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Atari CDAR504

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What else known about this unit? How rare it is? and how much would it cost to have one??

 

Also Where is it widely available?

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What else known about this unit? How rare it is? and how much would it cost to have one??

 

Also Where is it widely available?

 

Saw one of those in a little Atari store in St. Charles IL. I can't think of the name of the place for the life of me.

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I have only ever seen one for sale once, and it was on

German E-bay. I think it went for a good couple of hundred

quid.

 

Also most remaining Atari dealers don't seem to advertise

them for sale, so I would say they are very rare.

 

I you find a source for them let me know, 'cos I would love

to have one.

 

Richard.

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From what I remember, these were only sold to developers directly from Atari. Atari had planned to release them to the general public, but couldn't get it below a certain price point. Atari also made a successor to that which I THINK was called the CDAR505, which was a smaller unit. Again, I don't think very many of these made it out past Atari's doors. I'm sure there are still a few floating around out there, but I imagine they are among the rarest ST items.

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Hi guys,

 

More information on the CDAR-504/505 can be found below at Atari Explorer.com

 

http://www.atari-explorer.com/protos-cdar504.html

 

By the way, the 505 was a SCSI II unit, most probably a generic box, with an Atari designed shell casing. A number were built for various shows in 1992. If anybody has the instruction manual for the CDAR-504, please get in touch.

 

Karl

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I remember they were available in Canada. An Atari dealer (Computer Rock in SF, CA) actually imported them from Canada and sold every one that he got. Sad thing is that he kept advertising it and had to keep telling people that he couldn't keep them in stock! :| This was around 1989 - years after the original introduction.

 

I'm a lucky soul to have bought a used one from someone who was leaving the Atari scene. :)

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Give Bruce & Cathy a ring over at B&C or drop them an email at: myatari@juno.com

 

They "may" still have perhaps 1 or 2 left of the CDARs and let me tell you, they are gorgeous!!! They are only single speed, but work fantastic with ExtenDOS or MetaDOS drivers and can work with PC ISO9660 and HiSierra formats.

 

Quality is VERY high on these, the door has the smoothest glide I've seen of any unit, display gives you all status of whats going on (but in crytic codes that you figure out after a while of watching it) the controllers fold out and are IR wireless, plays all music CD's and has ports out of the back for audio and has ASCI IN/OUT for ST DMA hookup.

 

Expect to pay a a good chunk of change for one though as they are VERY scarce.

 

 

Curt

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Ok, here's a good question for Curt and Karl: Have you guys ever seen (or have) the follow CD drive, the CDAR505? I've seen pictures of it, but I've never seen one in person.

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The 505 is a generic SCSI-2 Cd-rom in a metal enclosure with a custom front plastic panel... it made the rounds in Europe at some shows but never went into production.

 

Curt

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What else known about this unit? How rare it is? and how much would it cost to have one??

 

Also Where is it widely available?

 

Saw one of those in a little Atari store in St. Charles IL. I can't think of the name of the place for the life of me.

 

Was it the General Computer Store? Run by a guy named Ralph?

 

Or perhaps it was the Compu-Cellar? Run by Don Bahr (my uncle)?

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When this was discussed in the Atari mags of the day as a pending item,my customers used to drive me crazy asking about "When?".

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I remember seeing this on TV with Jack Tramiel at some UK computer show.

 

If you think about it CD-ROM would have worked well for the ST as it circumvented the need for an expensive sound chip in the design spec of the computer. Was this going to be the plan, soundchip for SFX with CD Audio tracks for music on ST-CD titles released. There must have been a longterm plan if cost was the only reason it never made it to market despite clearly working.

 

I remember in the same interview he talked about recording onto CD being possible with the present and within 36(?) months of launch. That REALLY would have benefited bedroom musicians using a CD recorder to make demos of their work to give to producers, all composed using the music workhorse that is the ST MIDI setup.

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CD-ROM audio does not need 'expensive sound chip' in computer. All what is needed is sound mixer - and that even must not be in computer.

To have audio from CD in right moment some sync. is required - and again, that's not on sound chip. SW can control playback and mixer.

 

Recording on R-CD is another story. While Atari was still 'alive' that was way too expensive. I don't know now exact years, but those 36 mounts could be period 1990-1993, and we know what happened at end of it, yes that word, with the before it 😞

 

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Keep in mind that if you can't find one of the CDAR's you can still

use CD-ROMs with the ST.

 

Anodyne Software's ExtenDos software is just awesome. I use it

here with a 2X CD Burner to back up the files every couple of months

on my BBS.

 

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The problem with CDs and DVDs too is that they became obsolete, mostly because hard disk and Flash card prices went pretty much low.

I did back ups regularly on CDs, later on DVDs. Burner prices were very low around 2015, and quality too, just to mention. Latest one I bought for some 30 bucks is worst from all I had/have.  And quality of writable disks was poor too in many cases.

 

Price comparison:  can get brand SD card or Pen drive of 64 GB for some 15-20 bucks. That's about 90 CDs capacity, or about 14 DVD (writable, single layer).  Probably can get R-DVDs for little less than 1 $, but need writer, then in case of Atari adapter for CD ROM drive ... Writing to CD/DVD is extra work - simpler and faster is to write on hard disk, SD card .

Apropo:  hard disk capacity/price ratio:  2000 GB costs about 60-70 bucks. That's capacity as by some 420 DVDs. End of story.

Not end ... Reliability of data over longer time: well, my experience is that hard disks are better in it too than CD/DVD . 

Of course, not if user listen to M$ recommendation and creates only partition C, and stores everything there.  Best is to have separated drive for your valuable data, and not keeping it connected all time you use your modern computer.

 

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It's not obsolete if you still use it. ; - ) Easily the same could be said about those who lust over and still use LDs connected to beautiful CRTs to this day.

 

Anyone looking for a CDAR by now surely isn't concerned about the vast amount of storage space it offers or the price to obtain one as much as it's most likely just a cool piece of unusual rare gear to add to their Atari computer collection, even to actually use, dare I say. I would just fear for anyone shipping them to be destroyed via UPS, as was done with an original Pioneer lid-style LaserDisc player I purchased way back when this thread started in 2003 but was delivered shattered, in pieces.

 

The CDAR504 looks enormous in picture but maybe it's not all that big. Does anyone here have one that can show it being used within their setup next to a Mega perhaps? Seems like it's possible it could have stacked nicely atop the Mega casing but probably not ideal to support the weight of a hefty monitor either?

Edited by Clint Thompson
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On 10/4/2020 at 3:41 AM, Clint Thompson said:

It's not obsolete if you still use it. ; - ) Easily the same could be said about those who lust over and still use LDs connected to beautiful CRTs to this day.

....

 

I think that you mixing collectorism with practical usage. And to add: Atari ST is obsolete too. It is not for today usual computer usage - Internet, multimedia .... 

Indeed, if someone wants all it in some old fashion style, he can do it. So, yes, use 'beautiful' CRT monitors, TV-s, if that warms your heart. Use floppies. Use CD ROMs for storage - if you want low reliability of stored data and to spend more time with preservation. Yes, you can use oldie to do some calculations, compiling, if like so. Why not ? It's just that it will take about 3000x more time ...

 

And: fearing that will be destroyed by shipping (poor UPS) ? Why not blame sender, who did not protect it well ?  And I don't think that evil forces need UPS for making it not working. Time will do it, sooner or later. Computers are not made from stone. Ah, even CD ROM drives, disks not too.

Actually, not using it much is best way to keep it operational as much is possible. But not to not powering on over years. Using it about some 10 hours per year is what will keep capacitors in better shape, and that's enough for demonstration to friends 🙂

 

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3 hours ago, ParanoidLittleMan said:

And: fearing that will be destroyed by shipping (poor UPS) ? Why not blame sender, who did not protect it well ?

Because it was double boxed very well yet somehow UPS managed to destroy it, equivalent to being ran over by a semi truck. Why blame the sender when it clearly wasn't their fault?

 

I prefer warm hearts and beautiful CRTs & CDs, even if it means waiting 5 more seconds (or in this case probably a minute = D ) so define practical but I'm not a museum buying things just so they can look pretty on a shelf to collect dust either (not that there's anything wrong with that /Seinfeld). So no, I don't think it's being confused as collector-ism, at least not for me specifically, in the sense that it's not just going to sit by idle only for shows or 10-hour a year demos. If I'm going to own a DeLorean, I'm going to enjoy the experience and drive it until the doors fall off. Products are meant to be consumed and enjoyed, and if it's not being used then why own it at all?

 

But I say Rock it till the capacitors blow outta these babies! ;-) 1X for the win!!!!!

 

back to the future GIFback to the future guitar GIF

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On 10/4/2020 at 2:29 AM, ParanoidLittleMan said:

The problem with CDs and DVDs too is that they became obsolete, mostly because hard disk and Flash card prices went pretty much low.

I did back ups regularly on CDs, later on DVDs. Burner prices were very low around 2015, and quality too, just to mention. Latest one I bought for some 30 bucks is worst from all I had/have.  And quality of writable disks was poor too in many cases.

 

Price comparison:  can get brand SD card or Pen drive of 64 GB for some 15-20 bucks. That's about 90 CDs capacity, or about 14 DVD (writable, single layer).  Probably can get R-DVDs for little less than 1 $, but need writer, then in case of Atari adapter for CD ROM drive ... Writing to CD/DVD is extra work - simpler and faster is to write on hard disk, SD card .

Apropo:  hard disk capacity/price ratio:  2000 GB costs about 60-70 bucks. That's capacity as by some 420 DVDs. End of story.

Not end ... Reliability of data over longer time: well, my experience is that hard disks are better in it too than CD/DVD . 

Of course, not if user listen to M$ recommendation and creates only partition C, and stores everything there.  Best is to have separated drive for your valuable data, and not keeping it connected all time you use your modern computer.

 

 

Yes, I wasn't actually endorsing or recommending CD storage over mass storage like the Satandisk, Ultrasatan, CosmosEX, etc,

just saying IF that person had their heart set on a CD-ROM, they could still go that route.

 

No doubt the SD card based solutions are much cheaper and effective. I have US's in my STacy and Mega STe. I only continue to

use the CD-ROM with my Mega ST4 because it's already in place (has been for years), serves as backup for the BBS and it actually

is an option from the BBS itself (CD ROM file availability for online callers).

 

Thanks.

 

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Well, it was certainly with special, not standard protocol. And year was 1988 . The real question is what kind of used CD ROM drive was in it ?

Or what type CD ROM drives were available on market in those years ?  Probably SCSI, and Atari must added some converter circuit between it and ACSI (not ASCI ! ). 

Like it was with Atari's hard disks. 

Then, as failure of Atari corp. is again alive topic here - why all those peripherals done by Atari were sold in low quantities ? If CDAR 504 price was around 400 $ in 1988 it was good price, I guess.  Lack of available data CD-s, with SW for Atari ST ? This later could be the main problem. For audio CD playback there were cheaper solutions, I guess.

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Most machines with CD drives from this era had obscure interfaces I bet, which is why if you get a CDTV with a dead drive you can't bring back to life it's butcher city for another CDTV drive.....a bit like how it is if you own some classic cars.

 

MY point about CD-ROM for Atari ST (10 years ago!) was really just that if you have a CD based set up then games only need to do sfx via the internal YM chip and the music for the game could be a CDDA soundtrack. So you could have had International Karate by Andromeda software with the same adequate sfx and some nice music playing from the CD etc. Would have solved half the argument not to get an ST for Atari 800 or Commodore 64 owners (sound was one issue, lack of remotely useable horizontal scrolling via hardware or simple screen memory movement).

 

Then again the CDTV did come out and people still think it is shit when in reality it solved two problems the Amiga had...limiting games to run from disk/fit in RAM per level or stage AND you only have 4 DACs on 2 stereo channels AND games coders decided MOD tunes were how you should do game tracks and waste all 4 DACs to make a 4 channel (shit) tune and complain about lack of sound channels instead of using looped 4-8 second samples of professional quality 32 channel music sequenced together to make tunes. 20mb Hard drives cost as much as an Amiga 500!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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