1. Not old. Vintage. :)

retiring the brick

Discussion in 'SIG: Atari 8-Bit Hardware' started by cykurtz, Apr 1, 2024.

  1. by cykurtz

    cykurtz Galley Slave

    Blog Posts:
    I've seen warnings(on youtube, mostly) about the stock atari 5v power supplies. You know that brick that lives under your desk.These things are over 40 years old and when they go bad they will put out more than the 5 volts your atari 800xl requires and can take out your computer. You won't notice until one day you're hacking away and you say, "Hey, what's that smell?"

    I have two of these things. They were putting out 7 volts and 9 volts. I don't know how much voltage my atari 800xl can stand, but I've got dozens of power supplies, so there's no need to take a chance. I sorted through my power supplies and settled on this one:


    It only took me a few minutes to wire it up, and this thing is putting out a rock solid 5 volts. With the 800xl on, and idling in basic for about the last 45 minutes, the new power supply is lukewarm.

    Don't let your atari get fried while you have a safe(r) power supply in your junk drawer. Also, you can give your significant other the 'See, that's why I keep all this stuff' talk.

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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2024
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  2. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine Captain

    Blog Posts:
    Some of the Atari made PSU's are ok, but the pyramid style one's can be a nightmare, as many an Atari owner has found out. So yes, very sound advice Cy, every owner who knows how to use a multimeter should have a quick check on a semiregular period. If it's giving out the wrong voltage, ESPECIALLY if it's higher by more than half a volt really should change that PSU. .5V isn't going to damage the Atari, but it implies the voltage is drifting, and that caps inside are going bad, either way, not worth a chance as you say if you have spares.

    There's so many cheap 5V DC (centre pin positive) PSU's out there for not a lot of money, or you can do the USB variation and power it from one of those cables. Try and avoid buying unknown, often Chinese made PSU's, they are EXTREMELY cheaply made, with as few components as possible. Often they are already hot giving out enough voltage (or lots more) and are usually NOT the amp rating they say you can draw..(Easy sign of that, they get VERY hot and don't smell too good. Just recently my phone fast charger cooked itself, it was the genuine product that came with the phone, thus showing that even the 'good' stuff is prone...So look after your 40 plus year old gear..

    PS, love the keeping stuff excuse for the other half...

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  3. by nysavant

    nysavant Chief Officer

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    I use a couple of the USB power cables on my 800XL's and they are a great cheap alternative.

    (But I also still keep the old brick psu's, just on case...)
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  4. by Andy Barr
    Andy Barr

    Andy Barr Captain

    Blog Posts:
    Top tip, buddy.

    As you say, it helps earn us a few brownie points too with "her that must be obeyed" so that other "spares" can be maintained & further assimilated towards the goal of saving a few pennies to go towards "house things".... whatever they may be.... :)
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