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How to remove Atari 2600 cartridge slot


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#1 8-Bit-Papaya OFFLINE  

8-Bit-Papaya

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:22 PM

Dear VCS specialists,

 

bought a non-functional but utterly beautiful Atari 2600.

 

It is difficult to plug in cartridges. The two long plastic bolts/studs of each game module do not open the protective latch on the receiving side of the console soon enough. Helping a little with a toothpick however allows the cartridge to slide in. Probably a mechanical problem I did not yet fully understand.

 

Inside you can see that some of the metal latches that are supposed to make contact with the pins of the cartridge are corroded and bent.

 

If I bent the entire cartridge slightly in the slot I get a TV picture that looks remotely like a computer generated screen. There are certainly several problems on top of one another.

 

So first I'd like to make sure the pins of the cartridge actually make contact. However, I could not figure out how to remove the black plastic cover shown on the picture that receives a module. There are two latches that stick out at the backside of the circuit board but there must be something in addition that holds the plastic very tightly to the board.

 

Before breaking something, does anyone have an idea how to remove that?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

  Thomas

Attached Thumbnails

  • vcs_cardridge_slot.jpg


#2 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:25 PM

you have to desolder the entire thing from the board before it comes loose 

 

dunno about bent, but you can take some contact cleaner and something like a credit card wrapped in some sort of thin paper that will take care of the corrosion 


Edited by Osgeld, Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:26 PM.


#3 -^CrožBow^- ONLINE  

-^CrožBow^-

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:29 PM

Yeap I use a cut up demo credit card like the ones you get from CC offers in the mail and use that along with an old t-shirt and alcohol. Does wonders!



#4 8-Bit-Papaya OFFLINE  

8-Bit-Papaya

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Posted Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:53 AM

thanks for your advice. In fact once the connector is desoldered it can be removed from the plastic support for the module with two screws.

 

It works now. The picture quality is - well, I know we are spoiled by today's standards - close to poor. I tried to remove the RF-unit from the board to have a look inside but it proved to be non trivial so I didn't push too hard. The easy to reach capacitors on the board are already renewed with little impact on the picture. Is there anything inside the tin RF-box that would justify to open it?

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • atari_2600_donkeykong.jpg


#5 DrVenkman ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:07 AM

thanks for your advice. In fact once the connector is desoldered it can be removed from the plastic support for the module with two screws.

 

It works now. The picture quality is - well, I know we are spoiled by today's standards - close to poor. I tried to remove the RF-unit from the board to have a look inside but it proved to be non trivial so I didn't push too hard. The easy to reach capacitors on the board are already renewed with little impact on the picture. Is there anything inside the tin RF-box that would justify to open it?

 

 

 

You can more easily remove RF modulators than open them up, but you CAN get them open with some judicious prying. More of a pain in the ass than it's worth, if you ask me. Just  install a simple composite mod and you can improve the picture a LOT. 

 

Anyway, the easiest way to improve the RF signal is to make sure you're using a power supply and RF cable with ferrite bead "chokes" to help filter out general RF noise, and if you're using an old-fashioned switchbox, drop that and use a female RCA-to-male Coax adapter of screw that onto the Cable/ANT input of your TV. 



#6 Hastor OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:24 PM

Just replacing the voltage limiter in mine improved the picture quality dramatically. Went from fuzzy to fairly sharp. Never hurts to replace it, they are cheap and only 3 solder points and thermal pad or grease.

#7 8-Bit-Papaya OFFLINE  

8-Bit-Papaya

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:39 AM

I tried the composite mod. It removes the snow, a big improvement. In places where the color changes quickly the deviation is still fairly obvious, especially on today's big screens.

 

Replacing the voltage regulator is an interesting idea. I saw in some videos that people even installed a tiny board that would drop in at that 3-pin connector.



#8 universal2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:34 AM

 
Replacing the voltage regulator is an interesting idea. I saw in some videos that people even installed a tiny board that would drop in at that 3-pin connector.

You can buy a dc-dc stepdown converter for under $1.25 usd , https://www.ebay.com...&LH_BIN=1&rt=nc

Edited by universal2600, Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:35 AM.





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