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Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Does the Atari 2600 Jr Work?

Surprise, surprise. A little while ago I received the RF cable for a recently acquired 2600. I bought this sucker as untested quite cheaply because I'm a reckless risk taker. Turns out it turned on and tuned to a perfect black screen.
Considering this got quite boring after a while, I decided to commence into a Game Gear style uphill battle to fix it, because there is of course no such thing as a dead console- unless you're a GG bought from a French swap meet anyway.
First off, I decided to crack open the bastard. What I saw inside horrified me:

Suffice to say, this console must of had a hard life.
I don't know what could have caused that much rust. Was someone pouring water down the cartridge slot? The rust certainly does seem to be most frequent around that area. Ah well, I got my tetanus shots.
After looking at it contently for a minute or so intently, I closed it up again and fired it up for the hell of it. Surprisingly this made nil difference, but I guess it was worth a shot. It's pretty much all I did for one of my Famicom's, although I did pull a hell of a lot of sawdust out of that one.
Anyway from there, I armed myself with rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush, opened it back up and started scrubbing the board. Luckily it seems as if nothing had burst open, but there was nearly 30 years worth of corrosion in there for lucky me to clean up. I was particularly worried about that huge 80's capacitor, but it seems okay for now.
I pulled up that train wreak of a metal cover and cleaned under there as well, I feel I did quite a thorough job in the end:

You could eat your dinner off that, if you like the taste rubbing alcohol. 
Did this fix it? Well, no. I guess having it clean is for the better anyway, so I don't feel as if I wasted any time. Also I now sometimes get colourful static when I turn it on. Better than before when it was just black I guess, but of course it gets boring after a while too as you can probably imagine.
So what's next? I've decided tomorrow that I might go and freshen up some solder points as a few are starting to show their age. Couldn't hurt, and you never know, I might fix that key connection that's stopping me from playing Missile Command.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Additions to the Retro Game On Family

Which is more awesome? 
This could of been two separate posts, but I just wanted to give my fabulous audience a good deal.
Eh, who am I kidding... I'm just lazy.
Today I went into a Good Sammy's and picked up the Nintendo 64 for $25, and yesterday I received the Atari 2600 Jr. in the mail. 

I have only been into that Good Sammy's once- maybe six months ago. First impressions weren't good back then as all I saw was a mid nineties steering wheel for $40. The horrifying thing is that it wasn't there when I went in today so either they marked it down or some sucker got duped. Either way, coming across this Nintendo 64 with a controller and a 4MB RDRAM Expansion Pak for 25 bucks gives me hope for the shop now. Also there was an Xbox with two controllers for $100 (eh) and a fat PS2. Don't how much that was because it was buried under some plates or something. I'm quite content with my slim PS2 for the time being so it doesn't really bother me that I didn't stop to check the price.
There were no games there though so I went into a Cashies like shop to find a cheap test game. All the decent ones were $30, with a whole lot of medicore games for 5 or $10. Out of all the cheapies, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 seemed the best at $10. It probably is still a little steep price wise, but I could never stay mad at The Hawk. Both the console and the game have been tested and are fully working. Now all I need to get is a Controller Pak so I can save the game...
I also checked out a Salvation Army today but like everyone of those I've ever been to in my life, it was shit.

The story for this Atari 2600 started about a week ago. I was in this huge thrift store and there was Pole Position, Missile Command, Asteroids and Outlaw all for $5 each. Being that good deals are my worst enemy (the N64 being one) I bought them, even though I didn't actually own a 2600 at the time. Good logic right? 
I got home and released that I now had to buy a 2600, or the games would look sad on my shelf because they weren't being played. I went on Ebay, and saw this untested 2600 for $11 with no cables or controllers. It had only about 20 minutes left so I bidded and won. Good real right? Well... kinda. What I neglected to check in the excitement was how much the cables and controllers were by themself.
Turns out there is a lucrative business in after market accessories for retro consoles. The powerpack alone cost me $20, the controller cost me $10 (and this for was a cheap Mega Drive knock off, the 2600 sticks were more) and the RF cable was the cheapest at only $2. Considering I bought all of these for a console that might not work, it made me feel quite silly. I may have even been able to score a decent bundle for that amount all up. Lesson learnt. 
I'm still not sure if it works because the RF cable hasn't turned up yet, but the little red LED lights up when I turn it on because I have the powerpack. This is somewhat promising, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.