Puckdropper
You're welcome! Glad it can be enjoyed
Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:04am

Press the play button at the same time as record and let's see what happens. Many of those old tape drives were like that, partially as an accident prevention feature and probably because you wanted to do everything Play did anyway (bring the head close to the tape, turn on the motor, etc).

You may find a Fiberglass scratch brush is a good tool to have. I use mine for when I need something abrasive but not too abrasive. I'm also a fan of a Dremel tool with polishing wheel and compound, it seems to remove the dirt without bothering the finish. If the contact cleaner doesn't get it, you may have to switch to tools like this. I learned that just because it looks clean doesn't mean it IS clean. Sometimes the contacts can be coated with an almost clear contaminate and only abrasive cleaning works.

It's possible that you've got some components that have gone out of tolerance. The computer has sat since 2000, so there's no telling how well something aged.

  • Package arrived full of Atari 400 awesomeness! - Erik_, Sat Aug 06 2022 1:59am
    Package arrived some point yesterday. I didn't notice it until I brought my kid outside after work. For some reason it was all the way by the sidewalk but still inside the gate. Hopefully the UPS guy was just lazy and dumped it over the fence instead of someone starting to steal it before having a change... more
    • You're welcome! Glad it can be enjoyed- Puckdropper, Sat Aug 06 2022 4:04am
      • Still no luck so far.. - Erik_, Tue Aug 09 2022 10:56am
        My contact cleaner spray came so last night I went through and pulled all the chips again and cleaned everything a bunch. I used over a whole can on the parts. Once everything was back together, still the same issue. Black/greenish screen with nothing coming up. The TV is getting a signal from the... more
        • There's a good chance that unknown and unknown will work - Puckdropper, Wed Aug 10 2022 2:12am
          As long as it's not a common failure mode for that model. Have you thought about checking the traces around the corroded areas? A black/greenish screen kinds sounds to me like a signal isn't getting somewhere it should. Of course ICs weren't as robust as they are now and even modern RAM goes bad.... more
          • PROGRESS! - Erik_, Fri Aug 12 2022 1:54am
            This has been my view for the past week at night when I have some time: You can see my 5200 to the left, also taken apart. Here's the innards of that system: So apparently the 5200 is basically a stripped down/modified Atari 400. It uses the same CPU, ANTIC, and GTIA chips as the late... more
            • Wow, that's awesome! And that case has never looked so good! - Puckdropper, Fri Aug 12 2022 3:18am
              It kinda makes sense that Atari would reuse most of a design. After all, it's almost all there why not just remove or add the bits you need and make it a new system. Be sure to clean that flux off before closing things up. Even no-clean flux should really be cleaned. A method I was recently introduced... more
"Forces act when not restrained" - Puckdropper