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Bought a new PAL 800XL from B &C Computervisions

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After seeing it come up in my Atari Ebay searches repeatedly, I decided I wanted one of these, for the collection. They are "new in the box" (although they do open and test them) for $100. Sounds pricey? Well, I don't know where else to get one, and it is "new." Ordering one from Europe would likely be risky and expensive, and I *absolutely* don't want a trashed one. Anyway, I just wanted one although I have little justification, other than I just love being surrounded by Ataris, especially when they're in the box, and new at that. Yes, it's silly as I have no PAL monitor and don't know beans about PAL. The goal is to _one day_ be able to play the cool PAL games and demos.

 

Caveat: no power supply included. The 220v supply would have (likely) been useless to me anyway. I was ordering 2 power supplies (and other stuff) anyway, and for the cost of additional shipping, they included a third power supply. :)

 

It came in THIS kind of 800XL BOX:

post-16281-125400331529_thumb.jpg

 

They did a good putting a little glue on the box to close it back up, but I was able to open it without tearing anything up. Inside was a beautiful 800XL with the protective plastic stuck on all of the brushed aluminum parts. There was no switch box, but I never use them anyway. Euro manuals in there. Nothing smells quite as good as a new 800XL.....well, there are other things that smell pretty good, but I digress and won't get into them here :)

 

So I hook it up to my (NTSC, of course) "Samsung GXTV" (a little gaming TV from the 90's) with the composite cable that's always dangling for playing 800XL, C64, and Vic20. I didn't expect I'd be able to see a thing, but I did get a (rolling vertically, of course) black and white picture. I was expecting some strange (to Yankees) SECAM (or whatever) monitor jack(s) but it looks just like the back of the Yankee 800XL.

 

So I do a ? PEEK(43234) and it comes back with 234 - this puppy has BASIC rev C!! YEAAAA!! I know this isn't a big deal, but I've converted all my other 800XLs and I am delighted about this!

 

 

 

So, questions for 800XL experts out there: Since this has rev. C BASIC, this mustbe one of the LAST 800XLs, right?

(One of my Yankee 800XLs has the same box, but did not have rev. C BASIC but it WAS socketed)

 

I've heard of the rumored LAST 800XLs that had (1) Rev C BASIC, (2) "split" composite video back on the monitor jack (ala 130XE or 800 video), and (3) the Freddie MMU.

 

So is this at all possible? Complications: Don't know anyting about PAL, or if they even had such a thing as split composite/Svideo. Did they?

 

B and C said they've never seen a "Freddie" 800XL. However, I remember Curt Vendel mentioning there were a few in the end, if my memory is correct. I suppose I could open it up and look, but don't really know what to look for really. Would a Freddie 800XL be (more) easily upgradable to 320K?

 

Assuming it is NOT a Freddie machine, that means I can never get 320K in there, then? I think the ultimate would be a 320K PAL machine for the demos and games/etc from Europe. Why do I never see 320K Yankee 800XLs? Impracticality, I'm guessing.

 

The only other option would be to find a PAL 130XE - and assume it has a defective GTIA chip and desolder/resolder a new one, along with a 320K upgrade? If this is what has to be done, I guess I'll do it (one day, as I'm not in a tremendous hurry).

 

If you experts would chime in, my hat will be off to you.

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There are most certainly Freddie 800XL's. I have a couple here.

 

By the way, the JVC TM-A13SU is a handy little NTSC/PAL monitor for people wanting a real CRT. They turn up cheap on ebay sometimes.

 

http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/color_broch.jsp?model_id=MDL100277&feature_id=12

Edited by Bryan

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How was it buying from B&C?? I see a lot of advertisements from them in other places, how was everything? Smoothly? You definitely sound like you are happy with the machine. How was the service?

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IIRC, PAL XL/XEs never had a channel selector switch, and I don't think they ever had switchboxes either.

 

Still, nice score... not long ago I forked out $60 for a used XEGS, and that was without keyboard and included a dodgy power brick.

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How was it buying from B&C?? I see a lot of advertisements from them in other places, how was everything? Smoothly? You definitely sound like you are happy with the machine. How was the service?

I've bought from B&C a number of times (in Canada). Always prompt to respond to emails, reasonable in shipping, helpful - and if you ask questions, may even dissuade you from buying if they think you don't understand what you're ordering - a nice touch, as many vendors are all about volume and not about getting the client what they really want.

 

In about 7-8 transactions, there was once a small error, and they went beyond the call of duty in sorting it out. I don't buy "new" often, but I have no hesitation about doing so from B&C.

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So, questions for 800XL experts out there: Since this has rev. C BASIC, this mustbe one of the LAST 800XLs, right?

(One of my Yankee 800XLs has the same box, but did not have rev. C BASIC but it WAS socketed)

 

 

Not necessarily no.

 

I bought an 800XL from Silica Shop in England in December 1983 and it had Rev C BASIC installed.

 

Since I stupidly fried that one with a Commodore power supply later in life, I too bought a PAL 800XL from B&C last year. Mine actually came with two "9" keys, but B&C promptly sent me a replace key cap and all was well.

 

The unit I have did not have the split chroma/luma video output so I had to add that myself.

 

It does not have a FREDDY chip.

 

All ICs are without sockets except for the MMU.

 

I installed a Wizztronics 256K memory upgrade and also disabled the internal BASIC. I believe it is possible to add more memory to the Claus Bucholz design but I have not tried it myself.

 

It is nice to get a brand-new factory fresh Atari after all these years :-)

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How was it buying from B&C?? I see a lot of advertisements from them in other places, how was everything? Smoothly? You definitely sound like you are happy with the machine. How was the service?

 

I've always had 1st rate service from B&C.

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How was it buying from B&C?? I see a lot of advertisements from them in other places, how was everything? Smoothly? You definitely sound like you are happy with the machine. How was the service?

 

I love buying from B&C, they are my favorite. If I ever win the lotto I'll be cleaning them out lol

 

Having said that, I wish San Jose Computers and Toad Computers were still around. I miss having a good selection of dealers.

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How was it buying from B&C?? I see a lot of advertisements from them in other places, how was everything? Smoothly? You definitely sound like you are happy with the machine. How was the service?

 

I love buying from B&C, they are my favorite. If I ever win the lotto I'll be cleaning them out lol

 

Having said that, I wish San Jose Computers and Toad Computers were still around. I miss having a good selection of dealers.

WOW, now that's old shcool! ;)

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After seeing it come up in my Atari Ebay searches repeatedly, I decided I wanted one of these, for the collection. They are "new in the box" (although they do open and test them) for $100. Sounds pricey? Well, I don't know where else to get one, and it is "new." Ordering one from Europe would likely be risky and expensive, and I *absolutely* don't want a trashed one. Anyway, I just wanted one although I have little justification, other than I just love being surrounded by Ataris, especially when they're in the box, and new at that. Yes, it's silly as I have no PAL monitor and don't know beans about PAL.

 

I understand completely. I'm thinking of doing the same thing. A couple years ago I had a chance to buy an NTSC 800XL from them, NEW in box. I arranged to buy it from them and they said they'd get back to me. When they didn't, I said, "Ah, screw them then." When I checked a few months later, they were sold out. I felt like kicking myself in the face with steel-toed golf shoes. (...even though that's physically impossible... and I don't play golf)

 

I know those PAL 800XLs will be gone soon. Even though PAL is useless for me and I certainly don't need another computer, I just want to sit back and bask in the glory of a new 800XL.

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I have three Pal 800XL's

 

72RHA AT84 33925 I-444

72RHA AT84 126189 I-045

72RHA AT84 69289 I-494

 

All three are REV C, the first one is fully socketed, the second one has the main chips socketed and the last one has no sockets.

 

I have yet to find a PAL Atari 800XL that isn't REV C (although I am sure they are out there)... None of hem are Freddie machines either :(

Edited by orpheuswaking

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I have three Pal 800XL's

 

72RHA AT84 33925 I-444

72RHA AT84 126189 I-045

72RHA AT84 69289 I-494

 

All three are REV C, the first one is fully socketed, the second one has the main chips socketed and the last one has no sockets.

 

I have yet to find a PAL Atari 800XL that isn't REV C (although I am sure they are out there)... None of hem are Freddie machines either :(

 

I just bought a second hand 800xl of ebay along with 1050 drive and software. The drive has not turned up but I am assured it will however the 800xl is very clean with no case yellowing etc. Also on my lg monitor it has no vertical banding which is cool. In fact I am going to box my 130xe which i bought new a few months back and use the 800xl moving forward as it certainly has a nicer keyboard. Just had it running ballblazer with no issues etc so its good to go.

 

Question, if i want to open it up is there any trick beyond the 6 screws underneath?

 

be nice to clean it etc

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I just bought a second hand 800xl of ebay along with 1050 drive and software. The drive has not turned up but I am assured it will however the 800xl is very clean with no case yellowing etc. Also on my lg monitor it has no vertical banding which is cool. In fact I am going to box my 130xe which i bought new a few months back and use the 800xl moving forward as it certainly has a nicer keyboard. Just had it running ballblazer with no issues etc so its good to go.

 

Question, if i want to open it up is there any trick beyond the 6 screws underneath?

 

be nice to clean it etc

 

I'm certainly a layman in regards to electronics, but I have taken apart many Ataris for cleaning. I think the keyboard connector is something you can't be too careful with. It's really cheap, flimsy laminate. Be VERY gentle with it. I pull it out SLOWLY and carefully, and when reassembling, grasp it on each end and try not to kink it when putting it back. Sometimes I take apart an 800XL and if I don't need to unplug the keyboard, I don't; I lay it upside-down to the side while I fiddle with the computer. I think that repeated removal and insertions would likely screw it up (wear it out or kink it). I was surprised to see - upon replacing the keyboard on my Toshiba laptop - that it had the same cheap-ass thing!!! HA!

 

If you take out the motherboard to wash the case, make sure you keep track of which screws go where. On some builds I don't think it matters, but on some of mine, some screws held the shielding down and others held just the motherboard.

 

If I was retired with nothing but time on my hands, it would be fun to make a pictorial guide to the 800XL and all its variants.

 

You can take apart the keyboard (pry the caps off) but it is very delicate work and if you're not super slow and careful with each one, you'll break the plastic parts underneath the keys. I've done several - and even Commodore 64 and Vic-20 and got all the caps off. I then cleaned each one with a toothbrush and whitewall tire cleaner, and then tapped out the water and left them upside down in front of a fan. It's kind of fun, but it is not if something breaks. Fortunately, you can blow the dust out with compressed air and then just wipe the keycaps (installed) with something like a washcloth damp with glass cleaner, etc etc etc.

 

If you're gung-ho you can remove the cartridge doors and hit them with some super-fine grit (wet sand) paper and then polish them! Pay attention to those little springs!

 

I have a couple 130XEs but I really like the 800XL the best.

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They're great. Sometimes (if you call them, rather than Ebay) it can take a while as they're frequently backlogged. When I got my new 130XE from them a year (or more?) ago, it took a while for them to get to it, but that was understood and agreed to. I think they must have a huge warehouse packed with Atari stuff to the point that they're discovering stuff all the time. They always come through.

 

I have also ordered from Best Electronics. I tend to want to say that Best is a little more expensive, though. At least, that's why I bought the new 130XE from B&C. Best does ship very promptly and the guy (Brad Koda?? I think) is excellent. Once I wanted just a Rev C ROM from Best and it was about $12 and he said they had a minimum $20 order to use a credit card. I think I bought a book I'd been wanting at the same time to make it so.

 

One thing for sure - it's not like there's a lot of places to get Atari stuff from anymore - and NEW stuff at that. I feel kind of fortunate for having these folks and their shops, or it would just be luck-of-the-draw on Ebay for used stuff. I expect it will come to that one day, which is why I've been trying to stock up now while I can.

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There are most certainly Freddie 800XL's. I have a couple here.

 

By the way, the JVC TM-A13SU is a handy little NTSC/PAL monitor for people wanting a real CRT. They turn up cheap on ebay sometimes.

 

http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/color_broch.jsp?model_id=MDL100277&feature_id=12

 

Have you seen the Freddie? The other poster on here says he has 3 and they are not Freddies. I am now wondering if the Freddie thing is a myth. But what about the S-video/split composite/Y-C (whatever you want to call it). Did they at least "fix" the monitor port on these, while they were putting in Rev C? Does the PAL standard even support S-video?

 

Thanks so much for the JVC monitor suggestion. I remember back in the ST days, the early SC1224 from JVC was a real GEM and a piece of Japanese quality. It even looked like it. To this day, I think a lot of them still work - like the Commodore 1702 which was made in Japan. However I noticed in an online pic that the TM-A13SU says "Fabriqué en Thaïlande" on the box! But what a cool little monitor! I rather relish the idea of a CRT, personally. The only way I'd consider a small TFT would be if I could get it cheaply and locally.

 

However, it seems that either (1) Small TFT sets sold in U.S. (through common retailers) do NOT support PAL, or (2) perhaps some do, but the few people interested in running antique PAL equipment (such as myself) constitute such a miniscule lunatic fringe that even if an "international" model does support PAL, we'll never know because they don't want the support issues of making such a claim. Still, it would be nice to know if the throw-away "Funai" or whatever dumpy little brand on the Walmart low end - supported PAL, secretly.

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Have you seen the Freddie?

 

Yes. In fact one of them is apart right now because it needs a Freddie (I stole it to fix a XEGS).

 

It looks like the top board in this picture (from Curt's site):

 

800XLF.jpg

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Thanks for the post, Bryan.

 

Was the Freddie chip socketed, or anything socketed?

 

Does the Freddie machine have split-composite/Svideo/Y-C? Is that a specification that PAL incorporates?

 

Also, does the fact that it's a Freddie machine easily facilitate 130XE type upgrades --> 320K??

 

Thanks!!!

 

 

 

 

Have you seen the Freddie?

 

Yes. In fact one of them is apart right now because it needs a Freddie (I stole it to fix a XEGS).

 

It looks like the top board in this picture (from Curt's site):

 

800XLF.jpg

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hmmmm.... now I think I am going to have to take apart all my PAL machines and double check for Freddie.... I know my main PAL is not (I just upgraded it to Dual stereo and 1meg mammory)... But I have a suspicion that the unsocketed one may have freddie onboard (haven't had that one open for over 10 years)

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I have 5 PAL XLs here, one is a Freddy, the others are all REV B BASIC.

 

I have bought from B+C several times, even though I am in the UK. Service is good, not as good as BEST, but good enough. I bought a NIB PAL 130XE and a NIB PAL Jaguar from them last year. I think stocks of the 130s are going fast.

If I had the money I would sure buy a PAL 800XL from them:sad:

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I have 5 PAL XLs here, one is a Freddy, the others are all REV B BASIC.

 

I have bought from B+C several times, even though I am in the UK. Service is good, not as good as BEST, but good enough. I bought a NIB PAL 130XE and a NIB PAL Jaguar from them last year. I think stocks of the 130s are going fast.

If I had the money I would sure buy a PAL 800XL from them:sad:

 

Did the NIB PAL 130XE have the so-called defective GTIA chip? Do ALL production runs of PAL 130XE have it, or just the CHINA ones?

 

 

 

Does anybody know if a Freddie 800XL can be easily upgraded to 320K?

 

I am just wondering WHY I never hear of 320K 800XLs. 256K can make a ramdisk or run Atariwriter Plus. Who needs that?

320K can run those Euro games and demos. I'd like a 320K PAL machine, one way or another. Does this exclusively mean I need a 130XE to do it, can a Freddie 800XL do it, or can any 800XL do it?

 

I'm still glad to have the new PAL 800XL, but I'm wondering if I should start looking for a PAL 130XE (eventually).

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