Atari 2600 6 Switch Pause Mod Installation Guide
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damage done to your Atari. This mod is designed to allow you to pause your system. The mod will work if performed correctly to a fully functioning Atari. Perform at your own risk.
Tools You Will Need
- Philips Screwdriver
- Soldering Iron and Solder
- De-soldering Tool (De-soldering Iron, Bubble, Vacuum, or Braid)
- Wire Cutters/Strippers
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Drill with 1/4″ bit
- Razor Blade
- The first step is to assemble the mod kit. The components are all marked on the PCB, and you can also follow on the picture below. Make sure you put the 1k resistors on the outside and the 1.5k in the middle. The 1.5k will have a green stripe on it. The resistors and the ceramic disc capacitor can go in either direction. The 3 diodes and the 14 pin IC have to go in a certain way so make sure you follow the notches on the PCB and the picture below. Once you finish soldering all the components clip the excess leads off the bottom and you are done with the components.
- Next you attach the wires to the mod kit. The holes in the circuit board are labeled for the wires. In order from top to bottom the color is Black for GND, Red for +5v (Vcc), Yellow for 6507, and blue for TIA. The other two long wires should go to Sw 1 and 2, they are for the switch. The color does not matter, so use whatever is included in the kit with Sw 1 and 2. Use the wire strippers to take off about 1/4″ and solder the wires into the mod board. Then solder the other end of the blue wires to the switch. One wire should go to the middle pole, and the other to the top or bottom. It does not matter which one goes where for the switch. Now the mod kit is ready to go.
- No it’s time to open the Atari. Turn it over and remove the 8 screws. Set them aside for later. Disconnect the RF cable and set it aside. Then take both the switchboard and main board out of the case. Take off the black foam covers on the switches and set them aside for later.
- Unplug the ribbon cable and remove the two screws on either side of the main board case. This will disconnect the main board from the switchboard. Also set aside the dust cover for the joystick and power ports. Now take the metal casing and turn it over. Unscrew the 6 screws there and set aside the bottom part of the metal casing.
- Now remove the two screws connecting the main board to the top casing. Take the main board out and it is ready to be modified.
- There are two modifications which must be made to the main board. First you must remove a resistor (R207), and then use the razor blade to cut a trace. Both locations are marked in the picture below. The resistor is 4.7K (Yellow-Purple-Red). You can remove the resistor by de-soldering or cutting it. If you cut it be sure to use your de-soldering tool to clear both holes on the top and bottom as you will be using them for attaching wires. Make the cut with the razor blade right in the diagonal section, and be careful when cutting as you don’t want to damage other traces. This will sever the connection between pin 3 of the TIA chip and pin 3 of the 6507 chip. When you are finished it’s a good idea to test for continuity to make sure the trace is severed, you can do this by testing at the pins marked TIA and 6507.
- Next it is time to connect the wires. The Black GND wire goes to the top left hole in the board as pictured below (It looks like an IC should be there but it is missing). You might need to use your desolder tool first. The Red +5v goes to the bottom hole of 207. The Blue TIA goes to the top hole of R207. The Yellow 6507 wire goes to pin 3 of the 6507 IC. This is the most difficult to solder. The best way is to put some solder on the pin before you attach the wire. Then re-melt the solder and attach the wire. Be careful not to bridge the connection with the pins next to it and you don’t want to leave your soldering iron touching the pin for too long so you don’t risk damaging the chip.
- Now you should test the Atari to make sure everything is working correctly. Attach the switchboard, power, and RF cable and fire it up. If the pause switch is on you will get a blank screen when powering on the system, so if you are not getting a picture try flipping the switch. If it still doesn’t work then check all of your connections and make sure they are correct. If it is hooked up correctly you should be able to pause your Atari (When paused the Atari will display random color or black output like the picture below, this is normal).
- Now it’s time to put everything back together in reverse order. First use the double sided tape to attach the pause board to the top of one of the IC chips. Take the two light blue wires and feed them through the bottom hole in the metal case as shown below. Then put the main board back in the metal casing. Screw it into the top first, then put the bottom on and screw that as well. Attach the switchboard cable and put the whole board back into the bottom plastic case. Attach the 2 screws at the base of the switchboard.
- Now drill a 1/4″ hole for the toggle switch in the case. The location is pretty much based on your own preference, just make sure the blue wires are long enough and reach where the hole is. Solder the blue wires to the switch. One wire goes to the center pole of the switch, and the other to either of the remaining ones. Remove the nut and washer and push the threaded part through the hole. Slip on the washer and then the nut and make sure it is tight enough so the switch doesn’t move around.
- Replace the foam dust covers. Plug in the RF cable and feed it back through the bottom cover and then replace the top cover. Make sure everything fits and test the pause switch one more time before you put the screws back in. After that fire up a game and feel free to pause it whenever and get yourself a cold drink, you’ve earned it Then leave me a comment and let me know how it went….