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atarilbc

Your Console Restorations and Mods

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I started a thread awhile back that was intended to share eBay wins and strategies. The first post was about picking up "broken" or "untested" consoles on the cheap and restoring them. Instead of clogging up that thread with my restorations, I thought it would be cool to have a dedicated thread here. Please share your tips and tricks and try to post before and after pictures. Failed attempts are cool too. We all need to learn!

Edited by atarilbc

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I haven't done any mods, but many restorations.  Some generic tips:

 

- gentle soap and water usually clean things up nicely without ruining finishes.

- Armor All makes clean black plastic look new again. 

- Most likely failure points of 2600's are broken solder on the power connector, and broken 9V/5V regulator. 

 

PS - Great topic!

Edited by RickR

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No mods other than a 1050 Happy upgrade a while back.  I gave my 2600 JR a bath when I got it, other non-Atari consoles had issues I fixed, and I have an Original XBOX in need of an optical drive and IDE/ATA cable.  I've kept the original drive electronics inside of it because the electronics still work.  It just needs the plastic replaced with the gears, loading tray, and bezel.  I was going to order one from Llama(dot)com but their site was down the last time I checked and I haven't seen it since.

 

Other than my 360, 5200, and one of the two Dreamcasts I have all of my other consoles needed something done to get them going again.  The NES I have is still using its original cartridge edge connector and I don't have too much trouble from it.  I gave it a good cleaning, used an emery board to remove any corrosion/buildup, and bent the pins back in place a little bit.  Most of the issues was just dirt, dust, debris from neglect.  I enjoy getting non-working game consoles because it's cheaper and 9 times out of 10 I can get them going again without having to buy parts.  

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Ataribc had a note in another thread about getting a clearer RF signal by using a ferrite choke. 

 

I'd never thought of that before....and sure enough, I had a few in my toolbox.  The look like this:

 

FERCKE-DD.jpg

 

It snaps over the RF cable.

 

Does it work?  Well...I put it on my 5200, and I'd say it does improve the interference you sometimes see a bit.  More experimentation needed. 

 

Has anyone else played with these things?

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I haven't tried it.  Then again my 5200 has a decent picture so I don't mess with it.  I get more interference with the 8-bits, 2600, and 7800 consoles than my 5200.  With the NES I use the A/V outs for it.

 

One of the things I thought about doing is trying to restore my 800XL back to its white color.  It's sort of yellow now and I found a video about someone using just peroxide and OXY clean to whiten it.  They placed it in the sun for a few hours and it seemed to restore their system (a Famicom) back to its white color pretty well.  I'm just waiting on a warmer weather to hit.

 

Edited by kamakazi20012

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I picked up this Sears Video Arcade, with box, two joysticks, two sets of paddles and 23 games. It was advertised "untested". Given that it had a box I paid a little more than I typically do for untested consoles, $30 + shipping. I have wanted to try a composite mod for awhile and picked up the parts to make my own but I wanted to pick up a sample to look at in person. I went with the retrofixes simple mod for $23. While I was in there, I cleaned the contacts and added some dielectric grease to the switches. I also put in a green LED in a chrome bezel to match the SEARS Tele-games models.

 

The mod itself took about 2 hours, including cleaning. It was a lot of fun. The system has been playing Battlezone in attract mode for three hours with no issues. The top Pac-Man in the second photo is pre-mod. The bottom Pac-Man photo is after. IMHO the picture is actually nicer than on my LHE 7800. I have a Vader and Woody 4 switch in the garage that I'm planning next if anyone is looking.

 

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Edited by atarilbc

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I tried the second mod today; a Vader 4-switch. Everything is hooked up the exact same way as the Sears unit but I'm getting these strange artifacts. A faint blue line is apparent on the far left side. I know that some Vader's have uber bright displays and that can cause some issues. Any ideas?

 

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Also, I was playing around with adding "ground effects". Don't quite know if I dig it...

 

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Got my modded Vader back from atarilbc today, and it is totally AWESOME.  Look at the red-glowy goodness of that red LED.  The composite picture is sharp, the colors are vivid.  I LOVE IT.  Very nice work.  Thank you so much atarilbc.

 

As an added bonus, that joystick came via a trade with ataribrian, who did the microswitch mod on it.  It works really well, although it's kind of weird to hear clicky noises coming from a CX40!  Thank you for this joystick, it's great!

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Edited by RickR

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Got my modded Vader back from atarilbc today, and it is totally AWESOME.  Look at the red-glowy goodness of that red LED.  The composite picture is sharp, the colors are vivid.  I LOVE IT.  Very nice work.  Thank you so much atarilbc.

 

As an added bonus, that joystick came via a trade with ataribrian, who did the microswitch mod on it.  It works really well, although it's kind of weird to hear clicky noises coming from a CX40!  Thank you for this joystick, it's great!

I'm glad that you dig the mod Rick! I appreciate the feedback. May you spend way too many hours playing it!

 

I have a 4-switch Woody modded with an orange LED that I did at the same time if anyone is interested. I have some down time coming up so I might bang together a few more. Check out my interest thread and trade list. http://forums.atari.io/index.php/topic/2157-interest-check-av-modded-2600/?p=20953

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This is the last WIP pic until it's done. Ran out of double sided tape so the top decal is just resting. I'm going to add a custom vinyl decal and AV mod. It's already got the 9-pin ports but the controllers were dead so I'm just going to switch the clips in a pair of CX-40s to match the O2 pinouts. This has been fun and you don't see too many people paint the O2. And I still made it to the beach. Gotta love long weekends!

 

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Let me know how the joysticks turn out.  My O2 also has the detachable controllers, but I don't think the pins in the end connector match up (What I mean is...the O2 calls for a pin that doesn't have any wire in the Atari pin-out.  Does that make sense?).  I bought a couple of serial port kits to do a converter, but they don't fit tightly in the socket of the O2. 

 

And I think it looks awesome red.  Very nicely done!

Edited by RickR

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Getting back to this after a hectic couple of weeks. Now reassembled with custom label.

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@RickR - Regarding the controllers, I reused the O2 cables in the CX-40 so the wires weren't an issue. I saw what you mean though... Not only are the pinouts different, the cables don't have the same wires. I'm wondering if a Genesis cable or extension would work since more wires are present?

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It's beautiful!  Nicely done.

 

I think most extension cables have all 9 wires, so they should work.  Not sure about Genesis cables. You can tell by looking in the end of the connector for the little metal female connector in each hole. 

Edited by RickR

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Let's turn up the heat! I have done many, many mods. Here are three:

-Amiga CD32 with paravision SX-1, fully configured compact flash card IDE, 8mb ram.

 

-600xl with composite, 64k internal, and ((stereo))

 

-Jaguar CD with white case and paint job, rotary controller.

 

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