Hello everyone, just joined the forum and I don't dabble in vintage computers a whole lot, but my interest in Atari's early computers stem from my familiarity with Atari's coin op games of the 80s as I collect/repair arcade and pinball machines. Anywhoo, I found a huge stack of Atari 800 goodies at California Extreme this past weekend and the gentleman I bought it all from didn't seem to know (or care?) too much about these units. I got them all at a killer price and he also included a ton of 2600 goodies as well. I'll be the first to admit that I do not know a whole heck of a lot about Atari 800's. But when I was unloading my truck after returning home, some strange details about these consoles began to catch my eye.
So here's what I have. I have three 800 systems:
• The bottom unit looks to be a standard issue Atari 800, nothing crazy or different about it. This unit boots up and appears to work without issue.
• The top left unit has no badging, serials, labels, or anything identifying the console whatsoever, and not even the ROM/RAM carts have casings. There is also zero adhesive residue to suggest the badging was there at any point in it's life. The screws are also flat-head instead of phillips, which I thought was also interesting. This unit also boots up and works. But what fascinates me is the fact that there is a full set of peripherals with this same blank badging and flathead screws, suggesting they may all have came from the same place? I don't know.
• The top right unit has all the characteristics of a normal unit, but with one huge exception. There is a badge on the lower right corner that states "ATARI H.C.D ENG. LAB S/N - 1339". This unit comes up with either a black screen or scrolling red garbage, so it doesn't seem to work at the moment. There are only 3 slots filled on this unit, with one uncased card being what looks like a card full of 4116 RAM but made by "Intec Peripherals" and not Atari.
Being the newbie that I am to this world of vintage Atari computing, can anyone shed some light or possibilities as to what these consoles are and if they are of any significance beyond normal 800 units?