Atari 2600 Jr. PAL Portable (Argh2600) [lots of pictures]

Includes Atari 2600, Nintendo 8-bit, Sega Master System, MSX and more!

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:30 am

update:
controls added. Joystick, button that used to be a reset button on a SNES. It's working quite well without putting resistors between ground and the joystick ends, actually. Next part is powering the thing on batteries - last time I tried it would go on for a second and then die and not turn on again. I was using different kinds of batteries though, some very old. Might have been a faulty one in there.

Well anyway, after I'm done doing that i'll do some little things and then it's case time. Pictures later.

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:42 am

video circuit kept in place because the wires kept snapping at their ends:
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it's alive

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it's ALIVE!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
powered on batteries
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this used to be the reset button of a SNES, now it's my fire button

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this used to be a 3rdparty joystick for a gamecube controller
now it's my stick. BTW, I didn't use any resistors going on ground because it was working just fine without them.

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:10 am

I did some more work!

first of all, I trimmed the board. I noticed that almost all of the big board on the right can be removed. In fact, theoretically everything including the IC could be removed, but it filters the video, so I decided to keep it.
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it now fits completely behind the screen:
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also, I LED modded the screen. The light flow is surprisingly even, in fact, it's almost not noticable at all! Especially in gameplay
I used 4 6000 mcd white LEDs (3mm):
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they use 20mA each, so they need 80 ohm each

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in case you're wondering what all these cables going to weird spots on the screen are, they're all either going to ground or 5V

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:19 am

what starts out beautifully as this:
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and this:
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ends as a dead paper cutout:
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not the paper!

and as...
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AUUUGHHHHH!!!!!

yes, I know, horrible, deformed, mutated pancakes. Don't worry. They'll be pretty after they're dried and I sanded them.

and then I'll vacuum form all over them

muhahahahahahaha

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bacteria
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Post by bacteria » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:47 pm

Two things Kyo:

1) The PAL PSone screen can take S-video by removing one of the SMD components and using a 220uf capacitor instead - thread in the Screen forum for this. I did it on my old GP2x project - enables the PSone screen to be S-video or RGB instead of composite or RGB. Might give you better video quality?

2) The clay - same stuff I use, as you know, but what I did was to shape the clay whilst it was put on, with shaped clay tools and a little water; so the only sanding I needed to do were the "final touches" to get the sides sloped and symmetrical and also the top sanded flat and smooth. Yours will need a lot of sanding! BTW - will take about 3 days to dry properly, so Xmas day, enjoy sanding!! :lol: You can speed it up a bit by using the airing cupboard. I did. 2 days; although gets fully set after about a week.

Bear in mind the clay will shrink a small amount when dried too.

Just going for a standard shape then? :D As others will say "should use MDF", however I couldn't due to the shape of my casing - you can though with your shape! :D
Image

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:58 am

Bacteria, I'm very well aware of this. I posted in the thread, even. I'll probably end up modding it. Think of this mod as a temporary solution. I have to meet a deadline, so the "funny stuff" comes at the end.

I know it will use a lot of sanding, but that's ok. I intentionally made everything a little bigger than I want it to be. If you could see the clay in person, you'd notice that it's really not that bad. The photos seem to accent it's imperfections.
I'll do a better job with my next case, when time won't be so tough!
I really like the shape, though. It's about the size of a PSOne, just for comparison.


Anyway, I kind of was hiding something from you all. I broke my atari. I don't know how I did it, but it happened in the process of relocating the cart slot. I tested the traces and if they're going to the right places, but they are. What I'll do is just use a different atari jr., and good news for you, bacteria, I'll try a different video mod. One that does S-Video and has a supposedly better quality than bens. We'll see.

Now if only I had a 220µF cap. (you should be able to type that character by using alt gr + m, btw, bacteria)

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:38 am

The atari _MIGHT_ be fine. It seems the screen in the problem. it only displays RGB, for some reason. Unfortunately I desoldered most wires from my atari already, in order to make a new one. I guess I'll have to try it later. I made a thread in the screen section, any help would be appreciated.

Since I already composite modded this second atari, I might give that to my father if I can't finish this in time.

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c_mon
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Post by c_mon » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:37 pm

Kyo,
As it would easily be available for you, have you ever thought of modding an INTERTON VC4000? I have one but I don't have any information with its motherboard. It could be challenging to try modding but I'm just not as experienced as you with circuitry understanding. If you can please send me some info. Good luck on your Atari Jr. project, BTW.

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:03 pm

kinda busy with real life right now (I haven't even had time to work on this more). I'm also kinda lazy right now, but I could take a look at it after I'm done with this project.

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c_mon
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Post by c_mon » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:22 pm

Got it. It'd be appreciated. I just wonder how to get this thing to work through composite video with a chopped motherboard(30 cm X 20 cm originally).

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:43 pm

20x30? That's enourmous. Do you have a picture by any chance?

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c_mon
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Post by c_mon » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:00 am

Kyo wrote:20x30? That's enourmous. Do you have a picture by any chance?
Sure, I'll post it soon.

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:19 am

Alright, about the new atari - I tried a composite mod I found online (a bit more complex than bens), it works good on my TV, but nothing on the PSOne screen. This is not a new problem, I'll just keep trying out mods till I find something that works. I ordered the parts for pretty much any s-vid/composite mod in existance in bulk, so I won't have a problem with testing a variety. Oddly enough, bens mod seemed to work fine with the first atari (till after the cart slot relocation). I'll go back to that if everything else I try fails. Right now I'm going for quality.

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Post by Kyo » Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:55 pm

One more update - I decided to try out Ben's new composite mod. In it's original form I had problems with the refresh rate as well as the picture being in black and white. I modified it to get rid of the problems, and the picture quality isn't too bad. It seems that the picture quality is always flawless in b/w mode, and only color adds some distortion. Almost worth reimplementing a BW/Color switch... then again... nahhhh.

I was also having some trouble with the color tint potentiometer, it wouldn't work. Soldering +5v to the color tint adjust directly fixed the problem. Now I can't really play with the calibration anymore (unless I add a resistor or new pot manually), but it looks fine anyway.

But let's start from the beginning on:
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First, I verified that it was indeed the old (and new) atari that would not work with the screen, and not vice versa. Yep, the composite mods I tried were both too weak. I already told you my solution, so here's the two working as a team for once:
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the flash kinda killed everything the screen was displaying, so:
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You may notice I soldered a composite jack to the psone screen. This was done to test it with the NES without having to open my nes. The atari is connected with crocodile clips. I love crocodile clips so much, I tell ya. I used them in this project so much, they're all over the place. I'm almost considering buying another 10 pack.

Anyway, here's the mod:
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I actually tested this entirely with crocodile clips (and twisting some wires together because I didn't have enough) before soldering it to the atari.

Now take one good last look at the complete board:
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I'd like to use this opportunity to tell you all how much I hate not having a scanner. I'd love to just take apart everything I own and scan the motherboard, but I can't. Maybe I'll buy an old one of ebay, or I'll kindly ask my father to let me use his...

Anyway, back to the atari world:
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(I just noticed this picture makes my leg look HUGE)

Though this is a slightly different model, the right side still went without having to reconnect anything.
The left also went without a problem (this time it's getting power from the 7805 of the psone screen from the beginning on), though it left me in black, white and horror (because as previously mentioned it was an unpleasant woman to get to work again.) . The top didn't go without some reconnecting either, but this time I didn't have to relocate a resistor, just connect one spot with a wire (that makes it one rewiring (not counting the color tint pot) for the WHOLE removal or pretty much everything). This proves that contrary to what ben says, the atari jr. is the most well-designed atari motherboard of all. Sure, it may not be possible to make it as small (though it's possible to make it almost as small with some sacrifices like the CD4050, which improves video quality), but everything is seperated from each other. RF circuitry, general video circuitry, the chips, etc. etc.

Well anyway, here's the final result (so far):
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I will relocate the cart slot.

You may now be saying something along the lines of but Kyo! You have already failed at this task 3 times! It is obvious that you are terrible at it, why would you want to do it again?. The answer is that I'm a perfectionist. What I'll do this time is leave the original cart slot intact and solder the one from my other atari on (at the points on the chip, not the cart slot pins - so I can chop up the board some more if I feel like it).

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Post by Kyo » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:24 pm

one more update!

I worked some more on the atari and PSOne screen. And when I say "worked" I mean "chopped off stuff like an insane lumberjack". You saw how I rounded the corners and chopped off everything I could to the max on my last atari, but this time, I went even further. I relocated anything that was in the way of this fitting 100% behind the PSOne screen. Ok so all I had to relocate was one resistor, but that was quite an adventure as well. After chopping it off (like a mad lumberjack), I dropped it. If you paid good attention to my previous pictures, you will notice my incredibly messy floor. Long story short, I didn't find it. So I took a quite literally random resistor I saw on my desk and tried to use that. To my surprise (mad lumberjack - no relevance here, I just like saying that) it worked.
As for the PSone screen, I was more cautious here because of the hidden traces and it was the following procedure:
1) cut off small piece
2) "come on... come on..."
3) picture scrambled/no picture at all/white screen
4) arghhhhhhhfff...
5) sanding on it a little in case I connected top and bottom traces, just generally scratching it, finding out the LCD cable is loose
6) standing in front of a working screen
7) repeat step 1. Possibly with a part that didn't even need to be removed.

here are the pictures:
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