sea 10 2017

Adjusting to nuance not Atari 2600

In 2014 I spoke here in Skooter Blog on an Atari 2600 I acquired. Polivoks model with built-in source, But even with detachable controls and switches original. Exactly the same as I had in my childhood.

Atari 2600 operation, with the game Enduro Activision

Atari 2600 operation, with the game Enduro Activision

But something bothered me that Atari 2600: the colors. Putting the Enduro cartridge, both played in my childhood, I've noticed that the colors weren't beating. A very dark green in the scenario and the “Panel” in magenta.

Atari 2600 operation, with the game Enduro Activision

The colors on the Atari 2600, Polivoks model with built-in source, as I took: very dark green, magenta Panel.

The upside is that the Atari 2600 It has a trimpot that serves to adjust the hue. I think the Atari, knowing that hue would vary with the wear of the components, left the trimpot to facilitate the adjustment.

Inclusive, There is a small hole on the bottom of all Atari where it is possible to insert a screwdriver and adjust the array without having to open the console. Or at least it was like that with the first models, at least with those made in the USA.

Mas esse não é o caso deste modelo da Polyvox com a fonte embutida. O furo está lá, mas não há nada parecido com um trimpot que possa ser acessado por ele.

Eu poderia simplesmente abri-lo, mas ele ainda tem os lacres originais da Polyvox. Aparentemente nunca foi aberto. Acabei deixando a ideia de lado até encontrar uma forma de abri-lo sem danificar os lacres.

Sealing factory Polyvox the console screws

Sealing factory Polyvox the console screws

Recentemente tive a ideia de remover apenas a tampinha da parte onde fica o compartimento de cartuchos e os switches. E para a minha surpresa e alegria, the trimpot de matiz estava ali. 🙂

Trimpot for the Atari hues 2600 the Polyvox, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks

Trimpot for the Atari hues 2600 the Polyvox, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks

Consegui ainda ver alguma informação sobre a placa. It is written “Polyvox PCI 333 Rev. G”.

Polyvox PCI 333 Rev. G

Polyvox PCI 333 Rev. G

With the trimpot acessível sem precisar remover os lacres, resolvi finalmente ajustar a matriz. Poderia usar o Harmony Cartridge com alguma ROM que mostrasse uma paleta de cores. But I preferred to use his own Enduro. I know that my memory would deceive me, so I went back to find out what was really the color of the Panel where is the odometer and other information.

Search screenshots the web is useless, There are many on the Panel is red, and many others in which the Panel is magenta.

In favor of the Red have nothing less than the cover of the cartridge itself.

Different labels of the cartridges with the game Enduro, Atari 2600, manufactured by Polyvox

In the Polivoks cartridges, the cover shows the Enduro Panel in red.

Also in favor of the Red Panel, We have the emulator Stella, It's pretty accurate in all aspects.

Screenshot of Enduro on Stella emulator: Red Panel

Screenshot of Enduro on Stella emulator: Red Panel

But let's be fair, There is also evidence to the contrary: the MAME emulator.

Screenshot of Enduro on Stella emulator: magenta Panel?

Screenshot of Enduro on Stella emulator: magenta Panel?

In reality it is difficult to define the color of the Enduro Panel in MAME, because it's something between magenta and Red. Wine? I do not know. But it's still at least 2 a 1 Pro Red. And anyway I don't trust Stella than in MAME when it comes to emulate the Atari 2600.

Now is the time to adjust the trimpot. The Enduro proved good for this task mainly because there is only one sweet spot where the Panel turns red and green is beautiful. A slight slide back and forward and the Panel is magenta or green looks escurão.

Colors of the Enduro on my Atari of Polivoks, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks, before the hue adjustment

Colors of the Enduro on my Atari of Polivoks, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks, before the hue adjustment

Colors of the Enduro on my Atari of Polivoks, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks, After the hue adjustment

Colors of the Enduro on my Atari of Polivoks, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks, After the hue adjustment

Unfortunately the screen shooting leads to some distortions. The real picture is more beautiful than what can be observed in the pictures. But already you can see that the colors have improved enough.

It lembrar this This Atari 2600 is original, with only output via RF. The connection was made on a CRT TV 20 inches. So a good deal of noise is inevitable.

After the Enduro, I decided to take a look at how were the colors of the Pitfall.

Colors of Pitfall on my Atari of Polivoks, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks, After the hue adjustment

Colors of Pitfall on my Atari of Polivoks, model with built-in source and detachable joysticks, After the hue adjustment

Here I confess that I was in doubt. Seemed pretty these colors, But if you're going to trust the Stella, This Orange actually would be a shade of beige. The bricks would be redder. Ultimately, many colors would be different. But even adjusting the hue control I couldn't get in the colors of the Stella.

Screenshot of Pitfall in Stella emulator

Screenshot of Pitfall in Stella emulator

Then, I decided to do the same hue adjustment on my Atari 2600 with against composite video and S-Video. Like my CRT TV doesn't have S-Video, I used the composite video input.

Enduro on the Atari VCS / 2600 through the composite video output

On the Atari VCS/2600 Enduro with the hue adjustment as I took

Enduro colors on my Atari VCS American, with mod for S-Video and composite video, After the hue adjustment

Enduro colors on my Atari VCS American, with mod for S-Video and composite video, After the hue adjustment

In the case of Atari 2600 with against composite video and S-Video, the setting was very little. Interestingly the menu of Harmony Cartridge is a little white on CRT TV. On LCD TV, using Framemeister, He gets greener, even though the picture doesn't show it. I confess that I don't know which is the correct.

Harmony Cartridge on the Atari VCS with mod for composite video and S-Video, na TV CRT, After hue adjustment

Harmony Cartridge on the Atari VCS with mod for composite video and S-Video, na TV CRT, After hue adjustment

Harmony screen Cartdrige - The cartridge with flash memory for the Atari 2600

Harmony Cartdrige screen on LCD TV, using the Framemeister

The Pitfall in Atari VCS with mod for S-Video and Composite Video is very different from what I have observed in my Atari 2600 the Polyvox. Here beige is not Orange, but green. The trunk of the trees is darker. Green tones are different. Ultimately, all shades are somewhat different.

Colors of Pitfall on my Atari VCS American, with mod for S-Video and composite video, After the hue adjustment.

Colors of Pitfall on my Atari VCS American, with mod for S-Video and composite video, After the hue adjustment.

If we take the Stella as a reference, Neither Ataris is correct, but Atari VCS with mod for S-Video and Composite Video is closest to.

I confess that I have a conclusion to this article. The hue control is effective in improving the colors of Atari 2600, but he doesn't do miracles. Particularly, the shades of yellow and orange don't change much with the adjustment.

And why different consoles feature different colors? Natural wear and tear of the hardware? In the case of American console, something related to against? In the case of Atari of Polivoks, something to do with changes in the Polivoks circuit to produce a signal PAL-M instead of NTSC?

Note that now there is already a RGB mod for Atari 2600, it immediately became one of my dreams of consumption. Do not buy one because I don't think I have enough skill with the soldering iron to install it correctly. But someday intend to acquire an Atari 2600 with the RGB mod already installed, as it did with the Atari VCS with mod for S-Video and Composite Video.

But the fact is that to play with perfect colors, Ironically an emulator may need. And That if we consider that the palette of the emulator is actually correct. But how to measure this accurately without an original hardware that is also perfect for compare? And how to get a perfect copy of a hardware that has already been discontinued for more than 30 years?

And whereas played Atari 2600 in a black and white TV for a good few years of my childhood, and another in a color TV already well worn, and yet fun as hell, I can conclude that the perfect palette isn't even something so important. 🙂

Permanent link to this article: https://www.skooterblog.com/2017/03/10/ajustando-matiz-no-atari-2600/

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