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Channel F Console Issue


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#1 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 3, 2017 3:38 PM

I have a Channel F that will occasionally operate just fine. Most of the time, however, i get a garbled screen. The garbled screen looks very much like when you have your tv on the wrong channel and you can "sort of" see the desired screen within the wavy lines. The game is on and i can start it and hear the proper sounds, but the screen is just bad. Any ideas? I have tried three different Rf cords with the same result. When the console does work it stays working until i turn it off at the switch. If i immediately try to switch it back on it is hit or miss whether i get a good screen again. I notice that if i use the reset button when it is working the reset works fine and the screen stays clear everytime.

Any help would be appreciated.

#2 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 3, 2017 7:22 PM

First guess is it's an issue with the TV tuner.

#3 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 3, 2017 7:32 PM

I had the Channel F 2 years ago, it didn't have a regular RF modulator but had this UHF type prong deal off one end, wire to the system on the other, and a TV <-> GAME slider on the thing.  Is that what you're using and you have more than one or something else?  It seems to me if the system itself was dying it wouldn't kind of choose when to work, and not also be chill about the on system reset leaving it working just fine either.



#4 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 11:25 PM

I've got it connected via an adapter. Not using the box at all. The tv is fine, i use it to bench test all kinds of consoles. I appreciate the responses. I agree that it is odd that it works sometimes just fine.

#5 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 8:42 AM

Might be the modulator itself?



#6 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 11:04 PM

Yeah, has that feel. I plan to open it up friday when i have some time. I have tons of spare atari parts, but really no extra fairchild parts. I will tinker with it and see what happens.

#7 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 7:47 PM

So after pulling and reseating the three main ICs there was no difference in how the console was reacting when turned on. However, after adjusting the Rf Modulator adjustment "screw" I appear to have a consistent picture. The inital picture seems to have very slight garbling, but when it is reset it always resets to a clear white screen withe the G? prompt. Crossing my fingers that this is an easy fix. Wish I had better electronic skills and those that do are probably cringing at my descriptions, but maybe this will get this old machine up and running again.



#8 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 10:48 PM

The G prompt for some reason I think from rotten fuzzy memory is a normal operation of it.  I think it means it's looking for a game (G?) when that is there.



#9 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 11:16 PM

The G prompt for some reason I think from rotten fuzzy memory is a normal operation of it.  I think it means it's looking for a game (G?) when that is there.

Yes, that is exactly what I wanted to see on the screen. Issue appears to be resolved. Fires up every time now. Thanks for all your help folks.



#10 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 12:35 PM

What was the issue? RF modulator out of tune?



#11 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 2:26 PM

What was the issue? RF modulator out of tune?

Yes, you nailed it! Thanks a million. Now I have a Slot Machine cart that is not behaving. It won't consistently seat/lock when inserted into the console. I don't see any obvious differences in the case compared to the other carts. When it does seat it wants to work but won't. Screen freezes eventually. I am going to pull the pcb and resolder the chip. This console is determined the teach me a thing or two!



#12 HoshiChiri OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:44 AM

I've got a cart 10 that doesn't seat either, but works fine if I can get it to stay put. I've love to know if/how you solve that one!



#13 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:44 PM

I've got a cart 10 that doesn't seat either, but works fine if I can get it to stay put. I've love to know if/how you solve that one!

Yeah, so the weird thing is that every other cart (1-27, except 22) will seat fine and play. I have another Channel F and cart 22 seats fine in that. I don't know what to make of it. I think it is just 1976 funk, so I am ok with that.   :)

 

And yes, I did mean 1-27 (Pac-Man included).



#14 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:00 PM

Yes, you nailed it! Thanks a million. Now I have a Slot Machine cart that is not behaving. It won't consistently seat/lock when inserted into the console. I don't see any obvious differences in the case compared to the other carts. When it does seat it wants to work but won't. Screen freezes eventually. I am going to pull the pcb and resolder the chip. This console is determined the teach me a thing or two!

It could be the cart- I have actually encountered dead Channel F carts. I don't know if it was from static electricity or a board component being out of whack, but they do happen. I actually have a few such dead carts. One is even a #23: Galactic Space Wars one. All the rest are commons, luckily.



#15 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:19 PM

If there's a rattling in the cart one of the covers for a chip could have come loose. I understand Channel F games use EPROMs that are prone to going bad 40 years on.

#16 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:26 PM

Cart works when seated. Thankfully.



#17 HoshiChiri OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:31 PM

My carts don't rattle, and are very much alive. They work fine when they do click in- or if you hold them in place. It's just that they don't lock. Pop right out almost every time- but it's just the two, I have no issues with any of my other carts.



#18 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:04 PM

If there's a rattling in the cart one of the covers for a chip could have come loose. I understand Channel F games use EPROMs that are prone to going bad 40 years on.

When I opened the cart up it is most definitely not an EPROM inside.






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