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MaximumRD

Who all has a 2600 Jr. ?

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Of course I love my various variations of the original Atari 2600, as well as the absolutely monstrous Atari 5200 but also as shown here I really kind of dig the Atari 2600 Junior. Just love the small compact size of these things. As well since I have two of them I may give painting one of the shells a try someday.

 

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The Jr. is interesting because it exemplifies how elegant and minimalist the original 2600 design was. Typically, when companies release successor consoles ("slim" versions and whatnot) they achieve a lower price point by knocking the bill-of-materials cost down through merging ASICs and simplifying the circuitry. If you look at the schematics and PCB layout for both the original and the Jr. they're still, largely, identical (not that there's much to merge together when you only have three ICs, mind). All the cost savings are achieved through industrial design and the natural gains of a decade of chip manufacturing optimisation.

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My first paycheck was spent on a JR model and a few games. That was the first console I bought with my own money. I still wish I could remember what happened to it. I have another one now. Not a bad console and its small size does allow me to store it easier when not in use (the thing literally sits on top of my 360 collection!). Any time I see a red label 2600 game I immediately think of Junior. Cool little console.

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The Jr. is interesting because it exemplifies how elegant and minimalist the original 2600 design was. Typically, when companies release successor consoles ("slim" versions and whatnot) they achieve a lower price point by knocking the bill-of-materials cost down through merging ASICs and simplifying the circuitry. If you look at the schematics and PCB layout for both the original and the Jr. they're still, largely, identical (not that there's much to merge together when you only have three ICs, mind). All the cost savings are achieved through industrial design and the natural gains of a decade of chip manufacturing optimisation.

The only specs different are in colors produced and the RF circuitry. Instead of having a premade modulator Junior has the modulator circuits on the motherboard. Doing so gives it a slightly better signal. Junior also gives richer color tones compared to the original...at least mine does. Love the little guy!

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Here's mine.  The red portion of the rainbow on mine has turned orange and fading more.  So be careful if you clean your Junior with any kind of cleaner.

 

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And when it is not being used it sits comfortably on top of my 360 game collection.

 

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If you watch some of my YT videos you might see it sitting behind me in the same spot.

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Oh man yes.  I have one.  Maybe two.  I need to take a picture of all the different 2600's I have around here. 

 

I like the Jr. a lot.  Mostly for the small size (as you mentioned).  I also like that it's easy to use a short and high quality RF cable with it.  If you ever get a chance, compare it to the Coleco Gemini.  They are about the same size, but the Gemini came out much earlier. 

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Oh man yes.  I have one.  Maybe two.  I need to take a picture of all the different 2600's I have around here. 

 

I like the Jr. a lot.  Mostly for the small size (as you mentioned).  I also like that it's easy to use a short and high quality RF cable with it.  If you ever get a chance, compare it to the Coleco Gemini.  They are about the same size, but the Gemini came out much earlier. 

Yes very comparable I know as I have a Gemini as well though no where near as good condition as yours!

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Mine does have an issue and I replaced the LED as the original one was getting weak.  The TV TYPE and POWER switches on mine are worn making it difficult to use either.  The POWER switch is missing that "CLICK" feeling while the TV TYPE switch feels like it wants to break when it does click.  The latter also requires a bit of force to get it to click.  I have plans to replace them as the Junior is proof that fun can come in small packages.

 

Here's a pic of what the power light looks like now:

 

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I own four Junior-models:

 

2x with big rainbow,

1x with small rainbow,

1x the Black Beauty.

 

Needless to say, they are all PAL-models.

 

And yes, they have a nice'ncrisp picture on TV-screen.

 

I think, that Atari had published a lot of great and decent games in the late 80ies. So i always have a good feeling, when i see the Juniors or the games in red boxes.

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I own four Junior-models:

 

2x with big rainbow,

1x with small rainbow,

1x the Black Beauty.

 

Needless to say, they are all PAL-models.

 

And yes, they have a nice'ncrisp picture on TV-screen.

 

I think, that Atari had published a lot of great and decent games in the late 80ies. So i always have a good feeling, when i see the Juniors or the games in red boxes.

 

I know that they are all 2600 games, but the black and silver label I have always associated with the wood-grain models while the red labels I always associated with the Junior model.  To me it just seems "odd" to play a red-labeled game on a wood grain unit.  The silver-label games look like they go with either one but seem to fit the style of Junior better.  Just my opinions.

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I also have a Jr. I think that it's one of the nicest console redesigns ever. In fact, I cannot think of another redesign that is as elegant. (The first PS3 slim comes close.) The only thing the Jr. didn't get right was the controller ports. Atari should have had these in the front. Coleco got this right with the Gemini.

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I also have a Jr. I think that it's one of the nicest console redesigns ever. In fact, I cannot think of another redesign that is as elegant. (The first PS3 slim comes close.) The only thing the Jr. didn't get right was the controller ports. Atari should have had these in the front. Coleco got this right with the Gemini.

Naaa...I prefer the original PS3 model. That piano black with silver accents has 5200 written all over it.

 

With Junior they could have included a Euro-style game pad with a single fire button. If you are going to upgrade a system might as well upgrade the controller, too.

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While I see your point, I guess the joystick was such a classic controller associated with the 2600 that it may have been strange to see a different controller for it.  Nonetheless, I think it would have been cool to have a modified version of the Europad with just one fire button. 

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I had a couple in the past. One I sold, the other I accidentally fried while trying to install the pause button mod. But I love that little model because it's so compact. And, you can remove the AV cable without opening the case! Hard to not love that little model.

 

And since...others are posting these pictures...unfortunately, this was AFTER I fried the pictured Jr. (And I have since traded the 5200!)

 

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Definitely the best-dressed consoles of 1980s hardware. I think the PS3 is the only other console to use a similar style initially.

 

I am betting that once Jack bought Atari he had to figure out a way to get rid of those joysticks. Since they were already made it would have made sense to include them with the Junior model. It wouldn't have cost him anything as he already had them. Just a theory of course.

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