Do you use someone else’s A/V MOD kits?
Initially, I did purchase two of the MOD kits from Vintage Gaming and More to learn from. (Recently bought a third so I can just keep one.) They were a simple, straightforward design that was great to work with. After gaining some confidence in my own knowledge and ability, I began prototyping my own A/V MOD that not only added some stabilization but also provided the power for the LED MOD. I wanted to minimize the number of add-on connections for the two MODs that I commonly installed. Now the MOD is a professionally created printed circuit board (PCB) designed in-house.
Would you be willing to repair my console?
Long-distance repairs are difficult but not impossible to do. Typically, I attempt to handle the transaction through eBay to give you some security. Unless you live near me, I would ask you to explain the problem you are having in an email. If it sounds like it may be worth it for you, I would tell you to list your console for sale with an extremely high “Buy it Now” price but allow offers. (Of course, if you list it for $500 and someone offers it, as long as you described that it has a problem, take the money and run, LOL!) I would then make an offer of $10 that you would accept. You would be responsible for the shipping cost. I do this so eBay can protect you and your property. I would then address the issue after clearing the cost with you in advance. When completed, I then would list your console for sale again for a very high price and would ask you to make an offer of the initial $10, the final cost of the work, and shipping. Then it would be on its way back to you. If you choose to not use eBay, there is a payment portal here on the site as well.
Do you work on only Atari 2600 consoles?
I do focus on Atari 2600 simply because I have a love for that console. I can work on the Atari 5200 as well as the 7800 and install the same A/V MOD that is used for the 2600. I have recently repaired 2 Playstation 2 consoles and am interested in getting under the hood of some Nintendo and Sega models. With any vintage gaming console, I would communicate with you my confidence in addressing whatever issue you are experiencing.
Would you buy my broken console?
Often I do grab a console that is not repairable simply for parts and to recover the infamous TIA chip that was never made commercially available. Every single Atari recovered means one less TIA chip lost. As people throw these machines away, that supply depletes. So even a smashed case atari missing all of its switches and joysticks and no power supply… is worth a few bucks to save the chip that makes the Atari, an Atari.
Why do you put in all this work?
To keep my inner child happy! 😉
The Atari 2600 was my family’s first console. Back then, it was absolutely amazing to be able to play arcade-style video games at home and after experiencing the home versions of Asteroids, Missile Command, Defender, Frogger…maybe even “that” version of Pac-Man, we spent hours working on wearing out our consoles and joysticks for at least a decade before the first NES in the house took it’s spot under the TV. I’ve always looked back at our years with the Atari with a smile and finally found the time to do something productive with that respect. Get as many of the broken ones I can afford to put my hands on back in shape and back in someone’s livingroom, where it belongs.
So, which one did you keep for yourself?
The fun thing about the Atari 2600 or any vintage console really, is the fact that a “retro” gaming setup is more authentic when you go lo-tech. I do have some “Extras” though. A classic storage case, custom controllers, and even a dedicated 13 inch CRT television. The console itself is a “Promotional Use Only” 4 switch Woodie that I got by surprise when bidding on a lot with two consoles. It needed a little TLC when I first got it but it looks and plays like a brand new machine. The chrome switches on it really stand out and where these were set up to take the abuse of many hands beating it day in and day out, it didn’t even need to be upgraded. Before you ask, yes. I sit right on the floor and spend too much time with it. The only differences now are I don’t need to let my brother or sister have a turn and Ma isn’t there to remind me that I should be doing other things 😉