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ClausB

Calling All 800s!

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Hi all.

 

I'm trying to nail down when I got my first Atari computer. It was an original Atari 800. My parents bought it for me for my birthday. They cannot remember when. They think it was when I turned 13, which would have been January 1980.

 

I have some clues that I think can help narrow it down.

 

Clues:

  1. It had 48K of RAM pre-populated, but the RAM and ROM chips were all cased and it had the thumb levers so I could open that compartment. (It was not screwed closed)
  2. There was a sticker on the box that touted the fact that it came with 48K of RAM now.
  3. The salesperson told my parents that when Atari bumped them to 48K of RAM, they stopped including BASIC, but because this computer was produced right when that started, it still had BASIC included. (Assuming the salesperson was telling my parents the truth.)

So, is January of 1980 a reasonable timeframe for a computer of this configuration to be on sale?

 

Thanks to anyone for any information they can share.

 

Todd

 

I don't THINK they bumped default RAM up to 48K quite that early, unless your parents paid extra (WAAAY extra that early!). The machines were "introduced" in late 1979 (which just meant pilot production that fall had resulted in a few hundred units each for key retailers like Sears and JC Penny to stick in Christmas catalogs. Regular availability wasn't until sometime into 1980. We got our first Atari computer in October 1982 (a 16K 400) and it was still a couple hundred bucks from a NYC deep-discount mail order house - I have the receipt, if not the actual machine! FWIW, I have a machine made in Sunnyvale in the 33rd week of 1982 that only has one 16K factory RAM board, still has the thumbtabs, but the board is uncased. It also has a third-party 32K board in there. I *THINK*, therefore, that was sometime in fall '82 that the default configuration for the 400 was bumped to 16K and the 800 to 48K (probably to compete with the C64 making inroads in the market), with the 64K 1200XL expected to take over the lineup in 1983 - and we know how that turned out.

 

Anyway, just my two cents.

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Okay. So, I started looking at ads in Magazine scans.

 

January 1983 Compute! magazine had the Atari 800 with 48K of RAM for $499 - $659

January 1982 Compute! magazine had the Atari 800 with 16k for around $750. (One ad claimed the list price was $1,080.)

 

So, yeah, I'm thinking i got my computer in January of 1983, not January of 1980. But the weird thing is, the RAM and ROM modules were cased. I would have thought that by then, (Given it was almost the end of the 800's life) Atari would have been shipping them with bare boards.

 

Just for fun, I went back to the beginning of Compute! magazine to look for the first listing of an Atari 800 with a price. It was Issue 4 (May/June 1980) and it was $875.

 

Todd

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Just acquired an "800 U"

#093 BK 026880

(no case stamping and no other markings found, Rev. A PAL MoBo according to marking on motherboard(next to small powerboard connector).

 

(Which BTW has loose wires connected to the cathode(?) of CR102 and both ends of C198 - this seems to hint that might be remainders of a hard reset mod. Any other ideas?)

 

I hope that after fixing the keyboard it will be good company for my

 

"800 P"

stamped "G"

052 00153

with an extra sticker WW161/25

and Atari/161 stamped on the case in silver

 

that has been (mostly) with me since 1982 (and sports a DB-25 connector instead of the RF cable - here I know the purpose for it's a handmade "SIO2ST" I assembled with the help of a friend to transfer my 800 stuff to my ST.)

 

Would appreciate any hints on what those numbers actually mean.

Edited by slx

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It will be. It's only 7 months old! Give me a chance. Anyway we never quite figured out the odd PAL numbering systems. Anyone?

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Not to ask a stupid question, but why are there three sets of numbers, and not always?

A case date, a white hand written date, a sticker date. Being an XL guy I havent really cracked open the 4 or 5 800s I have to investigate.

 

Makes me wonder if the hand written ones are repair/ upgrade dates or the dates of the mobo parts.

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Not to ask a stupid question, but why are there three sets of numbers, and not always?

A case date, a white hand written date, a sticker date. Being an XL guy I havent really cracked open the 4 or 5 800s I have to investigate.

 

Makes me wonder if the hand written ones are repair/ upgrade dates or the dates of the mobo parts.

 

I don't think anyone really knows. One of my 400's has a handwritten sticker too, just like the ones you find on 800's sometimes. *shrug*

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I don't think anyone really knows. One of my 400's has a handwritten sticker too, just like the ones you find on 800's sometimes. *shrug*

Sure sure. Just as I start understanding 1200XL numbers you give me another mental project!

 

Well, I’ll head to the basement and crack a few ones I have. Wife isn’t going to be happy as I haven’t finished restoring the 1200XL Pilot unit yet. But we need a much larger sample set of numbers for sure.

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"800 P"

stamped "G"

052 00153

with an extra sticker WW161/25

and Atari/161 stamped on the case in silver

 

that has been (mostly) with me since 1982 (and sports a DB-25 connector instead of the RF cable - here I know the purpose for it's a handmade "SIO2ST" I assembled with the help of a friend to transfer my 800 stuff to my ST.)

 

Would appreciate any hints on what those numbers actually mean.

 

The stamped 161 is the datecode, 16th week of 1981. Looks like the earliest PAL unit yet.

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I wonder if some of the first PAL units started out as NTSC and later got mod'ed.

 

Is there anything inside that would allow to confirm or deny this?

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I'm not sure what components got changed from NTSC to PAL, besides ANTIC, GTIA, and the crystal. So maybe look for resoldering of the crystal and maybe changes in some discrete components in the video circuit.

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Mmm...actually good question. The XL's and XE's have an extra crystal for PAL....not sure about the PAL 800's but I'm very sure they would not it too. I'll have s look at mine ASAP. But I think they were manufactured as PAL right away by 1983. Maybe very early PAL units went NTSC->PAL .....?

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Heres my newly added 800. 060 0501 ( 6th week of 1980) system that was talked about on here.( the atari h.C.D. system) Went to auction and I plan to fix the video so it will live on happily playing the arcade classics.

post-35058-0-16444900-1534542645_thumb.jpg

post-35058-0-15288800-1534542682_thumb.jpg

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Heres my newly added 800. 060 0501 ( 6th week of 1980) system that was talked about on here.( the atari h.C.D. system) Went to auction and I plan to fix the video so it will live on happily playing the arcade classics.

Did you buy that yourself in 1980 ?

 

I'am Try'n to find out info on the very first Keyboards in the 800, mine failed in warrenty 11 months .

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Hi Claus,

 

I wanted to share pics about a PAL 800 I bought a couple of month ago.

The guy told me that it was one of the first PAL computers imported to France.

I have other PAL 800 bought from England and none of them has the following Peritel adaptor board inside (Peritel=Scart).

That's the first time I see this add-on for France but maybe some other French guys could check if they own a 800 with such a board.

I don't know if all models imported in France had this board or if this was some kind of prototype.

 

Here are the pictures:

post-8819-0-07080800-1534624960_thumb.jpg

On the left side, there is second video output

post-8819-0-93748600-1534625746_thumb.jpg

This is a DIN connector

post-8819-0-14072500-1534625848_thumb.jpg

On the next one, you can see the PCB on the right (when the Atari is upside down)

post-8819-0-83158900-1534625084_thumb.jpg

Here is a closer look at the right part

post-8819-0-84047200-1534625189_thumb.jpg

Now, the other side :

post-8819-0-68127000-1534625231_thumb.jpg

And a closer look at the Peritel board

post-8819-0-61717800-1534625279_thumb.jpg

Yes, this IS an Atari PCB (not a custom one made by a French geek). The Atari part number is CA061034.

post-8819-0-62322900-1534625368_thumb.jpg

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Did you buy that yourself in 1980 ?

 

I'am Try'n to find out info on the very first Keyboards in the 800, mine failed in warrenty 11 months .

 

Nope a guy on here had a few 800s he wanted to know more about this happened to be the system he sold that ended up in house and from what I gathered might have been a dev console ( loosely used term since it was used to test eprom prototype games on cart and disk) . The HCD label on the front shows it From the info gathered this system was in the home computer division dating to September of 1982. According to one employee at atari at the time. What I'll never find out is how soon after the 060 date code did the aystem find it's way into the programming lab nor how long after was it decommissioned from that division. Not much more info is known about it's time at Atari.

 

He has a few other things I'm interested in but hasnt parted with them yet.

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Just got this about a month ago. Don't know if it works yet.

 

Yes it is NTSC. Just ordered the 1050 from best electronics, luckily I have a 240v to 110v step down to use it with.

 

 

 

post-45355-0-29482100-1538035675_thumb.jpg

post-45355-0-43699900-1538035685_thumb.jpg

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My two most recent acquisitions were both missing the bottom case label, but the internal sticker on the aluminum box reveals them to be AW347179 and AW356203.

 

post-19239-0-21044700-1550370869.jpgpost-19239-0-06345500-1550370877.jpg

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Thought I posted in here but I did not.

 

230 4686

 

bought dec. 1980

 

also has silver stamped on bottom showing SN.

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Hi Claus,

 

I wanted to share pics about a PAL 800 I bought a couple of month ago.

The guy told me that it was one of the first PAL computers imported to France.

I have other PAL 800 bought from England and none of them has the following Peritel adaptor board inside (Peritel=Scart).

That's the first time I see this add-on for France but maybe some other French guys could check if they own a 800 with such a board.

I don't know if all models imported in France had this board or if this was some kind of prototype.

 

Here are the pictures:

attachicon.gifIMG_2323.JPG

On the left side, there is second video output

attachicon.gifIMG_2334.JPG

This is a DIN connector

attachicon.gifIMG_2335.JPG

On the next one, you can see the PCB on the right (when the Atari is upside down)

attachicon.gifIMG_2324.JPG

Here is a closer look at the right part

attachicon.gifIMG_2325.JPG

Now, the other side :

attachicon.gifIMG_2333.JPG

And a closer look at the Peritel board

attachicon.gifIMG_2326.JPG

Yes, this IS an Atari PCB (not a custom one made by a French geek). The Atari part number is CA061034.

attachicon.gifIMG_2330.JPG

Perfect and it has the matching PTL stickers and ident.

I remember there was a website dedicated to the PTL's there was 2 or so different boards, though I don't know if it was just different manufacture location of the boards or some revisions to it.

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Thought I posted in here but I did not.

 

230 4686

 

bought dec. 1980

 

also has silver stamped on bottom showing SN.

What number is stamped on?

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Thought I posted in here but I did not.

 

230 4686

 

bought dec. 1980

 

also has silver stamped on bottom showing SN.

 

Nice, another from 1980.

 

List now updated in first post.

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