Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wrapping up an Atari 2600RGB Install

Shortly after Tim Worthington released his 2600RGB kit this year I was chomping at the bit to install one as it is the first any only solution for obtaining RGB output from the Atari 2600!  While the Atari 2600 was my introduction to video games, any nostalgia I had for the console had always been hampered by its awful RF only output, full of noise in both the picture and sound.  A little over a decade ago I discovered some folks had created composite and S-Video mods, but they varied in picture quality and none stood out as being an ideal solution for the Atari 2600.

After acquiring an Atari 2600 to install the 2600RGB kit I was surprised by the extreme level of picture and audio noise when connecting the system to my HDTV using the stock RF switch output!  Thankfully the 2600RGB clears things up in both picture and sound departments.

I installed the kit in a "heavy sixer" several months ago, but hadn't finalized the output wiring until today!  This was in part due to the metal casing that surrounds the main circuit board.  Tim's installation guide for this particular revision of the Atari 2600 suggests using small wires to run underneath the metal casing, but I decided to take another approach!

2600RGB kit installed, but in need of output re-wiring.

What was the other approach?  Drill two holes in the metal casing!  One for the audio and video signals, and a second smaller one for the palette toggle button.

I decided to use a 8 pin mini din extension cable with a "XRGB-mini" pinout so that I could utilize the existing system shell opening that had been used for RF output, and conform to pinout that does not require any external components.

DK238MF cable used for RGBS and dual mono audio
RGBS, audio and palette button wired up to the 2600RGB
RGBS, audio and palette button routed to the back of the case.

RGBS, audio and palette button secured to the post that
was previously used to secure the RF output cable.

All connected and ready for testing!

Success! No troubleshooting required!

XRGB-mini status screen.  240p RGB!
If you're interested in more information about the 2600RGB, see Tim Worthington's site and shop.

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