YOU may own a prototype!


For those of you have have some of the prototypes sold by Best 
Electronics, have you ever really looked close at the board itself?
Usually it is either an 8K rom board with a pair of 2532 eproms on
it (which I could make myself and claim they were protos and you
would never be able to tell otherwise, if I could buy the blank 
boards) or it is a flat, black blob of epoxy or a square of plastic
on the board.  I have three protos like this: Bugs Bunny, Dukes of 
Hazzard, and Donald Duck's Speedboat Race. 

Now, I think that these three really ARE prototypes, because they
are impossible to fake (not that I am accusing Brad at Best of
making fakes, but as I stated the ones with the 2532 I could make
myself) and they are so much different than the regular production
run carts made by Atari.  So here is my theory.  Suppose you are
Atari and you have 100 or 1000 boards made up as an initial run,
just so you could distribute it internally to test with and to game
magazines to have an early lookover.  Suppose you made them up
special, like the Dukes of Hazzard cart, with a simple blob of epoxy
on a board.  Now suppose you decide to ship the cart. What would you
do with all those boards from the initial run?  Why, you just might
slap regular labels on them and ship them.  

Well, I have opened up literally THOUSANDS of carts from Atari and
I have found about 14 of these, ever. I think they are the initial,
"prototype" run of the carts.  I think many of you out there have
these and don't realize it.  The ones I have are Defender, RS Soccer,
Fire World, Joust, Pac-Man, and Jungle Hunt.  I have multiple of
Defender, Fire World, and Pac-Man.

Here are some samples of what they say on them:

Text:               Game:           Where Made:   Made by:

MA6064 Non-US PCB - Fire World #1 - Philippines - PCI
C3E008 8250       - Fire World #2 - Thailand    - Hitachi
MSM2932-14K       - Pac-Man       - Taiwan      - Oki
AP83-001 3649     - Joust         - Singapore   - PCI
AP83-00 3616      - RS Soccer     - Singapore   - PCI
C20004            - Defender      - Singapore   - Hitachi
Ap83-00 3648      - Jungle Hunt   - Singapore   - PCI

Depending on the maker, they look very different!  The Hitachi
ones have a black square kind of glued down with some white
cement of some type.  The PCI ones have a round, melted down
glob that presses through the board or they have a BIG black
rectangle, also melted throught the PCB.  Finally the Oki ones
are tiny, ceramic looking squares that are blobbed down by some
black epoxy looking stuff.  My Dukes of Hazzard has the Hitachi
style to it.  Here is a picture of a slew of them on my 2600.

various makers

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