2600 CE - Handheld Atari VCS Home

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The making of the case.
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The making of the guts.
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Current Status - May 24th, 2005

The Guts

It hasn't changed much in the last few months, but here's an image of the new layout of the 2600CE board in Protel.

It's nice and tight, and smaller than before, which will dovetail into the case revisions...

I'm going to be adding headers for A/V output and input.

I've restarted my search for a pcb shop to build the prototypes, and it looks like I'll be able to afford paying for them after the 15th of January - so I'll need to get it buttoned up before then.

The prototype boards will require me to populate them - I'm not sure if I'll be populating the final boards or not, I'd like for that to be handled by the manufacturer, except for the big 3 chips, where I'll have them put sockets in.

The prototypes will be around $40 each, but they are one-offs. I expect the final, populated boards to be somewhat less than that, as I'll be ordering them in quantity.

The Case

This also relates to the guts, kinda.

I've been thinking long and hard, and despite the fact that it'd be very cool to have a 5" LCD on the CE, the reality is that every LCD I can find greater than 3" is a 12 volt unit - which means 8 AA batteries.

The weight, size, and battery life issues have been bugging me for a while, and I think that the best thing to do is to go back to a smaller LCD from a portable TV.

They all are optimized for 6 volts, so 4 batteries will run it and the 26000 board just fine.

I'm still going for a larger screen size, but balancing it against the cost of the TVs - the 3" is $190, which'd push the cost of the CE close to $300.

Another option is the mobile monitor products for the major consoles - they are large (5"), but I haven't found specs on their power requirements yet.

This'll also allow me to shrink the case a bit, and it'll be a lot easier to hold.

I'll be reworking the case a little, then I'll be visiting a plastics company that's close to my new house.

I'll post pictures of the new case design when it's finished, which should be in the next couple of weeks.

Comments? Questions? Answers? Email me!