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1020 Printer / Plotter: now without power LED

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A few months back, I picked up a 1020 from eBay that was listed as untested.  When it arrived, I powered it up and responded to the pen change and paper feed keys.  Today, no such luck.  The LED is dead and nothing works.

 

It didn't come without a PSU, so I'm using the one from the 1200XL.  The 1200XL works perfectly happily when powered from it, so I'm assuming that its output is good.

 

Before I open it up and start poking at things, does anyone have any suggestions regarding common issues that might be causing the behaviour I'm seeing?  Searching really hasn't turned up anything relevant, and as the one I had years and years ago always worked reliably, I never had to crack it open and investigate.

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As the PSU is ok, I think your going to have to open it up, here's the manual for it, 

section 5 is the trouble shooting guide.

 

Before doing any of the checklist I would check the power switch and the connections to the switch itself.

 

atari_1020_Field_Service_manual.pdf

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4 hours ago, TGB1718 said:

As the PSU is ok, I think your going to have to open it up, here's the manual for it, 

section 5 is the trouble shooting guide.

Thank you - that is greatly appreciated!

4 hours ago, TGB1718 said:

 

Before doing any of the checklist I would check the power switch and the connections to the switch itself.

 

atari_1020_Field_Service_manual.pdf 15.85 MB · 2 downloads

Yep, both of those had been intended to be my first port of call along with the power jack itself.  Could get lucky and find it's just a flaky switch or bad solder joint on the PCB where the adapter plugs in.

 

Worst case, I find a working one in beat-to-death shape and transplant the guts.  Part of the reason I picked this one up is that the case was complete and in really great shape, so if it turns out to be unrecoverable it'll still make a great transplant candidate.

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2 hours ago, bob1200xl said:

I have lots of 1020s with bad gears. $5 plus postage.

 

Bob

 

Thank you, Bob - I want to get this one open and see what's going on first, but if it comes down to needing guts for a transplant I'll definitely give you a shout.

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So the pen change button operates a solenoid that ratchets the revolving chamber. When you powered it up did it try to draw 4 boxes my moving the paper back and forth and up and down, and changing the pen between each attempt?

It the paper did move up and down it means that you still have good gears for now.

As for the power supply yes that is the correct PSU same as the 1050 Disk Drive power supply. 

Another similar PSU is for the 1027 printer and that has more amperage and If that PSU was used in may have caused a problem.

Unfortunately, you need to determine the power problem first. Check for burned out resistors or issues closest to the power plug. as well as the voltage regulators attached to the heat sink along with capacitors and resisters near there.

 

Good pictures of the areas mentioned may help us help you.

 

Douglas

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22 minutes ago, rockdoc2010 said:

Another similar PSU is for the 1027 printer and that has more amperage and If that PSU was used in may have caused a problem.

No it won't, totally wrong, as the 1027 is a 9.5VAC power supply that's fine, it will not damage the 1020.

 

A device will only take the amount of current it needs so for example if you have a power supply

rated at 9V 2A and another at 9V 4A, the device that you connect to either one will draw the same

current, the only time it makes a difference is if the device needs more current than the PSU can provide.

 

i.e. the 1027 PSU will work fine on the 1020, but the reverse may not work, I don't know what the power requirements

are for the 1020 so can't be really sure. But I hope that helps.

 

It's exactly the same for DC PSU's, they only give what current the device asks for regardless of the current rating provided

they are the same voltage (that's the important bit), higher voltage means higher current and probably lots of smoke :)

 

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2 hours ago, rockdoc2010 said:

So the pen change button operates a solenoid that ratchets the revolving chamber. When you powered it up did it try to draw 4 boxes my moving the paper back and forth and up and down, and changing the pen between each attempt?

It the paper did move up and down it means that you still have good gears for now.

Good question re: the test print.  Frankly, I don't remember; it's been long enough that that detail has escaped my mind.

 

Re: gears: I have a replacement set of brass ones (purchased here) waiting to go in once I can get a mechanism that powers up properly put together.

2 hours ago, rockdoc2010 said:

Another similar PSU is for the 1027 printer and that has more amperage and If that PSU was used in may have caused a problem.

Nope, it's a 1200XL supply.  Same as for the 1010, 1050, etc.  I wouldn't allow a 1027 in the house 😉 Also, @TGB1718 is right: over-amperage isn't an issue, but under-amperage is.  This one's putting out 9VAC at 15VA (1.7A, 15.3W).  Even if that's not enough to run it under heavy or sustained load, it should be enough to get it to at least power up.

2 hours ago, rockdoc2010 said:

Unfortunately, you need to determine the power problem first. Check for burned out resistors or issues closest to the power plug. as well as the voltage regulators attached to the heat sink along with capacitors and resisters near there.

Yep, that's largely the plan.  I'll crack it open tonight and get the meter on it.

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Exploratory surgery complete.  It appears as though at least one of the two wires running to/from the power switch is making intermittent contact at connector J5 on the motherboard.  Noticed that the power LED had suddenly come on, poked around a bit more, and figured it out.  As a first step, I'll extract the pins from the connector, resolder them to the wires, and see if that does it.

 

At power-on it does perform all of the correct calibrations - at least, inasmuch as I can tell.  No pens mean that about the best I can do is let it run the test followed by sending some cut-down 8.5"x11" low-weight paper through it to check that the platen is feeding, which it is.

 

The pinion gears aren't stripped, but both are cracked along their length in one place each.  Brass gears are sitting here waiting to replace them; I'll find the appropriate C-clamp tomorrow and install them as per this video:

 

 

It looks like this is a salvageable unit, which makes me happy.  Had one of these BITD and while it wasn't terribly useful as a printer, it was pretty cool to get it to spit out spirographs and the like 😁

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They have plastic replacement gears that are a snap to install. Don't remember where to get them, but they seem to work well.

 

Bob

 

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4 hours ago, bob1200xl said:

They have plastic replacement gears that are a snap to install. Don't remember where to get them, but they seem to work well.

 

Bob

 

Best E. has the nylon gears as well.  

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