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Verault

Picked up my first orginal 1979 Atari 800 computer, need advice on parts

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I have an original Atari 800 computer (with left and right cartridge) I need some keys to complete my keyboard.

Does anyone have any idea where I can locate replacement keycaps. I was told that the orignal 800 had two style keyboards, mine is the one with the yellow square plungers. Any advice would be appreciated.

1.) Clr-set-TAB (key under esc key)
2.)6-&
3.)G
4.)Break
5.)Return

if you have any at all of these and are willing to sell please contact me. Thanks

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I have a complete keyboard https://deskthority.net/wiki/File:VT100_Switchtypes.JPG left in my closet. I killed the second metal springs while cleaning (the first one ~'85), that's why I bought a replacement keyboard last year at BEST, so my original one from '79 is left over.

Located in Germany. Available for millions :)

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Best Electronics (408-278-1070) sells entire keyboards. I doubt you can buy just

individual keys.

 

Best Electronics

408-278-1070 1:30 PM to 5 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST) Mon - Fri

I don't work for them.

 

It might help if you show a picture of the missing key place.

Edited by russg
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I have purchased individual keys for A800 in the past from Best for $5 each.

 

Perhaps he will still sell them individually if you ask?

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I actually got a quote from Best for $47.00..Call me crazy but for the price I paid for the unit I was trying to find cheaper.

Edited by Verault
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In terms of whole keyboards complete and working, I doubt you will find them let alone cheaper..

 

I've also rarely seen 800's come up for scrap...

 

I'd suggest you get while you can...better to have than not :)

 

BUT you may get luck on here...Fingers crossed for you..

 

Paul..

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Was hoping someone on here might have one,m then maybe another member another. $47, is alot for me... for 5 keys anyway.

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Is it really from 1979? Look underneath for the datecode (see the thread "Calling all 800s" for details)

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Well the date stamp is #153, not getting a clear answer in the thread of what that means. could be 1981 with the #1 or 1983 with the last #3, the serial number is high, 403991

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That's 15th week of 83. It has screws holding the top cover on it, correct? Late model. It's still an 800, first on the market in '79, sure.

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If that is the original keyboard than it is not likely an early version, but one more in the second half of production. The yellow plungers say its a Stack Pole version that came out in the latter half of 800 production. Early production units would have had white plungers and was made by Hi Tek. The last production 800's used the Mitsumi keyboards made by the same manufacturer that made the 1200XL keyboard. The Achilles heal of the Stack Pole is ... wait for it ...... keys popping off. The walls on yellow plungers were designed too thin and they become embrittled over time and they crack in the corners. You lose the tight fit and they easily tend to pop off. I hate the Stack Poles as they are the most troublesome. I think Best has NOS 800 keyboards, but they will be Stack Poles with yellow plungers. I've bought NOS Stack Poles from Best and although never used, the keys still easily pop off. The Hi tek is a more robust keyboard, but my preference is the Mitsumi. If you are lucky enough to lay hands on a Mitsumi, you will have to fix the oxidized carbon trace issue on the mylar (same issue that plagues the 1200XL). Once you fix it, you have the very best keyboard to be had.

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Personally I have three 800’s and they all have that “Stackpole Crack” disease. Ugh. I wish someone would look into a new keyboard design that replaces those plungers but uses the same key caps.

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thicker plastic solve it, using a material that does not shrink and become brittle, surprising it wasn't solved or done years ago

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Yes, the keys pop off super easy, thats why I am guessing I bought it SANS 5 keys.. Regardless of whether or not its a good keyboard I would still like to find the missing keys. I have carbon paint so if that is the issue with the plungers, thats easy and ill cross that bridge when I get to it.

 

And for some reason best electronics wont return my emails.

Edited by Verault

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Yeah I have reached out to best electronics several times and I dont get any replies. Its odd because they replied at first.

 

Honestly if anyone has so much as 1 key that I need you would be doing me a huge service..

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I've got a junk 800 keyboard, but it's a Hi-Tek (white plungers) and the only keys left on it from your list are BREAK, 6 and RETURN. I don't think RETURN will work with your Stackpole, as the post is on the far left of the key where yours seems to be in the middle. If you (or someone) can verify the others will fit, and you want just the two - yours for $5 for a padded envelope, postage and my time.

Edited by adam242

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I hope you weren't rapid fire messaging Brad. He doesn't like that.

No, I asked a question and never got a reply back.

So what are you saying hes temperamental and needs to be treated like the soup Nazi to do business?

 

I'm very polite and professional, I have no idea why they wont reply. But ill tell you what, its not very professional on their end to behave that way.

Edited by Verault
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I've got a junk 800 keyboard, but it's a Hi-Tek (white plungers) and the only keys left on it from your list are BREAK, 6 and RETURN. I don't think RETURN will work with your Stackpole, as the post is on the far left of the key where yours seems to be in the middle. If you (or someone) can verify the others will fit, and you want just the two - yours for $5 for a padded envelope, postage and my time.

Thanks for the reply Adam. I am told they do not fit, however I myself dont have both systems to actually test that myself;. I hope someone on here can have a more definitive answer.

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@Verault: Thanks for posting. Well, did you try a 3d-printer? Would be cool, to have the files for the keys online for all...

 

Can you do us a favor and check, whether your 800 returns:

•) OPERATING SYSTEM 255 for Atari 400/800 ; PRINT PEEK (65528) <RETURN> => 255

?

from:

https://atariwiki.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Rarity%2010

 

Thank you so much in advance. :-)

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I have all these keys from a spare keyboard. I've been selling them for next to nothing via a Facebook page, just don't want to throw them away. Return key has a pole in the middle (I'm pretty sure this fits your keyboard). I'll send all 5 keys you need for $10 assuming they they all weigh less than 16 oz (1st class limit).

post-52816-0-61679400-1537453550_thumb.jpg

post-52816-0-59270000-1537453556_thumb.jpg

Edited by [email protected]
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