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Albert

Needed: Donor 2600 and 7800 Carts for Homebrews

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Greetings! 


As many of you know, I am working on a large slate of new homebrew games for various systems, including the Atari 2600 and 7800.  In order to meet the anticipated demand for these games, I need to build up a stockpile of common 2600 and 7800 games that I can recycle into new games.  Because I'm using these cartridges for new homebrew games, donor cartridges must be clean and free from defects.  It is very difficult to remove dirt/stains from the textured areas of the cartridges, to say nothing of paint, nail polish, permanent marker, and all manner of other things (like people etching their names into carts!) 

 

I will give $1 in store credit for 2600 games I can use and $3 for 7800 shells.  7800 shells also need to have both pegs in the business end of the cartridge present (these can break off fairly easily).  I will also cover shipping costs to get the games to me. 

 

If you have a sufficient number of common carts that meet my requirements (say, at least 20 to make it worthwhile due to shipping costs), please send me a PM.

 

We are actively working on creating a new cartridge design that will work with 2600 and 7800 games, but it will not be ready for this round of games.  Hopefully for the next batch, though!  This will save me a lot of time in the future, and I'll no longer need to recycle old games to make new games.  And the new shells will be consistent in quality. Greatly looking forward to that day.  :)

 

Thank you!

 

 ..Al

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Did you see that William (starwander) has made brand new 7800 shells?

Are those something you could make use of?

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Just now, stupus said:

Did you see that William (starwander) has made brand new 7800 shells?

Are those something you could make use of?

I am not satisfied with the cartridges for my own use, unfortunately (for reasons I won't get into). I also somewhat despise the Atari 7800 shell design with the two holes under the main (large) label surface, as it's easy for the label to become indented in these areas.

 

 ..Al

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Thats too bad, yeah i was a bit disappointed when i saw he added the original holes.

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Just now, stupus said:

Thats too bad, yeah i was a bit disappointed when i saw he added the original holes.

Same. 

 

 ..Al

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Whatever happened to the ones Joe G designed years ago.

 

Mitch

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1 minute ago, Mitch said:

Whatever happened to the ones Joe G designed years ago.

Those were never produced, but the design is available online.  I'm doing something more akin to the old VGWiz shells that use two separate pegs for the cartridge shell, rather than shorter pegs like with the 7800 shells (which can easily bend and/or snap off, another problem with that Atari 7800 shell design).  This is the route most third-party shells used as well, separate pegs (sometimes with springs) instead of trying to extrude them from one of the cartridge halves, such as what Atari did as well as one of the US Games design. At least US Games was smart and used the bottom half of the shell instead of the top half for the "holes" that are a result of this design choice.

 

 ..Al

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I’m really surprised that quality 3D printed replica Atari cartridges haven’t been done yet? It can’t be that hard with tools like solid works or fusion 360? Maybe it’s cheaper to buy the originals? I use solid works all the time at work and something as simple as an Atari cartridge would be easy. I’ve also seen extremely high precision 3D scanners that could make an exact replica.

 

I haven’t ever done high volume 3D printing, so maybe it’s still cost prohibitive?

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We printed one for the arcadia shell but Harvey has never replied back again about using it.

With necessary specs we could try one for 2600/7800.

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We printed one for the arcadia shell but Harvey has never replied back again about using it. With necessary specs we could try one for 2600/7800.   

 

 To get the most accurate Solid model it would need to be scanned I think. With calipers and physical measuring instruments you could only get about 90 percent dimensionally accurate. The other 10 percent would be trial and error. I’ll talk with my friends at Go engineering in Salt lake and see what I can come up with.   

I’m sure others here on the forums might have direct access to a nice 3D scanner.

 

Although I’ve not yet opened a cartridge and tried to pull dimensions. It might be fairly simple.

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12 hours ago, adamchevy said:

I’m really surprised that quality 3D printed replica Atari cartridges haven’t been done yet? It can’t be that hard with tools like solid works or fusion 360? Maybe it’s cheaper to buy the originals? I use solid works all the time at work and something as simple as an Atari cartridge would be easy. I’ve also seen extremely high precision 3D scanners that could make an exact replica.

 

I haven’t ever done high volume 3D printing, so maybe it’s still cost prohibitive?

I do not want to replicate Atari's cartridges as the original shells they produced for the 2600 are too complex (four plastic pieces, and a unique spring you'd also need to reproduce).  Third-parties created simpler shells without any moving parts (except in some cases springs for the pegs, such as what Coleco did).  And the later shells they produced (such as the 7800 shell with the holes under the main label, also used for later 2600 games) are not ideal, either.  That's why we're producing a new design that will likely use two separate, fixed pegs, and without the large holes under the label surface.

 

 ..Al

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I do not want to replicate Atari's cartridges as the original shells they produced for the 2600 are too complex (four plastic pieces, and a unique spring you'd also need to reproduce).  Third-parties created simpler shells without any moving parts (except in some cases springs for the pegs, such as what Coleco did).  And the later shells they produced (such as the 7800 shell with the holes under the main label, also used for later 2600 games) are not ideal, either.  That's why we're producing a new design that will likely use two separate, fixed pegs, and without the large holes under the label surface.
 
 ..Al


Understood. Sounds like your already making progress.

I was thinking of how nice it would be to have custom 3D printed shells with the names of the games printed into the shell. We live in a fun world these days. Here’s a few things we’ve printed at my shop recently:

94f5330b14a7e855148ca347cf3e353c.jpg

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Just now, adamchevy said:

Understood. Sounds like your already making progress.

Definitely.  :)

Just now, adamchevy said:

I was thinking of how nice it would be to have custom 3D printed shells with the names of the games printed into the shell. We live in a fun world these days. Here’s a few things we’ve printed at my shop recently:

Yeah, as 3D printing continues to improve, it'll be more compelling to use it for smaller projects.  There have already been releases of individual games that use some sort of 3D printing.  I'd love to have a high-quality 3D printer I could use to print unique cartridge designs for special projects.  But for now, it's not really feasible for my general use, in terms of cost and quality.  In the future that may not be the case. 

 

 ..Al

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Yeah, as 3D printing continues to improve, it'll be more compelling to use it for smaller projects.  There have already been releases of individual games that use some sort of 3D printing.  I'd love to have a high-quality 3D printer I could use to print unique cartridge designs for special projects.  But for now, it's not really feasible for my general use, in terms of cost and quality.  In the future that may not be the case. 
 
 ..Al


That will be a fun time when it arrives. The Machinist in me has always wanted to make an Aluminum anodized cart or Brass cart. It would be fun to give one away or a few away as a specialized limited edition release of a game. But then I would feel bad for those who would be left out so it would be fun to see atleast the first 100 get one.

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6 hours ago, Albert said:

I do not want to replicate Atari's cartridges as the original shells they produced for the 2600 are too complex (four plastic pieces, and a unique spring you'd also need to reproduce).  Third-parties created simpler shells without any moving parts (except in some cases springs for the pegs, such as what Coleco did).  And the later shells they produced (such as the 7800 shell with the holes under the main label, also used for later 2600 games) are not ideal, either.  That's why we're producing a new design that will likely use two separate, fixed pegs, and without the large holes under the label surface.

 

 ..Al

Really looking forward to this! It’s like the video game equivalent of a resto-mod vehicle. I love finding ways to optimize and make things more efficient. You guys may also be able to produce shells in different colors as well, a la Rikki & Vikki. Do you have a dedicated thread in the forums for this project?

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7 hours ago, adamchevy said:

 


Understood. Sounds like your already making progress.

I was thinking of how nice it would be to have custom 3D printed shells with the names of the games printed into the shell. We live in a fun world these days. Here’s a few things we’ve printed at my shop recently:

94f5330b14a7e855148ca347cf3e353c.jpg

3D printing has improved, but the consumer level additive 3d printers still aren't good enough for 2600 cart production, in my opinion. Sure, some are making cart shells today with 3D printers, but they still just can't match injection molded plastic in terms of professional-level quality, strength, or volume cost. That said, I think 3D printers are great for one-offs, prototyping or small runs of custom plastics where the drawbacks of 3D printing aren't important.

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3D printing has improved, but the consumer level additive 3d printers still aren't good enough for 2600 cart production, in my opinion. Sure, some are making cart shells today with 3D printers, but they still just can't match injection molded plastic in terms of professional-level quality, strength, or volume cost. That said, I think 3D printers are great for one-offs, prototyping or small runs of custom plastics where the drawbacks of 3D printing aren't important.


I agree the quality level isn’t quite there yet unless you have a very high end 3D printer. The best we have been able to do is print with Carbon Fiber for strength and appearance.

I was at a trade show last year in Chicago with DMG Mori where I was able to see one of their new Powder Metal/Laser 3D printing machines. It was amazing. Ofcouse it was only $500,000. I ordered 3 of them.

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