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Atari 2600 "Vader" Issues

Atari 2600 Vader

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#1 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:36 AM

Hello everyone!
 
 
 
After purchasing a "Vader" model for my collection from the flea market, I have been having strange problems with its functionality. I don't think this has happened to other collectors, but I keep encountering a static-y screen with no visuals whatsoever. (PS. It might be hard to see, but there is a bunch of dots on the screen when it shows black. I am new to this website, so I am unsure of whether this has happened to the collectors. I cleaned the switches and important parts of the Atari, in addition to swapping out system chips. I disassembled it recently, and noticed that the inside of the cartridge slot is damaged. Could this be the source of the problem?

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#2 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:59 AM

If there is damaged pins yes the Rom won't run and you wouldn't get much of any visuals.  I would just clean up the outside and use it for parts / display model.  That is unless you want to change out the cartridge port. 



#3 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:29 AM

If there is damaged pins yes the Rom won't run and you wouldn't get much of any visuals.  I would just clean up the outside and use it for parts / display model.  That is unless you want to change out the cartridge port.


Hi redsteakraw! I am not sure how to replace the cart port. Maybe desoldering the pins and pinching the black tabs on the back can help?

#4 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:06 AM

Hi redsteakraw! I am not sure how to replace the cart port. Maybe desoldering the pins and pinching the black tabs on the back can help?

Don't quite know but as it isn't working it may be worth a shot. 



#5 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:51 AM

Don't quite know but as it isn't working it may be worth a shot.

I might do that. It’s probably worth it.

#6 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:06 PM

Its a bit hard to tell from the pic, but is that port really damaged, or is there just some black plastic jammed in the bottom (that could be carefully worked loose)?

#7 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:09 PM

Its a bit hard to tell from the pic, but is that port really damaged, or is there just some black plastic jammed in the bottom (that could be carefully worked loose)?

Hello sdamon! Unfortunately, from using a flashlight and my handy-dandy tiny screwdriver, I opened the slot and discovered that there is a white plastic part missing. This is perhaps keeping carts from properly loading on the console. This is after careful inspection.


Edited by mathflicks2901, Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:12 PM.


#8 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:20 PM

Hello sdamon! Unfortunately, from using a flashlight and my handy-dandy tiny screwdriver, I opened the slot and discovered that there is a white plastic part missing. This is perhaps keeping carts from properly loading on the console. This is after careful inspection.


How odd... like a bit of that white plastic was gouged out somehow? So your tiny screwdriver sinks a bit deeper on the black area than the white area? Not sure how that might have happened but Im still not sure that would cause the problem all by itself... seems like theres still enough white plastic to keep a cart edge from going lower than it should.

#9 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:34 PM

How odd... like a bit of that white plastic was gouged out somehow? So your tiny screwdriver sinks a bit deeper on the black area than the white area? Not sure how that might have happened but Im still not sure that would cause the problem all by itself... seems like theres still enough white plastic to keep a cart edge from going lower than it should.

Yes, the screwdriver doesn't go any deeper into the black area. Even if the black area was something jammed in there, it would be unbelievably difficult to remove (I tried to remove whatever it is from the slot, yet nothing happened). You may be right that it is something else. I will test the Atari tonight using a multimeter, if I have enough time. Just in the case that it something wrong with the power on the circuit board.


Edited by mathflicks2901, Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:35 PM.


#10 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:47 PM

FWIW if it was a cart slot problem, Id expect you to see the typical color bands that a 2600 typically displays when it is turned on with no cart inserted. Snowy blackness does suggest its something else. Have you checked the voltage regulator?

#11 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:51 PM

FWIW if it was a cart slot problem, Id expect you to see the typical color bands that a 2600 typically displays when it is turned on with no cart inserted. Snowy blackness does suggest its something else. Have you checked the voltage regulator?

No, I haven't yet. I'll see if I can set aside enough time to do so. I'm not an electrician, but I am assuming a multimeter could help me test it?



#12 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:13 PM

No, I haven't yet. I'll see if I can set aside enough time to do so. I'm not an electrician, but I am assuming a multimeter could help me test it?

Yep! http://www.learninga...ltage-regulator

Should be about 12V in and 5V out if I remember correctly.

#13 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:22 PM

Yep! http://www.learninga...ltage-regulator

Should be about 12V in and 5V out if I remember correctly.

Thanks, sdamon. I will try to test it tonight. If not, then tomorrow. 



#14 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:43 AM

Yep! http://www.learninga...ltage-regulator

Should be about 12V in and 5V out if I remember correctly.

Ok, so I tested it out, and the meter kept fluctuating, but never reached 5v or 12v. It's very odd. What does this mean?



#15 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:55 AM

Ok, so I tested it out, and the meter kept fluctuating, but never reached 5v or 12v. It's very odd. What does this mean?


Around what values were you seeing? Wildly out of range values for input might mean a bad power supply, ok input values but low output would suggest a bad regulator.

#16 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:59 AM

Around what values were you seeing? Wildly out of range values for input might mean a bad power supply, ok input values but low output would suggest a bad regulator.

The highest value for the input was around 10 to 12 v. As for the output, the highest value was around 4.2 v. Concerning the power supply, I tested it with my six-switch unit, and it is in proper working order.



#17 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:01 AM

Yeah, 10-12 is fine for the input, but you should be seeing a steady 5V for the output. Try replacing the 7805 regulator.

#18 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:03 AM

Yeah, 10-12 is fine for the input, but you should be seeing a steady 5V for the output. Try replacing the 7805 regulator.

i'm not sure where I can find such a regulator. Maybe on ebay?



#19 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:08 AM

i'm not sure where I can find such a regulator. Maybe on ebay?

 

Definitely Ebay.  Used to be you could have got one at your local Radio Shack, odds are that isn't the case any more.  But perhaps there's another local electronics parts store near you if you don't want to wait for a Ebay delivery.  You probably also want a bit of thermal paste to apply to the back of the new regulator.

 

How comfortable are you at desoldering the old regulator and soldering in the new one?



#20 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:16 AM

 

Definitely Ebay.  Used to be you could have got one at your local Radio Shack, odds are that isn't the case any more.  But perhaps there's another local electronics parts store near you if you don't want to wait for a Ebay delivery.  You probably also want a bit of thermal paste to apply to the back of the new regulator.

 

How comfortable are you at desoldering the old regulator and soldering in the new one?

 I am somewhat comfortable doing so, although I might need help from one of my family members to desolder the regulator, as I am not very skilled at desoldering and soldering parts. He has a soldering gun and some thermal paste, and he has more experience doing so. In addition, I am also nervous, considering his soldering gun is nearly 50 years old.



#21 mathflicks2901 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:21 PM

 

Definitely Ebay.  Used to be you could have got one at your local Radio Shack, odds are that isn't the case any more.  But perhaps there's another local electronics parts store near you if you don't want to wait for a Ebay delivery.  You probably also want a bit of thermal paste to apply to the back of the new regulator.

 

How comfortable are you at desoldering the old regulator and soldering in the new one?

Actually, after more testing, I noticed that by inserting a tiny screwdriver into the rf modulator, the picture started changing. It didn't get to a normal visual, but there was something interfering with the picture while I was fiddling with the rf modulator.







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