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Gunstar

My tricked-out 800

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I have been slowly restoring, upgrading and modding my 800 over the past couple of years, and though there is more to come, including a Turbo Freezer, Sophia 2, Multi-PIA and more ports, I've come to a stopping point while I await these further upgrades to arrive or be produced and released.

 

What had been done so far, for almost a year, is an Incognito upgrade, a mod to the right cart port to support The!Cart in the left, video upgrade, keyboard and internal/underneath LED lighting and keyboard repairs.

 

What I just did this past week is install a Pokeymax Quad auto+covox and while I had the old gal open, and needed to install a stereo out for the Pokeymax anyway (headphone jack style), was also install a second SIO (one of 5, 3D printed ones I pre-ordered from The Brewing Academy) with Pokeymax out on the right rear underside and S-video, mono audio and composite video (the red RCA jack is composite video) outs underneath on the left side. If looking at it from the rear. I may still use the original SIO from time to time for dead-end devices or temporary connections if I borrow a peripheral from my 1200XL.

 

I did these mods because I have never liked the SIO and monitor cables sticking out the side of the 800 cluttering up my desktop and looking untidy to me. Plus I wanted standard audio/video outputs.

 

I'll eventually put up pics of it's guts in a blog in my profile that documents everything with pictures and descriptions of the process. I already have this blog up at the Atari Owner's Club site & forum (Administrated by @Timothy Kline who gave me the 800) I'll do the same for my tricked-out 1200XL eventually too, though I've shown it before in different threads.

 

 

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Edited by Gunstar
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Let me be the first to say...... awesome! That was great to see right before bedtime. (God I hate getting old) 10:00...10:00 for f's sake. Ugggghhhh.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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Very nice work on adding the extra I/O jacks. Looks like it came from the factory like that 👍 .

 

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Great mods, and done very cleanly! I am currently contemplating how to reroute the SIO and A/V as well, as with FujiNet the side has become quite cluttered. I was just going to move everything to the back, but now you have given me something to think about :)

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That's a very clever place to hide some additional connection ports! Will keep that in mind.

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Fantastic job, looks like it came out of the box that way, very clean, and great locations.

Now if only there were a way to divert the front joystick ports, that cable dangling out the front always annoyed me.

 

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I've added a PBI edge connector port to my 800, as I did with my 1200XL. Although with the 1200XL a lot more work was involved with soldering as I didn't have a ready-made PBI board for I/O or an Incognito board with ready-made PBI I/O on it either. As I said before, much more detail can be found on my hardware hacking blog on Atari Owner's Club site, all of which will be copied to a blog here in my AA profile soon.

 

That's the Turbo Freezer 2011 attached to the port with it's own pass-thru port using the XL board that came with it, The XE board that came with it became the 800's PBI connector. In the picture of the PBI port cut-out, it's still rough-cut only there, and I have since refined it to look even better. All new pictures will be taken of the final results of all modifications inside and out later in my future blog here. This is still a on-going upgrade and restoration project.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Gunstar
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Ha ha Matt, can you stuff any more inside that machine :)

 

As always, great neat work and to such a noble beast of a machine..

 

Excellent..

 

Happy Xmas my friend..

 

Paul..

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21 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

Ha ha Matt, can you stuff any more inside that machine :)

 

As always, great neat work and to such a noble beast of a machine..

 

Excellent..

 

Happy Xmas my friend..

 

Paul..

Merry Christmas to you too, Paul, and thank you.

 

There is far less square area in the old gal than one would imagine, as I imagined when I first decided to upgrade and restore her. But through some creativity I've managed so far. I still have a Sophia 2 to install once the 800 versions are ready to buy. That will probably be the last upgrade and modification for this machine, and there's no more room "on the ground floor" if I want to avoid ports out the sides. So the Sophia 2 port will probably have to be installed above the PSU board in the upper half of the case if I can't cram it behind the heat sink. There's still plenty room within the cubed area in the machine. But luckily with the Incognito having many upgrades combined and now a real PBI port, any further upgrading would be external via the PBI. But at this time there's nothing else I want, until either 800 memory slot or PBI version of VBXE and/or Rapidus become available.

Edited by Gunstar

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Apart from getting planning permission and building an extension on that machine then I doubt there any real estate unplundered :)

 

As with many of us the 800 will always be the King of the Atari's, its probably should go to the 800XL which has been the most versatile when it comes to upgrades and ease of installs but the 800 just says it all, mighty, keyboard of your dreams, looks the part and does the job...

 

Well done that man for taking that machine to the next level..

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41 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

Apart from getting planning permission and building an extension on that machine then I doubt there any real estate unplundered :)

 

As with many of us the 800 will always be the King of the Atari's, its probably should go to the 800XL which has been the most versatile when it comes to upgrades and ease of installs but the 800 just says it all, mighty, keyboard of your dreams, looks the part and does the job...

 

Well done that man for taking that machine to the next level..

I know what you mean. Sure the 800XL sold the most and is a solid machine, but back when I was young, the bigger the computer, the more it looked to me like a "serious" machine and not a toy or console (I never liked the cartridges out the top like a console), the Apple II was my standard since that was what I was introduced to in school. The 800 fit that bill for me, as did the sleeker 1200XL. And the 800 had the internal card slots to upgrade, like an Apple II. Even though these days the smaller the better is the going fad, and not being totally obsolete, I too have come to appreciate the smaller micros like the XL/XE lines and C64 line. But I still love my larger Atari's with larger foot prints and go out of my way to make the room and spread out the systems. But I also insist on still be upwardly compatible with the last Atari 8-bits and beyond, hence the upgrades and mods. Others choose to have expanded Atari's with modern upgrades in like the 1088's, I prefer doing it to original equipment. This computer may yet get more, like MIDI ports, My 1200XL still has a lot of upgrades planned for it as well, internally, even though it has a PBI now.

Edited by Gunstar

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i can't know this for sure, but i'm pretty positive that you're first person that actually used that PBI connector on incognito board

so far i couldn't be even sure if it works ;)

 

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46 minutes ago, candle said:

i can't know this for sure, but i'm pretty positive that you're first person that actually used that PBI connector on incognito board

so far i couldn't be even sure if it works ;)

 

I demonstrated it with Turbo Freezer and IDE Plus at least seven years ago. :)

 

EDIT: Not as long ago as it seemed:

 

Edited by flashjazzcat
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That's an amazing set of upgrades.  Although with those LEDs around the base it should either play "Low Rider" or the theme from the X-files on start-up.

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@Geister I do have plans to create a SDX batch file upon boot-up to play a S.A.M voice file of the 800 introducing itself, a brief history and  listing all upgrades and modifications. Obviously I will only set it for autoexec.bat when showing it off to others, and once or twice to listen to myself. I bet I could tie-in the LED lighting with audio out to have them flash when it speaks. I was planning on tying them in with the SIO I/O anyway, since I'm haven't and don't plan on doing the ATR swap button and HDD LED's for the Incognito, as an alternative. I could just add a switch to change between SIO I/O and audio out.

Edited by Gunstar
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I always had a crush on Apple II's but never got one, saw many of the game boxes that always looked amazing (yet nothing like what the ACTUAL game looked like :) ) and they just looked so right as a computer and then I got my 800 and boy was that a handsome beast, as Matt said, the bigger the computer the more it seemed like one.

 

I'd have upgraded the 800 instead of the XL but something said to me to leave it be the machine it is, its the fact that it is an 800 in looks and working so to mess with that seemed like messing with nature.

 

And so my 800 is what it is, I'm still in awe of Matts work and if I could do it to that degree of neatness then perhaps I might have thought more about doing it but I know it would be less than perfect in my hands so my 800 remains untouched.

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@Gunstar I'm awestruck at the sheer quality of these upgrades, wish I had the skills to do major surgery like that and I consider myself

to be quite adept at modding things. 👍 big thumbs up

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Nice Clean Job for sure !!!

 

Back in the 80's I drilled a few holes in mu 800, which I still use today thanks to Incognito.

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18 hours ago, Geister said:

That's an amazing set of upgrades.  Although with those LEDs around the base it should either play "Low Rider" or the theme from the X-files on start-up.

Or the 5 tones from Close Encounters..

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