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found a used Colecovision; however ...


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#1 Yosikuma OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:19 PM

Boy, it is in bad shape.  

 

I am new to the console, and found a used (and very dirty) Colecovision which I picked up.

 

Problem one: it seems hit or miss as to whether or not the system powers on.  This concerns me quite a bit.

Problem two: both hand controllers were also filthy; one has directional issues (up no longer works) and the other has a seemingly non-functioning number pad.

 

I have no idea where to begin trying to resolve these issues. Can anyone help?

 

Thanks!



#2 phattyboombatty OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:45 PM

There are many threads on this very site that will tell you exactly how to clean that power switch and even clean the plastics. I will give you a few hints:

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any electronics issues or electrocution issues that you may encounter. Always follow proper safety instructions when dealing with electronics, and make sure your stuff is unplugged!l and discharged!

Remove the eight screws from the bottom of the unit. That is no big deal. What gets people into trouble is they think they have to remove the front bezel and ruin the Colecovision foil sticker. Do not attempt! Instead keep working away at separating the halves. They sandwich together and pop into the front bezel. Its always difficult, but you can gently pry them out.

Clean the plastics in warm, soapy water. A wash basin works great for this.

Remove the two screws that secure the metal RF shielding.

Remove the two screws that secure the motherboard to the housing.

Use compressed air and a soft paintbrush to remove dust and debris.

Your main concern now is that power switch. Get some spray electronics cleaner (they even have this at Home Depot) and squirt that power switch! Click that sucker off and on a dozen times, repeat. I like to use compressed air to then blow it dry.

You may also consider cleaning the entire motherboard with the electronics cleaner.

Those are the basics. Good luck!

#3 TheCurlyBard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:21 AM

The controller could be a number of things, but if you open it up you'll see a bunch of wires connected to the bottom of the board with the flimsiest connectors ever - one if those has probably come off.

Unfortunately this kind of maintenance is common, if you can't solder now is a good time to learn :)

#4 Oldschool80skid OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:05 AM





#5 Taijigamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:44 AM

Picture of the motherboard would be useful to assess the level of cleaning/ repair needed.

#6 Nebulon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:02 PM

One thing to keep in mind about the controllers is that sometimes the controller is good but the chip that handles it is bad. I suppose you could try verifying this by seeing if multiple controllers exhibit the same symptoms on the same port. 

 

Here are some resources:

 

http://colecovisionz...tries/tech.html

 

http://www.atarihq.c...les/CV-Tech.txt

 

http://www.atarihq.c...es/CV-Sound.txt

 

http://www.atarihq.c...olecovision.pdf



#7 Yosikuma OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:36 PM

So interestingly I -- as someone not so familiar with the system -- was assuming the power supply was hard wired in and wondered what was up with the plug that was being unused.

 

Oh, wow.  I cracked it open (those screws took forever!) and I found this.

 

This might explain my power issues.  Wow.  

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#8 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:04 PM

Yeah, what the hell is going on there? Did someone lop off the old power jack and replace it with something else?

 

ColecoVisions weren't built to last. I mean, they were designed by a company known for dolls and aluminum pools. They must have taken the same approach to quality control with their electronics. Much of the CV was built with off-the-shelf parts, and Coleco made some very questionable design decisions, like an unreliable power switch and three voltages for the power supply. To this day, people are still trying to fix the mistakes Coleco made with the system's design. Evidently whoever owned this ColecoVision before you did tried to patch in a new power jack, either because their old AC adapter died or because it weighed three pounds and was designed to hang off a wall. (Like I said, Coleco made some really awful design decisions.)



#9 Yosikuma OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:30 PM

Hahah, your first sentence is exactly what I blurted out just as I cracked the machine open. So the power outlet is connected to nothing, and the power supply has been spliced to the original outlet wiring and the supply cord runs through a hole drilled through the casing. Im not sure if this is causing the power not coming on, or if its the switch, or what.

Edited by Yosikuma, Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:31 PM.


#10 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:32 PM

The connector cannot be soldered with anything. If a wire gets loose you need to get the part. I've had luck with ecoleco parts supply.

#11 Taijigamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:51 AM

The good thing about Colecovision is they used standard IC (no proprietary part afaik). So as long as the pcb is free from corrosion and bad traces, u can always repair/ restore it. Some people have actually removed all IC and replaced with sockets to allow easy replacement of dead IC in future. Part of the fun is coming up with solutions to their poor design choices.

#12 Hannacek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:44 AM

 

ColecoVisions weren't built to last. I mean, they were designed by a company known for dolls and aluminum pools. They must have taken the same approach to quality control with their electronics. Much of the CV was built with off-the-shelf parts, and Coleco made some very questionable design decisions, like an unreliable power switch and three voltages for the power supply. To this day, people are still trying to fix the mistakes Coleco made with the system's design. Evidently whoever owned this ColecoVision before you did tried to patch in a new power jack, either because their old AC adapter died or because it weighed three pounds and was designed to hang off a wall. (Like I said, Coleco made some really awful design decisions.)

 

I would say most of the problems with ColecoVision only become problems in the last 10 years or so. For the first 25 years  I think everything held up pretty well. (This is just my hypothesis, correct me if you have another opinion.) I would say lasting pretty good for the first 25 years is all you could have asked Coleco to do. Does anyone think these Atari Flashbacks and other cheap plug and plays will last more than 25 years before the power supply or something else fails?



#13 TheCurlyBard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:44 AM

 
I would say most of the problems with ColecoVision only become problems in the last 10 years or so. For the first 25 years  I think everything held up pretty well. (This is just my hypothesis, correct me if you have another opinion.) I would say lasting pretty good for the first 25 years is all you could have asked Coleco to do. Does anyone think these Atari Flashbacks and other cheap plug and plays will last more than 25 years before the power supply or something else fails?


I would agree that the hardware has already outlasted it's intended lifespan several times over, a milestone that modern consoles seem to find elusive.

Can't help but curse them for the choices on the PSU though, it's such a pain to replace. At least for the average gamer who would shy away from cracking one open, or doesn't want an old PC PSU on their desk.

#14 Hannacek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:44 PM

I would agree that the hardware has already outlasted it's intended lifespan several times over, a milestone that modern consoles seem to find elusive.

Can't help but curse them for the choices on the PSU though, it's such a pain to replace. At least for the average gamer who would shy away from cracking one open, or doesn't want an old PC PSU on their desk.

 

It's clear Coleco wanted a home console to compete with Atari and Intellivsion. So instead of spending a year or two developing their own machine, they did it in a few months by taking an MSX computer and turning it into a home console. I am not familiar with the MSX, but it sounds like it was either free, or easy to license. The computer ram is the only thing that need the 12 volts, and the -5 volts. Everything else runs off 5 volts, which is the standard for then and now. If it just ran off 5 volts like the Atari, Intellivison, NES, Genesis, etc then the power supply would be like one from those other consoles. 

 

Saving money on the Ram was a big deal back then. They didn't care about the big power brick, or power brick failures 30 years later.  



#15 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:45 PM

MSX and the sega sg-1000 both were announced in 1983. Coleco vision came out in 1982. The Coleco vision is based on 1978 Texas Instruments technology. Its similar to the TI-99/4a but with a different cpu. The only thing proprietary in these things is the bios software. So you can't legally make a coleco vision or msx computer without re-creating a compatible bios. The msx bios was licensed by microsoft.

#16 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:05 PM

Yep, the ColecoVision was in the planning at Coleco dating back to 1979. It took the persistance of Eric Bromley and then falling RAM prices to finally be green lighted by Arnold Greenberg. Suffice it to say that the system was probably in development as early as 1981 before Nuvatec took it across the finish line with some big additions like the Expansion Interface.

Released ib August 1982, so ahead of the MSx and SG-1000.

#17 masschamber OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:42 PM

Yep, the ColecoVision was in the planning at Coleco dating back to 1979. It took the persistance of Eric Bromley and then falling RAM prices to finally be green lighted by Arnold Greenberg. Suffice it to say that the system was probably in development as early as 1981 before Nuvatec took it across the finish line with some big additions like the Expansion Interface.

Released ib August 1982, so ahead of the MSx and SG-1000.

The msx also uses a different sound chip plus the msx was derived from spectravisions computer 



#18 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:59 PM

Almost all aspects of the colecos design is junk. The board itself is flaky. The controller circuts are junk, the video and power sections are junk, the vram section is beyond junk.
Repairing one of these is almost impossible as traces can be screwed up easily. With all the revisions finding the correct schematic is really fun.
I have two consoles one working and one 50 hour project that I have given up on.
The controllers are junk too. Those stupid connectors they use to connect the wiring to the board are beyond stupid.
Probably the most flaky system ever made.
Good reason they are designing a new console today as the old ones are dropping like flies or are mostly all dead.

Edited by Jinks, Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:00 PM.


#19 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:31 PM

I must be the luckiest man on the facebof the Earth! Since 2010, I have had roughly 20 CV systems pass thru my possession and only had to send one off to Yurkie for a complete refurbishing. That system ran for hours before I was confident enough to sell itnon eBay. When the buyer received it, he stated there were issues with it and I had him send it to Yurkie on my dime.

#20 Yosikuma OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 7, 2018 9:34 AM

So, who is this Yurkie? You know, in case I need to ask for his assistance ...



#21 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 9:14 PM

So, who is this Yurkie? You know, in case I need to ask for his assistance ...

http://atariage.com/...018/?hl= yurkie






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