01 May 2007

Re: Any good finds lately?

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

In article <0AbZh.1532$VE.1164@newsfe12.lga>, T. Rivet wrote:
>Managed to hit the flea market and a few rummage sales today, but didn't
>see a thing worthwhile.

>Not a game related siting at the yard sales, completely bone dry.

>Anyone else having any luck? Or has it dried up everywhere?

My neighborhood had a yard sale this Saturday. I found an Atari Ultra Pong in the box with instructions. A check of the battery compartment revealed batteries which weren't leaking, but it looked like there might have been some leak slightly once before. In general, the console was in good shape. I haven't taken the time to test it yet. This is my first Ultra Pong. Oh, and I paid $5. (It was marked $20.)

The box is in good shape except for the packing tape used once to seal one end. Unfortunately, it appears someone ripped some of it off at one time, leaving a white gash in the front. :-( The instructions would be in good shape if they hadn't been all crumpled up from the console being put in on top of them.

[I posted a followup on 24 May 2007.]

Sorry to follow up on my own post, but it's actually an Atari Ultra Pong Doubles. Unfortunately, it's missing two of the four paddles. But the good news is that it does work. It was kind of odd, though. When I first started testing it, there was no sound. As me and my sons played it, though, the sound started working.

Which leads me off on a tangent. Many "pong" consoles have their own speaker rather than using the televisions. Why is this? Was it really cheaper to include a speaker in the console rather than the circuitry to send both video *and* audio to the television? And how hard is it to convert a "pong" to work directly with modern TVs with separate audio/video inputs?

[J. T. August answered my question.]

"I can go to any electronics surplus store and buy little cone speakers under $1 each. The circuits to produce the audio channel(s) of an r/f signal are several, and have to be soldiered into the r/f circuit, making it noticeably more complicated. So yes, it was easier and cheaper to just include an internal speaker."

14 April 2007

Brag: Turbo board game

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

Today was half-price day at the local kids' sale. For those without kids, this is basically a giant consignment sale. A small group rents a space for a month, takes in pre-priced items from contributors, has volunteers help sort them and set up, and so on. The primary seller is kids' clothing, but there are also toys, books, baby items, etc.

Since most items come from parents of kids ages 0-12, it's usually not a hot spot to find classic video game stuff, although often there's some more modern games. Today I scored a 1982 Turbo board game in great shape and complete for $2. I didn't have this one, so it was a nice find.

I also picked up one of those Ms. Pac-Man TV Games by Jakks Pacific for $2. Someone had left the batteries in it until they leaked -- I didn't think these things had been around long enough for that to happen(!) -- but some Q-tips and vinegar took care of that. It works fine. This is the first of the arcade-based TV Games plug-and-plays I've spent any time playing. It's old news, but they did an okay job on it. The controls obviously aren't up to arcade standards, but the games are close enough to the real thing that the differences just nag at you a bit. (As opposed to the whole thing being so obviously something like an NES-on-a-chip that you want to retch.) Rotating the joystick to steer in Pole Position worked better than I thought it would.

It's been a long time. Nice to find something "new" again.