This evening I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and test out one of my extra Intellivisions while also playing for the HSC.
(Side note: I'd picked this console up a couple months ago as part of a large lot, but the controllers were dead. Today I opened the console up and switched out the controllers, replacing them with two from a dead console with working controllers, kindly sent to me by a fellow Atariage member. This worked perfectly -- I played a few different games, and everything seemed fine -- but I wanted to put the console through a couple hours of gameplay before getting ready to sell it.)
Anyway, tonight I played Astrosmash for about 15-20 minutes, reaching about 50k, and then the game crashed. Huh.
And then I reset and played for another 2 minutes, before it crashed again...
And then I reset and played for 30 seconds, and it crashed a third time.
But then -- here's the strange part -- I played Cloudy Mountain for 25 minutes, with no problems at all. Huh #2.
Then I popped Astrosmash back in, and it crashed within 30 seconds. I even tried a different copy of the cart -- same thing. And then I tried Thunder Castle, and it crashed during the intro screen to Level 1.
All this sounds to me like the Intellivision is overheating, and based on comments in the HSC thread, it sounds like Astrosmash may be known for exacerbating the problem. Or maybe it's just that the game goes on for a long time. Either way, it's strange that I had no problems with Cloudy Mountain.
So I have a pile of questions. What can I do about this? What should I test, and what tools do I need (I have a multimeter but don't really know how to use it)? Would removing the RF shield help? Do I need a soldering iron to do that?
If I take off the RF shield, should I check the heatsinks? If so, how do I do that and what am I looking for? Has anyone ever found a reliable fix for the Intellivision I's overheating problems? Should I just chalk it up to the hot weather? zylon mentions having all kinds of overheating problems when playing Astrosmash in the HSC thread.
Or, am I totally wrong, and is this problem unrelated to overheating? But the increasing rapidity of the crashes surely suggests it to me.
BTW, one irony in all this is that the dead system from which I scavenged the replacement controllers was actually yell0w_lantern's system, which had a similar-but-different problem that he describes here
. I assume there's no way the controllers could somehow be causing the crash.