Stupid Newb Questions....HELP WITH MY 2600

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Stupid Newb Questions....HELP WITH MY 2600

Postby helpmefriend » Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:55 am

Ok, i was born in 85 so i missed the whole 2600 boom, but ever since i used to see the old 2600's at garage sales and thrift stores i've wanted one. I know all the big games like pitfall, asteroids, space invaders, and combat from the arcades, but i've never actually played an atari....Recently i spyed one(the one that's all black with 4 buttons) at my local goodwill. It was pakaged in the atari game center with 20 games, AC adapter, and one controller. When i got home to connect it i realized that the r/f cable that is connected to the console has a male end, so i whiped out my NES r/f switch and got a coupler so i could connect the 2 male ends. I hooked it all up to my tv, and it didnt work. Did i do something wrong? Do i need another cable?....or is the thing just broken? The system appears to be in good condition, both inside and out.....soooo.....can y'all help me?

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Postby Gryzor » Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:12 am

Well, there is a number of thing syou can'should do... because after all there are a few possible reasons for your problem.

-Are you sure you have tuned your TV to the correct channel? I know early 2600's use channels 2 and 3, and maybe later ones use 32 or 36.
-Then it may indeed be the cable. Go get yourself one, they're really cheap; could even be the coupler, you're sure it works?
-Is the power supply working fine? Is it the original PSU or a generic one? If the latter is the case, it may have a power led -see if it turns on. Try to find another PSU (9v it is, I think).
-what version of 2600 do you have? The original 'woody' design with the wooden panel or the later black, cheaper model? The later models also had power leds, does it come up ok?
-in some older versions (at least with my model) you can hear a slight hum from under the shielding (you probably have to open it up), so this is a sign the machine is working. *however*, if everything else works fine (cable, tuning, PSU), it may be the RF modulator. Not much you can do in this case -better buy a new one instead of messing with soldering a new modulator...

I'd say that, from the lot that you bought it in, it probably worked last time the owner fired it up (he just put away the whole lot), so it could be something easy. How much did you pay anyway?

Reality is that, which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. --P.K.Dick



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Postby helpmefriend » Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:39 am

Hey, thanks man...

Im gonna pick up some new cables, and then try to see what works and what doesnt. I have the black model, you said there is a power led? where? i didnt see one....Maybe i need a new adapter, the one pakaged with it is an original, but i'll try to use a generic one. I guess i'll be spending some cash at radio shack*LOL* .......BTW, i paid 20 dollers for the whole lot so im not dissapointed that the atari doesnt work. The great 22 game lot is worth at least 20 bucks, nothing rare really, but some good games(list below) in good condition....I actually came across the lot because i work at good will. We were unloading the trailer, and the guy i was working with thought it was a record player(it was in the game center case) he handed it to me and told me to go price it and put it out on the floor. I priced the lot at 19.99, and then called my friend and gave him 20 bucks to go in the store and buy it :P

-haunted house
-missle command
-chopper comand
-donkey kong jr.
-empire strikes back
-video chess
-demons to diamonds
-star raiders
-yars' revenge
-video pinball
-space invaders
-challenge football
-space attack

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Postby Gryzor » Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:57 pm

Hmmm... maybe the 2600 itself doesn't have a power led -I don't remember. The 2600 Jr. and 2600 Jr rev.A did have one though,on the left of the silvery banner (check out for a model list).

Btw, $20 is not that low a price... of course the sentimental price is much much higher (I just love my mint woody VCS standing proudly in my room), but you'd be surprised at how low these still go, unless it's some more r@re edition...

Reality is that, which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. --P.K.Dick




after looking at this post

Postby simbo » Fri Jul 09, 2004 7:47 pm

Hi after looking at this post

you need some tools

a multimeter and a screwdriver

first measure that the voltage 9vdc is appearing at the psu plug end that goes into the back of the unit

next if this is correct

make sure you have the correct psu polarity if i remember its - outside + inside

so if this is correct {you can look on the back it may have a little graphic to show the right polarity}

as these units are reverse polarity protected in such a way that it dosnt just blow up
it just dosnt work if the psu is the wrong way round
and everything checks out appart from the polarity

if its the original transformer this can be ruled out...completely

and go to the next step

take the underside of with the 4 or 6 screws

and youll see the main board is suspended with the print side towards the bottom
and several screws hold in the cartridge port
and the board also has several screws

find where the power plugs in
and look for broken connections on the print side of the board
under the power socket

this is the standard fault
so solder these back up

if you dont see any then look for any sign of broken connections around this area

now all being well here

plug in the psu and measure the voltage at the plug to make sure it gets in

these machines had a slider switch for power and this can wear out
so i think maybe if you dont see anything this obvious
take the unit to the local tv repair man and ask him to check out the psu system
{you can help him greatly if you download the diagrams for the unit and laser print them first}

if your electronics skills are limited this is a great solution

as there is only a single 5v regulator package inside the unit can go wrong and its still repairable
and well within any tv radio engineers boundrys

i think offer to buy him a beer or give him a few bucks

and youll get a working unit

mostly its just the regulator heatsink thermal transfer paste dries out

causing the regulator to get hot
this thermal expanssion contraction loosens the screw that holds it to the heatsink
making the regulator stand off the heatsink

it then just fails and goes open circuit when it overheats

BUT there is absolutly no fault just the regulator burned out
he can easily replace

if you get no joy ill try to help further

:roll: sim

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