2013 Retrochallenge Summer Event, Retrochallenge

2013 Retrochallenge Summer Event – Post 02

(This is part two of the chronicle of my 2013 Retrochallenge Summer Event submission. Challenge #1 = Learn Italian using an Atari 400. Challenge #2 = Interface a Wii controller to an Apple IIe. The mediocrity starts here.)

Challenge #1, Snag #1

I loaded tape #1 into the cassette drive. The tape had been streamed to the end of side 1 by the previous owner so it needed to be rewound. I hit the “REWIND” button on the 410 tape drive and could hear a whirring noise within its bowels but no activity in the little plastic tape window. No spindle movement. This was supposed to be the easy challenge.

A quick search revealed the 410 is susceptible to belt failure. I dismantled the drive and found a very weak belt and the infamous 410 kink where the belt deformed around the very small drive wheel.

Atari-410-Belts-Annotated

After searching forums and eBay, I decided to contact Best Electronics and glad I did. Not only did they have a set of replacement belts for the 410 in stock, they also had several 800XL parts I’d been wanting for some time. And they were able to get it to me in just a few days.

So, I’ve replaced just the main drive belt. The small counter belt seemed fine and I stripped a stubborn Philips screw trying reach the third belt. Thankfully, replacing the main drive belt was sufficient to get the 410 working again.

Back in business.