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RCA Pixie IC rarity

falter

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Jan 22, 2011
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Hey guys,

Have an opportunity to buy a couple of vintage Pixie chips for a future ELF project. I notice these have evaporated from ebay in recent years and that some folks are building 'replacement' chips. Is it true these have gotten really scarce? The price I'm being offered for two CDP1861CD with 1977 date code is $65 ea. I'm not averse to paying it, if that's what it costs to have an original. But I don't trust my own gauges of rarity these days.
 

gslick

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I don't see any CDP1861 on eBay at the moment. I would have expected to find at least a few there. I didn't think they had become that scarce. I have around a dozen of them at the moment. A couple I bought from an IC supplier years ago for around $50 each before I did anything with eBay. The rest came from eBay and didn't seem too expensive at the time. I have 5 bare ELF2000 boards that I need to get around to building up sometime with them.

-Glen
 

falter

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I don't see any CDP1861 on eBay at the moment. I would have expected to find at least a few there. I didn't think they had become that scarce. I have around a dozen of them at the moment. A couple I bought from an IC supplier years ago for around $50 each before I did anything with eBay. The rest came from eBay and didn't seem too expensive at the time. I have 5 bare ELF2000 boards that I need to get around to building up sometime with them.

-Glen

Yeah I haven't seen them around lately. I know the ELF is popular again in hobby circles so perhaps that has sucked up supply. But I thought the Pixie was used in a range of RCA products.. thought it would be more numerous.
 

gslick

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The CDP1869/CDP1870 seem a lot more common and less expensive if you want to build a CDP1802 system with video and aren't tied to being compatible with the original ELF system. I think I have a NOS tube of CDP1869 and CDP1870 that I picked up on eBay a while ago when they were relatively cheap at the time. Don't see much info on hobbyist systems built using those.
 

kyodai

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Jan 26, 2011
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467
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Kerpen, Germany
I think there were times when you could get them for a slice of Pizza, but in the past few years all of these seem to have fallen into the hands of collectors and fanatics. In the past 12 month this became so weird - the few times any ELF boards showed up there were some millionaires playing games on ebay, i have seen certified junk broken crap change owners for several hundred dollars. Anyways, lately ELF stuff rarely shows up anywhere and when it does some rich goofs throw money at it like there's no tomorrow.

So in a nutshell - 65 Dollars seems a lot, but if things keep being so crazy then it could be called a bargain soon. At least at the current situation it does not seem totally unreasonable.
 

falter

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Most of those ELF sales were a single buyer.. I 'ranted' about it in the appropriate section. Can't compete with money unfortunately.

I have kind of been on a mission to secure rare ICs for future projects. ELF stuff, stuff I'm hoping to use to build a replica Mark-8, TV Typewriter stuff (which I have now), etc. When acpsurplus dumped a bunch of 6540 ROMs I bought a ton of them because I knew those would not be coming up again. I haven't really done any Apple I stuff, though I have a board.. that can get stupid expensive too if one insists on using vintage components.

Anyway, I don't object to paying $65.. at least I'll have it then. I just thought there would be more of them given they were used I think in their home gaming systems, etc.
 

kyodai

Experienced Member
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Jan 26, 2011
Messages
467
Location
Kerpen, Germany
Most of those ELF sales were a single buyer.. I 'ranted' about it in the appropriate section. Can't compete with money unfortunately.

I have kind of been on a mission to secure rare ICs for future projects. ELF stuff, stuff I'm hoping to use to build a replica Mark-8, TV Typewriter stuff (which I have now), etc. When acpsurplus dumped a bunch of 6540 ROMs I bought a ton of them because I knew those would not be coming up again. I haven't really done any Apple I stuff, though I have a board.. that can get stupid expensive too if one insists on using vintage components.

Anyway, I don't object to paying $65.. at least I'll have it then. I just thought there would be more of them given they were used I think in their home gaming systems, etc.



The thing is that on ebay you need at least 2 goofs to throw money to raise prices that much. But i must admit I am surprised to hear that some single person is on a shopping spree. You'd think most people who pay hundreds of dollars for an old ELF prolly had one as a youngster or so and just wanna get that model for sentimental reasons. But someone buying pretty much everything is a whole new class of lunatic.
 

gslick

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Dec 30, 2010
Messages
2,112
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The thing is that on ebay you need at least 2 goofs to throw money to raise prices that much. But i must admit I am surprised to hear that some single person is on a shopping spree. You'd think most people who pay hundreds of dollars for an old ELF prolly had one as a youngster or so and just wanna get that model for sentimental reasons. But someone buying pretty much everything is a whole new class of lunatic.

Phase 1 - Collect all the ELFs
Phase 2 - ?
Phase 3 - Profit
 

falter

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Jan 22, 2011
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Does anyone have production figures on what Netronics produced? I've googled a fair bit but there's not really a ton of info on Netronics. I first got interested in them when an Explorer 85 came up on ebay a few years ago. Haven't seen one of those since. If they cranked out 100,000 ELFs, then maybe I'm not inclined to spend a lot trying to get one.
 

BillOldy

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Oct 19, 2016
Messages
4
Unfortunately, $50 to $100 is now a "decent" price.

There are sources that claim to have hundreds or thousands of 1861s, but they could be scams.
You have to be careful with fake chips. (from China, etc. -- how sad that that is the truth and reality)
I've requested quotes for 25 and they still give high prices.

So the only chance we have is if someone buys hundreds of them from one of these sources,
verifies that they are okay, gets them for a lower "decent" price, and then sells them on e-bay to us.
If I had money, I would do that.

A "decent" price would be anywhere from $25 to $40.

If there are thousands of them "out there", it really too bad they are sitting in a warehouse gathering dust.
 
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