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How rare are the asterisk serial numbers?

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I was reading the wikipedia page about the Atari 5200 and they mention that there are some four-port systems that had the modifications found in the later two-port model that allows 2600 backwards compatibility. The wiki page says that those systems have an asterisk in the serial number.

 

The 1983 revision of the Atari 5200 has two controller ports instead of four, and a change back to the more conventional separate power supply and standard non-autoswitching RF switch. It also has changes in the cartridge port address lines to allow for the Atari 2600 adapter released that year. While the adapter was only made to work on the two-port version, modifications can be made to the four-port to make it line-compatible. In fact, towards the end of the four-port model's production run, there were a limited number of consoles produced which included these modifications. These consoles can be identified by an asterisk in their serial number.

 

I noticed that digitpress.com's online rarity guide doesn't have a separate entry for the asterisk four-port model. So how rare are the asterisk models? How "limited" was the number of consoles produced?

 

Does anybody here have one in their posession? Can somebody post a pic of the serial number sticker so that I know what I'm looking for when scrounging for one?

 

-wookie

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Not sure. Back when the Goodwill in Carson street in Pittsburgh actually sold stuff like that, they had three of those in stock. Asking price was $10.00 bare. This was about three years ago. Now they just sell over priced old LCD monitors, eMacs, and old P4 Dell PCs.

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Does anybody here have one in their posession? Can somebody post a pic of the serial number sticker so that I know what I'm looking for when scrounging for one?

I've got one. I need to dig out my 5200 this weekend anyway, so let me see if I can snap a picture for you.

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I think they're pretty rare. I was reading somewhere on Best Electronics' site that 99.5% of 4-port models do not have the asterisk. I may be wrong on the percentage; I can't recall exactly.

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I think they're pretty rare. I was reading somewhere on Best Electronics' site that 99.5% of 4-port models do not have the asterisk. I may be wrong on the percentage; I can't recall exactly.

It's OK - 85.6% of statistics are made up anyhow :)

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I think they're pretty rare. I was reading somewhere on Best Electronics' site that 99.5% of 4-port models do not have the asterisk. I may be wrong on the percentage; I can't recall exactly.

It's OK - 85.6% of statistics are made up anyhow :)

 

Not only that, over 61.7% of statistics are quoted incorrectly.

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I remember in a 1983 CV/5200 comparison something like this was mentioned. The earlier 5200s had four ports, as you mentioned, but also had inferior sound to later models and apparently 2600 adapters were troublesome. I could look in that old magazine to be sure if you'd like.

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I inquire about every 4 port that pops up on ebay. I have found none not listed as such.

 

Back in the day, my brothers 5200 had the *. His wife made him throw it away when they got married.

 

I recently found one but it does not work. When I find the time, I will fix and begin using it.

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I inquire about every 4 port that pops up on ebay. I have found none not listed as such.

 

Back in the day, my brothers 5200 had the *. His wife made him throw it away when they got married.

 

I recently found one but it does not work. When I find the time, I will fix and begin using it.

if it was me, she would been out the door before I've throw out the 5200.

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Believe it or not, I may have one of the asterisk 4-ports. I thought I had already checked its serial number and was sprucing it up to sell on eBay, when I saw what looks like an asterisk in the serial number. I don't have a 2600 cartridge adapter to test in order to know for sure. Here's a pic. What do you think?

post-30018-0-19492200-1342234458_thumb.jpg

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Yes that's it! You can use the 2600 adapter without having to mod your 5200.

Believe it or not, I may have one of the asterisk 4-ports. I thought I had already checked its serial number and was sprucing it up to sell on eBay, when I saw what looks like an asterisk in the serial number. I don't have a 2600 cartridge adapter to test in order to know for sure. Here's a pic. What do you think?

Edited by walter_J64bit

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"*263" hrm... Does that mean there are only 999 or less of them? That would make them extremely rare then.

 

-wookie

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"*263" hrm... Does that mean there are only 999 or less of them? That would make them extremely rare then.

 

-wookie

 

Probably more than that. Wikipedia cites a news story BITD that claims that Atari sold over one million 5200s. For the sake of argument, let's say that 60% of them were four ports. That's 600,000 four ports sold. Best Electronics' site says that 98%-99% of four ports do not have the asterisk (not 99.5% as I had stated earlier). So, that means 6,000 - 12,000 asterisk models, I guess.

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Bump for an old thread. Picked up a CIB asterisk model for pretty cheap on eBay. The seller couldn't get the unit to output video, so it may be broken. I'm hoping it's a problem with the switchbox or PS. Even if it doesn't work, I couldn't pass one up with the box and documentation!

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I've got one too. It was originally my brother's. Funny thing is, I didn't even know about the asterisk models until about a month ago and checked this one and there was the asterisk.

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I had one as a kid. But don't remember if there was an asterick or not. I wish I remembered. All I remember is it was 4 port and came with pacman. My ebay one does not have the asterisk however.

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I have both a 4 port and a 2 port (no asterisk), but have 2600 compatibility in the 2 port model, correct? If so, then no need for me to seek out an asterisk model.

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I would bet the 263 in the old pic above was for the date 26 wk of '83

 

Is anyone keeping a list of serial numbers like for the heavy sixer lists?

 

Just curious to see what kind of numbers are out there?

 

 

my 4-port non asterix model:

 

EP-173 125281

 

 

My 2-ports:

 

AT283 0128825

 

and

 

1011274 105

 

What does EP stand for? I'm not sure.. was it the date 17wk of '83 could be, but then the serial is already higher than in the asterix model pictured above.. however there is no leading zero in the number. I'm guessing again for my 2-port 1011274 it's the highest I have this was 10wk of '85 when did the 5200's production end?

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Ok, Here's another question. When a consumer sent back their 4 port to Atari for the free VCS mod, are there any outside tells? I recently bought (but yet to receive) a 5200 lot. It included a 2600 VCS adapter, and a 2600 Frogger cart. I got it all for $25. I only need the power supply, if it all works, gravy. I digress, On the bottom of the console, the serial number was replaced by a white sticker with a new serial number. Also, there is a last name on the box, and a circled 88. That could be because it was sent in, or something totally different. Like they were moving, or something. It's a hunch, but I hope it is a good one.

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Ok, Here's another question. When a consumer sent back their 4 port to Atari for the free VCS mod, are there any outside tells? I recently bought (but yet to receive) a 5200 lot. It included a 2600 VCS adapter, and a 2600 Frogger cart. I got it all for $25. I only need the power supply, if it all works, gravy. I digress, On the bottom of the console, the serial number was replaced by a white sticker with a new serial number. Also, there is a last name on the box, and a circled 88. That could be because it was sent in, or something totally different. Like they were moving, or something. It's a hunch, but I hope it is a good one.

If it includes the VCS adapter I'd guess it work with that system. If not I guess stranger things have happened. :)

Let us know how you make out with that lot.

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Not sure. Back when the Goodwill in Carson street in Pittsburgh actually sold stuff like that, they had three of those in stock. Asking price was $10.00 bare. This was about three years ago. Now they just sell over priced old LCD monitors, eMacs, and old P4 Dell PCs.

 

Off topic: Good to see another Pittsburgher on the forums! :D

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