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RF module repair for the 2600 - 3 & 5 pin types

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4 replies to this topic

#1 mojoatomic


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Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:11 PM

Quick tip to save you a few clams...


Everyone says these are unrepeatable - well... send me all you have, I can use them :-) 


OK, after you remove the RF unit from the board, have a look at the inside - not much to it. Certainly no magic - 




Have a look where the perfboard joins the case... see the solder pads and joints? Remove as much solder from the 2 joints on the side as you can, and then use desoldering  braid for the rest - after that, just pull the board out.. like so - 





Make a few tests - it's a bad IC this time, just a transistor array. DON'T install an IC socket for this repair... solder the array directly to the board. These chips are cheap... line .39 cents or so. The transistor is like .07 cents. There's NOTHING else to go bad here :-) 

Nice, shiny and new. Button it back up and reinstall. 

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#2 Atari Creep

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 10:03 AM

NICE!!!! Thanks a ton! 

Don't just watch TV, PLAY IT!

#3 mojoatomic


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Posted 02 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

Welcome, hope it helps :)


The way this repair came about was, I got tired of replacing these things because it takes a good bit to get them heated up and off, and, it's wasteful. Besides... we had these new hires always rotating through the shop,,,

so I'd get them to pull the RF section off the boards where they had tested bad and then had them disassemble them. It was just really good practice for them to learn proper soldering/desoldering technique, plus I could show them how to set up a scope to verify proper operation of the RF section after they had reinstalled them. The other added benefit to them was I made sure that they got recorded credit for that portion of the repair, and they learned how to fill out the NARDA paperwork so we could get reimbursed.

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#4 Minnatarian



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Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:31 AM

Excellent post Mojoatomic - thanks much!


You mention above using a scope to verify the RF section, and I was wondering if you would be willing to post a walk-through on how it is done?

I recently installed a new RF module in my heavy sixer (three pin RF module) and would like to tune it to the 61.25 MHz shown in the 2600 Field Service Manual.

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#5 Scott Stilphen

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:19 AM

Quick tip to save you a few clams...


Everyone says these are unrepeatable...



"unrepeatable"?  You mean not repairable :)  Don't know who would make such an absurd claim as that.  As you noted, there's nothing special inside them.  It's certainly faster to swap the RF modules, and if you already have some parts VCS boards to use, it's cheaper + easier too.

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