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INTV 1 overheating?


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#1 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:58 AM

So was attempting to get a high score in Astrosmash today. Played for about 2 hours plus a bit of pausing and the screen went blank (so annoying)
Tuned it of and on again and picture came back briefly then went blank again. The INTV did feel warm so I turned it off, left it for 10 minutes and now it seems fine.
I'm assuming it overheated? Does that sound right?
Am thinking of getting a laptop cooling pad to stop it from happening again. Should help right?

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#2 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:01 AM

My cousin and I played a LOT of Treasure of Tarmin.  Eventually this would happen.  Have not tried laptop stands myself.



#3 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:04 AM

I remember back in the day that the colours would go funny if it was left on too long. Maybe, as this is RGB modified the blank screen is the equivalent of the colours going funny?

#4 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:14 PM

Most of the Intellivision System 1 units I've seen have suffered from overheating, unfortunately. It was one of the reasons why I sold mine about 10 years ago, it was so annoying that after 30 minutes of playing one would have to turn it off and let it cool down for another 30 minutes. I found that the System /// units work better in this respect.



#5 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:24 PM

I can understand in hot countries but I live in the UK, its freezing here .
When I get it sorted I'll get a cooling pad. It can't hurt keeping it frosty :)

#6 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:17 PM

Pal intellivisions have that extra daughterboard right on top of the main board. They are squeezed together inside the rf shield. I think at least some, if not all, of the INTV pal intellivisions don't have the rf shield.

Edited by mr_me, Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:18 PM.


#7 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:19 PM

My 1591 didn't. Not sure about this one though as it is a 5370

#8 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:21 PM

Does anyone know if it cools down when paused? Just wondering if I'm playing a particularly long game if I should pause it from time to time?

#9 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:47 PM

My 1591 didn't. Not sure about this one though as it is a 5370

I think there are variations within the same model numbers. I've seen some later mattel pal intellivisions, same model number, that have a larger main board and no daughter board.

#10 nick3092 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:56 PM

There is a 12 ohm resistor on the power board that runs extremely hot. On a couple units, I have seen a standard carbon comp looking one (tan body, colored stripes) with a dark spot/burn mark in the middle of it. Possibly from running too hot for long periods.

Or it was a bad batch of resistors. I did the math, it was dissipating 1.3W, and was supposed to be rated for 2W. So it shouldn't have gotten discolored at all. If I ever work on one, that resistor gets replaced immediately, usually by a 3W to be safe.

Mattel must have revised it as I have also seen some that look more like a ceramic wirewound body that is probably rated to handle a higher wattage and/or more reliable than the one originally used. Or the ceramic was original, and they moved to carbon comps to save money. Or they had two different manufacturers making them, each selecting different parts. Who knows.

Edited by nick3092, Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:58 PM.


#11 HunterZero OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:21 PM

The old 7805 and 7812 voltage regulators are worth checking and replacing with newer parts too. These can get quite warm.

 

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#12 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:02 AM

The thing is, although the heat was probably the mitigating factor, I belive it just exasperated another problem as even after it cooled down, the problem remained. Also, the unit itself wasn't very hot, only warm to the touch.

#13 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:49 AM

Could it be some loose or cracked solder?

#14 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:52 AM

Very possible.

#15 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:14 AM

FWIW, I tried to swap the high voltage part of the PSU with another unit from a broken console, but it didn't fix anything. Perhaps there were resistors on the main board that caused all the heat without breaking completely. Even one of the Swedish importers late into the Intellivision's lifespan was aware of this overheating problem and mused about perhaps the main board was placed upside down, which of course is technically impossible but at least they knew it was a major problem for them right before they switched to selling the much more reliable Nintendo Entertainment System.



#16 -^Cro§Bow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:40 AM

I've had my sears unit left on for HOURS and others that I've done AV mods in left on for hours and have never encountered any issues with oddness. I usually leave the old Castle demo running from many years ago from a previous phillyclassic or use the PacJr test rom since that has demo mode as well. 

 

I did replace both the 7805 and the 7812 in my Sears unit with newer DC-DC switching regulators. They still get quite warm especially the 12v one. But still within spec and never had an issue. So that is something to try is to replace out the VRs with higher output rated models or matching DC-DC converters though those will cost quite a bit more at about $6 - $10 each depending on where you order them.



#17 HunterZero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 7, 2018 10:47 PM

FWIW, I tried to swap the high voltage part of the PSU with another unit from a broken console, but it didn't fix anything. Perhaps there were resistors on the main board that caused all the heat without breaking completely. Even one of the Swedish importers late into the Intellivision's lifespan was aware of this overheating problem and mused about perhaps the main board was placed upside down, which of course is technically impossible but at least they knew it was a major problem for them right before they switched to selling the much more reliable Nintendo Entertainment System.

 

There are no high voltage parts in the Intellivision power supply board. The transformer is the only HV part, it steps down the mains AC to 18V AC with 9V AC center tap. The power supply board rectifies these AC inputs into DC and regulates to the needed DC voltages, smoothed by two large power capacitors. The voltage regulators on the power supply board have heatsinks, and can get rather warm. I replace these with modern parts on my units, applying new thermal compound. From the outside, you can feel the area of the casing over these regulators gets warm.

 

The RAM and STIC and CPU all run reasonably warm and do come with heatsinks as a result. They are enclosed within RF shielding in most consoles, so it's possible that heat can accumulate and one of these ICs overheating caused the lockups over time. Active cooling with an external fan or an active cooling mod wouldn't be a bad idea for extended play.

 

- J



#18 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 3:18 AM

The guy that repaired my Inty replaced 8 caps and also added heat sinks from the CPU and STIC to the rf shielding. I've since received it and played Astrosmash for 5.5 hours none stop with the Inty on the laptop cooling pad above. The game went without a hitch and I noted through out play that the unit it's stayed nice and cool :)

#19 -^Cro§Bow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 7:44 AM

What I've noticed with the ones that I've come across is that while turned on and in use, the VRs are where the heat builds up most. But when turned off, the actual transformer is where the heat will begin to build up. So, it might not be a bad idea to unplug your intelly from the wall when not in use.



#20 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 8:13 AM

Not sure the transformer should be drawing a current when the unit is off?

#21 nick3092 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 6:50 PM

Not sure the transformer should be drawing a current when the unit is off?


They put the switch on the secondary. So the primary winding is always powered and drawing current when plugged in.

Not sure what the logic is in doing that though. I would think from a safety standpoint you are better off switching the primary.

#22 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:55 AM

Does anyone know if it cools down when paused? Just wondering if I'm playing a particularly long game if I should pause it from time to time?

 

I believe we covered this in another topic, but just to be sure:  pausing probably will not cool it down.  The CPU just enters a busy loop waiting for input. About the only thing that's alleviated is the STIC (i.e., the video chip), because the active display is disabled, and the screen is just left to render entirely with pixels of the border colour.

 

However, I don't think that helps that much.  It was intended mostly to prevent "burn in" on the old CRT TVs of the day.

 

Personally, I've never encountered any of the heating problems described here -- not in the 1980s when I tended to forget about the unit and left it on for days; and not recently with my few original units.  However, I do know that they tend to overheat, especially since they are over 30 years old by now.

 

I've never tried the laptop cooling stand you posted, but it looks neat.  I guess if overheating is a problem for you, it may help. :)

 

 

 

The guy that repaired my Inty replaced 8 caps and also added heat sinks from the CPU and STIC to the rf shielding. I've since received it and played Astrosmash for 5.5 hours none stop with the Inty on the laptop cooling pad above. The game went without a hitch and I noted through out play that the unit it's stayed nice and cool :)

 

Ah! Nice to know.  It does look very slick. :)

 

    -dZ.



#23 Bamse OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:22 AM

I believe we covered this in another topic, but just to be sure:  pausing probably will not cool it down.  The CPU just enters a busy loop waiting for input. About the only thing that's alleviated is the STIC (i.e., the video chip), because the active display is disabled, and the screen is just left to render entirely with pixels of the border colour.
 
However, I don't think that helps that much.  It was intended mostly to prevent "burn in" on the old CRT TVs of the day.
 
Personally, I've never encountered any of the heating problems described here -- not in the 1980s when I tended to forget about the unit and left it on for days; and not recently with my few original units.  However, I do know that they tend to overheat, especially since they are over 30 years old by now.
 
I've never tried the laptop cooling stand you posted, but it looks neat.  I guess if overheating is a problem for you, it may help. :)
 
 
 

 
Ah! Nice to know.  It does look very slick. :)
 
    -dZ.

Thanks for the reply.
Yes, I never encountered overheating at all when I was a kid but for one, that was as you say, 30 years ago and secondly, that was with the UK intellivision which doesn't have the rf shielding the German unit I have now has. The guy that repaired it said that definitely contributes to the heat dissipation problem.
He said two areas of heat build up are the STIC and CPU and the transformer. The chips heat up the bottom of the unit and the transformer the top and with only 3 pairs of small vent slots in the unit, heat dissipation is and issue with prolonged use.
He heat sinked the chips to the rf shield and replaced 8 caps. I now use the unit on the laptop cooling pad (it does look pretty cool :)) and it stays nice and cool no matter how long I play it now :)

Edited by Bamse, Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:23 AM.


#24 nanochess ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:05 AM

Myself didn't had an Intellivision in 80s. But two friends had one and both Intellivision overheated.

#25 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:07 AM

Myself didn't had an Intellivision in 80s. But two friends had one and both Intellivision overheated.

 

Are they PAL versions?  It appears that the inside layout of the components is different in the PAL console, affecting heat dissipation.






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