Well I’ve finally started getting the first batch of VCSp Rev 5.1′s made. These are the finalized versions compared to the prototypes shown about a month ago. They include more features and actual PCB’s designed by myself for the support circuits.
One of the first production-style VCSp Rev 5.1 to be built (not including the prototypes)
For more information and photos see the rest of this article. If you’d like to buy one of these please shoot me an email. Cost is $350+trade of an Atari 2600 4-switch. I’ve got to build the first batch of about 10 orders first, but it’s good to keep adding people to the list.
The Rev 5.1, in paddle mode. Break blocks like a pro.
With this unit I’ve tried to address some of the common questions I get over the years. For starters, yes it does include a paddle controller. You use the disc on the left and the lower red trigger. However you cannot connect a second paddle controller because of the way they were originally wired. (Paddles 1 and 2 both plugged into the Player 1 jack).
On that note, a big thing missing from the ’05 Phoenix was a Player 2 port. This unit has one, as well as a simple auxiliary power input jack. Use a lower power adapter, such as that from a cel phone, and be sure it outputs 5 volts and has the center pole negative, outer shell positive. If you need to build your own it’s not very hard to do, just switch the wiring if need be. Old external ZIP drive power supplies were actualy exactly 5 volts and work well if you put a new plug on the end.
Yet another ever-popular request is to have both left and right difficulty switches. Ask and ye shall receive, for here they are. Before anyone asks about a black & white switch to play Space Shuttle, sorry. This unit is tightly packed and there just isn’t any more room. The 5.1 is just a hair over 1″ thick, which is pretty cool considering for many years my Atari portables were 1.75-2″ thick!
Also on this unit is a very standard volume knob. Not a killer feature or anything, but a lot more subtle than what I had on the Phoenix. There is no headphone jack however, again because of a lack of room. Sorry about that. You could always rig one in.
Here’s the back of the unit with the battery doors pulled off. These are simply things that just slide in over the batteries and work fine. Battery doors are and have always been a pain to “micro manufacture” and these are about the easiest solution I’ve found yet. Also note the hole below the 2nd battery from the left. This leads to a potentiometer which is the tint adjust for the screen. Pre-set should be fine but depending on the brand and power of your batteries (or wall adapter) it might need adjusting.
And finally the guts. Your standard 4″ x 4″ square hacked up Atari 2600 (all original hardware folks!) plus on the left and right you can see the new circuit boards I had made especially for this model. They contain all the controls, video amp, paddle knob, switches, speakers and circuitry. Very efficient compared to anything I’ve designed for an Atari in the past.
So there it is – an overview of my Atari VCSp Rev 5.1. Unlike most of my projects (such as, ahem, the Xbox 360 laptop) I am more than happy to take orders for this device and build them for people. Planning on up to 60, since that’s how many PCB’s I ordered. So send me an email if you’d like to talk about getting an order going. Also if you’d like me to sign the back of it or anything be sure to remind me of that when I send you the final “it’s done and ready to ship” email.
Please note however that I am not selling kits for this, that’s what my book is for. Thanks!