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Vectrex Repair


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#1 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:57 PM

After not using my Vectrex for several years I decided to hook it back up and discovered that it needs servicing.  First the volume knob may need cleaning as I have to mess with it a bit to get the sound to play.  Secondly button four on my controller has stopped working.  Also there's a little jitter in the picture but I think that's normal (is it normally rock solid or is there always a little jitter?).  

 

How hard is it to clean the volume knob?  I think I *might* be able to fix the controller if the contact is just dirty, but I worry about messing up the overlay.  Does anyone do repairs?  I wouldn't mind getting the buzz fixed either, but I'm not sure that shipping the Vectrex out to anyone is a wise idea as they seem fragile.

 

Also, do Vectrex's ever need to be recapped? 



#2 awhite2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:38 AM

I can only comment about the volume knob.  When I bought my Vectrex a couple of years ago the volume seemed to be stuck at full blast.  A member here suggested that I pull the knob off and spray with electronics cleaner.  I was hesitant at first as the knob seemed to be stuck.  Sure enough, it did pull right off.  Sprayed with some high end electronics wash that's safe for plastic.  Problem solved.  

 

You may be able to do something similar with button four.



#3 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:55 AM

I can only comment about the volume knob.  When I bought my Vectrex a couple of years ago the volume seemed to be stuck at full blast.  A member here suggested that I pull the knob off and spray with electronics cleaner.  I was hesitant at first as the knob seemed to be stuck.  Sure enough, it did pull right off.  Sprayed with some high end electronics wash that's safe for plastic.  Problem solved.  

 

You may be able to do something similar with button four.

The knob pulls right out?  That's good to know.  

 

So do you spray the inside of the knob itself with the cleaner or do you spray the shaft it comes off of?



#4 awhite2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:09 PM

Is sprayed the cleaner onto the shaft and into the potentiometer within the Vectrex.

I know that some people will recommend using spray designed for pots, I just used what I had available. It is a general "electronics wash" that was recommended by someone in an electronics supply store. I bought it when someone spilled coffee on a laptop keyboard.

#5 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:39 PM

I wonder if I can get some of that locally like at a hardware store?



#6 -^CrožBow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:42 PM

Standard contact cleaner like you can get at RadioShack will do the job. Just spray around the shaft and turn it back and forth a bunch of times to get it worked in there. As for the debuzz kit, there are two options. 1 is the kit that is sold through Console5.com but it won't completely eliminate it, just minimize it quite a bit. The second is a complete audio amp replacement kit that was designed and originally sold by a guy named Charles Tweety on the Vectrex Group FB page. I believe he is sold out currently, but will be making more and once he does, I believe he will be selling them through ebay.



#7 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:53 PM

Standard contact cleaner like you can get at RadioShack will do the job. Just spray around the shaft and turn it back and forth a bunch of times to get it worked in there. As for the debuzz kit, there are two options. 1 is the kit that is sold through Console5.com but it won't completely eliminate it, just minimize it quite a bit. The second is a complete audio amp replacement kit that was designed and originally sold by a guy named Charles Tweety on the Vectrex Group FB page. I believe he is sold out currently, but will be making more and once he does, I believe he will be selling them through ebay.

 

How hard are those to install?  Also, is a little jitter normal for the picture?



#8 -^CrožBow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:06 PM

Cap kit is kinda a pain because caps on every board need to be replaced as part of the kit. Two of them sit under the large heatsink assembly on the power board so it has to be completely removed to get to them. THe debuzz kits...ehh.. the one I got from Console5 works well but it was kinda a booger to get installed. Requires cutting some traces and rerouting things with replacement components plus the small perfboard for the audio to go through and back out. The one that Charles sells (Once they are available again), looked to be pretty easy. I think he may have even come up with a no solder required option in the kit, though still advised to solder everything in I'm sure. Basically you disconnect the speaker from the main pcb and plug into his replacement and I believe the original speaker connection on the main PCB he provides a new wire so you connect that to his new board. It totally filters everything out and provides a clean audio output through his replacement board. That is a simplification of it, but you get the idea.

 

He is making another kit that will have a break out box you plug as needed that will make it easier to incorporate the VecVox and mix it with the audio to a new audio out. And he is developing that box to be near studio quality. Though I'm not sure why since we are just talking the vectrex here but still pretty darn cool.

 

And yes some jitter is normal. Is the entire screen jittering, or just some of the vector lines? If just the vector lines, then you might consider getting the Integrator replacement caps from console5 as well. If the whole screen jitters a bit, that is pretty normal in most cases.



#9 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:12 PM

No the whole screen kind of jitters a little bit.  Also, the bottom line of text on the Sean Kelly multicart (where the up/down/run/bank select options are) seems slanted a bit.  I don't know if this is normal behavior for the multicart or not.  I didn't notice anything strange on the games I tried so I'm guess that either this is normal or no game displays down far enough to run into the problem.

 

If there's a plug in option on the horizon (or one with minimal soldering) I'll wait for that.



#10 -^CrožBow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:19 PM

No the whole screen kind of jitters a little bit.  Also, the bottom line of text on the Sean Kelly multicart (where the up/down/run/bank select options are) seems slanted a bit.  I don't know if this is normal behavior for the multicart or not.  I didn't notice anything strange on the games I tried so I'm guess that either this is normal or no game displays down far enough to run into the problem.

 

If there's a plug in option on the horizon (or one with minimal soldering) I'll wait for that.

Yeah he already has a minimal kit with little to no soldering required he just is out of them at the moment. I thought about picking one up, but since I've already modded mine with the older debuzz kit from console5, the installation would be trickier for me. 



#11 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:21 PM

I put in a request to join the group.  I'll have to look for it once I'm approved.



#12 Vectrexer OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:38 PM

If looking for someone to accomplish the repairs for you have a look at the current list on www.Vectrex.com.



#13 Vectrexer OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:41 PM

If you are going to open your Vectrex anyway. You may want to debuzz and clean the volume pot using the "Vectrex BUZZ OFF Mod Kit Pre Soldered. NEW 2017. Volume Rejuvenate Kit Included"

You can normally find them here:  http://www.ebay.com/...m-gaming/m.html

 

Some other kits will be made soon.  It's a quality kit all around with instructions and videos for usage.



#14 -^CrožBow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:21 PM

If you are going to open your Vectrex anyway. You may want to debuzz and clean the volume pot using the "Vectrex BUZZ OFF Mod Kit Pre Soldered. NEW 2017. Volume Rejuvenate Kit Included"

You can normally find them here:  http://www.ebay.com/...m-gaming/m.html

 

Some other kits will be made soon.  It's a quality kit all around with instructions and videos for usage.

 

That is the kit I was referring Tempest to in regards to the new one done by Charles Tweety. But he is sold out at the moment. I'm waiting for his new one that includes the break out on it for easier mixing of the atariVox+ to it.



#15 Vectrexer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:50 PM

Charles offers two products

 

  • Vectrex BUZZ OFF Kit is for 
  • Vectrex Audio Tap (VAT) is the one with the audio I/O for use with AtariVOX+ input and headphones / stereo output connections.

 

When ordering VAT you can also optionally order BUZZ OFF.  I recommend both if you have not yet de-buzzed your Vectrex. 






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