[Coladam] Review of ECOLECO Summer 2007 purchase and personal
experience with my order
shonmccallum at juno.com
shonmccallum at juno.com
Tue Jul 31 21:39:02 EDT 2007
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Brief personal history with the Colecovision ADAM
Its been 25 years since I first owned my first Colecovision system. Back in 1982 I was amazed at the near arcade quality graphics and sounds that the Colecovision system offered. My first Colecovision back in 1982 cost $199.99. Then in 1983 I purchased expansion module #3 for $599.99 which turned the Colecovision into a super game module known as the ADAM computer. I ended up spending $800 back in the early 80s in order to play super games on the ADAM computer ($200 Colecovision + $600 Expansion module #3). Digital Data Packs had plenty of room for graphics and sounds better then what a 32K Colecovision cartridge could provide. Super Games on the ADAM computer had a maximum capacity of 256K since the system used Digital Data Packs. After playing Super games like Buck Rodgers and other games back in 1983 I then started to appreciate the ADAM computer as a computer system and not just a game machine. When I started using 1.44MB 3 ½ Disks on the ADAM computer I then started to really enjoy the ADAM computer system and the games and programs it offered. Once one experiences a disk drive on the ADAM computer they usually do not want to go back to using the less reliable Digital Data Packs.
Today in the year 2007 I use my ADAM computer mostly for games only and a Windows PC for everything else. I love the classic super games and standard Colecovision cartridges in which I grew up playing as a teenager.
Review of ECOLECO Summer 2007 purchase and personal experience with my order
ECOLECO WEBSITE http://members.tripod.com/~coleco/m.htm
A few months ago I realized that I plan on keeping my ADAM computer system around for the rest of my life in order to play classic arcade hits. So I ordered over $1,600 worth of ADAM merchandise from ECOLECO. Mostly hardware products and some software were ordered. Hopefully I have enough spare parts now to keep my ADAM running for another 20-30 years. ECOLECO has been around for many years. ECOLECO use to be known as ADAM House back in the 80s and 90s before they became an online ADAM company. Over the last 24 years as far as I am aware all other companies that have supported the ADAM computer system have either went out of business or discontinued their support for the Coleco ADAM computer system. ECOLECO is the only company left that supports the ADAM computer system and supports Colecovision game system also. ECOLECO still has a toll free number that can be used to place an order. Back in the early 90s ECOLECO was able to make a smart business decision and secure the original Coleco industries toll free number found in all the Coleco manuals and on the bottom of the Coleco hardware.
The following is some of the items I ordered from ECOLECO and the description of the quality of the products. Some of the items I received from ECOLECO needed to be exchanged since they were defective. This is completely understandable especially since some of the items are around 25 years old. The items that had a 30 day warranty and were not sold as is ECOLECO either replaced or repaired all defective items that were under their 30 day warranty. Overall ECOLECO was very fast replacing a few defective items and replied to email within 24 hours. Some of the defective items repaired or replaced under their 30 day warranty were: 1 Keyboard, 1 Adam Video/Audio Cable, 1 64K Memory expander, and other minor small items.
ADAM Keyboard: The ADAM keyboards I purchased from ECOLECO were in factory new condition in the original brown keyboard case sealed in plastic. There were no discolored keys at all. All the keys looked shinny new like a new 1983 ADAM keyboard looks. ECOLECO informed me a few weeks ago that they are getting low in stock on keyboards that are in sellable condition. So possible soon ADAM keyboards might no longer be available.
ADAM Memory console: ECOLECO is getting low on stock on the ADAM memory consoles also. The memory consoles I received were factory refurbished consoles that were in excellent cosmetic condition and excellent working condition. Compared to some of the poor quality memory consoles found on EBAY I highly recommend purchasing memory consoles from ECOLECO while supplies last. Every memory console I received from ECOLECO contained the latest R80 smartwriter word processor with built in RF sleeves.
ADAM Expansion module #3: I was surprised to see that the Expansion module #3s I ordered was in factory new condition in plastic.
Digital <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Data Drive: The several Digital Data Drives I bought from ECOLECO were in excellent condition and ran very quietly. Not only did they work perfectly they were also the latest version that Coleco made back in 1985. They all contained the adjustment screw at the top and had the latest ejection system.
Hand controllers: Both the white ADAM and the black Colecovision hand controllers were in excellent refurbished condition. Using these controllers felt like I owned a brand new controller. I strongly recommend buying hand controllers from ECOLECO compared to EBAY. Most of the hand controllers I have purchased on EBAY are in poor condition and usually need repaired.
Roller Controller: One of my worse purchases from ECOELCO was a few roller controllers. Currently ECOLECO is selling roller controllers for $79.99 each after shipping and clearly labels them on their website as new but in damaged box. I ordered two of these roller controllers and when ordering the product I did not realize that roller controllers are a AS IS item that is not tested or covered under any 30 day ECOLECO warranty. This information was not clear to me on their website. To make a long story short one of the roller controllers I ordered was defective and I ended up tossing it in the trash since it is considered a as is product. When it comes to roller controllers I have found better quality roller controllers on EBAY compared to what ECOLECO offers. So my recommendation is try and find a working Roller Controller on EBAY before going the ECOLECO method.
Super Action Controllers: Currently Super Action Controllers in the original box sale for $74.95 after shipping from ECOLECO. When I received the controllers they came in a box that was in perfect condition. The box looks like it just came from the Coleco factory back in the early 1980s. For a retail box being around 25 years old I was amazed at the excellent perfect condition of the box. Then to my surprise both Super Action Controllers were defective. I then discovered that just like the boxed roller controller that the super action controllers are also being sold as is and untested. The good thing was that I did not need to throw these controllers away since ECOELCO offered a repair service for super action controllers. When it comes to super action controllers I have found better quality controllers on EBAY compared to what ECOLECO offers. So my recommendation is to try and find a working Super Action Controller on EBAY before going the ECOLECO method. If you do purchase the AS IS Super Action Controllers from ECOLECO and they do not work then if you decide to pay for a repair your looking at paying over $100 for a pair of Super Action Controllers.
Memory Expanders: I was very happy that ECOLECO found a 1MB E and T memory expander. I ended up purchasing there very last 1MB expander. They have plenty of 64K memory expanders in stock that can be expanded to 256K and I ended up getting a couple of the 64K memory expanders.
ADAM monitor cable: For those that own the standalone ADAM computer with built in Colecovision this is a must have product. When Coleco designed the ADAM computer for some reason instead of making a standard RCA AUDIO jack they decided to use a DIN plug. So for one to experience the best picture and sound quality from the ADAM computer one needs to purchase a special monitor cable that can not be purchased at the local Radio Shack or computer store. I did not feel like spending the time and making my own cables so I purchased several monitor cables from ECOLECO. I was very happy with the quality of the cable. Of course its far from Monster Cable brand quality but the ECOELCO brand cable did produce the best quality picture and sound that I have every experienced from the ADAM. Far better then using a RF CH3 or CH4 method.
Coleco ADAM computer manuals: ECOLECO still has factory new and factory sealed original manuals for the Coleco ADAM standalone and Expansion #3 for those that need them.
Game Instructions and overlays: All of the many different game overlays and the Colecovision manual I purchased were not originals but high quality reproduced color copies. Coleco products went out of production in 1985 and its understandable that the overlays and game manuals are high quality reproductions. I did not order any original Colecovision game cartridges from ECOLECO but other people have mentioned that some of their game cartridges are also high quality reproductions.
There are many items that I ordered from ECOLECO that I did not mention. In general 90% of the items arrived in excellent working condition and in good cosmetic condition which is excellent for products being around 25 years old. Overall I highly recommend purchasing from ECOLECO. They were super fast replacing items under their 30 day warranty that were defective and answered all my important emails within 24 hours. I would definitely purchase from them again accept for box untested products like Roller Controllers and Super Action Controllers. In the future I will purchase Roller Controllers and Super Action Controllers on EBAY. Before ordering boxed untested Colecovision products I would recommend reading their warranty policy page or sending them an email to make sure the item you are ordering is covered under a 30 day warranty or is sold AS IS. http://coleco.freeservers.com/policy.htm . It would be ideal if their website clearly marked which products are covered under the 30 day warranty and which products are sold as is and untested. I wish ECOLECO would increase the price on the Super Action Controllers and Roller Controllers and test them all and offer a 30 day warranty instead of the current policy of as is for boxed untested items.
No company is perfect. ECOLECO website is not easy to navigate around and one can find the same exact product at different prices depending on what area of the ECOELCO website you are on. The way one can tell if a product is out of stock is not until one tries to add the product to the cart. If the product can not be added to the cart it means the product is out of stock as long as the website is up to date. Their website sure could use an update so one can navigate around it easier.
I and other ADAM owners are very thankful that ECOELCO still exists. ECOLECO has some rare stuff that in general most of the time is better quality then what can be found on EBAY. As time goes on prices will continue to increase on original Coleco products since some products are getting rare to find. Already since my last order prices on some products have went up due to increase in shipping prices and since ECOLECO is starting to run low on inventory on some products. So if you need something for the ADAM computer or Colecovision the time to get it would be now before either prices increase more or products are no longer available any more since inventories are getting low on hardware. ADAM computer power supplies and Disk Drives are just some of the items ECOLECO has been out of stock on for a long time. Since the Colecovision and ADAM computer system are around 25 years old it is now becoming a collectable item to own for people that like classic videogames and classic computer systems. Every year prices most likely will slowly increase in value for working Coleco products.
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