I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

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Pete Fighter II
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I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by Pete Fighter II » Thu May 31, 2018 8:59 pm

Hi, I was recommended this forum via a comment on a YouTube video.

Recently I was given an Acorn Electron via Freecycle, which was an awesome surprise as I didn't know what I was getting until I had it home. But when I set it up I ran into two problems, the first being that the cassette deck was a goner, it would fast forward and rewind, but not play. No problem there, easily rectifiable. But the machine itself would glitch up as soon as it booted up, where there should be some form of command prompt from what I can gather, there was just the words "Acorn Electr" followed by a few symbols such as @ signs, etc, and the screen was littered with white dots. I couldn't type anything, the screen was frozen this way.

I have the system in a bin bag, but before throwing it out I thought I'd see if this was an easy fix. I'd love a go on Sphinx Adventure, to bring back memories of my Dad.

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daveejhitchins
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by daveejhitchins » Thu May 31, 2018 9:21 pm

Electrons don’t die [-X

It’s late so I’ll post tomorrow with some things to try. In the mean time, if you could post some photos of what you’re describing, please - would be a help.

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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davidb
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by davidb » Thu May 31, 2018 9:24 pm

Hi there! I was the one who invited you here. :) Feel free to post an introduction in the introduce yourself forum. We like to hear how people got here and what other retro kit they might have. :)

Your Electron doesn't sound as bad as I had imagined. It looks like the experts will be giving you some troubleshooting tips, but it doesn't sound to me like the machine is completely gone if it gets as far as almost printing the start-up banner.

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1024MAK
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by 1024MAK » Thu May 31, 2018 10:00 pm

It sounds like there is either a poor connection on the ULA chip/socket pins, or a problem with one of the RAM chips.
Both of these problems can normally be fixed.

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
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Elminster
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by Elminster » Thu May 31, 2018 10:11 pm

It is even easier to fix if you are near the ABUG south group hacker knees up this weekend you could drop it in, Camberly I think it is, I should probably check as I need to drive there on Saturday.

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daveejhitchins
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by daveejhitchins » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:56 am

Yes, as stated above - the probable cause is the ULA. Of course, if you are near the ABUG South meeting pop along and all will, probably, be sorted - If not then you need to open your Electron and, in the first instance, just press-down on the ULA firmly whilst you switch-on (it's the big square IC in a socket). If you see an improvement then a removal and clean of the ULA will, most likely, solve your problem - We'll describe how to remove and clean the ULA once we have some feedback from you.

One step at a time . . .

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

duikkie
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by duikkie » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:09 am

why do people throw away thing ?

open your electron , maybe there is a BUG inside :shock: :lol:

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geraldholdsworth
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by geraldholdsworth » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:43 am

Pete Fighter II wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:59 pm
I have the system in a bin bag, but before throwing it out I thought I'd see if this was an easy fix.
Never throw out an old computer, no matter how bad a state it is in. Something like that is always valuable to someone.
Gerald Holdsworth
Repton Resource Page
www.reptonresourcepage.co.uk

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daveejhitchins
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by daveejhitchins » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:30 am

geraldholdsworth wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:43 am
Pete Fighter II wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:59 pm
I have the system in a bin bag, but before throwing it out I thought I'd see if this was an easy fix.
Never throw out an old computer, no matter how bad a state it is in. Something like that is always valuable to someone.
Yes, at worst it would only cost you the postage to have it fixed, if we can't do that remotely!

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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1024MAK
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Re: I was given an Electron, but is it dead?

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:38 pm

Also, even if the owner decides not to get it repaired, it can be a source of spares to keep other machines running.

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

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