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How do I know I have a video issue?

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#1 Admiral Irony OFFLINE  

Admiral Irony

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 6:55 AM

As a bit of a caveat, I'll admit I'm a bit neurotic, and I've had a run of bad luck with tech lately. So it's entirely possible there's nothing wrong with my TI at all and that what I'm seeing is normal--I just have no prior experience with the TI and have only seen this one in operation.


Since taking my TI out for more sustained use the past several weeks, I've periodically noticed some screen flickering that doesn't seem to be related to the four-sprite-per-scanline limitation I've read about. I can best describe it as a partial line of dark shadow that comes and goes on different parts of the screen. It's most noticeable when the screen is mostly still, like when I'm idling in BASIC or playing Video Chess. While playing games with more movement on the screen (i.e. Parsec or Alpiner), I haven't noticed this phenomenon as much.


I have an aftermarket 5-pin to RCA connector cable for video display. My power supply seems to be in decent shape, though after three decades in storage the cord is looking slightly worn (but not frayed) right next to the part that connects to the TI. This has led me to think it could also possibly be power-related (if there's even a problem), but again, I'm not sure.


I know it's difficult to diagnose something like this with a brief description. As you all know, we've all become accustomed to the way modern screens and refresh rates work, so while I know the TI displays differently, I'm just not exactly sure how, if you know what I mean. I suppose my question is not so much "Do I have a problem?" as it is "How do I know if I have a problem?"


Apologies if I'm worrying about nothing! I'm really wanting to get into using my TI, and for me a part of that is just getting familiar with how it functions under normal circumstances.

#2 digdugnate OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 2:09 PM

welcome! i'm neurotic, too, so i can sympathize.


While i can't give you any specific advice regarding your issue, check out the FAQ that's pinned here in the forum: http://atariage.com/...ces-read-first/


there's also some troubleshooting on video stuff here: https://www.ninerped...Troubleshooting


i hate to say 'try another cable' if you don't have one readily available, but it might be a good starting point.


good luck!

#3 Admiral Irony OFFLINE  

Admiral Irony

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 2:34 PM

Thanks for the links! I hadn't come across the latter one yet, and the good news is I have nothing that looks like any of those examples. So I think I can safely rule out Video RAM issues.



i hate to say 'try another cable' if you don't have one readily available, but it might be a good starting point.


I've been debating a second power unit for awhile, and still think it's the most likely culprit (if there is one). I have the giant brick that plugs directly into the outlet, but have been thinking one like this may be more conducive to my setup. That is, if there are no voltage issues that would make that variety unusable or otherwise affect my system.


Edit: Reading up some more, I'm realizing it's possible the one I linked to might be for the original TI-99, not the 4a. Is there a way to tell them apart?

Edited by Admiral Irony, Sun Aug 5, 2018 2:58 PM.

#4 Ksarul OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:47 AM

That one works fine on a /4A. I've used one of them for a long time with mine. There is only one /4 power supply that will give you issues, and it was a 220V model that output DC instead of AC. It was used with the consoles with the slide switch where the Solid State Software badge is on most consoles.

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