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About DistantStar001

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    Chopper Commander

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    San Rafael, California
  1. Good to know that they are infact different. The key does seem to function, it just doesn't lock. It's just like having third shift key, I suppose I can live with that.
  2. I don't have a DIN connector at the moment, but there's a local electronics shop that carries them where I live. Usually they're less than $5. As for the SD2IEC, the kit I'm looking at is about $24 with shipping. So far, I haven't found a fully assembled one for less than 45$.
  3. I did remove the keyboard, but it still cracked before the key could be extracted. I don't think the keys on that particular board are going anywhere. The good news is that it still works. As for my Vic-20, the PCB for the keyboard is a little different. Unlike the one in my C64, there's no cutout for the shift lock, only two little solder points holding the wires in place. So far, I haven't seen any other boards like it. Is there a pinout guide that I can use?
  4. That was my first thought, but they were far too thick course.
  5. Maybe someone could tell me who the usual suspects are, because other than my local art supply store, I'm not finding anything.
  6. First of all, thanks for the leads. I guess I'll have to fix that, but I'm a little terrified, as the last time I tried to remove a key from a Commodore keyboard the frame cracked. I was lucky to fix it, but I never did get any of the keys off. I found an internal SD2IEC kit on eBay, and was wondering if it could be modified for external use? Eventually I want to get at least one of my c64 boards working, so it would be nice if whatever SD card reader I get could be used for both. And I really don't want to risk modifying my Vic and end up sending it to an early grave. It's not even 40 yet. That's way too young to die. Also, when I do get an SD2IEC, is it possible to use it with a 1451 to write the disc images to an actual floppy? And if so, what would be the best method?
  7. Ok, so now I have a new issue. As I mentioned, I managed to get my drive functioning again, but then it suddenly started acting up again with AtariDOS disks. I opened it up, tried adjusting the speed again, but it did no good. Then I saw it. There was a piece of fuss hanging off the upper arm of the read head. Turns out that it was a small felt dot that was applying pressure on the disk to keep it in proper contact with the head. When I applied pressure to the upper arm the drive works perfectly, so I'm guessing that little dot was important. The original is sadly lost, so I need a replacement, but I'm having trouble finding one. Any ideas? Can I just cut out a new one and glue it with some Elmers?
  8. I'm probably going to create a barrel adaptor for my Atari PSU regardless, but I still want a dedicated unit incase I want to work on both computers at the same time. I've been pricing them out and so far they're going between $50 and $60 on eBay. That's nearly twice what I spent on the Vic-20. I know I got a good deal, but still... Any idea where I might find just the PCB, or the files to have one created? Even if that isn't cheaper, it would still be a really fun project. Also, I ordered a, old Commodore datasette off eBay and have managed to figure out how to convert .tap files to .wav. However, the vast majority of programs I've found are in PAL format and my Vic-20 is NTSC. I know that for most video game consoles this usually messes with the timing in games, but the game itself usually plays fine. But all those systems have dedicated graphics hardware and use sprites. The Vic-20 on the other hand, redefines text to create graphics, or so I'm told. So I'm wondering if the PAL games will still work?
  9. I recently got what appears to be an early Vic-20 with a PET style keyboard, that has been modified with what turned out to be a reset button soldered to the motherboard, and bolted to the underside of the case. As far as I can tell, the computer boots up normally, with a little over 3 1/2 k in available RAM, and all the keys seem to work as war as I can test. However, the "Shift Lock" key does not stay down/lock when pressed. Which leads to my first question: Is that normal? I know on later keyboards it does, but this is an earlier model, so I'm so sure. My second question is more cosmetic. There is an odd dark discoloration near the front right foot (which is missing). I've tried Windex, rubbing alcohol, and baking soda with limited success. Any suggestions on how to remove it? Or do I just keep doing what I've been doing until it goes away? My third question is about an appropriate power supply. This is a two prong unit, so my jury-rigged C64 supply won't fit (even if it's safe and doesn't over-volt). I did find a simple cord that does fit the prongs. To test it, I had to cut off the outlet plug and strip the wires a bit, shoving one line into the barrel of a PSU from an Atari 1050, and wrapping the other end around the outside of that barrel. As you might have guessed this actually works, but it's hardly a long term solution. I don't want to permanently modify my Atari adaptor since I still have the drive that goes with it, unfortunately, all my searches for a proper replacement have turned up C64 style plugs, or been out of my price range. I could just rig up a barrel adaptor to the cord I've got, but I'd really like a dedicated unit, so I was wondering if anyone knew of a good place to find one? Fourth, I noticed while testing that my Vic got pretty warm. I don't think it's unusual. There's a pretty hefty heat-sinc on the board, and that's where the warmth is concentrated, but I was wondering if there was something more efficient, or should I be adding some fresh compound? My last question is the fun one. Now that I have a Vic-20, and I know that it works, what software and accessories should I be looking for? Game recommendations, peripherals, etc.
  10. Thank you so much! My drive is back, and I don't think I'm going to mess with it again unless there is a problem. Again, thank you!
  11. I have to run to work now, but I wanted to say thank you. I'll be testing your program after I get home. I have two formatted disks with DOS on them, so hopefully, that will work.
  12. Just updated my profile with my general location. Sorry, it took me so long to figure that out. Also, I cleaned the head with 99% alcohol and a q-tip since it always worked with my Apple //e.
  13. If you could, that would be very much appreciated.
  14. How do I get a copy of these disks? I don't have the means to interface the drive or the Atari with a modern computer to create one myself. As such, I've tried adjusting the drive blindly, but now it won't read anything and all I get is boot errors. I tried adjusting it counterclockwise to speed it up, only to see my drive eventually slow to a near stop. Then twisted it the other way and the drive sped up but gives me nothing but boot errors. Now it sounds more like an Atari drive, but it doesn't work. Can anyone tell me the value of the potentiometer at optimum? Maybe I can adjust this thing with a multimeter?
  15. Trial and error I'm afraid. No idea what the drive rpm is, and I don't think I have the software to tell me. And yes, I did clean the drive heads. How do I adjust the speed? That might explain why disks that work with my //e won't work on my Atari. Also, would the drive speed also explain why the drive doesn't work with Atariwriter? When the drive is on it gives me a red border around the boot screen and stays there. I tried turning the drive on after boot, but get an I/O error, same if I change the device number.
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