Tag Archives: video game

AtariBox

After watching the video a couple times, the Ataribox clearly has a design similar to the classic 2600. I seen a lot of posts on forums speculating it’s an android device, I would doubt it since that would tie it in to Google and force internet connections, and an online store,  and quite honestly I won’t buy it if it was tied to android or something like that.

My guess is that it will play 2600/7800 games and new generation games on carts, but with a modern video/HDMI output since it would be stupid to do an RF channel 3 or 4 type output today. if they went for a all new platform with online stuff then it’s going against the PS and Xbox with no background other then the Atari name, and that’d just be stupid. Atari’s strength is it timeless games, with out that included what’s the point….

 

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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..

 

 

What “untested” really means on ebay

A few days ago, I bought half a dozen Atari computer games on ebay.  The seller said they were in good shape but untested..  They showed up fairly fast, I’ll give them that.  But of the six cartridges, THREE will not load.  Two of those three are the ones I wanted the most.  Very disappointing.

 

I knew I was taking a risk buying them listed as untested, and it will be the last time I but anything untested, since that appears to really mean ‘they are selling off the junk’…

I’m going to do some more heavy cleaning to the cartridge contacts this weekend on the chance I may be able to revive any of them.

 

I have yet to leave feedback on ebay about the transaction,  just at this point in tine it appears i flushed half my money, I don’t see leaving positive feedback for sure.  I’ll either not leave feedback on the purchase or neutral and detail why..  Ok, this is just a short post/rant to vent a bit…

Weekend game hunting trip

A few weeks ago I manged to hurt my right arm (while cleaning the 2600 Jr I bought…), and it’s been very slowly recovering, at least I think it is, hard to be sure some days.  The pain has been keeping me from play games on my Atari just because of the stress on the muscles moving the joystick, yes it’s that bad.  So I decided to go hunting paddle based game cartridges.

 

I had seen an ad for a store out of town about half an hour drive that said they had Atari, and other games.  I tried contacting them for details, but the never answered the email, which was the only contact method in the ad other then the address.  Not a very good way to do business..  But last saturday I decided to give it a go.

It was bit rainy, but that doesn’t bother me, however on the drive there I did see a suv on it’s roof in the ditch and cops all over.

So I found the store with no problem, and there was in fact some Atari stuff there, but mostly it was other older console stuff.  So I when though the single box of Atari games they had and found a couple paddle games on my want list, and six others that were joystick games but worth getting to play later.  I left a few games behind that I would have liked to have bought, but they were in such poor condition I figured I could wait until I find better cartridges.

I also spotted a Slik Stik joystick among the handful of controllers they had and got it also.  I figured I may has well make the trip worth while and worth the gas I used getting there.

I cleaned them all up on sunday, some of the cartridges were worse then others, but all worked.  So overall, I count the trip a success.  But I have no plans on making the trip again.

Eight games, one  joystick, and most importantly, got home safely.  Only two were for paddles, but now I have some games I can manage with my sort arm 🙂   My best score in Astroblast so far is 330, probably not earth shattering, but it got me going again 🙂

Homemade game switch

We all need to connect our games to a TV to play, unless your  Atari has been modded, this mean you need a switch box.  Back in the day, the consoles came with a little metal box with a slide switch, that had the RCA jack for the game and the twin flat lead to connect to the old style 300 ohm TV input.  No TV made in the last decade or two have had twin lead inputs on them, everything went to the screw on 75 ohm coaxial cable (“F” type connector) since that type of cable has far lower signal loss.    I’ve seen people put a adapter on the flat twin lead from a switch box to change it back to a 75 ohm connection.  It works, but it is a bad way to do it since there is signal loss, meaning a fuzzier picture.  Those old switch boxes already are taking the 75 ohm output from the Atari and changing it to 300 ohm twin lead with a matching transformer in side the switch, that’s fine if that’s the type of TV you have, but if it’s a modern TV, you end up switching it back loosing more signal.

 

Since the Atari output is 75 ohm coaxial and the modern TV use the same input, no signal matching is needed, just a switch.  There were some made back in the 80s and 90s, but not as common as the 75 to 300 ohm switches.  So I decided to make my own.  It’s a very simple project requiring basic soldering skilled, a power drill and a few inexpensive parts.  Two F type connectors, one RCA connector, a double throw switch, a metal box, and some wire.

 

For my project I used the case of an old cable converter and painted it red.

 

I simply connect the output to the TV to the common center connections of the switch, and the RCA to one side, the other F connectors to the other side of the switch.  Super simple, and works great!   If you are able to make your own, go for it, if not, look for a manufactured one, it will be far better then then a switch and an adapter for the old twin lead stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Saga of my Atari 2600 Jr continues

As I reported in my last post, the Atari 2600 Jr I recently bought was working ok, but after it sat a while, the power switch got a bit flaky again.  I’m guessing there was some contact cleaner still in it at first that helped make it work right.  But after sitting over night it had become stiff again and I had to fiddle with it a bit to get it to turn on.

 

So I decided to replace the switch completely,  the 2-3 channel switch is also a bit suspect.  Even though I could just solder a permanent jump for channel 3, I decided to replace it also.  Then came the fun part, trying to find the switches.  So I looked on feebay, no exact match, but a few close ones from China, but I also know the quality of stuff like that is questionable.  So I spent 3 hours looking through the specs of most every slide switch sold on a major parts supplier.  And finally found switches that match both the power and channel switches:)  I just finished ordering them and should have them in a day or two if they send them as fast as they did with my last order of parts for a ham, radio project I was building.

 

So in a few days I should have the 2600 Jr restored.  I’m debating replacing the old 3.5mm power jack with a more modern coaxial power connector more commonly used today.  Not that the current jack is bad, just that the coaxial design doesn’t short the power supply when it’s plunged in or unpluged from the console.  I don’t have an original power supply for it, so it’s not like I’m cutting of an original plug.  I’m a bit torn between keeping it as original as possible and a bit of an update.   There’s also the fake those power supplies with 3.5mm (1/8 inch) plugs could accidentally be plugged in to an audio jack on a radio or sound card and that could be very bad.  So not having that around might be good.  Also, keep in mind I also plane on do a composite  video output mod to it also in time.  And leave Atari 2600 6-switch (light) un-modded.