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Recapping working Astrocade - worthwhile?


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#1 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:56 AM

I'm thinking of ordering a new capacitor kit for my Astrocade (among other consoles) even though it's not having any problems. I've heard about how a cap failure can pretty much blow the whole system up, so it's got me a bit paranoid that it'll fail.

 

I've already removed the RF shielding and slapped on some heat sinks to the three main chips, which have all worked out pretty well, so I guess I'm just curious what other people's thoughts are on preemptively swapping the capacitors out?

 

Any other components I should consider replacing at the same time?


Edited by ubersaurus, Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:57 AM.


#2 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:55 PM

I'm thinking of ordering a new capacitor kit for my Astrocade (among other consoles) even though it's not having any problems.

 

I don't have any experience with recapping any hardware, but I'm chiming in because I think that this is a good question for the community.  Could I read your post on the next Astrocast podcast as "feedback?"

 

Adam



#3 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:40 PM

 

I don't have any experience with recapping any hardware, but I'm chiming in because I think that this is a good question for the community.  Could I read your post on the next Astrocast podcast as "feedback?"

 

Adam

Go for it! I'd be interested in finding out what the consensus might be. 

 

From what I can tell with other systems recapping is ideally done alongside replacing voltage regulators, but beyond that I have nothing.



#4 Centurion OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:31 AM

Well, there's an old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". :lol:

I don't have a lot of experience with Astrocades, so I can't really give too much advice on whether this is a wise move or not. But I did replace a couple of caps on my machine and will say that anytime you open an old machine like this, you run a risk of damaging it. Desoldering on old PCB's isn't easy and some of the caps inside the Astrocades are in tricky spots too.

Here's a blog post I made when fixing a video issue I was having:

https://drunknretro....arcade.html?m=1

Might help you decide. I'd personally leave it alone if it's working ok.

#5 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:44 PM

I did replace a couple of caps on my machine [...] Here's a blog post [called Up from the Crypt! - Bally Professional Arcade / Astrocade that I] made when fixing a video issue I was having:

https://drunknretro....arcade.html?m=1

 

That's a great post!  I wonder if fixing the caps on my system would get rid of some minor ghosting issues that I have on my system when it's hooked up via RF.  When I have my Astrocade S-Video upgrade installed, the ghosting gets much worse.

 

Adam



#6 Centurion OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:16 PM

 
That's a great post!  I wonder if fixing the caps on my system would get rid of some minor ghosting issues that I have on my system when it's hooked up via RF.  When I have my Astrocade S-Video upgrade installed, the ghosting gets much worse.
 
Adam

Thanks Adam :)

Hmm... Not sure on the ghosting. Does it ghost on multiple TV's? Does the S-Video upgrade run through the RF modulator at all? Could be something with your RF modulator possibly. I mostly relied on a visual inspection for my repair. In my machine the two caps I replaced were leaking.

#7 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:16 AM

Does it ghost on multiple TV's? Does the S-Video upgrade run through the RF modulator at all?


Yes, my Astrocade has ghosting on multiple TVs.  The s-video upgrade does not run through the RF modulator at all.  Here are some details on the s-video upgrade for the Bally Arcade that was released by 8BitDomain.com in 2006 (and is no longer available):

 

http://www.ballyalle...-video_mod.html

 

The link above includes pictures of the s-video upgrade and the steps required to install the video upgrade (as shown through a series of pictures).

 

Adam



#8 Centurion OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:43 AM

Yes, my Astrocade has ghosting on multiple TVs.  The s-video upgrade does not run through the RF modulator at all.  Here are some details on the s-video upgrade for the Bally Arcade that was released by 8BitDomain.com in 2006 (and is no longer available):
 
http://www.ballyalle...-video_mod.html
 
The link above includes pictures of the s-video upgrade and the steps required to install the video upgrade (as shown through a series of pictures).
 
Adam


Looks like a nice mod. I see your logic now thinking it could be a cap issue. Since both video outputs are giving you trouble. My Colecovision had really bad RF and Yurkie's A/V mod totally cleared it up. I don't have enough experience with Astrocade's to be of much help, but it might be worth opening it up and examining. My video issue was beyond ghosting. It was completely garbled and covered the whole screen.




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