I'm certain that several of you old-console & case modding fans have seen a certain Atari 2600 case mod on the web- One that had managed to earn a fairly prominent autograph- which, to me, proved to be a total let-down. The 'Heavy Sixer' used was butchered to the point where not only did the unit no longer resemble an authentic Atari, but judging from the photographs posted, it seems that one cannot even plug an Atari joystick into it. 

Whats the point ?

Anyway, I felt I could do better, so I worked to build a fairly modern system out of an Atari, while keeping its, erm.. Atariness..

The above photos are the result :

So, if you want to try your hand at this - follow along !

Step 1: What You Need, and Some Advice -

There are two things I learned while doing this project :

A ) An Atari 2600 has very little room inside.

B ) Patience is required. 

So, once you collect your hardware, make certain to plan every step, measure every cut, and dry-fit every component before committing. Otherwise, it is likely your result may be less than satisfactory. 

What is needed.

One or two donor Atari 2600 units, (Not a 2600jr -too small) preferably of the same vintage and design. 
Assorted hand cutting tools, as well as rotary (Dremel) tools.
ITX form factor mainboard, preferably with a good integrated graphics solution, and HDMI output.
'Slim' optical drive
3.5in hard disk
External power supply
*1U compliant fans, heatsinks etc.
Internal USB bracket
Assorted momentary contact switches ( i'll go into more detail later)
Atari joysticks, paddles, USB cabling
Retrolink Sega Genesis cable
Source of donor plastic ( I used a cheap plastic three-ring binder I got at Walmart )
A donor PC keyboard
electronics breadboard. I used scraps I had in a drawer.
Wiring, solder, hot glue, rubber cement, super glue.
A pair of cheap donor USB optical mouses ( $8 each at Walmart )
Decocolor Orange paint pen
Small silicone rubber pads to use as standoffs (also from Walmart)

*1U compliance is very important, without it, this project will not work.

Lets begin !

I really hate you... how can be so cruel destroying an Atari. :.(
Naa, the Atari I used was an already kaput common " Vader ". Rest assured that my Stock "Heavy Sixer" Is exactly as it is intended to be. If the Atari was functioning properly, it wouldn't have been used in this project :)
fantastic build good sir! I might have to get crackin here on one of these, I was thinking puppy arcade by Scott Jarvis for the OS. Cheers!
<p>Thank you for the kind comments ! - Its been better than a year since I completed this project, and the hardware continues to hold up nicely. - Puppy Arcade is a good, lightweight system that works really well with emulating older systems. Id say if you get your hands on a nice SSD &amp; load it up with P.A. and your selection of games, you will have an emulation console with a retro feel, and the added benefit of nearly instant loading of your games. Good luck on the project, and post some pics ! </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm just your friendly, neighborhood mailman. - Most of my zany ideas come to me as I'm driving around the back roads of a ... More »
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