A year ago I finally fixed my original Sears 2600. It had kicked the bucket in 2011, and after making do with a donor board for a couple of years, I finally got my original board working again by swapping out the 6507 and RIOT, plus installing Mojoatomic's re-cap kit. So I had my original 2600 (plus a CyberTech S-Video mod) all up and running again!
But not quite...
One of the first repairs I had to make back when I dusted it off in 2002 for the first time in over a decade, was the Select and Reset switches were broken. So I ordered a set of new ones, and much to my disappointment, they weren't the same. The toggles were aluminum. Mine had always been chrome. I didn't know at the time that the chrome caps were added to refurbished models - I just thought that's how the Sears consoles were supposed to all be. I knew mine was a factory refurb (that's how I was able to afford it), but had never made the connection.
Unfortunately, you just can't go out and order replacement chrome caps. Those parts have long-since been exhausted. And an attempt I made to get one of the chrome caps off resulted in mangling it so bad it was unusable. So, I made do with the aluminum ones. But my 2600 never felt... right.
My 2600 - with aluminum switches.
When I repaired it a year ago (for what I hoped was the last time), I made one last effort to find chrome switches. Even if it meant finding another refurbished Sears 2600. But no luck. So I figured "Well... maybe someday", and went back to playing the console with the stock aluminum switches.
Then, quite recently (probably due to my participating more than usual in the 2600 HSC this year), my Reset switch started misbehaving. At first jiggling it would make it work, but after awhile, it completely failed. So I was going to have to open my 2600 up and replace it anyway. Meanwhile, I swapped my console with a spare Vader, and kept playing.
Then, this thread happened. And in it, AtariAger Osgeld responded to me asking about chrome capped switches - and he had some! They were spares - and I could have them for the cost of postage. A quick PayPal later, and I had the switches! Now, it didn't 100% solve my problem, because he had only one momentary switch, and I needed two. But - I was able to get one of my other chrome caps off with minimal fuss, so all I had to do was slide that cap over one of the aluminum ones, and I'd be in business!
Three of my original switches, Osgeld's spares, and my successfully-removed cap.
So today I opened up my 2600, and started swapping out the switches.
All prepped for surgery. The nice part about doing a switch swap is that the main part of the 2600 - including my video mod - can stay put.
The bad Reset switch is on the right. Some of the contacts in it are loose and flopping around.
I had to scrape some adhesive out of the cap before it would slide over the switch.
The re-capped Select switch. Since this switch was good, there was no reason to desolder it. The cap is held on with a thin strip of Poster Tape inside.
All desoldered, and ready to have its proper switches restored!
All done! That was fast! (No it wasn't... desoldering took awhile. I need to get one of these.)
Close-up of the chrome switches. Don't they look sweet?
More chrome! Including the re-capped Select and replaced Reset switch.
Felt pads are back in place, and the 2600 is ready to be buttoned-up. Hopefully for the last time for a long while.
I don't actually know what this is. I hit the button on my phone accidentally at some point. But it's kind of a cool abstract art thing, so there you go.
And it's finished!
It's hard to show how good these look in person.
But what's even better, oddly enough, is how they feel. They're smoother than the aluminum ones, and they make my 2600 feel the way it used to, all those years ago!
Before and after.
So finally, after multiple surgeries, and many, many years, my 2600 is back! It's got its original switches again, and finally everything works!
Well... except that it boots to a black screen unless my AtariVox is plugged into the right joystick port. For some reason.