Cleaning/Restoring an old Atari 2600 - Printable Version

+- Simmania (
+-- Forum: Gaming (
+--- Forum: Other Games (
+---- Forum: Retrogaming (
+---- Thread: Cleaning/Restoring an old Atari 2600 (/showthread.php?tid=277)

Cleaning/Restoring an old Atari 2600 - SpookyZalost - 11-17-2014

for those that don't know, the Atari 2600 is one of the first video game consoles, even bigger, one of the first that supported Multiple games, it was part of the 2nd Generation, 3rd gen was nintendo, 4th gen was snes/genesis, etc.

anyway let's begin, to start off with make sure you have the following.

A phillips screwdriver (fairly common, almost everyone has at least one of these)

some paper towels.

either cleaning fluid or water to dampen them with.


yeah it's not complicated so let's start off shall we?

[Image: IMG_20141117_151425.jpg]

First the easiest thing to clean/restore is the controller.

Remove the 4 phillips head screws on the bottom and lift the top off.

[Image: IMG_20141117_151603.jpg]

the middle hole is for mounting and stuff like in an arcade or something.

next go over the contacts with a Q-tip and get any rust or debris off them to ensure a good connection with the control mechanism.

[Image: IMG_20141117_151952.jpg]

Re-assemble the controller following the reverse order of how you took it apart (simple right?)

next take the 4 screws out of the bottom of the console it's self.

[Image: IMG_20141117_152405.jpg]

the screws are located in the two corners, and the two long slots (the ones on the long slots are angled.)

Carefully lift the top of the console off making sure not to damage the switches and connectors

[Image: IMG_20141117_152936.jpg]

Carefully lift the circuit board off the bottom of the case to check for rust build up, this is fairly common on old consoles like the atari 2600 since they've been around for over 30 years.

[Image: IMG_20141117_153055.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20141117_153111.jpg]

just go over the rust with a lightly damp paper towel, it comes right off.

and just to make sure, disconnect and re-connect the video cable from the motherboard as shown here.

[Image: IMG_20141117_153156.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20141117_153216.jpg]

now go over the plastic case with the damp wash cloth and damp Q-tips to pick up any dust and debris that may be on it.

the front panel with the labels comes off for easy cleaning.

[Image: IMG_20141117_153818.jpg]

optional: apply a layer of something like orange clean or something similar, a non oil based furniture polish/cleaning agent, makes the console shiny like new and gives it a nice smell.

Look at all the stuff that came off it, it was really due for a good cleaning!

[Image: IMG_20141117_155546.jpg]

After everything has dried, re-assemble the console making sure all 4 screws go back into the 4 slots on the back, also be sure not to damage the connectors and switches.

[Image: IMG_20141117_155604.jpg]

and now for the end result, let's play a game to test it!

[Image: IMG_20141117_160045.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20141117_160105.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20141117_160156.jpg]

and that's pretty much it, I may post more over time, but the story's pretty much the same when you clean up an old vid-game console, the newer they are though, the more complicated they are to open up and clean, remember that!

Cleaning/Restoring an old Atari 2600 - brian59 - 11-18-2014

great informative post here Leo..

Has great detail, the pics were very helpful too

Anyone should be able to follow these well explained instructions to restore there gaming consoles.

Thanks, Brian

Cleaning/Restoring an old Atari 2600 - Aldini10 - 11-18-2014

Yes great job Spooky, this is quite the informative post you have written and with the pictures it makes the task much easier.