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The inside of an Atari 400


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Just thought I'd share a a few pictures of Atari 400 guts.  Special thanks to Paul of eightbitfix.com for selling me the parts to fix this.


I've never opened up one of these before.  It's really nicely designed.  It's easy to see why Atari had to re-design these to make them more cost efficient and compete with Commodore.  Things you see here that you'd never see on a Commodore:

  • Socketed chips
  • A nice beefy RF shield (Commodore used foil coated cardboard!)
  • CPU and memory on removable cards. 




And here she is back together. 


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I had a chance to pick up a minty fresh 400 for like $15 sometime in early 94 but passed because I had an 800 and didn't care for it. I really should have grabbed it and saved it for someone wanting one later down the line. That is a really clean machine though!

2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar



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The case is a little dirty, but it works nicely. 


I love the look of the 400.  I think if Atari had simplified the board to make it cheaper, the 400 is what the 5200 should have been -- I mean, it made for a perfect gaming machine. 

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Thanks for posting this! I love seeing what consoles/computers look like under the hood.  Were you being serious when you said Commodore used foil covered cardboard for their RF shielding?

It's absolutely true.  Commodore cut costs every way imaginable.  They drove prices down in an attempt to demolish the competition.  It's one of the main reasons Atari went to the XL line.  The XL computers simplified the design with a single motherboard, no expansion cards, and a thin metal RF shield. 

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