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Colecovision newbie


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#1 Amityville315 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:10 PM

I picked up a Colecovision about 2 months ago and Im enjoying the games a lot! Oils Well, Pepper 2, Jumpman, Tutankham...some really excellent games.

However, the system I have is giving me some problems. Sporadically, the graphics on any given cartridge get wonky onscreen - sometimes showing your character off to the side of the screen or enemies ghosting in places they are not. Does anyone have experience with this? Ive tried cleaning the cartridges and it seems to help but isnt a solution. Does the system need to be opened up and cleaned?

Also, the stock controllers arent for me. I grabbed a set of Super Action Controllers but they need some work. My best one has a hard time going up, and I have to really pin it to move. Can these be fixed or would I be better off finding another brand?

Ive had a 5200 for quite some time now, so Im accustomed to fixing those controllers, maybe these arent tough to refurbish either?

Id love to get a Colecovision with the video mod...

Thanks everyone, Id appreciate any assistance or advice you might have!

#2 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:15 PM

Welcome here!

 

There's a few people who are offering mods here, so you're in luck!  :)

 

Bmack36 (a member here) is doing excellent mods: https://colecovision...les.ecwid.com/#

 

Also, CollectorVision Games is about to release a brand new Colecovision clone system

 

More informations here: 

https://collectorvis...sion-hd-system/



#3 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:35 PM

First, clean the cartridge port using fine cotton buds and isopropyl alcohol.  Give each contact on both sides a thorough wipe over.  If you're having partial success with cleaning the carts the cart slot may be part of the problem.

 

Secondly, the power switch may also be part of the problem and is notorious for causing problems such as this.  The contacts within the switch get dirty and can cause a drop in voltage to the video ram chips which can lead to on-screen video corruption.  It's a long shot, but with the unit unplugged move the power switch backwards and forwards quite a few times.  This may dislodge some residue from the contacts in the short term but to be honest will not help in the long run.  The best solution for a problematic power switch is a thorough strip down and clean.  Instructions attached below.

 

The third possible culprit is one of more of the video ram chips (4116 DRAM) is going bad.  They are known to be problematic.  You can either replace them individually or replace them all with a +5V only DRAM (4164 or 4516 DRAM) upgrade which may be easier to obtain.  There are various places online where you can buy replacement 4116 DRAM.  Console5.com sells a +5V DRAM upgrade kit but they are currently out of stock.  Another alternative is ArcadeComponents.com.  Further info and the reasoning behind the upgrade can be found here and here.

 

I have also attached a guide for disassembling the ColecoVision (not my work) which will be useful if you want to work on the power switch or the video DRAM.

 

With regard to the Super Action Controllers check this topic (and other linked within) - they may help.

Attached Files


Edited by Ikrananka, Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:35 PM.


#4 Amityville315 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:59 PM

Wow, thanks for the kind replies. I cleaned out the cartridge slot and gave the power switch a good workout (after yanking the cord out) and it seemed a little better. Star Treks graphics improved a bit, but still some flicker that makes the game unplayable. Oils Well is about 90% ok and Jumpman Jr. looks perfect.

Can anyone confirm that Tutankham is supposed to move like Pepper 2? Meaning, its like you are sliding from point A to point B by just tapping the stick in that direction?

Im going to try and fix one of the Action Controllers this weekend. Any recommendations on alternative controllers definitely appreciated. I may end up just buying a modded Colecovision and selling the one I have. Grabbed it from a local retro dealer in original box just on a whim and Im really enjoying some of the games.

The thing is, these type of games are very frustrating without a soild controller, as they are based on skill and reflexes.

With my Atari 5200, I ended up with a competition pro 2 controller after a lengthy search and many repairs on the stock ones. Id rather avoid that and just get the best option.

Thanks again everyone, I always appreciate when folks share their knowledge.

#5 Swami ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:11 PM

Wow, thanks for the kind replies. I cleaned out the cartridge slot and gave the power switch a good workout (after yanking the cord out) and it seemed a little better. Star Treks graphics improved a bit, but still some flicker that makes the game unplayable. Oils Well is about 90% ok and Jumpman Jr. looks perfect.

Can anyone confirm that Tutankham is supposed to move like Pepper 2? Meaning, its like you are sliding from point A to point B by just tapping the stick in that direction?

Im going to try and fix one of the Action Controllers this weekend. Any recommendations on alternative controllers definitely appreciated. I may end up just buying a modded Colecovision and selling the one I have. Grabbed it from a local retro dealer in original box just on a whim and Im really enjoying some of the games.

The thing is, these type of games are very frustrating without a soild controller, as they are based on skill and reflexes.

With my Atari 5200, I ended up with a competition pro 2 controller after a lengthy search and many repairs on the stock ones. Id rather avoid that and just get the best option.

Thanks again everyone, I always appreciate when folks share their knowledge.

 

The best option? However, there is a wait list.

 

https://edladdin.com...CV-ec-1-005.htm

 

https://edladdin.com...us-ec-1-007.htm

 

For gamepads, there is this, but no SAC four fire button games and you use a 2nd controller in port 2 for more keypad involved games:

 

https://www.ebay.com...ar=563263018460



#6 boxpressed ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:33 PM

For one button games, you can get a y-cable and connect the CV controller to one jack and an Atari 2600-compatible controller to the other. Use the keypad to start the game, then play with the Atari controller.

#7 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:19 AM

Wow, thanks for the kind replies. I cleaned out the cartridge slot and gave the power switch a good workout (after yanking the cord out) and it seemed a little better. Star Treks graphics improved a bit, but still some flicker that makes the game unplayable. Oils Well is about 90% ok and Jumpman Jr. looks perfect.

Can anyone confirm that Tutankham is supposed to move like Pepper 2? Meaning, its like you are sliding from point A to point B by just tapping the stick in that direction?


From the symptoms you're now describing I highly suspect that overhauling the power switch would solve your remaining graphical problems.

 

Yes, in Tutankham your character slides from A to B by just one tap in that direction.



#8 Amityville315 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:07 AM

Thanks Ikrananka!

Will look into the power switch as you recommended.

And Archie in Tutankham is on ice skates....got it. Thanks for confirming - wanted to be sure it wasnt a controller issue.

#9 Nebulon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:23 PM

If you have a Roller Controller, you can set it to Roller and connect a regular ColecoVision controller to port 2 on the roller ball unit and an Atari style controller to port 1. 

 

That way, you have access to both the keypad and the joystick controller of your choice. With this arrangement, both player 1 and player 2 can use either controller.



#10 Nebulon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:50 PM

Welcome here!

 

There's a few people who are offering mods here, so you're in luck!  :)

 

Bmack36 (a member here) is doing excellent mods: https://colecovision...les.ecwid.com/#

 

Also, CollectorVision Games is about to release a brand new Colecovision clone system

 

More informations here: 

https://collectorvis...sion-hd-system/

 

That ColecoVision clone looks to be quite the product.

 

It would be great if they released a stripped-down version for a lower price. All I'd need is something to replace a stock ColecoVision. No frills.



#11 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:20 PM

 
That ColecoVision clone looks to be quite the product.
 
It would be great if they released a stripped-down version for a lower price. All I'd need is something to replace a stock ColecoVision. No frills.

What would you like to see stripped out; sgm? hdmi?; game cartridge?; nintendo controller port?

#12 zyzzle OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:58 PM

Stripping out the game cartridge port and the nintendo controller port would bring it well into "everyman" territory. An FPGA Colecovision clone with .ROM support only and HDMI output would be possibe for a quite attractive price. SGM support, although nice. wouldn't even need to be included in a stripped-down FPGA clone.



#13 Hannacek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:45 PM

Would it really be worth it to strip out all those features to get down to $150? Why not get everything all in one for the $200 full price? I really don't think the savings could get it below $150. This is never going to be at a $60 price point and sold at Walgreens like the flashback consoles.

 

There already is a Colecovision flashback, you can buy that if you want a stripped down no cartridge port no frills budget console. 

 

Collectorvision isn't a budget type company. At Games sold the Colecovision flashback for $60, and many retailers sold it at discount prices from $20-$40. It didn't sell very well, and they are not going to be making any more ColecoVision or Intellivision flashbacks. There is no market for budget ColecoVision projects. The only people who will buy these things are hardcore gamers and collectors. Atari, Sega, and Nintendo have a mainstream appeal that ColecoVision will never have.



#14 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:03 AM

it's the economy of scale. There isn't enough people to buy it to bring the price down.

 

Most homebrews sell less than 100 copies. Not everyone buys every homebrew so I think maybe double that would be a safe number for sold consoles of this type approx 200

 

Now they probably want to sell more like 500 and hopefully they will but I would make sure i'm at least breaking even on the money invested at around 200 units sold. They are a business. They make good products and deserve to make a profit.

 

It won't go down in value. You can always resell it for the original price  and probably more. 

 

I'm hoping in addition eventually someone will offer a pcb drop in replacement so I can put it in my original colecovision case.Might even be able to do it with one of these. using a couple of db9 cables towards the original ports.



#15 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:47 AM

Stripping out the game cartridge port and the nintendo controller port would bring it well into "everyman" territory. An FPGA Colecovision clone with .ROM support only and HDMI output would be possibe for a quite attractive price. SGM support, although nice. wouldn't even need to be included in a stripped-down FPGA clone.

If you're not interested in the cartridge port you can look into getting a Mister fpga. I doubt removing a couple of ports will save much, I don't think the parts cost much. A cartridge port is probably a must have for most people, even for someone who plans to use rom files. The pack-in game cartridge probably costs more in parts. There could be savings by replacing hdmi with dvi and making sgm an option. And they are saving a few dollars by not printing fancy packaging. A barebones mister fpga is US$130. So $200 for this one doesn't seem too bad.

Edited by mr_me, Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:48 AM.


#16 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:21 PM

Stripping out the game cartridge port and the nintendo controller port would bring it well into "everyman" territory. An FPGA Colecovision clone with .ROM support only and HDMI output would be possibe for a quite attractive price. SGM support, although nice. wouldn't even need to be included in a stripped-down FPGA clone.

Then just use an emulator because the Phoenix isn't for you.

#17 Nebulon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:51 PM

What would you like to see stripped out; sgm? hdmi?; game cartridge?; nintendo controller port?

Personally, all I'm looking for is a stock ColecoVision with composite out. I'd definitely leave the cartridge port on there. Otherwise, I don't see the point since without the cartridge port, you'd just have an emulation box.

 

For me, I have no use for HDMI or the Nintendo controller port. The SGM and built-in games would be nice -- as long as it stayed at or below the $200.00 mark. 

 

But now I'm seeing a price of $300.00 on the early access order page. And that's way out in space for a price-point (even for a budget-company-manufactured niche item like this):

https://colecovision...tegory=30667389



#18 zyzzle OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:29 PM

$200 isn't all that bad for the functionality you're getting in the new system. I just answered the question literally, as in what would I get rid of in a 'perfect' pie-in-the-sky world. I realize that it won't be possible to get this down to $100 or $150, Emulators have gotten so good that those who only want to play .ROM files can and do, with them.

 

Amityville, NY 3:15 am, Defeo, 1974. Good username. And it made a good film as well...



#19 nick3092 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:31 PM

Personally, all I'm looking for is a stock ColecoVision with composite out. I'd definitely leave the cartridge port on there. Otherwise, I don't see the point since without the cartridge port, you'd just have an emulation box.
 
For me, I have no use for HDMI or the Nintendo controller port. The SGM and built-in games would be nice -- as long as it stayed at or below the $200.00 mark. 
 
But now I'm seeing a price of $300.00 on the early access order page. And that's way out in space for a price-point (even for a budget-company-manufactured niche item like this):
https://colecovision...tegory=30667389


You didn't do your homework. The preview is purposely $100 higher. Presumably to help offset some of the initial development costs. Bmack36 has explicitly said the final production version will be $200:

"The kickstarter/final production cost is still going to be $200 if you want to wait for that."




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