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Reuse game cart for own 4k homebrew?

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Hi everyone,

I was wondering and checking which Atari 2600 game carts I could open and re-use for my 4k homebrew.

The idea would be to simple de-solder the EPROM (?) and replace it by a 2732, 2764, 27128 or whatever.

Are there games known to have a pin compatible layout?

I can burn these standard EPROMs but I would prefer not to produce new PCBs.

Any ideas/suggestions/help appreciated ;-)

Also if carts are known that require some changed wires or such -that would help.

I am talking of very small numbers here, not mass-production of any kind.

I.e. Star Voyager has some single chip on the PCB (no capacitors or such) that I fail to identify unfortunately.

Thanks alot,

Martin /enthusi

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Well, most recent cartridges use the blob-type chip made by thousands in Taiwan.


But I've seen some old cartridges (I've a Berzerk one) that still use big ROM chips. I don't know if pinout is compatible with 2732 or something (I'm too lazy to dismount it)


You can do the folllowing things:


1. Get the pinouts info http://www.atariage.com/2600/faq/index.html?SystemID=2600#pinouts

2. With a multimeter check where goes every cartridge pin to chip and write down in a sheet.

3. Get the datasheet for the EPROM you want to use

4. Compare with your annotations.


Then you can see if you can do an easy adaptation. The other way is to put a socket in air and connect with wires.


And another way would be to solder your socket for EPROM in a breadboard along with the 74LS04 and reuse the bottom part of a real Atari cartridge connecting with wires, it should fit into a cartridge case :)


Good luck!

Edited by nanochess

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Most of the games used proms that are not completely compatible to modern chips. You're going to need to put in hex invertors for most PCBs. Which would involve bending a couple pins and gluing the invertor to the pcb. Unless you really just want to reuse the old PCB, you should ask albert or maybe cpuwiz if they have any blank pcbs, that they could sell you. If you just want the experience of converting an old pcb. The older games are probably the best. The 2k and 4k are most likely to have chips, that can be removed. The later the game, the more likely it will have a blob, instead of a chip.

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I've found the epoxy blob ones to be fairly uncommon - 5% or less, at least in the USA. It may differ dependng on where you live.


As for the pinout, I've found most have a pinout similar to a 2532 EPROM while some have a pinout more like a 2732. Since 2732s are easier to find, the latter is better but you can convert the 2532-like boards with a little effort.


In any case, hacking up existing boards is a lot of work, and I think it's not worth it except for one-offs or very small runs. You can get boards made easily enough and Pixels Past has posted the gerbers for doing so. While a small run of boards isn't exactly free, I think it's worth it for the labor savings.


EDIT: I thought I'd point out that 2k boards are unusable for 4k games as they are missing the A11 contact on the card edge.

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Thanks so far :)

So there are no "known carts" suitable for this. I guess it differes alot from year-to-year and manufacturer etc...

And yes, this is for a single cart that I will want to set up on rather short notice.

I guess any 'real' and proper solution will take too much time with shipping to europe?

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