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Help getting back into atari


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#1 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 4:23 PM

I was able to get my old system and games out of storage recently and am working on hooking it up. Unfortunately my new tv doesn't recognize it, but my older one does. So I was thinking of doing the composite mod. I see there are a lot of versions out there though. Which one should I go with?

 

Also, I have pulled it apart and cleaned it, and repaired the 2 springy switches. It doesn't look like I have any bad caps, but when I have a game in, if I tap or bump the console, then it goes all wonky. Any suggestions to fix that?

 

Thanks in advance for the help!



#2 VicViper OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 4:52 PM

I've used this on several Atari, both 2600 and 7800 http://www.ebay.com/...WAAAOSwOyJX58f3

 As for your second problem, stop kicking the Atari  :grin:



#3 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 5:24 PM

Thanks! I'll check it out. 



#4 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 7:27 PM

You weren't specific on which type of Atari you have, so I'm gonna guess you mean a regular 2600. For the best possible picture, you're gonna want a better mod than the eBay one. Search the forum for the thread on the UAV board. It's the one you are gonna want for a 2600. The eBay mod works great for the Jr and the 7800, but the plain 2600s need a better mod. The UAV is only $25 if I remember correctly and it is far superior.



#5 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 7:33 PM

as far as the glitching goes, a) stop kicking it like Vic said B) you can try cleaning the slot out with a cut down to fit credit card and some stout tissue paper, something thin that wont crumble when wet and some contact cleaner, or rubbing alcohol if nothing else

 

games are easier to clean with a cotton bud / qtip, just got to poke one of the slots with a toothpick or something to release the dust cover 



#6 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 8:03 PM

You weren't specific on which type of Atari you have, so I'm gonna guess you mean a regular 2600. For the best possible picture, you're gonna want a better mod than the eBay one. Search the forum for the thread on the UAV board. It's the one you are gonna want for a 2600. The eBay mod works great for the Jr and the 7800, but the plain 2600s need a better mod. The UAV is only $25 if I remember correctly and it is far superior.

Yeah I have a 4 switch normal 2600. 



#7 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 8:04 PM

as far as the glitching goes, a) stop kicking it like Vic said B) you can try cleaning the slot out with a cut down to fit credit card and some stout tissue paper, something thin that wont crumble when wet and some contact cleaner, or rubbing alcohol if nothing else

 

games are easier to clean with a cotton bud / qtip, just got to poke one of the slots with a toothpick or something to release the dust cover 

I have cleaned the games, but didn't clean the slot. Thanks for the tip!



#8 up2knowgood OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 2, 2017 5:56 AM

I had the same problem with mine. Manually program channel 2 or 3 into the T.V. and it should work fine. I suggest 3 since its more likely to be set up to receive antenna signals on channel 3.

#9 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 7:13 PM

I've used this on several Atari, both 2600 and 7800 http://www.ebay.com/...WAAAOSwOyJX58f3

 As for your second problem, stop kicking the Atari  :grin:

 

What install method did you use?



#10 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 7:26 PM

bubble gum and earwax 



#11 VicViper OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 7:28 PM

 

What install method did you use?

Dis one https://www.google.c...ALZHuqy8BGa6c-Q



#12 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 7:47 PM

Thanks! I'll try that



#13 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 8:36 PM

Thanks! I'll try that

It's your Atari, so the decision is up to you, but if you buy a $13 mod board and then realize the picture isn't that great (which you probably will), then you will have to shell out another $25 to get the UAV mod board. Why not just do it right the first time? I know there are people who are happy with the cheap mods, but I've compared the picture quality between my cheap mod 7800, my unmodded RF 2600 Jr and my cheap mod 2600. The 7800 and the unmodded Jr both have much better picture quality. I've even tried two different cheap mods on my 2600 and I wasn't happy with either. ( They were given to me, thankfully.) The UAV connects right to the TIA pins and gives you a perfect picture. The cheap mods can't do that. I can barely read the text on my Harmony Cart menu on my 2600. The same menu is crystal clear on my 7800 and my Jr. It was like that with both of the cheap mods I tried on my 2600. I haven't been able to spare the cash for the UAV, but I've seen the screenshots and read the reviews, if you have $25, get the UAV.  Don't take my word for it, search the forums for  the threads about the UAV and you'll see for yourself that it's a much better option. :)



#14 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 8:46 PM

those transistor mod's are a bit of a rip considering its like 5 cents worth of parts (plus postage) but sometimes the UAV is a bit overkill for "I want better than rf but it doesnt have to be the best ever" 

 

I think the UAV for a jack of all atari's is a very good design for a very fair price, but half way tween for basic composite, but kicks the crap out of the bubble gum transistor mod can be done better 

 

maybe I should start selling my basic composite mod video amps, like 7.99 better than a transistor, not as good as a UAV (least in terms of SVIDEO and compatibility, I bet a beer the boards I made and have been using for a few years now can compete if not on par on composite) 


Edited by Osgeld, Tue Sep 5, 2017 8:48 PM.


#15 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 9:15 PM

 

 

maybe I should start selling my basic composite mod video amps, like 7.99 better than a transistor, not as good as a UAV (least in terms of SVIDEO and compatibility, I bet a beer the boards I made and have been using for a few years now can compete if not on par on composite) 

I agree that your mod is better than the transistor mods, since it's what I have in my 2600 right now. It made a definite improvement, but the picture quality still isn't as good as my unmodded Jr.

I would recommend your mod over the transistor mods for sure! 

 

I don't know the technical reasons, but the 7800 and the Jr both seem to work better with any of the cheap mods.

I've even wondered if my old revision 12 motherboard was causing poor picture quality, but I've seen too many reports from other sources noting that 2600s in general, didn't work as well with cheaper mods.

I really need to get around to posting some screenshots comparing the pictures from all three of my systems, since it might end up being helpful to other people and not just me.

 

I know I can't expect miracles from a 2600, but I feel like I should get picture quality equal to that of an unmodded Jr and right now, that's not happening. I'm actually using my unmodded Jr most of the time, just because the picture quality is so much better. I'll try my best to make a thread tomorrow and post some comparison pictures.



#16 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 9:24 PM

I am starting with this mainly because my 4 switch is not in great shape, but works. And I need to try out my soldering skills before testing out the UAV mod. That and I'd like to eventually pick up a heavy sixer and do the UAV on that.



#17 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 9:37 PM

I am starting with this mainly because my 4 switch is not in great shape, but works. And I need to try out my soldering skills before testing out the UAV mod. That and I'd like to eventually pick up a heavy sixer and do the UAV on that.

Ah, I see. :-D

Then It would be best to just go with the most cost effective mod. If you haven't already bought one of the eBay ones, I suggest trying Osgeld's mod. ;)



#18 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 9:49 PM

Ah, I see. :-D

Then It would be best to just go with the most cost effective mod. If you haven't already bought one of the eBay ones, I suggest trying Osgeld's mod. ;)

 

what was that 29.99 (kidding) 



#19 Tidus79001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 8, 2017 1:42 PM

As a very low tech solution I used the old original RF switchbox and connected a coax adapter to the VHF terminal leads. Plugged that into the coax jack on my HD TV, set the input on thd TV to coax and was able to get a picture from the 2600 without issue.

Edited by Tidus79001, Fri Sep 8, 2017 2:39 PM.


#20 ludespeedny OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 8, 2017 2:02 PM

I originally had a friend make me a coax cable with a rca jack on it. Worked well, but couldn't get picture on one of my tv's. I just completed my composite mod and while the pic looks better, I think I have other issues with my atari that I need to troubleshoot. I still don't get pic on my main tv since it is a new tv and apparently won't display the atari however it is hooked up.

Tonight I plan on installing a resistor for the service update that helps color, and a ferrite core on my long(ish) internal wires for the composite mod and it may help.



#21 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 8, 2017 2:04 PM

Help getting back into atari..

 

In Russia, Atari gets into you!



#22 Tidus79001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 8, 2017 3:50 PM

As a very low tech solution I used the old original RF switchbox and connected a coax adapter to the VHF terminal leads. Plugged that into the coax jack on my HD TV, set the input on thd TV to coax and was able to get a picture from the 2600 without issue.

 

Best part out of all of the solutions below is that you are changing the original configuration of the console or risking any damage to the hardware and it is cheap.  Also the 2600 is no where near HD so I don't see much benefit with high tech mod which would show no real improvement in image.

 

 

Example

vidadapt1.jpg

 

OR there are are newer RF switchboxes that have coax connection built onto them.  This would probably be a better option than the using a coax adapter on the VHF lead on a old switchbox.

RFCoax_SW.jpg

 

Also AtariAge has a RF to coax adapter that you can purchase from the AtariAge store.

 

https://atariage.com...uct_detail&p=42

detail_42_rca_ftype_detail.jpg

 

Atari-2600-_VCS-_JR-2600_A-_Cable-_TV-_A


Edited by Tidus79001, Fri Sep 8, 2017 4:06 PM.


#23 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 8, 2017 9:47 PM

 

  Also the 2600 is no where near HD so I don't see much benefit with high tech mod which would show no real improvement.

While you are correct, the 2600 isn't HD, you aren't 100% correct about the mods.

 

Quite a few people will disagree with you about it making a difference in picture quality.

 

  As far as my 2600 goes, even with the composite mods not working very well, the picture is still better than the RF ever was. My 7800 with RF was unplayable. With one of the cheap composite mods, it has a very nice, clear picture.

I can say that my 2600 Jr remains unmodded , because it has the clearest RF signal I've ever seen. It's as good as my composite modded 7800, maybe even better. So, that proves that not all consoles NEED to be modded, but in most cases, you will notice an improvement.

I've seen plenty of before and after pics from people who have bought the UAV board and there's no denying that the picture quality goes from decent to nearly perfect.

 

A lot of people will say that the reason for doing a composite or S-video mod is not only to improve the picture quality, but also to give the console an output that's more acceptable for new TVs. So far, I haven't ran into a TV that cared if the console was coax or composite. I have had issues on a "Smart TV", but those issues apply no matter how the console is connected. I even tried using a VCR as a go-between. The Smart TV was still too stupid to work correctly with some games. The issues I've ran into on the Smart TV are unique. None of my other TVs had any issues at all. Even ones made by the same manufacturer during the same time. I'm getting off track here though.

 

As many people on the forums will tell you, most of the mods aren't "high tech" and do make a real difference. I'm not saying everyone should mod their console. If your's has acceptable picture quality, that's great. If you don't mind there being some snow, that's fine. Like I said, my Jr is still unmodded and I think the picture quality is amazing. Most mods do have some risks involved in installing them, but it's no more than the risks involved in doing any soldering, such as replacing the caps or the voltage regulator. If you do it right, the mods can even be reversed with no ill effects. I know there are purists who think that modding a vintage console is a deadly sin and they have the right to have that opinion. I don't look at it as harming the console or it's value. I want to "PLAY" the games and I'd like the best possible picture when I do it. If that means doing some soldering, then that's perfectly acceptable. Everyone is different and has the right to be different. Seeing before and after pictures proves that there are "REAL" improvements. I see that as a fact and facts are hard to argue with. :)



#24 onemoretime OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:02 PM

Money spent, mod wise at least, doesn t mean the best deal, IMO. Years ago I spent quite a bit on a kit from a former member here that was supposed to be kinda up and coming. I m not going to mention names, but the old hands will know him as the same guy that burnt me and others on 7800 game to 5200 console adapters.  Anyhow, long story short, 6 months later I received a very expensive mod, that had the picture quality of a vhs copy of another vhs copy. Then I purchased and installed a really well working kit from ElectronicSentimentalities, which isn t making them at the moment.  The trick to surviving this hobby is to not pay the I want it right this friggin second price on anything. Game prices vary, and rarity changes often. A LOT of the really rare/expensive games aren t really that great as far as playability.  Deals come and go, and the community here is great for sound advise. Also keep in mind that the hobby is like collecting vacuum cleaners..... you may get a really fine collection, but it s still freakin vacuum cleaners. I figure when I croak, what I have left will probably go the route of E.T. at Alamogordo.

 

#25 yenzee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:50 AM

Hi!

Is there anywhere a propper installation guide for the UAV into an 6-switcher PAL ?

I can´t find one.... I would be very glad about help.

Greetings from germany,

Jens.






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