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atari-dna

XE Longevity Aid

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Hi All,

 

Having recently benefitted from the Atari Age forum's experience and knowledge base I was able to successfully diagnose and repair my Atari XE.

 

Mainly, the processor had gone kaput. I also installed more modern ram (yes, everything was socketed).

 

So now, I'm able to enjoy the console. Before I box it back up, I remember the 6502 Sally was burning up before I replaced it (part of how I learned it was deceased).

 

The new Sally processor installed is working nicely, and it doesn't get raging hot (like the old one did) but it does get significantly warmer than any other chip on the motherboard. Presumably, because it's doing more work.

 

My question is, should I grab some Arctic paste and a heat sink and install that on Sally? couldn't hurt, right? Does anyone have a good source for a lower profile 40 pin top mounting heat sink?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Jeff

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The heat primarily comes from the number of transistors that are switching and how often they switch. Primarily because it takes current to charge and discharge all the transistor gates.

 

So, a chip can be big and complex and still not get hot if it isn't doing anything all that often. DMA and CPU chips tend to be busy every cycle.

 

There are a lot of heatsinks out there and thermal adhesives. You could search Digi-key, Mouser, and even Ebay for a suitable heatsink. Even a strip of aluminum on top of the chip would help spread the heat out from the center better than the plastic casing does.

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ALL my A8's have original processors....none have any heatsinking....they didn't get it factory so why would it be necessary ? What you feel with your finger may stil be a very comfy and normal temperature for the chip....

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As discussed previously, the comforting aspects of heat sinks in an A8 are largely psychological. One may acknowledge that and still go ahead and attach a heat sink, I guess. :)

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There's umpteen brands of ones for RAM that go on the chips themselves and not over the entire ram stick, I imagine most of them would probably be low enough profile.

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They've lasted 30+ years just fine (mostly), IMO heatsinks are unnecessary.

 

Probably the biggest danger aside from rogue power supplies that might overvolt and fry stuff is deterioration of motherboards, lifting traces etc.

About all can be done is maintain good environmentals, like don't leave machines in exposed sunlight or high heat or humidity.

 

The other key is have multiple machines and/or a stock of spare stuff.

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ALL my A8's have original processors....none have any heatsinking....they didn't get it factory so why would it be necessary ? What you feel with your finger may stil be a very comfy and normal temperature for the chip....

I imagine Atari was cheap and from a bean counter perspective they wouldn't have felt compelled to include a heat sink in production. I'm not as familiar with the Sally processor as you guys, apparently its more robust than I thought. I think I'll add a sink to it regardless as there really is no harm in doing so :)

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It's not a question of economics: the more expensive 800 didn't have a heat sink, and I don't remember any other manufacturer attaching them to 6502s (even those with a higher clock). As Rybags suggests, a good stock of spares is a wise investment and better protection against the march of oxidisation.

 

But yes: the only harm done by attaching a heatsink will be to one's credibility should I ever happen to open the case. :)

Edited by flashjazzcat
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@flashjazzcat @Rybags is there a good source for these microswitches? I have a second console which has a frozen select switch in the active position. Can these be had, or is there a modern switch which could be substituted?

 

Many thanks!

 

post-26843-0-98451700-1448372295_thumb.jpg

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I'm not at all sure what the original part number would be but if you can find a momentary switch of the appropriate height, that would work, although they tend not to have much travel on them.

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