Introduction: Atari 2600 Retro Gaming Media PC Conversion With Linux Ubuntu and Emulation Station / RetroPie
Ok, for this project, I am going to turn an old and sadly dead Atari 2600 from the 70s into a working modern PC that is efficient and capable of running classic emulators for gaming, whilst being practical enough to use as a day to day computer for surfing the web, programming (for school) and running a Plex Media Server. IT needs to be energy efficient, silent and most of all, cheap to build! Good news - it's a nice easy project if you have the kit and some experience of modding
- Atari 2600 "woody" - free from a bundle of stuff I swapped
- 500GB 2.5" laptop HDD - recycled from an old laptop
- Gigabyte N3050N-D3H Dual Core 1.6GHz Celeron Mini-ITX Board with 2x LAN, VGA, 4K HDMI
- 2 x 2GB DDR3L 1.35V 1600Mhz RAM
- 90W Pico PSU + DC Mains Adapter
- USB Keyboard and mouse - from the cupboard!
- 8GB USB memory stick - left on the desk, so "borrowed" it!
- Random USB and audio front panel ripped out of an old PC (see pictures)
The motherboard/CPU/RAM combo I got as part of a bulk order from mini-itx.com who supply and build specialist mini PCs. You're looking around £100 for all of the above parts but you can shop around or re-use similarly sized components. This build would be easier (but much more expensive) if you used a Thin-ITX (half height ITX) board as it would entail fewer modifications.
Tools you will need:
- A Dremel or similar cutting tool
- A cordless screwdriver/drill
- A sharp craft knife
- Some motherboard offsets and screws
- A hot glue gun or Gorilla Glue gel
- Some mesh (optional) that you might scavenge from a PC fan dust cover
These Atari cases use some very old and brittle plastics that shatter and burn/melt very easily. Please take care, wear eye protection and work in a well ventilated area. It does produce fumes when drilled or cut with tools. Not to mention it stinks!
Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Challenge