In this article I talk about an Atari 2600 the Polivoks with American Board Rev. 17, I acquired recentemente.
Who monitors the Skooter Blog know that I've had three other Atari 2600, of which I have spoken here:
- Atari 2600 – Part 2, from 25/08/2014.
- Atari 2600 – Part 3, from 04/09/2014.
- Atari 2600 US VCS with S-Video, Composite Video, Stereo Audio and Pause, from 23/09/2014.
Why then a fourth Atari 2600? We will explain.
The Atari 2600 US VCS with S-Video, Composite Video, Stereo Audio and Pause uses the mod S-Video Longhorn Engineer. At the time of purchase, This was the best image that an Atari 2600 could offer.
But, some time later came the 2600RGB, at against with composite video outputs, S-Video and RGB! The image is fantastic and mingles easily with the emulators. Not only the RGB image is sharper, the colors are also much more defined and need.
For a while I tried to buy an Atari 2600 to against 2600RGB already installed, but I did not succeed. The Yurkie, 2600RGB distributor in the USA makes installations, and at first said it would sell me an Atari 2600 with the pre-installed kit, but it is not responsible for the package, wanted payment on PayPal from his girlfriend and sent as a gift. But then I thought a bit more and ended up giving up on time because I didn't want the hassle of an international post.
I contacted also an eBay seller that installs the 2600RGB. He is known as Crayon King. He said he would make the service. Came to buy an Atari 2600 I chose on eBay to install against. I said I would at the end of week, but the weekends were passing, passing, and he always said that he was very busy. After a couple of months I ended up giving up.
I realized that if I wanted an Atari 2600 to against 2600RGB I would have to do it myself. I have little experience with soldering, but the step by step project I thought I could at least try to face.
Do I even have some advantages: could do things my way and would be cheaper, because it would eliminate the cost of labor. On the other hand, would need to invest in some tools, that I will present here in SKooter Blog in future articles. But the tools will serve to other works, as well as the experience gained. I decided to face the challenge.
I could use one of my three Ataris? Could, but there were some complications. The installation of the 2600RGB is made, among other steps, removing the main chip (AUNT) from the socket, by installing it on the label of the kit and then installing the paddle in socket where the aunt was.
Well, one of my Atari 2600 There's the AUNT soldier directly on the plate, that socket. It would be necessary to remove it and install a socket. Remove a chip with 40 legs was the farthest thing from my mind. The risk of damaging any track or chip itself made me give up this idea.
Another of my Atari 2600 has National Board of Polivoks, where the AUNT is positioned just below the SELECT key. That makes the physical installation of the label, because it would be met with either the key. To give to weld 40 wires and attach the plate in another place. But it would be extremely laborious. Furthermore, This Atari is still factory sealed. I'd rather not move it.
The Atari 2600 US VCS with S-Video, Composite Video, Stereo Audio and Pause is the only American Board and AUNT in socket. But I didn't want to have to uninstall Longhorn Engineer. If I did something stupid would be not only without the against RGB, How would against S-Video I've ever had. And anyway, the idea was to put the new Atari on LCD TV and spend the Atari 2600 with S-Video for CRT TV.
It seems that the way was even buying another Atari. In Brazil the prices of Atari 2600 are somewhat inflated for a long time. Worse now with the relaunch of the Mega Drive and an Atari by Tec Toy, that drew attention to classic consoles. And to make matters worse still has a malparidos that destroy ancient Islands working to put Raspberry Pi inside, What is a true sacrilege.
In the US it is easier to find an Atari 2600 in good condition for reasonable price, but unfortunately the shipping ends making.
Another complication is that looking at the Atari just outside it's hard to know which is the card inside. A picture taken from the cartridge slot shows whether the card is green (Americana) or beige (brazilian). But to know if the aunt is in no way slot, only if the seller has the willingness to open and check.
The fact that the Atari 2600 sold in Brazil be transcoded to PAL-M complicates the more. I'm not sure if the 2600RGB works on the Atari 2600 transcoded to PAL-M, but either way it would be complicated to install it without transcoding, because the label of Polivoks is glued on top of the AUNT. Furthermore, to install the 2600RGB you need to unsolder the crystal oscillator, so this is a good opportunity to exchange it for a Crystal NTSC. But I will speak of this issue in an upcoming article, where I step by step removing the transcoding.
Luckily I found this Atari 2600 with a reasonable price. I paid R $ 315,00 including freight, After some negotiation. The seller even had the willingness to report all that I needed and to send some pictures of the Board.
The Atari 2600 came with a Dactar cartridge with 4 games (Amidar, Astro Blast, Bobby is Going Home, Condor Attack), power supply and a joystick to Dynavision.
The Atari 2600 is well maintained. Has some marks on housing, but nothing too disturbing.
The keys are a bit oxidized, but they're still pretty runny. In a future article I'll focus on how to let them shine again.
Atari's feet 2600 they're pretty worn. Spent so much rubber that came in plastic level, He then began to spend. I'll also show you how I solved this issue in an upcoming article.
The power supply is the Honeywell brand, with output of 12V DC and 500mA. Note that the original source of the Atari 2600 only 9V. The Atari 2600 works normally on your internal voltage regulator be tolerant. But, as the 2600RGB includes a new voltage regulator, and I don't know how tolerant he is, I decided I would not use this source after install against.
The joystick is Dynavision. Is working properly. Seems to be a bit rare nowadays. I'm not going to use it on a daily basis, but I will keep it.
The Dactar cartridge with 4 games are in good condition. The labels, however, has some marks. Missing a piece of the back label.
The RF cable is plug Type F, instead of the traditional RCA. It was probably modified to fit directly into the modern TVs. It's not a mod that I approve. After all, é tão simples usar um adapter… Mas como é um console para fazer against, está ok.
Fiz a instalação na TV CRT, que estava provisoriamente fora de local enquanto meu novo armário estava sendo construído. The “new” Atari 2600 worked perfectly.
O sistema de cores de saída é o PAL-M, com a tradicional paleta de cores horrorosa que essa transcodificação acarreta. 🙂
Hora de abrir o Atari 2600 to see how it looks like on the inside. Placa Revisão 17, as expected. A proteção metálica está um tanto oxidada, mas a placa parece bem conservada.
Resolvi testar a capacitância do maior capacitor ali na placa, apenas para ter uma ideia se seria necessário troca-lo, mas ele está perfeito.
Also tested the power supply voltage. She really delivers 12V.
We'll also take a look at the bottom of the plate.
Removed so the metal protection. In article I of the future removal of rust spots.
Removal of metal protection revealed some of the major components. The label of the Polivoks you doing the conversion to PAL-M is repaired with an adhesive foam on top of the AUNT.
And let's take a look downstairs again. Here you can notice two foreign elements. In the lower left corner we have that jumper black, which is actually wrapping a resistor. More to the right is a small capacitor, In addition to a track cut. This is the work of Polivoks and also part of the transcoding process.
A few more pictures to mark well where the wires of the plate are soldered transcoding, enabling redo the modification if necessary. It is worth noting also that the resistor R234 is missing, What must also be the work of Polivoks due to transcoding.
Por fim, Let's take a closer look in the rubber feet that are very worn. Let's give a solution to them, as I will show in future article.
And I'm ending here this article about my “new” Atari 2600, or Atari 2600 the Polivoks with American Board Rev. 17.
Soon I will continue the series with articles showing how this Atari 2600 was renovated and transcoded back to NTSC. Then I'll show you how was the installation of the 2600RGB.
Everything will be done with lot of details, because I noticed that the Internet lacks information, especially on the issue of transcoding, where is information on how to proceed in the national boards, but there is very little about the changes that the Polivoks did on the boards and how to undo them. Wait…