Author Topic: Making Atari 2600 adapter  (Read 3518 times)

Offline Muzer

  • Sgt. Retrode
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Making Atari 2600 adapter
« on: 03/Feb/2012 06:14:20 PM »
Because (as far as has been announced) there's no planned production run of the Atari 2600 connectors, and I'd still want one, I'll make one myself.

I've decided that, despite it being easier to order a PCB, I'd like to make a PCB myself, as a) it should be fun, and b) it's a good thing to learn how to do, considering I am interested in learning more about electronics. I've bought all the kit for actually making the PCB (apart from the board itself, as I couldn't find a thin one in Maplin), as well as the necessary protective clothing, so I'll just need to get the connector, then I'll be able to do it. Obviously it'll be slightly tough to start out on what with it being double-sided, but I'm up for a challenge :)

So, I'd like to know:

* Is there a recommended place from which I should get the A2600 connector and thinner board?
* Are there any extra pieces of info about this connector specifically, aside from what is explained in all the generic PCB-making tutorials?



And, did anyone make PCB layouts for any of the other connectors? Apart from the N64/GB and SMS/GG ones, because those have planned production runs so I'll just buy them.

Offline Matthias_H

  • Retrode Forum Techie
  • A Retrode Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
  • Karma: +21/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Making Atari 2600 adapter
« Reply #1 on: 03/Feb/2012 06:36:26 PM »
Oh dear... :D You do know you're in for some serious failure? Aligning the two sides of the board will be beyond tricky :)) Personally, I would suggest that you save that effort for your upcoming NGP adapter, considering that A2600 support is currently really, really weak (about 1 out of 4 titles reads successfully, and that's AFTER cleaning off the 30-year-old dirt).

In case you still want to give it a try, the board layout on the plug-in page is not the latest one. I have a revised version with a outline that doubles as unlocking mechanism for the dust cover. Will dig it out over the weekend.

I'll also have to see if I have any connectors in stock. Though you can find them at Digi-Key around $4/pc. (look for 0.1" pitch, 24-position, 2-row, female, card edge connectors with straight (180˚) solder mounting. Something like http://search.digikey.com/us/en/products/EBC12DCWN/S3304-ND/927256.

Gold-plated, chamfered, etc. A2600 PCBs are, in fact, relatively cheap to make. I just retrieved a quote about EUR 80 for 50 boards including shipping.
http://www.retrode.org

I no longer sell the Retrode. For sales inquiries, please contact our friends at DragonBox.

Offline Matthias_H

  • Retrode Forum Techie
  • A Retrode Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
  • Karma: +21/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Making Atari 2600 adapter
« Reply #2 on: 03/Feb/2012 06:37:55 PM »
I forgot to add, the boards would be of nonstandard thickness (1.2mm). Not sure if you can get raw material for that.
http://www.retrode.org

I no longer sell the Retrode. For sales inquiries, please contact our friends at DragonBox.

Offline Muzer

  • Sgt. Retrode
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Making Atari 2600 adapter
« Reply #3 on: 03/Feb/2012 07:55:04 PM »
Yeah, aligning them felt like it would be the hardest part to me. I've seen various suggestions though on tricks to use to get it aligned well. You'd obviously have to drill the holes in the PCB first so you can see through to the other side easily, that would make it a lot easier.

I'll have another think about it - if I can't do it, I'll use what I've got to make something else. I've been wanting to learn how to make PCBs for a while, there's a few other things I'd love to make.


Though, I didn't realise there was going to be a PCB layout available for the NGP adaptor. I could make that instead, especially if I can get hold of an A2600 adaptor through other means (anyone got one they don't use? :P).

I just like the idea of being able to read as much as I can with the Retrode, even if loads of games don't work. I have a load of retro games from loads of consoles, so I would love to give it a go.