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Introduction and repair questions

controller repair introduction

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#1 zander21510 OFFLINE  

zander21510

    Chopper Commander

  • 105 posts

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:31 PM

Hi!

 

I just bought myself an Intellivision, an Intellivoice module, and 11 games all for around $80. My dad owned an Intellivision back when it first came out, he doesn't know what happened to it unfortunately. I've always liked vintage electronics like record players, cameras, and TVs, and I like computers. So naturally, I want to start collecting some old game consoles. I figured the Intellivision would be a great starting point especially with the great community I've seen from my little bit of research!

 

So my particular Intellivision looks like it has gone through some repairs in the past, the power cord has been cut and a newer cord end has been added, and there were some screws missing when I went to clean the insides. Overall it works great, just one problem with the right controller, the 789, CLR 0 ENTER keys don't work right. I tried to open it and clean it following some step-by-steps online but I was only able to get it working briefly. I swapped the controllers to different ports and it's definitely the controller that is the issue.

 

Now, I saw some tutorials on using conductive marker and some very precise adjustments, but I've never been good at things like that so I'd rather find a replacement if possible. Does anyone have any extra controllers or controller innards? I'll trade my broken one for someone who can repair it as well :).

 

If that's not gonna be possible to do, any ideas on cleaning or repair would be great. Thanks so much and looking forward to contributing!

 

I also did a blog post and recorded some gameplay videos on my new intellivision, I write the blog to introduce my family and friends to retro technology that I enjoy, so it's probably not anything new to any of you but if you are interested in the pictures or videos here's the link: http://alexsretrotec...ellivision.html



#2 intvsteve OFFLINE  

intvsteve

    River Patroller

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  • Location:At the keyboard

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:57 PM

Welcome back to the wonderful world of Intellivision!

 

Sorry to hear about the trouble w/ the controller. Does it seem these keys are always pressed, or never pressed? If you have an Ohmmeter, it will certainly help testing the behaviors. Aside from the traces, it could also be loose connections at the endpoints of the cables. In the controller itself, the matrix has to be pushed down onto some little springy contacts. If those aren't standing upright well, it could be a contact problem in there. I've approached this in two ways:

  • Gently pry the metal springs up a bit. But, beware -- the metal is likely already fatigued, and you may not want to risk breaking it. Also, it could just 'flop' back down and be bad / sporadic again anyway.
  • Add some padding on top of the controller itself. IIRC the matrix probably already has a small square of foam padding above that spot. You could just use a couple slips of paper. Make it too thick, though, and you could crack the controller casing and / or have a hard time closing it back up. (Now, how did I ever find out about that? :ponder: )
  • You might also consider propping up the little metal contacts, though that's tricky given how small things are.

An easy way to check if it's that w/o opening up anything is to tighly squeeze the corner of the controller where that cable comes out and see if it works better.

 

Another possibility is that the connector on the other end (inside the unit) has similar problems:

  • Are all those hair-thin wires properly soldered to the female connectors inside the modular plug?
  • Are the small metal ends securely seated and making contact with the pins on the mainboard?
  • Are the wires all in the proper order?
  • Is the modular plug on the connector properly? Sadly, the connector is not keyed, so it's easy to get wrong. I can never remember the proper orientation. (You probalby already checked that, though)

All that said, occasionally loose controllers appear in auctions. I'm sure some here have extras and will work a trade. My stuff is all in a state of flux, and I've hoarded a few to have handy for using w/ the Ultimate PC interface when trying things out on an emulator.

 

Good luck!


Edited by intvsteve, Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:41 PM.


#3 intvsteve OFFLINE  

intvsteve

    River Patroller

  • 3,123 posts
  • Location:At the keyboard

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:02 PM

BTW, great summary and intro! Space Spartans video didn't work for me, but the others did.



#4 slab0meat OFFLINE  

slab0meat

    Stargunner

  • 1,576 posts
  • Location:NJ

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:06 PM

Welcome and enjoy... lots of great information here.



#5 JasonlikesINTV OFFLINE  

JasonlikesINTV

    Quadrunner

  • 9,195 posts
  • Location:Midwest

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:10 PM

Welcome to the forums! You're in the right place if you're looking for advice, conversation, banter, trades, new offerings, and/or baconalia. We love bacon here....a lot.

My advice on the controller...swap the good one to player 1, so you can play most single player games. If you're up to it, you can troubleshoot. We have some good tech gurus here that can help. If not, you should just buy another console cheap one from eBay. One for parts should suffice and should have at least one good controller. Make one good one from the two and either sell the other for parts, or hold on to...for parts or eventual repair.

Good luck and feel free to hang around for a bit....or come back once in a while. You might even catch the bug ;-)

Edited by JasonlikesINTV, Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:11 PM.


#6 zander21510 OFFLINE  

zander21510

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 105 posts

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:37 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone! I'm very interested in this multicart I've been reading about...conceivably you could load the entire intellivision library plus homebrews into a single SD card...which is absolutely amazing to me. I read about the CC3 which looks to be out of production and impossible to find...but it looks like someone is developing a new multicart. I'd love to have one of those.

#7 JasonlikesINTV OFFLINE  

JasonlikesINTV

    Quadrunner

  • 9,195 posts
  • Location:Midwest

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:47 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone! I'm very interested in this multicart I've been reading about...conceivably you could load the entire intellivision library plus homebrews into a single SD card...which is absolutely amazing to me. I read about the CC3 which looks to be out of production and impossible to find...but it looks like someone is developing a new multicart. I'd love to have one of those.


Indeed. I just missed out on the CC3 when it was available for $150. Never again. Now you'll pay $300-400. Totally not worth it. Groovy (and possibly others) are working on one(s). Hopefully we'll see something sometime this year in the $75-100 price range. I will be buying 2-3 :)





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