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About TheDash

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    Space Invader

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  1. It made very little difference sadly. I replaced the Astec modulator with a newer one, just as an experiment, and there was a slight improvement - but I think I'll go the composite mod at some point in the future if I'm going to keep using it.
  2. Well holy Donkey Kong - it works! That was really quite a nerve wracking experience, putting the connectors back together. Yeah, I know it's old, but - so fragile? Well phew anyway. Thanks a whole stack for your help there Dragonstomper - really appreciate it. So I'm not sure what fixed it exactly - but I cleaned the contacts (95% alcohol), pressed down on the chips a little (one of which clicked), and that was it really. Now to reassemble the thing properly. More nerve wracking coming up. I can't tell you much about that RAM board - it would have been done back when I was more interested in playing with Star Wars toys and reading comics, and getting to school on time. But I'll bet it wasn't cheap for sure. The picture is snowy as expected - but pretty badly so. Was it always that bad? Donkey Kong lives on. Now I'm thinking AV mod .. the picture is dreadful!
  3. Pic 1. The RAM board contacts were clean, but the CPU ones very dirty - as you can see. This is the RAM board. Do the chips look normal? As in standard 16k setup? The reverse side of the RAM board, with 4 wires connecting to an IC board on the motherboard And the yellow / green pair of wires connecting to the underside of the cartridge connector. Lastly, what looks like an engineers label stating, possibly, that the machine is 48k? The label is a little cryptic - I'm assuming A400 is Atari 400, and 7/84 the date? Has anyone seen this before?
  4. Absolute top notch - thanks so much for the step by step instructions, really appreciated. I'm very impressed by the overall help offered on this website! You do it a great credit. So, I carefully followed them. I had to laugh a little at step 2 - that was what had me stumped earlier. That cartridge door ... I'm going to attach some pics (as promised, pics fans), but there seems to be something maybe a little unusual about the RAM board. It has soldered wires going to another IC on the board, and to the underside of the cartridge connector. Is this normal? The underside of the chassis has a red label saying '16k RAM', but also a hand written label saying '48k'. Inside there's what looks like an engineers label stating 'A400 48k' - could it have been upgraded? Pics to follow.
  5. You're absolutely right there - I'm a bit stumped already trying to carefully open the thing up. I have the bottom chassis off, but can't seem to get further ... any advice on how to disassemble the thing?
  6. Hello folks I recently had a 'dead' Atari 800, which I posted here, and thanks to your help I got working. Now it's the turn of the Atari 400.. I could have sworn this worked, albeit many years ago I guess. When I power on I get just a black screen. Is there a step thru diagnosis I could follow to find the fault? I get the feeling this will be something at chip level and not as easy as my 800, but any pointers / help greatly appreciated. Detailed photos will follow for those interested
  7. I dont have any language carts unfortunately.. but Donkey Kong comes up just fine 😄 It may not be normal behaviour, but to be honest Im fine with that just now. I got the machine working after a deep 35 year hibernation, I can play the cartridge games I have, and I can type lots of little notes to myself in memo pad. Until I need to do anything else Ill park it and not take anymore of your time. Besides, I have a 7800 to fix now.. Thanks for all your help!
  8. Hopefully this could be my last post on Atari 800 whoas The keyboard was not responding (other than function keys) so I spent time desoldering, cleaning, and re sitting the connector. Still no. Then I discovered pressing break brought it to life .. suddenly every key working. Is this normal behaviour? I really cant remember .. but pressing break seems to put it into memo pad mode, and if I remember right there is no basic interpreter built in - that comes on cart.
  9. Actually I am going to solder that switch, its quite problematic. Are they always so loose? The machine just flicks off and on unless I push down quite hard on the lid.
  10. Sorry I'm not quite with you .. are you suggesting ways to fix my keyboard problem? I don't really know what any of that means - being of course tech unsavvy as I am ..
  11. Maybe 81 then, or even 82 - my memory isnt so great I know it was before my dad got a Vic 20, which I *think* was 1982. Depressingly (no pun intended) the keyboard isnt working .. might have to post another question does anyone know why an Atari 800 keyboard might stop working?
  12. I heard something similar - or that they were threatened with trouble if they did not over shield the thing .. something like that. So the response was some engineer designing that huge metal block that we see inside the 800, and which probably accounts for about 1/3 of the total weight! Yes Commodores shielding was thin - or even just silver card - but it seems like the reason has been explained here already. I guess Atari were paying the price for being at the cutting edge, and regulatory response to the 'unknown effects of having a computer in your house, especially near children or the elderly' was OTT!
  13. I think this particular one was bought in 1980 - but internally it says Copyright 1979 - or just 79 in some places. Thats a good couple of years before the Commodore 64. Shame Atari didnt get the slicker and much smaller form factor right earlier on, 800xl style. This Atari 800 is bulky and weighs a ton! Or 4 kilos to be exact.
  14. The plunger that pushes this switch down .. pushed down normally by the lid So push that switch down, put Donkey Kong cartridge in, and bingo. One nicely working Atari 800!
  15. Here's the CPU cartridge / module And something hidden away, deep inside .. note the 'W' Warner Bros logo on the left .. and the now 'not so mysterious' Morse Code transmitter
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