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Atari 2600 6 switch PAL -- Can I convert it to NTSC?


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I picked this up a few weeks ago and finally got around to celaning it up. I opened it it and it say PAL on the RF block. Its alos in this solid metal block. and the PCB for the switches almost looks homemade or knock off it does say atari on the back side of the board.


Should I preserve this? is it worth anything since its PAL? Can I make it NTSC -- should I just try a composite mod? would that make it work for mt NTSC games?


Here are some pics



Edited by JoeB1355
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I would say it's worth keeping it for PAL games and the collection, as the 2600 was released in 1980 in Europe; it means that for us Europeans, they are rare. Not only uncommon, but really rare. 4 switches woodies are uncommon, and darth vaders are the most available VCS.


Otherwise, what mod do you intend to do?

Changing the RF unit will not be enough, since it's the TIA itself that make a PAL signal. If your TV is PAL compatible, a composite mod will be enough for you to make it play your games.


You'll need to swap the TIA for turning it into a NTSC one, and the pinout is slightly different. And you'll still need to do an AV mod or swap the RF unit... All in one, you'll probably spend more efforts and money to make it into NTSC than getting a NTSC one.


Most NTSC games will work - with odd colors (depending on the game. A few may not work or behave erraticaly.

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Here are some pics


http://s1127.photobu...show/Atari 2600


Your console is NTSC.

PAL boards have a different layout, different TIA and a second crystal needed to generate the PAL signal.


It was mentioned somewhere in the forums that some NTSC unit have a "PAL" sticker on the modulator, but it's not clear what that means.


Did you try the console on your TV?

Edited by alex_79
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Didn't try it out yet -- was cleaning it up and need to solder some switches back in place -- then I'll give it a shot. Great glad its NTSC -- it did have a red pal sticker on the RF modulator -- it fell off and I can't find it now though.... that what made me think PAL.

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Tried it out today and it worked! It did keep flickering off and on and I realized I had soldered all the broken switches but neglected to check the power connector -- so I took it all back apart and yep the power connector was floating so I resodered that and a few other questionable joints and swapped a new chiclet capacitor(I had for a previous repair) and it works pretty good now! Found out I have a couple bad (or dirty?) catridges in the process -- validated them on my 4 switch woody -- they didn't work there either. Do catridges go bad? or are they just mostly likely dirty?


Thanks for the info guys now I have another system in the collection!

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  • 6 years later...
On 7/6/2013 at 1:17 PM, JoeB1355 said:

Can I make it NTSC -- should I just try a composite mod? would that make it work for mt NTSC games?


Hi, Sorry to dig out a 6 Year old thread of yours as I thought I update about this.
Short answer No for simple mods. HOWEVER, There is a mod out there made by Tim Worthington from etim's shop that not only mods the 2600 to both play PAL and NTSC games with correct colours. But it improves the Video quality for the 2600, Not just composite A/V, and not just S-Video. But it will output RGB and YPbPr Component (if you buy the RGB to Component add-on board.) But keep in mind as this mod is not a simple easy mod to do. Here's two photos I took from last year after installed the mod showing Both the PAL version and NTSC version of Pitfall! from the same console.



Edited by SavyIsJoshoArts
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