Atari 7800 Mega Unboxing: Atari 7800 Trak-Ball, Euro-Pad, GripStick, AV Mod
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By Brian Thomas Barnhart |
Hey what is up everybody, welcome back to 7800 Avenue! We’re in the Lynx Lounge right now, the 7800 Avenue set is actually being built as we speak. That’s right, we are converting a room in our home into this really cool lounge area where we can do a bunch of cool things. We’re going to put the arcade cabinets in there and give the family a place to unwind, have some fun and play some retro games.
This is going to be a big showcase in the show, so I just wanted to share with you guys this little “unboxing of things to come in the show”. So, shall we? I’ve never done an unboxing before, so this is the first time. Alright, let’s do it!
Well if you saw the first episode of 7800 Avenue we actually played a 2600 game. We did that because it was Howard Scott Warshaw’s birthday, and we wanted to wish him a happy birthday and play some Yars’ Revenge and I thought that was pretty cool.
However, when we delve into the Atari 7800 ProSystem here, we are going to show you some of the sexiest things it has to offer. I just happen to have two boxes, right over here, that came today! I’m going to do an unboxing and show you some of the things that I got from Video 61 and Best Electronics.
Let’s open up the small package first. This came from Best Electronics, so I’m excited to see what’s in here. There’s one thing in here that’s going to give you a hint of things to come…
Alright, so, first thing out of the box is the Video Light Gun. This is awesome. Still in the plastic. Let’s open this thing up and see what it looks like. I know some of you right now are going “Noo, don’t open it! It’s in the plastic! Don’t open it!” Oh well, I’ve got a show to do, so we need this stuff.
Oh man. Here it is folks! Brand spankin’ new, light gun. So this is the Best Electronics Light Gun, right here. It’s not the Official Atari XE version, but, um, it is made in Taiwan, so I’ve got the seal of approval there on that, so that’s good.
There are a lot of light gun games that I want to play on the Atari 7800. I hear Barnyard Blaster is good. I’m very excited to play Crossbow, that was one of my favorite arcade games when it was out in the arcades, and this is going to give me a chance to play some pretty cool 7800 light gun games.
This is sort of a dead giveaway as to what’s coming up in the next package. This is a brand new Atari 7800 European Controller. Wow, take a look at that. Never been used.
This is an NES-style D-Pad controller for the Atari 2600 and 7800, and much better to play than the regular 7800 Joysticks. For whatever reason it was only released in Europe, making it kind of rare in the United States.
We are not going to be doing this show with 7800 Pro-Line Joystick Controllers. Nor are we doing the show with the Sega Genesis controllers plugged in here.
We are highlighting some of the best equipment that this system has to offer. So that means myself and a guest are going to be able to use these pads instead of the 7800 Joysticks. I don’t know any other show that’s doing that, but this show is.
“It’s unfortunate that the 7800 European Controllers did not get packed in with the Atari 7800 Systems in the U.S. I don’t know why they would not have thrown this in, especially with the popularity of the NES at the time. You’d think that they’d really want to get that D-Pad out there instead of the hand-cramping torture device joysticks that came with the 7800.”
– Brian Thomas Barnhart, 7800 Avenue
And that is it for this box, so let’s move on to the really, really BIG box. This is very exciting!
Here’s the big box, right here! This is from Video 61. Let’s open this up and see what’s inside. I know what’s inside but you guys don’t know. Let’s pull all this stuff out here and then open her up. It’s like Christmas!
First, I’ve got a new Power Adapter for the Atari 7800 ProSystem. This is a must-have. The 7800 had a unique tip that you plug into the system. This was done to prevent the 7800 from being used with the wrong Atari A/C Adapter, but it’s made the 7800 Power Adapter really hard to find.
You can’t use a universal power plug on the Atari 7800. The plug just doesn’t fit. If you want to play your 7800 you’ve got to have one of these.
And this box right here… you know what, I’m going to save this box for last. This is going to be the last box I open. We’re going to set this aside right here.
Take a look at this! With the suction cups. This is the StarMaster here. Ooooh man, listen to that crisp clicking sound. Lance took this brand new joystick and reworked it so it can have Button 1 and Button 2 work individually.
Because, if you know, before this joystick was originally designed for use with the Atari 2600, and both buttons did the same thing. Well, Lance at Video 61 went ahead, opened it up, figured it out and soldered some things, and now you can play your 7800 games using this joystick with two buttons.
I think this 7800 Grip-Stick Joystick is going to be super cool for any kind of flying games, any kind of twitch arcade type games. I’m excited to try this one out. And it’s got the cool grippy suction cup feet, so check that out. Awesome.
Do you see these cords hanging out of here? You’re going to know exactly what that is. Basically what Lance did for me was perform a video and audio out mod on a brand new, never been played before, never been touched Atari 7800 ProSystem!
As you can see, I already have a 7800, but, now I have a brand spanking new 7800 right here! It smells fresh! It still has the plastic sticker on the aluminum. And it’s never been touched before, other than Lance hooking it up.
These were the last of the Atari 7800s off the line. They were never put into retail boxes, however, they were bundled with one joystick and a power supply and stored away at Atari in case of customer returns.
If Atari needed to send somebody a brand new 7800 under warranty, they would have walked into a warehouse, pulled a brand new Atari 7800 off the shelf, and it would have come from this batch.
Eventually, Lance at Video 61 purchased these last remaining new 7800s without boxes, stored them away, and all these years later he modded a minty fresh 7800 with video and audio out, just for me.
Now the reason I had Lance do this, was because my original 7800 just has the standard RF switch box output, and it was really like I was jumping through hoops in order to get any kind of video signal output that was good at all. So, instead of hooking it up to a VCR or a splitter or anything like that to record video for the show, I had Lance hook me up with one of these bad boys!
It’s beautiful. I mean, I thought the one I already had was clean. The new one is super clean. Lance threw in the Atari 7800 Power Adapter, obviously, I said that we’re going to need one of those too.
And now for the most exciting box, and I cannot wait for this here, but this is very rare. It’s one of a kind. Well, it’s a few of a kind. Let’s just say it’s a few of a kind. #6 of 10 made. This is one of my favorite controllers of all time. Let’s go ahead and open it up.
This is the Video 61 7800 Trak-Ball. Oh boy. Wow. I can tell this is just.. this just feels awesome already. It feels super solid. Oh baby. Holy smokes.
Take a look at that. It rolls. It feels great. These red buttons totally make it pop. It looks like it should have been packed in with the Atari 7800.
I know that Lance put these together. And I know that Justin at Atari I/O went ahead and did the buttons, did a really great job painting the buttons red, putting some new springs in it so they’re really responsive. But this is just an absolute thing of beauty. Isn’t this amazing? Wow. I am so excited. It’s got a huge cord on it.
- Best Electronics Video Light Gun
- Atari 7800 European D-Pad Controller (x2)
- Atari 7800 A/C Adapter
- Video 61 7800 Grip-Stick Joystick
- Atari 7800 AV Modded ProSystem
- Video 61 7800 Trak-Ball Controller
So now I have the Wico Atari 2600 Trak-Ball, and I have the Video 61 Atari 7800 Trak-Ball, which means I can play the two player co-op version of Centipede for the 7800.
That means that is going to be the very first episode of 7800 Avenue that we’re going to shoot is going to be playing dual Trak-Ball controllers Centipede 7800 two player mode. What other show is doing that? I don’t know. But this show is gonna do it.
Anyway, this is the loot! I mean, man, this is like Christmas here! I am so excited. I can’t wait to get this show rolling. I can’t wait for the 7800 lounge to be finished. We’re going to invite guests over, very much like The Jag Bar. We’re going to have them play 7800 games for the first time.
I mean, really, let’s be honest, few of you had 7800s. Those who did are very fond of them. But for the most part, in this time period, most everybody was playing Sega Master System, I mean even that’s few and far between, but mostly the world was being run by Nintendo.
This equipment here, the Atari 7800, was kind of being left out. So we’re going to give this equipment and these games a new chance to shine. And we’re going to invite guests over and we’re going to have a good time, and we’re gonna rack up the high scores and that’s how we’re gonna do it.
So, yeah, this is the first unboxing and the first sort of “quasi-show” for 7800 Avenue! Stay tuned! Like I said, Centipede, next episode. Alright, see you guys later! Check out the Lynx Lounge, check out The Jag Bar. You’ll like them all. Take it easy.
Brian Thomas Barnhart is a classic gaming aficionado, retro pop culture connoisseur, and a Senior Fellow at Atari I/O. He is host of The Jag Bar, Lynx Lounge, 7800 Avenue, and the Atari I/O After Hours Podcast. Brian is a Moderator in the Atari I/O Forums under the name btbfilms76. You can follow him on Instagram and at his YouTube channel.