Atari 7800 composite mod

I already own a few Atari 2600s but was keeping my eye out for others in the range, then this Atari 7800 caught my eye. It was advertised as working so I was hopeful of an easy job.

Atari 7800

I tested the RF out using an old TV and it did indeed work fine – result. I wanted to make this a ‘daily driver’ and therefore needed to modify it to output a composite signal. I would normally build a small mod board and drill a few holes in the case (see other blogs) – with this console I didn’t want to mod the case so decided to use the more professional mod board from thefuturewas8bit. The mod involved removing the existing RF modulator and replacing it with the new board. Three wires then need to be soldered from the mod to the motherboard.

Inside the Atari 7800

The first step was to remove the old modulator. This put up quite a fight, but after a little wiggling and patient de-soldering, it came free.

RF Modular removed

The next step was to add the new mod board and solder the connections to the motherboard.

New composite mod board added

The final step, that I didn’t photo, unfortunately, was to deal with the non-standard power socket on the 7800. Unlike the other Atari’s the 7800 has a strange socket to deliver the required 9v. I decided to copy Mark Fixes Stuff in his video and reuse an existing hole to fit a standard 2.1mm socket. This involved de-soldering the existing socket and fitting a header to connect the new socket.

Header fitted to removed socket location

With all that done – nothing left but to play some games 🙂

Working Atari 7800