New Idea, Thank You, and Rambling

I was thinking of posting something new, a “What’s on my bench” today videos.  Nothing fancy or edited, just snippets of what I am working on.  Some of the projects are from patrons, but some will be my own projects, once I clear out my backlog.  If anyone out there would like me to do a tear down or evaluation of a system, even if no modifications are needed, or you just want to donate something to learn more about how it works, let me know.

In the works:

Game.com audio repair (almost complete, too many damn screws).  I need to do a wrap up video on that one. (patron)

Atari 7800 and Colecovision S-video and Audio out modifications.  My first Colecovision mod, I have an Adam, but never worked on a Coleco.  My 4th(?) 7800 so far. (patron)

Game.com Pocket Pro Teardown. (patron and my curiosity)

Intellevision repair, video out mod.  (Donated by Alan of Alan 9000 fame.  Thanks Alan!)

Game.com back light experiment. (Mine)

Repair my Adam.  (Mine)

Build an ambidextrous arcade stick with quick orientation change. (Mine, inspired by a game night with my brother.)

Game.com screen replace with something better(Mine/Patron.  Not sure if this will work.)

And I have a whole bookshelf full of little projects to work on.  Giving me a goal will be good for my mental health and healing after a very difficult year.

I again want to thank all of my patrons who trust me with their repairs and modifications. James, Brandon, Brian, Phil, Cody, and anyone else I forgot in my inbox, thank you again for all of your kind words, patience, and support.

I don’t do this for the money, I do it for the love of repairing these old systems to better than new.  The money is nice, don’t get me wrong, but I try to price everything fairly, so I am not taking business away from folks who do this for a living.  Professionally, I am an engineer with over 20 years of experience and I do this to relax and learn, and pay for my hobbies, not to put food on the table.  I would hate to undercut someone who depends on repair incomes.  As you can tell, I specialize in the oddballs and systems long forgotten, like the 5200. Game.com, Colecovision, etc. I suppose I could make custom GameBoy advances and whatnot, but there are a lot of other modders out there who will do that day in and day out and that would be too much like work.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to 2019!

 

 

 

5200 Update

I found some errors with my existing Atari 5200 page.

I updated the page and schematic, well, I completely redrew the schematic in KiCad.

If you ever need a great, open source and free electronics schematic and PCB layout program, KiCad is the best I have ever used and it is cross platform, which is important to me.  I am a Linux user at home, so I really need something that works on my Ubuntu machine.

 

Father Passing

On June 28th, my dad passed away.  His funeral was on July 2nd, 2018.  I will be taking a little time off before getting back into repairs/mods.  I have e-mailed all of my current customers and will let everyone know when I will be starting up again.  That last 7 weeks have been really hard on me and my family, and I thank everyone for your patience.  Rest assured, all of your hardware is being safely stored.  I find I make too many mistakes with all of this grief, so I want to have a steady set of hands and clear mind before I start again.

 

-David Nelson

 

Sad news

6 weeks ago, my mother in law passed away, today, June 23-24, 2018, my father suffered a heart attack.  He is on a respirator in the hospital, with the doctors and nurses doing everything they can to keep him alive and avoid any more brain damage.  I saw him, after waiting 10 hours.  I wish I didn’t have to see him that way.  While I was waiting, I tried to let my customers know that projects will be delayed, but if I missed you, please know that be back at working on this hobby that I love.  With the passing of my mother in law, working on these projects really helped me forget about the sadness a while, and no matter what happens, I will continue on.  Please be patient and all of your hardware is safely stored until I take care of my family. Any thoughts, well wishes, and prayers for my father, Ronald, will be deeply appreciated.

With deepest sincerity,

David Nelson

The cost of a trade war

As many of you know, there is almost certainly going to be a trade war with China, with a 25% tariff on Chinese electronics coming into the United States being proposed.  If this comes to pass, I will be forced to increase prices on nearly all the of parts used with my modifications.  Nearly all of the parts, with the exception of capacitors, come from China.  I charge cost pricing on all parts used, so any increase will reflected in the new price.  I do not pad my parts costs, so I can not absorb this additional cost and am forced to pass it on to my loyal customers.  For that, I am very frustrated.  If I have to do this, I am sure 1,000 other modders out there will have to do the same.  It truly is a shame.

I will attempt to update prices as they change, I may have to send an updated invoice for any order placed, which will only reflect my parts cost, the cost of labor will remain the same.  

I just hope these foolish actions don’t stall the economy as a whole and lead to another Great Recession.

-David Nelson