When were the last STs really made?

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When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:11 pm

Hope this is the right place to post.

I've got what I believed for a long time one of the last STs manufactured, a 1040STE bought from Silica in the UK in June 1994. ST Format had an article around 1993 saying that Atari were going to make one last batch of 10,000 STEs and I've always reckoned my STE was from that batch. Particularly because the label on the bottom is a pretty rubbishy laser-printed sticker rather than the glossy grey one I've seen on every other ST, it just felt like the sort of thing that a swansong manufacturing run would have, get it out the door cheaply, job done, sort of thing. Has anyone else seen a sticker like that before? Took a look inside the machine today and in fact it seems it was put together around late 1991 (all the Atari chips and the YM2149 are branded with numbers like 9135, 9142, etc.). (Dio's post here suggests an ST can be pretty reliably dated as such: http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 22#p229122) Does anyone know whether the last batch were truly freshly-manufactured machines, or refurbished returns?

Attached is a photo of the sticker on the bottom of the STE for curiosity's sake, maybe someone can decode the year from the serial number.

(I'm certain that my original 520STFM had been old stock lying around. Bought in March 1990 with the Power Pack bundle, it had TOS 1.02. TOS 1.04 had been around for about a year by then. Was it usual for Atari to have machines hanging around for a year before they sold?)

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:14 pm

Image

(also, apologies for the duplicate posts, things were playing up a bit when I made the topic)

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby troed » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:01 pm

Does that sticker imply a universal 100V-240V PSU?

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby Hippy Dave » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:41 pm

troed wrote:Does that sticker imply a universal 100V-240V PSU?

A specification that has 2 fuses implies a switch selectable two range PSU,
not a universal supply.
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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby troed » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:47 pm

Hippy Dave wrote:
troed wrote:Does that sticker imply a universal 100V-240V PSU?

A specification that has 2 fuses implies a switch selectable two range PSU,
not a universal supply.


Sorry, that's what I meant. I've never seen an STE with a PSU that could be set to either 110V or 220V.

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby Zogging Hell » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:50 pm

junosix wrote:Hope this is the right place to post.

I've got what I believed for a long time one of the last STs manufactured, a 1040STE bought from Silica in the UK in June 1994. ST Format had an article around 1993 saying that Atari were going to make one last batch of 10,000 STEs and I've always reckoned my STE was from that batch. Particularly because the label on the bottom is a pretty rubbishy laser-printed sticker rather than the glossy grey one I've seen on every other ST, it just felt like the sort of thing that a swansong manufacturing run would have, get it out the door cheaply, job done, sort of thing. Has anyone else seen a sticker like that before? Took a look inside the machine today and in fact it seems it was put together around late 1991 (all the Atari chips and the YM2149 are branded with numbers like 9135, 9142, etc.). (Dio's post here suggests an ST can be pretty reliably dated as such: http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 22#p229122) Does anyone know whether the last batch were truly freshly-manufactured machines, or refurbished returns?

Attached is a photo of the sticker on the bottom of the STE for curiosity's sake, maybe someone can decode the year from the serial number.

(I'm certain that my original 520STFM had been old stock lying around. Bought in March 1990 with the Power Pack bundle, it had TOS 1.02. TOS 1.04 had been around for about a year by then. Was it usual for Atari to have machines hanging around for a year before they sold?)


Wasn't the STFM the last ST to be produced, made up with loads of spare parts Atari had lying about after the European offices merged? I vaguely remember the STe was discontinued before the STFM, much to everyone's surprise. I guess ST Format (probably around the time of the massive reduction in page numbers) or the last few issues of ST review would have the answer. I'd be very surprised if it was an STe that was the last to roll off the production line given it had a lot shorter run and there were less spare parts hanging around..
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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby DarkLord » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:56 pm

I have no idea myself, so sorry I can't contribute in any meaningful way, but I
think this is a very interesting line of inquiry.

But let's not stop there - we need a graph, of all ST models, including the STe,
Falcon, STacy, TT, etc, showing their start and end production dates.

That would be pretty cool. :)
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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:06 pm

I had to swap the PSU out for another about 10 years ago so can't look at the one it originally had so I can't check, but I don't recall it being switchable, it was a standard ST PSU from what I remember.

Pretty sure the news story was in issue 50-something of ST Format (issue 54 springs to mind). I'm reckoning they probably did a last-gasp thing like with the late STFMs (one curiosity of the later STFMs is they seem to use STE case moulds with the 15-pin joystick ports blanked out), cobbling things together from spares and parts reserved for repairs, possibly just to get rid of everything ST/Falcon before they ramped up Jaguar production perhaps? Silica had to wait a couple of weeks before they got it in stock for me. It was a Family Curriculum pack (which ties in with the '91-ness of all the chips) but I wouldn't have thought there'd be STEs from 2 or 3 years prior still hanging around in warehouses? It's the odd sticker on the bottom that's niggling me.

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby Cyprian » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:35 pm

Zogging Hell wrote:Wasn't the STFM the last ST to be produced, made up with loads of spare parts Atari had lying about after the European offices merged? I vaguely remember the STe was discontinued before the STFM, much to everyone's surprise. I guess ST Format (probably around the time of the massive reduction in page numbers) or the last few issues of ST review would have the answer. I'd be very surprised if it was an STe that was the last to roll off the production line given it had a lot shorter run and there were less spare parts hanging around..


interesting... I wonder why Atari didn't stop producing STfm when STE was released...
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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:55 am

Possibly so they could keep STFMs as a current product at the same price and ask a bit more for the STE? I think STFM production carried on into around mid-1990 until it was started up again in 1993.

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby MrMaddog » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:13 am

Zogging Hell wrote:Wasn't the STFM the last ST to be produced, made up with loads of spare parts Atari had lying about after the European offices merged? I vaguely remember the STe was discontinued before the STFM, much to everyone's surprise. I guess ST Format (probably around the time of the massive reduction in page numbers) or the last few issues of ST review would have the answer. I'd be very surprised if it was an STe that was the last to roll off the production line given it had a lot shorter run and there were less spare parts hanging around..


Was this the reason Atari UK had a "price reduction" of STFM's? I read about it in ST Format and they claimed it'll cause more people to buy older ST's than newer Amigas and game consoles. Whatever...

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby Zogging Hell » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:14 pm

I think so, iirc correctly it was reduced to £159 to 'target the console market'.
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When were the last STs really made?

Postby Frank B » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:53 pm

Anybody got one of the last stfm models with the ste joy stick ports ? Can you please post a picture? I believe I asked this question in a post several years ago too :)

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:40 am

My friend had one of the £150 STFMs, and our school's music block as well. It didn't actually have the 15-pin joystick ports, but the space where they would have been if it was an STE was blanked out and you could kind of see a small seam around the edge where they had added it back into the case mould.

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby mOdmate » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:33 am

Very interesting thread!

Unfortunately I can only contribute what I know from the German site http://www.atari-computermuseum.de:

End of manufacturing of the 1040 STFM: December 1993 (http://www.atari-computermuseum.de/520st.htm)
End of manufacturing of the 1040 STE: December 1993 (http://www.atari-computermuseum.de/ste.htm)

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby Dio » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:06 pm

Did you take a pic of the motherboard too?

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:20 pm

@Dio Haven't taken a picture of the board (can do sometime though), the code on the board is CA4003290 which I've found a photo of here: wiki/images/b/b1/ST_Motherboard_Mega_STE_CA4003290_decky.jpg

Mine looks the same although it has a blank space where the C101643 blitter chip is as that got consolidated into the GLUE chip later on as far as I know.

Apart from the crappy sticker on the bottom, there's nothing about my machine that distinguishes it from any other 1991-era STE I don't think.

That atari-computermuseum.de has some fascinating stuff on, with the images of some prototypes!

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby SteveBagley » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:53 pm

junosix wrote:@Dio Haven't taken a picture of the board (can do sometime though), the code on the board is CA4003290 which I've found a photo of here: wiki/images/b/b1/ST_Motherboard_Mega_STE_CA4003290_decky.jpg


Fascinating -- that board matches my (long since deceased) 1990 vintage machine (although mine had a separate blitter). However, a friend recently gave me his old STe which has a COMBO chip, square DMA and soldered in CPU (also pictured in the wiki) which is presumably a later revision.

What TOS version (and DMA chip) does your machine have? I'd hazard a guess that by this point in Atari's history the machines where being made from whatever parts they had around to use up inventory.

Steve

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:22 pm

It had TOS 1.62 but I put TOS 2.06 in. Didn't have to mess with solder pads as the TOS 1.62 chips already installed were the same size as the 2.06 chips. Can't check the DMA chip at the moment but I'd expect it was the later revision.

The more I think about it I reckon it was just a case of them using up spare parts, rather than manufacturing anything new to satisfy demand.

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:18 pm

This is an interesting thread. What was the pricing for those final STFMs and STEs?

I remember that in 1993 or 1994 my brother told me: "You can buy cheap STs now." He didn't tell me which ones exactly nor the price and ofcourse none of us purchased any. I couldn't afford 200DM back then anyway. Another year later or so he told me, "Man I should have bought some of those cheap STs."

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:17 pm

Pretty sure it was £149 for the STFM and £199 for STE in the UK.

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:53 pm

i think the last ones were made about a month before the company folded :roll:

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby junosix » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:16 am

I'd love to know if there are any STEs with dates on the chips that are later than 1991.

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Re: When were the last STs really made?

Postby nativ » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:58 pm

junosix wrote:I'd love to know if there are any STEs with dates on the chips that are later than 1991.



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