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Longhorn Engineer’s Atari 2600 Video Mod

The back of you Atari could look like this!

At the Midwest Gaming Classic Parker Dillmann – otherwise known as the “Longhorn Engineer” – gave me a sample of his new Atari video mod. This is a small circuit board he sells that you solder to the TIA chip inside and Atari 2600 to get a great composite/S-video picture.

Check out his site here, and continue reading to see me try the mod out for myself.

Also, if you need spare Atari 2600 parts, why not check out my awesome auction?

Time to get in there! Above we see an Atari 2600 4-switch and the video mod board itself on the lower right. It’s pretty easy, you just solder the wires to the appropriate pins on the TIA. Plus ground and +5 volts. You can find detailed instructions on Parker’s site.

This board also “gives” you the Atari stereo mod which separates the Atari’s 2 voices of sound into the left and right speaker. You’ll have to cut a trace on the Atari board to accomplish this, but it’s easy.

Parker even gives you 3 RCA plugs and the s-video port – what a guy! He’s also a great drinking buddy as we found out at MGC.

Putting the Atari and the mod back in the case. I had already modded this Atari so the RCA plugs were pre-existing. I added the s-video port too, since that’ll give about the best picture one can hope for.

Note the leftover prop in the lower right corner…

It’s go time! Several months ago I decided to hook my Atari up to my TV and it was kind of difficult… the mod that worked on everything else in the past was rolling vertically. Probably some proprietary Sony part in the TV.

Parker’s mod worked great right off the bat! Edges were quite crisp and clean, especially when (I hate this word) UPSCALED to this TV.

Click on the photo above for a full-resolution closer look at the actual TV picture. It’s really good!

Finally here’s a video of myself testing this with the rare 2600 game “Xenophobe”.

For more information on this video mod and to order one of your own, check the links below!


9 Responses to “Longhorn Engineer’s Atari 2600 Video Mod”

  1. yoss Says:

    Wow. There’s an atari 2600 version of Xenophobe? That’s amazing!

  2. al Says:

    hey, do you know if I can solder rca for sound directly onto the board without a chip and stuff? thanks


  3. vomitsaw Says:

    Incredible! Might need to shoehorn one of those babies in the super genintari. The 2600 works perfectly fine on my old CRT TVs, but for some reason certain characters won’t show up at all when plugged directly into my HDTV. (Usually the rapidly-flickering characters). But it DOES seem to work when passed through my surround receiver, which does that *ahem* upscaling stuff. Definitely gonna have to try one of these out and see if it makes a difference. Good info!

  4. S-video from an Atari 2600 - Hack a Day Says:

    [...] Heck] posted this writeup about getting S-Video/composite out of an Atari 2600. This is actually the hack of [Longhorn Engineer], who showed it to [Ben] at a recent event. If any [...]

  5. S-video from an Atari 2600 | News for Geek Says:

    [...] Heck] posted this writeup about getting S-Video/composite out of an Atari 2600. This is actually the hack of [Longhorn Engineer], who showed it to [Ben] at a recent event. If any [...]

  6. HD Ready S-Video for Your Atari 2600 | Retro Takeover Says:

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  8. Modded Atari 2600 = Old Skool Fun « ZarkSeven Says:

    [...] saw an article awhile back on Ben Heckendorn’s site about modder Parker Dillmann, a.k.a “The Longhorn Engineer” and his Atari 2600 video [...]

  9. I might as well post my game collection - Forums Says:

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