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  1. Hey there everyone Some of you may remember my various threads from last year about all the Atari 2600 systems I've purchased that broke down on me. For those that don't, the short version of the story is that I've owned 6 different Atari 2600s over the past 3 years or so; all of which were purchased either brand new or in like new condition and promptly broke down in one way or another within a few months of use. I loved playing and collecting for the Atari 2600, enough so that I ended up logging 10 to 20 hours a week every week playing my systems during the time that I had them, but eventually I just got too frustrated and fed up with my bad luck with systems (because buying a new condition Atari every few months isn't cheap, even after reselling the broken systems for parts) and ended up selling off my entire collection of $1,400 or so worth of Atari games and accessories. I loved playing Atari, but I just didn't want to have to deal with the constantly breaking systems anymore. It's been about a year since the mass liqidation of my collection, and honestly I really miss it. I've still been playing Atari via emulation on the Wii, but it just doesn't feel the same or give me the same sense of joy that playing with a real collection of original cartridges did. So at this point I'm strongly considering getting back into collecting and playing with real Atari 2600 hardware again, but after all the bad luck I've had with system reliability in the past I'm feeling a little wary of buying any more systems off eBay and leaning more towards buying a reconditioned system from Best Electronics. Now to finally get to the point of this thread, as you may have gathered from the backstory I'm a wee bit obsessive about the cosmetic condition of the systems I buy. I am definitely interested in the possibility of picking up a reconditioned system from Best, especially since they come with a 90 day warranty and I know with my luck that if it is possible for a system to break then it will find a way to break on me within the first few months of ownership. The only thing I'm concerned about is what the cosmetic condition of Best's reconditioned systems is like. Specifically I'm interested in getting a Light Sixer and wondering if it will come with a new scratch-free casing and whether or not it will have the original orange bezel paint either fully intact or repainted to a nice clean like-new appearance. I don't particularly care whether the bezel paint is original or restored, so long as it is 100% intact with no signs of wear. Has anyone here ever ordered a Light Sixer, or any other Atari system for that matter, from Best Electronics? If so, what was the cosmetic condition of the system like when it arrived? Did it appear like-new or were there external flaws? Any customer feedback would be greatly appreciated!
  2. So, my 5200 didn't even come with a CX52 controller, I found one at the local play and trade. I opened it up last night and gave it a good cleaning, but it's still a little spotty. The joystick works great, but the bottom left fire button is dead. The # and * keys oddly work for some games and not for others, and though pause and start work, reset doesn't seem to do anything. I found it really easy to take apart the joystick and clean everything, but I don't know how to solder (I know I need to order a kit and learn.) Eventually I'd like to have two fully functional CX52's to use for mutliplayer with friends and games best suited for analog control. I'm wondering if I should: 1. Order two fully refurbished controllers from Best (More expensive option at like $60 a pop or something similar) 2. Restore them myself: order the gold components and new buttons from best and try to do it myself. The buttons are easy enough. My main concern is where the circuit pad goes into the white receptor. Is that like a ribbon cable I can pull out or is soldering required? I just don't want to get in over my head if it's above my skill level. Anyone done this themselves before and have the skinny on what it actually takes? Thanks for your thoughts.
  3. Before I jump to a downgrade to a 2600 Jr with short rainbow and an a/v mod (also being lured towards it by the wonderfully done Pac-Man 4k and due to a lack of a Yars' Revenge 8-bit port), my 2 5200 trak-balls (yes, I said it, two, trak-balls, model no. CX53) that I've had since 1983 (both purchased just a couple of months after taking delivery of my first 5200 unit on my 17th birthday (USA-Made 4-port, Serial No. 141101, now retired after getting an a/v/power-out modded 4-port unit just 2 months ago) in 1983 seem to have a serious issue going on with (yes, you guessed it!) the keypads and fire buttons not working at all, and I really wanted to use them with Tempest and of course the CX53 is also the ONLY one that will work with games like Missile Command, Super Breakout and Gorf, but alas these three games cannot be played with the 2600 trak-ball I picked up (the fire buttons are more responsive on it than the CX53) because it reads through my Redemption 5200 as a digital unit on these games (Missile Command, Super Breakout and Gorf all take advantage of the analog system the stock stick uses), but yet, that very same setup reads beautifully with games like Centipede, Millipede, and also Tempest. Does Best Electronics offer circuit-board and/or keypad/fire button upgrades for the CX53 trak-ball controllers like they have for the stock 5200 joystick controllers, as I have a gold-contact 5200 stick which is a thing of beauty, but I don't want to throw in the towel and sell a system platform that I have supported for 33 years and also spent thousands of dollars in games and accessories, including the 2600 and 7800-compatible Redemption 5200 units and almost all the great homebrews and finished prototypes over the years. I hope they do, because I don't wanna throw away such a great system just because of a mere snafu involving the CX53 Trak-Ball Controllers, somebody help!
  4. Hi everyone, I was in need of a couple of CX22 replacement fire buttons, so I contacted Best Electronics and found that they are "down to the very last of them". As such, there is a limit of 2 per customer. If you own a CX22, you better act now, as the shaft on these buttons tends to break over time, from normal play. BTW, my transaction started with an brief email request and concluded with a 5 minute phone call. Everything was handled over the last 12 hours (Brad actually responded to my email yesterday, Sunday, which I was not expecting ) and the entire transaction went very smoothly, which has always been my experience. Say what you want about their website, but IMO, Best is still the best!
  5. I'm trying to restore the 1200XL I found in the trash years ago. The keyboard was nonfunctional, so I ordered a replacement Mylar from Best. I cleaned the PCB and key caps, reinstalled everything, and...nothing. Just the reset key and maybe one other key worked. I installed the included thin wafer with gold contacts that goes between the Mylar and the PCB and this time, the O key was stuck on; a few other keys worked but not many. Best says not to remove the layer of carbon that's built up over the gold PCB contacts that make a connection with the circuit traces on the Mylar, but I'm wondering if that's the weak link in the equation. Any suggestions for what to try next?
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