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Richard42

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About Richard42

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  1. I would also like to be on your pre-order list for one of these joysticks, with the 1-2-3-4 layout. Richard
  2. Oh that's brilliant, I didn't know that anyone had created a repro PCB. I was going to swap out the RAM, ROM, PIA, and CPU with faster versions anyway so I could overclock it. I think I have all the chips for overclocking it already. Do you by any chance have a digi-key BOM that you can share with me?
  3. It's LM379, IC401. I've been trying to buy a parts/repair vectrex on ebay to build it into a full-sized arcade vectrex cabinet. I lost the last 2 auctions as the second place bidder, darnit. And I just bought an Asteroids Deluxe to use as the cabinet and display, so now I'm really on the hunt for another vectrex logic board.
  4. It's not a super hard thing to fix. It looks like the vertical deflection amplifier is dead. Taking the thing apart and putting it back together is almost more more than fixing it.
  5. sending PM for concerto cart
  6. This thing is working great with the repaired flyback transformer. I've had it at my office all week and it's been running perfectly for many hours of play time.
  7. That is awesome.. Do you own the prototype, or is that a picture that you found on the web?
  8. I understand your concern. I actually don't have a whole lot of experience working on CRTs. I've repaired 2 commodore 1084s, and this is my 2nd vectrex. I was pretty cautious about it as well, but after the work I've done with these 2 vectrex units I'm much more confident in working on CRTs. I've never known technicians to wear gloves while working on CRTs but it's not a bad idea. It won't protect you from the extremely high voltage of the screen anode but it will protect you from the moderately high ones on the PCB. You still have to be careful because you could poke through the gloves with the sharp points on the solder joints, but it's another layer of protection. Smaller monitors are less dangerous than bigger ones, so the Vectrex is a great one to start with. Inside the vectrex, the screen anode, which is the thick wire that goes to the top of the tube and is covered with a big suction-cup like thing, is about 5,800 volts. Because of the design of this circuit, it can hold charge for a long time, and is the most dangerous part inside. But with the right tools, it's easy and safe to discharge. All you need is that HV probe that I linked in the first post, and a Digital Voltage Meter. The probe has a special tip which is a thin metal strip, designed to slide under that rubber suction cup. You just connect this probe to your DVM, set it to read volts, and slide this under the cap to touch the wire. You'll hear the current arcing to the probe as it gets close, and it will discharge through the DVM. You can watch the voltage drop to 0 over a few seconds. Then you're safe. Note that this 5.8kv signal is not present anywhere on the PCB; it's only inside of the flyback transformer, the thick wire, and inside the CRT screen. If you don't want to spend the $75 for the HV probe, you can do it for cheap and still be safe. Make your own HV probe with a wooden dowel, a strip of spring steel, and a thick wire. You can also discharge it with screwdrivers, and I've done this once or twice, but it's really dicey and I wouldn't recommend doing it this way. Take the time or $$ and get the right tool for the job. I watched this one youtube video with a guy who was trying to discharge a CRT this way and he was freaking himself out and looked pretty pathetic and unprofessional. There are also some medium-high voltage levels which are produced by the flyback transformer and are present on the PCB. These are +150v, +50v, and -30v. The +150v is connected to ground through a resistor on the little PCB on the CRT neck, so it will naturally dissipate to 0v over a few seconds after you turn off the CRT. The other two are connected to each other through resistors and will also dissipate to a low voltage level after a few seconds. So just take some basic precautions, get that HV probe and treat the CRT anode with respect, and you'll be perfectly safe. I haven't come across any websites with CRT monitor repair tips, but there are some videos on youtube. To tell you the truth, there aren't many people doing CRT maintenance any more. Probably one of the biggest communities out there still working on these is the people who restore and maintain arcade machines. I'm thinking about buying an asteroids unit with a 19" monitor, and transplanting a dead vectrex into it. I love the way asteroids looks on the original vector displays.
  9. I recently acquired a malfunctioning vectrex unit (sound worked but no picture) and quickly discovered that the flyback transformer was dead. I went through a lot of trouble looking for a suitable replacement and came up empty handed. I have the impression that this was a very custom part, only used in the vectrex and probably not any other TV, and there are no modern replacements available. During testing I found that the primary winding of the flyback was open (no connection). All of the secondaries seemed to be fine. I came up with the idea to wind a new primary coil, after seeing how DIY experimenters made high-voltage arc generators by winding new primaries onto random flyback transformers from TVs. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to get this working and bring the game console back from the dead. I hope to inspire other people out there to rescue their Vectrex units with this write-up. Here are the steps that I took to do the final winding, which seems to work almost as well as the original. There are probably lots of different ways that this could be made to work, but this is what I did: Desolder and remove the tin shield around the flyback transformer. I used a memotronics ZD-985 vacuum desoldering station. There is a lot of solder and it would be difficult without a vacuum tool. Be careful not to destroy this shield because you will need to replace it. Desolder and remove the original flyback transformer. Discharge the HV lead going to the CRT (you can use the high voltage probe linked below) before removing it, so you don't get shocked. If your transformer was dead like mine, there won't be any charge there anyway, but take appropriate care. I noticed a lot of corrosion from some evil glue that they used to lock the transformer together, so I removed the steel spring clip, scraped off all of the hardened glue on the ferrite core and spring with a utility knife, and put it back together. This may not really be necessary. You're going to wrap a new primary coil around the empty half of the transformer's frame. But to prevent the wire from rubbing and conducting with the frame, you should put a layer of electrical tape around it first. The inside of the frame is almost exactly an inch tall. This will require two strips of tape, each just a bit longer than necessary to wrap around the core and spring. Take some 26 gauge magnet wire, with enamel insulation. Cut a piece that's 3 feet 6 inches long. Scrape off about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of insulation on the end of the wire, and wrap it around pin 6. Push the wrapped magnet wire down on the transformer post so that it's below the level of the plastic housing, and solder it there. Pull the wire straight out to the opposite side of the core frame, and bend it up to go along the outside of the empty transformer frame. Glue it to the outside bottom of the tape-covered frame (I used gorilla glue) and let the glue set for half a day. You will now make the winding. You need 22 turns in total. I wound 12 turns up towards the top of the transformer, and then 10 more (crossing over the previous turns) back down to the bottom. You must wind this in the correct direction. As you start, if you view the winding from the top of the transformer looking down, they will be going in a clockwise direction. If you hold the transformer so that the fat part (all the old windings) are away from you, and the empty part of the frame is towards you, with the bottom of the transformer to the left, then the wire will go down in between the frame and the plastic housing. Pull it all the way through, then towards you and up around the frame, then through the middle again and down. Keep it tight as you wind it. With each turn, pull down to create some tension and hold the windings tightly against the frame with your finger on the hand that's holding the transformer, then start the next loop. Don't pull so hard that you break the wire, but try to keep everything tight. You'll make 12 windings on the way up and 10 on the way down. Always wind in the same direction (clockwise as viewed from the top). At the end, put the transformer in a vice and weigh down the hanging wire to keep the windings tight, and put some glue on the top and bottom parts of the winding to hold everything in place. Let the glue set. Bend the small piece of hanging wire at a right angle to go along the bottom of the transformer to pin 7. Cut the wire so it's about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch longer than needed to reach the pin. Strip off the insulation on the end and wind it around pin 7. Push the wound wire down so that it's below the level of the plastic transformer housing, and solder it there. Re-install the transformer in the vectrex, solder pins 1-7 (pin 8 is unused), and test. Put another layer of electrical tape over the new winding, so that the tin shield doesn't rub off the enamel insulation. If you really want to do it right, you should use an oscilloscope and a voltage meter with a high-voltage probe (like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PA02Q8) to correctly set R525 and R526. But I think it's not absolutely necessary. I think it is possible to just adjust R525 until the picture is taking up the full screen. This transformer produces a huge magnetic field which is oscillating at about 20khz, and you must put the tin shield back over it. Without the shield, this signal gets into the deflection coil amplifier and makes all of the lines look wavy. The shield attenuates this signal by about a factor of 100, so it is really required. Please post a reply here if you are able to rescue another Vectrex from the garbage heap!
  10. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to repair the flyback transformer in my Vectrex. I wrote up a description of how to do it, I hope this can help someone else: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/283376-vectrex-flyback-transformer-repair-new-primary-winding/
  11. I recently acquired a malfunctioning vectrex unit (sound worked but no picture) and quickly discovered that the flyback transformer was dead. I went through a lot of trouble looking for a suitable replacement and came up empty handed. I have the impression that this was a very custom part, only used in the vectrex and probably not any other TV, and there are no modern replacements available. During testing I found that the primary winding of the flyback was open (no connection). All of the secondaries seemed to be fine. I came up with the idea to wind a new primary coil, after seeing how DIY experimenters made high-voltage arc generators by winding a new primaries onto random flyback transformers from TVs. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to get this working and bring the game console back from the dead. I hope to inspire other people out there to rescue their Vectrex units with this write-up. Here are the steps that I took to do the final winding, which seems to work almost as well as the original. There are probably lots of different ways that this could be made to work, but this is what I did: Desolder and remove the tin shield around the flyback transformer. I used a memotronics ZD-985 vacuum desoldering station. There is a lot of solder and it would be difficult without a vacuum tool. Be careful not to destroy this shield because you will need to replace it. Desolder and remove the original flyback transformer. Discharge the HV lead going to the CRT (you can use the high voltage probe linked below) before removing it, so you don't get shocked. If your transformer was dead like mine, there won't be any charge there anyway, but take appropriate care. I noticed a lot of corrosion from some evil glue that they used to lock the transformer together, so I removed the steel spring clip, scraped off all of the hardened glue on the ferrite core and spring with a utility knife, and put it back together. This may not really be necessary. You're going to wrap a new primary coil around the empty half of the transformer's frame. But to prevent the wire from rubbing and conducting with the frame, you should put a layer of electrical tape around it first. The inside of the frame is almost exactly an inch long. This will require two strips of tape, each just a bit longer than necessary to wrap around the core and spring. Take some 26 gauge magnet wire, with enamel insulation. Cut a piece that's 3 feet 6 inches long. Scrape off about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of insulation on the end of the wire, and wrap it around pin 6. Push the wrapped magnet wire down on the transformer post so that it's below the level of the plastic housing, and solder it there. Pull the wire straight out to the opposite side of the core frame, and bend it up to go along the outside of the empty transformer frame. Glue it to the outside bottom of the tape-covered frame (I used gorilla glue) and let the glue set for half a day. You will now make the winding. You need 22 turns in total. I wound 12 turns up towards the top of the transformer, and then 10 more (crossing over the previous turns) back down to the bottom. You must wind this in the correct direction. As you start, if you view the winding from the top of the transformer looking down, they will be going in a clockwise direction. If you hold the transformer so that the fat part (all the old windings) are away from you, and the empty part of the frame is towards you, with the bottom of the transformer to the left, then the wire will go down in between the frame and the plastic housing. Pull it all the way through, then towards you and up around the frame, then through the middle again and down. Keep it tight as you wind it. With each turn, pull down to create some tension and hold the windings tightly against the frame with your finger on the hand that's holding the transformer, then start the next loop. Don't pull so hard that you break the wire, but try to keep everything tight. You'll make 12 windings on the way up and 10 on the way down. Always wind in the same direction (clockwise as viewed from the top). At the end, put the transformer in a vice and weigh down the hanging wire to keep the windings tight, and put some glue on the top and bottom parts of the winding to hold everything in place. Let the glue set. Bend the small piece of hanging wire at a right angle to go along the bottom of the transformer to pin 7. Cut the wire so it's about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch longer than needed to reach the pin. Strip off the insulation on the end and wind it around pin 7. Push the wound wire down so that it's below the level of the plastic transformer housing, and solder it there. Re-install the transformer in the vectrex, solder pins 1-7 (pin 8 is unused), and test. Put another layer of electrical tape over the new winding, so that the tin shield doesn't rub off the enamel insulation. If you really want to do it right, you should use an oscilloscope and a voltage meter with a high-voltage probe (like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PA02Q8) to correctly set R525 and R526. But I think it's not absolutely necessary. I think it is possible to just adjust R525 until the picture is taking up the full screen. This transformer produces a huge magnetic field which is oscillating at about 20khz, and you must put the tin shield back over it. Without the shield, this signal gets into the deflection coil amplifier and makes all of the lines look wavy. The shield attenuates this signal by about a factor of 100, so it is really required. Please post a reply here if you are able to rescue another Vectrex from the garbage heap!
  12. I'm also looking to purchase a vectrex flyback transformer. It's marked with "KW04001G", and the part # in the service guide is 2T1410. I wonder if these things were used in any other small TV's in the early 80s. I was able to find a replacement flyback transformer for a commodore 1084S monitor a few years ago, but that same tube and transformer were used in a bunch of different computer monitors. I'm afraid this vectrex thing might be too specialized for anyone to still be making them or selling NOS.
  13. Just to throw some more information out there. I just replaced a power switch in my main colecovision with a new DPDT switch from Digi-key, and I found one which works very well in the coleco. The DigiKey part # is JWMW22RCA-ND. It fits perfectly in the rectangular hole in the top half of the case; there is no need for any cutting. And it looks great. The only other thing I would recommend getting are 4 narrow female spade lug connectors. You can crimp or solder these onto the wires that you'll solder into the coleco PCB, and press them into the solder tabs on the switch before pressing it into place on the case. Then if you need to disassemble the coleco in the future you can just pull them off of the switch.
  14. Yes, this is a very common problem. Ray Carlsen has a page about it: http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen/cbm/msd/REPAIRS/MSD.txt I just replaced all the caps on a defective MSD SD-2 which was given to me, and brought it back to life. The logic board on one of the 2 drives had PCB damage, and multiple ICs were damaged (replace them if the pins are corroded, because the electrolyte will seep into the chip and destroy bonding wires). The capacitors had leaked on all 4 of the PCBs on the 2 drive units. I didn't know that the Tandy FD-501 also used the same TEC FB-501 disks. Now I'm going to have to open all of them, and I have a bunch.
  15. Please add me to the pre-order list for a cartridge as well. Always loved Xevious.
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