A year ago, Ben Heck hand-soldered an Atari 2600 on a protoboard (and, as usual, turned that into a portable console). The idea of manually assembling the console for which I had already hacked together a game and an emulator was very exciting for me.
The show crew always publishes schematics for his projects, so while I waited for that, I started de-soldering the chips and cartrige conector (and a few extra components, why not?) from an old Atari Jr. board I had lying around. De-soldering is hard, but eventually it was done:
The schematics, however, never came. That episode’s GitHub repository only includes the original Atari’s block diagram, so I shelved the plan. But more recently I stumbled upon a series of blog posts in which David Barton describes how he built a 6502-based computer (a 65c02, to be precise) on a solder-less breadboard.
Those boards aren’t as sturdy or portable as traditional printed circuit boards, but the freedom to tinker (and make mistakes) sparked my flame once more. That led me to reproduce his first two posts, adapting them to the Atari’s 6507 and adding a few tweaks.