All posts by K


After watching the video a couple times, the Ataribox clearly has a design similar to the classic 2600. I seen a lot of posts on forums speculating it’s an android device, I would doubt it since that would tie it in to Google and force internet connections, and an online store,  and quite honestly I won’t buy it if it was tied to android or something like that.

My guess is that it will play 2600/7800 games and new generation games on carts, but with a modern video/HDMI output since it would be stupid to do an RF channel 3 or 4 type output today. if they went for a all new platform with online stuff then it’s going against the PS and Xbox with no background other then the Atari name, and that’d just be stupid. Atari’s strength is it timeless games, with out that included what’s the point….



What happened to bumper stickers?

Has anybody beside me notice you don’t see many bumper stickers on cars these day?  As a kid in the 1970s and 1980s, I use to love reading bumper stickers on cars.  and put a few on my mother’s car too. (with her approval of course)  They were a record of what people enjoyed, where they’ve traveled and just silly thoughts.  Little colorful personal billboards for all to see.  Some times cover the entire back end of cars.

I personally haven’t had a bumper sticker on my car for about a decade.  The last was a Christian religious (It read “Know Jesus Know Peace”) bumper sticker my mother bought.   We eventually took it off after an incident in a parking lot where an indian woman physically attack my car (my mother was with me at the time), pounding on the wind shield.  My mother figured it had to do with the Christian sticker and wanted it removed.  Needless to say it was an upsetting event for both of us.

But why did people stop putting them on their cars?  Surely most people weren’t faced with some nut case like we were.  Cars today are so dull and boring, they could use some bumper stickers to brighten them up!  I got thinking about this a few days ago when I found a un-used bumper sticker from my favorite radio station growing up.  And even though I’m out of range of  that station where I live now, guess where it’s going soon?  On the back of my Pontiac!  And I will add more as I find stuff I like.




AcuRite weather station misadventure…

weatherWith cold weather finally approaching, I decided to remove the Duracell alkaline batteries from my AcuRite 3-in-1 sensor for my weather station, and replace them with Energizer Lithium batteries which are supposed to stand up to the cold better.   Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Well the physical replacement of the batteries was easy enough,  expect the springs in the battery compartment tend to want to kick the batteries back out.  I find turning the batter once in place a turn or two will get the spring to center better and less likely to pop the battery back out..

When I came back in I discovered the display was not getting any signal.   So I went out with my volt meter and seen plenty of voltage, then I remember the channel switch on the sensor is under the batteries.. and Sure enough, got changed when installing the new batteries.    When I came back in the display for the 3 in 1 was coming back  to life.    That was the easy part…

I also to a Acu-Link Bridge to connect to the AcuRite “My Backyard” website, which in turn relays some of the info to the Weather Underground website .  This is where the problems started..  The websites had stopped updating, the AcuLick was show two 3-in-1 sensors because the change of the channel switch made it see a “different” sensor, so the websites broke because they weren’t getting data from the sensor that they had been..

I had to reset the AcuLink a few times until in finally only showed the 3-in-1 sensor correctly and not the ghost of the accidental switch change.  The My Backyard site got all confused…  and had stalled updating at the time the original batteries had been removed.   I ended up having to deleted all the sensors on the profile, loosing all my weather history saved there, including my rain gauge which is only stored online because I bought the rain gauge separately  in a bundle withe AcuLink bridge with no desktop display for it.   But eventually I got the weather display back, but missing all the history dating back to when I bought the weather station last winter.  I can live with out it, but I’m not impressed on how the My Backyard site works..

I also discovered the updated were no longer going out to Weather Underground because My Backyard decided it was reading from a different sensor that wasn’t authorized to send out data to WU.  So I had to re-enable that also.

So now everything seem to be back to normal, except the internal info webpage of the AcuLink is showing the signal strength of both the 3-in-1 and rain gauge one ‘bar’ less signal then they normally do.. buy that just could be interference.  While I like the AcuRite weather station as a whole, it does have some short comings, especially when it come to the AcuLink and My Backyard products.   Another problem is My Backyard will not send rain gauge info from the stand alone gauge I have out to Weather Underground for some reason..  I can’t understand why they won’t give a option to include something as important in weather as rain to be published out to public website.  I did contact AcuRite tech support about this some time ago, and just got a ‘that’s the way it works‘ type reply.   The only way to get rain info to WU from an AcuRite system is get the 5-in-1 sensor.  Which I found very disapproving when I bought the rain gauge and AcuLink Bridge.

While it’s a nice system, when the day comes to replace it, I will probably go with something else that is easier to do what I want.




TYCO 440×2 Slot Car tear-down and upgrade adventure

Even though the parts got here a month or so ago, today I finally decided to put the new magnets in one of my Tyco 440×2 cars..  it was… an adventure…

First I had to figure out how to get at them, and my conclusion was the motors had to come out, and all the bits connected to it..  I see the one of the magnets had a red dot and the other a white dot, not sure what the mean, I put the one with the red in the right side thinking right for red.  Then the one end of the motor mount slid off, and in the process of putting it back in, broke one of the brushes..  So i took both brush holders out and then put the end back on, but before I could get to the brushes again, I felt the tiny tap on my foot of a brush spring falling to the floor.  All I can say is thank God for super bright LED flashlights.  the broken brush is riding in the brush-holder and is staying in place..

So on to putting the motor back in the frame, and i of course got both pickup springs backwards and bent, so I had to put the more out again and fix them..  Then final got the pickups and drive tires back on, and surprise, it still actually runs

I also put on new jel craw tires.  Over all it is a bit faster, but not anything amazing and when it breaks free in a corner it real goes flying now.  But it was a adventure.    I can see putting better tires on my other cars, but probably not the magnets, I was kind of hoping for foot to the fire wall in the corners, but that didn’t happens, but i  can do the corners faster.  I know then next time I order parts I should get new springs and brushes for it,, and probably lost of spares.

So that’s my babbling share for today.  How did your first magnet install/tear down go?

Whirley Salt and Pepper and rant about eBay

OK, it’s been a while since I last posted to the blog, mainly because posting on Twitter has been enough for the most part.  But to today I’m going to get a bit more long winded the 140 letters.

Today I got in the mail my second Whirley Salt and Pepper combination shaker.  While my collecting is mainly aimed at Atari and hotel stuff, these cute combo units fit in because they remind me of the one mom bought on one of the trips to Florida when I was a kid.   They use to sell them in hotel gift shops.

Whirley Salt and Pepper

I have no idea what ever happened to the original one.  My guess is maybe it wore out and mom got rid of it at some point.   So  part of my collecting was to find another one because it was one of the  things I really wanted to have.   At first I didn’t even know what they were called or who made them, but some online searching led me to the Whirley brand then it was just a matter of watching for them.


The first one I bought a few months ago was indicated as “used” on the listing, and has no markings on it, and it’s in great shape.  Many I’ve seen for sale are on the grungy side or rusted, or worse, the seller used the Global Shipping program on eBay which totally rips off the buyer.  They cause a least a week delay (usually more) in getting it, and add extra handling fees and adds taxes that would not be charged if the seller would just ship direct to Canada.   I don’t know what eBay tells the US sellers, but it is simple to mail an item directly to Canada from the US.  Just address and mail like any other package, the only difference is they might have to add a customs label to the outside of the package.    Even if you’ve never filled one out before you should be able to do it in well under a minute.

To add injury to insult, the Global Shipping people open your packages and snoop, and then repack them in something else smaller if they can with less packing material to save money.  I know this first hand as a vintage TRS-80 Expansion Interface I bought last winter was badly damaged due to their incompetence.  These devices are very scarce now, and rarely come up for sale and the idiots miss handling  and poor  packaging resulted in it being irreparably damage.

So even though this new Whirley S&P shaker came via the GSP, it will be the last time I buy anything that way.  Yes, they opened the package by slashing it with a knife and luckily the seller put it in an extra box that took the damage.  I knew it was risk, but I wanted this one, but now I close any eBay listing the show the Global Shipping stuff, it’s just not worth the risk and extra cost.  If you don’t belive me, look on Youtube or the AtariAge forums, there are many people on that that have has stuff destroyed because of Global Shipping Program.

Ok, back the the salt & pepper shaker.. It’s was listed as new, and shows no sign of use, so I’m very happy with the item itself.  In fact the plan is to put it to use in the kitchen 🙂  I gave it a good washing and will let it dry overnight and tomorrow it gets filled for the first time and will be a daily reminder of a simpler time.

And odds are, I’ll probably buy more of these, if the seller isn’t using GSP…





yes, I’m still alive…

Ok, I know I haven’t posted on here in ages, so I’m doing a quick post just to do it.  So why haven’t I been posting?  Back in April I hurt my arm cleaning an 2600 Jr.  I know that sounds weird, it needed heavy duty cleaning due to the abuse from it’s previous owner, and I literately had to take it apart and scrub it out and in the process I had to wash the main board with dish soap and water and shook the water off, and some how in the process pulled, ripped or whatever something in my right arm.  I’ve pretty much been in pain from that ever since.  It improved a bit but seems to get worse when i use my arm too much, including using Atari joystick 😦   I have been to the doctor about it, and was suppose to be referred to a specialist for tests, but for what ever reason that never happened.  And last I called the doc’s office they couldn’t give me a reason why…

So the repair and cleaning that 2600 Jr,  really messed me up and  made it hard at best to do anything on the Atari that uses a joystick.  I do have some paddle games to play, but it took the fun out of it.  Right now I’m getting back in to flight sims on the PC and just got a yoke for that instead of using a joystick.  So maybe I’ll start posting about flight sims..  Who knows..

I plan on keeping my Atari stuff.. I have some nice games in my collection, and it’s not like there’s a huge dollar value there that I can’t afford to keep them.  I tried to get more active on the ham radio again, but just came to the conclusion it’s just not my priority and not a good fit for me.

I use to be really into flights sims ten years of so ago, I even went as far as to take some real flying lessons.  I have a copy of Flight Simulator Gold ordered and hoping it’ll show up soon.  So that’s a semi brief what’s going on..



Close call cleaning a Slik Stik…

I’m posting this quick  as warning to anybody thinking about cleaning a Slik Stik joystick.

I bought one a while back and put it aside being a bit grungy until i could clean it (two months and counting and still suffering for the hurt right arm..)


I took it apart and gave it a good wash in the kitchen sink in dish soap..  Then went to dry it and decided to use contact cleaner (KLEENS-IT) to get the moisture out of the electrical parts.


BAD BAD VERY BAD IDEA!  It ATTACKED the plastic big time!  I could see it melting, the orange fire button was gooing to the black.. I ran with it to the sink again and flushed it with more hot soaking water and things settled down.  I’ve done this to other sticks with no problem, but the Slik Stik must use some soft plastic.  So Just wanted to post it fast.


The stick is drying now, and hopefully no harm done it will be helping me save the galaxy soon.