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l0gden

Will this 800XL I just bought be fully Socketed?

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Hi All -- I just joined here and I'm getting back into Atari for the first time since I was a kid (Like 38-40 years go -- jeez) -- I've been looking for a machine for a little while and purchased an untested 130XE with RAM issues from eBay - it was a gamble.  So I have some work to do on that one - but on a whim I just picked up an 800XL manufactured in Hong Kong (I had the 800xl when way back then).   I'd like to put Ultimate 1MB in it and noted several threads saying that all of the Hong Kong are fully socketed.  Then I saw several that said they could be anywhere from partially socketed to no sockets.

 

Here is the label on what I bought:

0cbQvAa.png

 

Is there anyway for this impatient back to Atari enthusiast to know what this looks like inside before it arrives?

 

 

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I haven't opened enough 800XL to determine what you can expect by the bottom label, but they are easy enough top open.  The only way to really know is wait till it arrives,

unless someone here is more familiar to have a decent educated guess based on production location (Hong Kong in this case) and date.

 

I've seen no sockets, and some sockets.  On-line I've seen one that was all socketed.... which seems pretty strange for a manufacturer of the time to do.... as sockets cost money, and they usually want to shave every last dollar they  can out of the production costs.  Maybe you'll get lucky.  Having an all socketed one would be cool.... though I believe Atari exclusively used single wipe sockets, which aren't the best, but I haven't had too many issues with them in the limited number of Atari's I've worked with..... but I have run into flaky ones causing intermittent connection problems on arcade boards I've worked on.

 

One thing if you are not already aware, is you will find the XL line used several keyboards... some better than others.  I consider myself amazingly lucky that the 800XL I bought on a whim years ago (my primary back in the day was always my 400) has the Alps keyboard.... and the keyboard feels great.  There were also 2 keyboards made by AWC (if memory serves me correct), and a common mylar layered keyboard (which on mine I find the feel not to be too bad).  If you search the forums, there is a thread on the different keyboards and the pros/cons of each.  They are also interchangeable if you don't like your keyboard and can find the kind you do like.

 

I have a 600XL as well, which I love due to the small size.  That is the one I put a U1MB into myself. 

 

Enjoy getting back into them.  I've always preferred the Atari out of all the 8 bit systems of the day (though I do have a few Commodore systems now, as well as a couple of Apple II).

 

 

 

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Thanks for replying! I’m really excited to get back into this. I want to teach myself 6502 assembler to start.

I am a mess with a soldering iron - well mostly with desoldering. I have a bit of that to do on that 130XE I mentioned too so I guess I’ll have to get better either way :).

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That date code (“0884”) puts it at week 8 of 1984, so late February-ish. That’s before the bottom fell out and Warner sold to Tramiel at the beginning of July, so there’s a good chance the main Atari-specific ICs will be socketed but it’s 50/50 whether the rest of the chips (DRAMs, OS ROM, BASIC, MMU and 74-series logic) will be socketed or soldered. I’ve got one 800XL with every single chip socketed, even the logic chips, and one with nothing soldered except the Atari IC’s and DRAM chips. 

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Every Hong Kong labeled 800xl  I have opened was fully socketed. Every Hong Kong labeled 600xl I have opened was socketed.

Paul

Eightbitfix.com

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8 hours ago, Paul Westphal said:

Every Hong Kong labeled 800xl  I have opened was fully socketed. Every Hong Kong labeled 600xl I have opened was socketed.

Paul

Eightbitfix.com

From what I’ve seen personally and everything I’ve ever read leads to me believe that all NTSC 600XLs are always socketed, though of course our machines lack the video DIN. 

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Hong Kong made 800XLs should always be fully socketed, assuming that the motherboard in that case is its original one.  

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59 minutes ago, SS said:

Hong Kong made 800XLs should always be fully socketed, assuming that the motherboard in that case is its original one.  

I hadn't considered that it may not be the original case MoBo combo -- I'll keep my fingers crossed and post a photo here once I have it with what I end up with.  Thanks!

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Just now, l0gden said:

I hadn't considered that it may not be the original case MoBo combo -- I'll keep my fingers crossed and post a photo here once I have it with what I end up with.  Thanks!

Yeah.  I bought one like that once.  It was in a black label Hong Kong case so I was sure that it was safe.  When I opened it up though I found that the shielding had already been removed at some point before and that it had a later revision motherboard inside which was mostly soldered.  Someone had obviously pieced this machine together from two or more XLs.  

 

Good luck and let us know what you get!  :)

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I got it today -- it was indeed 100% socketed :).

 

AMJIT1w.jpg

 

Thanks for all the replies!

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14 hours ago, l0gden said:

I got it today -- it was indeed 100% socketed

Very nice.  This will be a good machine to get your feet wet on installing some mods.  

 

Please post a picture of your case and keyboard too so that we can get a whole look at your new XL.  :)

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, SS said:

Very nice.  This will be a good machine to get your feet wet on installing some mods.  

 

Please post a picture of your case and keyboard too so that we can get a whole look at your new XL.  :)

I have a Ultimate 1MB on the way for it right now - actually!  And given the video I'm seeing on my LCD I may do the Sophia upgrade soon too.  Any others recommended?

 

Here are some pics of it -- I think it has the Alps keyboard based on the thread mentioned above by cwilbar:

 

ZxVJSJs.jpg    7OGtePl.jpg

 

Overall I'm happy with the condition -- it isn't new, obviously, but it seems pretty decent.   

 

There are a couple of other photos, as well as these, Here.

 

Edited by l0gden

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quite a clean example really, did you give much dough for it?

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Just now, xrbrevin said:

quite a clean example really, did you give much dough for it?

I'm brand new back to Atari since I was a kid so I'm not sure what a fair price would have been for it, I paid ~$130+Shipping.   Based on other eBay sales that didn't seem too outrageous to me.

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its pretty consistent with current prices but the main thing is that it is in very good condition and fully socketed ones are not that common - i'd say its a keeper 🙂

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1 hour ago, l0gden said:

I have a Ultimate 1MB on the way for it right now - actually!  And given the video I'm seeing on my LCD I may do the Sophia upgrade soon too.  Any others recommended?

 

Well, you've ordered it, but I wouldn't count on it being on the way yet, at least not if you ordered it from Lotharek.

 

I ordered a VBXE for my 1088XEL and an Ultrasatan and some odds & end for my STE back on March 16 and though I do have a tracking number, it hasn't shipped yet and the shipper doesn't actually have it. Most outgoing shipping flights from Poland are grounded the last I heard.

 

UPS & FedEx may still be flying though, so maybe yours will be on the way if you paid extra for one of those.

 

 

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1 hour ago, l0gden said:

Here are some pics of it -- I think it has the Alps keyboard based on the thread mentioned above by cwilbar:

Definitely an Alps style keyboard.  This was a great pick up for you!  It's kind of on the rarer side to find an Alps keyboard on a fully socketed Hong Kong machine.  I know, because I own one just like it and it took quite a good deal of looking for this specific machine in order to find it.  I put a U1MB into it too.  It is a great XL to own.

 

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my daily driver is an Alps variant and they are one of the better ones. altho i had to make mine socketed - it was quite a task!

i went for the antonia RAM & OS upgrade which is also great but my 1200XL got the U1MB.

in the image of yours, it looks like there is no RF shielding. theyre not essential but it may indicate someone has been 'meddling' in there in the past...

its also nice to see it doesnt have the infamous MT brand RAM

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4 hours ago, xrbrevin said:

in the image of yours, it looks like there is no RF shielding. theyre not essential but it may indicate someone has been 'meddling' in there in the past...

That was my doing -- I took the shielding off when I was checking it out to see if it was socketed.  I'll probably just leave it off for the Ulitimate 1MB.

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