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Ikrananka

Atari 2600 Jr. - DIY Broken Tab Replacement

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The Atari 2600 Jr. cartridge tabs are notorious for breaking off and so it was no surprise when I bought one that was missing one of these tabs. It was a clean break right at the tab's base leaving a small square broken, but still quite flat, surface. I have a lot of plastic modelling tools and decided to try and make and install a replacement DIY tab that more or less looked the same as the original. I just finished this and am really pleased with the results, it's pretty damn close in looks to the original and I suspect is stronger. Now my Junior is complete again. I thought others might be interested to see how I did this and I hope it helps someone repair theirs.

 

Step 1 - Use some scrap black plastic that is about the same thickness as the base of the original tab. In my case, I didn't have anything to hand that was quite right so I cut up an old Canon printer part (ABS plastic) that was about half the thickness. I cut two pieces to a little larger in size than I needed and super glued them together like a sandwich. This gave me a rough black plastic piece that was the right thickness but taller and wider than needed.

 

post-5757-0-40287100-1533847422_thumb.jpg

 

Step 2 - The next day, after the superglue had set, I used a small plastic modelling file to shape the black plastic piece into the right dimensions and shape as the original tab.

 

Step 3 - Using two part epoxy (I used J B Weld), glue the new tab onto the location of the missing one.

 

post-5757-0-47998100-1533846954_thumb.jpg

 

Step 4 - 24 hours later, I then carefully applied some enamel undercoat paint using a tiny modelling brush just around the areas where the epoxy and other unsightly areas could be seen.

 

post-5757-0-23176200-1533847059_thumb.jpg

 

Step 5 - Then apply two coats of matt black enamel paint over the undercoat waiting in-between for each coat to dry. Again, I used a fine modelling brush for this. I'm really pleased with the result and it works perfectly.

 

post-5757-0-38879800-1533847126_thumb.jpg post-5757-0-78010100-1533847157_thumb.jpg

Edited by Ikrananka
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Nice fix. I'll be very curious to see how the repair holds up over time. I'm my limited experience, even epoxy doesn't hold well with long, thin pieces when the bonding surface area is very small relative to the the length of the pieces.

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Thanks. Yeah, longevity is the key and that test is yet to come :)

 

I'll report back in the future if it breaks again or not.

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Scigrip solvent welds most plastics (not stuff like uhmw or poly stuff) like and and accrylic why glue when you can make it one part again ;)

Edited by Osgeld
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Well, if my current fix does break then I'll certainly consider the plastic weld option for another try.

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Well, if my current fix does break then I'll certainly consider the plastic weld option for another try.

 

Get ready to try it then cause it's not if but when this will break as it currently sits.

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LOL - I love everyone's complete lack of faith with this repair. Has anyone who is a naysayer actually tried this method before? Used JB Weld for the repair? I'd rather have this repair than some of the others I have seen. Not everyone rams their carts in and out and I'm quietly confident this repair will last me a long time.

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LOL - I love everyone's complete lack of faith with this repair. Has anyone who is a naysayer actually tried this method before? Used JB Weld for the repair? I'd rather have this repair than some of the others I have seen. Not everyone rams their carts in and out and I'm quietly confident this repair will last me a long time.

 

I've done it. I was speaking from experience not blind skepticism.

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I've done it. I was speaking from experience not blind skepticism.

 

Fair enough. If mine does break then I will stick my hand up and admit the failure by posting here.

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9 hours ago, ChuckTeed said:

Just looking up tab repairs and stumbled upon this thread. How did the repair hold up? 

Still going strong 😀

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Good to hear it worked - someone recently gave me a junior with pooched tabs, so this will give me a new project to tackle down the road.

Edited by ChuckTeed

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Thanks guys 😀

 

As I said in an earlier post, I insert and remove carts as gently as possible and that may have contributed to the longevity of this repair.

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8 hours ago, Ikrananka said:

Thanks guys 😀

 

As I said in an earlier post, I insert and remove carts as gently as possible and that may have contributed to the longevity of this repair.

 

Glad to hear it's held up so well. That is great!

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On 9/11/2020 at 8:53 PM, ChuckTeed said:

Just looking up tab repairs and stumbled upon this thread. How did the repair hold up? 

I used some small screws to fabricate the broken tabs, then filed them down with a rotary tool.  I don't think I'll have any issues with this in the long term.

 

See the following for photos (I misinterpreted what the OP was asking in that post).

 

 

 

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On 9/18/2020 at 10:29 AM, Steve Guidi said:

I used some small screws to fabricate the broken tabs, then filed them down with a rotary tool.  I don't think I'll have any issues with this in the long term.

 

See the following for photos (I misinterpreted what the OP was asking in that post).

 

 

 

That's a cool idea.  I think I might try doing this but also covering the screws with a bit of black Sugru so they don't look so...uh...screwlike.

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