Guide for installing the 2600RGB into a Six Switch Atari 2600.

Tools and materials required:

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

The kit contains the following parts.
  • 40p dual wipe IC socket (not normally used)
  • 40p round pin IC socket 
  • serial EEPROM programmed with palette data
  • 8p socket for serial EEPROM
  • 7 wire ribbon cable 350mm
  • 3.5mm audio socket
  • 8p mini-DIN socket with pin label board for RGB video
  • 4p mini-DIN socket with pin label board for S-video (not used in this guide)
  • pair of 20p 11.5mm pin strip
  • mini panel mount pushbutton
  • power supply board
  • 3p right angle pin header for power supply
  • diode board and 2 diodes
  • 2600RGB board

In addition to the above,
  • yellow 100nF plastic capacitor
  • electrolytic capacitor for the switching power supply
  • 3.3k resistor (not used)

One adapter board is included. You will get a PPUADAPTER1 board if you bought a PAL Atari Six Switch 2600RGB kit or a PPUADAPTER3 board if you bought the NTSC version.

This guide will be about the PAL version of the console. The procedure is the same for the NTSC version, only the motherboard layout is different.

The low hight pin strip supplied is used to attach the adapter board to the 2600RGB.

Take out the six screws out of the base and top comes of easily. Inside there's a large board holding the switches, voltage regulator, and RF modulator. I'll call it the switch board. In the middle, under the formidable metal shield, lies the motherboard.

The switch board comes off after removing two screws and disconnecting the 12p cable in the middle.

Take out the armoured motherboard house. It's attached to the base of the plastic shell by a pair of screws on the bottom of the console (which you probably removed already while trying to open it in the first place).

Exposed the motherboard and identify the TIA. The PAL version is labelled CO11903 and the NTSC version CO104444.

Place the adapter board over the TIA to see if it bumps into any surrounding components.

In this case it hits the large green capacitor near pin 1. There is no space to bend it over here. This is a 100nF power supply bypass capacitor. You can replace it with the smaller capacitor included with the kit. Alternatively, you can mount it to the rear of the motherboard. If other components are in the way they will need to be bent over or moved.

Some of the early Atari consoles have white IC sockets that look like the picture to the left. These white sockets have smaller openings for the pins and will not accommodate standard 0.64 * 0.64mm size pin strip.

Currently, the only solution for this is to desolder the white IC socket and replace it with the ordinary dual wipe socket included in the kit.

I'm looking for source of 0.5mm round pin strip that does not add too much extra height. Once I find it, I will include it as a standard part of the kit.

Solder the pair of 20p 11.5mm pin strip to the adapter board in the motherboard position. The best way is to solder only one pin. Check that the pins are straight and perpendicular. Then solder all the rest.

Solder the pair of 20p low height pin strip to the underside of the 2600RGB board in the places marked with the white outline.

Solder the 40p round pin IC socket in place. Also solder the 8p IC socket for the EEPROM.

Inspect the all your solder joints. Once the adapter board is soldered on many of them will become inaccessible.

Solder the adapter board and 2600RGB board together.

Insert the 2600RGB assembly into the TIA socket on the motherboard.

Strip the insulation from the seven wire ribbon cable. Tin the wires with solder and do the same to the pads labelled EXTRA on the 2600RGB board. Solder the wires by holding the ribbon in place and applying pressure with the soldering iron tip, one at a time.

Wire the audio and video connections. See the wiring diagram for more details. Power is supplied to the 2600RGB through the TIA socket. The 5V pad is for generating SCART switching signals.

I am using 40cm long wires for the audio and video signals. The audio is wired to the 3.5mm audio socket. The video signals go to the pin label board for the 8p Mini-DIN connector. I used two wires for ground to the 3.5mm socket for a lower resistance connection.

Cut the ribbon cable to length and wire it to the left controller port according to the wiring diagram.

The pin listing for the Extra connector is,
  1. Reset (switch)
  2. Select (switch)
  3. Right (left joystick)
  4. Left (left joystick)
  5. Down (left joystick)
  6. Fire (left joystick)
  7. Up (left joystick)
As the reset and select switched are located on the switch board, it's better to solder to the 12p cable that connects to it.

Pin 8 is reset (EXTRA pin 1).
Pin 9 is select (EXTRA pin 2).

Place the motherboard back into the shield. Don't forget the two screws that hold it in place towards the bottom!

For reference.

Put the rest of the shield back together. Six screws hole the bottom plate on. There should already be be some spaces for the wires to fit through.

All back together

Found the power regulator.

Remove the voltage regulator IC and replace it with the switching power supply module.

Solder the right angle pin strip to the power module, the bent part goes into the switch board. Then remove the blue plastic from the sticky adhestive on the back, stick it down, and solder the pins to the switch board.

Install the green capacitor as shown. The positive leg is connected to the I pin (input) and the negative leg is connected to the G pin (ground).

The final step is to provide a convenient means of connecting the audio/video signals from the 2600RGB board. The usual method is to drill a couple of holes in the console shell to mount a/v connectors. If you would like to do this, please follow the remainder of the Four Switch Installation Guide. The procedure is identical.

Instead of mounting a connector on the shell some people might prefer a fixed A/V cable. The cable exists from the opening in the shell provided for the RF cable. I have used my standard cable set, but you may use whatever is available. A separate cable for the audio is recommended as this prevents video noise being coupled into the audio signal.

Attaching a cable this way does not require any modification to the Atari console's shell.

The Mini-DIN 8p cable from the cable set does not fit through the RF cable opening. With a sharp knife, cut away some of the soft moulded plastic around the connector. Now it should fit in quite easily.

Inside the console, I have terminated the audio and video cables by plugging into their respective connectors and covering the junction with heat shrink tube.

That's all for the console. When putting it back together, don't forget about the foam pieces around the switches and card around the rear connectors.

Now to install the extra button on the controller. When pressed, it will assert the left and right joystick signals simultaneously. The Extra button is pressed while performing another action. This normally impossible combination of signals is detected by the 2600RGB board.

Extra + Up = Select.
Extra + Down = Reset.
Extra + Fire = Palette switch.

Drill a 5mm hole (twist drill bit is fine) to in the joystick and mount the pushbutton in a convenient spot. Solder the two diodes to the diode board and install according to the wiring diagram. You can mount the diode board with double sided tape or similar.

There are five pads on the diode board. Button, Ground, Ground, Left, Right. Solder the pushbutton between the button an ground terminals. Then solder the ground, left, and right terminals to the joystick board. You can identify the ground connection easily because it's the only one that connects to all the switches. The left and right points should be obvious from looking at the board layout.

Change Log
25/9/2015 - Page Created.
1/5/2016 - Fixed link for wiring diagram.
30/11/2016 - Added note that there are some parts included with the kit which are unused for this model.