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Technical Help For Newbee


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#1 CriticalMass OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:23 PM

On a whim, I spotted a little gem on Ebay, and since I've been keeping an eye out for one, I place a bid and got it: http://www.ebay.com/...rIAAOSwOgdYozTo

 

When I got it, I realized I didn't have a 300OHM-75OHM connector laying around, so I had to order a phono-to-coax adapter.

 

When I finally got that and had time to hook it up, I discovered three problems:

 

1) I'm feeling very old

 

2) The power switch is "iffy". It feels like it doesn't want to stay fully in the "ON" position. If I jiggle it a few times, I can get it to stay.

 

3) Everything is Black & White. When I flip the Color/B&W switch, I think I see a small difference between the two, but I can't be sure. It only works on Channel 2, which is funny, because I thought I remembered it would work on 3/4. There is a spot underneath for channel selection, but there's no switch in there. Maybe this was a later edition where they kept the shell but changed the board inside?

 

While I'm somewhat handy (I know which end of a soldering iron to hold, and I own a multimeter), time is limited these days, and I know if I spend too much time on this, my wife will tell me to go mow the lawn or paint the living room or something, so I can't spend days on this.

 

I know there's not much that can be done about Problem #1, and I'm pretty sure when I get it apart I can handle Problem #2. I guess what I really need is someone to guide me with #3. What do I look for?

 

Thank you for your time! I look forward to becoming part of the group once I get this thing up and running!

 

Greg

 

 



#2 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:42 AM

Try fine tuning a TV with an analog tuner, if you have one. In any case, try a different TV (for testing, suggest CRT if at all possible). Did you try different games? At least you know it's basically working...

#3 BigO OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:00 PM

FYI - The b&w switch doesn't really control properties of the video output. It's just another digital input that game code can read and then change its colors (or anything else) in response to the value.

#4 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:17 PM

Which games did you test? Some support the B&W switch and many, mostly newer ones, do not. So if you see the latter in B&W too, its not the switch.



#5 CriticalMass OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:24 AM

Thank you all for your input, but Fiddlepaddle hit the joystick!

 

When I hooked it up, I ran the cable into the Input of my old DVD/DVR, and when I entered the Setup menu, I realized it has a "Fine Tuning" setting, where each channel can be given a value from -9 to +9 (0 = default). Setting it between 2-6 is a big improvement. Color is returned, but even at the best setting, things look a little blurry around the edges. I guess that's normal on a HD TV.

 

When I was searching for Atari resources, I found a pretty good article, and I believe this is called a "Light Sixer", would that be correct?

 

Being I'm in Philly, and plan on getting snowed in on Tuesday, that will be a good day to see if I can clean up that power switch.

 

 



#6 Jeremy Popp OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:25 PM

When I was searching for Atari resources, I found a pretty good article, and I believe this is called a "Light Sixer", would that be correct?

 

Being I'm in Philly, and plan on getting snowed in on Tuesday, that will be a good day to see if I can clean up that power switch.

 

 

Yep, based on the ebay picture, it is a light sixer.  The power switch has a few metal prongs that you can bend outward with a small screwdriver, and the top will come off.  Depending on how dirty, you can use basic rubbing alcohol and a q-tip, possibly a pencil eraser if you have stubborn gunk. I wouldn't recommend wd-40 as it will leave a film-y residue.  Good luck.



#7 CriticalMass OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:27 PM

Thanks so much, Jeremy Popp. I got it cleaned up and put back together, and now it works great! And also, I was wrong about the Channel Selector switch -- there really is one, and it switches between 2 and 3.

 

I enjoyed playing the games for about 15 minutes, lol. The bad graphics I was expecting and I could live with, but I had forgotten how bad the AI was. Play games like Berserk and Empire Strikes Back and within a few minutes, it's easy to figure out a pattern.

 

The Boxing I picked up immediately, and won 99-37 in my first match, lol!

 

Some of the games, like Air/Sea Battle and Night Driver I never had before, so I'm unsure how to play. I guess now that I know it works, it's time to start shopping for some games!

 

Thanks again!

 

Greg



#8 DrVenkman ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:46 PM

Change the game difficulty on Berzerk and report back ... ;) 



#9 BigO OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:36 PM

 I guess now that I know it works, it's time to start shopping for some games!

 

 

Are you aware of the Harmony Cartridge?



#10 CriticalMass OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:17 AM

Curious problem:

 

When I popped off the power switch yesterday, the little metal clip inside fell out. I wasn't sure how it went in, so after cleaning, I took a guess, and popped it back in, and it worked fine.

 

Well, last night, when I was showing off my new toy to the wife, the power switch fell apart, and I'm taking it apart again today. But now that I put it back together, I'm having the same problem I had before, where I have to hold the switch in the UP position to get power. If I let go it turns off.

 

So now my questions are:

1) Why are there a total of six contacts under the power switch?

2) Are there supposed to be two clips under the switch like in all the other switches? I only have one. And does it matter which side I put it in? Like I said, it worked last night, so if there are supposed to be two, I guess the answer to #1 will explain why.

 

 

Are you aware of the Harmony Cartridge?

 

I read about it when I was Googling for a site like this, and it sounds like a great idea, but in my case, this is going to be more of a "showpiece" than something which will be used regularly. Therefore, I think I'd be more interested in the actual cartridges (preferably with boxes & manuals).

 

The hard part is going to remember which games I had, and figuring out which I might like. The whole story about the ET Landfill several years ago sparked my interest in the 2600, so of course that will be on my list. I also had Yar's Revenge, Adventure, Riddle of the Sphinx, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pitfall, River Raid,Superman, Atlantis, and probably more I can't remember (probably not worth remembering anyway!)

 

One question though... Jeremy Popp's avatar reminded my of Spy Hunter, which was always one of my arcade favorites (sit down version, of course). Why is the 2600 version so expensive?? And how good is it?

 

Thanks again!



#11 Jeremy Popp OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:40 PM

Curious problem:

 

When I popped off the power switch yesterday, the little metal clip inside fell out. I wasn't sure how it went in, so after cleaning, I took a guess, and popped it back in, and it worked fine.

 

Well, last night, when I was showing off my new toy to the wife, the power switch fell apart, and I'm taking it apart again today. But now that I put it back together, I'm having the same problem I had before, where I have to hold the switch in the UP position to get power. If I let go it turns off.

 

So now my questions are:

1) Why are there a total of six contacts under the power switch?

2) Are there supposed to be two clips under the switch like in all the other switches? I only have one. And does it matter which side I put it in? Like I said, it worked last night, so if there are supposed to be two, I guess the answer to #1 will explain why.

 

 

Yes, there should be 2 clips inside the switch, see this guide I found:

http://www.vintagega...-switch-repair/

 

Those clips make the primary contact, so I would make sure they are straight as they can easily get bent a little while cleaning.  When I clean a switch, I also bend the top tabs up a little, this way there a stronger spring-y force when I put it together and makes for a stronger contact. 

 

The reason it may have fallen apart is those little metal tabs that you pry in/out are a pain in the neck.  They have to be pushed in pretty far to make a good grip, and make sure the whole switch is pushed down/seated all the way.  Alternately, you can always just replace the switch if you know how to solder.  I have a few spares, PM me if you're interested.

 

One more thing to note, your intermittent issue could always be a broken solder joint to one of the 6 prongs on the underside of the board.  It's a super easy fix if you have a soldering iron handy.



#12 SpiceWare ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:07 PM

Some of the games, like Air/Sea Battle and Night Driver I never had before, so I'm unsure how to play.


Go to the main AtariAge page. Scroll down and use the Title Search located at the bottom of the left menu strip.  From there you can find entries for the games, such as Air-Sea Battle.  Most of them will have the manual that's scanned and/or in text.



#13 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:25 PM

There are two sets of contacts in some power switches to reduce the chance of a tiny spark/arcing. For reliability and durability. Switching from 0 to 9v into a regulator and large capactor makes for a big inrush of current. While I've never measured it, instantaneously it could be a couple of amps.

 

Trivia: modern microprocessors can present a 50amp DC load, momentarily, till they are completely powered up and all of the die is oscillating.






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