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Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:24 am
by Bama
Hello Community,

I saw this on eBay and thought y'all would find it interesting too.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/302406103307

Atari Prototype Sparrow Motherboard Rev2. The same seller has two other "Sparrow" auctions. I was tempted to bid but I lack the skills to maintain a prototype.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:08 pm
by Zarchos
Seller doesn't like French fries, so he can keep on eating Liberty fries without my hard-earnt money.
Bad luck for my museum, though.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:34 pm
by wongck
Zarchos wrote:Seller doesn't like French fries, so he can keep on eating Liberty fries without my hard-earnt money.
Bad luck for my museum, though.

You can always use a US-address freight forwarding service.
Just type US address into Google and a list of such service comes up.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:04 pm
by mikro
Hmm, all of them seem to have missing the following parts: CPU, RAM card and TOS chips. The most expensive one has the NVRAM chip missing, too. So I'd say until I make a dump of my working Sparrow TOS in 2018 the buyer is stuck with a non-working machine for sure.

But the price is way too high for a (possibly) non-working machine, that's for sure. I wonder what kind of "enthusiasts" they are when they hadn't bothered to even try to put the missing components in.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:55 pm
by wongck
Just collectors, not real users.
I doubt that any "normal" user would even make it run.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:03 am
by calimero
I am puzzled why Atari build these Sparows?

Are they planed to mass produce them?
Looking at motherboard they are quite different than Falcon.
Did Sparows was made for outside software and hardware developers? Or they were used only by Atari Corp developers?

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:28 am
by 1st1
They are the prototype step from Mega STE to Falcon.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:49 am
by mikro
calimero wrote:Looking at motherboard they are quite different than Falcon.

He? There had been two revisions (the seller sells two rev.2s and one rev.1 so you can compare them by yourself, too), rev. 2 nearly identical to the Falcon, only some of the ICs are on different places, so is rev.1.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:18 am
by calimero
mikro wrote:
calimero wrote:Looking at motherboard they are quite different than Falcon.

He? There had been two revisions (the seller sells two rev.2s and one rev.1 so you can compare them by yourself, too), rev. 2 nearly identical to the Falcon, only some of the ICs are on different places, so is rev.1.

I see only this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Atari-Prototype ... 2406103307
and it is "quite" different than e.g. this: http://www.atari-wiki.com/images/b/b3/F ... EC_skt.jpg

1) Dallas is on center instead of bottom
2) Motorola CPU and FPU are on different places

maybe this is not big deal but for my it looks quite different from Falcon?

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:40 am
by mikro
As I said, apart from IC location the board is 99% identical to the final product.

What is somewhat interesting are the first dev boards (not auctioned here), also mentioned by 1st1:

post-35790-0-41587700-1369897090.jpg

Here you can clearly see an STE descent.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:43 am
by wongck
Sparrows are prototypes of falcons.... so will most likely looks different from Falcon.
For me, I would like just to see the different motherboard layout. When I looked at rev 2, it looks pretty similar to Falcon.
Would be nice if someone can capture the photo from ebay and post it on the wiki (yeah i know it is not up).

How to get the photo from ebay, when I move my mouse cursor on the photo, it expands to a larger photo but clipped. :shrug:

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:45 am
by wongck
mikro wrote:What is somewhat interesting are the first dev boards (not auctioned here), also mentioned by 1st1:

post-35790-0-41587700-1369897090.jpg
Here you can clearly see an STE descent.


Looks a mess... :lol:
Wow nice one.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:54 am
by crashman
The photos from the auction.

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600 (1).jpg

s-l1600 (2).jpg

s-l1600 (3).jpg

s-l1600 (4).jpg

s-l1600 (5).jpg

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:42 am
by alexh
Bama wrote:I was tempted to bid but I lack the skills to maintain a prototype.

It's missing 6 chips.

CPU (Probably a PGA 030 and obtainable),
FPU (Probably not needed),
ROM *2 (Well without this it's totally unusable)
+2* other sockets

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:54 am
by mikro
alexh wrote:+2* other sockets

Not needed. My (working) Sparrow also doesn't have them. But you have forgotten the missing RAM card.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:48 am
by wongck
crashman wrote:The photos from the auction.


Great stuff :D
Thanks !!

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:24 pm
by calimero
Great!

I put it into database with pictures http://milan.kovac.cc/atari/chipmunk/

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:37 pm
by alexh
mikro wrote:But you have forgotten the missing RAM card.

I assumed it was a standard Falcon 030 one? It looks like it no?

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:08 am
by Rustynutt
mikro wrote:Hmm, all of them seem to have missing the following parts: CPU, RAM card and TOS chips. The most expensive one has the NVRAM chip missing, too. So I'd say until I make a dump of my working Sparrow TOS in 2018 the buyer is stuck with a non-working machine for sure.

But the price is way too high for a (possibly) non-working machine, that's for sure. I wonder what kind of "enthusiasts" they are when they hadn't bothered to even try to put the missing components in.


Pretty sure the seller is Wizztronics. If Steve says they could probably be made to work, I imagine he knows what he's talking about.
Surely, you wouldn't list Sparrow motherboards on eBay without a "non-working" liability statement :)

Also, thought the auction states world wide shipping....what's wrong with American fries? :)

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:59 am
by Zarchos
Rustynutt wrote:
mikro wrote:Hmm, all of them seem to have missing the following parts: CPU, RAM card and TOS chips. The most expensive one has the NVRAM chip missing, too. So I'd say until I make a dump of my working Sparrow TOS in 2018 the buyer is stuck with a non-working machine for sure.

But the price is way too high for a (possibly) non-working machine, that's for sure. I wonder what kind of "enthusiasts" they are when they hadn't bothered to even try to put the missing components in.


Pretty sure the seller is Wizztronics. If Steve says they could probably be made to work, I imagine he knows what he's talking about.
Surely, you wouldn't list Sparrow motherboards on eBay without a "non-working" liability statement :)

Also, thought the auction states world wide shipping....what's wrong with American fries? :)


Nope.
Doesn't ship to France.
Maybe he doesn't know France is part of the world (it isn't on the North American continent, ya know).
American fries are greasy.
'American' fries, 1st of all do not exist : fries are from Belgium.
Same way Roquefort is from France, only, and so many other cheese, and Champagne too, and again so many other wines, can not be American because that's the name of French regions. And that is not negociable.
Sparkling fruit juice produced in Califonia will never ever be Champagne.

Real fries are cooked 3 times : 2 times in oil at different temperatures, then the last time in duck grease.
Good food is French or Italian, the rest is to feed only.
Again, that is not negociable.
Even if you have many B1s.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:56 am
by EmpireAndrew
Zarchos wrote:Good food is French or Italian, the rest is to feed only.


Personally I think real Chinese food kick everyone's butt.
But then I consider French food to be nice but way overrated and fussy and hence prefer Italian.
And a lot of Italian dishes are based on Chinese dishes, including all pasta and pizza.

Give me Xian, Szechuan, Hunan or Dongbei any day.
Anything else is to feed only.

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:49 am
by Cyprian
mikro wrote:Not needed. My (working) Sparrow also doesn't have them..

congrsts. any details? photos?

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:56 pm
by mikro
Cyprian wrote:
mikro wrote:Not needed. My (working) Sparrow also doesn't have them..

congrsts. any details? photos?

Not yet. I posted some photos from the seller here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2962672 ... 0668246618

Too bad it's waiting for me in Slovakia while I'm in Australia still for next few months. :-/

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:27 pm
by Rustynutt
Zarchos wrote:
Rustynutt wrote:
mikro wrote:Hmm, all of them seem to have missing the following parts: CPU, RAM card and TOS chips. The most expensive one has the NVRAM chip missing, too. So I'd say until I make a dump of my working Sparrow TOS in 2018 the buyer is stuck with a non-working machine for sure.

But the price is way too high for a (possibly) non-working machine, that's for sure. I wonder what kind of "enthusiasts" they are when they hadn't bothered to even try to put the missing components in.


Pretty sure the seller is Wizztronics. If Steve says they could probably be made to work, I imagine he knows what he's talking about.
Surely, you wouldn't list Sparrow motherboards on eBay without a "non-working" liability statement :)

Also, thought the auction states world wide shipping....what's wrong with American fries? :)


Nope.
Doesn't ship to France.
Maybe he doesn't know France is part of the world (it isn't on the North American continent, ya know).
American fries are greasy.
'American' fries, 1st of all do not exist : fries are from Belgium.
Same way Roquefort is from France, only, and so many other cheese, and Champagne too, and again so many other wines, can not be American because that's the name of French regions. And that is not negociable.
Sparkling fruit juice produced in Califonia will never ever be Champagne.

Real fries are cooked 3 times : 2 times in oil at different temperatures, then the last time in duck grease.
Good food is French or Italian, the rest is to feed only.
Again, that is not negociable.
Even if you have many B1s.


I didn't loom any further than the main page, saw Israel. Did you ask?

Actually, prefer Dutch fries and Mayo :)
I've been to Holland several time, met my wife online 10 years ago on "MySpace", before Faceblock :)
Funny, talk about America, English in particular, her cousin went to British proper education. She says the Americans put English in a blender and blended up a mess :)
That said, Sunnyvale was a nice place :)

Re: Three Sparrow Mainboards on EBay

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:53 pm
by Rustynutt
alexh wrote:
Bama wrote:I was tempted to bid but I lack the skills to maintain a prototype.

It's missing 6 chips.

Bought a complete Sparrow from Wizztronics around 1996.
From what I recall, it wasn't very "Falcon softs" compatible.
Don't know about the other revisions, like Steve said they were probably only used to validate code.
The test kit must be primarily for audio. The field diagnostic kit fit on the expansion bus pins didn't it?
One I had, only the CPU was socketed. I'd be interested in one if the DSP was PGA, hard to tell from the photos. Purchased a few different DSP 56k compatible dev boards, integrating on to a Falcon board would be difficult with the SMT DSP. I'd rather not desolder the DSP and install an adapter. Else, get someone handy like yourself to build a slip over socket for the SMT and connect the dev board that say. The goal is being able to run a 56k compatible DSP around 200Nhz :) Bus will be a limiting factor. Some of you brute CT users might come up with a CT bus DSP card and take advance of that. Image how fast Apex Media could import FLX files :) The later 56k chips also have specific audio functions in the "Symphony" line.
Other than that, and being a collector piece, the Sparrow really isn't ideal for development, IMHO :)


CPU (Probably a PGA 030 and obtainable),
FPU (Probably not needed),
ROM *2 (Well without this it's totally unusable)
+2* other sockets