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The Atari 2600 or Atari Video Computer System (VCS) is a video game console released in September 1977. The 2600 runs a MOS Technology 6507 CPU and uses ROM cartridges for storing games.

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Any idea why this asteroids chip isn't working?

I've tested each lead for continuity and also each leg of the black chip to see if any we're loose. I've also cleaned the pins to like new. Still getting a glitched screen every time.

Update (02/18/24)

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Risposto! Visualizza la risposta Anch'io ho questo problema

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Gary, have you confirmed that the Asteroids chip is the only one that isn’t working?

da

yes, I have around 40 games and it's the only one I can't get to work. Some I had to clean the pins with an eraser to get working. This is the only one.

da

@garymdobis as @chrisgreen already pointed out, it is absolutely plausible that this is an issue with the ROM chip itself. I would (and really just for completion sake, Either desolder the ROM and then after cleaning the legs, resolder all of the connection. Corrosion and Tin Whiskers could then be excluded from this as well and it will be conclusive that the ROM has failed (after only 40 plus something years :-)).

da

@oldturkey03 I think I will give that a try since I only just got my soldering station 2 weeks ago and need practice anyway. Thanks for the advice.

da

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Soluzione Prescelta

If you're sure the console works, the only likely culprit is failure of the ROM chip on the cartridge. These devices are 40+ years old, and silicon is not impervious to age-related degradation, which can be accelerated by environmental factors like heat and humidity.

Unfortunately, the chips on these cartridges are mask ROMs and not re-writable, which pretty much renders the whole thing useless. If you're handy with soldering you could reuse the cartridge base board and build a cartridge emulator, but if you know your console is in good shape, and continuity between the pins and ROM is good, than the ROM is probably bad.

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Yeah the console works perfectly. I have around 40 games and they all work on it. Just this one doesn't. So no fixing this one then eh?

da

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In theory the ROM chip could be replaced; as I recall the Intel 2716 eeprom chips were pin compatible with those mask ROM chips used in the Atari. The ROM image can be found online easily enough so if you buy a chip and burn it, you could swap out that dead ROM for a working eeprom. Here's the chip you'd need.

2716 EPROM Memory - Jameco Electronics

You need to double-check the image size, though, as some of the games got big enough that you would need a 2732 chip. Later games even went as high as a 2764 chip, but if I recall correctly, you had to have some bank switching hardware in order to use the larger memory, as there weren't enough address lines for more than a 32 kbit chip. I don't see any extra hardware on your circuit board so that's not the case with your chip.

Of course, you need a programmer for that too, so while it would be theoretically possible to make a replacement chip to fix your game, we've quickly gotten to the point where it's not economically feasible once you factor in the part and the programmer. But if you're so inclined, it would be an interesting exercise.

Back in the late 70's when the Atari came out, I was one of the first to build an adapter cartridge that had a ZIF socket where I could swap chips in and out to play various games. Myself and friends would rent games from the video store, copy them onto disks and burn them into the plentiful chips that were readily available to us.

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Yeah that's way out of my expertise lol. But definitely a great idea if I could do it myself. That's amazing that you guys used to do that back in the 70's, 80's.

The first experience I had with anything of that sort was for Playstation 1 and 2. For Playstation 1 my friend introduced me to the gameshark add on that would let you play burned cd's without soldering. There was a spring in the disc tray that would keep the game spinning and you would boot up a real game and then quickly swap the real game for a burned game.

Then for Playstation 2 I had something called "HD Loader" which would let you download any game onto a hard drive installed in the PS2 and boot it from the "HD Loader" disc.

Rented quite a few games back then :) But for you guys to be doing that in the 70's is definitely ahead of the time.

da

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Gary M Dobis sarà eternamente grato.
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