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About pollyisagoodbird

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    Space Invader
  1. So I want to get data tapes for my 600XL, but XC12 tape recorders are easily over $100! I'm a total cheapskate, so I was wondering if there's any chance of an alternative. Will a plain old audio cassette player do if I have the right hookups for it? And if not, what are some cheaper alternatives?
  2. It is these right here. How would I go about diagnosing it properly?
  3. So a quick update - I removed the screws and took off the menu keys before removing the Mylar (as well as the plastic hole sheet between the Mylar) and cleaning the inside and outside with rubbing alcohol. I put everything back together with a bit of effort and gave the keyboard a test, and it works! The only keys I'm not getting a response from are J, K, L, ;, right arrow, and left arrow. Oddly enough, the Caps key at the end of that row works, but the Control key in the same row on the other side does not get a response, even in the keyboard test screen. But I also managed to fix the Help button as well during the cleaning process. I think what I'll do is disassemble it again and give the middle row extra attention, especially where those unresponsive keys are at. If it works, it works, if not, I'm at least satisfied I solved the stuck key issue. Hopefully I don't create more issues by doing everything all over again! But I think at some point I'll replace the Mylar, since it probably won't last too much longer regardless. Thanks you all for your help, I've learned quite a lot since I bought this machine.
  4. I wish I had seen this post before making my update lol. But sheesh, all these screws do have to be removed?
  5. So right now I have disconnected the keyboard from the motherboard and have it separated from the computer (see attached images). Now I have tried getting they keys off the Mylar, but it seems to be stuck. On the underside, there's 18 tiny screws, which I'm assuming I have to remove? The video I'm following (at the start of this thread) makes no mention of these screws, but does make a mention of the small black posts. I was under the assumption that those three posts were the only things holding the keys against the Mylar, but I just wanted to double check and see if all these screws need to be removed.
  6. My 600XL is currently sitting in pieces as of this moment; my motherboard is a Chelco, P/N:150600008, REV 8A, copyright date of 1983.
  7. I recently bought a 600XL as an impulse buy for only $60. Essentially I want to use it as a gaming console, as I collect for a hobby (I also have an Atari 7800 and 5200, as well as 2 NES's, an SNES, a Sega Genesis, and a Colecovision). My 5200 is currently a paperweight, so I figured I might as well have a backup console as an alternative. Not to mention there's plenty of arcade games for the 8-bit line that never made it to the 5200, like Donkey Kong, Mr. Do!, and Crystal Castles. I also eventually want to write my own programs and mess around with BASIC just for fun, but I don't have the tools to save my programs yet. I'm looking to MacGyver some accessories together if it's at all possible, but I'd imagine it'd be quite difficult.
  8. I'll keep that in mind! At least my predicament isn't hard to fix. If all else fails I think I'll buy a replacement Mylar from Best Electronics.
  9. I've seen some topics on upgrading the RAM in a 600XL, and by that, I'm assuming it turns the computer into an 800XL. Since I am using my 600XL for gaming, is there any point in doing so? Will games run faster / better on an 800XL than they would on a 600XL?
  10. I'll have to get back to you on that! I plan on dismantling my 600XL within the next couple weeks once spring break rolls around. At least the lack of keyboard functionality hasn't impeded my ability to game at all; I've been indulging in Donkey Kong as of late. Though on the subject of keyboards and Mylar, I did want to mention that the column of silver option keys are a bit finicky (though now, after a bit of messing around, they appear to function much better once the springs loosened up).. Does the Mylar connect with those as well, or are they wired separately?
  11. I'm not sure; I have yet to take it apart. Are there different motherboard brandings depending on the type of computer I have?
  12. Thanks! This has been extremely helpful. Unfortunately it appears I am stuck with the Mylar keyboard, but at least repairing or replacing the Mylar is easy to do. Thank you!
  13. So today I bought an Atari 600 XL computer from an Exchange store and hooked it all up to my TV. It works, but upon boot-up I get a wall of = signs that will not stop typing. I am able to run the tests upon boot up just fine - memory and sound both passed. But with the keyboard test, the = key remains down and I get a long, drawn-out tone which I cannot stop. Pressing the = key many times does not free it from its permanently activated state. So before I take it apart to fix it, I looked up a repair video on someone fixing an 800XL keyboard - Before I dismantle mine and look at it, I want to know two things - 1. Is this repair process in the video identical for a 600 XL, in terms of how things are put together? 2. Has anyone else had this issue, and can it be fixed with just a simple contact cleaning? Thanks!
  14. I chose 'other', because I'm a broke college student and can't afford no fancy pants gold build controllers! I currently only have one controller. After taking it apart and cleaning the board, I used a hole-punch to punch out circles of tinfoil and attached them to my buttons with Elmer's glue. They still work!
  15. So my 5200 has apparently given up the ghost and just refuses to turn on. I recall the last time it functioned (about a month ago was when I played it last) it took a couple of tries to get it to turn on, but eventually it worked perfectly fine and I was able to turn it off and on with ease as I switched out games. Now all of the sudden it doesn't want to turn on at all. I have had this 5200 for a few years, and it has worked great otherwise. At the moment I don't have anything to test the power supply itself. But I'm assuming it's the switchbox. When I was trying to turn it on I examined the switchbox after several attempts and noticed it smelled like burning plastic. It wasn't strong, but you could definitely smell it if you held it up to your nose. I took it apart and everything looks good, except for the part where you plug in the actual power supply. The part where you plug the console in - which was where it smelled like burning plastic the most when I examined it - seems okay. Attached are pics of the switchbox, which I have taken out of its shell to look at. As you can see, the part where you plug the power supply into (the black thing, I don't know the name of it) seems rusty and corroded all over. Would this be my problem? Could I take it off the switchboard and clean it up, or would it be best to just buy a new part? Also, what can I use to test out my power supply to make sure that's not what's causing the issue?
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