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The Ivory Tower 5200 got some TLC


CrossBow

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I originally did most of the work on this 5200 about 8 years ago. It was also one of the first projects I did and to be honest, the wiring work inside wasn't that great. For some time I had wanted to redo it all similar to how I redid my 7800 about a year ago but just never got around to it. Well, now that I have a new BackBit Pro flash cartridge and it was designed to allow resets back to the game menu, I felt it was time to perform a small modification to allow this function of my BackBit Pro to work and also decided it was time to redo the wiring work and give my 5200 a much needed bath.

So first I will share some old pics of when I first AV upgraded the console. The wiring wasn't that bad I guess but it was before I was using better quality wire and wasn't using connectors so it was all tethered down. Also, not long after this was first done, the s-video jack kept coming loose on me so I had to hot glue it into place. No pics of that hot snot but suffice to say it was pretty ugly. 

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Here is another shot showing how all the wiring was done originally in this setup. 

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All of the wiring was completely redone with better quality wire and using install methods that I've been using on client consoles for the past 5 years. 

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Some of the wiring was to redo the power and ground wiring as I now have it attached to the main power and ground rails that run along the middle of the board. As a result they are much shorter than they were previously. All the of the video output wiring was redone with a connector added in the middle to allow for easier removal of the main board in the future for servicing if needed. A connector was also added to the power modification wiring on the bottom side as well. 

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A new s-video jack was installed as the original was in pretty bad shape from coming loose over the years and the hot glue just had to go. I used my dremel to rough up the area around the s-video jack and shave off a little bit of shell material so that I could install a new s-video jack and have the back nut actually secure it into place properly. Last to ensure it stays put, some epoxy was added around the s-video jack and securing nut. Audio wiring was redone as well and cleaned up.

Finally a small bit of wire was added on the bottom side of the PCB that attaches the reset line for the system to an unused pin on the cartridge port. The BackBit Pro flash cart is designed to take advantage of this and with this wire in place, I can now use the reset button on the cartridge to take me back to the game selection menu. This is a feature that is sorely missing on the AtariMax carts as they require hard powering the 5200 console to get back to your game menu selection. 

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At the end, I finally gave the case shells a much needed bath as it had been at least a decade since this 5200 had been cleaned. It was getting pretty dusty in those vent slots and just looking a bit dull. Now this 5200 is working better than before and ready to provide some more 5200 gaming for many more years!

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Not really the ultimate 5200. It has an old and no longer made s-video/cvbs processor board that was more time consuming and more damaging to the console to install vs the UAV we have today. Where I installed the AV jacks was NOT ideal and in fact I don't install them in the case shell anymore due to how thick the case shell is. It is best to install them on the expansion plate on the opposite side but as you can see, I installed my new dc power jack there instead. So a lot of things I did on this 5200 is not how I would do it these days. But it was what I did over 8 years ago when I first upgraded this 5200 and like a lot of things, I've learned much since then.

It could also be argued that to make it more ultimate, would be to install a Sophia RGB output board into it. But I honestly have always been quite happy with the s-video output from this 5200 even from this older board that I don't really desire anything better from it currently. I feel the same way about my 7800 in most regards as well. 

 

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