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Atari 7800 cartridge shells with shutter door / dust cover


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I was chit'n-chattin' with @HDN about 7800 carts with the dust cover / or "shutter doors" as I call them and about where you personally acquired variouse items.

My 1984 Pole Position I think was my original cart from BITD ,  It also features the spring loaded shutter door that Atari 2600 carts had but a wider slot for the 7800 PCB

I have 7 of these things now as I would specificall seek them out for awhile and figgered I snap a quick pic.

The machine under it is a friends that I got mechanically going for them, a Gottlieb Wild Life

feel free to share your eyecandy & stories




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Wow, @chas10e, that’s a cool collection! I believe that’s all the launch games except for the two I have: Dig Dug and Galaga. The latter I plan on giving away soon! I got the green light from the parents. Maybe you would win it and add another to your collection.

And a 1984 Pole Position II as well! Awesome!

My guess is that these 7800 shells were leftovers from the 1984 release. They aren’t cheap like the Tramiel ones. Both of my spring-loaded cartridges are from later years.

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1 hour ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Did you notice your PP2 game says (C) 1984 ATARI, INC.  and not Atari Corp.?  You might want to check out those other games with the same door.

Yes, you will have to do that. I noticed that as well. Pretty cool thing you got there. OG Sunnyvale cart.

I think I missed one of the launch games; Centipede. Neither of us have that one in a cool, shutter door dust cover shell!

And your CIB 2600 "Launch Nine", @chas10e. Pretty cool. I have just one question however; what are those inside of? It almost looks like a kiosk or store shelf, though I could be mistaken. Please, let us know!

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Heh, That ole' thing ?

yeah sales kiosk demonstrator unit I'm looking for the original boards & a placard for the control panel on the cheap 😉




3 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Did you notice your PP2 game says (C) 1984 ATARI, INC.  and not Atari Corp.?  You might want to check out those other games with the same door.

All my other carts are "Atari Corp." or "Atari Corporation"  I forget the story of the release of the 7800, I think it was officially released in 1986 and the '84 release was being test marketed or something.

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Yes I believe the earlier made carts have those sprint doors on them. I don't think I have any 7800 games with those but I do own a 1984 PPII cart where both the top and end labels were applied upside down and it is quite mottled with the glue rot on it. But it does NOT have the spring door.

Also, I NEVER understood why the 7800 games have the cart pegs on them. The 7800 cart slot does NOT have a dust door to open like on the 2600 earlier units. I know why they did it, it was because the 7800 had to have the holes to allow 2600 games to be played, and they figured it was cheaper to use a single cart shell for both 2600 and 7800 games. But yeah, technically the 7800 games do not require those pegs at all. Same with the 2600jr console as I believe those don't feature dust covers on the cartridge port either.


Edited by CrossBow

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections


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Actually inserting the carts backwards won't damage it. I know because as a young kid I did it on purpose several times to see what crazy stuff it would produce on the screen. And even Tailchao stated in the AA forums that during the development of Rikki & Vikki, he was guilty of inserting the PCB in backwards and it never caused an issue on the console. Now, I can see that trying to insert the game backwards could possibly damage the cartridge of the cartridge PCB, But I would also think that a person would figure that out pretty quickly before it got to that point.

The Pegs only exist on 7800 cartridges because Atari Corp was using the exact same cartridge shell for both 2600 and 7800 games at the time. And they had to include the holes in the cartridge slots to make sure that old original Atari 2600 games could still be used in both the Jr 2600 and 7800 consoles.

What I wonder about more, is why the spring dust covers with small pegs were included on the older 7800 games in the first place when Atari would have known it wasn't needed. But again, they were doing the same on some 2600 releases around that same time, so again, single cartridge design and shell for two different systems saves you lots of money in design, tooling, and manufacture.

In fact I'm guessing the reason why some of the Atari corp carts you find today have broken pegs on them is likely due to people trying to insert them backwards and snapping them off in the process.


See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections


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2 hours ago, intellicolecovisonary said:

My OCD kicks in with the shutter door games always wondering if they are clean enough. Is there a way to OCD clean a shutter door game?

I usually just use 90% rubbing alcohol and q-tips until a clean q-tip pretty much stays clean.

I'll do the first swab on the edge connector itself then with the dirty q-tip swab out the othe schmeg whatever it may be around inside the port , same with the 2'nd q-tip ect.

the 7800 shells with shutter doors just open with a push but the 2600 carts shutter doors have a catch that needs to be released.

On 11/12/2020 at 11:44 PM, chas10e said:

hmmmm, at first glance I thought my 7800 had a shutter door on the console but it doesn't. I then determined the pokey-stabbers are to prevent an attempt to insert the carts upside down and damage the PCB.

At THIS post, I realized the "pokey-stabbers" on the 7800 console prehaps serve a dual purpose as to enable the opening of the door on a 2600 cart for backward-compatibility

I have used "Wright' Copper Clean" on some really dirty Activision carts in the past and did great job. It basically made a junk cart useable.

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