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Atari 2600 LED power switch

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Hi all there is an old thread on this forum that I read about mounting a led inside the Atari 2600 power switch. I wanted to try this to see if it would work as I did not want to drill into the case. Well it works very well so I have made a video showing how I did this on a 6 switch console. The led I used was a 5v rated led but in hindsight I should have put a 1k resistor inline on the positive. It is still working fine though so I thought I would share it with you all if anyone else wants to have a go at it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uekbwD2pPY

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Very cool!

 

You probably should use a series current limiting resistor. I'm not familiar with the layout of the 2600 internal PCB's and I can't tell from the video whether the LED is powered by the 7805 regulated 5V supply or by the raw voltage coming in from the transformer (14V or 15V depending on the schematic, probably pulsed DC from a rectified 9V transformer, filtered by 16uf and 2200uf caps and regulated by the 7805 in the 2600) , but I'd strongly recommend using the 5V regulated source. 1K ohms is probably too large: A typical red LED has a forward voltage drop around 1.48V and likes 15ma to 20ma of current. 5V(supply)-1.48V(LED voltage drop) = 3.52V(to be dropped across the resistor). Applying Ohms law E=I*R: 3.52V = 20ma*R or 3.52V / .02A = R so 176=R. The nearest common resistor values are 150 and 220 ohm. I hope that's useful.

 

Cheers!

Edited by solidcorp

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That's pretty nice. I'd love to do something like that - but I don't trust myself enough to not screw up the switch (and I don't have any spares). I would buy one from someone if they offered them though... LOL!

 

I found this site good for calculating the resistor size - depending on color the LEDs have different voltage drops, which it will tell you if you click on the '?' next to the voltage drop:

http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz

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This inspired me to do mine. Larger pictures in my gallery: http://www.atariage.com/forums/gallery/album/922-2600-light-6-switch-av-led-mod/

Here is how I did.

You don't need to desolder the switch, just bending out the tabs on one side of the case will get the switch apart.

I used a drill not a dremel, starting out with the smallest bit going down through the top. Held everything by hand, not vice, and was a bit off center. Then drill down with larger drill bits until it is as wide as the LED.

gallery_29575_922_42918.jpg

I just wanted to be sure I went through the center and not out through the side.

med_gallery_29575_922_8233.jpg

Next I made 2 small holes in the bottom side on either side of the plastic center rail. Using the smallest bit drilling from the bottom plastic side to the bottom outside of the switch.

gallery_29575_922_21653.jpg

med_gallery_29575_922_54360.jpg

The LED I chose from what I had on hand was the smallest one and one that did not have a larger base. Meaning the bottom of the LED was the same width as the center width. It just happened to be blue (yuck!). (It came out of a dead battery blinky thing that kids put in their mouth.) I used a small mostly dead button battery to find positive lead.

I just used the smallest wire I had which was wire wrap wire that has a very thin insulation coating. Soldered to the LED and insulated with duct tape. The wires feed down through, and the to either side of the spring slots hugging the center.

med_gallery_29575_922_76510.jpg

Smash it all down on the clean (soldered part of the) switch with the two metal contact springs and bend the tabs back under the switch.

Add resistors and solder to +5 and ground. I used 2 resistors in series because I wanted a dim blue, but of course it ended up being laser blindingly bright anyway.

med_gallery_29575_922_48066.jpg

Done after duct tape and hot glue insulating.

med_gallery_29575_922_140534.jpg

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Very cool, excellent work - - thanks for the nice work-journal with pictures, too! I always enjoy reading these.

 

:D

 

-a2a

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I replaced the LED in my NES with a High Intensity Blue LED from Radioshack. That thig is freakking bright! I also have a four-switch Atari but I just drilled a hole where the sixth switch would have been. I used a green LED assembly with inline resistor from Radioshack (they only had those old retro LED colors red, yellow, green). I was hoping to get more of an true emerald green but instead it was one of those retro limey green LEDs. Since it was rated 12V, I soldered it up to the thick motherboard traces between the power switch and the regulator, because it gets a good deal more brightness at 9V than at 5V, but nowhere near as bright as the high-intensity blue from my NES.

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It makes no difference, which side of the LED you attach the resister to. As long as there is a resister in series you will have no problems,.

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OK, so this is all cool and all, but did you guys know that the cartridge port can pull 30 uA easy..

OOOPPPSS, now people are gonna start putting LED's in their cartridges. Hey that sounds cool,

I wonder if I can put one in my Harmony cart..??

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And Also, we could add a thumbprint identifier, so that only I can play my atari, It wont start up

unless its me and it recognizes my thumbprint/

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