Tag Archives: 2600

yes, I’m still alive…

Ok, I know I haven’t posted on here in ages, so I’m doing a quick post just to do it.  So why haven’t I been posting?  Back in April I hurt my arm cleaning an 2600 Jr.  I know that sounds weird, it needed heavy duty cleaning due to the abuse from it’s previous owner, and I literately had to take it apart and scrub it out and in the process I had to wash the main board with dish soap and water and shook the water off, and some how in the process pulled, ripped or whatever something in my right arm.  I’ve pretty much been in pain from that ever since.  It improved a bit but seems to get worse when i use my arm too much, including using Atari joystick 😦   I have been to the doctor about it, and was suppose to be referred to a specialist for tests, but for what ever reason that never happened.  And last I called the doc’s office they couldn’t give me a reason why…

So the repair and cleaning that 2600 Jr,  really messed me up and  made it hard at best to do anything on the Atari that uses a joystick.  I do have some paddle games to play, but it took the fun out of it.  Right now I’m getting back in to flight sims on the PC and just got a yoke for that instead of using a joystick.  So maybe I’ll start posting about flight sims..  Who knows..

I plan on keeping my Atari stuff.. I have some nice games in my collection, and it’s not like there’s a huge dollar value there that I can’t afford to keep them.  I tried to get more active on the ham radio again, but just came to the conclusion it’s just not my priority and not a good fit for me.

I use to be really into flights sims ten years of so ago, I even went as far as to take some real flying lessons.  I have a copy of Flight Simulator Gold ordered and hoping it’ll show up soon.  So that’s a semi brief what’s going on..

 

 

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Happyness is a warm joystick

As I said in my last post, I ordered switches yesterday that the specs were a match to what was in my Atari 2600 Jr.  They arrived today, I quickly open the box and got to work.  I replaced the power, color/B&W, and channel selection switches.  The only real difficulty was with the channel switch.     When I removed it, the center circuit trace on the parts side of the board came up with the switch.   Not good…

 

Some careful straightening of the trace and some tricky soldering got the new switch in place.  I had one extra switch that I had thought about replacing the left difficulty switch also, but given the issue with the channel switch, I decided to leave the original as long as it seemed to be working ok.   So I have a spare right angle switch, maybe I’ll need it some day.

The end results, the Atari 2600 Jr has three new switches in it, and working properly.   The next project will be the mod for composite video and audio outputs.  Which I know kind of makes the replacement of the channel switch redundant, but it was so gross from the damage caused by the previous owner it just had to go..

 

Original switches while still installed

 

New (left) and old power switch (right)

 

With the 3 new switches installed.

A little history

A little history to start off with..  I was in my early teens when the Atari 2600 first came out.  I remember going to Sears and playing whatever they had running on the console in the store, of course that was the Sears version of the 2600.  Eventually, after a lot of begging, my mother bought me an Atari 2600.  I had a hand full of game cartridges, but over time lost interest after getting my first computer, a TRS-80 model 1.  Eventually, the 2600 got sold when I need money, something I always regretted.  By the way, I still have that old TRS-80 and it works fine and looks good.

Fast forward to about a year and a half ago, the need to have an Atari again got to me, and I bought a used 6-switch model that came with 10 games, power supply and game switch:)  I did end up having to take it apart and clean it out.  Lot’s of carpet fiber inside, and the switches were glitchy.  So I cleaned them and greased them and got them working good as new.  And that was enough to make me happy just having it again.  don’t play it a lot, just good to have it around again.

Lately I’ve lost interest in online gaming and virtual 3D world chat rooms that I have been doing in recent years with the ever increasing number of cheaters and twits, so I’ve been getting my Atari itch again, and watched a few videos of other collectors and realized I wanted to to get more into the Atari.  So I found a local store that sold used games and picked up Tron Deadly Discs and Pole Position and had a blast playing them when I got home:)

I also bought a few more games on feebay and picked up a 2600 Jr a few days ago.   The was a fair price, but not a great bargain, but I wanted it since it’s compact and would fit on the table by the couch better then the 6-switch.

Well then I got it home..  The seller said it was working, yada yada..   The switches were making poor contact and stiff, so after seeing a video about cleaning them decided to take it apart and have at it.  Soon as I opened the case I realized the real reason the guy was selling it.. The inside were covered in dried, sticky pop..  The channel switch was un-moveable, power switch hardly worked, voltage regulator section was covered in goo and so on…  So I began the cleaning, and having seen the video on youtube, knew it could take some fairly rough cleaning.

I ended up spraying it with contact cleaner, then soaking the main board in a sink for of dish soap, scrubbed with tooth paste, rinsed with water, flushed with rubbing alcohol, then just blasted with more contact clearing then finely dried in the oven at low temperature.  The case also got a complete cleaning too.

 

 

Put back together and tested, it’s working fine now, the switches work right and it runs as it should and looks pretty good to, epically considering how it was abused.  I still have to get it a new power supply, I’m using the one from my 6-switch for now, and another joystick would be good too.

So the plan is now to collect more games at I fine them, both games that are for play and for collecting in general.  Maybe get  another variation of the 2600 if I find a heavy 6 or vader for a decent price.  So that’s my ramblings for for now…

 

 

First Post…

Ok, the obligatory first post to make sure this is working…

I created this blog as a place to ramble on about Atari related gaming stuff.  Even though I’m also a ham radio operator, I don’t think too many of the hams I talk to are interested in classic video games, so this will be my outlet.  If people choose to read this or not is up to them.. umm you..  So it’s just a place to blurt out ideas, thoughts and pics..