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Intellivision help!


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#1 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:00 PM

I have been picking up intellivision boxed games at thrift stores, picked up the voice modulator at a game store and this past sunday at the Midwest Gaming Classic found a system for $25.00 and also found a few more games including a boxed B-17 bomber.  Anyway, I got home, hooked everything up and I could only get 1 game to work, which is Beauty and the Beast, so I know the system works.  Every other game, including the voice modulator, all I get is either a black or orange screen.  Plus I found out the controllers may not work.    Please help. 



#2 BBWW OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:37 PM

Did you try the games without the Intellivoice module plugged in? That would be good for an illumination round of testing too.

#3 intvsteve OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:38 PM

First step (not knowing what you may have tried) is: clean clean clean!

 

Dirty contacts on the carts -- as well as the cartridge port itself -- are a really common problem. I usually try to use isopropyl alcohol 91% or better and a q-tip as the first step. In extreme cases, I've also taken 600 or 800 grit sandpaper and very carefully and gently cleaned contacts on the cart after removing the board from the shell if possible.



#4 SpotAnime OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:04 PM

Yep. I agree with intsteve. I just got into Intellivision collecting and went through this myself. If you're getting black or orange screens at startup, or any weird reboot issues, it's likely due to something like dirt or dust interfering with the contacts. Clean those cart contacts with 91% isopropyl alcohol, and blow out the master component leads as best you can. You'll find after doing this, just inserting and removing different carts will dislodge any remaining particles. These systems have been around for almost 40 years, some not treated as nice as we do now, so they just need a bit of TLC and nursing back to health.

And welcome to the club!

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#5 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:11 PM

I bought some Fabulous Blaster Contact cleaner, but it didnt really do much.  If the alcohol works better, then I will have to try that.  Thanks guys.



#6 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:19 AM

Does Beauty and the Beast play correctly. Does it freeze or do the controllers not work. What other cartridges have you tested. Which model Intellivision?

Edit: Try the cartridges at minimal insertion; pull the cartridge back until just before it slips out. Don't forget to hit reset.

Edited by mr_me, Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:23 AM.


#7 SoulBuster OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:01 AM

I have even used steel wool on stubborn carts to get them to work.  Lightly though.

 

In all the years I have been using Intellivision Carts, I have only found one that I could not get to work.  So it is unlikely the carts are bad.



#8 intvsteve OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:15 AM

There are other possible problems, too... Do you have ther Imagic titles? IIRC they boot differently, bypassing the normal startup code on the console. It's feasible there is a hardware problem. mr_me 's also right on point about digging more into whether the game works properly.

 

IIRC some have encountered boot problems with bad controllers that have shorted contacts, or that were removed and then re-installed incorrectly on the 2609-type models. Hopefully, if it's not just grime, then it's a less serious problem like bad or improperly re-installed controllers. Those are much more easily solved.



#9 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:32 PM

Beauty and the Beast doesnt freeze.  just cant move the character.  This seems to be the only game that boots up.  I've tried 4-5 other games.



#10 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:25 PM

Beauty and the Beast doesnt freeze.  just cant move the character.  This seems to be the only game that boots up.  I've tried 4-5 other games.

So you can get passed the titlescreen with a kepad or side button but the disc doesnt work; do all the buttons work on both controllers? Are the other cartridges Mattel or third party?

#11 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:16 AM

all the other carts are mattel.

#12 1980gamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:23 AM

I had this problem with an intellivision II.  Removing the right controller fixed the problem.

 

Not saying it is the right controller, it just happened to be that one that was causing the problem.

The other controller worked fine.  So, I would suggest removing one controller at a time.

 

On an intellivision I  when you open the unit, make certain you have it right side up when you remove the cover.

The reset button can "fall apart" if you take the screws out and lift the bottom off the top.



#13 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:27 AM

If some of the controller buttons work but the disc doesn't; the controllers could be plugged in backwards.

#14 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:50 AM

i will have to try that. thanks foe all the advice.

#15 HunterZero OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:48 PM

If you don't want to open the main unit, you can 'disconnect' a controller by opening the handset, and removing the plastic matrix, which disconnects the cable from the matrix.



#16 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:19 PM

Ok, I've cleaned a cart(b-17), the intellivoice, and the system itself.  I'm still getting an orange screen, but I am now getting static sound coming out of the

tv, when I move the cart.  But I just can't get through the orange screen.  I also disconnected the right controller, just to try it and still nothing.  Gonna try doing some more cleaning.  I also get static through the TV  when I move the volumn control on the intellivoice.  I feel like I'm making progress though.



#17 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:36 AM

Strange for so many cartridges to have problems. Could the problem be on the main board, or even a bad ROM chip? Unfortunately, if its a 2609, the mainboard is covered in a shield so its tough to inspect and clean. Try unplugging both controllers.

#18 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:22 PM

It is wierd that only one cart will work.  Like I said, gonna try some more cleaning and see what happens. 



#19 HunterZero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:27 PM

Deoxit is my non-abrasive contact cleaner of choice.

 

B-17 Bomber will still work without the IntelliVoice module plugged in, you just won't get any voice.

 

I think Intvsteve could be on to something - It could be a logic problem related to the use of the exec system ROMs, either directly, or indirectly via some other system logic. Beauty and the Beast doesn't use the Mattel library code for the startup screen, and being Imagic, I would guess it uses fewer exec functions (more direct to hardware coding to get more speed) and utilises different areas of system RAM.

 

Swapping the PROM and SROM would a logical thing to try. It could also be a logic issue with RA-3-9600 system RAM, or with the AY-3-8914 sound chip (which handles the controllers). You'd need spares on hand to swap these out to test.

 

- James



#20 First Spear OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:44 AM

It's probably not roaches.

https://twitter.com/...949897127485441

Ok, I've cleaned a cart(b-17), the intellivoice, and the system itself.  I'm still getting an orange screen, but I am now getting static sound coming out of the
tv, when I move the cart.  But I just can't get through the orange screen.  I also disconnected the right controller, just to try it and still nothing.  Gonna try doing some more cleaning.  I also get static through the TV  when I move the volumn control on the intellivoice.  I feel like I'm making progress though.



#21 HunterZero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:16 PM

This is why Intellivisions can be problematic - so many ICs, many points of failure... Many of the ICs do not seem to last the test of time.



#22 fdr4prez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:41 PM

<snip>... Many of the ICs do not seem to last the test of time.

 

test of time?

 

nearly 40 years isn't good enough?



#23 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:34 PM

Ok, if I start swapping things out(I'm new to all this type of stuff, so go easy on me), will I need another system or can I get the parts seperately?  Also, what exactly will I be looking for?



#24 HunterZero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:15 PM

 

test of time?

 

nearly 40 years isn't good enough?

 

If something works after 40 years, then that's great. But for an Intellivision 1, it seems to be the exception to get a working one rather than the rule.

 

By comparison with other systems from around the same time with lower parts count eg Atari 2600, Famicom/NES, Intys seem to have a much higher failure rate.

 

BITD, my Intellivision failed twice. I've had several master components through my hands, and only one (an Inty System III) worked without any issues whatsoever without some form of repair being needed. Of those, more than half had a failed logic IC that needed replacement.

 

- James



#25 HunterZero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:21 PM

Ok, if I start swapping things out(I'm new to all this type of stuff, so go easy on me), will I need another system or can I get the parts seperately?  Also, what exactly will I be looking for?

 

 

You are going to have to find a 2nd system as a source of spare parts I am afraid, and hope they don't have the same fault, unless someone here has a spare populated logic board that you can use for parts.

 

Opening the RF shield is a pain in the proverbial. It's soldered closed, you will need a soldering iron to get into it.

 

Here is an overview of the Intellivision PCB:

 

intv_block.jpg






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