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Atari A/V mod update

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Sad to say but as bad as 8bitdomain was/is, I had better luck getting what I paid for from him than from Longhorn. I wish people would read the whole thread. Buyer beware.

 

Allan

It's kind of hard to have this information in hand when the discovery of this thread comes long after you've ordered.

 

All I'd ever want is an update. It's not like I have a pressing need to mod my console this instant, but I'd like to have a timeline.

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Doyman has contacted the cyber police. Consequences will never be the same.

 

 

You better believe I've backtraced it!

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I can't believe he's posting on Twitter while ignoring this problem. Been trying to contact him for the past month via email and forum msging with no response, and I've been waiting for my Atari mod for months now.

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Well, I'm giving up hopes of ordering 2600 mods.

 

Guess I'll just have to look for a pre-modded system on Ebay.

 

Discouraging, to say the least.

 

I would like to see Batari go into full-production, and include the wires, etc. Would make a nice combo-package with the Harmony Cart.

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Just sent LHE a tweet politely asking him to respond to AtariMod emails. He's tweeted since then but has ignored my tweet so far. Nice. I'll give him a day, then I need info on contacting the attorney general.

Edited by moving2

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I filed a complaint using this link: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx on Wednesday after the mail came and there was nothing from Parker.

 

On Thursday I got a call from my local police dept. One thing the detective said is that if others have paid Parker and not gotten any communications or product they should use the same link above and file a complaint. The more people who are willing to do this the better the chances we will have of getting some kind of resolution. I would ask that you consider filing a complaint as well, it's your choice.

 

This is the detective I spoke with here in Sioux Falls.

 

Detective Mike Iverson #684

Fraud Section

Sioux Falls Police Department

605-978-6655

Edited by doyman
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I filed a complaint using this link: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx on Wednesday after the mail came and there was nothing from Parker.

 

On Thursday I got a call from my local police dept. One thing the detective said is that if others have paid Parker and not gotten any communications or product they should use the same link above and file a complaint. The more people who are willing to do this the better the chances we will have of getting some kind of resolution. I would ask that you consider filing a complaint as well, it's your choice.

 

This is the detective I spoke with here in Sioux Falls.

 

Detective Mike Iverson #684

Fraud Section

Sioux Falls Police Department

605-978-6655

 

 

Jesus Christ. You guys are crossing the line. This is a HOBBY BUSINESS, something that is done during SPARE TIME. It is not a REGULAR SHOP!. Come on, Parker will ship your AV mod, just sit and relax, for god sake.

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I filed a complaint using this link: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx on Wednesday after the mail came and there was nothing from Parker.

 

On Thursday I got a call from my local police dept. One thing the detective said is that if others have paid Parker and not gotten any communications or product they should use the same link above and file a complaint. The more people who are willing to do this the better the chances we will have of getting some kind of resolution. I would ask that you consider filing a complaint as well, it's your choice.

 

This is the detective I spoke with here in Sioux Falls.

 

Detective Mike Iverson #684

Fraud Section

Sioux Falls Police Department

605-978-6655

 

 

Jesus Christ. You guys are crossing the line. This is a HOBBY BUSINESS, something that is done during SPARE TIME. It is not a REGULAR SHOP!. Come on, Parker will ship your AV mod, just sit and relax, for god sake.

Bullshit! It doesn't matter if it is a regular shop or not, these people were ripped off and they deserve their product. If someone sells a legally obtained item to another person, they are legally obligated to provide said item.

 

If I screwed you and a bunch of others over to the tune of $40, wouldn't you get angry? If you tried to message me, and I just ignored it and carried on with my business, wouldn't you be fumed? I sure as hell would. Personally, I applaud Doyman. He's the first guy to actually do something about this ONGOING problem.

Edited by brandondwright
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I filed a complaint using this link: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx on Wednesday after the mail came and there was nothing from Parker.

 

On Thursday I got a call from my local police dept. One thing the detective said is that if others have paid Parker and not gotten any communications or product they should use the same link above and file a complaint. The more people who are willing to do this the better the chances we will have of getting some kind of resolution. I would ask that you consider filing a complaint as well, it's your choice.

 

This is the detective I spoke with here in Sioux Falls.

 

Detective Mike Iverson #684

Fraud Section

Sioux Falls Police Department

605-978-6655

 

 

Jesus Christ. You guys are crossing the line. This is a HOBBY BUSINESS, something that is done during SPARE TIME. It is not a REGULAR SHOP!. Come on, Parker will ship your AV mod, just sit and relax, for god sake.

Bullshit! It doesn't matter if it is a regular shop or not, these people were ripped off and they deserve their product. If someone sells a legally obtained item to another person, they are legally obligated to provide said item.

 

If I screwed you and a bunch of others over to the tune of $40, wouldn't you get angry? If you tried to message me, and I just ignored it and carried on with my business, wouldn't you be fumed? I sure as hell would. Personally, I applaud Doyman. He's the first guy to actually do something about this ONGOING problem.

 

Agreed. By the way I would like to make clear that I do not support Parkers' behavior. Even though I have ordered and received the mod it's clear there are people unsatisfied with the situation so why not ask for a refund?

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Communication is the key. I've been waiting, what, a year now since I paid Ax for one of the custom 7800 controllers he's making? If he'd just stopped responding, I'd have been pretty upset. But he let us know about the flood and always responds to PMs. So it hasn't caused me any concern. I know he'll deliver, as soon as he can.

 

I've always had good experiences with Parker, too, but then I always was one of the first to order as soon as he developed a new mod board. I understand why folks would be upset that they paid for something and now can't even get a response.

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Unfortunately, from the sound of it, he's overwhelmed with something in his life. Still, at least a status post here would be nice to at least let people know that he's snowed under.

 

I went ahead and just downloaded the schematics. I'd thought about ordering his kits in the past, but now I'm not so sure. Odds are, when I get the money and the motivation, I'd rather just build it myself.

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so why not ask for a refund?

 

Because I want the mods. I really doubt I'll get them but I really hope we all get what we expected and paid for.

 

My $.10 on communication:

 

When he does communicate its like he's holding the carrot out there just to shut us up for another month or two. In October over a month from when I ordered 3 kits from him he said "one week", in November it was "I didn't have the parts", and in December "don't you worry". He doesn't even answer or return phone calls, even from a police detective.

 

I don't believe he is too busy to catch up on orders. He has other "hobbies" and "projects" and doesn't get it that when you take other people's money for goods or services, providing those goods or services should be more of a priority than playing Grad Tourismo 5, video editing, fixing cameras and designing pinball tables. Go to his facebook page or his twitter feed you'll see what I'm talking about.

 

http://twitter.com/#!/LnghrnEngineer

 

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7962049&sk=wall

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Is this the end of READILY-AVAILABLE Atari 2600 A/V mods? I guess I should have bought one when I could.

 

I wonder if there isn't enough interest for one of the technical, project-oriented, skilled lads on here to take orders for a production run? I mean a one-time run, rather than "readily available."

 

I'm in no hurry for a mod (should have been, eh?) but I definitely want one. If I had skills like some of the fellows here to design circuit boards and stuff (c0nsumer, metalguy66, Curt Vendel, several people in europe) I would think there should be enough interest to do a small run....pre-ordered/paid or whatever.

 

It's just disheartening to think that with the popularity of the 2600 and the clear desire for a non-RF hookup, there should be enough interest to meet the minimum order of a run (as I understand, there's a minimum but I know nothing).

 

I'd be happy to get on a list.... Batari's look nice, but I'd need all the wires, hand-holding, and retardo-level detailed instructions to even attempt this. Batari, make more, and make wires!!!!

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I'm looking into it. I only had enough parts to build the four that I did, but if I can find enough for a small run of 20 boards, I will. I will try to find the wires and connectors this time around.

 

I don't think there is a huge market for AV mods, personally, so I'd guess even 20 boards should last a little while.

 

Thought I'd also mention that I tried to contact LHE through his site to ask where I could send his $20 royalty for the four boards and he did not respond.

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Yeah, I asked him for an update (or a refund) on the 23rd and still haven't heard anything back. I don't think the mod is too complicated, all the hard work is done. I also don't think there's very much interest in it right now. Maybe in a few years when HDTV or 3DTV is the norm. It's definitely not a viable business. It would only appeal to the hobbiest to make these mods, and not for profit but purely to help the community and have something to do in their spare time. Anyone can source the parts. I think the board is the hard part, but what do I know. I had thought about ordering enough parts for 20 or so mods from local surplus electronic shops around where I live, but then I would need to rely on sourcing the boards and then hope that I break even (which would be impossible if you think about the amount of time it would take). For me, I could use the soldering practice and I find it relaxing, but then again I’m weird and I like Atari.

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I will be happy to give away the gerber files and parts list for my solderless board. Gerber files are whats needed for a fabricator to make your board. For $100 at Gold Phoenix PCB you could have 50 or so boards printed up. I would like to wait until I actually solder up the board and make sure it works before I do release it though. Unfortunately this is the worst time ever to order anything from China because its their new year and that means at least two weeks of delay. So I am sitting waiting patiently for my boards. This board could also be used as a solder version without much trouble.

 

But I think its all useless unless someone comes up with a different design. No matter who makes the mods, they will run into the same issue, the FMS6406/FMS6400/FMS6410 chips are very scarce.

 

The previous picture I posted wasnt the finished version, I was too lazy to take a new snapshot then. This is the finished design.

post-5313-129609955917_thumb.jpg

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I got scared I waited to long and bought a pre-modded 2600 from another AA user (ebay listing).

 

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/176112-fs-2600-av-modded-6-switch-ebay/

 

After all the hassles of installation, and the fact that I wanted a six-switch, I said "what the hell." Evidently, he makes up his own mod, pics on the ebay listing mentioned in that thread above from Auction Central.

 

Maybe I will be wanting a Harmony Cart to go with the nice sharp picture. I hardly play my 2600 (4-switch) because I can't stand messing with RF anymore.

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Wow, so Longhorn has disappeared again? He did this last year, too. My sympathies to those who are waiting for their orders; I was in the same boat myself in August. When he came back, he said he was "burned out", which was what I suspected when he stopped answering e-mails and PMs. From what I wrote at the time in this thread:

 

He probably just ran out of gas. It seems to happen to people who set out to market Atari video upgrade kits in particular. I don't know if it's Atari's ancient flaky hardware, or the labor-intensive assembly and installation process, or people with bad wiring or weird TVs always complaining about poor picture quality, or having to help amateur solder jockeys who damage their consoles while trying to install the upgrade themselves, but it's a market that seems to wear people down. Several of them have come and gone over the years, and now it looks like Longhorn is gone, too. If he does come back, he'll have some explaining to do, because this absolute silence is baffling to me, too. If you're tired, or if you're having trouble sourcing parts, or if you're backlogged with work, why not just come out and say so (and stop accepting new orders until you've fixed the problem)?

He replied not long afterward:

 

There is no excuse for me not responding to emails or pms. I have just been burnt out recently and wanted to focus on other things. People that have paid for mods WILL get there mods. I will never leave people without there product.

I don't think he is a scammer at all. I think he got in way over his head and pretty much gave up. I am sure that he went into this with the best of intentions.

 

My guess is he got so far behind that he just basically quit. Being that he is a college kid, he probably spent the money and now he can't give refunds. If you can't get the product out the door and you don't have the money for refunds the only thing you can do is end all communication. I guess that is what he did.

Nope just got burned out. I never spend ANY money from a mod until it ships from my door. I have all the parts for the mods in my shop. I think I will run out of bubble mailers before anything else :D . I am not a quitter and will never be. If you have met me at MGC you will know I will never scam or rip off any person but this is no excuse for how I ignored emails recently.

I can still understand getting burned out and needing a rest, but I still don't understand the complete lack of communication. All I can say is, I'm glad I bought a stack of his 2600 and 7800 boards (and enough FMS6400 chips for all of them) when I had the chance, even though it ended up taking months to get the boards.

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I think he will come through for all those that purchased them. I personally don't like selling anything until I've already built them and have them in hand. He probably took on more pre-orders than he was willing to handle.

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I will be happy to give away the gerber files and parts list for my solderless board. Gerber files are whats needed for a fabricator to make your board. For $100 at Gold Phoenix PCB you could have 50 or so boards printed up. I would like to wait until I actually solder up the board and make sure it works before I do release it though. Unfortunately this is the worst time ever to order anything from China because its their new year and that means at least two weeks of delay. So I am sitting waiting patiently for my boards. This board could also be used as a solder version without much trouble.

 

But I think its all useless unless someone comes up with a different design. No matter who makes the mods, they will run into the same issue, the FMS6406/FMS6400/FMS6410 chips are very scarce.

 

The previous picture I posted wasnt the finished version, I was too lazy to take a new snapshot then. This is the finished design.

post-5313-129609955917_thumb.jpg

I found another chip that will work - Fairchild's ML6428CS2X appears to be a drop-in replacement for the FMS6400 on the LHE board. Digikey has a couple of thousand but they are a little pricey and it appears nobody else has any (Mouser has the ML6428CS1X which is not a drop in replacement.)

 

For the future, I agree that a completely new chip should be used. Nothing was quite as good as the Fairchild chips but I did find a suitable chip (Maxim MAX9512.) It's not a drop-in replacement (different package) and requires 3.3v but it is cheaper, available and does the same thing.

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I will be happy to give away the gerber files and parts list for my solderless board. Gerber files are whats needed for a fabricator to make your board. For $100 at Gold Phoenix PCB you could have 50 or so boards printed up. I would like to wait until I actually solder up the board and make sure it works before I do release it though. Unfortunately this is the worst time ever to order anything from China because its their new year and that means at least two weeks of delay. So I am sitting waiting patiently for my boards. This board could also be used as a solder version without much trouble.

 

But I think its all useless unless someone comes up with a different design. No matter who makes the mods, they will run into the same issue, the FMS6406/FMS6400/FMS6410 chips are very scarce.

 

The previous picture I posted wasnt the finished version, I was too lazy to take a new snapshot then. This is the finished design.

post-5313-129609955917_thumb.jpg

I found another chip that will work - Fairchild's ML6428CS2X appears to be a drop-in replacement for the FMS6400 on the LHE board. Digikey has a couple of thousand but they are a little pricey and it appears nobody else has any (Mouser has the ML6428CS1X which is not a drop in replacement.)

 

For the future, I agree that a completely new chip should be used. Nothing was quite as good as the Fairchild chips but I did find a suitable chip (Maxim MAX9512.) It's not a drop-in replacement (different package) and requires 3.3v but it is cheaper, available and does the same thing.

The MAX9512 is not for your average hobbyist, I could only find it in the 16 TQFN-EP package. This is 3mm(.118) square, and the contacts are 0.25mm(.001 in.) wide and spaced 0.5mm(.002 in.) center to center.

 

A lot of those who had to solder on the SOIC-8 FMS6400 were having issues, and it has pins 1.5 to 2 times wider, spaced 2.5 times further apart center to center and which project out of the body of the IC package making them easier to solder to.

 

The MAX9512 would be suitable for a professionally built unit, but not as part of a kit.

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I will be happy to give away the gerber files and parts list for my solderless board. Gerber files are whats needed for a fabricator to make your board. For $100 at Gold Phoenix PCB you could have 50 or so boards printed up. I would like to wait until I actually solder up the board and make sure it works before I do release it though. Unfortunately this is the worst time ever to order anything from China because its their new year and that means at least two weeks of delay. So I am sitting waiting patiently for my boards. This board could also be used as a solder version without much trouble.

 

But I think its all useless unless someone comes up with a different design. No matter who makes the mods, they will run into the same issue, the FMS6406/FMS6400/FMS6410 chips are very scarce.

 

The previous picture I posted wasnt the finished version, I was too lazy to take a new snapshot then. This is the finished design.

post-5313-129609955917_thumb.jpg

I found another chip that will work - Fairchild's ML6428CS2X appears to be a drop-in replacement for the FMS6400 on the LHE board. Digikey has a couple of thousand but they are a little pricey and it appears nobody else has any (Mouser has the ML6428CS1X which is not a drop in replacement.)

 

For the future, I agree that a completely new chip should be used. Nothing was quite as good as the Fairchild chips but I did find a suitable chip (Maxim MAX9512.) It's not a drop-in replacement (different package) and requires 3.3v but it is cheaper, available and does the same thing.

The MAX9512 is not for your average hobbyist, I could only find it in the 16 TQFN-EP package. This is 3mm(.118) square, and the contacts are 0.25mm(.001 in.) wide and spaced 0.5mm(.002 in.) center to center.

 

A lot of those who had to solder on the SOIC-8 FMS6400 were having issues, and it has pins 1.5 to 2 times wider, spaced 2.5 times further apart center to center and which project out of the body of the IC package making them easier to solder to.

 

The MAX9512 would be suitable for a professionally built unit, but not as part of a kit.

Yes, I am aware of that. It would still be suitable in a kit, however, if the board came with the chip attached and nothing else. There are a handful of us who can solder something like a MAX9512.

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Wow, so Longhorn has disappeared again? He did this last year, too. My sympathies to those who are waiting for their orders; I was in the same boat myself in August. When he came back, he said he was "burned out", which was what I suspected when he stopped answering e-mails and PMs.

This is basically what he did with me as well. I sent him a 4-switch 2600 to mod in March 2010, and paid him for it. I haven't heard anything from him for months now.

 

Whenever I shop for homebrew services like this, I always know there's a chance I won't get anything for my money, so I never spend more than I'm willing to lose. I've been pretty lucky until now, but this time it looks like I am out the cash AND a console. I don't expect to get either back.

Edited by williamc

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