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CommodoreDecker

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Everything posted by CommodoreDecker

  1. For "Gremlins" on the 2600, no question... But on the 5200? It's a lot more cohesive in its gameplay. Clever too, with weapons such as "camera flash cube". A friend had it in 1986 and it was surprisingly fun... had no clue until recently that the game was finished, sent to production, and at the same time Jack Tramiel buys Atari and orders the 5200 put down - all remaining stock to be put in a warehouse... all that produced stock languished in a warehouse for 2 years and when they were looking at stuff to clear out they found the games and sold them without fanfare. Impressive that there were sales for a game for a discontinued system where the joysticks stopped working after a handful of months...
  2. Guilt by association is likely what ET really suffers from. A lot of games in 1983 were churned out more rapidly then the local gnat population. I still play the 2600 - it's forward-thinking at the time with the quest trope, multiple screens, varied adversaries, extra life flower and neat easter egg turning into Yar and buzzing off, and so on... that alone makes me want to re-play this, just to find them all... and a monumental task given how difficult it was to code for the thing, especially with the limited development time and insanely small cartridge size (not unlike the Pac-Man debacle.) ET is surprisingly enjoyable despite its simplicity; and despite homebrew hacks fixing the edge detecting and changing his color from puke green to regular brown, the other tweaks involving removing of energy dwindling ruin the challenge. I tried the 800 version once... once... maybe one needed the manual even more than for the 2600 version's, but there's a distinct lack of charm, despite the more expansive world ET waddles around in.
  3. I think some of the hate is overblown, but still rather justified - borne out of disappointment over the odd lack of quality, especially considering the cost of the unit. If the controllers don't work, it's not going to be a fun experience - no matter how great the games actually are. Which is a shame as, in 1983, salesman at department store electronics' sections told people outright to avoid the console because of the controllers. A big shame, as the games I had seen in the store and at friends' houses were really great. Even in 1986, listening to my friend Elizabeth describe the nature of the sticks and the horrid RF interface - the other forehead-slappingly bad botched design. Not even a user-accessible fuse for when Mittens the kitten traipses by, barely brushes up against that cable, and causing sparks to fly as a result. Literally. On paper, its sounds innovative (as much of the system was). In practice, it was a cheap, fragile, and potentially dangerous design. The sparks were cool to look at, though. But it's not as fun as chucking a CD into a microwave and powering that up for 47 seconds and watch it fry... cheaper than fireworks, too... just don't breathe in any fumes... 🤪 Third party controllers existed, but those should never have been needed - that said, kudos to those who built and sold them to try to keep the 5200 in any semblance of a good light. Even then, not all games worked properly with those, so one would have to go back and forth un/re-plugging in sticks. Considering the trakball didn't have any of those problems, except playing Pac-Man with it was nigh on impossible and there's more to life than Centipede and Space Invaders, odd but true... Note: I'd eventually get a 5200, but it took a mere thirty eight years, with AV and power modifications to bypass those OOTB nightmares, and replacement gold flexcircuits for the controllers to get around those blasted joystick problems. Since then, the console has been a genuine treat and the retro-gaming community seems to be perking up in spots. But the renaissance and appreciation shouldn't have needed nigh on four decades, however!
  4. and, eventually, the real hardware will stop functioning - remaining operational units that have been pampered for longevity (replaced capacitors, heatsinks on chips, acceleration, etc) will cost more, even more for those in near-pristine condition. The chip-based cartridges should still hold up a lot longer than disks or tape ever would. Well, hopefully... If nothing else, buy the original titles - they're kinda cool as artwork too - and play the games on the emulator. Emulators have some occasional accuracy and lag issues but have come a long way - which is terrific. But the original equipment and experience are as irreplaceable as they are wonderful.
  5. Apart from cleaning the contacts, I recall the 2600 adapter is essentially the innards of an 2600 that just piggybacks on the 5200's video circuitry to send the video generated by the 2600 module to the TV, as well as taking power from the Supersystem. If all 5200 games are working on their own without static, then the 5200 is probably fine - or is being overloaded by the additional power requirement needed by the 2600 module. Could the power supply be waning, unable to handle the power load? Is your 5200 modified to send video directly to composite or is it using the RF Modulator? Otherwise, there could be a capacitor (or more) on the 5200 (and/or on the 2600 adapter too) that's going bad.
  6. ^^this I installed four and then repainted my A800 chassis with gold sparkly paint they work marvelously. Surprisingly easy to do... I also kept a couple of potentiometers from defective sticks in case the current ones wear out as well... Also, most of the "defective" joysticks on eBay are due to the flexcircuit's contacts having oxidized and otherwise work great. Apart from the few that have crinkled start/pause/reset strips due to someone botching a repair, but with the new gold kits it's a moot point.
  7. Does this happen to any other games? If so, chances are it's a hardware problem in the SNES. If not, then does that cartridge get warm to the touch? (Even then, chances at this point are that the issue is with the ROM chips in the game cartridge...) Is the SNES connected directly to the TV or is a receiver doing the audio amplification? (Depending on which notes and sequences, if they're the same ones, maybe there's a filter that's stripping out that frequency?)
  8. The front-loader has the better appearance, and another mechanism to deal with the card-edge securing than just cheap pins would have saved a lot of problems... true, it would have cost a lot more and introducing the thing to America was risky venture... My NES has Blinking Light Win - it's a bit tight so game removal is a bit rough at times, especially for Tengen or other 3rd party cartridges that don't have the indent for easier grabbing, but the toaster makes for a more compact unit when placed in a shelf, unlike the top loader that requires tons of wasted vertical space. Wish the 5200, 7800, and others had a 90 degree adapter too...
  9. In no order since trying to do an ordered list via random number generator didn't work: SimCity SimCity 2000 StarFox (not "FireFox", my bad 🤪) Super Tetris 3 Super Metroid Super Star Wars (all three from the original trilogy - they're not the 1983 arcade game but they're pretty cool nonetheless) WordTris Road Runner (feels like the cartoons except it's interactive and is worth playing just to see Wile E Coyote's facial expressions alone) Bugs Bunny (not the greatest but robust enough) Super Pitfall (the last halfway decent incarnation of the venerable Atari 2600 game that became legendary)... there are probably lots of others, but the nerd in me recommends that list the most.
  10. Current is always running through it when plugged into a live outlet, regardless if the device attached is powered on or not. All the PSU does is ensure power is converted into something the device attached to it can use. Most of my PSUs run cool, but one does warm up after a while regardless if the 800XL powered on or not. When not in use the power strip goes off and the PSU doesn't have to do any work to convert 120VAC to what the device needs. Some components age faster - especially if there are manufacturing quality issues above and beyond general usage. If you can find a replacement (original or compatible), it's worth doing at some point. The effects of time and entropy, it's simply wearing out. At least it's not the Atari ingot adapter. 🤪 Those things fry computers like fish after reaching a certain point...
  11. None at the time. Was enamored with the Amiga. While looking up Tengen Tetris videos, saw one for the SNES Tetris 3, promptly drooled, and promptly bought a recapped SNES Jr. Simcity and SimCity 2k were nice to get... Starfox is said to run faster on the Jr, and that's back when 3D was in its infancy and every CPU cycle counted... Super Metroid is arguably the best sequel of all time; the first was "okay", later ones "meh", but SNES Super Metroid floored me. (I generally prefer sci-fi over fantasy, yet for the original NES Zelda seemed more of a fun quest than Metroid (which was decent but Zelda just seemed more solid...) On the SNES however, it's by far the other way around - Super Metroid was far superior. )
  12. What about the ambidextrous? I resemble that remark. 😁
  13. MULE, Ninja, Alley Cat, Rescue on Fractalus, World Karate Championship, Panther, Alien Garden (despite still sucking at it), Hard Hat Mack, Bandits, Shamus, Pac-Man (though the 5200 has the more iconic edition)...
  14. Probably a few dozen online being auctioned somewhere, complete with fuzzy and non-distinct images of the label and lots of proclamations of "It's an original, pinky-swear!" Except it's not the pinky being waved in your face... 🤪 A shame, since LucasFilm Games was one of, if not the best trendsetters of the day with gameplay originality and hardware-pushing. Fractal-generated landscapes in real time, antialiasing, etc... a shame the 8-bit stereo sound chip never got released for the 65 XEM...
  15. I'm going to second that request. If Frogger showed a splattered frog back in 1982, then a flattened chicken should be just as okay? The game tries to be realistic in other ways, anyway...
  16. My first thought was that they're a group of teriyaki sticks. :9
  17. Would you consider looking at the old prototype of Freeway, where they used the other old joke of using a human figure, complete with red spot once it gets hit? The nostalgic kid of my past loved this game, playing with mom, but the Gen_X adult in me found more out of the prototype... which was a real thing, apparently... http://www.atariprotos.com/2600/software/freeway/bloodyhuman.htm
  18. I saw an 815 on eBay a couple months ago. Listed at only $10,000, there were at least 8 people interested in it...
  19. Hi! I got a rare PB game (Atari 800 cart) and it's not coming up. A close-up of the PCB shows a scratched lead, which I think is repairable. Unfortunately, I'm not noticing screws on the cartridge so getting at the PCB to fix it is impossible right now. Are these things glued? Is there an easy way to safely open the cart without damaging it? Thanks!
  20. I've bought from that seller several times, including the gold flexcircuit kits that also include replaced silicone fire and the start/select/reset buttons: https://www.ebay.com/itm/393154769572?hash=item5b89d9b2a4:g:2HkAAOSwLVZVoVlR That ensures every last button is dealt with, fully. Worth every penny, I must say... all 5495 of them...
  21. Yeah, they do not catch fire. They do spark - if you plug in the 5200 into the box after the power supply. When hooking up cables, do the AC power into the wall last and there will be no spark. Now, I'd be more inclined to find power and UAV kits and modify the 5200 to use composite output and use a dedicated AC cord instead of the 5200's hodgepodge as it'll look and sound tons better. It's a clever hodgepodge Atari put together, but a hodgepodge nonetheless. Or a 5200 with the modifications already made... Or what @OldSchoolRetroGamer said above, I should read the thread before jumping off the deep end.. 🥴
  22. Using AtariMax SD Wafer cartridge on a real 4-port 5200 (since fake ones are hard to find 🤪), Frostbite works. Am floored how it's near-identical to the 2600 version, even the sounds. But it plays great, and negates me from having to keep plugging in my 7800 and whipping out the box. Thanks!
  23. Update: I have yet to pry out the blue part to get at the stuff within. With multimeter in hand, one pot went from 0 to 500 - but 0 didn't go up until maybe 25% into a turn. Or down from 500 until after 25% of a turn as well. Either which way, the resistance count was not smooth. The other pot was even more rough, less responsive, also topping at 825K (to my understanding, these are 500K ohm pots - so this one definitely is worn out.) Dust or other tiny particles getting past the seals is possible, but my impression is that they're just worn out. I've seen a gaggle of various pots online. I saw Bourne referenced from another post, complete with Dremel being used to shape the shaft. All brands I've seen only have split shafts rather than the half-moon (boo!), so to rig this I need find a comparable half-moon or rig the joystick's coupler to accept a split shaft via drilling out the other side where the half-moon locks into... This is potentially a $5-20 fix, depending on brand and time needed to rig the things...
  24. So glad the cables are fine! It's a slight tedium to replace the cable if it goes bad. More time-consuming than anything properly nightmarish (e.g. replacing the flexcircuit from all of those contorted angle positions that would scare off the Cirque Du Soleil...) It's cool that Best will do the installation of the gold units if you send them in. I managed to do it, after test-removing and replacing the trashy originals - but I'd be half-tempted to send them in too... I tried the old glued on tacky foil routine. Didn't work well despite the amount of time carefully cutting and applying the little bits on. Some buttons still didn't function and the buttons were still soggy to the touch; the gold kits include new silicone molded buttons that restore that firm feel.
  25. Thanks for the info. I'll remove the solder, pry with a spudger, then bathe 'em in contact cleaner overnight. But I think Quadrunner is right; I have a feeling it's due to the conductive material wearing off and the contact is sporadic at best... I'll look up the ohm rating; maybe rigging a generic pot can be a workaround as I'm sitting here thinking of ideas with absolutely zero grounding on how the thing is constructed. 🤪 (noting the square locking mechanism it's probably less of a realistic goal and more of a Quixotic one...) If nothing else, the keypad is working and can recoup some of the loss. A shame as these Wicos are otherwise built like tanks... Will follow up...
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