1. Not old. Vintage. :)

My 800's keyboard is dead

Discussion in 'SIG: Atari 8-Bit Hardware' started by M.D.Baker, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Glad you have been busy, I've just been updating the 800XL, 1200XL decoder boards in KiCad, I'm guessing that with no new post either things not worked out or you have ended up busy without time to continue with it.
    Hope you get some success / time over the weekend.
     
  2. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    Yeah, I ended up not working on the 800 last night, because I found out my favorite football team was being televised in my area. I usually just listen to the radio broadcast over the internet, since the Chicago Bears aren't in my broadcast area, except with nationally televised games like this one a couple times a season. Or, I have to pay $350 a season for streaming NFL Sunday Ticket to see them. It was on until 10:30 pm and I was too tired afterward. I did at least take apart the 800 again, before I went to bed, because I still need to use the CPU board out of it for testing the new motherboard, even though I have OS and memory boards at hand, my other CPU boards have bad color pots. And I prefer testing with the mobo properly grounded to the chassis.

    So I didn't want to miss watching them with my full attention. Today I was busy all day up until about 9:30 pm this evening, my time. I think I will stay up long enough to at least test out the keyboard on the new motherboard and see what happens, but the project continuation, for the most part, is delayed until tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, and no distractions at all since my Bears won't even be on the radio since they already played for the week.
     
    Graham likes this.
  3. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    HeHe Well that's dedication to your team. It's a bit like that for me with Fornula 1 racing on this weekend, so I tend to veg out and watch all the goings on that are televised.
    On another note, I can't believe the service I seem to be getting for items shipped from over sea's Wednesday evening my time 17:29 placed order online to Digi-Key arrived by 19AM two days later..
    PCB order Shipped on the 8th from Hong Kong due to be delivered to day (originally showed 13th.) as out for delivery.
    The World is a mad mad place but It seems the delivery services have gotten better than ever before .. thats UPS & DHL
    Anyway I hope it all works out over this weeked so you have a working 800.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
  4. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    Nice time on he shipping! I wish my Turbo Freezer 2011 coming from Greece would have arrived as fast! It was sent out the 28th, and tracking for it stopped when it left Greece the same day...I'm still waiting...

    Anyway, I did manage to test out the keyboard with my new 800 board, and it works. So I went ahead and modded the keyboard's ribbon cable with a female connector I had on hand, so it is now ready to properly plug into the male connector on the new mobo. I also made it about half way through the Incognito transfer before I called it a night. I will finish that up today, and then start (hopefully finish) the Pokeymax install today also, which will include a small board to mount the mini-amp & audio video out, which will include either L/R RCA jacks -or- I may go with a stereo headphone out jack like I did on my 1200XL, I'm not sure yet. This board will also include S-video out and composite video out and original mono audio out RCA jack too. And while I'm in there, I may go ahead and add a second SIO port, which may or may not be included on the audio/video out board or on a board of it's own. I haven't decided exactly where I will mount them on the case yet.

    Another plan of mine that may change a bit (have to wait on the Turbo Freezer to arrive) is my planned PBI port which originally I was going to make an adapter for the 800's hidden rear edge connector. But since the Turbo Freezer has a pass-thru PBI card edge on it, I am now contemplating the idea, if I can find a good spot in the case, to install it internally, connected directly to the Incognito's PBI lines and then mount the Turbo Freezer where the pass-thru PBI can be accessed on the exterior.

    Again, this idea depends if I can find a good place to mount it. It will probably be mounted so it's accessed in the rear like the XL/XE's, but it may have to be mounted higher up so that any other PBI devices plugged in will have to have little legs underneath to support it, and off to the rear left side or the other of case, since there's not much room to mount anything between the shielding and the case in the rear or the other side where the PSU board is located.

    I've also go additional controller ports (for the second PIA) to think about mounting too, but I think they will be hidden under one of the 800's rear sides that are recessed. Which will mean lifting up the machine to plug stuff into the ports, but it will still, at least, be easier to access than the Atari ST's under-the-keyboard mouse & controller ports!:confused:

    This is all tenuous atm, while I decide what it best..I'm already second guessing audio/video out the rear, I may stash the output board under the PSU board in the front and mount the jacks underneath coming out the recessed area on one side and the new controller ports in the opposite recessed area.

    It seems like I'm forgetting some mod/upgrades I'd planned, but I can't seem to recall them atm...anyway, I should be writing these ideas up in my hardware upgrade blog instead of this keyboard repair thread...this should be my last post in this thread. Look for further updates in my blog, as well as pictures of my keyboard ribbon cable mod and Pokeymax, etc. installation.
     
    Andy Barr and Graham like this.
  5. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Well it's some relief to know its all working, and now you have a working Atari 800 to play with :)
    I'll look out for any posts on you blog.
     
    Andy Barr likes this.
  6. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    Yeah...not so much (working). My old motherboard worked in as much as Incognito boot-strapping once I converted from stock back to it after getting the "Red/Yellow/Green* screen of death the last time I assemble it a few months ago. The keyboard did not work still. Then I plugged the keyboard and the stock CPU/OS/RAM into the new motherboard and it boot-strapped to memopad and the keyboard worked. Then I finished transplanting the Incognito to the new motherboard today, and all I get is Red screen. Which generally has to do with a problem with the CPU board, OS board or ram.

    I quintuple checked my installation of the Incognito all day today with no success. I'm about to remove it and revert back to stock, leaving the CPU card in, to identify or eliminate the Incognito itself as the culprit, if I still get a red screen with stock OS and ram then something went bell-up on the CPU board, which surprises me because it's a NOS board, but I have an extra NTSC and PAL CPU boards that only have pot issues, which I can start swapping out IC's from. I also have extras of pretty much all the IC's from my XL's too. But it's like I've been cursed for the past year or so with constant issues like this.

    One moment I'll assemble it and it all works, and I start moving forward (or side-ways), do one small mod or upgrade, and suddenly it doesn't work when I re-assemble it. And chances are, I may merely return it to stock, test it working, re-install the Incognito again and it will suddenly work. At least that's what I'm hoping since it's already happened more than once trouble-shooting this 800. But this was a virgin motherboard that tested good stock yesterday. But I also know, NOS or used, it's all old and any component could give out without warning at any time. At least I started using Dupont connectors which really helps with installation and removal after the first time.

    There just isn't much too this Incognito upgrade, 6 wires to or on the motherboard, and one ribbon cable to a socket, and 2 wires to the Antic on the CPU board, and the rest is plug-in. I did a PBI upgrade with well over a hundred connections just a couple years ago and didn't have so many issues for God's sake!

    It's utterly frustrating and the reason why I give up for days, weeks, or months at a time.

    *Depending on Atari model and if PAL/NTSC
     
    Andy Barr and Graham like this.
  7. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Oh Bugger Thought you had it sussed out as well. I've just had the same issues with an Amstrad CPC6128
    all seemed to work fine, desoldered OS & DOS ROMs socketed put back together , didn't want to work.
    At this point the board is out of it case just with power and Monitor cable in, checked PSU, o.k Checked on plug into board o.k , checked on chips for 5V nothing. hmm checked switch a known problem on these o.k plugged in all worked.
    did some other mods, didn't work.checked 5V rail nothing again.. I've just stopped but thingk it's the PCB mounted DC in socket as with PSU plugged in checking directly on socket and no volts on the middle pin... it's 2:30 in the morning here so going to bed and giving up for now. I'll see in the morning..
     
    Andy Barr and M.D.Baker like this.
  8. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    EDIT: Update, you can ignore the rest below, I swapped out the new PSU board I have been using for the old one I repaired before, and my new mobo with Incognito booted!! Yay!!!

    One thing I can try, which I've been assuming isn't the problem is the new PSU board I got with the new mother board. I've been using it to power the new motherboard, since it successfully powered up in stock condition. Even though I had repaired the original, which seems fine now, earlier this year. It could be a lack of power from bad caps that just gave out over the last 24 hours from the shock of being used after being on a shelf for 4 decades. I'll go ahead and try my repaired PSU board before I go to bed, on the new board with the Incognito still installed. I'm not going to get into checking for proper voltages on it until tomorrow, and not at all if swapping PSU's doesn't change anything, because both were used to successfully power up their respective boards to memo pad or SDX command line within the last couple of days.
     
    Graham likes this.
  9. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    A final update on my computer situation. After using the 800 for a few short minutes, the keyboard suddenly went completely dead on my on my new motherboard with Incognito. I guess I must have just been jarred & installed in the right way that the circuits were working until my activity on it broke contact again somewhere. So I have come full circle, thinking I broke my fragile keyboard while replacing plungers and soldering cold solder points, going over it again and again and then leading myself to the conclusion that it wasn't the keyboard, but something wrong on the motherboard.

    Well it appears that both boards with or without Incognito installed have been in perfecting working order all along, and that's why I could not solve the issue on my original motherboard, as there wasn't one, ever. So I definitely need to look for a new keyboard, preferably a Mitsumi, like my 1200XL, as I'm tired of the problems the Hi-tek mechanical keyboard has caused me. But I'll settle for a working Hi-tek and I can use my Hi-tek for spare plungers and key caps. So keep your eyes out for either one, a complete and work Mitsumi, or a Hi-tek, as long as it works, can have missing keys or some broken plungers since I have spare parts.

    In the mean time, I will continue with upgrading my 800 as planned, the next step installing the Pokeymax and audio/video outs, and also a second SIO. I'll wait on some of the more involved upgrades after I get a replacement keyboard, but most of this is just running lines from stock SIO and the monitor jack ports to new ports. The Pokeymax is just L/R RCA or phono out too after plugging it in and soldering two wires. Finding a new keyboard is top priority for me, asap, as long as I can afford it, I may try to bypass traces and repair this keyboard in the meantime, but I'd rather just move on as fast as I can with a replacement. I think this one is just too old and fragile with age and use and more of the same will just keep happening to it. At least Mitsumi keyboard have a replacement Mylar available from MyAtari.

    Of course, as I said before, this thread was mainly about the keyboard and still is now, and updates and pictures of my upgrades will be in my hardware hacking blog.
     
    Graham likes this.
  10. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Hi Matt
    That's so disappointing but at least you know its the Keyboard, in your case I suspect that it's all down to one or two wires that need another look. I can only guess at your frustration. I still think the original keyboard can be fixed even if re wiring all the key switches
     
  11. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    I was so determined I did go over the keyboard's circuit again last night touching up every solder point and tracing the circuit traces with a magnifying glass and it all looks good, but just won't work. I suspect it's probably a broken jumper wire in between the circuit board and the keys, which means I completely desolder and rebuild it all, or I try to follow the circuits with a best guess as to where the jumpers all are and go and install my own jumper wires in those spots on the circuit side of the board. Maybe that will fix it.

    As I said before, this is such a simple design, it's all circuits and jumpers, there are no IC's or any other components involved, it's shocking that I could have such trouble with it. The original ribbon cable for it looks solid too, it's the clear plastic and I can see every wire running the length of it and can't detect any breaks, but I think I might try swapping it out too.

    The only sign of life out of the keyboard is if I have the ribbon connector barely plugged into the motherboard and wiggle it a bit some characters started "typing" themselves on screen and the space bar circuit would move the cursor, but as soon as I plug it in snuggly nothing happens at all, except one time after a reboot the space bar circuit was "stuck" and moved the cursor even though the space bar itself is not engaged at all. But for now I'm setting it aside and get my audio/video mods done on it at least.

    Right now the only 800 keyboards available on ebay are the infamous Stackpole versions that MyAtari is shilling for $100 each, which I will never pay.
     
    Graham likes this.
  12. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    The silver lining to all this is that I have my confidence back that I do know what I'm doing and not making stupid mistakes I'm unaware of when it come to repairs and upgrades, since there is nothing wrong with the old motherboard. And I know I have a working motherboard for my robot project when the time comes to make it mobile. Also that I can trust my own instincts and not to second guess myself just because I can't prove those instincts correct right away, and not start assuming I was wrong and it's something else. This all encourages me to keep trying to move forward with these projects.
     
    Andy Barr and Graham like this.
  13. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Brilliant, You have your MoJo back..
    I had a moment last night or should I say early hours of this morning But I think it was just tiredness, I just couldn't work out why the CPC I was working on worked one moment and not the next, turned out it was the Main PSU connection to the Video harness before it plugged into the back of the CPC, if I rotated the plug it would work a bit further and it failed. Strangely Most of the time you could see a voltage, but as soon as loaded couldn't provide any current..
     
  14. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    Well, I spent about an hour working on the keyboard, and only made it worse where now the system crashes when I plug it in. So, I'm going to have to desolder and completely disassemble it and rebuild it from scratch, while hoping I find a Mitsumi keyboard for a reasonable price in the mean time so I don't have to depend on my success in a rebuild. But I started on more upgrades for the 800 which is going well so far. Pictures and explanations will be in my hardware blog soon, maybe by the time this has been read.
     
    Graham likes this.
  15. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Hi Matt
    How about using a TK-II with a PS/2 keyboard as a temporary solution, that way it's still usable and you can still check each of your upgrades.
    2020-10-12 15.15.31.jpg
    I can confirm it fits in an 800, and will even fit with a PokeyMAX board on top, as I've just checked.
    I know it's not original but it may help you, only just finished putting it together, and I've not programmed the PIC chip yet just about to. If you would like it, let me know and drop me your Home address on a PM and I'll get it sent out to you.
    I am however away for a few days tomorrow onward so best replie as soon as; so I can get Pam to send it in the morning.
     
    Andy Barr likes this.
  16. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    If it requires a PS/2 keyboard I don't have one right now, only USB, unless you can use an adapter, but then I'd have to get one of those too. Is there more to it than shown? I see a bunch of menacing pins that need to be hooked up to something...I have been hard at work all day and I'm too tired to care atm, anyway. We can just wait until you are back to see about this, but thanks...off to go rest now...
     
    Andy Barr and Graham like this.
  17. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Fair enough fella get some zzZZZZZZ's
    It will only work with a PS/2 keyboard, and I included the PS/2 socket and Wiring harness needed to get it running. some are programming pins for the micro, plus additional pins if you wanted to use the keyboard as a joystick, Plus there are some other functions such as non locking toggling of pins, to control things directly from a PC keyboard
    if you get a chance have a look here.
    https://ataribits.weebly.com/tk-ii.html
    It's about half way down the Pokey Piggyback. It has software version 2.5J but I can change that to 2.4 easily. Just let me know if you want to give it a try sometime, as PS/2 keyboards tend to be really cheap to buy, P.S I'm going to try a USB version at some point, this is writtedn on an AVR microprocessor rather than PIC.
     
    Andy Barr likes this.
  18. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    I'm back after a nap for a few hours. I do think I might have one PS/2 keyboard left, after having some time to sleep on it. Or it could be a PS/1 keyboard with the larger plug, but if that's the case I do have an adapter. Actually, I'll be back in a minute, going to go check on that keyboard, it's still in storage, but that's organized now...

    ...O.k., I'm back, and I do have a PS/2 keyboard...it's made by Digital. It needs a good cleaning, but I bet it works. I can try it out on my PC which still has PS/2 mouse & keyboard inputs. The last of what was once a plethora...

    20201012_195101.jpg 20201012_195118.jpg 20201012_195137.jpg

    I'll PM my address in case there is still time...
     
    Andy Barr likes this.
  19. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Hi Matt
    Yep intime just going to the Post Office now.
     
    Andy Barr and M.D.Baker like this.
  20. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    My keyboard is ALIVE!

    Yep, it is, and of course it was a very simple issue and fix, but it sabotaged the works! My bane for months. Sorry @Graham , to have you send off the TK-II to me that I don't need before it even arrives! I'll send it back to you in short order. And thank you.

    So, it turns out that it was a short in the space bar brush mechanism making it act as if the space bar were depressed constantly, and my guess as to why it froze the entire keyboard instead of just moving the cursor along is that being depressed from power-up and through the boot-strapping process that it just didn't react like the space bar being held down, but just froze the keyboard.

    It was one of the teeth/legs of the small metal brushes under the key cap that make contact when depressed. It had broken off the brush and jammed itself in between where it shorted the key. The only reason I found it was because I started to disassemble the entire keyboard, removing the caps first, then I turned it over and started desoldering the space bar. Then I turned it over to look down in the space bar's key housing to see if the brushes could be removed with tweezers (No, it's all one piece), and that's when I noticed. So I removed the offending object and tested the keyboard and it works!

    So, if you have been following my hardware hacking blog, you know I've completed all my upgrades and mods for the 800, for now. I'll enjoy it for a while, while I work on my 1200XL. Once the 1200XL is fixed, by then I should have the Turbo Freezer, multi-PIA board and maybe even the Sophia 2 in my possession and do another round of upgrades to the 800. But not until I have a back-up Atari working will I ever even do the simplist mods on either machine in the future.
     
    Andy Barr likes this.
  21. by Andy Barr
    Andy Barr

    Andy Barr Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    GREAT WORK, chaps - well in, Matt, solving the short and super support from Graham there. Nice one, fellas. Onwards and upwards...
     
  22. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4


    That's Great news Matt, I'm pleased you persevered with the keyboard, and just one of those things as to the fault.
    Why don’t you try out the TK-II
    I don’t expect you to use it over and above any standard keyboard, however for those few times doing repairs, the AKI I’ve used a few times, that and a board from Tf_hh that plugs into where the ribbon cables on 65/130XE. 600/800XL’s however I think its a bit ‘thick’ so if Pokey is in a socket I use one of these, rather than damage the connector on the Mainboard.

    Seriously no need to return, I made four others J
     
    M.D.Baker likes this.
  23. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    2
    Well thank you very much @Graham , I will keep it and use it for "emergencies" if any more of my Atari keyboards go bad.
     
  24. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    4

Share This Page