Doug's Sounding Board


Fixing Ataris

This summer Henry was over and wanted to play the Atari 2600. I went to go turn it on and found there was no way for the video signal to get where it needed to go. I removed the VCR from the stack of equipment awhile ago since we don’t have any more tapes and that was the only RF input I had. Then I realized that with the ending of analog broadcast pretty soon nothing will be able to handle the RF signal. I looked for standalone RF converters and found that, while they do exist, it’s cheaper just to get a VCR, but I don’t want a VCR just to run the Atari. I found a kit from The Longhorn Engineer. The kit is easy to assemble (even though I had been out of practice soldering). The instructions on the site are complete but I was having trouble making it work with my model so I put it aside for awhile. When I went back to it the instructions were updated and they worked perfectly! Now I have composite and s-video and pseudo-stereo outputs!

Later in the summer Vinna wanted to play Asteroids and it wouldn’t turn on. I thought it might be the kill-switch that triggers when the back panel is open but that tested fine. The power coming out of the power supply was non-existent though. I looked up replacement power supplies and found the service manual. From that I learned about the fuses. One of the six fuses was bad so I replaced it and it powered up. Since I was working on it I replaced the lock on the back panel so I wouldn’t have to tape it in place anymore. I’ll try harder not to lose this set of keys.

Now I just have to replace the RAM chips in the Battlezone machine.

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