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Is the 2600jr. as durable as other models?...


23 replies to this topic

#1 ataridave OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012 3:14 PM

The jr. is the 2600 model that is the most attractive to me, but I've heard complaints about it not being as durable-something about the switches breaking. Is this true, or is it as durable as any other model of 2600?

#2 PFL OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012 3:18 PM

I don't have any other models to compare to but my 2600 jr is pretty solid. I mean, it's nearly 30 years old and it's still functionally perfect. I did have to use a little WD 40 on my left difficulty switch the other day but other than that I couldn't be happier. I certainly have more faith in it's robustness than any of my other consoles (I'm looking at you M$!). :)

#3 Matthew OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:29 AM

Jr is very durable, I would say more durable than the original.

#4 CrazyChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:26 PM

A number of years ago I purchased a NIB 2600 Jr.. When I received it
the console push buttons hardly worked. I guess it was from oxidation
of the contacts. I had to send it back and they rebuilt it for me.

I doubt this would happen with a woodgrain model.

#5 SlowCoder OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:48 PM

I don't have a Jr., but I've played with one before. The thing about push-button switches is that they generally just set 2 contacts together to make the connection. If there is any oxidation on either contact, the connection can't be made.

On the other hand, the slide switches that make up the original model 2600s, are heavy duty. I mean, you'd have to run them over with a car to hurt them. And because they are slides, oxidation won't affect them as readily because the slide action will rub it away.

#6 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012 8:16 PM

I have a 2600jr that worked great for about a month after I got it and then it just up and died for no apparent reason. Worked fine one day, dead the next. So, my opinion of th system isn't that good right now.

#7 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012 9:08 PM

Since you like it's appearance, I think it is important to point out that it is easy to scratch the metal. It is the same with the glossy look of a mint Vader. So, appearance wise wood grain models are more durable.

#8 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012 9:15 PM

Don't claw at, scratch or drop a cartridge on the Jr. and there should be no reason at all that the metal faceplate could ever get damaged. Have had several Jr.'s in the past and they've always been super reliable. Never even had one where I needed to clean the membrane switch contacts. All in all, a very solid 2600 IMO.

#9 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 2:04 AM

I probably wouldn't recommend taking it with you on a stagecoach ride from Kansas City to San Francisco, but both my woody and jr. have worked fine for years.

#10 Matthew OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 2:26 AM

I owned an original when I was a kid, the sliding switches started to go.
I would have to slide them multiple times to get them to work, so I got a jr. Never had a problem with the junior.

#11 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 5:10 PM

The jr. is the 2600 model that is the most attractive to me, but I've heard complaints about it not being as durable-something about the switches breaking. Is this true, or is it as durable as any other model of 2600?


If the switches do break, you can replace them with some Radio Shack push buttons like this:

Atari2600Jr.jpg

#12 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 7:42 PM

My Jr has been very reliable, but i seem to get a much better RF signal out of my Sunnvale H6er.

#13 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 8:57 PM

The Jr. was my first video game system. I loved it's appearance then and I love it now (the one with the small rainbow -- I never cared for the large rainbow). I never had trouble with the switches, but the 2nd controller port went out on it in the early/mid 90's I think. I never found why. The port itself could have just gone bad from years of us kids plugging and unplugging joysticks or it could be a more serious problem with a chip. I can't really say that makes the Jr. unreliable because I have 2 others that work fine.

To compare from my personal experience: I have 4 of the classic models and one of them is dead. I have four 7800s and one of them is dead. That 1st Jr. got far more play-time than my NES which had to have the connector replaced a couple years ago. I have 3 Colecovisions and one of them had a dead controller port. I had to replace one of the ICs and now it works fine. I have four Intellivisions and one of them is dead. I just think that every once in a while you get a lemon with anything.

Edited by KevinMos3, Wed Aug 8, 2012 8:59 PM.


#14 ataridave OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:34 PM

True, you can get a lemon with anything. But, as a kid, I NEVER had problems with the slide switches on the 2600 that we had.

#15 kennyk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:40 PM

I have always had good luck with these, except the one I bought one off of eBay years ago that had a somewhat broken difficulty switch. It still worked though, just a bit wonky.

#16 accousticguitar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:40 PM

All 2600 models seem to be fairly durable, though overall I've had slightly better luck with the Juniors than the others.

#17 frankodragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:20 PM

So far my Jr.'s been working okay although someday I'll probably have to clean the gunk out of the switches if they start acting flakey. I use it for those cartridges that don't fit in the woody.

#18 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:07 PM

My 2nd joystick port is going. Never had any probs with the switches though.

#19 Rik OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:09 PM

After all these years, the ONLY classic gaming console i've ever seen cracked with pieces missing is the Coleco Gemini.

#20 Jinks ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:18 PM

My original compact one from my birthday in the 80's still works never had a problem..my h6 and l6 work good even the 7800 for vcs games. I dont know buy one i bet it will last another 30 years..

#21 bah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:56 PM

One thing to watch for is the small plastic tabs that open the dust shield used on the early carts that can break off. These tabs are part of the case so its not easy to fix.
Other than that, the contacts on the push buttons have been slightly less reliable than the older slide switches for me and I have owned several of each.

#22 SlowCoder OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:26 AM

I think one of the very big things is how you take care of your system. Where the Jr buttons are relatively flush to the case, the older models stick out, making them prone to getting hit or crushed. You could use this to say the Jrs were built better, more ergonomically designed. On the other hand, they lack "Atari Style".

Also, maybe something to think about is that many of us were kids when we had our originals. We may have been rough and tumble around them. And in the time between the H6 and the Jr, most of us grew up (at least physically :P), and tended to take more care of our consoles.

#23 tremoloman2006 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:54 PM

I love all models of the 2600, but I feel the junior suffers from the most inferior build quality based on the dozens of systems I've bought/cleaned/restored. Poor picture quality, lack of color depth, and jammed/failing game select/reset switches are common. Drop a junior onto the floor and you will likely have case damage. Do the same with a 4/6 switch and the system will likely be fine. The plastic on the junior is just brittle.

In its favor, I do like the removable RF cable and it is nice to look at.

I still love the system... as long as I don't have to play through it. :)

#24 Mister VCS OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:03 AM

The picture quality is ways better on a PAL 2600JR. than on a PAL 2600A (4switch) system. Comparable with a 2600 P (6switch) model IMO.




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