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GrizzLee

Bally Astrocade RIP 01/22/09

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Folks,

 

A moment of silence please.

 

 

Our beloved Bally finally passed away last night at 9:09 pm (Pacific time). She was went out with her guns blasting in a an exhilerating game of Dog Patch with my 13 year old son in full glory on our hi-def TV. We suspect, she suffered from heat stroke... like most Ballys seem to do. All efforts to re-vive her have failed (soob, sniff... soory, we are a bit broken up about her).

 

She was fully modified with RGB and S-Video capabilities and sported a great Bally Multi-cart. She provided many years of tremendous service to our family and outlived several of her siblings we aquired over the years.

 

We would like to replace her. If anyone has a working unit to trade, sell or give away, I'd be interested.

I don't need controllers, box, etc...) Cosmetic condition isn't high on my list, as I will do a transplant into the carcass of my old machine. I hate to think that I'll never enjoy another round of Gun Fight, Dog Patch, Scrible, etc... ever again.

 

Thanks for listening (reading),

 

-Lee

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I understand completely. My 7800 recently crapped out, and the replacement is on the way. Still, it feels almost like losing a loyal pet.

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Folks,

 

A moment of silence please.

 

 

Our beloved Bally finally passed away last night at 9:09 pm (Pacific time). She was went out with her guns blasting in a an exhilerating game of Dog Patch with my 13 year old son in full glory on our hi-def TV. We suspect, she suffered from heat stroke... like most Ballys seem to do. All efforts to re-vive her have failed (soob, sniff... soory, we are a bit broken up about her).

 

She was fully modified with RGB and S-Video capabilities and sported a great Bally Multi-cart. She provided many years of tremendous service to our family and outlived several of her siblings we aquired over the years.

 

We would like to replace her. If anyone has a working unit to trade, sell or give away, I'd be interested.

I don't need controllers, box, etc...) Cosmetic condition isn't high on my list, as I will do a transplant into the carcass of my old machine. I hate to think that I'll never enjoy another round of Gun Fight, Dog Patch, Scrible, etc... ever again.

 

Thanks for listening (reading),

 

-Lee

 

 

Hi Lee,

 

Gee, that blows man. I feel you pain because that happen to me before.

 

Instead of replacing your unit, have you considered repairing your current unit and keep the old girl for the next 10-20 years?

 

Anthony....

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Those things die pretty easily. (It's actually one of the reasons why Bally quit making them and sold the company off). That sucks though.

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Folks,

 

A moment of silence please.

 

 

Our beloved Bally finally passed away last night at 9:09 pm (Pacific time). She was went out with her guns blasting in a an exhilerating game of Dog Patch with my 13 year old son in full glory on our hi-def TV. We suspect, she suffered from heat stroke... like most Ballys seem to do. All efforts to re-vive her have failed (soob, sniff... soory, we are a bit broken up about her).

 

She was fully modified with RGB and S-Video capabilities and sported a great Bally Multi-cart. She provided many years of tremendous service to our family and outlived several of her siblings we aquired over the years.

 

We would like to replace her. If anyone has a working unit to trade, sell or give away, I'd be interested.

I don't need controllers, box, etc...) Cosmetic condition isn't high on my list, as I will do a transplant into the carcass of my old machine. I hate to think that I'll never enjoy another round of Gun Fight, Dog Patch, Scrible, etc... ever again.

 

Thanks for listening (reading),

 

-Lee

 

 

Hi Lee,

 

Gee, that blows man. I feel you pain because that happen to me before.

 

Instead of replacing your unit, have you considered repairing your current unit and keep the old girl for the next 10-20 years?

 

Anthony....

 

I haven't seen anyone with much luck repairing them. Sorry to hear about that Lee, if I had an extra I would send it to you.

 

y-bot

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Since you did mods on the unit, did you remove the shielding from it or leave it on?

 

 

Yep I did.

 

If anyone knows how to fix these, I am all ears.

 

Thanks,

-Lee

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I know I saw an article on the common things that go out on them. I remember it was usually a cap or two, and one of the logic chips. I'll hunt around and see if I can find the article, Lee.

 

I know with mine, the first thing I did when I got it was open it up, and tear off all of the aluminim RF shielding (the source of most of the overheating woes). You can easily drill some holes ion the bottom and mount a CPU fun inside the case to cool it as well. Mine has been working fine since.

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Does the Astrocade lose any of its collector's value by removing the RF shield? It doesn't affect performance (it sounds like it actually improves it!) and you can't even see the difference with the naked eye, but some folks are sticklers for systems being in mint condition, for better or worse.

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Sorry to hear about another dead astrocade!! I have at least one that is dead too!

 

This is another reason to get Dogpatch ported to the 2600/7800!

 

Rob

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I used to have someone in Chicago buy broken Astrocade systems from me. He said that he could fix a lot of Astrocade issues but not all of them. So there is at least one person who did repairs. I don't think I have his contact information any longer.

 

Too many of the Astrocade systems die. I have had two of them die on me in the last year after playing on them for less than 30 minutes. The Astrocade is one of my favorite systems as it was one of my original systems from back in the day. I just wish that they were reliable.

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It seems like there aren't many places that can repair an Astrocade. I was asking around, and 4Jays and Old School Gamer said they can't repair it. That made me realize I need to take extra care of my Astrocade, but it is hard to do since there's so much that can go wrong with the units.

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I find it hard to believe that these can't be repaired - unless there is a failure of a special custom chip or something. The Astrocade is high on my list of "systems to find one of these days", but I've never acquired one. I can't imagine them being all that hard to fix - the Atari isn't. Do these things have an internal power supply, or use a wall wart?

 

On a side note, if anyone has any dead Astrocades, I'd be interested in them - gotta learn how these things work somehow.

 

-Ian

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What makes them hard to repair? Are they loaded with proprietary parts, glop top chips or do they cascade fail or what? Anybody know?

Edited by BigO

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I fear I may be in the same boat. :( Mine quit on me yesterday.

 

(Edit for spelling.)

Edited by BassGuitari

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I fear I may be in the same boat. :( Mine quit on me yesterday.

 

(Edit for spelling.)

 

I feel your pain.

 

I still haven't located another one or a place to have it repaired.

 

-Lee

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What makes them hard to repair? Are they loaded with proprietary parts, glop top chips or do they cascade fail or what? Anybody know?

 

I'm not sure! I know that there's a schematic online, which would make repairing the systems a lot easier. Maybe they use proprietary chips that are impossible to replace thirty years later. Also, the system has a lot of issues with overheating, which can be addressed by removing the RF shield. Still haven't gotten an answer to my earlier question, by the way!

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I fear I may be in the same boat. :( Mine quit on me yesterday.

 

(Edit for spelling.)

 

I feel your pain.

 

I still haven't located another one or a place to have it repaired.

 

-Lee

 

Thanks, Lee. :)

 

In a desperate, last-ditch attempt at saving it, I opened it up and removed the RF shielding and reseated all the ICs I could. And as desperate, last-ditch attempts at salvage tend to be, mine was also unsuccessful. I can't say for certain when exactly the time of death was because it had been five or six months since the last time I used it (when it worked perfectly). I'm actually experiencing a sort of genuine mourning. :(

 

The reason I didn't use it much was because I didn't have any good controllers for it. And I JUST got the complete set -1,2,3, and 4- from Ianoid at MGC a couple weeks ago! Figures.

 

My Astrocade's death came seemingly from nowhere for no apparent reason at all, and I was always very careful about overheating. So, while I would love to have a working Astrocade again, I have to question whether it's worth the 100-ish dollars necessary to procure one, if at some point in the near future it may just commit suicide for no reason.

 

Since the case of the console is in great shape, my dead Astrocade will remain on my shelf of consoles (one of them, anyway), a monument to itself. :)

 

We ought to form an Astrocade Widowers' Club...

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What makes them hard to repair? Are they loaded with proprietary parts, glop top chips or do they cascade fail or what? Anybody know?

 

I'm not sure! I know that there's a schematic online, which would make repairing the systems a lot easier. Maybe they use proprietary chips that are impossible to replace thirty years later. Also, the system has a lot of issues with overheating, which can be addressed by removing the RF shield. Still haven't gotten an answer to my earlier question, by the way!

Surely some crazy genius could have figured out how to substitute a custom programmed FPGA or microcontroller for a proprietary chip by now. (Unless it's something as far out as the 2600 TIA)

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fixing these things is just like re-capping monitors'n'mobos..

 

Yeah, I kinda have a sneaking suspicion that the more common failures should be pretty fixable. But having never seen one, I can't say for sure. I posted a "broken Astrocades wanted" note in the Marketplace. I'm really curious about these now.

 

-Ian

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If anyone wants to part with a dead one, for the cost of shipping, please PM me. I have some guys who work for me that can repair just about anything. I am looking for one myself. If we fix it, I will share the info with you all. I already have controllers.

Edited by Zonie

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If anyone wants to part with a dead one, for the cost of shipping, please PM me.

 

Let me go through my collection of Astrocade consoles over the next few days ... and see what works and what does not. (Last night was the Vectrex inventory.)

 

Rob

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If anyone wants to part with a dead one, for the cost of shipping, please PM me. I have some guys who work for me that can repair just about anything. I am looking for one myself. If we fix it, I will share the info with you all. I already have controllers.

Cool. Once you get it figured out, I can buy a dead one.

 

All I currently have is controllers 3 & 4, so I guess I have a long way to go to get a complete system dead or alive. :)

Edited by BigO

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