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Motherboard Copyright Year (1977) Different From Chip(s) Year (1981)

Motherboard Chip Chips 1977 1981

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#1 AtariMI1978 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:58 PM

I wanted to add my question into the correct post/forum, so hopefully I've done that, if not, I apologize. I’m looking to learn more about this Atari 2600 that was given to me.

 

 

Atari 2600

Property of Atari Inc. Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Manufactured: 1977

Manufactured by: TRW Electronic Components Company In Taiwan

Model: CX-2600

Box: Copyright Atari, Inc. 1978

Light or Heavy Sixer: Not sure?

 

 

I have a question (or maybe questions) about my Atari 2600 (CX-2600) that was given to me several weeks ago. A friend of mine passed away in 2007 (age 38) due to a chronic disease that he had all his life, and I've kept in contact with his Mom for the past 6 years. She learned (from my e-mail signature) that I liked Atari. She asked if I wanted her son's (Charley) Atari 2600, because it had been sitting in the closet for 25+ years. I said yes.

 

She sent the Atari 2600 with the original box (Copyright Atari, Inc. 1978), but the motherboard inside reads copyright logo © 1977. She said they got it for Charley the first Christmas that the Atari came out, so why would the box read 1978?

 

I opened the console and took it apart to clean the inside. I was shocked to see that it was spotless. The inside cover of the Atari console was a bit dusty, but other than that, it looks and works great.

 

The switch board and main motherboard both read © 1977 (pictured), but 3 out of 4 chips (4th has no date on it) read 8108, 8120, and 8121, which I thought that meant the year (1981) and the 8th, 20th, and 21st weeks of that year. I noticed the piece of paper taped to the top of the EMI shield cover reads the letter Z (it could be 2), and also the date (in red) July 13th 1981.

 

From what I've gathered from the enclosed photos (with detail), my friend received his Atari 2600 in 1978 (made in 1977), but... had it worked on in July of 1981. Something must have happened to where they had to replace 3 out of the 4 chips inside the console. They didn't have to replace anything (chips) on the switch board, just the main motherboard. I could be incorrect about my assumption(s). None of the boards have been replaced.

 

 

Does this all mean they had it repaired in 1981?

 

Why does the box read 1978 when it was built in 1977, unless it was built in late 1977?
 

Is this Atari 2600 a Heavy Sixer? It looks more like a light sixer.
 

 

I noted which chips were replaced. I apologize for the flashlight, but I wanted to note the dates perfectly. Again, I apologize for so many pictures, but I've read on here that people want pictures if someone is having a problem or question.

 

Thank you for your help.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Atari 2600 Box 1978.png
  • Heavy or Light Sixer.png
  • Serial Number.png
  • Inside bottom of Atari.png
  • June 13 1981.png
  • Copyright 1977 (Switchboard).png
  • Copyright 1977 (Motherboard).png
  • Chips Have Different Year (Motherboard).png

Edited by AtariMI1978, Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:14 PM.


#2 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

x=usr(1536)

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:49 PM

Take a look at the following video; it'll help with figuring out if it's a heavy or light sixer.



Given the Taiwanese manufacture and some cosmetic giveaways on the unit you have, I'd be leaning towards yours being a light model.

Other than that, I'd say that this unit was probably manufactured somewhere in 1981. The copyright dates on the box and on the motherboard do not necessarily reflect year of manufacture.

Edited by x=usr(1536), Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:53 PM.


#3 AtariMI1978 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:58 PM

Take a look at the following video; it'll help with figuring out if it's a heavy or light sixer.



Given the Taiwanese manufacture and some cosmetic giveaways on the unit you have, I'd be leaning towards yours being a light model.

Other than that, I'd say that this unit was probably manufactured somewhere in 1981. The copyright dates on the box and on the motherboard do not necessarily reflect year of manufacture.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Thank you so much for the reply. That was a great video and good explanation. You're correct, the Atari 2600 that was given to me is a light sixer. More than likely Charley received his Atari 2600 on Christmas 1977, since she said it was on the first Christmas that the Atari 2600 was released.  Again, thanks!


Edited by AtariMI1978, Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:08 PM.


#4 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

x=usr(1536)

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:11 PM

Thank you so much for the reply. That was a great video and good explanation. You're correct, the Atari 2600 that was given to me is a light sixer. More than likely Charley received his Atari 2600 on Christmas 1977, since she said it was on the first Christmas that the Atari 2600 was released.  Again, thanks!


Glad it helped. Couple of things:

It's possible that your friend received a unit for Christmas in 1977, but there are a some things with your unit that point to that not being likely.

1) If it's a light sixer, it wouldn't have been manufactured until 1978.

2) It contains ICs with 1981 datecodes on them.

Without receipts for repairs, etc. there's no good way to explain the datecodes on the ICs other than them being indicative of 1981 or later manufacture.

I hate to say it, but your friend's mother may not be aware of when the 2600 hit the market, or possibly be mistaken regarding when it was given to her son. All available evidence points to it being a unit from a 1981 run.

#5 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:14 PM

I agree that it's a light sixer and probably from 1981. The chances of it being repaired and needing 3 new chips is very slim, unless Charley's mother remembers it being being repaired in 1981, I'd say she just got the purchase year mixed up. I'd also like to take the time to say I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm 39 and I've lost a few friends my age, it's never easy.

My suggestion on the 2600 is to just get as much enjoyment out of it as you can and not worry too much about the conflicting dates.

 

 

x=urs(1536) beat me to the post. :P

 

I was typing my response as he was typing his. LOL


Edited by RamrodHare, Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:15 PM.


#6 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:14 PM

There is another pointer, the wires going to the switch board, they were not used on the 77 model that way.  I don't click on most videos, so I don't know if it was mentioned.



#7 AtariMI1978 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:21 PM

Glad it helped. Couple of things:

It's possible that your friend received a unit for Christmas in 1977, but there are a some things with your unit that point to that not being likely.

1) If it's a light sixer, it wouldn't have been manufactured until 1978.

2) It contains ICs with 1981 datecodes on them.

Without receipts for repairs, etc. there's no good way to explain the datecodes on the ICs other than them being indicative of 1981 or later manufacture.

I hate to say it, but your friend's mother may not be aware of when the 2600 hit the market, or possibly be mistaken regarding when it was given to her son. All available evidence points to it being a unit from a 1981 run.

------------------------------------------------

 

 

You know, I was just thinking about that the other day... more so it was given to Charley for Christmas in 1978. Combat came with the system as well (black cover, no graphics, just words of the games enclosed), I think that was released in 1977, but I can't recall. I'll have to ask her, maybe she'll remember if they had to repair the unit.



#8 AtariMI1978 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:23 PM

I agree that it's a light sixer and probably from 1981. The chances of it being repaired and needing 3 new chips is very slim, unless Charley's mother remembers it being being repaired in 1981, I'd say she just got the purchase year mixed up. I'd also like to take the time to say I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm 39 and I've lost a few friends my age, it's never easy.

My suggestion on the 2600 is to just get as much enjoyment out of it as you can and not worry too much about the conflicting dates.

 

 

x=urs(1536) beat me to the post. :P

 

I was typing my response as he was typing his. LOL

---------------------------------------------------

 

 

Oh no, I'm not worried about the dates or anything like that. I love the system. I was just curious. Like you mentioned, 3 chips is a lot, and the board looks spotless for its age.



#9 AtariMI1978 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:24 PM

There is another pointer, the wires going to the switch board, they were not used on the 77 model that way.  I don't click on most videos, so I don't know if it was mentioned.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I learned something else tonight. :)



#10 AtariMI1978 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:43 PM

I think I might have figured it out, without asking his Mom.  The copyright 1977 might just mean when the Atari 2600 was first made/released. The chips that read 1981 are actually when the Atari 2600 was made. That's a lot of chips to replace. I'll have to ask if she remembers anything about having to have it repaired, but I highly doubt it. She probably got the years mixed up. She did say in an e-mail (several weeks ago) that they got it for Charley for Christmas, whatever year it was released. So she probably got the years off track, which is fine.

 

Though, it did come with Combat (black cover with just writing of the games on front, no graphics)


Edited by AtariMI1978, Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:44 PM.


#11 Raticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:10 PM

Yeah, my light sixer has some different years written over it as well, but the big fat sticker on the metal cover beneath the cart slot says 1981 and I'll be going on that one. It is a PAL console mfd in Taiwan.

Sorry for your loss. I have had friends pass away when they weren't even 20 and it is very hard to come over it.

Hope you have fun with your 2600. Looks very nice in the pictures.

#12 AtariMI1978 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:52 PM

Yeah, my light sixer has some different years written over it as well, but the big fat sticker on the metal cover beneath the cart slot says 1981 and I'll be going on that one. It is a PAL console mfd in Taiwan.

Sorry for your loss. I have had friends pass away when they weren't even 20 and it is very hard to come over it.

Hope you have fun with your 2600. Looks very nice in the pictures.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Actually, the Atari in the photos hasn't even been cleaned yet (outside),thus I did that today. The inside is clean (which it was quite spotless before) and a few things had to be replaced.

 

Thanks for responding. Mine says 1981 and also was manufactured in Taiwan. Through this website, I've been learning a lot about Atari consoles.







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