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djsky717

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About djsky717

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  1. Vitoco, Does the problem temporarily goes away when you turn if off for a few minutes and then turn it back on? If so, you most likely have a bad C241 and/or bad C242, both of which are 0.1 uF (or sometimes they are 0.22 uF) capacitors. I would replace both using the 0.22 uF values as your next step. Hope this helps!
  2. To protect the console's HEX Buffer chip from static discharge from the trigger button use of the joystick, the anti-static mod needs to be performed on C236 and C237 using an axial capacitor of a 0.1uF value with a zener diode for each controller port. The Service Bulletin listed this mod as CA018263. Hope this helps.
  3. Glad to hear my suspicions were correct! You have the PAL version which has slightly different colors from NTSC depending on the game, but it appears okay from looking at your photo. Your ASTEC RF Modulator unit is perfectly fine. Your metal screwdriver essentially changed the value of the metal core used in the adjustable capacitor for RF tuning, which explains why the picture drops out during your attempt. Your B/W and color switching could be an issue with your mechanical switch for the B/W and color mode. Try cleaning the switch by spraying an electronic contact cleaner followed by rapidly toggling the switch for a few seconds to brush off the dirt and oxidation. Spraying WD-40 as a substitute for an electronic contact cleaner may help but it's typically frowned upon because it leaves a residue that may trap more dirt and dust.
  4. Sounds like you still have the shunting issue with too much solder. Your fire button is Pin #6, so check the soldering point for Pin #6 on that port. Don't forget to check both sides of the board for excess solder. Keep in mind that if you use too much solder on one side of the board, some excess may trickle into the other side of the board and touch another soldering point or a circuit that carries a live 5 Volt line. So you when press the fire button, that essentially shunts the 5v through the controller and into Pin #8 which is ground. And you what happens when the 5v power supply touches ground? It brings down the voltage on the voltage regulator which essentially turns off the entire board. Once you release the fire button, the power gets restored back to 5 volts, thereby resetting the board. Hope this helps.
  5. Your controller port#2 never had any issue right? Before you resolder controller port #1, try pressing the fire button on controller port #2. It is also resetting the console?
  6. Good recovery! The fact that the console powers up again, after removing excess solder, validates my theory in post #2. If you want to test the joystick controller response on the console, you will need to resolder the controller port back onto the board. But this time don't use too much solder otherwise you will run into same problem again. One of your sentence sounds troubling... Are you saying that when you connect your controller to the controller port, upon using the controller, the console will reset? Even if the controller port isn't soldered onto the board?
  7. I believe this went on for as long as the early 4-switch consoles were built in Sunnyvale. I have 2 of these. If you notice in the photos, the original holes for the controller ports and power are covered up by a cheap flimsy cover via adhesive. It's so flimsy that one of them got torn as you can see. Here's another Sunnyvale 4-switch on Ebay with this flimsy cover completely missing. Since we know that early Light-Sixers were first made in Sunnyvale, to transition to the 4-switch, my guess is Sunnyvale was forced to use the remaining light-sixer bases either because they already had an inventory of them or their Sunnyvale manufacturing plant can only produce it. And they didn't bother spending money to retool the manufacturing plant because Taiwan can do it cheaper. So in the meantime Sunnyvale slapped on these flimsy covers. Anyway, just a thought.
  8. Here's my Sunnyvale 4-Switch Woody with yellow characters, a metallic serial sticker showing SN#866422, a hot stamp of "191", and a red service label. The board shows Revision 8 and Atari logo with "Innovative Leisure" (the logo and slogan were used only in the early revisions and then disappeared). Not sure about Revision 9 thru 11, but I believe by Revision 12 and up they were made in Taiwan based on looking at several other 4 switch consoles in my collection. Here's another Sunnyvale 4-Switch (not mine) with Revision 5 board and datestamp showing 6th week of 1980 on a sticker placed on the RF Modulator: https://www.ebay.com/itm/ATARI-VCS-CX-2600A-1980-Sunnyvale-CA-4-Switch-Console-System-ONLY-Low-Serial/311785574462?hash=item4897de503e:g:rLIAAOSwo4pYhNT2
  9. You're probably right. I didn't get a chance to test Barnstorming and Keystone Kapers on my Heavy Sixer, but those 2 titles were among the games exhibiting this issue on my Taiwan 4-switch Woody and Vader while it played fine on my Sunnyvale 4-switch and my Hong Kong Light Sixer. I already did the scrapping fix on my 3rd party carts so there's no way to go back to test for failure on my Heavy Sixer. Anyway thanks for your input. Are you planning on addressing the issue on those games?
  10. It looks like you may have used too much solder and the one of the soldered points is touching the next one, thereby causing a shunt where voltage is shorted to ground. This shunt would bring down the voltage on the voltage regulator which would prevent the entire board from powering up. The solution is to use a desoldering pump to remove the excess. If you have a multimeter, measure resistance between points to ensure there's no more shunting before you attempt to turn it back on. Be careful about turning it on while it's still shunted, otherwise you may burn out the voltage regular. Hope this helps.
  11. It appears there may be 3 factors. First is due to the design/etching of the PCB from the beginning. They made the length of the metal contacts just a hair too short (not sure why, maybe they were basing it off an early reader design spec before it got changed? See my second factor for details). Hence my solution to lengthen them by scrapping off some the coating to expose more of the metal contacts. I literally had more than 10 of these 3rd party carts that wouldn't play, and they happened to be all Activision and Parker Brother carts. They wouldn't play when pushed all the way into the console, but they played after I slightly pulled them out...a dead giveaway of a mismatched height/length between the reader and the cart's metal contacts. That's how I came up with the fix. After doing this, every one of those affected carts starting playing perfectly again. Second is I noticed it might depend on the console. I have more than 15 consoles (my avatar pic is my collection). As you probably know, not all consoles have the same reader designs/manufacturer. There were several different suppliers of the reader used in the production of the consoles across different plants in Sunnyvale and overseas, and my guess is either some suppliers made their readers slightly off from Atari's design specs, or there were more than 1 design spec floating around and Activision/Parker Bros. may have referenced only one of them when designing the PCB. Lastly, over time after years of wear and tear, the metal would get worn down just a tiny bit, but enough to cross over the failure threshold when combined with the other 2 factors.
  12. Neotokeo, I'm currently at my electronic workshop tonight and luckily I have some opened consoles and stuff to take photos. In the photo on the left is one of the cart readers in situ, where the outer curve is designed to touch the metal contact of the game cart when inserted. In the photo on the right is a mock up of the scenario where I previously mentioned that the metal contacts of some third party carts were just a hair too low for the reader. Notice the curve of the reader is trying to read the very top of the metal contact, and if you push the cart too far into the console, the reader will miss the contact by just a hair and then goes into the conformal coating area which is a non-conductive dielectric substance. This is why scraping away this coating will fix this issue. Sorry I probably put in too much info, but hopefully this will help clarify any confusion. Let me know if you have any more questions!
  13. Thanks! I also noticed Activision boards appeared a tad thinner than Atari boards, however they now play beautifully after my above fix.
  14. Have you guys noticed some games by Activision and Parker Brothers wouldn't play despite cleaning the metal contacts? In my collection I had about 10 of these third party games that wouldn't play. Then I noticed they would play if I pulled the cart slightly out of the console. Which led me to believe that these third party cartridges were manufactured slightly off from Atari's design parameters/standards. Essentially the metal contacts of these third party carts were just a hair too low for the reader. So I raised the metal contacts by performing the following (see attached photos): 1. Heat up the cart label with a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive. 2. Carefully peel back the label until screws are exposed. 3. Unscrew, then open the cart and remove the PCB. 4. Scrape off about 2-3 mm of the green conformal coating to expose more of the metal contacts (clean the contacts while you're at it). 5. Put everything back in reverse order. (Tip: reheat the label to reactivate the adhesive). Now 10 out of 10 work! Hope this helps.
  15. Wizard9168, I had the same exact problem where all 100+ of my games played fine on my 4-Switch Woody, except for Pitfall which had a constant buzzing noise. I know my Pitfall cartridge isn't the problem because it played just fine on my other 4-Switch consoles (I own a collection of consoles). I was able to fix it by adjusting the L201 inductor ("the sound adjustment") so I think you're almost there in your attempt. This inductor fine-tunes the RF frequency that carries the audio signal to the output, where the ideal carrier frequency is 4.5 MHz. You'll need an oscilloscope to measure this but if you don't have one, read on. I fixed the console by doing the following: 1. Pop in Pitfall and let the buzzing noise play out. 2. Using an allen wrench, adjust L201 until the buzzing goes away, and take note of the allen wrench position the moment the buzzing went away. 3. Continue turning L201 until the buzzing/distortion comes back, and take note of this allen wrench position (by now you should have 2 positions marked or visually memorized). 4. Turn the allen wrench into a position close to middle in between the 1st and 2nd positions. There should be no buzzing noise here. 5. You are done here, but if you want to further fine-tune it, turn up the TV volume really high up (but don't move Pitfall Harry around in the game) and you'll most likely hear some subtle noises that sorta sounds like a theremin instrument. 6. Slowly adjust L201, a little to the left and right, until the subtle noises goes away. I think by this point, your L201 is perfectly adjusted. Don't forget to turn the TV volume back down! Hope this helps.
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