Atari 2600 : Vader Edition

Continuing to add to my collection of Atari 2600 consoles, I couldn’t resist this one when I saw it on eBay. Interestingly this 4-switch ‘Darth Vader’ model released in 1982 was the first to be called ‘2600’; the previous models were referred to as Video Computer System (VCS).

It arrived in good condition but didn’t work on the first try. After some investigation, I decided that one of the main chips was faulty; hopefully, the CPU or RIOT as these are the ones that I had spares of. The three main chips were socketed, so I was quickly able to determine that it was the RIOT chip at fault. The RIOT (Ram Input/Output Timer) performs several functions for the Atari, including containing the 128bytes of RAM. It is a standard 6532 chip, which luckily, I had ordered five from Ali Express a few months earlier.

With Darth Vader working again, time for the standard composite mod from The Future was 8-bit. This involves removing the UAF tin can and replacing it with a small daughter board. The resulting composite video and audio signals are routed to standard RCA connections at the back of the case.

I’m on old hand at these now, so it didn’t take long, and the picture quality is great. The only thing left to do is a good clean.

Turned out great 🙂