Atari Lynx Becomes Modern 2600 Console Homage

With its introduction in 1989, the Atari Lynx was the first handheld videogame system to include a color LCD. The gigantic size and equally gigantic price tag did not win-over a massive audience, but that doesn’t mean the Lynx was without its fans. Over the past few months a modder named [Jared] has been toiling away with his project to transform an Atari Lynx into a home console.

Atari Lynx 2600 Console Mod Motherboard

The inspiration behind the mod was the original Atari console, the Atari 2600. [Jared’s] console mod, called the Atari Lynx 2600, utilizes a four-switch 2600 case as an enclosure. However, since the Atari 2600 joystick did not offer enough button real estate an NES controller was used instead. A male-male serial cable serves as the new controller cord, while all the buttons on the face of the Lynx are hardwired to a female DB9 port. As an added touch a custom 3D printed cartridge adapter was incorporated into the original 2600 cartridge slot.

Since the Lynx did not natively support video out, and intermediary device known as the McWill LCD mod kit was used. The McWill LCD mod is typically done in order to modernize the Atari Lynx’s screen with hardware from this decade, but [Jared] used the kit in order to get VGA video output from the Lynx. Not satisfied with just VGA [Jared] also included a VGA to HDMI scaler inside to ensure a wider compatibility with current displays. Fittingly the HDMI port was placed on the back of the 2600 enclosure where the RF video used to come from.

Bonus points should go to [Jared] for going the extra mile and creating a custom console box to accompany the console mod. The entirety of the project was detailed in a three-part video series, but you can watch the console in action in part 2 below:

Note: Skip to the {17:45} mark to see the Atari Lynx 2600 in action.

5 thoughts on “Atari Lynx Becomes Modern 2600 Console Homage

  1. Very nice mod. I wanted a consolized Lynx and I did have an adapter using Arduino to use a comfortable SNES controller for Lynx. SNES has enough buttons for A and B as well as Option 1, 2, and pause. (restart and flip by holding 2 buttons, although flip is useless with a TV or VGA monitor)

    The only issue with consolized Lynx is a few games like Klax and Gauntlet would be very hard to play as it’s designed for portrait oriented display. Most TV aren’t on a pivot that lets user rotate it 90 degree.

  2. Unfortunately I missed out on the Lynx when it initially dropped but remember the commercials well. This is pretty cool. I have only played the games on emulation, so it would be interesting to see/feel the difference.

  3. A relaunch of the legendary game console, but with HDMI, WIFI, flash memory and screen with larger and higher resolution. And it must be possible to use the ordinary casettes. And then it will be perfect and good console. ATARI must make it.

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