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atari 1200xl rip

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my “ultimate atari” 1200xl finally gave up today.  sad

 

rapidus, vbxe and u1mb setup, I had known it was flakey for a while.  but it had such a perfect clean and crisp display, damn i will miss it.

 

coincidentally today is also the day that the 130xe  i ordered back in december has arrived...but the display is at this moment is unusable.  so, not quite the result i hoped to achieve.... thatll be an open task probably for a while i assume 

 

honestly, internal upgrades arent an easy path unless you have the skills for diy

 

 

 

Edited by Mark2008
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1200XL is the pinnacle of looks for the mid 80s 8-bits.  I've got one but given their rarity outside the US I'll likely not do any internal mods that aren't easily reversible.

 

Though that said, it's not been powered up in a fair while and likely it has issues with keyboard at the top of the list.

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6 hours ago, Mark2008 said:

my “ultimate atari” 1200xl finally gave up today.  sad

 

rapidus, vbxe and u1mb setup, I had known it was flakey for a while.  but it had such a perfect clean and crisp display, damn i will miss it.

Gave up how? Anything can be fixed. If you need help,  let people know generally where you live and maybe you can find someone local to assist. 

Edited by DrVenkman
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Ataris don´t die. Sometime they just fall asleep, but can be awakened. :)

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Ditto on what @DrVenkman and @skr said. I've got 3 1200XL's all of which have needed help out of their comas at one point or another. And the older these machines get, the more maintenance they need to keep them going. My every day 1200XL I've had to strip back down to stock, trouble-shoot, get working and re-install a dozen upgrades (or change them out with new ones) 3 times in the past 15 years. It's all part of the hobby to me and I enjoy doing it as much as using them.

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I've told this story before, but just sharing, in 2016, I ordered two ultimate Atari's.  One was an 800XL and one was a 1200XL, both spec'd the same - u1mb, rapidus, vbxe.

 

It is kind of generally known now - but not then, that the u1mb and rapidus don't play well together.

 

So the 800xl was sold a long time ago, and I kept the 1200XL - it truly is marvelous.   I wasn't truly happy with VBXE on either machine, at first, until 2020.  I had been using a gonbes vga converter, but it had 'shake the last character' issue in 80-column mode.  But then in 2020 I plugged a ST to SCART cable in - and it just worked, the original tech had wired up sound, and even though never tested with SCART, worked perfectly, and with a SCART to HDMI converter and a CCTV 1280 x 1024 19" monitor, the picture was perfection.   Crystal clear, no character shake, no artifacts, no noise - the perfect screen, and that is important to me,  I was happy about that.

 

Anyway, but I got a fujinet and one problem after another emerged, which turned out not to be the fujinet itself, but the fujinet does its software resets, that exposed to me, that my system is flakey on those resets, ack!

 

So, I thought about shipping it out to someone to repair.  The issue with that, is it would've left me with no Atari, and I"m in the middle of development.  So, I launched a plan to buy a 130XE with Rapidus/VBXE, but no u1mb.  LIke the first time, I made 2 purchases from 2 different techs.

 

The 1200XL died yesterday and niether 130XE is a replacement.   I'm without ultimate Atari after all.    I know that in each case, they couldn't test and weren't aware of exaclty how I use my Atari.  One of the machines works great on most software and flaked out like mad when used with 80-column terminal software.  I even video'd it, but I decided not to share here, because it would be like a thing with the vendor.  The other machine probably looked fine on the techs monitor, but fails to work with that crystal clear solution I found for the 1200xl and mentioned above, I mean literally unvieweable from some crazy ghosting issue....ugh,  what bad luck.

 

The problem is, you cannot just send someone the machine to have it fixed. It might get fixed, it might not.  It'll take 3 months and it'll be expensive.  That's the reality if you lack mad soldering skillz....

 

Nevermind my recent experience, even in 2016, despite the genius skills of the techs, and undisputably perfect installs - the reality is rapidus and u1mb wasn't a valid combo and none of us even knew it.

 

4 attempts at this is enough, for me, I think.

 

I'll see if there is any solution to the 130xe display issue....  The Atari 1200xl, I don't know, I may sell it later, thats the likely answer, but anyway, I wasn't really doing an advertising thread, just a kind of grieving.

 

I can say that project didn't achieve its goals, but it did achieve one beautiful 1200xl with a perfect display.  I surely prized that Atari....oh well ok, enough of me complaining today, I do have a native scart display arriving today or tomorrow.  Who knows, maybe it'll work well with one of the remaining.

 

Edited by Mark2008

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26 minutes ago, Mark2008 said:

I've told this story before, but just sharing, in 2016, I ordered two ultimate Atari's.  One was an 800XL and one was a 1200XL, both spec'd the same - u1mb, rapidus, vbxe.

 

It is kind of generally known now - but not then, that the u1mb and rapidus don't play well together.

 

So the 800xl was sold a long time ago, and I kept the 1200XL - it truly is marvelous.   I wasn't truly happy with VBXE on either machine, at first, until 2020.  I had been using a gonbes vga converter, but it had 'shake the last character' issue in 80-column mode.  But then in 2020 I plugged a ST to SCART cable in - and it just worked, the original tech had wired up sound, and even though never tested with SCART, worked perfectly, and with a SCART to HDMI converter and a CCTV 1280 x 1024 19" monitor, the picture was perfection.   Crystal clear, no character shake, no artifacts, no noise - the perfect screen, and that is important to me,  I was happy about that.

 

Anyway, but I got a fujinet and one problem after another emerged, which turned out not to be the fujinet itself, but the fujinet does its software resets, that exposed to me, that my system is flakey on those resets, ack!

 

So, I thought about shipping it out to someone to repair.  The issue with that, is it would've left me with no Atari, and I"m in the middle of development.  So, I launched a plan to buy a 130XE with Rapidus/VBXE, but no u1mb.  LIke the first time, I made 2 purchases from 2 different techs.

 

The 1200XL died yesterday and niether 130XE is a replacement.   I'm without ultimate Atari after all.    I know that in each case, they couldn't test and weren't aware of exaclty how I use my Atari.  One of the machines works great on most software and flaked out like mad when used with 80-column terminal software.  I even video'd it, but I decided not to share here, because it would be like a thing with the vendor.  The other machine probably looked fine on the techs monitor, but fails to work with that crystal clear solution I found for the 1200xl and mentioned above, I mean literally unvieweable from some crazy ghosting issue....ugh,  what bad luck.

 

The problem is, you cannot just send someone the machine to have it fixed. It might get fixed, it might not.  It'll take 3 months and it'll be expensive.  That's the reality if you lack mad soldering skillz....

 

Nevermind my recent experience, even in 2016, despite the genius skills of the techs, and undisputably perfect installs - the reality is rapidus and u1mb wasn't a valid combo and none of us even knew it.

 

4 attempts at this is enough, for me, I think.

 

I'll see if there is any solution to the 130xe display issue....  The Atari 1200xl, I don't know, I may sell it later, thats the likely answer, but anyway, I wasn't really doing an advertising thread, just a kind of grieving.

 

I can say that project didn't achieve its goals, but it did achieve one beautiful 1200xl with a perfect display.  I surely prized that Atari....oh well ok, enough of me complaining today, I do have a native scart display arriving today or tomorrow.  Who knows, maybe it'll work well with one of the remaining.

 


If you are really through with it, I will take that 1200XL off of your hands. Please don’t trash it. 
 

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58 minutes ago, Mark2008 said:

I've told this story before, but just sharing, in 2016, I ordered two ultimate Atari's.  One was an 800XL and one was a 1200XL, both spec'd the same - u1mb, rapidus, vbxe.

 

It is kind of generally known now - but not then, that the u1mb and rapidus don't play well together.

 

So the 800xl was sold a long time ago, and I kept the 1200XL - it truly is marvelous.   I wasn't truly happy with VBXE on either machine, at first, until 2020.  I had been using a gonbes vga converter, but it had 'shake the last character' issue in 80-column mode.  But then in 2020 I plugged a ST to SCART cable in - and it just worked, the original tech had wired up sound, and even though never tested with SCART, worked perfectly, and with a SCART to HDMI converter and a CCTV 1280 x 1024 19" monitor, the picture was perfection.   Crystal clear, no character shake, no artifacts, no noise - the perfect screen, and that is important to me,  I was happy about that.

 

Anyway, but I got a fujinet and one problem after another emerged, which turned out not to be the fujinet itself, but the fujinet does its software resets, that exposed to me, that my system is flakey on those resets, ack!

 

So, I thought about shipping it out to someone to repair.  The issue with that, is it would've left me with no Atari, and I"m in the middle of development.  So, I launched a plan to buy a 130XE with Rapidus/VBXE, but no u1mb.  LIke the first time, I made 2 purchases from 2 different techs.

 

The 1200XL died yesterday and niether 130XE is a replacement.   I'm without ultimate Atari after all.    I know that in each case, they couldn't test and weren't aware of exaclty how I use my Atari.  One of the machines works great on most software and flaked out like mad when used with 80-column terminal software.  I even video'd it, but I decided not to share here, because it would be like a thing with the vendor.  The other machine probably looked fine on the techs monitor, but fails to work with that crystal clear solution I found for the 1200xl and mentioned above, I mean literally unvieweable from some crazy ghosting issue....ugh,  what bad luck.

 

The problem is, you cannot just send someone the machine to have it fixed. It might get fixed, it might not.  It'll take 3 months and it'll be expensive.  That's the reality if you lack mad soldering skillz....

 

Nevermind my recent experience, even in 2016, despite the genius skills of the techs, and undisputably perfect installs - the reality is rapidus and u1mb wasn't a valid combo and none of us even knew it.

 

4 attempts at this is enough, for me, I think.

 

I'll see if there is any solution to the 130xe display issue....  The Atari 1200xl, I don't know, I may sell it later, thats the likely answer, but anyway, I wasn't really doing an advertising thread, just a kind of grieving.

 

I can say that project didn't achieve its goals, but it did achieve one beautiful 1200xl with a perfect display.  I surely prized that Atari....oh well ok, enough of me complaining today, I do have a native scart display arriving today or tomorrow.  Who knows, maybe it'll work well with one of the remaining.

 

This is why I never got into offering repairs or upgrades as a service regularly. Over the years I'd done a few here or there for certain people, but almost every time there was some issue, it worked perfectly in hours of testing for me, but when they received it back, there was always something wrong. Sometimes upon the items return, it wouldn't work for me either, so something happened through between leaving and returning to my care. Sometimes it still worked fine for me when it was returned and then what could I do? So I only do stuff for myself. I can't imagine the headaches that some service vendors experience, my hat off to those that do, like @flashjazzcat, and hardware sellers like @Simius and @tf_hh.

 

As a matter of fact, I've just gone through this looking at it from your perspective with my Sophia 2 upgrade. I couldn't get it to work, I sent it back toe @Simius, he gets it yesterday and it works fine for him. So now he's sending me a replacement and we'll see what happens. I'll get it working, but everything works fine when I re-installed the original GTIA, and still does, so I have to figure out whats going wrong when I swap in the Sophia 2. But this is just an upgrade I bought to install myself, not even one done by other's, but still, I caused @Simius time and trouble and extra cost for both of us. But being in his shoes before, I know his perspective on it as well. And I think most of us have seen @tf_hh 's thread on shipping troubles he been experiencing, which I was also included, awaiting my Indus GT sram upgrades from him for over two months and us corresponding due to it. Respect for what you go through guys. But I know it sucks for the customer too. Just remember that everyone's intention on both sides is usually honest and good in this community.

Edited by Gunstar
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The single most common cause of boomerang machines at the moment seems to be power supplies. I'm using a modern switching power supply here which puts out 5.36V and I was puzzled when a perfectly working 600XL with U1MB, Sophia, PokeyMAX and SIDE3 was sent back because it crashed with the SIDE3 plugged in when at the owner's house. Plugged it in with my PSU: worked. Plugged it into the owner's PSU: crashed. Bingo. The Meanwell PSU the owner sent up appears to be a perfectly good piece of kit, but puts out 5V on the nose and this seemed to be the issue. Tried another (mains to USB) PSU with the exact same miserable result. The 600XL works fine with either PSU as long as SIDE3 isn't plugged in.

 

Other than that, we have connectivity problems (crappy third-party video cables, etc), choice of SD and CF card (which is why I now ask people to send in their storage media as well), and good old PEBCAK. But this is all 'part and parcel' of the undertaking, and a big part of it is talking the user through any problems they may have. Managing expectations is extremely important. With these old computers, there are innumerable variables, and with the current crop of interesting new upgrades using BGA FPGAs, we appear to still be in the discovery phase regarding what will actually work reliably with what on the user's desk.

 

4 hours ago, Mark2008 said:

The problem is, you cannot just send someone the machine to have it fixed. It might get fixed, it might not.  It'll take 3 months and it'll be expensive.

Send it to someone who charges reasonable money (preferably no-fix, no-fee) and won't let the thing gather dust for months. I can't imagine any tech who conducts themselves in that manner would get much in the way of business.

4 hours ago, Mark2008 said:

Nevermind my recent experience, even in 2016, despite the genius skills of the techs, and undisputably perfect installs - the reality is rapidus and u1mb wasn't a valid combo and none of us even knew it.

I knew it from the get go since it was abundantly apparent from install #1 in 2016 that Rapidus and U1MB had issues. Unfortunate that it took four or five years for this to actually be acknowledged.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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I'm so frustrated now, I know it is entirely because I hate dealing with hardware.

 

But this 130XE with Rapidus/VBXE, as I mentioned above didn't display well.

 

Well I plugged in several monitors, and the fourth monitor is an LG TV, that kind of made the display OK.

It reduced the noise somewhat, had no jail bars, and I decided, you know what, this is cool...I'll handle this, not as good as the 1200xl, but OK.

 

So, just perfect that less than an hour later, the machien doesn't load any VBXE drivers at all.

 

t now the S_VBXE.SYS driver says it cannot find >=1.21.   Another program says I don't have a VBXE installed.

And FC.com from the vbxe flash disk, says VBXE IO error.

 

I'm assuming this machine doesn't work at this point, I want to throw it in the river.

 

Unfortunately my frustration is at the boiling point, and I'm not going to communicate further, no point, I'm dragging you all down.


OK, here is my new plan, I'm going to beg FJC to take work from overseas.....lol ....if he'll take that risk, lol

 

 

Edited by Mark2008

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what worries me is it's happening to a hole pile of equipment by your description... what is causing all of this death?

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btw, still doesn't work.

 

i have observed each time I push on the wire, then when I turn it on it detects the vbxe and loads the driver exactly once., at least if followed that pattern 3 times.


But without moving the computer even 1mm, it stops working and subsequent restarts no longer load the vbxe once again.

 

Edited by Mark2008

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What type of socket was used under the VBXE?  Machine pin is mandatory, but I have also unfortunately been the victim of cheap machine pin sockets that get loose after just a few insertions (feel free to snicker at that one, I know I did).

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a)possible bad dupont connector or other wire crimp issue

b)possible bad socket or pin length issue

c)make sure the headers that stick up do not contact the plastic case of the Atari or the keyboard.

 

d)sometimes cards/add-ons work their way out of sockets etc if not secured using brackets or retaining stand offs etc.

 

I see this sort of thing in the hobby world, they put the stuff in and it works, during shipping they work loose and barely make contact. Make sure to secure the stuff.

 

even a zip tie can be helpful... like in a 1050 with enhancement boards added... they come out sometimes... zip tied down to the socket and it stays put...

 

 

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2 hours ago, Stephen said:

What type of socket was used under the VBXE?  Machine pin is mandatory, but I have also unfortunately been the victim of cheap machine pin sockets that get loose after just a few insertions (feel free to snicker at that one, I know I did).

Stephen, I think you've hit on something.

 

While I don't know about socket types, what I did is I have an airpod case, made of rubber, I placed it on top of the vbxe with the case open.  So just giving it a tiny bit of weight.

 

Well the vbxe ran without issue for the past hour.  This really strongly points at some type of connection issue right at the socket.

 

But, I fear that this doesn't help me with a fix, unless someone has an idea...if it needs a different socket, that is beyond my skillset.

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9 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

. zip tied down to the socket and it stays put...

 

 

it does appear to be the socket, so a zip tie eh...ok, I'll will see if I can get one on there, thanks

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You push on the wire with the power OFF. System comes up OK when you power on (you are not touching any of the motherboard internals when you power on, are you?) . Power off. power on. System fails.

 

Are you replacing any covers or otherwise touching the m/b after the first power off?

 

What you are describing is not likely...

 

Bob

 

 

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This is the chip underneath

 

anyway, I tried a zip tie...definitely worth a try, but it actually didn't work with the zip tie in place, for whatever reason

.

When I removed the zip tie I was able to get it working again, but of course, not expected to keep working.

 

maybe the connection issue is from socket to m/b rather than from chip to socket...hard for me to say, but I'm thinking this will not be in my ability to fix.

 

 

IMG_0464.JPG

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30 minutes ago, bob1200xl said:

You push on the wire with the power OFF. System comes up OK when you power on (you are not touching any of the motherboard internals when you power on, are you?) . Power off. power on. System fails.

 

Are you replacing any covers or otherwise touching the m/b after the first power off?

 

What you are describing is not likely...

 

Bob

 

 

Bob,

 

I don't need to describe anything, I can take videos.

 

 

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after removing the zip tie, and reseating once again, and closing up the computer, its currently in the status of being able to find the vbxe,  but that only puts it back to how it was when I received it.   It lasted only a day and stopped working.

 

But for the moment, what I'm thinking is that since I'm 99% likely going to have to get another machine made - either fix this one, or just start with a fresh one.

 

So, that's why I'm skipping ahead to look at other issues with this machine. For example, if I hit reset, about 70% of the time it cold boots and 30% it does a reset.

 

Do you all know what the implications are of that? 


does the failure of that reset button also imply that software resets may not work as expected?  Will fujinet work as expected with this type of machine (as it does a software driven reset, right?)?  Are there other implications?

 

Rapidus mode.  Even though I won't use Rapidus a lot, I will use it some. I find it curious that in regular mode config.sys loads from d1 (indus gt), and with rapidus mode, it doesn't load the config.sys at all.


That might be normal, but just checking.

 

btw, in rapidus mode reset key always works - like 100% of the time, it just doesn't work in 6502c classic mode very well.

 

 

 

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Take Rapidus out, remove the SIDE2 and get VBXE working properly first.

4 hours ago, Mark2008 said:

btw, in rapidus mode reset key always works - like 100% of the time, it just doesn't work in 6502c classic mode very well.

Yep. Nice, eh? I observed this behaviour with a SIDE2 and Rapidus (no U1MB or VBXE anywhere to be seen) in 2016.

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