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Gearhead Lu

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  1. And then the sound of the cassette tape smacking the wall (minus the curse words of course). 😖 😏 OK maybe not, but seriously the disk drive, cassette player and cartridge door clunky mechanical sounds along with the all the beeps are what I remembered most about the Atari 800 hardware before I pulled it out of storage last spring after many years in storage.
  2. LOL , that's the first thing I thought of also when I saw that monitor on top. I'm also nervous around tall brick buildings. 😬 Nice looking setup. Help keep the dog, cat hairs out.
  3. Forgot the picture of my Wico trackball springs that suspend the shaft bearings. Very light springs but enough to lift the shafts to keep contact with the ball.
  4. I tried a few things on my Wico track ball and shafts. I started a new thread on trackball repair and ball yellowing so we don't have to derail this thread. See it here. Trackball repair and ball yellowing thread.
  5. Starting a new thread on trackball repair so the original thread is not derailed. Some of the previous posts... OK, The weather forecast was wrong. It did not get up to 110F, it got up to 112F. 😜 I set my very yellowed Wico balls in the hot sun for a day with a peice of electrical tape on them to see if I could tell a difference. They just slightly lightened up. I then soaked a ball in 40 volume hydrogen peroxide and set in the sun for another day with little whitening results. Still quite yellow. 🤔 You can barely see the darker yellow where I had a small square of electrical tape (lower leading side of ball). I had a great idea... or so I thought. Just slip some good quality heat shrink tubing on the shafts. Maybe it would grip good and be a simple fix I thought. My Wico shafts have a slight bit of wear and the ball rolls a bit rough. So I tried the heat shrink with my spare parts Wico track ball using some Reychem D-25 heat shrink. With heat shrink on just one shaft it rolled very smooth and gripped really good, but only when spinning in the direction of the heat shrink covered shaft. I sleeved the other shaft with heat shrink and the ball was hard to spin in either direction. Apparently there is too much grip. When you roll the ball on one shaft, it needs to slip on the other shaft because the shaft it is not in contact at the midpoint of the ball side. The shafts centers are not on the same plane as the ball center. This requires a bit of slip between the ball and the shaft that is not in the direction of the ball rotation. I would think that the slipping is what is causing a lot of the wear to the shaft. I removed the heat shrink and polished away most of the roughness on the shafts using a buffing wheel. Now the ball spins easy and smooth in all directions. It seems to still have plenty of grip to turn the shafts that the ball is rolling in the direction of. I would not worry about how smooth the shafts are. My guess is that a smooth shaft will have less wear. I think if the bearing are spinning free then it will turn the shafts OK even with very smooth shafts.. Another thing is that the Wico has springs under the bearings that suspend the shafts for contact and keep pressure between them and the ball (see my Wico trackball photo above). I think Gunstar's Atari trackball would not need the tape under the bearings if it had the springs even with worn shafts. The shaft size would not be so critical. Gunstar said his trackball wore through the nickle plating from years of use. I would also think stainless steel polished shafts would work fine. That sound too easy making the shafts with that lathe. I have a lathe also. An old cheap Central Machinery (Harbor Freight) 12" x 37" Gear head lathe. 😏 Good for small hobby stuff. No CNC. I have to cut parts manually and use micrometer dials (no digital readouts).
  6. Another vote for the 2600-Daptor D9. I bought one a couple months ago and I have been meaning to give a shout out for the great product and fast shipping. Glad to support the small businesses that keep the retro products alive.
  7. I have a couple Wico Atari ST trackballs (two buttons) that have yellowed balls also. Did not realize the yellowing until I saw the box pictures. Have not tried to whiten them. I thought maybe try putting the ball in the sunlight, but could turn out uneven whitening. Forecast tomorrow said it could get up to 110F here. I wonder if that is too hot to try whitening plastic?🥵 After cleaning track balls and the guides, I use Pledge furniture polish spray on the ball and makes it spin super smooth. It contains silicone that makes it slipery. Spray on, wipe off. I do this often on a trackball that I use on my current PC. Pledge also works good as a cheap auto or bike detailer.
  8. I searched for the Analog issue 31 and found it was posted here on AA by someone here 😉. Analog Computing 31 1985-06 2 ROTO.atr Boot with BASIC and select ATASCII..BAS (type 12>Return). I remember making BASIC programs with ATASCII graphics editor long ago, but can't remember where I got the editor. I thought maybe it would be this editor but I don't think so now that have tried it.
  9. @luckybuck: Sorry, but I don't have any of those titles. Synapse made utility programs? 😏 At that time I mostly bought games and graphic utilities to make games. I did not stick to making games though. Other hobbies (Go-Karts/Cars) took up my time. ->Gearhead 😁 The original Synapse address was a house near my neighborhood and I remember walking past it. A software company is at a house? Here? Never had the nerve to go knock on the door and say Hi. Maybe I would have met someone to help teach me how to program and stick with it? Yah, OK dreaming what if. 🤔 Some of the titles I have that are 8-9 rarity according to Atarimania are (all sent for dumps): Armor Assault Epyx Captivity (Tape) Program Design Inc. Crisis Mountain Synergistic Software Drawpic Artworx Software Company Epyx Preview Disk Epyx Computer Software SAGE Adventure International On-Track Racing Gamestar Speedway Blast Innovative Design Software Inc. Zombies Bram Return Of Heracles Quality Software Shadow World #3291 Synapse Software Space Eggs (Manual) Sirius Software Spare Change Broderbund Spelunker Broderbund Stealth Broderbund Survivor Synapse Software Tail Of Beta Lyrae,The Datamost Ultima I Sierra On-line Upper Reaches of Apshai Epyx Analog Computing Issue 49,Dec 86 Analog Computing Magazine Antic Aug 1984 Vol.3/NO.04 Antic Magazine
  10. You may have some 8-bit software or manuals that are needed for the archives even if not on that list. I have an Atari 8-bit collection of about 95 software titles. I looked on the list you mentioned and also did not see anything I have on that wanted list. After asking here, I was directed to the a8preservation site to look there to see what was needed. I found that their wanted list (under Browse>Want List) is quite big. It would take way too much time to browse for titles I have. So I then went through my list of titles and used the sites search to see what is preserved (verified) or still needed (not verified). A bit tricky because there can be different versions or year release of the same title. Usually they need two or more dumps from different disk of the same title version/year to compare and verify that they have made an accurate copy of the original software to call it verified (preserved). I came up with 51 of the titles that I have are needed (46 disks,5 tapes) along with manuals and disk for scans. These are mostly games and utilities from well known US companies such as Broderbund, Datasoft, Datamost, Epyx, EA, Microprose, Synapse, Sirius and Sierra Online, but I do have some rare titles also. I don't have the equipment or know how to make the dumps for archiving, so I sent them to members of a8preservation. So far nearly all of the titles I sent appear to have been needed for archiving. From what I understand, of the titles that have been dumped so far this is a list of the current results: 6 are new dumps they did not have before 😉 (and now they need more copies to verify) 6 are Alternate versions of what they had. Need more copies to verify (My version of Mr Robot has a title screen rather than a graphic image). 4 are a similar match and would verify, but need unused copy so the high score table is not set. 11 have helped to verify and now the title is preserved.😁 Still working on the other titles. Mercenary SC and most Synapse disks are a problem getting good dumps. Won't spin or surface flaking? One Synapse disk dumped OK. All the other titles that were dumped worked first try. No telling how long they will last after more reads though. These are all disks that I bought back when they were released (early eighties) and stored together. I'm glad I sent these to help the archiving effort rather than just using them until they wear out. Plus I bought an SDrive-Max; so, as long as the original software is available as disk image file, I can still load them to my 800 or Altirra. Long live Atari!
  11. How do you pronounce deja vu? AA post-How do you pronounce "Wico"? 😉🕹️ I never had a Wico Atari joystick, but I once found some Wico arcade machine joystick parts and made my own Atari joystick by mounting a stick into an electronic projects box. Worked OK but hard to hold the base because the box was too big hand and would not stay steady if set on a surface. Too much leverage needed to move the stick. I still have a few Wico Atari ST track balls. Took apart one and mounted the optical wheel sensor to the end a a steering wheel shaft and made my own steering controller. I made a lot of steering controllers until Force Feedback was properly done in the retail sold wheels.
  12. Oh cool. That answers a question I had. How to keep the emulator running in the background? Uncheck Pause When Inactive. That way I can keep the game music playing in the background while surfing AA. 😉 Today's favorite song is Cosmic Tunnels. Last week was Tale Of Beta Lyrae.
  13. The handle looked familiar. I think I found it on Atari Compendium site. ataricompendium.com Scroll down about half way and look for Video Controller. RGA International Video Controller - RGA-1170 The handle is identical to a Spectravision/Spectravideo Quick-Shot, with a small 'pedestal' base and a four foot cord. You can find them on ebay. Video Controller-ebay There are a lot of controllers that seemed to have copied the Spectravision controller and it's handle. I had a handle like that from an electronics store and mounted it to parts from an arcade machine joystick. I would think you would need a large base to steady it.
  14. Here is the Atari disk drive manual with how to load or run programs on page 8. Atari 810 Disk Drive Operators Manual Also the Atari 400 Manual with a short how to on BASIC. Atari 400 Operators Manual
  15. OK, Much better with artifacting on. Thanks!
  16. Maybe try Disk Explorer in Altirra. Go to File>Disk Drives>... (load disk image file) > (play icon)> Explore Disk. I bought an SDrive-Max(with the mini 810 case) recently also and it took a bit of fiddling to get the hang of how image files are selected and what drive is set to load on boot. Using it to back up all my disks I made 38 years ago. Great tool.
  17. Thank you phaeron for the emulator and update. It is great that you do this work to keep Atari 8 bit alive and for those that don't have the hardware. When I run any atr, atx file of Dimension X by Synapse on Altirra, thetext and "Desert Map" (square indicators at top right) are grey with vertical lines and should have color. Same problem v3.2 or v3.9. When I run the same files with SDrive-Max or from the original disk on my 800, the squares have color. Dimension X on physical Atari 800. Altirra 3.2 or 3.9 Do I have something set wrong? Thanks
  18. A pic of random Atari joysticks. All modified. L->R Kraft (OK but too much throw), experimental CX body with arcade internals (Not centering well), Stubby CX (my favorite) and Power Stick (Good but hard to get diagonals. Worn?)
  19. Hello Farb, I started a topic asking about submitting disks and tapes for archiving Atari software. Evilmoo and others suggested I come here and ask you. I have a collection of original US retail sold disks, cartridges, tapes and their manuals that I bought in the 1980's. I have been backing up my collection by downloading image files mainly from Atarimania and noticed that several of the titles and a manual were listed as missing. I would like to submit my original disks/tapes if they are needed for the archives. I started making an excel sheet with a list of what I have and noted what is listed as missing from Atarimania. So far I am up to the titles starting with the letter M and see that I own about 12 of the titles that are listed as missing. Could it be that the site has not been updated yet, or does Atarimania need the original disk dumps? I would need someone to do the disk file dumps. Here are some of what I have and listed as missing. Alternate Reality- The City Datasoft Manual Astro Chase First Star Software Disk Aztec Challenge Cosmi Disk Blue Max Synapse Software Disk Captivity Program Design Inc. Tape Claim Jumper Synapse Software Disk Combat Leader Strategic Simulations Disk Electra Glide Mastertronic Disk F-15 Strike Eagle Microprose Software Disk Mercenary- Escape from Targ Datasoft Disk Mercenary -The second City Datasoft Disk Mig Alley Ace Microprose Software Disk Thank you for keeping Atari software alive and available.
  20. OK, glad to hear they collaborate. I will ask Farb over at the topic that the evilmoo suggested. These are all original store bought retail disks and tapes. Thank you all.
  21. Hello, Long time Atari owner, new to this site. I have an Atari 800 and a small software collection that I bought back in the early 80's, but with taking on other hobbies , it has been stored away for years. I posted some of what I have in the Show Us Your Collection topic. A couple years ago, I thought I was going to loose the Atari collection, and everything else in the house when we were evacuated for the wildfires. We were lucky. This year looks like another drought year. 🔥😬 So now with the shelter in place, I have had some free time to setup my Atari and get everything working (thanks to the information I found here). I have been backing up nearly all my software titles and manuals from Atarimania, Homesoft and other Atari sites. Thank you so much to those that are archiving and keeping Atari alive. In searching for tittles, I found that I may have some of the manuals, disks and a tape listed as missing. I would like to help the archiving effort with any software or manual that I have that may be needed, but how does that work? I don't have the capability or know how to dump my protected disks to image files. Who can create the image files (dumps) from original disks? What images, manuals are needed for the archives? Is there a wanted list? I am starting an excel sheet list of what I have along with manuals. Where would I send items? Are the files shared between the archives? Most of the images and manuals I downloaded were from Atarimania because they are easy to find on the site and with google search. I would like to help them to give back, but it would be great if the files are shared to other sites. Thank you 🕹️
  22. For anything hardware or industrial equipment, my go to place is McMaster-Carr. They sell quality parts at a fair price. They have locations across the US. Shipping is very fast. If I order before 5pm on an in stock item, I usually get it the next day. Not sure where you are but they ship international also. https://www.mcmaster.com/toggle-switches/ This switch is rated for high current start and water resistant. https://www.mcmaster.com/7194K46-7194K46
  23. Hello, Yes I am new here, but not new to Atari. My collection started in 1977 with the 2600, then Atari 800 and 520ST. Unfortunately I long ago sold all my 2600 collection, however I have had my 800 and 520ST and all the software in storage for many years. With the shelter in place orders, I finally have the time to pull them out of storage and revive my remaining Atari collection. I have been able to get the Atari 800, disk drive and most all of software working, thanks to the information I have gathered here at AtariAge. Thank you AtariAge! My 410 tape drive still needs belts, but I have been able to use a regular tape player to make wav file copies of some tapes. I have been searching online for atr files to have a backup of all my software. Thanks to Atarimania, and Homesoft have found nearly all the tittles. I have not yet gone through my ST collection to see what works. For the Atari 800 I have: 7 tapes 22 cartridges 95 Disks I still have most all the manuals and instructions. Here is part of my Atari 800, with what I think may be some of the more rare disks in my collection.
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