Ingersoll XK600B TV game console

My first game console: the Ingersoll XK-600B

Last Updated on March 19, 2024

The recent chat with John Bowe about my love of retro games and my memories of the depths of the 8-bit world led me to dig out this, the Binatone TV Master-like Ingersoll XK-600B. A monochrome paddle-controlled system with a light-gun, this device hails from 1977.

I got the console in roughly 1982, passed on from my uncle, and I consider it the daddy of my collection.

From what I can recall, I have never played the two light gun games as the gun broke at some point before I got it. As you can see in the photo, the paddle on the right is held together with electrician’s tape. Pretty sure that repair was by me when some earlier black tape came off.

The last time I remember switching this on was in the 1990s. I seem to recall opening it up to see what was inside, only to be greeted with a brown circuit board with a few resistors and chips. These run the six games, which are all pretty similar. I wouldn’t offer a review score, but they’re entertaining enough to keep you busy on a wet Sunday morning, particularly in two-player mode.

The paddles

Attached to the Ingersoll XK-600B are two paddles, with a trio of buttons. These are designed to alter the speed and angle of the ball as it leaves the “bat.”

Using the paddles wasn’t too difficult; I think one of these has better resisitance than the other. More of a problem are the buttons, which feel as though they’re pushing blister switches.

 Ingersoll XK-600B paddle

Also on each paddle is a reset button. I can attest that not only is it poorly placed in relation to the paddle’s control wheel, it is a really stupid idea to give two players the ability to reset a game they might be losing, on a whim.

Binatone TV Master or Coleco Telstar Ranger?

Further research into this system reveals the Binatone TV Master was one of many such monochrome and colour systems issued in the mid-1970s.

The Ingersoll XK-600B features four paddle games:

  • hockey
  • solo
  • tennis
  • squash

Along with the light gun games:

  • Target 1
  • Target 2

Of interest, while Wikipedia doesn’t list any of the Ingersoll range of consoles, it does describe the Coleco Telstar Ranger:

  • hockey
  • handball (a solo game)
  • tennis
  • jai alai (a precursor to squash)
  • target (a light gun game)
  • skeet (another light gun game)

The Coleco Telstar Ranger is described as running on an AY-3-8500 “Ball & Paddle” chip from General Instrument, which seems to have a few similarities to what is inside the Ingersoll console.

Atari 2600 power supply

An original Atari 2600 PSU or – in my case – 6x AA (or “penlight” as we called them then) batteries power the Ingersoll XK-600B console. The battery slot cover is long-since lost, and most of the time taped over with an old Christmas card.

Sadly, I can’t check if the console works at the moment, as we don’t have a suitable TV! The TV out cable is the traditional coaxial type, and none of our current TVs accept this connector.

This was my only game machine for 2 years until the C64 arrived. I guess the reason I kept it for so long is that I had a lot of fun with it – and who else would want a 90 year old game console in the 1990s…?

About the author

Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.

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