Playing around with an Atari 800XL
My “RetroPie” days of emulating old games on the Raspberry Pi are over - from now on, I can play the real thing.
I was given a friend’s old family computer, an Atari 800XL in 2011. They still had all the parts, except the custom molded cable that connects the floppy drive to the unit.
5 years to the month, I finally got around to ordering a cable from a company in California that still has pretty much everything Atari ever made in stock: http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/
I picked up a Donkey Kong cartridge (pictured) along with my cable order (the available, never released Bruce Lee prototype cartridges exceeded my budget).
As I don’t have a TV, I connected it to a PC with a Hauppage TV card. As I don’t have the correct cables, I only get a black and white picture (I don’t have a composite cable, and the brightness and colour signals are split). Also, Donkey Kong is unplayable with this setup, as the TV card adds a significant lag (eg: Mario jumps half a second after you jump).
In another post, I’ll write up how I hacked up one of the floppy cables and built an Atari floppy emulator with an Arduino, so that I can download Atari software from the Internet and load it off an SD card: