Before I start, please feel free to comment on anything here where I may be doing something silly, as openly classing myself as amateur Atarian here after returning to using after over 30 years, and as a kid I would have never dared open the box up or do any of this stuff. I'm enjoying playing here, and objective is to both restore system to best it can be and have some fun along the way. Hope my ramblings may amuse and appreciate any advice.
I recently posted this regarding graphics issues with my 800XL recently recovered from the loft :
I'm pleased to note that following advice, I found a power supply that seems to improve matters in terms of interference seen on screen (understanding noise from USB was a serious thing after trying a few alternate adapters and a 'professionally' made cable (e.g. not by me)). USB power always noisy giving varying distortion, so moved on. I still note that I see out of place hashed pixels, which when compared to same software on an emulator is not very clean, so believe I still have a graphics issue and would love to know best way to fix (did add myself to pre-order list for a Sophia, and wonder if that would bypass issue, or not?)
Unsure what this PSU was originally for - I hoard stuff so had a box full, but rated +5V 2.4A - switching power supply made by "CUI STACK" . Anyway it's not fuzzy, just cleaner pixel issues, but this post not about that (unless general system issue and related, please comment).
So, I received my SDrive Max that I ordered from voidabone on Ebay. I guess could have put one together and may later build another myself, but I'm lazy, and also I like the case that came with it.
Generally love this thing. As lost/discarded tapes, I only had a few cartridges, so now able to load a lot of software sourced from http://a8.fandal.cz/ Found a few gems I used to play as a kid. Start Raiders (lost cartridge somewhere along the way), Draconis, Thrust, Ninja to mention a few. Great nostalgia.
Interestingly though, some ATRs or XEX files will not load properly / fully. Same will load fine on Altirra-3.90 , but that's not just the same is it
Many will not load with odd screen corruption just as it seems to be about to complete. Two to note as examples, Defender ends like this:
Then goes to a black screen.
Hijack! is most odd, it seems to fully load:
Thing is, the train is animated, but the clouds do not move, the helicopter does not appear and music does not play. Cannot start game, just stuck there but scrolling text moves ok.
Again, loads fine on emulator.
This is where I get silly. Searching around I find a CAS file, and Wav for Hijack! on http://www.atari.org.pl/tape/4/atari-smash-hits-4-hijack!
I have an Atari 1010, but it has a broken tray, and PSU dead. Again, I found a compatible PSU, and soldered to connector and got power and motor works, and moves after OPT+Start and a key. So I'm thinking : I no longer have anything to record tapes with. I did check as recently grabbed a USB walkman device to capture some old mix tapes I also found in the loft, but it won't record, I used with Audacity to record to mp3, but I digress (often).
Seems I started investigating the dead 1010 years ago not realizing it was the PSU as screws were out and was all open.
I get thinking - What if I can find on the board where the audio comes in from the read-head and insert signal from a PC. I have a nice little "Maker Hart" mixer that I use to take sound from my work laptop, 2 PCs and an Alexa, and it has a 'record' output that sends a non-amplified signal out. This was mostly blind luck, as with it powered and connected to Atari, I was checking voltages where I thought it was (with Atari in START-Opt mode ready to load), and as I probed with a meter , i hear a slight audio buzz. Out comes the soldering iron and ......well:
and before long, after playing hijack!.wav file in windows media:
Then a false start:
So I tried another file and after a time:
So, went back to Hijack! and similar error. Then remembered I used to have to forward wind some tapes past the leader else they failed to load for some reason, so I started file a bit later. This time, loaded to about last 4 blocks, then heard a familiar change of tone and load failed. I realize perhaps a notification came up on PC, so disabled network via ncpa.cpl and tried again and finally in' in, have properly loaded title screen and i'm playing:
Please note the pixel garbage on far right of picture, which i seem to get on a number of games I load.
- There is nothing about this game it's self that my Atari doesn't like, as I can load it from tape (well sort of) and play it.
- The S Drive Max seems to be source of problem loading some files. It's running KBr V1.2 , and I re-flashed it from PC after something silly happened and I seemed to be stuck on a reversed screen with touch-screen not responding. I realize from further reading around I perhaps could have done something else to re-calibrate, however it was on V1.2 anyway, so I assume my re-flash hasn't caused this (not 100% if was issue before, as I was still getting to grips with it).
- I think lock-down has sent me a little crazy re trying my 1010 tape hack. This pretty much working first time has amused me a little too much
Any comments on fixes for the S-drive loading issues or the slightly off graphics would be greatly appreciated. I believe it's quite a high percentage of software that will not load. Perhaps not 50%, but a lot.
Take care all.