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mikejenkins

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  1. Finally got a UK PSU for my early DC today, so tested it by firing up Jet Set Radio. I remember getting this when it came out, but not really playing it much. Positives: It looks great and it sounds great (I am using a 14" CRT monitor so probably doesn't look quite so great on a proper TV). Negatives: The controls are unimaginably terrible, the camera is a typical late 90s effort, the difficulty level is insane (several SWAT teams with tear gas and a guy with a pistol to take down your skinny rollerblader armed only with paint, I think a tank appears at some point) and if that isn't enough to make you want to throw the controller across the room, there are time limits. It is clearly awful and completely unfair, but I keep wanting to have another go for some reason.
  2. A small postscript - It was extremely sunny and hot today, and I had a day off work, so obviously the sensible thing to do was bleach the battered top case of the keeper ST. I don't have any liquid peroxide (yet) and am a bit hesitant about doing grey plastics with peroxide cream as lots of people have had blooming issues with it, but this case has been sanded to remove graffiti and is generally not in the best shape, so I figured it couldn't get much worse. After removing the top case and cleaning it with APC, I brushed an even coat of 12% peroxide cream over it, wrapped it in cling film, and left it in the sun for 5 hours. I massaged the cream every hour. Before: After (apologies for the shadow): It looks a lot better but is not perfect, and there is still some patchy yellowness on the thin strips around the keyboard as it was difficult to get a layer of cream to stay there. I wouldn't want to try this on anything valuable or otherwise in good condition, and would recommend the immersion method with liquid peroxide instead. It also seems to have attacked what turns out to be the painted blue Atari logo on the badge as a bit of the paint as wrinkled. We are looking to have another hot and sunny day next week so I will put the keyboard and bottom case out in the sun without any peroxide, as apparently that is what the cool kids are doing nowadays with good results (I will believe it when I see it).
  3. That's pretty impressive, I thought I was doing well getting the unboxed CRT in the boot of my tiny car.
  4. Most of my finds at the moment are cheap CRTs - got this unusual (white) one today for a fiver and with a bit of service menu tinkering has a cracking picture.
  5. I can certainly relate more closely to Jan Beta (washing stuff in the shower, less than beautiful soldering, etc.). Hey Birt is pretty good too.
  6. I like Jan Beta from the more hobbyist end of things, and Adrian’s Digital Basement at the higher end. Key point to remember is to heat the things you want to join and feed solder in rather than putting blobs of solder on the iron!
  7. If anyone wants to learn basic soldering I would recommend picking up a basic kit with a small (~30W) iron, a 2.5mm chisel tip for the iron, an iron stand, some leaded solder, a set of helping hands and a solder sucker. Wire snips are also useful. You can then get hold of any old broken electronics up to around the early 2000s and have a go at following some Youtube videos (watching out of course for high voltage parts around power supplies). A basic multimeter with audio continuity checker is also very useful and pretty cheap, and a big bottle of IPA with some cotton buds for the inevitable cleaning is essential.
  8. Part 5: The End? As previously reported ST #2 was fully working except for the floppy drive, which I had replaced all but one capacitor on. I was messing with it some more while waiting for more caps and noticed that the mouse (a third party Amiga/ST switchable job) had decided to only go UP and LEFT. Suspecting the mouse port which I had previously reflowed, I tried it on the other ST and got the same result. I remembered from the distant past that this sort of thing happened when an Amiga mouse was used on an ST, so opened it up and noticed very dry looking solder on the mode switch - I reflowed this and the mouse was back to normal. I received the additional capacitors to do the last one - I forgot to take a photo of it in situ but it was a through hole bent onto surface pads living where the arrow is pointing: I removed it (really strong fishy smell on this one) - note the completely knackered shape: I then cleaned up the PCB where it had been leaking: Soldered a new one on, reassembled for the 500th time, put a disk in and held my breath: Finally success. The disk sounded like it was spinning slower than before - apparently a sign of failed caps is that the drive sounds "too fast", and I had never heard a floppy drive like that before. I successfully formatted a couple of disks as a test, then reassembled the now fully-working ST #2: Note the lighter plastic around the space bar - this is the result of me sanding it, as some oik had scrawled illegible words into it with a pair of compasses. I will likely bleach the case of this one with peroxide in future - I don't normally like doing grey plastic as it can be blotchy, but it's unlikely to be much worse. I will be keeping ST #2 to go into the collection. Project Retrospective: In case anyone fancies trying this kind of repair themselves (I was taught how to solder and basic electronics at school) here is what I did and how I did it: 2x Atari 520STFM - Resolved non-boot issue by reseating ICs, repaired faulty mouse port by reflowing solder, repaired drive motor signal with schematics, multimeter and soldered bodge wire, repaired floppy drive by replacing failed electrolytic capacitors - parts cost £3 (I already had a soldering iron and multimeter). Zydec Atari/Amiga mouse - Repaired by reflowing solder on mode switch. Philips CM8833-2 Monitor - Repaired flickery colours by reflowing solder on RGB connector. This has a crackly volume control which I will probaby never repair but would likely be fixed with contact cleaner. 2x Powerplay Cruiser Joystick - Repaired 1 joystick by spraying intermittent switch with contact cleaner. 1 joystick has been robbed of its cable and relegated to ornament status, as it has 3 failed switches and I don't really like it as a joystick anyway. Sony CRT - Probable faulty flyback transformer, was no use to me as was a standard VGA monitor so someone else is going to try to repair it (I don't fancy my chances with high voltage repairs at this stage). I am going to sell ST #1 as a boxed example with a proper ST mouse I have since purchased, and will sell most of the games and the external floppy to pay for other cool gaming stuff. I have very much enjoyed this project, it wasn't too challenging but I find it great fun when something that was broken starts working again, even if it's achieved just by reflowing some dry solder joints. I am now on the look out for the next one, so watch this space if you found this thread interesting.
  9. There were a few Codemasters Dizzy clones, a couple of Hit Squad Games, a Kixx and a Hi Tec Yogi Bear game. This included stuff like NZS, Rainbow Islands and Robocod. It’s covered the (cough) pounds I spent on an old Amiga accelerator.
  10. In case anyone's interested in the state of the "collector" market, two weeks after listing my 43 games I have sold through buy it now: Lightgun and 2 games for £40 Defender of the Crown in squashed box for £12 7x budget (but generally good) games to the same guy for £75 Dungeon Master pack for £99 Lightgun sold on the first day, DOTC a few days after and the other stuff all sold this week. Nothing else has sold so far.
  11. As above you can use a third party util if you have a mechanism for getting it on the Amiga (these tend to work better). The issue you are seeing is probably the system trying to load the Format command from the system (Workbench) disk each time, this can be overcome by copying the Format tool from the System folder of the floppy to the RAM disk and running it from there, but you’ll still have to put the Workbench disk back in to do anything else. A compact flash or SD card hard drive makes life much easier for not a lot of money.
  12. Part 4: Floppy Drive Bastard ST #1 is all done so the only outstanding issue is the floppy drive on ST #2. As mentioned it span up when installed in ST #1 but wouldn't read disks, and both floppy drives were not spinning the motor in ST #2. I started reading schematics and trawling forums, and set about troubleshooting. The floppy cable on the STFM is soldered to the board rather than socketed, so a quick swap to test it was out of the question - to get around this I popped the cable retainer off so I could get at the pins and test continuity to the plug at the drive end: All checked out OK so the cable appeared good. I also tested the connection between the solder joints under the board and the pins on the top - again OK but I reflowed the joints anyway. Connected it back up in case this had helped to be met with the same issue. I then started looking at schematics and started testing continuity between the various ICs in the floppy controller path. I found that the MOTOR ON signal was not reaching the pin on the internal floppy header but was on the external one - these are shared and with the absence of any visibly broken traces I ran a bodge wire from the inductor on this path to the relevant pin on the underside of the board. Hey presto - I now had a spinning drive, but it still wasn't reading any disks - back to how it was on ST #1. Next step was to replace the electrolytic capacitors on the drive itself as there is definitely a fault on it: Initial snooping found 4x 10uF and 1x 56uF caps on the two PCBs, a mix of surface mount and through hole. The surface mount ones required stripping a fair bit out of the drive and basically fell off when I prodded them - they were knackered with telltale dried brown gunk and fishy smell when replaced. I replaced them all with through hole ones bent to the side (see pic) and spotted another 10uF cap lurking under a bit of metal so replaced that as well, only to see yet ANOTHER one under a previously unmoved bit of metal. At this point I cursed as I only had 5, so put it back together just in case it would now work - motor now audibly struggling and still no joy. I am still awaiting new caps so will replace the last one before writing this drive off. In other news - The CM8833 has entered service in my games room on the Amiga/PS/Saturn/DC and is working well, the broken Sony monitor was collected by someone who is going to try to fix it which was nice.
  13. Picked up a very nice Sony 14" CRT TV from Freecycle this morning as an upgrade to my Panasonic one. Pretty good geometry for a change but no remote yet, £5 on eBay has sorted that.
  14. You can format disks using either Workbench via the Icons menu, or shell (format drive df0: name empty). I use a utility called SuperDuper as it is much faster and deals with non-Amiga blanks better.
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