Changing the TIA Chip Socket in Atari 2600 Polyvox with American Plate Rev. 17

In 2017 I made one series of articles here on Skooter Blog showing how I installed the MOD 2600RGB in my Atari 2600 Polyvox with American PCB, review 17.

But a little problem that occurred in the socket do chip TIA, the same socket where 2600RGB it fits, has been pending since that time. Do not take and put the 2600RGB, which fits with great difficulty, one of the contacts of socket ended up damaged, As can be seen in photos:

This damage did not prevent the console from working, but for some time now, I noticed he was a bit sensitive, any tap on the carcass would make the image disappear.

There in the already distant year of 2019 I bought capacitors for my Super Nintendo and I already bought the socket for Atari's TIA 2600 (socket from 40 pins) to make this exchange, but it's something I've always been putting off for later. I opted for one socket turned instead of stamped, how is the atari original 2600, because I believe that the turning has greater durability and that it would facilitate the fitting of the 2600RGB pins.

Sockets Turned 40 pins.

Sockets Turned 40 pins.

The exchange was being postponed for three reasons.: 1) I had never exchanged one socket and feared to do something foolish and ruin the console; 2) after what the Post Office made with my Super Nintendo, sending the console to a technician by post was not an option; 3) two good technicians from my city, not specialized in games, but who would i trust for this task, unfortunately they died.

In the last day 18/09, a cousin brought an atari 2600 that he acquired for us to test, along with some cartridges. As his console didn't work, we went to test the cartridges on my Atari and once again the defect of the socket manifested itself when I put the console on, that was in my lap, back in rack.

So I decided it was time to face the job.. As I had some free time the next day (Sunday, 19/09), I decided that I would finally change the socket problematic.

Initially I tried to take the socket old with hot air, but I did not succeed, I'm still afraid of hot air, because it comes out melting varnish and everything else. I fear that these PCBs of almost 40 years old can't stand the heat and spoil themselves somehow. Maybe it's better to leave the hot air for more modern SMDs and boards.

Desoldering 40 pins at once was beyond my capabilities, so I chose to cut the plastic from the old socket with cutting pliers, carefully, leaving only the metallic contacts, that I could then unsolder one by one in the traditional way, with soldering iron and manual sucker. Um dessoldador/sugador automático já é sonho de consumo há algum tempo, que ainda não se concretizou.

Com o slot antigo removido, soldar o novo foi a parte mais fácil. Eis o resultado:

PCB do Atari 2600 (Rev. 17) with the new TIA socket installed.

PCB do Atari 2600 (Rev. 17) with the new TIA socket installed.

Fui fazer o teste e, to my disappointment, nada do console funcionar. De volta à bancada improvisada na mesa da sala de jantar, fui testando continuidades entre pinos vizinhos e achei uma continuidade que não deveria existir entre um par de pinos ali na casa dos 30 (não lembro exatamente quais). Era algum resquício mínimo de solda dos pinos que estava fazendo o contato indesejado. Ressoldando os pinos envolvidos o problema se foi e o Atari 2600 returned to work. Bingo! 🙂

Passei um verniz novo nas novas soldas, terminei a montagem do console, I saved all the equipment and found that the service had been performed successfully:

Atari 2600 up and running after socket exchange.

Atari 2600 up and running after socket exchange.

The following day (second, 20/09) I did one live at the end of the night testing the console:

That's when I realized that things hadn't gone as well as I had imagined. In several games the audio was incomplete. Clearly one of the TIA's two audio channels was not passing sound. Would I have damaged the TIA? Or the 2600RGB?

I tried to remove the 2600RGB, connect the TIA directly and turn on the Atari via RF, but the audio problem persisted. I tested TIA that came with the console, the one with a defect in the input of the paddles, but the problem also persisted. Surely the problem was on the board., I damaged something when changing the socket, but what?

I decided to take a look at the Atari scheme 2600, available on the Atari Age website, and soon I realized that there is a bridge between the pins 12 and 13 of the TIA, which are the audio pins. but on my board, these pins were not continuing. Where would this bridge be on the board? Nay, where should she be?

Scheme Atari 2600, notice the bridge between the pins 12 and 13 of the TIA.

Scheme Atari 2600, notice the bridge between the pins 12 and 13 of the TIA.

Bridge between TIA audio pins in Atari schematic 2600.

Bridge between TIA audio pins in Atari schematic 2600.

Fortunately I take a picture of everything I'm going to move, so I ended up finding an old photo from when I was installing 2600RGB. Behold, there was a small bridge between the pins 12 and 13 do socket do TIA, and on the side of the PCB that holds the welds. it's tiny, but you can see a sparkle of metal there.

The PCB of my Atari 2600, in 2017.

The PCB of my Atari 2600, in 2017.

Ponte entre os pinos de áudio do TIA em foto antiga da PCB do meu Atari 2600.

Ponte entre os pinos de áudio do TIA em foto antiga da PCB do meu Atari 2600.

Essa ponte sumiu no processo de troca de socket, não sei exatamente em que momento, talvez na hora de tirar as soldas velhas ela acabou sugada, talvez foi algum cortezinho apenas na hora de limpar, talvez tenha sido puxada ao cortar o socket com o alicate. Ultimately, fiz alguma bobagem e essa ponte sumiu. O jeito foi refazer a ponte unindo os terminais dos pinos 12 and 13 com solda. Fui testar novamente e o problema do som de fato foi resolvido assim! 😀

Mais um pouco de verniz para proteger a nova solda, fechei então o console e na noite da terça (21/09) fiz uma nova live, dessa vez com o áudio perfeito:

E agora meu Atari 2600 está bem mais estável, posso bater na carcaça dele sem que ele trave. Era realmente o socket that was causing the instabilities.

As for the benefits of socket turning, I hope it lasts longer, but fitting the 2600RGB into it is equally complicated.. It seems that it never completely fits. But I fit as much as I could, I shook him a lot and he doesn't come out, so I think it's ok.

Could have saved a good headache by sending the console to a technician? Probably. But I could have had an even bigger headache if I had happened the same as with my Super Nintendo. so i'm satisfied. At least I learned something new and was able to share it with you.

And so, my atari 2600 with 2600RGB still connected to my living room TV, via OSSC, giving me the best image I could get from the original hardware. This comes in quite handy, since the core of Atari 2600 on the MiSTer é bom mas ainda está longe de ser perfeito.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.skooterblog.com/2021/10/11/troca-do-socket-do-chip-tia-no-atari-2600-polyvox-com-placa-americana-rev-17/

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Para evitar a solda ficar dando contato entre dois pontos, eu recomendo usar fluxo de solda, ela praticamentechupaa solda para o ponto certo, daí você consegue aplicar uma quantidade bem menor.
Grande sacada tirar as fotos antes de instalar o Mod RGB, eu comecei a fazer isso ultimamente também e ajuda para burro quando você fica em dúvida sobre como estava o circuito originalmente.
Ficou show a qualidade agora.

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