Re: [stella] Strange Atari item found

Subject: Re: [stella] Strange Atari item found
From: "MoonlightKnight" <mnlghtnt@xxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 00:16:08 -0600
I think Mark De Smet has either seen something like this or at least knows
of what I speak. It looks like whoever did this desoldered the chips off the
original boards to use with this "thing" they've created. Quite honestly,
the soldering job they did on the board looks solid but like they hadn't
done soldering too often. There are a couple of burn marks on the underside
of the board where the ZIF socket . The one weird thing was that some of the
chips don't look like the originals for the games that are on them.

Mark said:
I find that pulling and replacing a cart is much easier
than a chip, even with a ZIF socket.

I agree. This "thing" wasn't easy to use. Half the chips didn't work on the
first, second or third tries. I finally (after about 2 1/2 hours) got all of
the ones they sent me to work. I just left the "thing" plugged into the
console and shut off the power before changing the chip, but even this was a
pain. I just reread the auction page and the previous owner did know that
this "player" had a ZIF connector on it. He  said about the chips "they may
be blank or they may have something burned onto them. Officially we are
including them as blank chips." So he knew a little about them apparently.

Dan said:
These aren't actually that uncommon. Are the chips ROMs or EPROMS? I found
one at a flea market a couple years ago that took EPROMS, along with a
handful of EPROMS. Either way the cart should let you play any 2 or 4K game

I'm not sure if these are ROMs of EPROMS as I don't really know how to tell
the difference. If you, Dan, or anyone else can tell me how to identify
them, I will try my best. I'm not real good with the inner workings of
electronic devices but  I am a fast learner if I have a good teacher. I
think I should be able to play any game made for Atari that didn't need
extra stuff on the board (like Pitfall II's sound chip.), but I'm not going
to rip apart my good carts just to find out. I'm just thinking about the
ones that have NEVER worked no matter what I've tried. Those would be worth
the loss (after all they're already half dead anyway!) Who knows I may even
be able to salvage a couple of the bad ones with some of the new chips.

Atari-Jess said:
Thats quite the find there!
How much did you pay for it? Is it at all rare? seems quite interesting
could you possibly get a scan of it or a photo of it?

I got 27 games (still in one piece) and all the chips (turns out there were
about 50) with the player for $47 after shipping. Am I allowed to post
pictures here or do I have to do that somewhere else? I've seen people post
.bin files before but I don't think I've ever seen pictures. Someone let me
know and I'l try to get a .jpg up here.

Well, that's all I got this time, I'm glad I've had something to talk about
on this list. BTW, can anyone come up with a good name for this "thing" so I
can stop calling it a "thing?"

Thanks everyone,
Brian J Nelson
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark De Smet" <de-smet@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <stella@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 8:28 PM
Subject: Re: [stella] Strange Atari item found

> > "games and chips." I took chips to mean PCBs without their cases. What
> > I got was just the chips without the boards and a strange "player" for
> > them. Someone took an Atari board, removed the chip and soldered a
> > "TexTool" to it where the chip used to be. This mod makes it possible
> > to swap any of the chips and play whatever game with just this one
> > board! For those of you who don't know what a TexTool is it's kind of
> The socket you refer to is generically called a ZIF socket(zero insertion
> force).  They are used when chips are commonly replaced to prevent bent
> pins, and when there are too many pins to socket normally.
> What this person did is technically quite easy, but quite odd that anyone
> would do it.  The biggest question would be why.
> I'm making the assumption that there are no chips in this cart.  Further
> that the chips you are given do not have a glass window on the top(perhaps
> under a sticker).  If there is a window, see Dan's post.  If not, it means
> they unsoldered the chips from production carts.  I mean why go to all
> that work, destroying so many carts to put them in chip form?
> I guess you have shrunk the volume of a game collection, but you've added
> to the nusiance.  I find that pulling an replacing a cart is much easier
> than a chip, even with a ZIF socket.
> Mark
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