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A.J. Franzman

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Everything posted by A.J. Franzman

  1. ... along with the high-viscosity grease that was put in them by design to give them that smooth physical resistance. Which is fine, if you like your paddle knobs to be much easier to turn. But if you want to keep the original feel, better to stick with the disassemble-and-clean method.
  2. The Game Select and Game Reset switches are "normally open", which means that for a console to act as if one of them is always pressed, there are two possibilities: either A) there is a short circuit within the switch, or between the relevant signal path and ground, OR B) the 6532 RIOT IC (a.k.a. Atari part number CO10750, which is what reads the switch position) has an internal failure. RIOT failures are unfortunately very common, so I suspect this is most likely what's wrong with your unit.
  3. Going by the 4th photo in post #1, that appears to be correct. The black wire you mentioned seems to be connected to a power indicator LED in the lower left corner of that photo, and the white wire from the LED goes to a resistor, which then connects to a trace which connects to all of the VGB's cart ports' pin 12's. Since pin 12 of the cart port is a ground, for the LED to light, the black wire must be +5V. Since the yellow wires at the top of the photo tie into all of the capacitors' "+" leads, and those leads go to the cart ports' pin 23's (also +5V), it makes sense for the yellow wire to the leftmost capacitor and the black wire to the LED to originate from the same place.
  4. All NTSC TVs "support" PAL60. The colors will be different, that's all. AFAIK only homebrews exist in PAL60 format anyway, and every one of them that's available in PAL60 is also available in NTSC (which will show the correct colors on your North American console and TV). So there's no reason why you would ever need to run a PAL60 game. Whether your TV works with true 50 Hz PAL (without rolling the screen) is a different story. There are a few original games that were written to use PAL's extra scanlines, and though attempts have been made to convert them to NTSC, they haven't been completely successful. Also, several homebrews and "demoscene" demos are only available in PAL.
  5. A.J. Franzman


    Except that someone should have been allowed to respond to what is now the very last post. The link provided to supposedly show an electronic equipment maker's endorsement of the use of Armor All, in fact goes to the website of a maker of pressure and vacuum gauges, which are mechanical, not electronic.
  6. An ultrasonic cleaner by itself will not remove any oxidation except that which you could just as easily scrub off with a stiff brush, but it will usually speed up most cleaning/chemical baths significantly. First you need to find something that works.
  7. Are the posters all complete, or have the entry forms been detached?
  8. Frostbite, I have one of Fred's new dumpers, but I'm in the "other" CA: California, U.S.A. (just east of Los Angeles; almost as far away as I could get and still be on the same continent). I dunno if you want to ship your cart back and forth across our borders and all the intervening distance.
  9. Only the first release, and I think it's an odd number like wave 83. Since some kid complained within a week of its release about the screen going black (which the author thought nobody would ever reach), an endless version was quickly hacked and replaced the original version.
  10. Since there's already a recent "Which games have the best music?" topic, it should be specified that this one is for sound EFFECTS, not music.
  11. Looks like about the only gradient/shaded areas are the drop shadows, the half-eaten "wafer" and the large monsters' "sheet" folds. The rest of it would be much easier to re-create as a vector image rather than try to manually clean up by usual Photoshop/Gimp methods.
  12. Vinegar (acetic acid) is a weak acid. Acetic acid + NaCl (salt) produces hydrochloric acid, a strong acid. But everything I've ever read on coin collecting says don't clean them, if they have any value, because you'll only reduce it. I'm not sure about surface-mount IC leads, but I know older through-hole component leads were typically either copper or mild steel, tinned with either pure tin or the usual 63/37 lead/tin solder. You could tell the steel from the copper because the steel ones are attracted to magnets. Today they're probably all tinned with either pure tin or one of today's 2/98 silver/tin solders or some similar low toxicity stuff, but I don't know if IC pins now are copper (doubtful -- too soft), plain mild steel, or some specific alloy.
  13. Looks like a typically-weird late Atari Corp. reissue to me.
  14. Yeah, on the C64, if you had the ghost between the streams when you activated the trap, you'd get him better than 90% of the time, because when the "capture" circle first appeared over the trap, it was much higher up the screen. The VCS version is terrible in that regard, because the "capture" circle starts right at the trap and takes a bit longer to get up to where it has any chance of touching the ghost -- by which time he's usually moved away. There was a trick way to catch ghosts even faster on the C64, that I don't know if it will work at all (or any better than the standard way) on the VCS. The trick was, to drop the trap to the left of center screen and put the first Ghostbuster facing the wrong way -- at the far left side of the screen, facing left -- then use only the second Ghostbuster to "scoop" the ghost from right to left and activate the trap just as you get him over it. Since the first Ghostbuster is turned the other way, you can't accidentally cross the streams until you completely overlap the men (which is easy to avoid).
  15. When MythBusters did Coca-Cola myths, they found that it didn't work as an engine degreaser, but it worked at least as well as a leading commercial product (!) for cleaning rust off of chrome bumpers. So it may actually work better than vinegar for de-oxidizing those IC pins.
  16. They do have a thermal fuse underneath the transformer windings, but once it blows, the wall wart is considered not repairable. I have in fact repaired several Atari VCS adapters, but if the primary transformer winding reads open, I replace the transformer (stripping and rewinding a transformer is possible but extremely time-consuming unless you have special equipment to do it, which I don't). Most of my wall wart repairs have been fixing wire breaks and replacing bad capacitors or diodes. If your power supply is not in a hot or unventilated space, it should be fine for however long you want to play. The official electrician's definition of "continuous duty" (as opposed to "intermittent duty") in the U.S. is 3 hours or more non-stop. So if it works for over 3 hours without problems (i.e. doesn't smoke or smell like it's burning, and is not painfully hot to touch), it should be good for as long as you want.
  17. What are those 7800 cartridge boards?
  18. Nice find! I'm convinced by the font used on the building signage that this is indeed the same company. It looks like they supply copperclad fiberglass/epoxy-resin circuit boards, and the later steps of etching, solder-masking, legend printing, component stuffing, soldering, etc. would have been done by another company in the instance of Men-A-Vision. (In Atari's case, they or their overseas subcontractor factories would probably have done those steps themselves).
  19. You Fail Chemistry Forever. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizer, which is the opposite of a reducing agent. If you want to clean an oxide off a metal, you don't use an oxidizer to do it! Hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and a large number of other chemicals will rapidly create oxides and their chemical relatives on metal surfaces. I have personally used bleach to almost instantly "rust" a length of brand-new shiny metal chain for use as a halloween prop. It was much easier, more authentic looking, and more durable than painting it... CLR, Tarn-X, vinegar, or another acid would be much better alternatives.
  20. Oak was a very large supplier of circuit boards during that time frame. Even some VCS circuit boards were made by them. I very much doubt that they would still have records going that far back of who all of their customers were, and even if they did, you would have a very difficult time figuring out which order was the Air Raid board. I'm not even sure if Oak made the completed boards, or merely the fiberglass and resin core layer, and another company put on the copper layers and did the final etch/mask/silkscreen/etc. steps.
  21. Necro-bump! The last 30 seconds of this YouTube clip shows how to get past Mr. Stay-Puft in the VCS version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2kpp0xRhf8 The building has 6 vertical columns of windows. It looks like you need to time your run so that you pass under him while you and he are about in line with the 2nd and 3rd columns from the left.
  22. The seller is just being "cute" (stupid) to try to get more attention for his item.
  23. I always thought it odd that someone gave CB a rock in his Halloween Trick-or-Treat bag. Do that today to just about any kid and you'll get the rock back -- through your window.
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