INSECT your work.

The completed bottom Atari 2600 housing should resemble the one shown here. Now we can move on to the top half of the Atari housing.

1a. Enlarge the case to fit the new power jack. First, the original hole in the back of the case intended for the power jack needs to be enlarged. The new power jack that was soldered on during the control panel preparation is slightly larger than the original Atari one. Simply use a small, flat file to enlarge the square hole in the back of the case (left image) until the new power jack fits snugly through it (right image).

b. Use the Dremel to remove the four “ribs» on the underside of the top housing. They take up much needed vertical space, and the motherboard will not have enough room to fit inside unless they are removed.

c. Place the CD-ROM drive and motherboard back into the bottom housing. Don’t mount them yet — this step is just for measurement purposes. Set the top half of the housing on top. as though you were putting the case back together. It won’t fit fully yet. because the connectors on the back are too high.

d. Dremel out the marked area. Use a permanent marker to outline the rectangular area that needs to be cut from the top housing so that the whole connector panel will fit through the back. The rectangle will be approximately W high and 53A» long, centered with the rectangle cut of the bottom housing. Next, carefully Dremel out the marked area. It is easiest to do this from the inside of the case, slightly within your marked rectangle. Then use a small file to flatten out the sides right up to the edges of the markings.

f. Cut a large notch horizontally across the underside of the Atari 2600 top housing so that the DRAM can fit inside without hitting the top of the case. Without this modification, the DRAM is too high and will prevent the case from closing properly. The location of the notch may vary slightly, depending on how you mount your motherboard. Using a Dremel tool, enlarge the slits on the underside of the case, approximately where the DRAM hits the top (you can try to stick your finger through the hole in the back of the case and feel around to where the DRAM is located). Here, the locations are denoted by arrows.


Now that all the preparations have been completed, it’s time to move on to cramming everything into the Atari case. Remember, this is a project, so there is more than one “right» way to do things. If after following these directions something doesn’t fit as you like, don’t be afraid to experiment with other methods to place and mount the components. The case mod is ultimately a reflection of you and your personality.

WARNING: HARDWARE HARM. Be sure to take proper antistatic precautions before working with the electronic circuitry. All electronics should be handled only at a static-safe workstation with ESD mats and grounded wrist and ankle straps.

THE CD-ROM DRIVE a. Make and secure the drive- mounting rail. First, we need to mount the CD-ROM drive to the bottom of the Atari housing. Cut an 8″ length of the hanger strap and fold it around the top of the drive so it fits like a brace. Try to make it as snug fitting as possible without creating undue stress on the top or sides of the drive. Using Gorilla Glue, glue the brace to the top of the drive. Clamp or weigh down the strap with a few heavy books and wait three or four hours for the glue to cure. Be careful that the books aren’t so heavy that they warp the top of the drive.

PROJECTS: ATARI 2600PC b. Drill the mounting holes. When the glue is dry. align the CD-ROM drive with the slot hole you prepared earlier. Use a permanent marker to mark one hole on each side of the drive rail onto the bottom of the Atari case. Using the proper drill bit — size based on the nut diameter you are using (I used a 9/64″ bit for the 6-32 screw) — simply drill out the two holes.

c. Attach the DVD drive. Next, insert the two screws from the under¬side of the Atari case and attach the nut on top of the drive rail. With the two screws in place, the CD-ROM should be securely mounted and should not wiggle or move in any direction.

d. Connect the cable to the back of the drive. Because the 3.5-inch drive PC power connector on the PW70 power supply module (used to connect to the slim CD-ROM drive) is too short and won’t reach to the drive, we need to create an extension cable using the 5.25- to 3.5-inch drive power adapter cable and a 5.25-inch drive power cable Y-splitter. Connect the power, audio, and IDE cable to the back of the drive.

THE MOTHERBOARD e. Attach motherboard. Align the motherboard into the bottom of the Atari housing. The connectors should be facing out the back, as flush to the edge as possible. To secure the mother¬board. first insert a screw from the bottom into the motherboard-mounting hole next to the connectors on the back panel. Insert a nut from the top of the motherboard and tighten it into place. Next, place the two 3A» stand offs underneath the two front mounting holes, insert the nuts from the top of the motherboard, and tighten them. From the underside of the case, insert a screw into each of the two holes and loosely screw them in.

f. Connect the ATA133 and audio cables from the CD-ROM to the motherboard. Both cables should come out from underneath the left side of the motherboard. The audio cable should plug into the mating audio connector (labeled “CD IN» on the silk screen). Flip the ATA133 cable over and connect it to the IDE connector marked “PRIMARY» on the silk screen.


We’ll mount the hard drive to the case with pieces of foam tape. The tape is extremely strong and will hold with typical use of the PC. It also serves double duty as a shock absorber. Velcro could also be used for easier removal of the hard drive, if you’re planning to upgrade at a later date.

g. Attach foam tape to the under¬side of the drive. First, attach the IDE cable to the back of the drive. Then, attach a 33A» length of foam tape to the bottom left side of the hard drive.

Remove the protective coating from the bottom side of the foam tape and mount the drive to the front left area of the bottom Atari housing. The foam tape will stick to the lip of the plastic. The IDE connector of the drive should be facing toward the back of the case.

h. Connect wires to F PANEL pins.

Before connecting the IDE cable to the motherboard, retrieve the two-wire red and black cable you cut off the iTunes power supply module. Plug it into pins 6 and 8 of the header marked F PANEL on the silk screen. The header is immediately next to the hard drive.

i. Connect the IDE cable to the drive. Finally, flip the IDE cable over the hard drive and connect it to the IDE connector marked “SECONDARY” on the silk screen (the connector closest to the drive).


Fitting the PW70 power supply module into the case is one of the trickier aspects of this project. The ATX connector is quite high compared to the amount of free vertical space we have inside the Atari case, so finding the best location to mount the unit might take a bit of tweaking.

j. Connect the ATX extension cable (which is now soldered to the motherboard) into the ATX connector of the power supply module.

Next, place the power supply module upside down at the front right corner of the Atari housing. Feed the cables underneath the module to reach the power connectors of the CD-ROM and hard drive. The black and white wires should also be brought toward the back of the system, since they will be soldered onto the power connector on the control panel later in the project. The module should stay in its place without any mounting materials, but you might want to tack it down with a little bit of hot glue just so it doesn’t move around as you continue placing components into the housing.

k. Plug the PC power connectors into the hard drive and CD-ROM


The next step is to cram all the USB components into the case. This includes the mini four-port USB hub. cordless keyboard/mouse receiver. 802.11b NIC. and two Stell adaptors. These parts will essentially fit wherever they can inside the case. Since they are all connected via standard USB cables, there will be sufficient length to place the devices in every nook and cranny within the housing.

l. Plug in the modified USB header into the yellow connector on the motherboard marked USB on the top silk screen. Connect one side of the Type A male-to-female USB cable extender to the D-Link USB NIC. and connect the other side to one of the connectors of the modified USB header.

m. Attach a 2″ piece of foam tape to the underside of the D-Link USB NIC. This device fits perfectly in the empty area directly underneath the hard drive. Carefully slide it underneath and press it down to secure it to the bottom housing.

n. Attach a 4″ piece of foam tape to the underside of the mini four-port USB hub. Mount the unit lengthwise on the back left side of the Atari case, behind the hard drive. One end of the mini-hub actually sits on top of the hard drive and angles downward toward the back of the case. Be careful not to cover the hole on the hard drive marked with a “DO NOT COVER» warning.This is an air vent for the drive; if covered, it can cause the drive to overheat and/or fail. Connect the mini-hub connector to the other remaining connection on the modified USB header.

o. Mount the cordless keyboard/mouse receiver circuit board to the top of the hard drive. Place two short lengths of foam tape across the solder side of the circuit board (the side with no components). Then, press it down on top of the hard drive, again taking care not to cover the hole on the hard drive marked with a “DO NOT COVER» warning.

p. Mount the two Stell adaptors into the back right corner of the housing, above the tangle of wires coming from the ATX power supply connector. Both Stell adaptors can fit nicely standing on their sides. Run the USB cable from each Stell adaptor across the motherboard in front of the processor and heat sink, and connect it into the mini-hub. Position the Stell adaptors as shown, with the USB connector toward the front of the case and the nine wires toward the back. Use hot glue to fix the modules into place.

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