Jump to content
IGNORED

Atari 800 with Encore Video Productions Info Display System


Savetz
 Share

Recommended Posts

I needed an Atari 800 for a project this morning, so went down to the basement to grab one. I've had this machine for years but don't think I've powered it on before. Don't remember where I got it.

 

It has a sticker from Encore Video Productions (Myrtle Beach SC) where the Atari 800 logo should be. And an unusual jack added to the back. But the most interesting thing is when you start it, you don't get MEMO PAD; you get:

 

INFORMATION DISPLAY SYSTEM

By Dean Wittmann and James Marshburn

for ENSIGN COMMUNICATIONS

 

It appears to be a system for displaying messages on a TV, for instance at a TV station.

post-803-0-91080600-1410021371_thumb.jpg

post-803-0-80715000-1410021382_thumb.jpg

post-803-0-68986500-1410021390_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time to tear that puppy open! That output jack may interface with a genlock device for TV broadcast. I'd love to see pics of the internals and the obviously-custom ROM they've installed. It'd be fun to get a hex dump and take a look at what they've done there. That startup screen looks like maybe they've installed some kind of real-time clock as well.

Does the system run carts normally? Boot DOS? Etc.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The machine RAM/ROM area contains two 16K cards, a CO12989 REV E personality card, and as expected, a custom ROM card. Pictures of that are attached. I don't really know what I'm looking at here, although . . . aren't those EEPROMS that will lose their data if left out in the light? (I took the pix then got them back in the dark Atari quickly.)

 

Also: how does one dump the ROM?

 

 

post-803-0-71314400-1410100416_thumb.jpg

post-803-0-34937000-1410100434_thumb.jpg

post-803-0-50663700-1410100445_thumb.jpg

post-803-0-75556800-1410100464_thumb.jpg

post-803-0-61442200-1410100478_thumb.jpg

post-803-0-47581400-1410100488_thumb.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tape over those windows.

 

8 x 2716 should = 16K worth of Eproms.

Does the Eprom board occupy a Ram slot? It could be that it's a standard OS and the Eprom board acts as a cartridge unless overridden by a normal cart.

 

If you can't boot Dos with it in order to do a dump (Basic won't help as it'd overlay at least the last 8K) you might be able to put the Eprom in the second Ram slot and run with just 16K, then you could probably boot Dos and write out area $4000 - $7FFF.

Edited by Rybags
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 x 2716 should = 16K worth of Eproms.

Does the Eprom board occupy a Ram slot? It could be that it's a standard OS and the Eprom board acts as a cartridge unless overridden by a normal cart.

 

If you can't boot Dos with it in order to do a dump (Basic won't help as it'd overlay at least the last 8K) you might be able to put the Eprom in the second Ram slot and run with just 16K, then you could probably boot Dos and write out area $4000 - $7FFF.

 

 

The Eprom board is in the farthest-from-the-keyboard slot, where I think the Atari ROM card usually goes.

 

No, I can't boot DOS. . . unless I can cheat by using a SpartaDOS X cart?

 

If I put the EPROM card in the second RAM slot, the machine would have no ROM. Don't think I have an extra ROM card around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I moved the card, then I could boot to DOS (yay) and do the binary save. But I don't think it worked, or I didn't do it right.

 

I used DOS 2.0S to do:

 

Binary Save -> ENCORE2,4000,7FFF

 

seemed to work but if I try to binary load the file, I get ERROR 164.

 

When I try to export the file using Atari800MacX, it complains the file is corrupt.

 

An ATR file containing the file is attached… Did I do it wrong? Is the data there?

 

(SmartDOS is on that disk, but yes I used Atari DOS to save the file.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

here it is.

 

I used Atari800MacX's sector editor to examine your .ATR and while I can't read the raw hex, the ATASCII equivalents show it is indeed a custom title generator and emulator program for TV display. Very interesting stuff. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should preserve those roms if you can... do you have an EPROM programmer to read them? Make sure to cover those windows or else you won't have anything left to preserve!

 

Also the schematic would be cool, the back part is easy that photo graph tells all. but only the top part needs to be photograph better to see all traces.

To photograph better the top part the eproms should be removed they are on a socket

 

Eprom burners are cheap on ebay or maybe someone close v

can help you where are you located.

 

The small board with the connector need to be photographed aswell and the wires where they are soldered then you got everything preserved.

 

It's a real cool find, never saw this thing but that's just nice history. Take care of that machine...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...