Rescued from a cupboard in my parents' house, my brother's old Atari 2600jr was not in good shape. Never mind that there was another 2600jr and a lot of the good games cartridges that had gone missing as well. Still, I know which end of a soldering iron to hold (bacon smell - bad) and had a rainy Saturday afternoon to put in, so here we are.

The case and motherboard needed a really good clean, both being caked in dust despite being stored in a box. The board also seemed to have a lot of 40 year old sticky flux or something left over from the factory. Eww. All the game cartridges and the cartridge slot in the console needed a good going over with contact cleaner to get anything to work too.

Atari 2600jr (recapped, naked)Atari 2600jr (recapped, naked)

I replaced the large "main" capacitor, the four green polyester capacitors, and the sole 4.7uf electrolytic on this revision of motherboard. It's a model that I couldn't find much information about - "CA021906 1983" - but it was similar enough to other boards that I could take a reasonable guess at which parts to desolder. I did nearly try to replace the timing crystals by mistake though.

The weirdo styrene audio capacitors were left in place as I didn't have replacements to hand, they were still working fine, and they would be easy enough to replace later if they fail.

RetroSix CleanComp Board fittedRetroSix CleanComp Board fitted

RetroSix CleanComp Board cable exitRetroSix CleanComp Board cable exit

I also fitted a CleanComp board from RetroSix to provide composite and svideo output in much better quality than the standard RF modulator. This tiny board was surprisingly easy to fit, and the accompanying cable routed very neatly out of the back of case without any cutting required. The improvement in video quality was noticeable.

After refitting everything back into the case, I absolutely had to test some cartridges.

Atari 2600jr refurbedAtari 2600jr refurbed

For science, you know.

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