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Yurkie

Atari 2600 RGB mod

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Driving controllers are fine, they don't connect to left/right at all. From brief research, it appears a 2600 trackball or supporting games don't actually exist (???).

 

A 2600 trackball controller definitely exists (two models actually: CX-22 and CX-80). I don't know if any original 2600 games supported true analog trackball input, but the trackball controllers could be used with any joystick game; it just sent joystick inputs as you rolled the ball. However, there are definitely some hacks which make use of true analog input from the 2600 trackball controllers, such as Thomas Jentzsch's Missile Command TB.

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Driving controllers are fine, they don't connect to left/right at all.

Just ran TestCart and you're right, only up/down are connected. What I'd read about driving controllers said it used 4 bits, perhaps they meant to write 4 states.

 

 

From brief research, it appears a 2600 trackball or supporting games don't actually exist (???).

Not originally, but back in 2002 Thomas Jentzsch hacked Missile Command to add support. Recently a number of other games have been hacked as well.

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That looks absolutely perfect :)

 

I'm live streaming Frankenstein's Monster this weekend, on my current setup.

 

S-Video mod > S-video to HDMI upscaler > Avermedia HD-DVR.

 

I wish I had an Elgato. I seen a stream with the direct s-video input of a supergun, and it looked crisper than my Dreamcast test I did on the setup.

 

A little post update to this.

 

Turns out my HDMI Upscaler hates my Atari. Only console too. Everything from the NES to the Dreamcast, it likes. :(

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Sorry to hear that...might be XRGB Framemeister time...(seems to work well with it although see the previous feedback here for some of the oddities reported. Not sure if latest XRGB firmware addresses the concerns)

 

As much as I like the Framemeister, I am looking to reconfigure my main setup to a recently acquired 27" CRT with Component inputs.

 

I'll need to use a transcoder to go from my RGB sources to Component, but it should suffice and I won't need to upscale. Not sure how I'll capture but maybe I'll split the component signal and upscale that and then capture. Food for thought.

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Just ordered... and have a question. Just curious, will machined pin headers work instead of the standard header included? Machined pin headers fit very well in DIP sockets, but the board would sit lower with the machined pin version.

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Just ordered... and have a question. Just curious, will machined pin headers work instead of the standard header included? Machined pin headers fit very well in DIP sockets, but the board would sit lower with the machined pin version.

 

These machined pin headers are round. They don't fit well in a dual wipe IC socket because it's designed for a pin with a flat side, not a round one. If you use the round pin headers you might have connection problems and it may not be able to hold the weight of the 2600RGB board in the socket without falling out. A round pin header in a round pin socket makes the best connection, but when the dual wipe socket is provided, the square pin header is the one to use.

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@keilbaca - Can you give more specifics about what problems you are having using the RGB2600 with your upscaler? Are you using the Framemeister? I really want to pull the trigger on this, but if it's not going to work (or work well) with my FM then it's of no use to me. I keep waiting for gushing reviews (like we saw with Tim's NESRGB) but there hasn't been much to go on since the board was released.

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These machined pin headers are round. They don't fit well in a dual wipe IC socket because it's designed for a pin with a flat side, not a round one. If you use the round pin headers you might have connection problems and it may not be able to hold the weight of the 2600RGB board in the socket without falling out. A round pin header in a round pin socket makes the best connection, but when the dual wipe socket is provided, the square pin header is the one to use.

 

I'm going to try a machined pin header in a round-hole socket. There is a round hole socket provided, so I will put the TIA in the dual-wipe (unless you think I should get another round-hole socket for that.)

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I'm surprised there's been no activity on this thread since November. In my opinion this is the best 2600 video mod ever.

 

Though compatibility in RGB mode through the XRGB-mini is not 100%, it is very close. There are only a handful of games that have strange timings and don't work well. Warlords is the most popular and there is already a patched version to address the issue. Others have reported no issues with RGB TVs and other converters so this looks like an XRGB-mini issue where it does not handle certain non-standard timings well. The video timings for 2600 games are generated by the game code itself so it's not surprising that some are a little out of spec.

 

I just tried the brand new 2.0.2 XRGB-mini firmware and there seems to be no difference in ROM compatibility in RGB mode.

 

My older retro-console pipeline is an XRGB-3 connected through a Lumagen video processor. Currently that's how I have the Atari wired in. I have seen no issues there even with the original Warlords ROM.

 

In S-video mode this mod has been 100% compatible through the XRGB-mini for me. Though timings are preserved, the video signal is completely regenerated and it's crisp and beautiful. Three color palettes are selectable and those palettes can in theory be customized through the EEPROM on the mod if the palettes are not to your liking. Even if you only use this for an s-video mod I think this is the best 2600 s-video mod and I've tried a bunch of them.

Edited by collinp
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I'm surprised there's been no activity on this thread since November. In my opinion this is the best 2600 video mod ever.

 

Though compatibility in RGB mode through the XRGB-mini is not 100%, it is very close. There are only a handful of games that have strange timings and don't work well. Warlords is the most popular and there is already a patched version to address the issue. Others have reported no issues with RGB TVs and other converters so this looks like an XRGB-mini issue where it does not handle certain non-standard timings well. The video timings for 2600 games are generated by the game code itself so it's not surprising that some are a little out of spec.

 

I just tried the brand new 2.0.2 XRGB-mini firmware and there seems to be no difference in ROM compatibility in RGB mode.

 

My older retro-console pipeline is an XRGB-3 connected through a Lumagen video processor. Currently that's how I have the Atari wired in. I have seen no issues there even with the original Warlords ROM.

 

In S-video mode this mod has been 100% compatible through the XRGB-mini for me. Though timings are preserved, the video signal is completely regenerated and it's crisp and beautiful. Three color palettes are selectable and those palettes can in theory be customized through the EEPROM on the mod if the palettes are not to your liking. Even if you only use this for an s-video mod I think this is the best 2600 s-video mod and I've tried a bunch of them.

 

 

I have not assembled and installed mine yet.

I need to find what to buy to get RGB into my XRGB-mini, and also find out if I can run PS2 YPbPr Component into it, mainly for original PSX games that are too blocky, and in my opinion would be improved greatly with scanlines.

I forgot it also did great S-video, as I planned to make an "RGB to XRGB-mini" 6-switch woody.

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EDIT ***************

 

False alarm. I did not have a cart inserted. False safe worked.

 

That's what I get for finishing up around midnight.

 

END EDIT *****************

 

 

Did I just kill my 2600rgb?

 

I installed 2600rgb. Audio and rgb connectors. With audio jack I wired both sound channels seperately as per wiring diagram Connected system up and turned it on before screwing case together. Worked fine.

 

Screwed case together. Wanted to play a game. Accidently plugged power cord into audio jack and (audio cord into power jack). Realized this after turn system on and nothing happened.

 

Switched around cords so thy were correct plugged in. Now 2600rgb does not work. Turn power on and one of two things happen: black screen and constant beep sound; or black screen and constant static sound.

 

Did I fry the 2600rgb or can this be fixed?

 

Thanks for any help.

Edited by rayik

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I tried Joust and have seen no issues when cycling back to the title screen. I tried Empire Strikes Back and had no issue after destroying an AT-AT

 

I tried various XRGB-mini settings with Warlords. The best combo I can find is to set Sync Time to 100 and Sync Mode to Off. I believe Sync Time 100 is setting a long time before the XRGB decides it's lost input lock and Sync Mode Off is decoupling the input and output frame rate. With this combo the Warlords image stays on the screen, but hops up or down a scanline every few seconds. It's certainly playable but not perfect.

 

It's pretty clear at this point that this is not a 2600RGB issue. If anything this proves how faithful the 2600RGB is to the original video timings. This appears to be a game with unusual timing characteristics that the XRGB-mini doesn't tolerate well over RGB. I am curious if other games like this will be found.

Hi everyone, first post here

 

I just had my 2600 RGB modded and it looks awesome! However, I didn't get the Svideo port put in, and I am having the issue with Warlords. I changed the sync level and that did help, but it's still kinda annoying.

 

Has anyone found a solution for this yet, using only the cartridge, not the rom?

 

Thanks!

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I've been wondering about getting a composite or RGB mod for my 2600, but since it's a barely-used Heavy Sixer, I don't know for sure if I should.

Would it be better to keep it in its original condition, or is it worth it to improve the picture and sound?

Also, is there a way to perform the mod so that it is fully reversible? i.e. without drilling holes in the case or tampering with the components?

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I've been wondering about getting a composite or RGB mod for my 2600, but since it's a barely-used Heavy Sixer, I don't know for sure if I should.

Would it be better to keep it in its original condition, or is it worth it to improve the picture and sound?

Also, is there a way to perform the mod so that it is fully reversible? i.e. without drilling holes in the case or tampering with the components?

 

I feel it is better to keep it in its original condition. The value is in the state count condition.

They really made the RF output clean, with rich colors -- without interference and washed out colors.

 

The multi-system board from Bryan is added on top of everything existing.

You don't need to remove parts, so everything stock still works. And also is easily removed.

You need to tap the audio yourself.

It doesn't get to RGB; It is best at S-video (which you can make or get cables to "go down" to composite if needed).

 

If if you do not care about keeping the value of the Heavy Sixer I am sure this RGB mod is the best.

I just wanted to offer an option that would be easily removed and less destructive.

 

I plan to do this RGB mod on a light six switch Factory Refurbished model that has 6 beautiful chrome dome switches that Atari made for the 4-switch Not For Resale store displays.

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The value is in the eye of the beholder. Monetarily, I certainly value more a well modded system than an original RF one.

 

This system is a board put between the chip and the motherboard. As the original chip is socketed, there is nothing destructive here. You can hijack the original RF hole to use for the RGB cable, either desoldering the original cable or hiding it in the case. The author recommends to replace the original power regulator with a modern one. The old one is probably prone to failure, especially when asked for extra power for the board. Though it does look different, it's nothing more than replacing a failing part, like you would with dead caps. You could try RGB without replacing it, it may very well work.

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I feel it is better to keep it in its original condition. The value is in the state count condition.

They really made the RF output clean, with rich colors -- without interference and washed out colors.

 

The multi-system board from Bryan is added on top of everything existing.

You don't need to remove parts, so everything stock still works. And also is easily removed.

You need to tap the audio yourself.

It doesn't get to RGB; It is best at S-video (which you can make or get cables to "go down" to composite if needed).

 

If if you do not care about keeping the value of the Heavy Sixer I am sure this RGB mod is the best.

I just wanted to offer an option that would be easily removed and less destructive.

 

I plan to do this RGB mod on a light six switch Factory Refurbished model that has 6 beautiful chrome dome switches that Atari made for the 4-switch Not For Resale store displays.

 

Sounds fair. I definitely want to keep the value of the system, though. That's why I spent $300 on it.

Otherwise I would've just bought a Darth Vader or a Jr. and modded it to infinity and beyond.

Edited by Rhindle the Dragon

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Sounds fair. I definitely want to keep the value of the system, though. That's why I spent $300 on it.

Otherwise I would've just bought a Darth Vader or a Jr. and modded it to infinity and beyond.

I have bad news for you. If you spent $300 on a stock heavy you might already be upside down. If your going to play it then do with it what makes you happy. If you are worried about value then pack it safely away and don't look at it for 20 years.

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No one should comment on how much is spent on a Heavy Sixer unless they know what it came with, the serial number of it, etc.

 

Reasons to own a Heavy Sixer differ.

•Made in California.

•First model of the 30 million made.

•They "got it right" and the Heavy Sixer outputs a beautiful RF signal on a tube television, unlike the ones from 1979 through 1990 which got made cheaper and cheaper.

 

There were just not many made in 1977 and 1978.

They were an expensive, high-end entertainment component at $199 ($780 in 2015 dollars).

It wasn't until Christmas 1979 when the Light Sixer sold 1 million, and then January 1980 saw the Space Invaders cart release - the "killer app". Twenty-Nine Million were made from 1978 through 1990.

I would say that a H6er that's 100% stock is equal in value to one that's been refurbished with newer parts because certain capacitors and power regulators go bad, which can cause "snow" and a worse display, and eventually will no longer work.

 

That said, you can argue that this RGB AV mod, if installed without modifying the case:

A. It gives an original system a better, clean 5V regulator that will preserve its continued operation (old regulators can go bad and kill the whole system)

B. It is easily removed

C. Turning on the system with the pallet select button down turns off the AV mod, and the original RF can be used

 

Tim's RGB mod is the best the VCS can ever output.

If you can use an RGB signal, or plan to in the future, this AV mod is worth the cost!

 

The fun of playing the Atari comes from its gameplay which, due to the way games have to be programmed to create the TV display, results in fast, furious pinpoint accurate actions that begins to diminish with any added "display lag".

Natural scanlines & blur in a good RF signal make the low resolution output look better.

Good upscalers like the Framemeister can use RGB and add scan lines back in for a great image on a modern display.

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Whoa, there's a lot there.

 

OK, first of all, I got it for pretty much all the reasons you listed. (American-made, first model, a bit more rare, high-quality construction, etc.)

Secondly, it has been refurbished and looks amazing. I'm pretty sure the switches have been replaced, and there might be other new parts as well.

I'm assuming that's why it cost so much. I posted a picture of it on the H6er thread if you want to take a look.

 

Maybe I shouldn't have said "barely-used" in my first comment since it's actually refurbished. I still think it was treated well though, because the case is barely worn at all. You can clean a case, but I don't think you can un-wear one to its original matte beauty.

 

...I'm very new to this, so don't expect me to know as much as you guys. I'm here to learn.

 

EDIT: You have published homebrews? I am honored to be in your presence, sir.

Edited by Rhindle the Dragon

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...... I posted a picture of it on the H6er thread if you want to take a look.

 

...

 

EDIT: You have published homebrews? I am honored to be in your presence, sir.

 

Now post it again to the newer, Official H6er thread.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/186498-the-official-atari-2600-heavy-6-switch-list/?p=2351649

 

Why is the older "Official" H6er thread not closed? I guess Al doesn't know there are two.

The thread started in 2005 was taken over by the thread started in 2011.

I, also, have posted in the old thread by mistake.

 

I did look, and you're right about the switches. Untarnished.

 

I've only published FLAPPY, and hope to get DK Arcade 2600 done.

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