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Found 38 results

  1. With all the new Flashback consoles by AtGames why don't that make a Sega flashback ? Like a little mini Genesis / Mega Drive, If its about cost remodeling there firecore system they can cut cost by giving up the cartridge port. I would like to see a mini Genesis model 1 and I don't use my Firecore for cartridge games (well I do for that 10 in 1 game cart they made).
  2. This is just a press release teaser, but I'll answer whatever limited questions I can! Press release: https://armchairarcade.com/perspectives/2018/10/17/atgames-and-the-tetris-company-announce-iconic-puzzle-game-tetris-featured-in-legends-flashback-console-and-upcoming-legends-ultimate-home-arcade/ Value-Priced High Definition Console and Upcoming Home Arcade Machine Will Feature Legendary Video Games, Including Tetris® Los Angeles – October 17, 2018 - AtGames® Digital Media Inc., a leader in interactive entertainment products, and The Tetris Company, LLC, purveyors of one of the leading and most distinctive video game brands and franchises in the world, today announced that they have expanded their agreement to include the iconic puzzle game Tetris® as one of the featured games in the new, full-size Legends Ultimate Home Arcade machine, which comes with an unprecedented 400 built-in games. This product will join the Legends Flashback console, which is available at major retailers everywhere, and features 50 built-in games, including Tetris. “These new products offer families and gamers everywhere a selection of the best classic games from the top publishers and brands,” says Dr. Ping-Kang Hsiung, CEO of AtGames. “We’re thrilled that The Tetris Company and their iconic game, Tetris, are a key part of these exciting products.” The Legends Ultimate Home Arcade features 400 built-in arcade and home games, including Tetris and other legends from iconic publishers. As a full-sized home arcade machine, the Legends Ultimate Home Arcade offers a gameplay experience like no other. Each game plays just like at the arcade thanks to an authentic control panel that features a matching set of premium joysticks and six buttons for two player fun, as well as a professional trackball controller. The built-in, low latency, high definition 21.5” LCD monitor features HDMI inputs so you can display content from other consoles and media players on the same great machine. The built-in software is similarly impressive, with scan line filtering, an intuitive menu system, save and resume game functionality, and the ability to rewind a game in progress to recover from a play misstep. The Legends Flashback console features Tetris as one of 50 built-in arcade and home games, which have become legendary thanks to their timeless fun and endless replay value. Other games include such hits as Galaga, 1942, BurgerTime, Dig Dug, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Mega Man, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, and so much more! Other impressive features of the Legends Flashback include high definition 720p video output with scan line filtering, an intuitive menu system, save and resume game functionality, and the ability to rewind a game in progress to recover from a play misstep. Two ergonomic six button gamepads are included for one or two player action. “We’re excited to have the iconic game of Tetris included in the incredible classic games lineups showcased in the Legends Flashback console and upcoming Legends Ultimate Home Arcade,” says Maya Rogers, President and CEO of Blue Planet Software, Inc., sole agent for the Tetris brand. “We think the intense, addictive gameplay that Tetris is known for by fans worldwide will be a great fit for these premium console and home arcade offerings.” About AtGames: AtGames Digital Media Inc. (http://www.atgames.net) is a leader in innovative consumer-oriented interactive entertainment products. The company leverages the latest technology to develop and publish its best-selling classic videogame products for worldwide distribution. AtGames is based in Los Angeles, with international offices in Taipei and Shenzhen. About the Tetris® Brand: The Tetris® brand is one of the leading and most distinctive video game brands and franchises in the world. Now entering its 35th anniversary year, the brand continues to be loved globally by people of all ages and all cultures. Billions of Tetris games are played online every year, and over 500 million Tetris mobile games have been downloaded to date. The Tetris brand’s global licensee network includes major video game publishers, including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, and Sony/GSN Games, as well as many partners in electronics, toys, apparel, lifestyle goods, entertainment and more. Tetris Holding, LLC is the owner of Tetris rights worldwide, and The Tetris Company, LLC is its exclusive licensee. For the latest information about the Tetris® brand and Tetris® products, please visit www.tetris.com. Become a fan of Tetris on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Tetris) and follow Tetris on Twitter (@Tetris_Official) and Instagram (@Tetris_Official). Media Contacts [email protected] (AtGames) Andrea Sausedo Piotraszewski (on behalf of the Tetris brand) [email protected]
  3. Does anyone know if this new Blaze Retro Atari portable can play 7800 roms from an SD card? https://www.argos.co.uk/product/3423017 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atari-Pac-Man-Handheld-Console-Electronic/dp/B07XTRPSRN?ref_=ast_bbp_dp
  4. I bought directly from Nurmix FB control to INTV 1 long cord adapters. I heard the FB has all the circuits right but confused pin numbering conventions somewhere, therefore making a mirror image pin map. If that's true, then INTV 2 and INTV FB adapters can be made with this middle adapter: A1 F5 A2 F5 A3 F3 A4. F2 A5. F1 A6. F9 A7. F8 A8. F7 A9. F6 And since At Games has consistently made this mistake, then this would be a universal x original to x flashback adapter Also wouldn't be bidirectional going both to FB consoles and from FB controllers?
  5. Having an affinity for and owning Sega Genesis and Genesis 2 consoles, I found myself intrigued by AtGames' new Sega Genesis Flashback. I have experience with AtGames' Sega Genesis Classic and Portable which I found lacking to some degree though usable, but the promises of an updated emulation engine and built-in HDMI were a draw which I could not resist. I have spent some time since the November 10 release to give it a whirl and I am far more satisfied than most early reviewers. Leading up to the official launch I watched videos and read articles by a number of reviewers who had been graced with review models. I cannot recall one overly positive review. I am not a professional reviewer and I am not a marketer so I shall jump right in to the meat. First, all of the AtGames Genesis devices are built on an emulator called "FireCore." From my own experiences and what others have posted around the webs I find FireCore has some limitations which seem unnecessary given how well other emulators play Genesis titles, including the free "MD.emu" which I run on my HP TouchPad†. I am left to wonder what the quality would be if Sega rolled its own emulation core the way Nintendo did for its NES and SNES Classic Edition products. The built-in HDMI makes the device a welcome addition now my entertainment system is digital at its core, though anyone familiar with using emulation on a high resolution screen should be able to relate to its one woe. I really do not mind the large pixels and blocky graphics resulting from scaling a "240p" screen to 720p. Many emulators have some kind of filter which provides output which roughly approximates the output on a TV, CRT, or other low-tech display. The Sega Genesis Flashback has only a scanline filter which puts faded lines between what would be the scan lines in an attempt to achieve the look of TV scanlines, and it really does not look good at all. Clean and crisp audio is also carried on the HDMI. While I lack the abilities to test, I suspect this configuration will not suffer the "240p problem." In fact, the only issue I have with the HDMI port is a problem playing nice with my ioGear Wireless HDMI kit, but a power-cycle of the ioGear transmitter resolves the issue. Speaking of power, while the Sega Genesis Flashback is rated to run on 5V DC at 2A, AtGames elected to use a barrel power connector instead of a micro-USB port like its recently-released Nintendo competition. I was able to power mine using a USB-A to 3mm/1mm barrel on an appropriate USB power supply, and the system under normal use pulls under 500mA. This made providing power to both the Flashback device and the ioGear HDMI transmitter much easier and makes the system more portable: both run just fine on my Anker PowerCore 26800. Getting back to the audio, playing some of the games I am certain I hear something different about the FM synthesized instruments, almost like the FireCore emulation uses different but similar instrument set (like a MIDI sound font.) To test this I whipped out my trusty Sega Nomad and ran games on both systems but I was not able to punch down any specific differences. So far on everything I tried the sound was near perfect. Video was another complaint on just about every pre-release review list. Glitchy graphics and sprites, and lagged screen scrolling being chief among the criticisms. Indeed, my prior experience with FireCore in the previous Sega Genesis Classic edition as well as the portable was not entirely perfect. Several of my cartridge games are not recognized by the Classic, and on both units my favorite game, Skitchin', suffered from missing graphics and sprites making it unplayable. I was very pleased to find Skitchin' works almost perfectly on the Flashback. I noticed on several games scrolling would suffer a short freeze which does not appear to be a frame-skipping problem as suspected in one of the early reviews. In fact, it appears the problem generally does not affect the entire screen but rather only a portion. For instance, in the original Sonic the Hedgehog one of the background planes stutters while animation on the rest of the screen continues. Realistically, I do not think most people will even notice, and if this is indeed a problem with the emulator or the horsepower of the machine I would further speculate AtGames counts on that presumption, as well. In this regard I noticed a couple of times when Skitchin' will completely freeze for a few jiffies, more of a short and quick stutter, but ultimately the game is still playable. Cool Spot is another great game which plays very well, though this is one of the games in which the FM music seems a little off-instrument but still perfectly acceptable. Shadow of the Beast will not play past the Electronic Arts logo, Flashback is not recognized at all while Out of this World plays beautifully, Frogger plays perfectly, and while the system comes with Mortal Kombat 3, my Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate results in just a red screen. The last game I tried was Primal Rage, which suffered from strange graphics glitches which did not stop game play, such as a black line separating the vital stats area at the top of the screen from the battle area, and green borders around all screens except the title screen. This does not show on the Nomad, but I have not yet tried the game on a full Genesis console connected via standard video output so I cannot say for certain whether the green borders are normal. I would test with the Nomad but I seem to have misplaced the video output cable. Ah, well. I will repeat what prior reviews have said about the menu system. It is awkward, non-intuitive, and just weird. I have not found myself using the saved game nor rewind features, but I can see the value of both and imagine I will use them at some point in the future. Let us now focus for a few seconds on the hardware itself. The included controllers suck out of the box, with a capital "suck." The range is bad enough to prevent sitting across my living room and maintaining control, noting that my home environment is completely devoid of internally-generated 2.4GHz signals under normal circumstances: my phones are DECT, my wireless is 5GHz, Bluetooth devices are disabled unless in-use, and all 2.4GHz-only devices are turned off. Demonstrably, I have no locally-generated 2.4GHz signal interference. Initially it appeared they did not work even close-up, but the rebuild I describe shortly fixed this problem. The controllers just suck. When I originally un-boxed my Flashback I did not stop when I got to its rather touching rendition of the original console's gloss and textured black body and red "cylon eye" in front of the cartridge port. Inside I found three chips on a small circuit board, and what looks like one of those Arduino add-on modules, reminiscent of a "Bluetooth Shield" module. Soldered onto the antenna of this module is a red wire about six inches long, which is identical in both module and attached wire in each of the controllers. It looks like AtGames was aware of the poor range of the controllers and tried to engineer a quick-fix. As implied, I did take apart one of the controllers in the hopes of a rebuild improving its functionality. I found the standard complement of button, rubber nipples with contact pads, and exposed circuit pads one would find in regular controllers of the era. I grabbed my contact cleaning pen with harsh fiberglass bristles and gave the metal pads a few rubs each. Upon reassembling the controller I found to my relief it worked far more reliably and I could actually play games and even enter Mortal Kombat's "blood code." Thankfully the Flashback does support real Genesis controllers even if it only supports six-button units -- this remains untested for me, including the six-button arcade controller, as all my Genesis console hardware is stashed away for the moment. There is a USB port on the Flashback main board. It is a shame AtGames did not expose this out the back as a power port, though I suppose the reason is to prevent easy access to what I suspect is a hackable interface to the heart of the machine, probably in the near future -- not by me as I lack time for that kind of adventure. My assessment over-all is this is not a bad machine to have and use. If you do not have a Sega Genesis you should consider this as a possibility, weighing the benefits and caveats which are, as I see them: Pros: AtGames Sega Genesis Flashback Currently available for under $100 Built-in games (both Sega and classic Master System games) HDMI output (720p) Capable of using real cartridges Capable of using real six-button controllers Real Sega Genesis Not difficult to find Not too expensive depending upon source, most under $100 Some sellers will include a few common games Compatible with all Sega Genesis hardware Possible to expand with a Sega CD Cons: AtGames Sega Genesis Flashback Alternate source pricing will double or more if and when stock runs out Included controllers SUCK Emulation is not quite 100% Not all cartridges work Does not recognize three-button controllers (not verified, and who really cares?) No guarantee homebrews or demos will work Real Sega Genesis Analog-only output requires up-scaling for digital home systems (on the up-side, the Genesis 2 has YPrPb component RGB output) No games built-in Upscaling will suffer the "240p problem" Old hardware is, well, old and subject to fail If you already have a Genesis, I believe the Flashback makes a viable surrogate for a digital entertainment system provided any lost compatibility is acceptable. † "MD.emu" is excellent on the TouchPad, including support for the iCade Core Bluetooth arcade joystick. It is available and actively developed for Android in both free and paid editions. I highly recommend this emulator.
  6. Hello, I'm new here and I'm looking for some help. I bought the flashback portable and I've been trying to get ROMs to work on it. I am using a 8gb SDHC card and transfered ROMs I downloded from here. I can see them on the portable but I cant get them to play. Any advice please.
  7. Hey Guys... I'm wondering if enough people have some version of the Flashback joysticks to start to actually start checking for those special button presses (I believe one of them is "left+right", something you would never hit in real life games... except maybe for Track & Field), one of them is "up+down", etc. There should be a list somewhere of this button mapping... I think I may start doing that, as I can't see it hurting anything. If someone doesn't have the joystick, there's always the 'Start & Select' on the console... Bob Also, (unrelated topic) - I bought one of those hyperkin joysticks (the one with the two buttons on it), and I'm going to rewire it to be the left & right buttons for the 7800... just because of Baby Pac-Man... Much easier to use
  8. Which of these 2 AtGames Flashback Portable's would you recommend I buy? 1) Atari Flashback Portable Console (80 Games Included) (eu) /retro by Atari ESRB Rating: Everyone 2.6 out of 5 stars  7 Xbox One $29.00(15 used & new offers) 2) Atari Flashback Portable Deluxe Edition - Hand Held Console by Atari 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 $29.99(5 used & new offers)
  9. I've seen Atari Flashback Portables at my local Target dropping to as low as $40. I've been a little curious as to how they are, but is it worth picking one up? Are there any caveats I should be aware of? How is game compatibility? How is hardware emulation? The only Flashback I've ever had was the Flashback 2 (I have two of those), but the Portable seems interesting.
  10. Hi Atariage I found this mod on atarimuseum: http://atarimuseum.com/fb2hacks/ You have probably all heard about it before, but it allows an atari flashback 2 to play 2600 cartridges. My first question is: Is it possible to perform this mod on the flashback 4? I prefer the 4, since it has rca output, more built in games and wireless controller options. However, since i am not a modder, i would like to know if someone in here would be willing to mod the console for me, and what would you charge for it? - Buying a new console on ebay(i have already found a few). - Mod the console. - and send it to me(i live in Denmark). I will of course pay for console, shipping, materials and work hours(through paypal). P.S. Sorry for my potentially horrendous english, but as i stated before i am danish - so english is not my vernacular.
  11. Hello! I am planning on getting an Atari Flashback, and decided to come here for some advice. I want to get one to play some classic atari games on my TV until I am able to afford a real 7800 and a lot of games. After that, I plan to use the Flashback in a project similar to the video below: A minturized arcade cabinet, made to look like a PONG, with the flashback inside. As such, I'm having a little trouble deciding which Flashback to look for. I know that the original mod, the FB1 is not the best choice, as the emulation of the games is off. So that leaves 3 choices, a FB2, FB2+ and FB3. The FB3 has more games built in and is a newer model, but is also more expensivie. The FB2 has more arcade style games, which would go well with the mini arcade project. But there is two models of it, with different games. I would like to know which of the three choices you would reccomend, considering my plans for the systems, and for what reasons you suggested it. Thanks in advance! Here's the video. I want to build something like this, but with which every atari flashback I choose instead of a pac-man. I plan to make it look like a PONG with simple wooden sides and a yellow front: (http://youtu.be/j7QE8zUbXfc)
  12. From the album: Flashback Console Hardware

    Reference picture of Atari Flashback 8 HD Gold Activision Edition Motherboard - Front.
  13. From the album: Uh, retro stuff

    The internals of the new Colecovision Flashback controller, half the info needed to design a compatibility dongle.
  14. https://www.facebook.com/groups/519858548078322/permalink/1340030559394446/ from " Michael Thomasson 2 hrs Okay, I can finally spill the beans on this project. AtGames is releasing a second Intellivision Flashback this fall and it will have the games you want by Data East (Burgertime, Lock 'n Chase, Bump 'n Jump, etc.) as well as the TRON games, and more! "
  15. I have a thread on this in the Flashback forums that is ongoing - I'm talking to myself in there. . . . Over here I wanted to find out if anyone could point me in a direction for troubleshooting a jumbled screen like this: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=224321 My flashback has a cart mod installed that has never worked. The picture is of the flashback menu which did work before I started the mod. Switched to the cart, the screen is also similarly jumbled, but with different colors. I can take a pic of that if someone is interested. What do you think could cause a display like the one in the picture? I'll say that while doing the mod, the AV wires became disconnected from their "sub board." This was annoying because while they were partially connected I was testing the display thinking that my work was bad. Anyway, I stripped and resoldered the AV wires to this "sub board" but when I test the connections from the tips of the AV cable that plugs into the TV to the end connection on the bard I get something like 2 ohm resistance. That is still really low, but I'm wondering if it could be causing my problem. When I test a regular set of RCA cables not associated with this mod at all there is less than 1 ohm resistance from end to end. I don't think that I've damaged the onboard ROM, that seems unlikely, but I guess its possible. I would think that if I Damaged the "Michelle" chip, I would get nothing at all. Also, both of these chips are sealed under high grade epoxy (er something). I think there must be an explanation to whats happened here that I should be able to figure out. I just was wondering if you could point me in any directions to begin testing resistors or power or something else specific that you think could jumble things up like that. If I can't figure anything else out, my next step is to completely remove all my connections for the cart mod and test again. Basic t'shooting to just undo what I did and go back to the last state I tested successfully.
  16. I was hoping to find some information about if the Atari Flashback 9 firmware is able to be modded to use something like the Genesis Game Manager. I can't seem to find any information about the Atari FB9, only info about the 2018 Genesis HD. Anybody more knowledgeable than myself able to shed some light on the matter?
  17. I am selling a Flashback 4 in box with everything except the posters. I am also including two sets of paddles. Asking $40 shipped.
  18. What were your opinions on the Flashback 2? I recently obtained one. I am new to this site. Is it worth going for the 3 or 4?
  19. Adding a game to the Flashback 8 HD Some prerequisites: in this example I'm adding the Double Dragon Arcade ROM from KevinMos3 ( Available at http://atariage.com/forums/topic/154984-hack-project-thread-galaxian-arcade-double-dragon-xenophobe-etc/ ; also note that there is a very nice label he created you have to have added the USB connector the Flashback Android Debugger Bridge (ADB) a bit of patience First a walkthrough ... There are two key items to remember during this mod: - the "all-games.ini" file contains the list of the games that the Flashback will display in its menu. It also contain instructions and tells the device what ROM file to load. You will find that file under "/system/atgames/all-games.ini" - the actual games (and the menu images) are all stored in "/system/atgames/Atari" Step 1: Plug in your Flashback to your computer Use your USB cable and make sure that the Flashback adapter is plugged in. Turn on the device. Step 2. Launching ADB You need to run the DOS command prompt from Windows. I usually run under "administrator mode", but it doesn't seem to be a requirement. Step 3. Connecting to the Flashback Navigate to the folder where the ADB has been extracted; in my case, I kept it simple and it sits in "C:\adb\platform-tools" Type in "adb devices" It will find your Flashback and get it ready to be used. Step 4. Let's Explore This step is optional, but type in "adb root". This will give you higher privileges in case you run across any files you need. I suggest not to delete or modify anything unless you know what you're doing and/or made a backup. Type in "adb shell", that will basically log us into the Flashback device and see the internal folder structure. Use "ls" or "ls -l" to list all the files/folders The Flashback installation is under "/system/atgames"; you can use "cd /system" or "cd /system/atgames" to move onto those folders You see the "all-games.ini" file. Keep this one in mind, this is the most important file for this mod. You can see the "Atari" folder. Let's navigate by using "cd Atari" and then listing the files: You will see all the files with .a26 or a26.png. The ROM files are your usual ROM files with the .A26 extension; the respective .A26.PNG are the images for each game. Another interesting location is the "app" folder; use "cd /system/app" . You can see the Frogger and Space Invaders Android APK files. It seems that these two are special cases and don't invoke the ROM files in the "/system/atgames/Atari" . Type in "exit" to get out of the Flashback shell. So now you know the basics How to Add a Game For this exercise I have copied the DD.A26 and DD.A26.png files into my ADB folder at C:\adb\platform-tools. You can place them anywhere, but I decided to keep things simple and reduce the amount of typing. So let's continue where left off. The main thing we're going to do is to pull down the important all-games.ini file. In the command prompt type in "adb pull /system/atgames/all-games.ini" . This will copy the file into your ADB folder on your computer. MAKE A COPY OF THIS FILE!!! You may need to restore your set-up in case something goes wrong. If you open the file (in notepad for example) you will see something like: The format is somewhat self-explanatory. You have the name of the game within square brackets, followed by the ROM file location ("File="), "Platform" tells you what grouping on the Main Menu it should add it to (only "Atari" and "Activision" have sub-menus). Then you have the description and the instructions. Here's an example: [Double Dragon] File=atgames/Atari/DD.a26 Platform=ActivisionGenre=Arcade Description=Double Dragon Arcade Mod!! Note= \test for atari 2600 games. While we're here, let's take a look at the image files; let's pull a file for the Wizard game; "adb pull /system/atgames/Atari/Wizard.a26.png". It's a 214x300 PNG file. I created my Double Dragon PNG file based on KevinMos3's label he provided. Let's copy our Double Dragon ROM onto the Flashback. First of all, we need to add an entry in the all-games.ini file for Double Dragon: I have the ROM and image file sitting in ADB folder: We need to run these commands as root as we need to temporarily change permissions on folders so that we can upload files. Run "adb root" Next we will alter the permission of the "/system" folder. I tried just targeting "/system/atgames" but kept getting an error. So I copied a page from the Genesis Flashback mod. Run "adb shell mount -o rw,remount,rw /system" Next we're uploading (and overwriting the existing) all-games.ini; enter"adb push all-games.ini /system/atgames" And next we're uploading the ROM and image into the Atari folder: "adb push DD.a26 /system/atgames/Atari" "adb push DD.a26.png /system/atgames/Atari" Now, turn your Flashback device off and back on again. You should see the Double Dragon ROM in the menu now! You can basically add a bunch more games. The odd thing is that the PNG file is not displaying. Strangely enough it does not seem to get saved into the Atari folder. Not sure what the issue is. I will have to do more investigation. Updates: 1. I have been able to add 56 games so far to the Flashback. 2. The PNG files needs to have 24-bit colour depth. My original file was 32-bit. 3. Pitfall II does not work. 4. Looking at the Flashback APK file, it appears we have some hard-coded values for Frogger (and Space Invaders). Even Frogger II goes to the quasi-arcade version. 5. the All-games.ini is finicky, make sure you had linefeed/carriage return after each item for the game; Platform, Genre, etc. Notepad mangles this. Notepad++ is a good option.
  20. From the album: Flashback Console Hardware

    Reference picture of SEGA Geneis HD Flashback 2017 motherboard - Front.
  21. I just saw a review of a certain movie http://www.blu-ray.c...y/48727/#Review You clearly see an atari flashback but apparently, a non vcs game is shown on the tv...
  22. Note: This is a repost of a blog that I wrote last month. I thought the members of this community would appreciate it. Enjoy. The blog can be viewed in its entirety at http://zopingo.com/dans-blog/ataripi-my-mini-atari-project INTRODUCTION This post will describe my journey to create a miniature version of the Atari VCS using a Raspberry Pi system. My introduction to the Raspberry Pi came when my daughter suggested that I use it to power my full-size arcade machine project. You can read more about that project at http://zopingo.com/dans-blog/back-to-the-arcade-a-1980s-classic. Once that project was up-and-running as a semi-portable unit, I learned of the Raspberry Pi Zero and had a thought… what if I could use that to create a mini Atari 2600? The thought came because my son had acquired a NES Classic and SNES Classic which did credit to their much older, much larger predecessors (NES and SNES) that came out in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s respectively. The classics are much smaller versions of the originals but looked the part and included many of the games that were originally released in cartridge format for their larger cousins. All-in-all these were very nice machines that captured the look and feel of the originals. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Atari. SO, WHAT HAPPENED WITH ATARI? I’m not sure if it was licensing agreements or what the deal was, but someone dropped the ball when the Atari Flashback units hit the market. Not only have they released multiple versions of essentially the same thing, but they gave the classic console a comical look with large, colorful, round buttons and styling that only somewhat represents the original design. The original Atari VCS (later known as the Atari 2600) was a sleek, attractive, black ribbed unit with wood-grain trim and metal toggle switches. It was a piece of art to be proudly displayed in any family room. Those pictures make me think of the Will Smith quote in Men In Black II, “Old and busted – New hotness.” The irony in that is the old machine is the “new hotness” and vice versa. There was one exception to the entire Flashback series, and I happened to have one, but only by luck due to a decision I made on my original arcade cabinet project. I acquired it from a guy on Craigslist who was selling it for $10 including two classic Atari joysticks; I was only after the joysticks so I could play Atari VCS games on my arcade cabinet before this project was even an idea. I’m glad I didn’t trash the Flashback 2 though. The Atari Flashback 2 was the only model that has a chance at being modified to look like the classic because it most closely resembles the original design. All the later versions added joystick ports to the front of the unit and they changed the shape of the bezel around the switches. SWITCHES The Flashback 2 still had those comical buttons though, which would need to be changed to satisfy my desire for the original look. So, the quest began to find some toggle switches that would resemble the originals; no problem… right? For those of you who have read my Back to the Arcade blog, you will know that I had access to an incredible electronics store not far from where I lived. Think Radio Shack of the 1970’s but much larger; back in a time when the employees were usually electronics hobbyists and could actually help you with project challenges. After a visit to my local electronics store my issue became reality; I couldn’t find toggle switches anywhere that would suit my needs until I discovered the holy grail of vintage Atari parts. Apparently, some time ago, Atari sold their entire inventory of parts to a company called Best Electronics in San Jose, CA and they sell the parts to hobbyists like me. Not only did I get toggle switches that looked like the originals; they WERE the originals and very reasonably priced! WOOD TRIM Now that I have the switch thing figured out, I got motivated to get the rest of the project done. One of the first things to do now was get rid of the cheesy, fake, plastic, simulated wood grain on the front of the unit. I’m going to get real wood, like the original unit I had in 1977. Editor’s Note: If you are reading this now and getting ready to go to the comments and blast me about the real wood comment; keep reading. If I am going to match the wood trim of the original I will have to figure out which wood and color to use. This led me down a rabbit trail for a few weeks before I finally figured it out. My research revealed that the original was probably teak and I was able to simulate it nicely with a piece of pine and some Minwax Cherry – 235 stain. Apply some polyurethane and voilà , I turned out incredible. ELECTRONICS Now it’s on to the electronics. I started this article talking about the Raspberry Pi Zero, or Raspberry Pi Zero W to be precise. The W indicates a wireless (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) version and doubles the price to a whopping $10! This will be the heart of the project, I will be able to run any game ever produced for the Atari VCS. One of the things this project led me to was utilizing the GPIO pins to physically connect switches to the Pi. Something I did not have to do with my full-size arcade cabinet. This required a little knowledge of Python programming and some moderate soldering skills. My soldering skills are acceptable and fortunately my daughter had recently finished a class which included Python so she was able to help me out here. MODIFICATIONS Since this unit will now connect to a monitor via HDMI and the joysticks connect via USB through an adaptor (2600-daptor) and the power plug is in a different place I had to delete some of the existing holes on the case and make new holes for the above mentioned jacks. Remember the switches that I acquired earlier? It’s now time to get creative and figure out how to mount them since they are mounted at an angle, it presented a bit of a challenge, but I figured it out. Rather than explaining here, just look at the pictures below to see how it all got worked out. GROMMETS I’ve got the switches, I’ve got the wood, I’ve modified the holes, I’ve got the coding right, and I have all the electronics and adapters; I’m ready to go… Not so fast, there’s one more little detail to figure out; the switch grommets. I have been looking at many, many options of things I could use as grommets but nothing was the right size or shape to satisfy my OCD on this project; especially since I had original switches. I came up with an idea to make the grommets. I could have my friend print them on his 3-D printer, but I would need a 3-D file. I can sketch pretty well in 2-D on my computer but not 3-D which is what my friend needed to ‘print’ them. I drafted up my design in 2-D with complete dimensions (my former career as an Engineer came in useful at this point) and hired some guy in Pakistan (via www.fiverr.com) to convert my file to a 3-D compatible format for 5 bucks. He had the file back to me within a couple hours which I then sent to my friend who in-turn printed my grommets. From idea to physical parts in hand was less than half a day. Gotta love technology. PANEL GRAPHICS Since I got rid of the goofy round buttons I needed to create some graphics for my new panel. Fortunately there are Atari fonts available so I was able to go with those. My panel replicates the original as close as possible with just a couple deviations. Rather than using a toggle on/off switch, I opted for a momentary switch in this location so I can safely shut down the system by toggling the switch. Also, since this machine will not use actual game cartridges, I opted for a lighted button that will act an escape button to return to the game menu. SQUEEZING ALL THE PARTS IN Now that everything is in order, it is time to make it all fit in the console. It started out seeming like an easy task but quickly filled the space, mostly with wires. At this point I’m sure glad I went with a Pi Zero because a normal size Pi would not fit at this point. WOODEN PANEL Remember the real wood that I mentioned earlier? Well after my build was complete, I decided that I needed a full-size 2600 for some photo comparisons to show the size difference so I started shopping. I found out that working units were somewhat spendy so my focus was on aesthetically nice units that didn’t work. I finally found one on Ebay with ‘unknown condition’ for $27.85 shipped. Once it arrived, I eagerly opened it up so I could get some pictures along with my newly created invention and lo-and-behold the wood was not wood at all. It was plastic with a simulated wood grain finish. Good thing I wasn’t challenged with any bets on the topic because I stood to lose a hefty chunk of change because I was very confident that my unit in 1977 was real wood. I think this is considered the mandela effect. After I got over the ‘wood’ thing I decided to see if this thing did indeed work; and it did not. It sat in a box until after I moved and one day I decided to see if I could get it running; which I did. See my blog post entitled, Atari 2600 (VCS) Repairs. SUMMARY I was fortunate to have an Atari VCS growing up but I gave it away while purging things before I left for the Air Force. I never thought I would ever be interested in the Atari 2600 again, but this was a fun project and in the end I get to play some games that I remember as a young teen and share them with my now grown children.
  23. Hi everyone, I bought my dad an Atari Flashback 9 for christmas for us to play together. We plugged it in today and the video worked okay but there was no sound. After plugging it into multiple tvs and ports I found out that our menu was also different. I have the AR3230 model which uses composite cables, but the ports we plugged everything into are known to be functional. I'm not sure what else to do, is there a way to get the good menu and to fix the sound not working? The only suggestions on AtGames are to turn up the volume or to unplug and replug the audio cable.
  24. I have a Joystick controller that came from an Atari Flashback console (Flashback 2 I believe) that has worked fine until recently. All of a sudden the right direction stopped working. I took it apart and re-soldered the wire for the right direction, but nothing changed. At first it went up when I pressed it to the right, but that was only due to a sloppy soldering job (the solder was connecting the right and up directions). After fixing this, the problem was not fixed. Would it be a problem with the controller's connection to the console? If anyone has any advice I appreciate it.
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