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Suddenly my Atari 2600 won't display image anymore...


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#1 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:56 PM

So, I finally got my Atari 2600 hooked up to my Panasonic Viera TX-37LZD800.

Anywho, after trying for a week to get it working and finally finding Analogue tuning I went through all channels three times. Today, this afternoon, I thought let's try again. First, I went to an electronics store to get a new cable, then the guy said its probably not the cable.

I thought alright, I'll try it again.

Plugged the cable on the motherboard and went through channels, after two times of searching I was giving up hopes of not finding it. Then Suddenly (as in the Imgur link) I found signal, with sound! The game worked, the Atari worked! I had Spiderman in it at that time. then went and tried multiple games. Asteroids needs a cleaning up I think and Night Driver wasn't fully working  (not the right controller).

And then I thought, now that it works let's put it under the TV to play whenever I want. Placed it, hooked everything up, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand nothing. Channel 14 gave static, CH36 gave static nothing worked anymore.

(I'm European based, Netherlands to be precise). I was expecting to get image at CH36 not CH14...

Anywho, here's some photo's of the motherboard and the one time I had success and I could play...

https://imgur.com/a/Tttf3

And it is taking in power...



#2 fluxit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:32 PM

Possibilities:  Intermittent short in the cord for your power supply.

                     Iffy/cold soldered power jack.

                     Bad/dirty channel selector switch(if any.)

                     Iffy/cold soldered signal jack.

                     Broken solder joints on the board that temporarily 'fix' themselves due to changes in flexure of the board when the

                        case is disassembled and/or the board warms up.

                     Capacitors/Power Switch/etc. that are barely(sometimes) working.

                     Socketed chips that have shifted in their sockets.

                   

 

Also, are you sure that your TV is still in analog tuning mode for the channel that worked?  Do you see a persistent(or any) change in the picture on the channel that worked, when you turn the 2600 on vs off?


Edited by fluxit, Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:41 PM.


#3 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:23 AM

Possibilities:  Intermittent short in the cord for your power supply.

                     Iffy/cold soldered power jack.

                     Bad/dirty channel selector switch(if any.)

                     Iffy/cold soldered signal jack.

                     Broken solder joints on the board that temporarily 'fix' themselves due to changes in flexure of the board when the

                        case is disassembled and/or the board warms up.

                     Capacitors/Power Switch/etc. that are barely(sometimes) working.

                     Socketed chips that have shifted in their sockets.

                   

 

Also, are you sure that your TV is still in analog tuning mode for the channel that worked?  Do you see a persistent(or any) change in the picture on the channel that worked, when you turn the 2600 on vs off?

 

On your last question I don't see any change, just static. I do see a change (in that static) when I unplug it's RF cable. For the rest of the possibilities I'd have to take a close look at all the solder joints, though I don't know how to identify such as bad joints.



#4 vcsrocks OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:12 AM

Possibilities:  Intermittent short in the cord for your power supply.

                     Iffy/cold soldered power jack.

                     Bad/dirty channel selector switch(if any.)

                     Iffy/cold soldered signal jack.

                     Broken solder joints on the board that temporarily 'fix' themselves due to changes in flexure of the board when the

                        case is disassembled and/or the board warms up.

                     Capacitors/Power Switch/etc. that are barely(sometimes) working.

                     Socketed chips that have shifted in their sockets.

                   

 

Also, are you sure that your TV is still in analog tuning mode for the channel that worked?  Do you see a persistent(or any) change in the picture on the channel that worked, when you turn the 2600 on vs off?

 

I agree with fluxit points.  Actually, my bigger suspects would be bad joint on the power jack or the power cable itself.  If you can measure the output of the 7805 you will find out.

 

The main point probably is, no matter what you do, do not change the tuning on the TV.  That was clearly working before and, from experience trying to hook up old computer/games in newer TVs in Germany, that is always a very tedious and uncertain process due to sub-frequencies and channel differences to other countries.



#5 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:45 AM

 

I agree with fluxit points.  Actually, my bigger suspects would be bad joint on the power jack or the power cable itself.  If you can measure the output of the 7805 you will find out.

 

The main point probably is, no matter what you do, do not change the tuning on the TV.  That was clearly working before and, from experience trying to hook up old computer/games in newer TVs in Germany, that is always a very tedious and uncertain process due to sub-frequencies and channel differences to other countries.

 

I just read out my Atari's voltage going through. The power supply I use is a more than one kind of deal. I didn't want to blow a fuse in the house if the original would be bad... I think it already was anyhow. However, the voltage at the Large filter capacitor steadies around 3.33 Volt and the 5V regulator (7805) is at 1.something. Those are my readings anyway.


Edited by kaghy2, Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:46 AM.


#6 Stephen Moss OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:01 AM

 

I just read out my Atari's voltage going through. The power supply I use is a more than one kind of deal. I didn't want to blow a fuse in the house if the original would be bad... I think it already was anyhow. However, the voltage at the Large filter capacitor steadies around 3.33 Volt and the 5V regulator (7805) is at 1.something. Those are my readings anyway.

 

That is not good, are you sure you had the meter set to measure DC volts and were measuring it correctly?

You should have around 9V going into the regulator and 5V coming out (measured at the regulator pins, middle pin/tab is 0V), so assuming you measured it correctly either your power unit is not man enough for the job (what are its output voltage & current specifications) or there could be a lot of power going somewhere and something is getting very hot.



#7 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:35 AM

That is not good, are you sure you had the meter set to measure DC volts and were measuring it correctly?
You should have around 9V going into the regulator and 5V coming out (measured at the regulator pins, middle pin/tab is 0V), so assuming you measured it correctly either your power unit is not man enough for the job (what are its output voltage & current specifications) or there could be a lot of power going somewhere and something is getting very hot.


Once at home I will try again and feel if something is getting hot. I'm positive I had the multimeter at DC (since I looked at the manual before hand to be sure). But probably not correct measuring the 7805. Will post results!

#8 vcsrocks OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:15 AM

Once at home I will try again and feel if something is getting hot. I'm positive I had the multimeter at DC (since I looked at the manual before hand to be sure). But probably not correct measuring the 7805. Will post results!

 

You can also test it on the PCB under the cart slot:

 

CartConnector.jpg

 

 

The picture is from a JR console but the component placement is the same.



#9 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:53 AM

 

You can also test it on the PCB under the cart slot:

 

attachicon.gifCartConnector.jpg

 

 

The picture is from a JR console but the component placement is the same.

Hmmmmm, I've tested in power off and in power on. I get from that 1-3V readings at the 5V line you described. And ofc 0 in power off state, did measure the 9V going through from the power Jack.

 

Or if I'm doing this completely wrong, blame on me... xD

 

Third edit: I felt the regulator and it does get hot when power is on.


Edited by kaghy2, Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:13 AM.


#10 vcsrocks OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:25 AM

Hmmmmm, I've tested in power off and in power on. I get from that 1-3V readings at the 5V line you described. And ofc 0 in power off state, did measure the 9V going through from the power Jack.

 

Or if I'm doing this completely wrong, blame on me... xD

 

Third edit: I felt the regulator and it does get hot when power is on.

 

Generally the 7805 can get a little hot, but not at power up.  That probably means something is sucking too much current from it.  Is anything else getting hot?  Did you measure with our without a cart?



#11 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:48 AM

 

Generally the 7805 can get a little hot, but not at power up.  That probably means something is sucking too much current from it.  Is anything else getting hot?  Did you measure with our without a cart?

Right, with a game cart in I get from the back 1-2 V reading (and powered on) And what I believe is 5V on the 7805 0.1V Reading. As I said the 7805 is hot-ish, and nothing else is running hot.



#12 vcsrocks OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:31 AM

Right, with a game cart in I get from the back 1-2 V reading (and powered on) And what I believe is 5V on the 7805 0.1V Reading. As I said the 7805 is hot-ish, and nothing else is running hot.

 

OK, this may be a silly question, but just in case it is not: is the cart you have in one of the carts which worked before?  You are checking the temperature of the components on the console board, but the cart itself also has components in it.  A quick/easy test would be to use a different cart or no cart at all when you test the voltage on the board (I hope I don't get killed by the puritans by suggesting this :P )

 

I know you said you can see 9V coming in, but it is probably worth trying a different power supply altogether just to remove that variable from the equation.



#13 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:49 AM

 

OK, this may be a silly question, but just in case it is not: is the cart you have in one of the carts which worked before?  You are checking the temperature of the components on the console board, but the cart itself also has components in it.  A quick/easy test would be to use a different cart or no cart at all when you test the voltage on the board (I hope I don't get killed by the puritans by suggesting this :P )

 

I know you said you can see 9V coming in, but it is probably worth trying a different power supply altogether just to remove that variable from the equation.

Problem here is I don't have another PSU to test it. And The readings I gave long before previous post (2-3V) was without a game cart in it. And yes, it's the same game that has worked before. Tried both Spiderman and Cosmic Ark. Spiderman was the first game where I got image and sound with... And tried asteroids too, which gave me image. That one needs cleaning though (ship was lagging out there)


Edited by kaghy2, Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:50 AM.


#14 vcsrocks OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:44 AM

Problem here is I don't have another PSU to test it. And The readings I gave long before previous post (2-3V) was without a game cart in it. And yes, it's the same game that has worked before. Tried both Spiderman and Cosmic Ark. Spiderman was the first game where I got image and sound with... And tried asteroids too, which gave me image. That one needs cleaning though (ship was lagging out there)

 

Sorry if I can't help you further kaghy2, but without getting the thing on the workbench it's hard to tell what else could be the problem.

 

If you still have not solved it until we go to the Netherlands on vacation next time (which hopefully should be very soon), I'll be happy to stop by and help you out with it :)

 

In the meanwhile if there's anything you think I can help you with, just shout.

 

cheers.



#15 kaghy2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:53 AM

 

Sorry if I can't help you further kaghy2, but without getting the thing on the workbench it's hard to tell what else could be the problem.

 

If you still have not solved it until we go to the Netherlands on vacation next time (which hopefully should be very soon), I'll be happy to stop by and help you out with it :)

 

In the meanwhile if there's anything you think I can help you with, just shout.

 

cheers.

Thanks for the help anyway :). Will look for another PSU in the oncoming days. Will just for the fun of trying it replace the regulator and see if that is the problem or not. If it isn't, at least that is ruled out. However I'm not sure which one to buy, looking on google I see many sites offering 7805's but I'm not at all sure which one to take. They all offer 5V 1A, and I thought it only used 500mA.... so that's double capacity... Anywho, ordering a soldering/desoldering iron as we speak :)



#16 vcsrocks OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:58 AM

Thanks for the help anyway :). Will look for another PSU in the oncoming days. Will just for the fun of trying it replace the regulator and see if that is the problem or not. If it isn't, at least that is ruled out. However I'm not sure which one to buy, looking on google I see many sites offering 7805's but I'm not at all sure which one to take. They all offer 5V 1A, and I thought it only used 500mA.... so that's double capacity... Anywho, ordering a soldering/desoldering iron as we speak :)

 

Good to see someone who does not let a little problem turn him down!

 

Just about any 7805 should do.  More current should not be a problem.  Stay away from the little ones (which look like a regular transistor) and the 7905, as the later is for -5V and not +5V.






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