Site Updates and New Projects Coming

I was able to return to my previous theme, “Mantra” after reading the freaking manual.  I have been working on repairing a Coleco Adam:  I replaced all the capacitors and added internal power supplies, so no more silly printer.  More details on that one later, along with another Jaguar to Colecovision controller conversion.

I am also working repairing an Emerson Arcadia 2000 for Classic Game Room, its got issues man.  That should be a fun write up.

I added one new product to the lineup of services, The famous McWill LCD mod for the Atari Lynx.  Not cheap, but amazing when it is done.

So, keep tuned, hopefully I will put up some new video content soon.


5200 Controller

Parts List:




500k potentiometers:

The 50K pots on the original joystick need to be replaced to be compatible with the 500K the 5200 is looking for.



Case, in grey:

Look for a 200x170x65mm case.



Atari 5200

I was successfully able to mod an Atari 5200, 4 port, original console.  It was quite a challenge, but what I did discover is there are not many resources out there for modding the 5200.  Below is a schematic of the circuit that worked for me:

A PDF of the same document:  5200_video_out.

PDF of Rev B, with RCA and S-Video Jacks:  5200_video_out_rev_B

For the mod I did, I went with composite out, but you can just as easily do S-Video out.  This schematic is a mashup of and

This version of the 5200 video out differs in one respect, I replaced the fixed 2K Ohm resistor on the Chroma line and replaced it with a 10K, 20 turn potentiometer.  I found I was able to adjust this pot until noise was more or less eliminated from the composite video.  It may not be needed with S-Video.  Another adjustment is on the 5200 board.  There is a large potentiometer in the lower right quadrant that is the color adjust.  I loaded up Ballblazer and adjusted the colors to what I thought looked most accurate.

The connection points are as follows:

Thanks Atari Age!

A/V Port Mounted on expansion port cover.

Ballblazer. Color adjusted and you can see how clean the signal is over composite.

Composite output board, before mounting.

Closeup of A/V board.

My next project is to reverse engineer the 5200 controller to allow for the use of modern potentiometer based control sticks. And here is the pot based stick:

Welcome Retro Hackers

This site is to document the retro gaming consoles I am working on.  The first console is in an Atari Lynx.  The second console will be built into a Tiger portable gaming system.    At their core is a Raspberry Pi running Retropi.  Welcome, but, be warned, the homebrew hacked systems that I am creating require soldering to new and existing circuit boards.  If you don’t like to solder, this is not the build for you.  I will detail the parts that I use, where to get them, and provide schematics of the modifications made.  I will also detail the tools you will need.  I am sure you could modify these hacks to not use solder, but soldered connections take up a lot less space, which is at a premium with the portable retro gaming systems detailed here.  There are a lot of portable game systems out there based on 3d printed cases, or the Atari Lynx 2, or the Sega Game Gear.  I am creating this site since what I am building is unique, as far as I can tell.

As a little background, I am an electronics engineer by trade, which explains all the solder.  Growing up, my first video game was the Atari 2600.  This was followed by an Atari 800XL computer, an Atari 7800, Sega Master System, and the Atari Lynx, versions 1 and 2, and Nintendo Gameboy.  The Lynx was years ahead of its time, with a color screen, stereo sound, and powerful, dedicated graphics processor.  Performance wise, it was comparable to the Sega Genesis and more advanced than the Super Nintendo, all in a portable format.  So, when my parents were clearing out the basement and asked if I wanted the original Lynx back, I said yes.  Sadly, the unit was dead, and I was not willing to troubleshoot the system for hours to figure out what was wrong.  Luckily, I have two Atari Lynx 2 units, so this was a perfect system to play with.  I love the games I grew up with it, and it would be great to be able to play them all on the go.  The Lynx 1 project turned out so well my younger brother asked if I could build a system for him as well.

He was able to scope out a little know portable system from 1997, the Tiger Electronics, pronounced game com.  It has a horrible screen, but a great button layout and a nice, blocky design, which allows for extra room to work with.