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Everything posted by TVisitor

  1. If they're still available, I'd like to be on the preorder for (1) Basic Version + (1) Pokey Max + (1) YM Module.
  2. Sorry I meant I could scan my board meaning the one in my Astrocade You know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but it seems that the 7.5VAC part of the supply is ONLY used to derive the +5V internally. I'm not sure why the regulator VR3 can't be dumped and a one like a LM7805 can't be used to take the input voltage and derive +5 off it. It looks like VR1 can be substituted by a LM7815, VR2 by a LM7810, and VR4 by a LM7905 as direct replacements though. 24VAC supplies can be much more readily found given that they find application in the HVAC world. I guess I should get the damn thing running first before I screw around.
  3. I certainly can take some pictures of mine and try to stitch them together or get my friend to take a picture of mine with his DSLR. Ah Ok. I had taken the component layout picture from the manual and marked up what was (mostly) missing in orange figuring someone could say "whoa, that's not right..." However, from what I've read within this post I can garner that it's not a result of someone using my board for parts. However, I can still take a picture and post it up (at least since Adam also would like to get some pics of the boards for the site). Like a lot of people, nostalgia is a driving factor. I didn't have one when I was a kid, but growing up I remember going to Crazy Eddie's and seeing their display with an Atari 2600, Colecovision, Astrocade, and one or two other systems that I can't remember. I remember that the Astrocade just had this cool look to it. I also enjoy tinkering with older hardware. A friend had one growing up and I think it would be fun to have a walk down memory lane with him when I get this one running. By the way - on a separate note - I remember reading that the 3 custom chips in the Astrocade were also used on several of their arcade games, Gorf being one of them. What were the others?
  4. Certainly looks like that's the case with mine. Thanks kenzre! I will follow up with this this weekend when I have some time for more troubeshooting. Indeed they are - I did post a picture of what seemed like it was missing, though later pictures people have posted seem to confirm what looked to be missing are just later board revs and it's not an issue. Mine says "Bally Arcade" model # ABA-1000-2, Serial D 47263. It's Patent Pending Astro Vision Inc, PO Box 133, Garner Iowa 50438. Oh as well, the pictures you provided were really useful. Looks like the parts that are missing on mine are definitely not on yours either. I was worried that once I found it wasn't working and then opened it, that it was possible someone hacked it up for parts. Now as a further questions, I know these units run hot, and the wall-wart runs hot itself. I realize it's subjective, but how hot would you say that wall-wart gets? Warm? "Damn, that's hot" or "don't freaking touch that, you'll burn your fingers" hot? It's interesting as the parts lists on the newer astrocades don't quite seem up to date with the original service manual, such as U24-U31 are 4027 chips, where th manual says they're 4096. Of course, I can just read the part #'s on the actual board to replace, but I"m wondering if there's any other documentation that's further up to date? By the way - I know you said the website can be hard to get around and such, but I'm not complaining. You're one of the few resources out there. That's how I went from "WTF is this board?" to "Oh, that's the (video) kludge board!"
  5. Hi Adam, I've got the one that actually says "Bally Computer System" with the white smiling face and the black face nested inside of it with the gold "star" inside of it as the badge on the front. Sounds like that's one of the more popular ones. the board itself is labeled as "A084-90701-B620 A080-90704-B620" in the upper right. I'd love a picture of the board showing the areas I've marked in orange (in addition, the section below the modulator labeled Q1 and "Jumper") By the way - your site has been a great resource.
  6. I purchased an astrocade that was not working and I'm trying to fix it. I've found internally that once AC power is plugged in, the voltages get dragged *way* down (the 7.5VAC gets dragged down under 3, and the 23 or so VAC gets dragged down under 10VAC). I think that big smoothing caps in the supply are toasted and was going to replace them. So I started looking over the motherboard, and started looking at it compared t the parts layout on the bally alley website. All I can say is "Huh?" First, I did realize that someone did the "Kludge board" modification in this system for video issues. OK, at least that explained why the video section under the shield was not what the board layout says. They also did the power modification where there is a jumper wire running from one of the bridge diodes to the + of the C6. However, I see that there are a bunch of components missing. Specifically it appears that the custom roms U1,3,4 are gone, and the associated caps are gone - C88,93,94. Above the big smoothing caps C1 and C6, it seems that C61, 55, 56 are gone. C58, 59, 60 in the vicinity of U14 towards the bottom of the board are gone. Near the Q1 transistor (with the heat sink, just under where the modulator plugs in), it appears that there is a resistor where the jumper should be. Now that gives me a *tad* of hope is that near U15, there exists C53 and C52 which are missing on my system. I did a search of motherboard pics, and I saw one person's where those were also missing. I'm at a loss to describe these issues. I'm not WTF this is, if someone scavenged this, or it's normal, and if I should continue to fix it. I also noticed that when I took the main cover off, I there were 2 screws that I could not remove until I removed the RF shield. The service manual seems to indicate that there are punched holes in the shield to do this, mine didn't have them. Does anyone have any photos of working astrocades that they'd be willing to post? Or better yet, any knowledge of what's in my system?
  7. While I'm hoping to see a reply, my hopes aren't high given that others have asked with no response... I just bought an Astrocade and am wondering if this is still for sale also.
  8. The only other iron I ever filed was a giant iron with a tip that was about 1/2" in diameter. It was a beast from the 50's. Put out TONS of heat. The only time I *ever* used it on "electronics" was to solder a bundle of 20 ground wires together. Probably could have found a better way to do that
  9. Well, I'll give my experiences. I have a background in electronics, went into programming. Never really did much circuit work. Go into pinball about 10 years ago, started doing some small board repair (replacing some damaged connectors). Later did some more board repair (rebuilding areas damaged by battery corrosion) and doing some stuff lately like putting the AV mod in my 2600 - among other odds and ends. I had a lot of theoretical knowlege about electronics, but very little practical hands on building. Soldering sounded easy in practice, but as Ketah said it's very much an art. I started out trying to use the Radio Shack 15/30 Watt irons, and I never cared for them. I popped $90 for a Weller temperature controlled iron (the one with the temp on an analog dial; didn't need to have a digital readout). I did buy myself a flux pen, but later found it was much cheaper to just buy a bottle of flux and use a small paintbrush. Things I've learned the hard way... in no particular order. - 650 is what I keep my iron on for general work. Any less and it seems to take too long to melt (and I don't like holding heat on things for long), any more and it's way too hot - risk of melting things or burning things. - Always tin the tip, and clean/retin liberally - Don't soak the sponge, wet is good... some people think that if you give the tip too big of a temperature "hit" when you touch it to a soaking wet sponge can cause thermal damage to the tip over time. Not really sure, but I do know that inadquate cleaning of the tip can really seem to foul things up. - Most people say don't file tips for those irons. The tips do have a coating on them. I used to file the radio shack ones, they had no coating. - Hold the pre-tinned iron in contact with the part, and apply the solder to the the pad (or if you're using a wire, hold the pretinned iron on one side of side of the wire & apply solder a little further down the wire) - doing so insures you have adquate heat for the solder to melt and flow. - Most people say you usually don't need flux on most things, especially if your solder has rosin, but for me it just seems to make things flow a little nicer. I have a spray bottle of flux remover to clean thigns up when done. - I use both the solder-pult and the wick to desolder. I buy the wick with flux in it. I found that if I'm desoldering big blobs (like the power connector on the 2600!) the soldapult is the best. melt with the iron while holding the cocked soldapult right near... pull the iron away, quickly move in and trigger it - clean! For small things like removing a chip, I like the wick approach. Sometimes when working with old stuff, I find adding a bit of solder helps a joint to melt nicely and makes it easier to remove (by either soldapult or wick). - Make sure your parts are clean before you solder! The one problem I still have is finding the finesse of tinning a wire, then tinning a lead from a connector, and then soldering them together. My hands jitter a bit, so I use a tweezer to hold the wire - the only probelm is the heat sometimes (especially on small wires) tends to deform the insulation leading to a little impression of the tweezer teeth. I think I'm heating it a little too long, plus I have to sometimes melt it again - the jitter leads to a dull joint, and I'd rather try to make it shiny. I often will use a bit of heat shrink when joining a wire to a lead from a connector to make the final thing clean and neat.
  10. Ah! Got an answer. In case anyone else is looking for similar information in the future... batari himself told me that it should not matter - wherever it fits best.
  11. Hi all, I recently purchased the mod board from electronic sentimentalities (thanks Joe!) and had a question. What's the best place to mount it? (This is in a 6 switcher case) I was thinking of a few choices: 1. Mount it to the plastic half-circles on the right hand side of the unit where the RF Cable used to be pressed into - this is what's shown on the ES site. 2. Mount it to the side of the heavy metal shield (of course with appropriate insulation!) 3. Mount it on top of the motherboard, again, with appropriate insulation (that would at least provide the shortest set of wires to the chip it's attaching to).
  12. Hi Lincoln, I'm sorry I'm bypassing your question a bit, but you mentioned the "field repair guide" - can you post the link to that? Thank you.
  13. Mine came yesterday, and it's great! Thanks guys!
  14. I told a friend of mine about it, and his eyes opened wide and said "BUYITBUYITBUYIT!" So... I just did
  15. Yep, that's what mine are - the letter and such. I don't seem to have the 2 glossy looking black flyers though. Mine is in the original envelope that they sent it to me in back in the 80's. I really don't have intention of getting rid of them, but apparently there was a comment in the prior mentioned rarities thread that said some collectors really treat them like gems even though they're "just paper"... are they actually worth something?
  16. Oh yes, I know the games are rare! I remember as a kid reading "Electronic Fun With Computers And Games" and seeing the ad for the "Magic Cart" which is what prompted me to send for more info. I can kick myself up/down/left/right for not begging my parents to order me this thing, considering what it's worth. I'm pretty sure if I filled it out now, I'd get a return to sender Though I was wondering if the actual flyer they sent me could be worth something beyond the paper it's printed on... I can scan it if anyone wants to see it for nostalgia purposes. These things are always fun to share.
  17. Hi Guys! I'm pretty new around here (lurked for a while, not many posts) ... Nice to meet all of you :-) I was an Atari 2600 kid back in the 70's, and still love the system today (both on the real McCoy & emulation). While digging through some old stuff, I found an envelope from CommaVid - it's an order form for Video Life & an advertisement flyer and such. I doubt these are worth anything beyond a curiosity & nostalgia - anyone think it's worth a scan to throw up online somewhere? Cheers.
  18. Thanks batari... What about the TIA and the 6532?
  19. Hey all, Working on system with multiple games stored in FLASH, and I see that the Atari 2600 is a 5V system. I can get a 3.3V or 2.7V Flash that is 5V tolerant on it's inputs (i.e. on the Address lines) but what happens if I feed 3.3V (or even 2.7V) into the data bus of the 2600? Is this enough to be read as a valid high, or is it not going to work? Thanks!
  20. Hi all, I'm reading up on bankswitching, and saw that Asteroids is an 8K bankswitched cart. I opened up and took a look inside mine (Yes, I know, blasphemy for cracking open a cart and runining the label). However, I would think that I'd have to see some other glue logic inside to do the bank switch. However, there is only one prom inside - I don't know the model # offhand becuase there's a metal shroud over the top of it, soldered in (and I don't have my iron handy). What's typically used inside carts to do bankswitching? I can't imagine it was custom hardware at that point in time, rather it would be off the shelf parts. By the way - if the highest order line (A12, assuming you number from A0) is always the same state, why even bother to run it from the system to the cart? [Which, I could be wrong, and probably am.] Thanks.
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