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Harry’s Game Room Redux


HDN
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I need some help, guys:

My CRT has some problems nowadays that it didn’t use to have before. I’ve put up with these issues for a few months now but I’m starting to reach the end of my rope! 

What the TV does is shut itself off when there is no signal, which it has not done in the past. The real problem is even if I turn the system on before the TV, if the game itself is too dark (ie a black background), the TV will also shut itself off. What I have to do is turn on something bright (like the blue screen of a VCR) and let the TV warm up for 10-30 minutes before I can play something with a dark background.

Does anyone know what might be causing this and if there is a way to fix it?

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That's a strange one.  It's most likely a power issue inside the TV.  It probably is fixable.  But I think your best bet is to scan Craigslist or Facebook marketplace for another set.  Most people are giving them away for free. 

 

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One easy thing you can try:  It may be dust in the set causing a short.  Without taking the set apart, get a vacuum cleaner and run the hose end over all of the cooling slots on the back, sides, top, bottom.  If you have a compressor, blow air in first to loosen dust and then vacuum. 

I would not take the back off -- there be HIGH voltage inside there. 

 

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Thanks @RickR. I’ll try that.

Maybe I should just hook up my flatscreen finally. It’s been sitting down there for months but I haven’t been motivated to hook it up yet. I much prefer to play the older games on CRTs, and 99% of games I play on a regular basis are old. I could do what I did in the past where I hooked up a small CRT next to the big TV, but it’s not as good as a big one.

Craigslist has a Trinitron near me for free but my parents don’t want to be bothered with helping me pick it up. It sucks not being able to drive. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, RickR said:

Do you have friends that drive?  Or maybe it's close enough that you could walk and take a hand truck. 

 

I do, yes. But there will still be the matter of getting the 10,000 pound box in the basement, and with my parents home 24/7 until May that will be difficult. I’ll just wait until then.

Edited by HDN
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2AFE664C-2A52-43C5-AF95-59257642FB1E.jpeg.7b23b4324b01d3f7b1d22798297ca638.jpeg

M-m-m-m-mail call!

A kind soul in another Atari group sent this to me. If you’re reading this Tim, thank you so much!

Some brief thoughts on these games:

LASER BLAST: This game is monotonous and repetitive as all get out. But, I’ve found myself having a lot of fun with it recently! It’s brain dead, but it can be fun in spurts. I’m going to go for the patch.

SUPERMAN: I never liked this game as a kid because I had no idea what to do. A few months ago I gave it another shot and had a blast! So happy to have this great game in my collection.

SWORDQUEST FIREWORLD: Blech. Unlike Laser Blast, this is way worse than I remembered. It might be worse than Gangster Alley even.

BANK HEIST: A real hidden gem on the system. It’s a very good Pac-Man style maze game. Give it a go if you can find it!

3D TIC-TAC-TOE: Carol Shaw’s first released game is a lot of fun. I’m not good at it at all, but I really enjoy playing it. Like Video Chess, it’s a nice relaxing game for the times where action games don’t seem appealing.

GRAND PRIX: One of the best Activision games. I have some great memories of this game and it’s still fun today. Maybe the best game in this lot.

COMMANDO: There was an attempt here, but...

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On 4/17/2021 at 7:00 PM, RickR said:

Nice pick ups!  I can't argue with any of your reviews.  I like Superman a lot too.  My only complaint is that I've never been able to memorize where everything is.  And that subway system just makes it worse for me. 

Yeah, I can’t memorize it either. I see people beating it in a minute and a half, and I can barely get under 5!

Another new pickup, an Unocart I won! This thing is great.

6D9A13E5-D3C0-4555-BCD6-F1E7D3AC18C5.jpeg.335efa07fe1c935cce98b25a45261122.jpeg

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22 hours ago, HDN said:

Yeah, I can’t memorize it either. I see people beating it in a minute and a half, and I can barely get under 5!

Another new pickup, an Unocart I won! This thing is great.

6D9A13E5-D3C0-4555-BCD6-F1E7D3AC18C5.jpeg.335efa07fe1c935cce98b25a45261122.jpeg

This must be the newer plus version. Does this have WiFi that you can attach to and download games via the web from? Also it is nice to have the SD slot on the side now. My uno is an older one that uses a standard SD cart on the top label edge of the cart. Been meaning to see about swapping out the original SD reader on it with a spring loaded one.

 

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9 hours ago, CrossBow said:

This must be the newer plus version. Does this have WiFi that you can attach to and download games via the web from? Also it is nice to have the SD slot on the side now. My uno is an older one that uses a standard SD cart on the top label edge of the cart. Been meaning to see about swapping out the original SD reader on it with a spring loaded one.

 

No, I'm afraid it isn't the Wifi version, though the same guy who sent me this (Doug Venner) is also giving away one on the Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast that you can enter to win. This was part of another little giveaway he did. I believe this is a Pluscart shell though, but it's definitely not one on the inside. That's OK with me though; as long as I have a form of playing 2600 games on a flashcart I'm good! The only problem with this as opposed to a Harmony cart is that it can't play the big new homebrew games like Draconian or Space Rocks. Crazy Balloon has been giving me problems as well, but it worked fine for the first few days. Now whenever I move my balloon right it'll exit the game.

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Well it still isn't like any UNOcart for the 2600 I've seen. I own one and it uses a standard size SD card that plugs in on the top not the side. So that has to be something different. Harmony carts don't plug in from the side either.

I know that Andrew Davies on the AA forums added an SD reader to his Plus cart so that he could use the WiFi or the SDcard but that wasn't a normal thing on the pluscart although I believe it had been discussed to add one to it. That is why I was asking because I'm not aware of a 2600 flashcart that uses a side loaded SDcard?

 

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1 hour ago, CrossBow said:

Well it still isn't like any UNOcart for the 2600 I've seen. I own one and it uses a standard size SD card that plugs in on the top not the side. So that has to be something different. Harmony carts don't plug in from the side either.

 

It isn't like any I've seen online before either. I'll have to double-check with Doug on this one. What I can tell you for now is that it's custom built from spare boards he had laying around from some of his Pluscart-building (I think), and I *believe* the SD card reader was one he attached himself. The UI is definitely an Unocart one, and it has no Wifi connectivity whatsoever.

He did make a video on it a while back when the contest was still going on. 

I'll ask him and get back to you.

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The UnoCart design and software is all public domain.  So there are a few variations on the boards and layouts. 

Here's pics of my Pluscart, also with a case I purchased from Doug.  What's interesting is that it runs the same UnoCart core.  The case is sweet.  Just like @HDN's, it's two colors and of very nice quality. 

 

 

pluscart 001.JPG

pluscart 002.JPG

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7 hours ago, CrossBow said:

Ah see I bought mine from TBA sometime back and figured that was how they all looked? I do like these cases more but again the TBA UNOcarts use a standard SD card instead of micro and it feeds in on the top like on the Harmony.

 

I had to go out and buy a microSD for this thing! You forget how tiny the game files are when you realize you have a little less than 16 gigabytes free on the 16 gigabyte SD card you’re using!

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1 hour ago, HDN said:

I had to go out and buy a microSD for this thing! You forget how tiny the game files are when you realize you have a little less than 16 gigabytes free on the 16 gigabyte SD card you’re using!

I think the Uno carts from The Brewing Academy comes with an SD card of like 4gb or something. Still WAY more than enough space!

 

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I think mine has a 512mb SD card in it, and it's still got room left. 

At some point, I need to spend some time cleaning up and arranging the 2600 ROM files I have into useful and easy to use directories.  My "homebrew" folder especially is a mess.  Many versions of the same games...a lot of stuff that should be removed.

 

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