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How to Open an ATARISOFT Cartridge

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I have an Atarisoft Cart that has something rattling around inside and wanted to open it up without damaging it. As you know, its not like the standard TI Cart. How does an Atarisoft Cart come apart?

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The rattling in my Pac Man and Pitstop cartridges was a broken post which supports ROM board inside. As for opening, I do not recall how I opened mine.

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It's glued together. You have to very carefully pry it apart at the seam.

 

Gazoo

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It's glued together. You have to very carefully pry it apart at the seam.

 

Gazoo

yes, it's true, when they will be opened, they will remain open. :( and the plastic pin that held the PCB inside was broken.

 

i never been able to close again mine two, no screw or joints of some sort, only clue but not working for the broken pin :(

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When i was a kid my older brother some how broke the pin inside my Defender cartridge and the cart just moved around inside. I just had to open it and leave the cart out to be used.

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What's interesting is that I talked with Barry Friedman from ICG (International Computer Group) who did some of the Atarisoft TI conversions and they actually produced them themselves at their production line in Hong Kong. Centipede was one such title. It should say "Made in Hong Kong" on the cart. Also, they printed the manuals and boxes. This is why the manuals for Dig-Dug, Centipede, and some others look different. The ones made by ICG were those white manuals with the title written across (http://www.videogamehouse.net/CentipedeM.jpg). Anyway, the ICG made carts have a screw under the label. He did mention that it should say "ICG" in the screw hole if anyone wants to open Centipede or Dig-Dug up and confirm :) I don't remember which others they did, but if the manual looks like the Centipede one in the link, it's ICG. Just some neat trivia!

 

BTW, these guys were working on Battlezone for Atarisoft on the TI as well. I'd say Atari got a good deal with these guys as ICG did everything, programming, production, and all. All Atari had to do was market the games.

Edited by Toucan
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BTW, these guys were working on Battlezone for Atarisoft on the TI as well. I'd say Atari got a good deal with these guys as ICG did everything, programming, production, and all. All Atari had to do was market the games.

 

Any prototype around?

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SS01_l.jpg

This thread comes at a fortunate time for me as I have been working on a prototype Atarisoft cartrdge opener, please see illustration of working model.

 

I wil be taking orders based on test data.

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I like the openers

 

(since we are talking about Atari, have you seen the movie Pixels?

many Atari games inside the movie and also for TI: "Centipede", "Donkey Kong", "Pac-Man")

and the Parker Brothers ones: Q-bert, Frogger

and a few others? (Galaxy invaders? and some other games in the background "Paper-boy", "Mario"

and a few othes, the red-dress lady one with the swords I do not know)

 

 

you can google "viooz pixels" (but you are on you own for the next clicks)

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On 8/8/2015 at 8:52 PM, Toucan said:

What's interesting is that I talked with Barry Friedman from ICG (International Computer Group) who did some of the Atarisoft TI conversions...

...I'd say Atari got a good deal with these guys as ICG did everything, programming, production, and all. All Atari had to do was market the games.

I just wanted to state for the record that while ICG served as the "producer" for these TI ports, they did not actually program them.  ICG was essentially a middleman operation and any game that they were involved with was ultimately developed by someone else.  In this case, the Atarisoft TI ports in question were developed by programmers at Rich & Rich (aka Syndein Systems), who did a lot of work under subcontract with ICG (including many of the Atarisoft ports for the VIC-20).   I've never tried to open any of their VIC-20 cartridges, but they were also manufactured in Hong Kong and are likely of similar construction.

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21 hours ago, 1980gamer said:

I opened my Donkey Kong Cart by dropping it of the desk....  if that helps in any way?

 

That just shows that the Atarisoft cases weren't quite as robust as the ones from TI.  ☺️

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Can anyone who has opened one of these cartridges (purposefully or accidentally) show or at least tell me what the PCB inside looks like?  Some of these titles should be on K-Byte boards but I'm curious about the other ones.

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Interesting! My Defender was a blob chip. What you show there is what I /wanted/ to see when I cracked mine open. ;) (I can't post a pic as I've no idea where it is...)

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Someone posted the PCBs here in 2016 (I just found this):

 

Most of them were manufactured by K-Byte, except the ones made in Hong Kong. Those were by a company called Elcap.

Edited by CRV

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27 minutes ago, CRV said:

Most of them were manufactured by K-Byte, except the ones made in Hong Kong. Those were by a company called Elcap.

Thanks, I didn't catch that.  At least now we know that Picnic Paranoia and Protector II are on K-Byte PCBs so they may have done them, although the Sofmachine games are on K-Byte boards also.  Mike Yantis programmed Protector II, and from this post it can be deduced that he may have worked for Sofmachine.

This post also confirms that the C64 version of Dig Dug was developed by K-Byte.

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1 hour ago, --- Ω --- said:

Scan the label before defacing it to access the screw, that way when reassembled it'll look as good as new.

A heat gun on the label, used gently to not scorch the label and deform the plastic, will soften the adhesive so you can remove the label without damaging it.

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