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Atari 7800 Restoration


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I picked up pretty nice 7800 a year or so ago with the intention of cleaning it up and restoring it.


I think it's pretty much complete at this point, but I do have a couple of questions that I was hoping someone could answer for me.


It looks like my system is a later model, without the expansion slot. Is that the one the has compatibility issues with 2600 games? Which ones?


Did the pack-in copy of Pole Position II have its own box originally in with the console, or did it just come with a cartridge and manual? Where both label variants included as the pack-in? Mine came with the color picture labeled version of the game, and I just want to make sure it's 'authentic,' as silly as that is to admit. 


The Reset button on my system is rather sticky, and I seem to recall 7800s had a few other issues that required maintenance / repairing after 30+ years. Is there anyone on here that offers repair services? I'm not looking to mod my system, I just want to make sure it stays nice and working.

Edited by T.A.P.
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The compatability issues are suck it and see. There are a lot of variations of the 7800, some have issues, some don't. Ballblazer and PPII seem to be the two titles that cause most contention on the 7800 side. On the 2600 side some machines have issues with some homebrew. There are a couple of fixes you could try to address those issues, but I wouldn't do either of them pre-emptively if you're not having any problems as doing them to an already working console can cause other issues.


The switches on the 7800 are notorious for failing. It's best just to swap them all out, they're available cheaply and easily. They can be a bit of a shit to get out. If I have bother with them I tend to just snip the legs and pull them out individually rather than try and get them out intact as it's much easier to do.


There's not much else you have to do it it. If you want to run a modern PSU you could swap out the bespoke power connector for a nice standard DC jack, while you're in there you could swap out the cap or two, put in a protection diode and replace the regulator. All stuff that might be fine, but it wouldn't hurt to do while you're in there. Of course there are video mods that will vastly improve the picture.


There's plenty of people about who can sort you out. @-^CrossBow^- if you're in Jessie's neck of the woods. If you're in the UK we can sort you out as we're very used to dealing with the 7800 and it's quirks.

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17 hours ago, T.A.P. said:

Thanks for the info. Anyone know about Pole Position 2? Did it come with its own box when packed in with the system?

The PPII pack-in was cart + manual only. There are three different labels used over time. Since yours is a later model year console, it's not surprising that it came with a picture label, as Atari did eventually release the game for sale at retail in its own box, which always came with a picture label cart. 

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