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(Update 23. December 2012)

Asteroids (Atari 1979)

[ Game Info | Pictures | Manuals/Datasheets | Repair/Restore | ROMs | Reproductions/Spares | Mixed Stuff ]

Game Info
Overview - The second Vector Game from Atari with a horizontal Black & White Vector CRT (15" & 19"), 2 Player alternating. Largest Vector Game Production. Developed by Lyle Rains, Ed Logg und Howard Delman.

Description - (Grabbed from the Internet..  will replace that some time.... )
Asteroids sits right up there with Pac-Man and Space Invaders as a classic. From the hypnotic bass to the swarming asteroid field this game had every intention of success. The production run for this game exceeded 70,000!! units. Asteroids was so popular that the production line for Lunar Lander was switched over to producing Asteroids games, this is why some Asteroids are in Lunar Lander cabinets (about 200 were done this way!). By this amount of produced games it out performed Space Invaders from Taito.

Your mission is basically to reduce the floating asteroids down to rubble and finally dust. Each asteroid when shot breaks into two smaller ones. As you create your destruction you must avoid enemy flying saucers that will try and shoot you down. The saucers come in two flavors, large and small. The large ones of course easier to hit and are much less accurate with their lasers, while the smaller saucers are quick and accurate (they also score 1000 points, motivation for saucer hunting). When you clear the level, alas... more asteroids appear, and in greater numbers.

Cabinet Types - Upright (November 1979), Cocktail Table (April 1980), Cabaret (June 1980)

PCB(s) - The CPU is a 6502A running at 1.5Mhz with 6k of ROM for the actual game.

Monitor -
The Monitor for the Upright is 19" in size and there exist two brands and three models. Brands are  Electrohome (EH) & Wells Gardner (WG). The early Asteroids below SN 18900 were equipped with an EH G05-801 which was totally different from the later two models WG 19V2000 or EH G05-802. In reality you may find a monitor that is made of components from both brands. The Monitor for the Cocktail or Cabaret is 15" and could be from either Electrohome (EH G05-805) or Wells Gardner (WG 15V2000). I have not been able to find a 15V2000 manual, but the EH model should be very similar

Clones/Bootlegs  - 
Asterock (Sidam), Asteroide (Maxenti)Planet (Alca), Meteor (Omni), Asteroid (Karateco), Meteor (Hoei), Hyperspace (unknown), Asteroids (Taito), Asteroids (Sega)

Prototypes  -  not known

Other Links
» History of Asteroids - http://markn.users.netlink.co.uk/Arcade/aster.html
» Asteroids on K.L.O.V. ( The "Killer" List of Video Games) - www.klov.com
» Production Costs of an Asteroids Upright (original memo from Atari) - http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari_docs/asteroidscost.pdf
» Upright Cabinet - [link]
» Cocktail Cabinet  - 
» Cabaret Cabinet  - 
» Monitor Electrohome G05-801 (19") [ link ]
» Monitor Electrohome G05-802 (19") [ link ]
» Monitor Electrohome G05-805 (15") [ link ]
» Monitor Wells Gardner 19V2000
» Monitor Wells Gardner 15V2000 [ link ]
» PCBs & other pictures Audio Regulator 1 - Parts Side

Manuals/Datasheets/Technical Info

Asteroids - Upright
» Service and Operation Manual  -  TM-143 7th
» Schematics (4 pages ~5Mbytes each)  -  DP-143 7th Sheet 1A - DP-143 7th Sheet 1B - DP-143 7th Sheet 2A - DP-143 7th Sheet 2B
» Backdoor sheet from www.mikesarcade.com  -  Asteroids Backdoor Sheet
» Monitor Operations and Service Manual incl. Schematics - EH G05-801 - EH G05-802 - WG 19V2000

Asteroids - Cocktail
Service and Operation Manual - TM-150 3rd
Monitor Operations and Service Manual incl. Schematics - EH G05-805 - WG 15V2000

Asteroids - Cabaret (tbd)

Asteroids - All Models

Theory of Vector Generators & Vector Monitors - The secret life of Vector Generators  -  The secret life of of Vector MonitorsProgramming the Vector GeneratorTheory of Vector Generators - AVG Description (Atari Internal) 5.2 MByte
» "A Hitchhikers Guide to the Atari Digital Vector Generator" ( Philip Pemberton, Dec. 2005) - [ PDF ]
» Asteroids Code Project (commented Asteroids Code)....asteroids_code_project.html - Unterschied Rev.1 und Rev.2
» Datasheets for electronic components - CPU 6502A - EPROM2716 - PROM 82S129 - Static RAM 2114 - D/A Converter AD561J - TTL Logic 74LSxx


Repair Tips
» Asteroids Troubleshooting Encyclopedia - http://www.ionpool.net/...asteroidsrepair.html
» Asteroids Troubleshooting Tips from Star Tech Journal - debug_ast.gif
» Three Asteroids Repair Logs from Guddlers Domain - http://www.guddler.co.uk/.....
» Two Asteroids Repair Logs from www.adestuff.nildram.co.uk - [ link ]
» Asteroids Signature Analysis Guide (CAT Box or Signature Analyzer req'd.) - http://www.ionpool.net/...asteroidsrepair.html
» B/W XY Monitor FAQ V1.2. - http://www.ionpool.net/...bw_vector_monitor_faq.pdf
» Adjust +5V on Atari AR1 or AR2 Power Supply - http://www.elektronforge.com/AdjustAtariPS.htm

Restore Pages
» Asteroids Restore from Archer McLean (great!) - http://www.ionpool.net/...asteroids_retoration.html
» Asteroids Cocktail Restore (in german from "Bobby the Bear") - http://www.paper-tiger.info/index.php?id=00200f
» Control Panel Overlay Replacement - need to find this one again....

Asteroids UR Cardboard Bezel Scan from www.mikesarcade.com  -  Asteroids Cardboard Bezel

» Asteroids ROMS Rev.1 as .zip file (four 2716 EPROMs) - http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari/asteroids_rom_2.zip
» Asteroids ROMS Rev.2 as .zip file (four 2716 EPROMs) - http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari/asteroids_v1_roms.zip
» Asteroids Vector State Machine PROM @C8  as .zip file (one 82S129 PROM) - http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari/asteroids_vprom.zip


Spares - Generally have a look at the "Link Collection" section to find sources. I can help out with single items, if you don't find them elsewhere. A non conclusive List is in the "Electronics / Parts" section.
Reproductions - The following reproductions are on the market with a varying grade of quality. Have also a look in the "Link Collection" section:
» Upright - Sideart, Monitor Bezel,  Control Panel Overlay, Marquee
» Cocktail Table - Monitor Bezel, Glass Underlay, Control Panel Overlay


» Speedup Modification with hacks on the PCB (didn't test this!) - http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/astero...ast_speed.txt
» More Firepower. ROM Modification from Clay Cowgill's site, quite new - http://www.multigame.com/six_bullet_hack.zip
» High Score Save Kit. Easy to install and works flawlessly! - arcadeshop.comInstallation Instructions

Mixed Stuff

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 © Andreas Kraemer 2004 - 2012