Jump to content

ATARI 130XE Problems Thread


Recommended Posts

Hi Folks,


as my start into that forum i cam directly with the problem and questions on a defect of an 130XE that i never saw befor. I hope somebody can halp me or give me a little hint were i can search to solve this kind of problem.

okay whats the problem on that special machine. It seams to work fine. it starts, it runs basic, but....the memorytest shows some strange blocks i never seen before on those machines. The short (with Basic loaded) and the long (without Basic loaded) Memorytest show 40/48 blocks of RAM in the first run they all ar white...no red/brown defectiv memoryblocks...but at the and of the first run happens that what i never seen befor in the internal memory test. under the 40/48 RAM blocks were shown 4 bigger brown blocks...see pictures


short memorytest (with Basic loaded):

ROM/RAM Check short (with Basic)

long memorytest (Basic not loaded):

ROM/RAM Check long (without Basic)

becaus this problem is special and because some more 130xe mainboards are sleeping in my cellar waiting to be tested i bought the SysCheck Module from tf_hh i started the machine...the MEM Test runs...tells me everything is fine. ROM Checksumm also is fine.

SysCheck 2

SysCheck 1

in a conversation with tf_hh he told me to boot the machine and try POKE 54017,252. He told me if the machine get stuck it can't be the MMU or the PIA that causes the problem.
this happens after typing POKE 54017,252 and hit return.

POKE 54017,252 Test


this is the Mainboard of the 130XE with that special problem.

Mainbord 130XE and SysCheck Board

does anyone have an idea what the problem can be?
can anyone tell me what program i need to test the upper 64KB of RAM of an 130XE?
i have two other 130XE that run normal (on both i had to exchange some of the RAM-ICs. but they have an other problem to. at first bootup he boots into Basci normaly but the screen is only black and white and the charakters look a little like a checkerboard. After turning of and on again it mostliy boots up normaly with color screen!
Does anyone know what the reason for that problem can be?
Thanx a lot!!!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

The medium sized blocks represent extended Ram above the normal 64K.


POKE 54017,252 will crash the machine, that is switching the OS Rom out.

There's loadable memory tests that give more info than the built in one, in fact a full ATR of them. I don't have it but it's been posted up here multiple times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the four larger blocks at the bottom only show

up when they exist and only on the last ROM OS that

Atari produced which is on all the 64x4 130XE.

It also is included in the XEGS OS but there, one

does not have extended memory and test then defaults

to start over leaving one with the impression that

extended memory was not tested for - it was and it was

not found so the test just repeats at that point.

And that looks just like the old test we all know.


I doubt the extended memory is actually bad.


Since it's so easy to do, what I would do is test

for a weak system clock signal by piggybacking a

74HCT08 on top of the current 74LS08 at U18 and if

you have immediate relief then replace the LS for

the HCT flavor of AND chip at U18.


Slightest change in timing from a weak clock might

be making the extended memory appear to be bad when

it's really not bad at all.


I change these chips every chance I get and never

have a problem while often fixing any number of

quirky issues.

Edited by 1050
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That this is a very late 130XE version can also be concluded by the fact that it uses only 4 RAM chips AND the type of SALLY which is unbranded. One of the Dutch guys here bought a SALLY like that from eBay seller in the U.K. and experienced problems with it.....but since he only bought one he didn't know if it was just the single chip or it might be an issue of all SALLYs of this type (no brand, very large letters and 1980 Atari copyright on it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, found my thread about the © 1980 SALLY:




It was Jurgen from Germany who bought one of those and had problems with it in XL machines....an der it looks like 1050 is on the right track.


Since it's a very late 130XE chances of a bad GTIA are also very high but that shouldn't produce those red extended memory test blocks. Running Ballblazer will show bad/good GTIA right at the intro screen....


Isn't the Syscheck all about testing RAMs on XL and XE machines ?? I would find it very weird if it wouldn't check the extended memory....

Edited by Level42
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Folks,


long story but short answer. Its the upper memory that is defectiv on my machine. But here the story why i am so shure about it.

I red all the comments you all gave me to that particular problem and tried to test everything you told me...the easiest was the test about the bad GTIA...i started Ballblazer from my UltimateCartridge.

Ballblazer Startup Screen



Because it seams to work without any graficerrors - conclusion is "GTIA Okay"!!!


Then i started a lot of different memory testingtools with a lot of different results. Some tell me that memory is defectiv some don't.

Memory Test 1

Memory Test 2

Memory Test 3

Memory Test 4

Memory Test 5

Memory Test 6

Memory Test 7

Memory Test 8

Memory Test 9

Memory Test 10

Memory Test 11

Memory Test 12

Memory Test 13

Memory Test 14

Memory Test 15

Memory Test 16


A lot of memory testing!!! ;-)


But at the and i decided...to solder the DRAMs out and put them into sockets (fu.... i have a lot of sockets but aspecially not the 18 pin ones)...so i did something that i real DON'T like...i REALY REALY DON't like...something i hate.

I "piggybacked" all memory chips with new one...


Piggybacking DRAMs 1


guess what happend....???


Piggybacking DRAMs 3 Memory Testing

Piggybacking DRAMs 5 Memory Testing

Internal memorytest finished without erros! now its time for me to get sockets and than the machine gets new socketed DRAMs tomorrow ;-)
Thanx a lot for your help!!!
Best regards
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Either you are getting old, or I am getting crazy (both are quite possible I guess.....):


Hi Folks,


becaus this problem is special and because some more 130xe mainboards are sleeping in my cellar waiting to be tested i bought the SysCheck Module from tf_hh i started the machine...the MEM Test runs...tells me everything is fine. ROM Checksumm also is fine.






There also was a pic showing the Syscheck 2.

To be honest I am very surprised that it misses bad upper RAM bank on a 130XE....what good is Sys check if it only tests the first bank of XE memory ?

Edited by Level42
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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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