In this article series start on installing 2600RGB Kit in a Atari 2600 the Polivoks with American Board Rev. 17.
For those who haven't read, I recommend reading some previous articles to better understand this contract:
- Atari 2600 the Polivoks with American Board Rev. 17
- Transcoding-Atari 2600 Rev. 17 for NTSC (Polivoks with American Board) – Part 1
- Transcoding-Atari 2600 Rev. 17 for NTSC (Polivoks with American Board) – Part 2
- Repairs on the Atari 2600: Silicone feet, EVA dust protection, Rust removal and other
- 2600RGB – Video upgrade kit for Atari 2600
The creator of 2600RGB, Tim Worthington, has made available a excellent tutorial kit installation, I of course used in my install. But anyway, report my own experience and impressions, up to let all the details recorded for my own use in the future.
First the material required, recommended in the tutorial:
- Soldering iron: For those who have experienced a simple soldering iron must give. I have no experience, then soldering and rework station greatly facilitates my job.
- Leaded solder wire: I have several articles on welding wire here on the blog, many from China. But what I ended up using was one of Best, easy to find in any store of Brazil.
- Insulated copper cable. It is better to use wire that is thin and easy to work: Bought flexible cable 0, 1 mm (28 AWG) of various colors, to facilitate the identification.
- Desolder or unsolder iron if your AUNT chip is soldered on the motherboard: My aunt is not chip soldier on the motherboard, But anyway the soldering and rework station has hot air to remove chips. And aspirator It is also useful to remove the oscillator and the coil, then I recommend having it anyway.
- Tweezers, pliers, screwdrivers, cutting pliers, files: To open the console, cutting and stripping wires, cut legs of components, give weld finish, etc. In Tag tools You'll find many of these items here in Skooter Blog.
- Drill with drill 12 mm staggered: The newly acquired Screwdriver-drill Bosch 12V battery GSR 120-LI can handle. About stepped drill bit, I was on my way, coming from China, While I did this first part, and it was up to her than the other parts of this installation had to wait more than a month. But as stepped drill bit arrived and was used with success. I'm going to talk about it soon here in Skooter Blog. In time, stepped drill in Brazil is very expensive! With 1/5 than I would a real in Brazil, I bought a Kit with 3 in China.
- Two-part Epoxy glue: A Super Glue epoxy fast cure (8 Minutes) I've acquired recently can handle this task.
In addition to the recommended material in the tutorial, I also used the following items:
- Thermo-retractable spaghetti: It's good to cover some welds at terminals, leaving more well insulated.
- Clay modeling: Excellent for holding wires and components in place in time to weld. Is a third hand.
- Support for Soldering Iron Third Hand with Magnifier and 2X: I bought this item on DX (DealExtreme) for quite some time. Today use the same tongs, para segurar firme os componentes na hora de soldar. É a terceira mão, assim como a massinha.
- Jack RCA: Se você quer instalar também a saída de vídeo composto, é necessário comprar um jack RCA, pois o kit 2600RGB não vem com um.
- Lâmpada Portátil: Excelente para dar uma iluminada na área de trabalho.
- LED amarelo, resistor of 150 ohms e suporte de LED: Já que estamos modificando o console, por que não acrescentar um LED que indica quando ele está ligado? LED vermelho ou verde também está valendo. Only, please, não coloque um LED azul. É moderno demais para um Atari 2600. 🙂
- Chave sem trava tipo push button: É possível instalar uma chave no console para pausa e mudança de paleta. O kit vem com uma chave dessas para ser instalada em um joystick. You can install it in the console, but she is small and more suitable for a joystick. So I chose to use a larger and more robust key. I'm going to talk about it in another article, because I wasn't with her when I made this part of the mod.
- Varnish for circuit boards: The Board was originally covered with a green veneer, to protect welds and the Board itself against rust. So I think it's appropriate to spend a varnish on new welds to have the same original protection.
- Isopropyl alcohol: To clean components, especially the plate at the point where the new voltage regulator will be glued with adhesive.
With all the stuff on hand, or at least a part of them, Since I still was waiting for stepped drill bit, I started the process.
The first step is to open the Atari 2600, remove the motherboard and remove the metal protection which is on the main components.
It is time then to identify the AUNT and fix the components that will slash on the label of the 2600RGB. There are a few transistors that only need to be lightly pressed to the side to get out of the way.
The crystal oscillator would need to be removed, but as I I put a crystal oscillator to half a Cup in the transcoding process, can I skip this step. The crystal oscillator of half a Cup is short and not coming up on the Board.
That leaves then take the coil used to generate the RF signal. As I want to keep the RF signal functional, I'll just remove it and reassemble it lying on the plate, with the help of wire to extend the legs.
After finishing this first modification did not really like the result. I thought it could have used less wire in the extension, and maybe a thicker wire. It seems that increased a little RF noise in results. Or maybe the effect is psychological and a blind test I wasn't even able to identify. But through in case modification remade, now using a thicker wire, of 0, 14 mm, and shorter.
Then it's time to weld the socket of 40 AUNT pins and the socket 8 pins of EEPROM in the label of the 2600RGB.
Left purposely soldering step aside the Rainbow cable, Since the beginning I have no interest in modifying the joystick have pause button, change of palette, Select and RESET. I like the freedom to use any joystick. That way I will choose to put a pause button and palette change in the console itself.
At this point of the tutorial already comes to the installation of the AUNT on label, the label on the motherboard and you start to solder the wires of the jacks. But I preferred to make a u-turn here and install first the new voltage regulator.
The reason for the reversal is simple. As I'm new I like testing the changes to make it easier to find a failure. So, changing only the voltage regulator I can test the console with the RF output to see if everything is ok. If you install the 2600RGB first, I could try it with the original voltage regulator, But if it failed I wouldn't know if the failure would be due to insufficient voltage or any error in the mounting plate.
Give way, first removed the original voltage regulator. The hot air just melting and shifting some of the varnish of the plate, but okay, I'm going to spend another varnish after.
Now it's time to install the new voltage regulator. Before that, Let's clean the spot with a cotton and isopropyl alcohol. After welding, did the continuity test the tutorial, to ensure that the voltage regulator is soldered correctly.
Now it's time to install the capacitor of 220 µF, used as additional filtering to prevent noise.
I ran some tests by connecting the console to the TV, but I ended up not taking pictures. A worsening noise RF image intrigued me, It would be the new voltage regulator problem?
I was continuing the installation still with this question, the noise appeared in the RF signal, but did not appear in the composite video signal on CRT TV. He was to appear in the sign of S-Video and RGB signal. Only then I ended up finding the guilty, that had nothing to do with the against.
Explain: this Atari 2600 came with a generic source with 12V output, but the original source of the Atari offers only 9V on output. I know that the original voltage regulator tolerates higher voltages, so I've been using the 12V source normally. But, from the moment I installed the new voltage regulator, I left immediately the 12V source and use a Retrobit source I acquired on eStarland, specific to the Atari, with 9V output.
Now it was time to take the AUNT of the motherboard and install it on the label of the 2600RGB. I even thought about taking the double-sided foam residues of Polivoks, but I don't know exactly what you could use. Isopropyl alcohol? Petrol? When in doubt I left anyway. Is ugly, but it can't hurt.
You must be careful to fit the label of 2600RGB in socket on the motherboard of the Atari. Time to weld the pins just leaving one of them, the tip, slightly askew and he damaged a little contact in the socket when I was force to fit the paddle. I got straightened it and leave it running, but eventually I'm going to have to change this socket.
Fortunately the 2600RGB comes with a socket, for motherboards where the aunt's sole directly on the plate. But I can use it to replace my, se for o caso. But, until now I had no problem.
Now is the time to weld the jack composite video RCA. I used a yellow wire to the signal and a black one for the Earth.
Then weld the jack audio P2. Used blue and red for the signs and black to ground. It lembrar this, Although they are two wires, the sound is mono. Nevertheless, It is important to connect the wires correctly on the protection that the label has in case the source be accidentally linked to the jack audio P2.
So all wires welded on plate of the 2600RGB. As can be seen in the wiring diagram, composite video outputs, S-Video and RGB share the same ground signal. Give way, welded 3 wires in contact of plate. But then regretted. If I was to do again would use a single larger gauge wire and then pulled the Earth from a jack other.
Also by wiring diagram, identified contacts to switch on the button to change of palette and pause. There is a Brown wire and welded a black and called them provisionally in a key with green button, until the button that I bought specifically for this function.
And now it's time to finally see the first images generated by the 2600RGB. It is a pity that the pictures don't do justice to the image I saw on the TV screen. The image is very beautiful, with well-defined colours. It is much better that the simplest compound video mods.
The photos below show the 3 NTSC palettes that can be selected. For this reason, There are three pictures of each game.
By default the palette button does not act as a break. To activate the pause function is necessary to hold him down for 30 seconds. Thereafter a quick touch the button (< 0,4 second) enables and disables the pause.
Holding the button palette swap a little more time (< 2,5 seconds) Exchange between the palettes. I liked most of the default palette, that is equal to that of Stella emulator, and it seems to me the more faithful to the original palette Atari 2600.
You can also run games PAL. The 2600RGB automatically selects PAL palettes in this case. You can also disable the automatic selection of palette to rotate homebrew that use the PAL60.
Por fim, the palette button can also be used to turn on/off the 2600RGB. Calling the console with the key pressed, the 2600RGB will turn off/on and remains in the same State to be switched on/off again.
With the 2600RGB off the RF back operating normally, and composite video outputs, S-Video and RGB are disabled, even though the audio continues to flow through the audio output. With the 2600RGB the RF signal is still being produced, but with weird colors and with “Ghosts”. For example, in Tapper the sprites of the customers already serviced keep appearing on the screen.
And as long as we're making modifications, Why not add an LED to indicate when the Atari 2600 is linked? The 2600RGB do not give direct support to this, but it's just solder the terminals directly in the output of the voltage regulator and a grounding point.
I got a yellow and a blue for this task, the idea was to use the yellow and blue on the positive Earth, with the soldier next to the positive resistor, lowering the voltage coming out of the voltage regulator (5In) to the appropriate voltage for the LED, It must be something between 1 .8V and 2, 0V. Whereas the LED uses a chain of about 20mA, the appropriate resistor is 150 ohms.
Time to solder the LED just confused and reversing the terminals. The largest is the positive. I finished welding the resistor and the yellow wire on the neutral. But no problem, I reversed the wires also in time to weld in the voltage regulator and that was all right.
And Let's enjoy some more beautiful images produced by 2600RGB, in composite video output connected to the CRT TV.
Right now of course I was eager to install the jacks S-Video and RGB and view soon as would be the Atari 2600 connected to the Framemeister in Full HD LCD TV. But without the stepped drill bit I could not keep. Solder the loose jacks would mean I'd have to unsolder and ressoldar to install them in the housing Atari 2600. It is best to avoid fatigue… I don't want to risk spoiling the jacks, because I don't know where you could buy other.
Want to see how the images of the Atari 2600 in RGB? Want to see how the console with the new doors installed? Then wait for the next parts of this series. Share with your friends if you liked. And sign the Skooter Blog to receive new articles by email.