PDA

View Full Version : Atari 800XL



tezza
November 26th, 2007, 11:53 PM
I've just added one of these to my collection. I was looking for the original 800 but they are so RARE here in New Zealand. They are also quite heavy and hence shipping costs from N. America are prohibitive. That plus the issues of different colour TV formats and 110v vrs 240v, I decided the more common locally-sourced XL would have to do.

I wouldn't say it's in top condition. Inside the machine the plate covering the circuit board shows rust and I had to chase a few spiders out. In fact the keyboard wouldn't work when I first got it. Some careful disassembly and cleaning the crud of ages off the mylar keyboard membrane as suggested in one of the other forums on this site worked, and now it's up and running. I've cleaned the case and now it at least looks presentable.

I've got a 1050 drive with it, and I'm presently looking for manuals. Just how to use the thing is a bit of a mystery. I did find one guide on the web but it's in HTML format. I like to have the text beside me in hard copy.

Initial impressions thought...nice size, light weight. The keyboard has a positive feel about it. Those games I could load worked just fine. Good sound.

There was one game called "Hacker" where, after booting, the software seemed to emulate a terminal session with a mainframe. Quite cool! I wish I had the instructions.

ahm
November 27th, 2007, 10:39 AM
I've got a 1050 drive with it, and I'm presently looking for manuals. Just how to use the thing is a bit of a mystery.

There's really not much to the machine.
What is it you want do?

tezza
November 27th, 2007, 10:50 AM
Nothing specific really. I'd just like to learn more about how the OS works, and whatever is contained in ROM. I've got a bunch of mostly unlabelled disks with it. It's DOS 2.5 I think.

I make it a point to try to get the manuals with my vintage machines. None with this one though, and I never used it when I was younger.

ahm
November 27th, 2007, 12:31 PM
I'd just like to learn more about how the OS works,
http://www.atariarchives.org/iad/


and whatever is contained in ROM.
http://www.atariarchives.org/mapping/

I realize those aren't PDFs, but sometimes you take what you can get.
Plenty of other good books at http://www.atariarchives.org/ too.

You might also check out http://www.trailingedge.com/atari8/
The 1200XL Owner's Guide is probably similar enough to that of an 800XL.

Cheers,
Andy

tezza
November 27th, 2007, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the links Andy,

I'll check them out.

Terry

Panther
December 1st, 2007, 12:41 AM
I've got a 800XL and 1050 drive, also got the tape deck, not tried out much with it, got some tape software but no disks or carts.

The original 800 is pretty hard to find here in the UK as well :(

I did manage to get hold of a 400 though :D

carlsson
February 14th, 2008, 12:31 PM
Tonight, there was a loose Atari 800 (not XL/XE) that was missing one key, was quite dirty and some cracks in the plastic. Yet it was fully functional according to the seller. It ended at a mere 61 SEK (9.50 USD or 5 UKP). My maximum bid was 39 SEK (6 USD, 3 UKP) which would've been quite a steal even for a grubby looking Atari. Still, I suppose the buyer made a good deal given that a fully working 800 can go for over 500 SEK, and a boxed one well over 1000.

tezza
February 14th, 2008, 02:35 PM
Still, I suppose the buyer made a good deal given that a fully working 800 can go for over 500 SEK, and a boxed one well over 1000.

Indeed. Was it a PAL machine?

Zeela
February 14th, 2008, 11:16 PM
It was most likely a NTSC-machine. Or at least the seller claimed that it was.

// Z

VintageComputerman
February 15th, 2008, 05:16 AM
How much is a good working 800 worth these days with a 1027 printer, 1050 disk drive and related accessories, not including the monitor, which I have. I'm interested in a system on ebay and don't want to get into a bidding war. No OS software though.

ahm
February 15th, 2008, 05:47 AM
I'm interested in a system on ebay and don't want to get into a bidding war.

See also: irony (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irony)

ahm
February 15th, 2008, 05:52 AM
How much is a good working 800 worth these days with a 1027 printer, 1050 disk drive and related accessories, not including the monitor, which I have.

It's worth whatever someone is willing to pay.
Ask yourself what you'd be willing to pay; enter that as your maximum bid.

If you win it, good. If you don't, that's okay too.
There will always be someone out there with deeper pockets.
No need to stress over it.
Life is too short.

Bill_Loguidice
February 15th, 2008, 07:50 AM
How much is a good working 800 worth these days with a 1027 printer, 1050 disk drive and related accessories, not including the monitor, which I have. I'm interested in a system on ebay and don't want to get into a bidding war. No OS software though.

Estimate anywhere from $50 - $80+ before shipping for a package like that. You're much better off though just trying to get the 800 by itself. Disk drives are relatively plentiful and relatively cheap. You can also always replace the need for a disk drive with one of many the SIO2PC and similar options out there. Lots of ways to go. Also, an 800 may not be your most flexible and compatible choice, though it's certainly among the coolest of the Atari 8-bit systems for a variety of reasons.

Bill_Loguidice
February 15th, 2008, 07:52 AM
It's worth whatever someone is willing to pay.
Ask yourself what you'd be willing to pay; enter that as your maximum bid.

If you win it, good. If you don't, that's okay too.
There will always be someone out there with deeper pockets.
No need to stress over it.
Life is too short.

I consider that a golden rule. Who gives a crap about snipers and what-not? If what you're willing to bid doesn't win, then someone wanted it more. Fair enough. This is especially true if you're not bidding on multiple auctions for the same thing. Especially with the more common stuff, there's always a next auction if you lose this one.

carlsson
February 15th, 2008, 09:12 AM
It was most likely a NTSC-machine. Or at least the seller claimed that it was.
Yes, but still... Btw Zeela: I'm the highest bidder on your broken 130XE, currently at 2 SEK (0.30 USD or so) :-)

Dwo Shwoom
March 31st, 2008, 07:48 PM
Wow, I recently just picked up a Atari 800xl and cassette drive for $5. its very dirty, and the keys are sticky, making it very hard to type a single key.

Anybody have suggestions on cleaning it? :sleepy:

Neopeius
March 31st, 2008, 09:24 PM
There was one game called "Hacker" where, after booting, the software seemed to emulate a terminal session with a mainframe. Quite cool! I wish I had the instructions.

Great game. There are no instructions. You just have to figure it out.

Neopeius
March 31st, 2008, 09:26 PM
How much is a good working 800 worth these days with a 1027 printer, 1050 disk drive and related accessories, not including the monitor, which I have. I'm interested in a system on ebay and don't want to get into a bidding war. No OS software though.

We used to have a 1027 printer. Slowest thing you ever saw. I think it was a page every two minutes.

You're better off doing what we did in the mid 80s--getting a Gemini or an Okidata and loading the proper printer drivers.

carlsson
March 31st, 2008, 11:02 PM
Hm, I haven't yet disassembled my 800XL enough to determine how the keyboard mechanism looks like. I have faint memories of someone else posting that it was a bit tricky to restore, but everything is relative to your previous experiences. With a bit of luck, the keyboard consists of a conductive backplane and then a lot of rubber plungers, one per key that shorts the circuit. Commodore keyboards tend to work like that. Once taken apart, it is relatively simple to clean the backplate and plungers, perhaps add a layer of graphite to the plungers and reassemble everything. Other types of mechanisms uses microswitches soldered one by one to the board, which is a much more difficult approach to restore.

NathanAllan
March 31st, 2008, 11:19 PM
I have a 1027 but the power supply is not working. The 1027 works pretty good, though, that's the one I use for it. Was there some kind of adapter for the Oki printers? I have one for the C='s that I have, and they talk to it okay and it has a serial port. I had a different Okimate 10, really neat but only had the C= interface card for it.

I wish I could coment on repair of an 800, but mine never needed it. I guess I got lucky on that find. There is one user on atariage that does ram upgrades and all kinds of different stuff for the XL machines, I plan on sending it off for a bit. Only thing is shipping-- he's in Canada, but I think I'm willing to go for it.

found a link: http://atari8warez.for-the.biz/

Nathan

tezza
April 1st, 2008, 12:31 AM
Wow, I recently just picked up a Atari 800xl and cassette drive for $5. its very dirty, and the keys are sticky, making it very hard to type a single key.

Anybody have suggestions on cleaning it? :sleepy:

When I got my Atari 800XL they keys wouldn't work at all. I disassembled the keyboard and sponged down the membrane and now it works perfectly fine.

It must be a common problem as it was discussed here previously. You can find the discussions (including my own posts) at
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=5702

Take care disassembling the keyboard. Before you do, I would trawl the Internet for step-by-step instructions. They do exisit because I found them. I didn't save the URL though. One thing to watch is that the keyboard ribbon looks like it's plugged into the circuitboard using a connector. It looks like you should be able to pull the connector off the MB. Actually, you can't. The naked keyboard ribbon is plugged directly into the top of this connector, which is hard-wired into the board. You can't remove it and will damage it if you try. You have to carefully and gently pull the ribbon out from the top of the connector, where it's simply held in by friction.

At least that's what I remember. However, the memory cells aren't what they used to be so I could be wrong. Check on it first. Usual disclaimers apply :)

carlsson
April 1st, 2008, 08:51 AM
The same type of ribbon keyboard cable is found in many computers, e.g. ZX Spectrum and some MSX; my Philips VG-8235 has one. Most of the time the cable is so short that you have a hard time fitting it with the case ajar.

Dwo Shwoom
April 8th, 2008, 02:36 PM
I recently took a closer look inside my system, and it looks nothing at all like a membrane keyboard. I'm still searching though, but I was able to clean it enough so that it was somewhat new. (but there is this glittery purple crud on the brown plastic. Any suggestions?)

tezza
April 8th, 2008, 04:24 PM
From memory you have to disassemble the keyboard assembly. There should be screws on the back of it. There is a membrane between the keys and the back plate.

Tez

Trooper
April 8th, 2008, 05:09 PM
I had a really disgusting looking Amiga 1200 that's been waiting for some tlc for quite some time. I hadn't felt like touching it since it was so filthy, I think someone dropped a can of coke in it and then dragged it along the carpet to make sure that it got as dirty as possible. Well since I was sorting through my collection recently it felt like the time had come to do something about it, so I took it out and examined it. Like I said it looked disgusting and the keys were all sticky to. I decided it needed some really harsh cleaning so I took the whole thing apart, removed the PCB's and all the rest of the stuff from the inside of the case. I also disassembled the keyboard and took out the plastic membrane, cleaned the membrane off real good and hung it to dry. I then took all the plastic parts and the keyboard and put them in the dishwasher, ran a full program and lo and behold, parts for a new Amiga 1200 emerged from the dishwasher :) Put everything back together and it works like a charm :)