[stella] Helpful info for cleaning your Atari 2600 console

Subject: [stella] Helpful info for cleaning your Atari 2600 console
From: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:18:48 -0500
Hey everyone,

I don't know if this information has made its rounds.  I'm not going to
attempt a compendium of cleaning information, but here are a few things I
discovered while cleaning my 4-switcher that I couldn't find information
about online:

* Twitchy colors may be the result of a dirty color potentiometer (simple,
but not talked about in the context of a noisy picture as far as I could
tell).  Clean it with electronic contact cleaner (not WD-40!), give it a few
spins back and forth, then calibrate it with a game you're familiar with or
a color bar generator cart.

* I used contact spray on the RCA connection where the RF cable meets the

* There looks to be two other potentiometers that may be adjusted with a
small allen wrench.  I didn't touch these and don't know what they do, even
after checking the web.  Anyone know?

* I had removed the metal shield from the top and bottom of the board during
cleaning, not realizing exactly how indispensable it was for attaining a
clear picture.  I had vibrant colors and a still frame from cleaning the
color pot and cable connection, but noticed (this is going to sound weird)
game-specific noise... almost like ghosting of the game logic across each
scanline.  When I replaced the shield, the picture was VERY crisp and very
colorful.  The only artifacts remaining are very faint vertical, but
equidistant bands, but they are hardly a distraction.

I considered doing a composite mod until I cleaned everything, but there's
not much of a need now.


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