none are swollen or leaking. David
  4. Well, I just typed a highly intelligent, amazing reply to both of you and was about to post it when it just disappeared! About six lines of jabber, Gone! So I'll try it again, but keep it shorter... I had a lot of notes in my original manual, so it was easy to start over a week ago. The ship is paid for and I've got lots of ore and credits, Just no leads. I'd like to tell my 42 year old son that after 32 years I finally finished the game. We both worked on the game a lot together when he was about 10. Thank you both and I'll post a final answer if I figure it out! David
  5. Anyone know how to find the missing hyperspace booster? After 32 years, I discovered that two of the four disks still worked. Filled in the gaps from Atarimania's sight and started over. I've got plenty of money and ore, I just don't know where to start looking! Thanks, David
  6. It is also possible that one of your RAM boards has a bad chip in it that is preventing some of the larger games from playing. I had this problem once and could load smaller games but not larger ones. Try switching the RAM cards around too. Super Salt Diagnostics is what you need to really test the PC. David
  7. Remember that it is imperative that Q6 is electrically isolated from the aluminum heat sink that it is attached to by a thin plastic strip behind the TIP 110 (Q6) and a plastic sleeve around the screw. If the TIP 110 shorts to ground your 7812 (Q8) is going to get VERY HOT very fast. Someone earlier said that he lifts cap legs to try and remove shorts. Before you start doing this, look to see if any of your electrolytic caps are swollen on the tops or sides and also look for any that appear to be leaking fluids. If you have a good volt meter you can set it to the lowest setting and start checking the positive side of the electrolytic caps to ground. On the schematics follow the circuit where the short appears to other components and see if the readings on you meter go up or down. This will give you an idea of the correct direction to go to find the short. The lower the reading ( and we may be talking about milliohms difference) the closer you are to the actual short. If one of the three big caps is bad, I would recommend you replace all three to be safe. David
  8. Does anyone know if Newell Industries 'Ramrod MMOS Custom Operating System Board (with Omnimon)' supports David Byrd's 256K upgrade for the Atari 800? If memory serves me correctly (and that doesn't happen a lot lately), there were some chips that needed to be added to the 10K OS board too. Anyway if it doesn't support the RAM upgrade; does anyone know of a RAM upgrade that will work with the Ramrod Board? Thanks, David
  9. The link you sent me worked fine to create an ATR file for the 1050 diagnostics disk. So if you have some type of SIO2PC adapter you should be ready to test. After you download the file (make sure your 1050 is turned off) and load it into your SIO2PC adapter you can unplug the SIO2PC adapter, turn on your drive and press one to start the tests. If pressing one doesn't work you can press two a try individual tests. David
  10. You can't run the diagonstics from another drive (as one and two) with the Atari Diagnostic disk, so you will need two drives (both set to drive one). Make sure the bad drive is turned off, boot from the good drive and then turn it off. Then turn on the bad drive, and put the diagnostic disk in the bad drive and then run the diagnostic tests. The SIO2PC would been the good drive, then you'd have to unplug it after you load the diags, turn on the bad drive, insert the diags disk, and then start the tests. This sounded good until I discovered that the file dump on Atarimania is blank. So on top of the SIO2PC adapter you'll need to get the Atari 1050 diagnostic disk. At this point I would really recommend you send the drive to someone to fix. It costs about $50 to $60 dollars with shipping. I can give you the name of someone that I use, he is in Alabama. David Milsop Kingwood, Texas
  11. "Fiddling' with things inside a drive when you don't know what's what is a very bad idea. Buying a SIO2PC , and then running diags on your drive is the best option at this point if you still want to do it yourself. But for about the same price (or a little more) you can send it to someone who can fix and adjust it to run like new. David
  12. Well, I unzipped and tried the R: handler that russg was kind enough to give me but it made no difference; so... Out comes the soldering iron and I'm going to make sure that the power components are all new and working before I start testing and replacing chips. A little expensive but I have plenty of time now (and I enjoy working on electronic devices). I guess that comes from the dark ages when I had to ride my bike up to the drug store to test the TV and/or radio tubes for my Dad! I'll let you all know when I find the problem and how it turns out. Thanks all, .David
  13. I added a bypass switch on my old 800 after I retired and got it down from the attic. The door opened and closed but the plastic piece that pushed the switch on the power board down was missing. I drilled a 1/4 in hole in the top to the right of the cartridge door and added a SPST switch and soldered the wires into a couple of via holes beside the switch on the power board. It took longer to take the 800 apart and reassemble it then to do the mod. Now I just leave the door up all the time and don't worry about wearing out the latch to keep the door closed. If anyone is interested I could put something together to show how to do this. David
  14. If you open the drive by removing the six Phillips screw from the bottom you can see if the drive is spinning with and without the disk. Also without the disk in the drive, and the drive turned off, you can gently push the head toward the middle of the drive mechanism and then power on the drive to see if the head moves back all the way (towards the rear of the mechanism). If the cleaning doesn't work and/or you're not comfortable with opening up the drive, there are many people around that can fix the drive for you. David
  15. Testing (and some mild cussing) went on over several days. I tried several R: handlers that I found around the internet too. I've downloaded the RS850.zip file too and I'll give it a try tommorow. Is this the Basic file that starts with three lines of rem statements (10, 15, 17)? Thanks for the suggestions. Please keep 'em coming! I'll let you know if I have any success with this handler. My parts from Mouser should get here tomorrow. If this handler does work, I'm going to fire up the old soldering Iron and start replacing caps and voltage regulators. Thanks again! David
  16. Hello All! I'm new to this site (and most all others). Since I retired and got a little board, I discovered all my Atari stuff in the attic. I've repaired most of it but I'm having problems with my 850 interface. % volt power is good up to the chips and the 9 volts is good too. The power light lights up and the first time I booted the PC it loaded the drivers, but the second time (and all times since) I rebooted the 800 it doesn't load the drivers. I think that one of the 7805's is not stable or one of the caps is going bad, but I'm not sure. I'm going to replace all the electrolytic caps and the 5 volt regulators, then I'll fire up my old 40MHz Kikusui scope to look at the chips. But in the mean time I'm also looking for either an 850 Diagnostic Cartridge (CB102384) or the ROM dump. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, DavidMil
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