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Atari RGB Light Sixer Repair

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23 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

I'm leaning back in mine. Way more comfortable. Plus I can read more easily through my progressive lenses this way.

true that.  progressive lenses don't appear to be a "mature" technology yet.

 

i'm in a graduate program and have been taking tests online due to imposed distance learning.

 

I'm finding that if I have the laptop far enough away from me to read the questions on the screen, I have to take the glasses off to do problems on paper, and then put them back on to go back and answer the question.  also, the focus "tunnel" isn't quite the same dimension as my laptop screen, which is also headache inducing and not that good for reading comprehension; I think that that was one of the reasons that I shanked a midterm!

 

covid and vision acuity issues - the two great tastes that go great together!

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

It doesn't appear any work was done to the mod itself after initial installation. So for some sort of physical short to just develop is really unlikely.

 

So at this point (unless someone else has a suggestion) I'm declaring it a component failure on the mod. Backing that up, is that another AtariAge forum member recently posted that their 2600RGB mod had failed in the exact same manner.

 

So James - looks like you need a new mod. :( Unless the guy who makes these also does repairs. Either way, this one is done.

If you want to have it shipped directly to me, I'll install it. Maybe also get the component board? Not sure if that works with the Framemeister though.

Aww, what a sad ending to the tale of the RGB mod. 😞  You're correct, no work was done to the mod after it was installed so I guess it just failed.

 

Thank you so much for the offer to install a new RGB mod, I'll get it ordered and shipped right away.

 

There is an component adapter for the Framemeister and I *DO* have that adapter, looks like I bought it when I got the Framemeister.  I'll add that to the order when getting the new RGB mod.  They're sold out.  😞    Found another supplier!! 🙂 

 

Looking through the AtariRGB mod website again, I'm a little confused at the external wiring. The way I had it wired up was combining the Mini-DIN 8p with the audio into a JP21 connection, then I had an adapter that converted the JP21 connection BACK into a Mini-DIN 8p that plugged into the Framemeister. I don't think I EVER tried Mini-DIN 8p to Mini-DIN 8p from the 2600 to the Framemeister as they suggest with this cable here.  Does the Mini-DIN 8p out the back of the 2600 have no audio or was I foolish to have all that extra adapter to convert to JP21 and then just convert it right back?

 

- James

Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew

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4 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

Does the Mini-DIN 8p out the back of the 2600 have no audio or was I foolish to have all that extra adapter to convert to JP21 and then just convert it right back?

 

I think I'm able to answer my own question here... I just looked up the Mini-DIN 8p wiring board they supply with the kit (see pic below) and it looks like it doesn't wire in the L+R audio lines? Could verify this on your end Nathan?

 

image.thumb.png.1cb895cbde045d11229268e12fa1a095.png

 

BUT... I found a board that DOES have the L+R audio that looks like it would work:

https://store.retrofixes.com/products/mini-din-8pin-cable-port-kit-great-for-rgb-projects

 

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0769/4313/products/xrgb_cable_and_port_1024x1024.jpg?v=1564067661

 

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30 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

There is an component adapter for the Framemeister and I *DO* have that adapter, looks like I bought it when I got the Framemeister.  I'll add that to the order when getting the new RGB mod.  They're sold out. 😞

Looks like you could still order it from Australia though: https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?crn=210&rn=552&action=show_detail Shipping might be crazy-expensive: https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?sc_page=104

 

21 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

I think I'm able to answer my own question here... I just looked up the Mini-DIN 8p wiring board they supply with the kit (see pic below) and it looks like it doesn't wire in the L+R audio lines? Could verify this on your end Nathan?

That's correct. On the previous page I posted a close-up of the back of that board. The output of your 2600 is video-only on the mini-DIN. The audio is a separate 3.5mm.

 

21 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

BUT... I found a board that DOES have the L+R audio that looks like it would work:

https://store.retrofixes.com/products/mini-din-8pin-cable-port-kit-great-for-rgb-projects

Should work, as long as the two adapter/cables you sent along aren't doing anything to the signals, other than just adding audio to those pins. While looking at everything initially, I did think it was weird that he didn't just include audio out in the connector.

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6 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

Looks like you could still order it from Australia though: https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?crn=210&rn=552&action=show_detail Shipping might be crazy-expensive: https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?sc_page=104

 

That's correct. On the previous page I posted a close-up of the back of that board. The output of your 2600 is video-only on the mini-DIN. The audio is a separate 3.5mm.

 

Should work, as long as the two adapter/cables you sent along aren't doing anything to the signals, other than just adding audio to those pins. While looking at everything initially, I did think it was weird that he didn't just include audio out in the connector.

Wasn't there a place in the US that was selling this mod on behalf of the Aussie?

 

Update: check this page - delivers from Ohio

https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?crn=207

 

Update2: says it currently out of stock 😞

 

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1 minute ago, mksmith said:

Wasn't there a place in the US that was selling this mod on behalf of the Aussie?

 

Update: check this page - delivers from Ohio

https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?crn=207

Yes, but if you click on the link for the mod, it says "This product is temporarily out of stock".

 

215420101_ScreenShot2020-06-08at4_56_49PM.thumb.png.ee4506563a516f6f347046cd9a5c208b.png

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A pity - hopefully they might have some new stock soon!

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26 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

Looks like you could still order it from Australia though: https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?crn=210&rn=552&action=show_detail Shipping might be crazy-expensive: https://etim.net.au/shop/shop.php?sc_page=104

Found another place that's closer with more stock available and more reasonable shipping. PM'd you to arrange it. 🙂

 

- James

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On 6/7/2020 at 11:17 PM, Thomas Jentzsch said:

It has a PF color timing glitch and maybe (not sure) a PF timing glitch too. The color timing glitch can be seen in Quick Step! (see left edge of 3rd platform column) and the PF timing glitch in Pesco (see PF column left of score). James was wondering if that might have been a result of the mod.

 

Examples (I hope Stella emulates the glitches correctly):

Quick Step! (1983) (Imagic).png

Pesco (Ebivision).png

Not seeing them on RF. Any other examples I can try?

 

quick-step.thumb.jpg.315195966538bd28d833c82683ca550e.jpg

 

pesco-man.thumb.jpg.0a05c7b54f335048577b17458053adaf.jpg

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Let's add Chapter 5! Why not?

 

I was getting ready to plug the ZPH 2600 back in to test the ROMs Thomas mentioned, when I saw this:

 

crunchy-wires.thumb.jpg.5709978b2491e23bfc733ac9c951b2a4.jpg

 

That blue wire? Yeah... it's supposed to be attached to the board. The one I repaired back in Chapter 2 has a friend! Upon closer inspection, a lot of the board connect wires had degraded. Sheesh Atari... can't even make stuff that lasts 40 years. :roll: 

 

So, time for some more destruction! I mean... desoldering. I did not use a hammer to remove the wires.

 

The hammer is for installing components. Right tool for the right job.

 

Anyway, after not hammering the wires loose, I took a good look at 'em, and they were all pretty bad. There aren't that many conductors to begin with and some were just barely hanging on by a single strand:

 

super-close-up.thumb.jpg.2db1e58026dcf280891890aea1ddd927.jpg

 

By the way, I'm rather proud of that photo. It's not easy photographing something that small with an iPhone. The way I did it was to put the lens of my iPhone right up against the lens of a loupe. Worked great!

 

loupe-the-loupe.thumb.jpg.7251629799e6e0c68b57e3efb9948c56.jpg

 

Anyway, so I clipped off all of the crunchy wire ends, and re-tinned them:

 

tinned-and-ready.thumb.jpg.7898df4e139534c2c9be941cd160d354.jpg

 

A little more soldering later, and Pesco! I mean... Presto!

 

fresh-wires.thumb.jpeg.b1aff6b8f4baa499184aaf18d655bc09.jpeg

 

I threw it back together, and then ran the tests shown in the earlier post.

 

Meanwhile, on the RGB mod front, James has ordered a fresh mod and some other parts for the installation. I'm also going to add some inline Molex connectors so the 2600 can be taken apart without having to remove the jacks from the case.

 

One oddity I noticed since I put the 2600 back together, and I've confirmed it several times now: after the console has been off and unplugged awhile, when powering it back up again, there's a pause before the picture comes on screen. This is on the Pac-Man cart. It always comes up, but that first power-up it takes an extra second or two. After it's been powered up once, the console powers up instantly from then on until it's unplugged from power again.

 

With a Harmony cart, the picture sometimes won't come up at all on that initial power-up - all I get is static. However, if I plug Pac-Man in first and do the initial power-up, then the Harmony Cart is just fine after that.

 

I'm guessing this has to do with the fancy-schmancy voltage regulator that came with the mod, and the big honkin' capacitor that's attached to it. The capacitor discharges with no power supply attached, and takes a little extra time to charge on that first power-up. What I'll do to test it initially, is put the spare voltage regulator (which James removed) on my donor 2600, and see what happens there. If that doesn't work, I'll put a stock voltage regulator on the ZPH console, and see if it behaves normally. The new mod will come with a new voltage regulator, so it will get replaced anyway.

 

James - did you have trouble powering up your 2600 from time to time? It seems to me sometimes you did, but I can't recall any specific incidents. Maybe it behaves differently with the mod in place. Maybe it's a "have to live with it" thing. We'll see!

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1 hour ago, Nathan Strum said:

Not seeing them on RF. Any other examples I can try?

Not necessary. If they are not visible in these two ROMs, then the glitches are definitely gone. Looks like the mod or one of the parts you replaced caused the problem. Which means it was not the TIA. Interesting...

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Posted (edited)

It is my understanding that, with the RGB mod installed, the TIA is not directly connected to the 2600 address and data bus anymore.

 

When a write to a TIA address occurs, the RGB board sees it, it checks if it's a write to one of the 5 color registers and in that case, it records the value internally (to associate that color register to a RGB color of the current selected palette), then replaces it with a standard value that uses an unique pattern for the 3 luma bits for each color register, and finally performs the write to the TIA.

In that way, the RGB board knows what color is supposed to generate just by looking at the luma pins of the TIA, and bypasses the TIA internal color generation entirely (this also makes possible to have different palettes and play games made for a different TV standard with correct colors).

 

This process inevitably introduces a little lag, and I guess that depending on the tolerance of the specific TIA or console, in some cases this might result in the TIA color/gfx registers to be updated a full color clock later than normal and cause those glitches.

 

It might be worth testing with a different TIA after the new mod is installed, to see if it makes any difference.

 

 

Edited by alex_79
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7 hours ago, alex_79 said:

It might be worth testing with a different TIA after the new mod is installed, to see if it makes any difference.

Will do. Thanks for the great explanation of what the mod is doing.

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21 hours ago, D Train said:

 

I'm finding that if I have the laptop far enough away from me to read the questions on the screen, I have to take the glasses off to do problems on paper, and then put them back on to go back and answer the question.  also, the focus "tunnel" isn't quite the same dimension as my laptop screen, which is also headache inducing and not that good for reading comprehension;


I got computer progressives at the start of the year, wish I'd known about them sooner. They're also called office/workspace progressives.

 

https://www.eyeglasslensdirect.com/Computer-Progressives-s/6.htm

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52 minutes ago, SpiceWare said:

I got computer progressives at the start of the year, wish I'd known about them sooner. They're also called office/workspace progressives.

 

https://www.eyeglasslensdirect.com/Computer-Progressives-s/6.htm

My optometrist suggested that. At the time, I didn't want to have to deal with two pairs of glasses. I'm reconsidering though.

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2 hours ago, SpiceWare said:

I got computer progressives at the start of the year, wish I'd known about them sooner. They're also called office/workspace progressives.

oooh, I will look into that!

 

thank you!

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In a previous episode...

On 6/7/2020 at 1:59 PM, Nathan Strum said:

So I yanked carefully desoldered it, and socketed a fresh CD4050 chip in there. James had sent a spare one along, but I had just gotten some brand new ones from Digi-Key, so I decided to use one of those, not knowing if James' spare had any history to it.

 

new-buffer.thumb.jpg.7a38be127df320d4fde2fac54dc36167.jpg

 

Elsewhere on the main board, this cap hadn't been replaced yet:

 

old-main-cap.thumb.jpg.d457ca5f8fc2b5b27e06aad11b3bab06.jpg

 

So I did that, too:

 

new-main-cap.thumb.jpg.941f318564840bb0f7d1e32d7f7c663c.jpg

 

Then Thomas asked that musical question...

On 6/7/2020 at 2:12 PM, Thomas Jentzsch said:

After all the fixes at once, will we ever know what was wrong?

Apparently it was the capacitor. I put James' old CD4050 into my donor 2600, and it worked fine. (Shouldn't be surprised... that's why they sell those recap kits.)


As a welcomed side-effect, it actually fixed a problem I had mentioned about the donor 2600 before:

On 6/3/2020 at 1:51 AM, Nathan Strum said:

It still needs some work, because when I press a joystick button connected to it, the picture gets dimmer (it's done that since I bought it). So, there's that. But it's had a tough life. Maybe after I'm done with James' I'll restore this one properly.

So that was unexpected! I guess I never replaced the hex buffer in that 2600. Go figure. (To be fair, I bought it for parts.) Anyway, I removed James' old one (which I'll return to him with the rest of the old parts) and installed a brand-new one in there. Now my donor console works like brand-spankin'-new! Cool!

 

Maybe I'll use it to build that rack-mounted 2600 I've been thinking about... :ponder: 

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20 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

James - did you have trouble powering up your 2600 from time to time? It seems to me sometimes you did, but I can't recall any specific incidents. Maybe it behaves differently with the mod in place. Maybe it's a "have to live with it" thing. We'll see!

 

Wow, so many things that were frail and decaying inside the 2600, I'm surprised it didn't kick the bucket earlier! Thanks so much for giving it such a detailed look over, it'll feel fresh off the assembly line.

 

Yes, you are correct, it was always a case with that system that I'd have to power it on multiple times when turning it on. Sometimes I got lucky and it booted the first time but it usually took at least two times between each game. Hopefully it was that capacitor.

 

There was also an incompatibility issue with the UnoCart and that machine where it just never worked on it. I seem to remember when working with the developers that they were trying to mitigate the issue with a delay before trying to display the menu, this capacitor issue might come into play. If you have an UnoCart it might be worth a go testing it out now with it stripped down and then with the new RGB mod installed!

 

- James

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2 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

Yes, you are correct, it was always a case with that system that I'd have to power it on multiple times when turning it on. Sometimes I got lucky and it booted the first time but it usually took at least two times between each game. Hopefully it was that capacitor.

Well, the capacitor that I think is causing the Harmony boot issue is the one on the voltage regulator. It's the only non-stock part left. I won't know until I test a different regulator on your 2600 (or test that regulator on my donor 2600).

2 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

There was also an incompatibility issue with the UnoCart and that machine where it just never worked on it. I seem to remember when working with the developers that they were trying to mitigate the issue with a delay before trying to display the menu, this capacitor issue might come into play. If you have an UnoCart it might be worth a go testing it out now with it stripped down and then with the new RGB mod installed!

I'm almost certain the same issue is affecting both carts. I don't have an Uno cart, but I suppose I should look into getting one.

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And now... the not-quite-penultimate chapter 6!

 

The new RGB mod kit arrived yesterday. I'm not going to run down the entire installation. If you want to read the instructions they're available here (archived here for posterity). The wiring diagram PDF can be seen here. (And again, archived.)

 

Here's a look at the parts.

 

At the top: a resistor (only used on Jr.'s), and the "Extra" button and parts for the joystick mod. This button allows you to set up a joystick with a multifunction button that enables you to do stuff like remote Select and Reset. A good idea, but since you'd have to add this mod to every joystick you used to make it really useful, it's not really practical for James' purposes, so I'm leaving it off (also, that's one less thing to go wrong). In the middle: a switching voltage regulator and capacitor to replace the stock Atari regulator. At the bottom, an 8-pin mini-DIN, S-video connector, and 3.5mm audio jack. I probably won't use any of this. Maybe the switch.

 

mod-parts-1.thumb.jpg.1dffa342b6be4ff65ce185564e793bd6.jpg

 

Next, at the top: the main mod board. It comes populated only with the surface mount components. You get to install the rest. The reason for this seems to be that the same kit can be used for NTSC or PAL 2600's, but you have to use a different adapter board for it. Next (on the left) are a couple of sockets for the TIA - one for the mod, and one in case you need to replace the socket on the main 2600 board, and a small socket and EEPROM for the mod. On the right are the adapter boards and pin strips that have to be installed. There's also a capacitor to replace one on the 2600, which is otherwise too tall for the mod board to clear it.

 

mod-parts-2.thumb.jpg.df1144fa9f3eabfb2f0660d4476a4bcd.jpg

 

This time around, James also ordered a component-out kit for the mod (archived). It's an add-on board for the main RGB mod. Since the RGB mod is wired up to use the Framemeister's funky pin-out (and again), this will allow James to use his 2600 with other displays or scalers if needed in the future.

 

mod-parts-3.thumb.jpg.9f04783a8c0c7a8cbccc0d28df9915a4.jpg

 

Not included with the kit, are a few other parts we ordered to enhance this installation a bit.

 

I ordered some nice multi-colored hookup wire. It's a bit pricey, but this is good stuff. Flexible, with heat-resistant insulation that doesn't curl up when soldering, and it strips easily. The extra colors will come in handy.

 

At the bottom left, are a couple of Molex Micro-fit quick-connects (8-pin and 10-pin). The mod was previously all hard-wired, so to take anything apart you had to remove the jacks from the 2600's case, or just deal with the wires holding both halves of the 2600 together. This way, the mod and the case will be easy to disconnect if James needs to take this apart again later.

 

I'm also upgrading the jacks. The three shown below are for audio, component video, and RGB (Framemeister). The 3.5mm jacks included with the kit are... cheap. I'll stop short of calling them junky, but I wanted something more solid with longer threads to mount in the 2600's case more solidly. The 8-pin mini DIN jack is pricey, but has a few advantages. First, it's heavy-duty. It's also already soldered with hookup wires (not a necessity, but still nice). But mainly, it's built to be panel-mounted into thick plastic. The jack included with the RGB kit isn't made for panel installation - it's PCB-mount. If you look at the close-up of James' console, it was just kind of shoved into place. There are other panel-mount jacks available, but the threads are so short I don't know if they'd hold in the thick plastic on the back of the console. (The place that sells the mods also has some available, but they require drilling even more holes in the back of the console to mount them.)

 

mod-connectors.thumb.jpg.542b93f3e0537337e02822b86e559d43.jpg

 

So, with all of the stuff finally here, let's get to solderin'!

 

I'm not going to show every step, but just a few things I found helpful along the way.


First, when soldering on the tall pin strips to the adapter board, I found it helpful to align them by loosely plugging them into one of the included TIA sockets (itself stuffed into a piece of foam, to protect the pins and hold it steady).

 

stacking-pin-strip.thumb.jpg.b732d9c269cdb3755a3552c1d8875b0c.jpg

 

To solder the shorter pin strips to the main board, I put the pins and adapter board in place and wrapped a piece of wire around everything to hold it all in place. Then I soldered the pin strips. You can't yet solder on the adapter board, because you have to install the TIA socket first.

 

stacking-pin-strip-2.thumb.jpg.3952ebe478f99d3c36aea990dbc5b76a.jpg

 

The installation instructions state that one of the included TIA sockets has round pins on it. However - that wasn't the case. They're both flat.

 

wrong-socket.thumb.jpg.f3858be8cfe3bd291d4b6659c07a1f6f.jpg

 

While it doesn't really matter all that much, I happened to have a spare one of the correct socket, so I used that instead.

 

right-socket.thumb.jpg.d015c6b21ab6e775c22e210ca939bf7d.jpg

 

Again, I used some wire to hold everything together while soldering the corner pins of the socket. Once the corners are soldered, everything else will stay put while I solder the rest of the pins.

 

holding-socket.thumb.jpg.9f27e711c9a784d53c6e52709faa43e7.jpg

 

And finally, more wire when soldering the adapter board onto the main board. This is just some single-strand wire pulled from an old Cat5 cable. Handy stuff to keep around.

 

holding-sub-board.thumb.jpg.926545e08b6e91043d82903864a1179d.jpg

 

Did I mention there's a lot of soldering in this kit? Because there's a lot of soldering in this kit.

 

There's also a small socket (for an EEPROM) that has to be soldered to the main mod board, but that's a mere 8 pins.

 

small-ic.thumb.jpg.c18d78516563fbe208f82bb425ddbe3b.jpg

 

And we have a completed mod!

 

mostly-finished-mod.thumb.jpg.8f9deeb96929b5187873a064fa372a01.jpg

 

Well, almost. There's still the component add-on to... add on.

 

component-board.thumb.jpg.6ee0d948bf5c12fcb87674b999d2fb94.jpg

 

The component board is supposed to go here:

 

component-board-located.thumb.jpg.ebdb414bc1e66d802ceacdcb8e434f9d.jpg

 

Now... there was one little problem with this.

 

The instructions (click here, you know you want to) don't specifically mention that you should do this before mounting the other boards to the mod.

 

So...

 

whoopsie.thumb.jpg.112419c9ea02fa50ff2b6dce8616b9c9.jpg

 

Yeah. One of the pins is now inaccessible.

 

(sigh...)

 

Fortunately, if you use a hammer to solder (as I do), you can just force a soldering iron to fit in there, and get the job done.

 

good-enough-is-good-enough.thumb.jpg.882b21e342c84b91e4482ca42f9d2719.jpg

 

So, now the board is assembled. Up next... wiring!

 

up-next.thumb.jpg.c419c7419b1cd4e5c0ed0de079320c2b.jpg

 

And yes... every one of those wires is getting used. And that's without the joystick mod.

 

Stay tuned!

 

(Disclaimer: Yes, some of my soldering is a little lumpy. I attribute that to not-great close-up vision. I used to have amazing eyesight. Middle-age sucks. But the solder joints are all solid.)

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56 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

Did I mention there's a lot of soldering in this kit? Because there's a lot of soldering in this kit.

 

So good to see the RGB kit has arrived! The massive amount of soldering is what I remember the most from originally installing this kit the first time around, Darcy did 99% of the work. I FILMED the whole install of it and maybe I'll get enough time to one day to edit that together.

 

Great update Nathan!

 

- James

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3 hours ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

I FILMED the whole install of it and maybe I'll get enough time to one day to edit that together.

I think you owe it to Nathan (and Darcy) to do that...

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It's a mini-chapter!  We'll call it "Li'l chapter 7".

 

You'd write it using a lower-case seven.

 

There is too such a thing: 7

 

Numbers just like them to be called "subscript". They're kind-of uppity about that.

 

So, one of the things about this mod which is a little... interesting, is that it uses a non-standard version of a non-standard connector for RGB output.

 

Specifically, the Framemeister's use of an 8-pin mini-DIN connector. The Framemeister used this for compactness, but it's not an official standard. The video standard it's based on is Japanese RGB-21 (aka JP-21) which uses the European SCART connector, but with a different pinout. And the SCART connector is huge. So it's easy to see why they wanted something more compact.

 

But while the 2600RGB mod uses the same connector as the Framemeister, it leaves the audio signals out, and re-routes them through a separate cable via a 3.5mm TRS connector (that's a 1/8" stereo jack, for us old-school analog audio types).

 

As one of the improvements to this installation, James and I decided to see if we could just re-add the audio back to the mini-DIN connector, and skip the separate audio cable.

 

Why? Well, because to connect his 2600 to the Framemeister requires not one, but two adapters:

 

scart-adapter.thumb.jpg.ec2a26434a21b3c6050e15192dc9f91b.jpg

 

The one in the middle of the photo is what you plug cables from the 2600 mod into. 3.5mm audio + 8 pin mini-DIN video. That adapter combines those into JP-21 using a SCART connector. Then, you need a JP-21 back to 8-pin mini-DIN cable to plug into the Framemeister.

 

Which all seems a bit... convoluted.

 

Now, the reasoning behind it is sound enough. (If you're wondering why I keep adding archive links, it's because if the website behind the video mods eventually goes away, none of these posts will make sense. Not that they do anyway. But at least this way people can still look stuff up.) The idea being to reduce video noise by keeping the audio signals separate. But the problem mentioned in that post is one specific to cheap SCART cables. Not a problem here, since James isn't using SCART. Or rather, wouldn't be if it weren't for the two adapters.

 

So it doesn't seem to make much sense to keep it them.

 

At the very least, it's worth testing to see if there's any noise present. If there is, then we can still use the re-routed audio. (I'm routing the audio separately for the component video out anyway, so it will already be there.) I'd just need to clip the audio wires going to the 8-pin connector. Job done.

 

If it works though, we get to go from this:

 

scart-adapter-and-friends.thumb.jpg.dbc91d1b7259c058ddbe343b84d4bab7.jpg

 

To this:

 

one-cable-to-rule-them-all.thumb.jpg.c0190f9d1e394fb5ea142ec58fff4422.jpg

 

As a side benefit, this might (and this is a long shot...) possibly prevent the same issue that killed this mod in the first place. The old mod developed a short across +5v and ground. The +5v comes from the 2600's connection to the the TIA. But then it goes out from the mod through the 8-pin connector. The only reason it does this (according to the wiring diagram), is because the adapter uses it for SCART switching, but that shouldn't be relevant here. The Framemeister does not use it. So... is it possible that something in that adapter caused the mod to short out? Again, a long shot. But not having to hook anything up to the +5v pad seems like a bonus. At the very least, it's one less variable.

 

 

Meanwhile, I've been test-fitting wires using my donor 2600, to figure out how best to route them, see how long they need to be, and doing some test-soldering on the dead RGB mod. Why gum up a perfectly good, brand-new solder pad, when I can get a little practice in, first? :D 

 

Also, to test-fit the mod in my donor 2600, I had to replace the tall Chiclet™ capacitor next to the TIA, with the shorter one that came with the kit:

 

nobody-likes-the-green-chiclets.thumb.jpg.c00d5d70dccb28dea69427bdc52e241f.jpg

 

chiclet-replaced.thumb.jpg.fdaba55787f073aabaf1ef9c206959b4.jpg

 

I'll probably be doing the bulk of the wiring Wednesday night, during ZeroPage's next stream.

 

I won't be streaming the wiring, however. The wiring will just be happening concurrently with the stream, but not as part of it.

 

But I'll probably be watching the stream. Unless I'm having dinner or something.

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10 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

As one of the improvements to this installation, James and I decided to see if we could just re-add the audio back to the mini-DIN connector, and skip the separate audio cable.

Why? Well, because to connect his 2600 to the Framemeister requires not one, but two adapters:

 

This is probably one of the most exciting developments of this repair to the RGB! It really never made sense that video and audio were broken out into separate cables and then awkwardly recombined together again through a chunky external JP21 apparatus. This streamlining will be so much cleaner!

 

- James

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