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Posts posted by scorpio_ny

  1. 4 hours ago, hueyjones70 said:

    I have had computers that didn't work because of bad ram but I've never had one that worked intermittently due to bad RAM. I'll probably go ahead and replace it because it is MT RAM and I will just cut out the RAM chips so there is little chance of lifting a trace.

    With issues likes these, sometimes the only way is via process of elimination. I have an idea. Maybe you can post a picture of the top and bottom of the motherboard. There are a lot of sharp eyed people here. Maybe they can take a look and see if there any physically amiss that can be causing the issue (i.e. bad caps solder joints).

  2. 20 hours ago, hueyjones70 said:

    I am working on a recently purchased 130XE that appeared to be in good working order. Yesterday when I attempted to run the internal diagnostics the screen went black. I tried to restart it and nothing happened. I determined that it was a heat issue somewhere because it was turned off for a while it would boot up when turned on. After a few seconds the screen would start to flicker then some random characters that appeared to be from graphics mode 1 or 2 would appear and the screen would go black. Today I booted it up and it stayed stable for 6 minutes before exhibiting the erratic behavior. The only chip that gets warm is the CPU. I will start with that but I know it will probably be an aggravating process since nothing is socketed.

    Hey good luck with that! I am working on a project that was posted here to replace the keyboard on my 130XE. In opening my 130XE, I discovered that almost all the ram chips were MT ram and they were not socketed (only one was not). Even though my 130XE was working fine, I decided to be proactive and replace all the ram anyway. I added sockets and new ram and all worked out. Maybe down the road I will add sockets for the rest of the chips. Funny enough, my motherboard had some of the chips already socketed.


  3. 1 hour ago, reifsnyderb said:

    I'd love to go the HDMI route but there are licensing issues with HDMI.  I started putting a DVI connector there but if someone can direct me to other options that would be great.  Do you have any links to these threads?

    Here is the link I was referring to. I made a mistake... the HDMI went through the hole of the RF channel selector. So.. maybe use the channel select for HDMI (or some other breakout cable for video): 

    Atari 600XL NTSC and Sophia 2 HDMI install

    And maybe use the RF modulator hole for a stereo jack? Then the monitor port can stay the same except for the other enhancements that was targeted towards that (chroma, VBXE).

  4. Here is another idea. Since there is no RF modulator, maybe the hole for it can be leveraged for another connector. One option would be to use it for a stereo jack plug. Another, is to use it for video out. Another idea is to use it video connection for enhanced video output from Sophia 2 using a 4 pin TRRS jack (got this idea from the C64’s version of video enhancement) or maybe use a mini hdmi. There was someone here on Atari Age that made a Sophia board that terminated to mini HDMI instead of DVI. The reason I mention this that there see they a lot of people who may use this motherboard in their Atari 800XL case but do not wish to radically modify their case to accommodate the enhancement.



  5. Would it make sense to have some headers on the board to accommodate a pokey max chip? That way one could use DuPont connectors instead of soldering to the motherboard for the additional connections


    • Like 3

  6. 12 hours ago, Jacques said:

    I would say yes. Few months ago @pavros informed that the project IS NOT abandoned, so although it will still take long, I am hopeful :)


    Thanks for the info! Keeping my fingers crossed! 🤞

    • Like 2

  7. 2 hours ago, ScreamingAtTheRadio said:

    Here's something that might interest those of you who want to replicate this but don't have a donor XE... I purchased a couple of new-old keyboards from Best Electronics this week (ref. CB101702), and they are of the circle variety, but they are also double-shot, which is different from the one I had had access to so far. Key cap quality is pretty good.


    Here are the three key cap variations I know of side by side:




    And here are the two full circle-stem keyboards (single shot on top, doubleshot bottom, and yes, the color differences are real, the function keys in particular look much better in doubleshot IMO):



    So yeah, the keebs from Best are good to go for this project, just make sure you wait for rev.D to be ready before you get PCBs made, especially for the plate.


    -- little bonus, rev. D will also have space for F1-4.

    Thank is good to know, thank you!  I am still waiting for my switches and a couple more components to arrive before I start to work on my keyboard. Those keys look a lot better than the ones I acquired for this project (they need to go through the retro rite process because they were so yellow).


    One question: Does the switch stem designed for the circle based keycaps work with this new variation without modification? It looks slightly different in the photos.


  8. 1 hour ago, bfollowell said:

    I just pull mine from the monitor port. Of course, I removed the channel selector switch and added the monitor port when I upgraded the video with a UAV. There were only a couple of wires I had to solder. I can't recall if audio was being pulled from somewhere else on the board, or if it was just coming from the monitor port traces/pads that are still on the motherboard underneath the channel selector switch. You do realize that everything for the monitor port, except for the actual monitor port; traces, pads, everything, are actually still on the NTSC 600XL motherboard, underneath the channel selector switch, right?


    I'll try to check my documentation later and confirm.




    I found this. Hopefully, Marlin won't mind me posting it here for your reference. If you don't like that spot for some reason, I guess you could follow that trace back to another spot or component further back and patch it in there.




    Hi @bfollowell,


    You are correct. The trace for the 5 pin DIN connector still has the audio on the trace. When I did my UAV upgrade and installed the DIN connector, I did not have to run any lines to connect the audio. It was just there on the trace. I have attached a photo of my 600XL with UAV installed with the 5 DIN connector installed for video and audio out. I had removed the RF modulator.




  9. 42 minutes ago, manterola said:

    That would be amazing!. I just discovered this game few months ago by trying/loading games in my Amiga, and it is one of my favorites now.

    It is really a fun game. I forget which platform, but there is a version that was modified so you can play three players at one time. That would be a lot of fun!



  10. 56 minutes ago, SS said:

    @scorpio_ny - Not to worry, those 4464 chips are not going to go to waste.  I still have two other 600XLs waiting in the wings for some other modifications.  The next one after this project will get a UAV and probably a 32-in-1 board as well as the 64K upgrade.  I very much like upgrading different machines in different ways.

    Oh nice! Looks like you are going to be busy with some nice projects.

  11. HI @SS,


    You had mentioned that you had a couple of extra 64 chips that you were going to use initially for this project. I had done the upgrade using the two chips and it only required installing three wires and lifting a pin or two ( sorry @flashjazzcat and @BillC ). It was a very easy upgrade. I had posted pictures and a link to the instructions that I followed on this thread: 600XL Composite and Audio upgrade 


    Maybe @flashjazzcat and @BillC can weigh in following this memory upgrade path in relation to installing the U1MB upgrade with it if it would be easier?


    • Like 1

  12. On 10/17/2021 at 5:35 PM, SS said:

    @Beeblebrox - Thanks for the advice.  I do actually have a couple of spare 4464 chips lying around that I was going to use for this project but, after some thought, I decided instead on using Lotharek's board so that this upgrade could be totally reversible later if wanted.  The thread links that you provided really helped though because they told me that I was looking for EXTENB, which was another name for CAS_INHIBIT.  Then when Jon said that I could run my wire to the PBI connector, I knew exactly what I was looking for. :) 



    @flashjazzcat - This is probably going to be a dumb question but can I simply run a wire around to the bottom of the motherboard and solder it directly to PBI pin 38?  Thanks.

    One can actually do the upgrade with the 4464 chips that is reversible. One of the wiring variations, you solder wires on to the chips only. No soldering on the motherboard.


    • Like 1

  13. On 10/16/2021 at 11:56 AM, hasanc said:

    Check this out: https://youtu.be/hGBwC0y-pnE 

    Thanks @hasanc! I happen to follow Jan Beta's channel as well!. I also repair the Commodore 8-bits. I am looking at the Fluke 17B or the Fluke 117. There is a big difference in price.  The latter, though more expensive,  I know I will have the Fluke warranty in case of any issues with the device.

  14. 14 hours ago, venom4728a said:

    Thank you ScreamingAtTheRadio for making this keyboard for all to enjoy.  I have most of my stuff needed but forgot to order the ribbon cable and IDC connectors until the boards arrived. it will be a few more weeks before I can test the keyboard out.



    I second this! Thank you ScreamingAtTheRadio for this project. I just sourced the square version of the keyboard (no Atari’s were harmed! It seemed that  it was a returned service part. Need to do some serious retrobriting on it though since it so yellowed!) Trying to find someone to make me a  make a couple of sets of the switch stems and stab holders. I also build custom keyboards and I am some group buys at the the moment, so this project was really appealing to me.

    • Like 1

  15. 6 hours ago, TIX said:



    time to dust off some of my dormant hacks !

    I'll probably open a new thread for this, but here is a glimpse of things to come..





    Wow! That looks great! This was one of the games I used to play back in the day and I had a lot of fun with.


    Thanks @TIX!

    • Like 1

  16. 1 hour ago, clh333 said:



    Acquired my first Atari8 today, an 800XL; came with a 1050 and a small printer, 1025 if I recall.  Missing a video cable and only one SIO cable so I haven't done much checking yet, except for reading on line docs and FAQs etc.  I'm encouraged to find that members here have experience with mods as at some point the covers are coming off.  But for now, I know nothing so pardon some stooopid questions...


    Thanks in advance and hi!


    Welcome and congrats @clh333!


    Here a thread that shows and talks about the "ingot" power supply that @kenames99 and @tep392 had mentioned:  Ingot Power Supply --> Garbage Can?


    And there are no stupid questions! A lot of members here are very knowledgeable with the systems and as you already seen, glad to help out. 


  17. 5 hours ago, bfollowell said:


    You can't beat Fluke meters for quality and features. You do pay for those though. They do have some cheaper models though, if you don't need a full-blown industrial meter. They have quite a few that would be good for an electronics workbench for $100-$150. I've heard some decent things about some of the Extech meters, and many of those have capacitor/diode/transistor checking capability and are considerably cheaper than most Flukes, but I have no direct experience with them myself.




    I have heard the same thing about the Fluke meters. I will check out the Extech as well to see if they suit my needs.


    Thanks! 👍



  18. 5 hours ago, Beeblebrox said:

    Hi @scorpio_ny


    Thanks. What have you got in the way of Atari's?

    Well, I four NTSC 800XL's, one NTSC 600XL and a NTSC 130XE. One of the 800XL's has been upgraded with an Ultimate 1MB and Sophia 2 chip. I just got my Pokeymax 3 which I have to schedule some time to install on that same machine. My 600 XL has been upgraded to 64K and has the UAV video upgrade plus the missing the 5 DIN socket. I also have a 1050 and XF551 in storage which I have to go get to see if they still work. The upgraded 800XL and the 130XE, along with the disk drives are my actual childhood computers. I had kept them and now I am enjoying using them again.


  19. 5 hours ago, Sinjinhawke said:

    Corroded and partially disintegrated, no longer has length to make the connection.   I would probably need to run a wire out of the socket to the corroded leg after cleaning it with vinegar.  Anyway that is a long way off as the board is still dead ATM and maybe a new source of POKEY's will show up.  Someone will find a warehouse just filled with Atari 7800 Ballblazer carts to harvest.

    If you want to salvage the pokey chip, you could use a second chip socket. Put the Pokey chip in the socket and then solder what is left of the leg to the leg of the corresponding leg  of the socket. Then, you can just put this into another socket on the motherboard. This would make it easier to replace in case the pokey chip dies.


    • Like 4

  20. 1 hour ago, manterola said:

    Is there any ideas or solutions to install Sophia 2 in 130xe/65xe without case modifications? Like a non-destructive way to put the DVI connector out od the case maybe? 

    Or other clever solution like the one for 800XLs using a 3d printed piece? 

    Hi Manterola,


    I am not aware of a specific 3D piece for the 130XE, but looking at the 130 XE, as a possible suggestion, you may be able to run the flat cable through the back via the ECI expansion. That is of course if you do not have any devices that are currently using it or plan to use in the future. If you go that route, you will definitely need a longer cable and possibly make it since there is no room for the cable with the connector to fit though. It would then be a matter of making 3D printed breakout box that could slip over the ECI slot or just an external breakout box.


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