This article is the last chapter of the series on the installation of the 2600RGB Kit in a Atari 2600 the Polivoks with American Board Rev. 17.
For those who haven't read, I recommend reading the 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
- Atari 2600: Installing the Mod 2600RGB-Part 1
- Atari 2600: Installing the Mod 2600RGB-Part 2
- Atari 2600: Installing the Mod 2600RGB-Part 3
In this part, I'm talking about the mini DIN jack weld with the RGB signal, the last missing. Then do some tests and then fit the metal plate that protects against interference to accommodate the new wires. Por fim, do a good cleaning in Atari 2600 for him to occupy your niche definitely in my rack.
So come on. First welded the wires that were missing in the label of the 2600RGB Kit. To facilitate my life, I used red yarn, Green and blue for the Red components, green and blue (RGB), respectively. For the synchronization signal used a orange wire, to the + 5V voltage a yellow wire, and to the Earth a black wire.
Then, welded wires on the label that will be welded in jack.
I forgot to take a picture of the plate welded on jack, forgive me. Then the next picture is as was the mess of wires in console. I could have used shorter wires, but I like to have some time off to work on housing by placing the Board further, and vice versa.
Today I see an interesting alternative would be to solder a PIN bar on the label of the 2600RGB, and put a connector on each wire, so it would be easy to separate the Housing Board. Another alternative for maintaining order would be to use a cable sleeve replacing all the wires, except for two of the pause button/change of palette.
With all the electrical part plugged, It's time to stop and do a test. Let's start the Atari 2600 and finally see how is a RGB image.
The image of Atari 2600 via RGB is excellent! The only problem was a slight noise that appeared in some colors, that apparently is not visible in the pictures. As I've reported in previous parts, then I found out that the culprit was the power supply that I was using. She was causing noise on all outputs.
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, that comes with the 2600RGB Kit, I left immediately the 12V source and use a Retrobit source I acquired on eStarland, specific to the Atari, with 9V output. And this source of Retrobit was the culprit by noise in the end. From the moment I started using a original source of Atari, noise problems are over.
The photos below were taken with the problematic source, so if there is some noise, It's her fault. The multiple pictures of the same game were testing the 3 different palettes NTSC that 2600RGB offers.
With testing, time to go back to the “Countertop” and close the console. Before, you need to open a space on metal protection to pass the new wires. I ended up not cutting the protection, just bending and opening, and putting insulating tape to protect edges and avoid cutting the wires.
With everything ready, I closed the console and did some more tests to see if I hadn't done anything stupid.
Por fim, I decided to do a good cleaning to let the Atari 2600 Shining again after the changes. And then he was so…
Note that the first videos feature some noise due to the supply problem already reported. Furthermore, the first four videos are with some glitches because of flaws in the capture. These failures occurred because when installing the MSI Cubes 2, the mini PC that I use to make catches, I left the Elgato - Game Capture HD60, the USB device I use to capture, connected to a Hub USB 3.0. I did it because the MSI Cubes 2 only has two USB ports in the back, so I left one for the External HD, that are normally supplied with the chain demanding and do not work on hubs, and left the other equipment connected in Hub USB 3.0.
But as Elgato - Game Capture HD60 didn't like to stay connected in Hub USB 3.0, and with that gave glitches on the recordings. It took me to realize that the problem was the hub. After I connected the Elgato - Game Capture HD60 straight into a USB port on the MSI Cubes 2 and I've been External HD for the Hub USB 3.0, the troubles are over. It turned out that the External HD was not so demanding as well, more to Game Capture HD60 it is.
So please ignore the glitches and noise of the first videos. Here are some of my favorite games running on Atari 2600 to 2600RGB Kit, passing by Framemeister XRGB Mini and captured with the Elgato - Game Capture HD60. They are: Pole Position, Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle, Enduro, Keystone Kapers, Chopper Command, Realsports Volleyball, Turmoil, Tennis, Frogger.
Attention: Be sure to watch the videos in 1080 p 60, that is the original resolution and frame rate, because the videos on Youtube are beautiful not resized.
But not everything is perfect. A few of the games Atari 2600 present problems with the Framemeister XRGB Mini. This happens because of the way it works video on Atari 2600. Unlike in other consoles, the Atari 2600 Let the games in control of timing and synchronization. On account of this, some programmers tried to do different things with these signs, or they simply made mistakes while programming. This generated some games with timing/sync problems.
CRT TVs are normally quite tolerant with out of specification signal, so we played a lot of these games for years without any problem. But Framemeister is more picky. Non-standard signals cause it to get lost, especially when it works with RGB signals.
Before I even buy the 2600RGB, I was already aware that at least one game had problems with it: Warlords. But in the same forum where the problem has been reported (AtariAge), the member SpiceWare had already presented a hack as a solution, solving the problem, at least for everyone who has the Harmony Cartridge.
During my tests with the 2600RGB, I found out two more games have problems: Video Pinball and Tapper. The Video Pinball in its NTSC version doesn't work at all. Only PAL versions works. The Tapper appears with the graphics somewhat buggy, as if a signal had been incorrectly deinterlaced. Check out how both these games behave in the video below:
The Tapper is one of my favorite games on the Atari 2600. Eu era muito bom nele quando era criança. Infelizmente perdi o jogo ao emprestar o cartucho para um vizinho. Um temporal e uma descarga elétrica depois e o videogame e meu cartucho foram danificados. O videogame teve conserto, o cartucho não.
Só voltei a jogar Tapper de novo com o uso de emuladores. E num Atari 2600 só depois que adquiri o Harmony Cartridge. Seria uma pena não poder joga-lo mais, mas felizmente encontrei uma solução, como já detalhei em outro artigo. Eis o vídeo do Tapper com o problema resolvido:
Regarding Video Pinball, infelizmente ainda não tenho uma solução. Felizmente não encontrei mais nenhum outro jogo com problema até agora.
Depois testei também o excelente homebrew called Draconian. São dois vídeos, pois no primeiro eu ainda não sabia jogar 🙂 . Note that from the second video I've been through the use of profiles Framemeister XRGB Mini made by Firebrandx. These profiles each pixel is enlarged so that the scale is made by whole numbers, avoiding interpolation, thus obtaining an even better image.
Por fim, I made a video with another of my favorite games, the Pressure Cooker, and made a second video of the Pole Position, This time already free of glitches, the noise and the profile of the Firebrandx.
And it was worth it to install a 2600RGB? For me thanks a lot. The image is very beautiful. Many people do not believe that is a Atari 2600, do you think it's an emulator. And why not use an emulator? In my case, I put it into my head that I don't want to limit myself to emulate the consoles I've ever had. For consoles that I never had, for arcades ok. But for the consoles that I ever played on the real hardware, I want to continue to play like that.
And note that even the Star, which is the best emulator of Atari 2600, still have your bugzinhos. One of them is in Pole Position. Want to see? Take a look at the screenshots below, the first two captured my Atari 2600 real and the third captured the Star. Noticed the bug? Not? Well, take a good look at the number “0” there on the speedometer (the left corner).
And so I'm ending this series of articles, very pleased with my Atari 2600 the Polivoks with American Board Rev. 17 to 2600RGB Kit. It was hard work for someone inexperienced, but the satisfaction at the end is great. Could have been better if installed by a professional? Probably. And I tried to, but at the time I couldn't find anyone that I could trust and wanted to do the job.
But in the end, the sense of achievement, from “I made”, to view the end result of all the work, gives an even greater satisfaction. Of course the great work was the Tim Worthington, the author of the 2600RGB. I just install the business. But still it is quite gratifying to see the result.