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A.J. Franzman

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Everything posted by A.J. Franzman

  1. One other thing it could be - this is extremely unlikely, but you're running out of possibilities: shorted capacitors. This would have caused low voltage readings in the final test in my previous post, but open resistors would do the same thing. If the resistors, capacitors, circuit tracks, and solder joints are all tested good, and the power bus is between 4.75 and 5.25 volts, there's only one possibility left - a bad IC. It would probably be the TIA but could also be the 6507 processor.
  2. Ben Heckendorn had the same problem when chopping a 2600 Junior down to make a portable, and he discovered that a couple of resistors he left off caused the game to act the same as you describe. (Operation Successful!) If your resistors test OK, re-melt their solder connections and look for cracked copper tracks associated with them. In fact, you could probe the TIA pins (35 and 36): With power off, they should each read 10K ohms or less to the +5V bus (pin 20). With power on and a game running, they should read close to +5V to ground (pin 1 or 22).
  3. Check for missing/burned/poorly soldered pullup resistors on the fire button circuits. I believe schematics are available on this site but you'll have to find the exact locations of the actual resistors by tracing the circuits on the boards.
  4. About a week ago: 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe blk txt lbl, CIB Coconuts "handle" case, cart only Freeway std scrnshot lbl, CIB Haunted House blk pic lbl, cart only River Raid std scrnshot lbl, CIB Sky Diver blk pic lbl, cart only Space Attack M-Network, cart only Starmaster std scrnshot lbl, CIB Surround blk txt lbl, cart only
  5. It depends on the friend - if he's a current or recent Atari collector/fan, I would say that's not wild. But getting Atari stuff from someone who hasn't touched it in years and is not aware or part of the current collector/fan scene, I would count that as "wild" (like the recent thread about bartering a boxed Big Sexy discovered in a basement for veterinary services). Here's my best attempt to define "Wild": Any item offered for sale or trade in a forum where significant quantities of similar items are not expected to usually be available, or owned by a person or business that is apparently not part or aware of the item's existing collecting community, fan base or present fair market value. If you are reading this at Atariage.com, then by definition any Atari items you now own are not currently wild, because you are obviously aware of the fan base and/or collecting community. I tried to keep my definition brief while covering all the bases, and generic so it could apply to any collectible. Note that by this definition, many used game stores are aware of the existing Atari fan base and fair market value of their stock, so should not be considered a "wild" source. Also, retail or mail order outlets when selling items currently or recently produced would not be considered wild either. If I'm much mistaken in my opinion, or there are specific situations not covered, please comment so we can have a definition that the majority can agree on to put in the glossary.
  6. Herr Mundschau, As someone who has had a brief education in the German language and culture, I doubt that I'll misspell your name. For those who don't know it, "Mundschau" is a nonsense compound word. These types of surnames are quite common in German-speaking countries. Robert's last name translates literally as "mouthshow". These odd names were usually formed many generations ago, when the tradition was for marrying couples to create new surnames by combining all or parts of those of both spouses. Gruess!
  7. Oh, one more thing: should stuff acquired "back in the day" (by current collectors) be considered as "wild" finds? I suggest yes, since most of it would have been from "ordinary retail outlets", with a small but significant portion of it coming from the now-dead medium of mail-order catalogs.
  8. OK folks, (especially mods) it seems from some of the posts here that some of us don't know exactly what "in the wild" means. I just checked the site glossary, and it isn't in there, so I recommend that it be added. IMO, "wild" does NOT include eBay, online contacts, or anything that can be ordered from a website. It should also not include vendors or fellow collectors met IRL at some kind of a convention where retrogamers are likely to congregate. It's just a given that stuff will be found at places of high concentration like these, and most of the time (except possibly on eBay) the seller knows the desirability and value of what they have. Wild DOES include: Yard sales/garage sales/rummage sales/boot sales Swap meets/fleamarkets Thrift stores/charity shops Pawn shops Ordinary retail outlets (if ANY of them actually still have any vintage Atari stuff in stock...) I'm not sure whether "wild" should include (B&M) dedicated gaming stores, but I lean towards not. Opinions? Comments welcome!
  9. If someone has a dead or stripped (but undamaged) Heavy Sixer console, I'd love to get one! I'm planning to build a portable using original case plastic, and don't want to destroy a working unit if I don't have to.
  10. Gamesnat, what he said! You should have sent the ~100 cartridges here: AtariAge is Buying. You would have got about $50 for that lot that you didn't have before. Also, there *are* people like myself just (re-)starting collections from scratch who don't have those titles yet. Seriously! I checked about a dozen local thrift stores, and only one had anything. Interestingly, 1 of the carts in there was not very common (Coconuts handle case), and 4 of the 9 were CIB. This is now my entire Atari collection, I don't even have a console yet (one is supposed to be on the way but is past due): 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe blk txt lbl w/ ctrl type & © yr, CIB Coconuts "handle" case, cart only Freeway standard scrnshot label, CIB Haunted House blk pic lbl w/ correct ctrl type & lg logo, cart only River Raid standard scrnshot label, CIB Sky Diver blk pic lbl w/ correct ctrl type & lg logo, cart only Space Attack M-Network end label only, made in U.S.A., cart only Starmaster standard scrnshot lbl, CIB Surround blk txt lbl w/ ctrl type, no ©, cart only 1 Driving controller I think I have some Atari joysticks packed away with my Commodore 64 stuff but not confirmed or checked whether they work yet.
  11. I don't yet have any of the cartridges that you have dupes of - if you want to sell them for cheap-to-reasonable I'll take 'em - except that I only need 1 of Yars' Revenge, and I'd prefer to get a Star Raiders CIB rather than just a loose cart. Also, which SwordQuest title did you get? Earthworld, Fireworld or Waterworld? I'm sure some of the hackers and homebrewers around here would take the dead carts from you if you don't want them.
  12. P.S. if you don't want that Atari Jr., I'll take it off your hands.
  13. Possibly, I've posted at ASAP on the Ghostbusters and Star Trek forums. I'm also a moderator of THE nixie tube forum, NEONIXIE-L at Yahoo Groups. You might also find my name on Bulbcollector.com, Usenet and various other fora.
  14. Open the case and see if the cart port is broken. Best electronics has replacements if you need one.
  15. Well, why not just unsolder the switch, disassemble and rebuild it? I've done that a few times with ordinary slide switches to fix things like bent sliding contacts, or dried grease inside. Sometimes all you need to do is re-crimp the metal tabs that hold it together, and spray it with contact cleaner. If you do take it apart, just be careful not to lose the tiny sliding contacts or the springs that push against them (if yours use separate springs).
  16. Is that artwork colored pencil, or crayon??? LOL I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have bought a cart in a box that looked like that!
  17. Google is your friend! There is at least one walkthrough online. Ditto C=64 version for me. My Atari was collecting dust by that time (soon to be disposed of).
  18. It doesn't look like the camera is too bad, looks more like it moved while taking the shot. You can get a cheap tabletop mini tripod from places like Best Buy or Staples for under $10. It's well worth it for macro work like this. Interesting cart.
  19. It's misleading (especially to all the electronics novices around here) to say that a linear regulator does not increase current draw (in fact it does, slightly) when what it really wastes is POWER. For a testable, common example, let's use your normal Adventure. If you're powering the system from a 5V source, the power drain is 5 volts X 0.272 amps = 1.36 watts. Now using your 9 volt source, and assuming that the current really is the same, 9 volts x 0.272 amps = 2.448 watts input, an 80% increase. Or to put it another way, runtime would be 1.8 times as much if the regulator didn't waste all that power. There is no perfect solution to this problem, but switching regulators are much better than linear regulators. Most are in the 80-85% efficiency range, with some approaching 95%. Here's an example calculation using a 9 volt battery with an 80% efficient switching regulator: Take the desired output (5 volts X 0.272 amps = 1.36 watts) and divide by the efficiency, 1.36 watts / 0.8 = 1.7 watts input to get 1.36 watts out. Comparing this to the linear regulator, runtime will be 44% longer. Using a more efficient regulator circuit can increase this significantly. This does not even take into account the ~2 volt "dropout" of the linear regulator. Using a "low dropout" linear regulator will increase runtime a bit, but a low dropout switching regulator will improve on that even more.
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