2600 portable worklog


Well-Known Member
I found a bare 2600 mobo that I'd recycled the case for, so I decided to make a portable. I'm waiting for the pocket TV, copper-clad circuit boards, and switching regulator. So far, I've cut down the mobo, but I never did test to see if it worked first. lol

Features that will definitely be included:
Custom etched controller PCBs with Atari dome switch technology (Yay clicky!)
Rekarp's most excellent AV mod
Internal batteries that can be charged during play
Battery "fuel" gauge
Headphones and internal speakers (in stereo!)

Features that I'm still debating on:
Integrated paddles
Integrated keypad(?)
TV out
Master/Slave port for multi-unit connectivity
Any other crazy ideas that may yet come to me

Well, as promised, here are pictures. Click the thumbs to see full-size. This project's getting most of the work done at my house, instead of the shop. There's more room there at the moment. The current state of my desk:

The 2600 and all parts I have at the moment are there. The mobo's in four pieces at the moment.

Here's what I have for batteries. 7.2V, 1200 mAh NiMh. They're from an RC car set. Unmodded, the 2600 doesn't draw any more than 500mA. The power of the batteries are low, but I'd be happy with 90 minutes of playtime on batteries alone.

More to come when there's more to see.
Don't buy a pocket TV. They are large, kinda hard to find, and suck power. There are plenty of better alternatives that are better and just as cheap.

Other than that, nice project.
As of now, pocket TVs are very inexpensive, and have faily good quality. Besides, it's not like she's making a ps2p, where the image quality would look bad on a pocket TV. She's doing an Atari 2600.

and suck power? all the pocket Tvs I have seen don't use much power at all. Besdes, the ps1 screen uses a lot of power. I don't see any complaints form you on that.
Bacteria- I'd heard of it, but never checked it out in depth. Thanks!

XCVG said:
They are large, kinda hard to find, and suck power. There are plenty of better alternatives that are better and just as cheap.

Other than that, nice project.

Well, it just came today. Fits very nicely in my hand, found it in my first e-Bay search, and it was $16.35 shipped, as opposed to waiting a month for a $35 one from DX. Takes 6V, and is designed for AAA's, so the draw has to be fairly low. I'm pretty good at hacking together LED backlights if I need to. I haven't opened it, but I'm fairly confident it and my 2600 will run just fine on my 5V 1A switching regulator. I can easily trace and chop off all the tuning and hardware. If I end up building my own audio amp like I originally planned, I can cut more off. Honestly, I'd be hard-pressed to find a negative about this thing.

Themadhacker- Funny you should mention a ps2p...... But this and several other projects need to be finished first. I've got a PSOne screen or a 6" LCD TV for that. Whatever I don't use on the ps2p will be used in a different future project.
Wow, I've never seen a good pocket TV on eBay. Maybe there was just a lull when I was looking?
No pics for the moment. The Acer quit communicating with my USB Floppy drive, so I can't get them off my camera. If I can't solve that problem, I won't have pics until my laptop is repaired.

The TV came in, as reported. I put some batteries in, and it powered right up, and picked up a Canadian broadcast of Oprah. I don't have the correct AV in cord, but using an MP3 player cord, I was able to run my DVD player through it. When I opened it up, I found that the LCD plugs into the bottom of two mobos. The power in, video in, brighness, and volume are also on the bottom panel. The top panel seems to have the antennae and the CFL tube. I'm wondering if an LED mod might mean I can lose the entire top half. Unfortunately, I can't proceed with hooking it up to the Atari until I get some 9.1k resistors.

I also bought some 3/32 balsa slats for the case. It will be covered with walnut veneer, so thin is better. By the time I roll down a few coats of glue and lay the veneer, it's going to be quite strong. If not strong enough, I'll laminate the balsa on the inside to be thicker.
If you want help tomorrow night im around. I can bring my computer over for your camera.

And off topic. MK is the best arcade game evar!
2001 was when it came out. I've owned two or three other cameras since then, but they've all died, and this one keeps on going strong. I've got my regular laptop up and running, so progress and pics will resume soon.
Well, Tai has been apprised of my "progress". In fact, he single-handedly undid it all. For those of you who haven't been unfortunate enough to be the moron hanging over my shoulder and ruining things, here's where it stands:

It's been a mixed bag. I need 9.1k resistors to finish the AV mod, but my order still hasn't come in. Without the AV mod, I can't test anything involving the Atari. I started working on the screen. I needed to see if it'd work off 5V. Well, my switching regulator isn't working. I have no idea what's wrong with it, but when I used a 7805, it all worked fine. The screen does just fine on 5V.


In fact, even without the antenna, it's still picking up Canadian broadcasts.


Some chappie in a suit and tie. Kinda hard to see, but he's there. Well, I took the lightbox off to do an LED mod, and Tai decided to "help" me. He ripped the top half of the mobo off, and the bottom won't work without it, even though there wasn't much on the top. I followed traces, trying to figure it out, but it's a frigging mess. If I can't repair it, I'll probably be putting this on hold. I don't want to use a larger screen, and I don't want to buy another one. I've got so many things dragging me down at work, and so many half-finished projects laying around the house and shop. If the screen's dead, I'll just move on to something else for a while.
Well, I have spent more time trying to repair the mess than I ever spent making progress. Nothing. For over eight hours, I've been following ripped traces the size of a hair, and even though it looks like it all checks out, I got nothing. I need to box this up and walk away from it for a while. I've got plenty of other projects I'd started before this one, I'll return to one of them.

XCVG- The door locks on this place are purely cosmetic. Any idiot looking at my house can see that the fire "escape" is an easy way in. So I've unplugged the wireless router. He doesn't get internet at home unless he buys his own, or I forgive him.
Tai is a friend, but he does need to shut up. He's not contributing anything of use, and had he not dicked around, the screen would still be working, and he would still be able to use my wireless.

On topic- I finally got my 9.1k resistors. Since I haven't boxed it up and stored it, I will finish the video mod, and see if the Atari even works, as I never did test before cutting. Still more or less on hold until I get a new screen, but I will at least be able to determine whether or not this will be completely abandoned.
Basement_Modder said:
Taiben said:
Tibia said:
So I've unplugged the wireless router.


Why the Heck are you too cheap to buy your own godDang internet? Stop filling this once useful thread with your IRL bullflax spam.

@tibia-set up a secured network.
Really? I hate the way that you back seat mod, especially about spam. You're such a hypocrite. :evil:
Oh, I could afford a new screen, but I want to wait. I kind of jumped into this without finishing off some other projects, and I'm regretting that now. I've got two more 2600s I need to AV mod, one will be sold, one is my home console. I'm halfway through building a soldering station, and a benchtop psu. There's a few other random projects begging to be finished, and I'd like to knock some of them off the list before I pick this back up.