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2600A Vader - Troubleshooting

2 replies to this topic

#1 jbully OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

  • 1 posts

Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:41 PM

Like many others, I've pulled my old 2600A Vader out of a box expecting it to work perfectly. It is not. I've read up on it a bit. So far, I have cleaned the case and the motherboard with q-tips and alcohol, etc. but it is still not functioning. I've tried both Bezerk and Spider-Man cartridges. Here is what is occuring (with photos):

Here is the case:

Here is the motherboard (Revision 16):

Close-up of the RF modulator(?):

When I turn the 2600 power switch on, it changes from black snow (off) to just a white screen (on):

And, I'm attaching it using a Radio Shack RCA to Coax connector:

The only other information I can give is that I used a small allen key to adjust the RF modulator and at best it gives me a few color lines across the white background. Any help or information about what the problem could be would be appreciated. Thanks.

#2 SlowCoder OFFLINE  


    River Patroller

  • 3,686 posts
  • Location:Florida, US

Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:22 AM


From what you've posted, it kind of sounds like you went in a completely wrong direction. Cleaning the mainboard itself isn't so important as cleaning the contacts inside cartridge connector. And I definitely would not have messed with the RF settings until most other options were exhausted. The RF adjustment is very sensitive.

I would start with trying to clean both the cartridge and console connector first. There are plenty of threads explaining the procedure.

I'd also verify that the console and TV are on the same channel. If it doesn't work on channel 3, try channel 4.

Check the 3 chips on the mainboard and re-seat them.

Check the voltage on your power supply. It is rated at 9v, but is expected to read 12-16v on a voltmeter.

Good luck!

#3 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  



  • 539 posts

Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:51 PM

Good news is that the field service guide covers this issue, the bad news is that if its not the RF or the regulator tracking down the exact faulty part is... Tricky. Its classified as a "logic failure" and diagnosing it may require an o scope and the STC (kluge) cart. Common parts failing in this issue, other than a shorted or broken trace are 6507, RIOT, TIA, X200(3.579575mhz crystal), Q200(2N3906 transistor), or just the RF modulator itself.

All these parts, the field service guide, STC cart can be ordered at


If you just want to see the field service guide you can download it at


The person who copied the document goofed and didnt include thr schematics for the ver 16 board, but if you need it I can make a scan of it for you.

PS if you want to get the full service kit also order the diagnosic cart and the shorting plugs set.

Edited by Syntaxerror999, Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:02 PM.

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