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Atari 1010 tune-up/repair


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Here's a few suggestions for solving problems if your tape programs don't load. This is a Hong Kong version of the 1010. A chance purchase from eBay.

I'll skip the story line for later....

First up ,test as is. Poor loading,  most tapes didn't get past a few strings and crashed.  BTW you assume that it passed the power up , yes but more on that later.

Clean the head, it was very clean to start So no difference.

Change the belts, two on this model, as to much is already said on the forum on sourcing belts, I'll add a photo as to what I used.

Changed the main drive belt, fairly easy on this model. The other is for the tape counter, left as is.

Now an improvement I've got the states and capital tape to almost fully load.

Clean the head again, pinch roller and capstan.

Not too much progress, breaktime and research.

Read up in the Atari service manual found online for the 1010 there are some service procedures and testing, if you have the test tape and equipment etc. Like I'm sure someone does? Lol


Next day, (you can rack up some time waiting for the loads) !!! Clean everything again and recheck belts, I diddled around fixing the tape counter, the button wouldn't release after you press it. A bit of clean up and slight sanding of the slide mechanism with a spot of WD40. I'm running the unit less the top cover, so the tape and mechanism is visible. So there's some progress. Also for the heck of it I try a trick that I used to revive old diskettes as a last resort. Clean the media. With a swab and a bit of IPA (not the beer) advance and rewind the tape while holding the swab on the cassette tape,easy to access with the top of the recorder removed

Not hardly any residue but did improve the load on some.

Noting from the Atari service there is a speed adjustment if you have a scope and test tape.

With a marker, I noted the position of the pot. Again easy to access with  the top removef. Tweaked it up slightly above the original setting.



Now a marked improvement, I keep track of the tape counter when it crashed, the load times are getting longer. There are a few more adjustments of the speed control pot to find the sweet spot. States and capitals tape fully loads. Just for the heck of it I pull apart the main board and remove the capstan/pulley and clean and lubricate.

All in all more tapes load. Fairly reliable as I move on to the longer non basic programs. Even the tape that was in the recorder when I received it from the seller works.

So now testing continues, that was the reason for getting a workable tape drive. Most ppl inquire why go with tapes at all when the new sio files are available to download. Soon I plan to offer the tapes for sale and some of the older titles, I guess all of them are old, it would be nice to know they work, and the challenge of bringing equipment and software back to life.

As far as the belt(s) replacements, I sourced some assorted belts in two widths, one assortment flat style and one square. It used to be fairly easy to source belts during the VCR days, used to have several styles available and I went the route of measuring and ordering each belt for a reel to reel, but it gets expensive. One belt assortment from Ali Express and the other from eBay, turns out they were from the same factory both sources.


One other note on the power up, it worked no problem at first,as far as power indication, but by a coincidence, when during testing tapes, smoke rose from the diode rectifier set, quickly unplugged, and a quick check of the power supply, one of my old ones, no output. Luckily, I had another and the 1010 powered up no problem.






Edited by pmetro
clarification,added photo, additional info
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