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  1. Current status (31-March-2020): Project is rolling again. For current status, refer to latest post(s) in this thread. Older status (04-June-2018): Received the 5 prototypes. Installed one. Works great, except need to contact supplier to see if they can get the contrast in the correct range. Screenshot here. Inside of Microvision shown here. Initial Post (10-Feb-2018): As many of you are aware, the Microvision by Milton Bradley is notorious for something people have called "screen rot", where the LCD screen becomes dark and unusable. Unfortunately, this effect is all too common. A fix for these would hopefully bring back to life these interesting and (I think) fun handheld systems. It took a few months or so, but I was finally able to get a couple of quotes for replacement LCD screens for the Microvision (unfortunately, minimum order quantities for small LCDs are typically in the thousands). These are intended to be drop-in replacements for existing screens. These would also include the reflecting and polarizing layers, but would not include the rubber "Zebra" connectors that connect the LCD screen to the board (will need to be re-used). Here are the steps in the project: 1. Find out if enough people want these (starts now!) 2. Order prototypes (6 week delay; I pay for that up-front to supplier) 3. Order production run (6 week delay; payment required up-front to supplier) 3. Payment for units (to me) 4. Ship units to you Yes, there are two #3s listed above. The order of these two will depend on how much money I have on hand at the moment. I'm not a big fan of receiving payment prior to items being ready to ship (because life and shit happens, and I don't really want to have your money if I'm not able to ship these out for any reason). If needed at the time, maybe a down-payment or voluntary early payment system could be used. That's all well ahead of us, though... the first step is finding out who all wants one or more of these, so let's concentrate on that... There's a number of costs related to this project. Some are known, such as engineering cost and production cost, and some are unknown, such as customs and duty, and shipping parts to me. Therefore, I've come up with some maximum prices in US dollars (shipping not included): Quantity 1: $22.00 maximum Quantity 2+: $20.50 each, maximum Quantity 4+: $19.00 each, maximum Quantity 8+: $17.50 each, maximum I want to stress that the goal of this initial offering is not to make money, but to get this project going. As an estimate, if about 70 are pre-ordered, which is about the lowest I can go, I'll need to put a fair bit of my own money into the project (but will hopefully be able to sell the extras on an ongoing basis later on, maybe for $25 each, and eventually break even). If about 130 are pre-ordered, that is the break-even point for the prices listed above. If more than about 130 are pre-ordered, then the price will go down accordingly. If I recall correctly from my spreadsheet, if 170 are pre-ordered, your price goes down by about $5 for each unit (at least the lower quantity orders - the higher quantity orders might go down a bit less). The main reason for this is the fixed engineering cost, which would get spread out thinner over a higher quantity of units. If the quantities reach high enough (like 130+), I'll keep you updated with the current maximum price. At some point this pre-order stage will end... I will give at least 2 weeks advance notice for that (open ended for now, until the numbers go up). I should mention that once you've bought and received your replacement screens, they're yours to do whatever you want with them... resell them at any price you see fit, put them in systems and sell those at any price you see fit, keep them on your shelf to look at, etc. So, the first step is to find out if enough people want these. If you do want one or more of these, please reply to this thread with the quantity you're seriously interested in purchasing. That's the simplest for me to keep track of. There may be reasons you don't want to publish the quantity you want - in that case, send me a PM. Either way, I'll post the total number requested here in this thread, to keep everyone updated. Also, reply ideally, or send a PM, if you have any questions. Finally, thanks for everyone who pre-orders. I want this to happen as I have about 10 Microvisions, including only about 1 that works well. As incentive, the plan is that the pre-order price will be the lowest price to get these. Also, any help in spreading the word is appreciated (feel free to post with links, if applicable). Links: 1. Shorter version of initial post at DigitPress: https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?175968-Microvision-replacement-screen-project-pre-order-amp-purchase-here 2. Much shorter version of initial post at CGCC: http://cgcc.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31048 3. Dan's post at Hand Held Museum: http://www.handheldmuseum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2275 FAQ: 1. Will the new screens be susceptible to screen rot? They shouldn't be. These will be brand new displays, built to high standards. We're used to the Microvision display being very poor, but most or nearly all other small LCD displays work well for many, many years. 2. What is the operating and storage temperature of the display. Operating Range: 0C to +50C. Storage Range: -10C to +60C. 3. Are the Zebra connectors (that connect the LCD screen to the board) reusable? Yes.They tend to stick a bit when they've been connected for a long time, but they seem to be robust in their ability to connect well with repeated use. 4. Are there installation instructions? Is it easy to install? Note that I'm still working with the supplier to fix the contrast range, so ignoring any potential work that may require, here are some pictures of disassembly of a Microvision (re-assembly is basically the reverse, although the front polarizer is not required). It's fairly easy, although sometimes the wires and other parts like to move around a bit, so plan on 20 minutes for a full upgrade.
  2. Hi all, I recently bought an 800XL with some issues. When the system is powered on, it immediately boots to the Memory Test. Both ROMs fail the test, and the RAM test only completes two or three blocks before it fails with the screen attached. The keyboard is unresponsive and I need to power cycle the machine to reboot. I'm new to Atari 8-bits but I am confused how the ROMs fail the test yet the machine boots to the Memory Test screen. I would assume based on my limited reading reseating the socketed chips (very few on this particular machine), testing voltages, and ordering up new RAM and RAM sockets would be where to start on getting this thing running again. Am I missing anything else?
  3. What dumb little repair or tech thing have you done recently- that while simple and small- makes you feel accomplished and awesome? For me it was putting the guts of a well loved Gameboy Color into a new case with new pads and buttons to fix it- since many of the buttons didn't work well (or work in well.) and the case was not in great condition. Easy thing to do- but made me feel pretty good when it was all done and everything worked a hecka a lot better.
  4. I just got my Model 1 VA6.x (not sure if it's 6.5 or 6.8) recapped with new capacitors from console5.com. Got them soldered by a local PC repair shop. But I'm pretty sure it's not suppose to sound like this. It's pretty loud and drowns out alot of detail in the music and the treble seems high and shrill sounding depending on the instrument playing. My original childhood VA7 however sounds great in comparison, with punchier bass and percussion. It's much more balanced sounding. And the VA7 is supposed to be the "stinker" model 1s. What's the deal? Is there another component on the board bad on the VA6.x? Something to do with the low or high pass filter? I pretty much don't know anything about electronics/circuitry. Any idea what the problem could be? Thanks!
  5. I’d like some advice. I seem to have bad luck with 2600 carts not working. I have three that will not work. Most recently, I was very excited to find Frankenstein’s Monster for a decent price at a retro shop I frequent and it won’t boot up. I cleaned it very well as I always do to my cartridges and even took the board out and polished the pins. Still nothing. How common is this? I’ve asked other collectors and most say they’ve rarely, or never, had a 2600 game they couldn’t get to work. Is there anything else I can try? Thanks so much. Duke
  6. I’ve got a junior that turns on fine. You see the game, but it’s as if the signal is not fully lined up with the channel selected. I’ve tried different channels, gave it a cleaning, twisted the red thingie to see if that would help, asked politely but nothing’s made a difference. I also tried to find what’s always referred to as the chiclet looking film capacitor on earlier models but not having luck. Any experts know if there’s a specific that seems like an obvious fix?
  7. Hey everyone! As you have heard me talk about on the show a number of times, my RGB light-sixer has been down for the count for a few months now. I've done all I can with the knowledge and skills I have, which consist of poor soldering skills that didn't help anything. Thankfully @Nathan Strum has graciously offered his help to see if he's able to diagnose the issue and get it up and running again! In the mean time @Albert has sent me his S-Video modded four switch that we used for the first time on the most recent show, which was a HUGE step up in quality of the composite Atari Jr we've been using for a while now. Thank you so much Al!! Here's the VCS all packed up nicely and ready to be shipped to Nathan, it was sent on May 22 and just arrived to Nathan today, hooray! I'll let Nathan take over from here on the incredible saga of the RGB Light-Sixer repair. Thank you so much Nathan!! - James
  8. Hello everyone, One of my light sixers has been suffering from awful static and strange noises when I turn it on. The voltage regulator, channel select switch, and power switch have been repaired/replaced, yet it still doesn't work. I was thinking that it may be improper tuning on the rf modulator. Unfortunately, all of my allen wrenches cannot fit the hole in the modulator (either they are too small or too big). Is there any specific size or brand I should use? Maybe I should replace the entire rf modulator instead? Thank you for responding, Matt S.
  9. I have a roller controller I bought a year or two ago and I recently decided to revisit it. After looking up compatible games, I found that Centipede is the only game I own that works with the roller setting. It doesn't do anything when it's on. On joystick mode, it's pretty slow, requiring a lot of spinning to move the "player" very far. How responsive is the trackball supposed to be? And has anyone ever dealt with issues like this? Any suggestions? I suspect I have a turkey. Shame, cause it's in great cosmetic shape and I love trackballs in general.
  10. it works, but the screen is faded, some strange lines and water-drops are under it. i heard that replacing the polarizer or reflector may solve the problem of faded screen, but i don't know about these lines and water-drops. anyone help?
  11. Hello everyone, It has been quite a while since I have posted on this forum, and I am glad to be back. My collection of vintage computers, consoles, and other electronics has increased significantly. With this, I purchased an official Sunnyvale heavy sixer with two paddles and CX-10 joysticks in addition to my other defective heavy sixer. The most recent one I got with the included paddles and joysticks at first has no snowy picture, no problems with peripherals working, and perfect sound. However, with that being said, there is a small problem of some colors randomly changing hues on different games (not all of them, as far as I can tell). Also, when I first received it, the games would start normally, but after a while the screen became a fuzzy grey. It hasn't happened recently, but it worries me that something is wrong inside the Atari. I read up on other posts that this can happen as a result of a faulty av cable, a faulty capacitor, or the power regulator failing. Is it possible that either of them are nonfunctional, if not all? If I need to repair a part of the console, how much would it cost and what materials would I need to use? Thank you for replying, Matt S.
  12. I have two Colecovisions, one of which works. I bought it after I received the first one, which I was told had spent about 20 years in a roofless shed in a hurricane-prone area. Needless to say, it does not function properly. Lately I have been getting into modding older game consoles (I just finished overclocking a model 1 Sega Genesis with a VA7 board), and so now I have turned my attention to repairing the broken Colecovision. The primary issue is that, upon turning it on, there is only a black screen with a constant tone. No BIOS screen is displayed. From what I have read on this site and others, this is a somewhat common problem without a clear culprit. That being said, I have played around with the Colecovision and have drawn the following conclusions: 1. The problem must not be the power supply, since it properly powers the working Colecovision. Also, the Atari 2600 module still works with the broken Colecovision, so it must be getting enough power. I have also tested this with a second power supply. 2. The problem may be the power switch, but I doubt it. Even when I would get the Atari 2600 module to work, it occasionally took a couple of turn-on attempts and some pressure on the power swtich. However, I have never seen the Colecovision BIOS screen appear, and I would assume that if the issue was just poor switch contacts that I would eventually get the BIOS screen to appear. 3. The sound chip works. This I assume because I still get a constant tone when I turn it on, and the tone isn't always the same. I'm guessing it's just outputting whatever random value it starts with. I've wondered if this implicates the CPU or the BIOS since I would assume one of the first things it would do is set the sound chip to output no sound. 4. The video chip probably works. I found that with a cartridge inserted, I could occasionally get random color bars to appear on screen after jiggling the power switch some or rapidly turning the console on and off. However, it's very rare that I manage to achieve this, and I only remember it happening from when I first attempted to repair the console a few years ago. At this point, I am unsure about how I should proceed, and so I humbly ask for your advice on this issue. Specifically, I want to know the following: 1. Which component is most likely to fail and cause this to happen? 2. If a chip has failed, I know that most of them are (or were) common and could be replaced, but what about the BIOS chip? I'm sure these can only come from other Colecovisions, and I would prefer to repair mine with destroying another. If I do need to replace the BIOS chip, would it be possible to create a custom chip? 3. Could it be a capacitor? I've never encountered a faulty dielectric capicitor, but I've read that their tops puff out when they leak. How visible is that effect? 4. What can I do to diagnose the problem? If need be, I might be able to borrow an oscilloscope. 5. I've seen mention of a Colecovision service manual which gives detailed information on how to test each of the components. Does a .pdf of it exist anywhere? Any input on this problem would be much appreciated.
  13. Hey guys, so this time I messed up bad, no excuses here. Simply how can I fix this. Also will the product pictured below which is an conductive epoxy help? The game is Zelda for NES.
  14. From the album: Atari 800 Keyboard Fix

    Turns out this approach allows for some pretty frantic Defender or Dropzone
  15. I recently bought and installed a ColecoVision AV mod kit from Console5. It's a pretty easy solder job, everything on my end soldering has been hunky dory. No accidental bridgings, no cold solder joints, pretty as a picture. Turn it on, looks fine to start, but then slowly the picture dims until a scrolling, dim, fuzzy image. I suspect something to be wrong with maybe my power supply, but just to be sure, I hook it up using the normal RF and turn it on. I still had it on the composite input, and lo and behold, I get a beautiful, stable image! I unplugged the RF cable and immediately the picture turned to a dim mess. Plugged it back in, composite video looked great. What the hell is going on here? (Below is the wiring diagram for this mod)
  16. Does anyone know the size and thread type of the Atari 2600 Junior plastic case outer screws? I inherited a free Junior 2600 that works but has no screws holding it together.
  17. Hey everyone! I'm currently trying to repair a ColecoVision and my Google searches make me believe that this is the forum where the experts reside Originally the CV just produced a black screen and made a weird droning noise. I found that one of the SRAM chips and one of the DRAM chips had heavily corroded legs. I also checked all the busses with my logic analyzer. CPU-side looked normal to me, but the data bus of the VDP just remained low aside from a couple of quick bursts at the beginning. So I decided to change all the RAM chips and do the 5V mod along the way. The solder at the legs of the corroded DRAM chip unfortunately was like stone and I did not manage to get it out without destroying a couple of traces and had to add a couple of botch wires. (Overall I have to say the CV is the worst soldering experience I had so far, I constantly have to work with 400dC+ and still have a hard time getting the solder to meld). Added the new chips (SRAM: Intel SAB2114PTL, DRAM: TI TMS4164-20NL), powered on the console and... garbled graphics... But well, clear improvement over a black screen. First thing I thought is that I didn't solder properly somewhere. In the meantime, however, I checked for continuity and shorts 3 times and am fairly certain that everything is connected properly. So I assumed that maybe one of the DRAM chips was bad and replaced them one by one. Replaced the 4th, and.... SUDDENLY THE PICTURE LOOKED PERFECT! YAY!!! Until I tried to switch it on again the next day. Back to garbled graphics... Coincidentally I also had a C64 with bad memory laying around, so I replaced the chips in there with sockets, added a new batch of my TMS4164 and ran a RAM tester for a couple of passes - it did not find any problems. Then I moved the whole batch of tested chips into the CV. Turned it on and... everything was fine again! Until I tuned it off and on a couple of times. Back to garbled graphics... So I moved the whole batch from the CV into the C64 and reran the RAM test. And this time, one of the chips reported as bad. This makes me think that the CV kills the chips somehow. Voltages at the chips are too low rather than too high for my taste: 4.5-4.7V when turned on. PSU when CV is turned off gives about 5.1V. I found someone else in this forum reporting the same voltage drop problems after doing the 5V RAM mod, but there was no resolution (I unfortunately can't find the post anymore). I checked for shorts and found that I have a resistance of about 340Ohms between GND and +5V, which seemed weird to me. But according to this post, it seems to be normal. I did the 5V mod following this document. I'm not really comfortable with the A7 pin of the 4164 being connected directly to VCC. I'm not super experienced with electronics, but shouldn't there be a resistor inbetween to limit the current flow when pulling that pin high? Any ideas about what might be going on are highly appreciated!
  18. Earlier this year I finally broke out my Tron joystick only to find it didn’t work. Opened it up and sure enough the flexible ring had cracked and broken. After searching for a replacement I came to the conclusion that there weren’t any so I worked with a friend to try to make a 3D printed replacement. He came up with a pretty great design which is actually more durable than the original while retaining good flexibility. I figured I would share it with the community for anyone else looking to restore one of these Tron joysticks to full function. Enjoy! Tron Joystick insert
  19. I was thinking of Modding my 2600 JR to output AV video. I did a mod to my JR around a year ago, and i ended up killing my board when i tried changing the jacks on it, and i can't find the original posting for the mod i Did. I saw this AV mod for the JR, and i was wondering how well it worked. https://atariage.com/howto/composite.html I think i remember some people saying the video quality wasn't the best, but I am just looking for something that is reasonably good enough to use. If the link does not work just try googling "atariage 2600 jr av"
  20. I bought an intellivision 1 on ebay about two years ago and when i tested it it didn't work. i attempted to repair it and couldn't do it. I even removed the shielding and checked the board. I have no clue what im really doing do I decided to send some pictures. I cleaned it and couldn't figure out what was wrong. it has black screen with interference when i tried booting it up. I originally got nothing and thought the rf switchbox was broken but the cable was so i used and yellow double ended composite wire and tested it then i got the black screen. I know the box and cable works because i tested it on my model 1 genesis. anyway, let me know if you guys see the problem. Thanks!
  21. I wasn't sure if this would be the right place to post, but I was wondering if there was a way to get in contact with folks that did game repairs. I have quite a few things I want to have fixed, and just don't have the time or resources to do it myself.
  22. I have a vader model, I've replaced the RIOT chip, the 4.7uf caps, the 2200uf cap, and the voltage regulator. Once I got it running again I noticed the video was fuzzy. I decided to do an A/V mod and picked up this kit: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atari-2600-7800-Composite-Video-Mod-Upgrade-Kit-DIY/303092047733?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 Side note: as others have mentioned in other forums about the a/v mod the video was dark, after removing one of the resistors from the mod circuit that solved that issue. The picture, however, is still fuzzy. I've uploaded a video showing what I mean: https://youtu.be/UXzVRivc258 Not sure where to look next, any suggestions? I have tried multiple composite cables and televisions as well so I'm pretty sure it's an issue on the board itself.
  23. Hi everyone, I'm new here but I am a long time Atari collector and have always wanted to join this forum. anyways, I have an issue on my hands in the form of a beat up 4-port 5200 I just picked up. I got this thing for 5$, it came with the controllers and console, that's it. I don't have any more 5200s so I had to buy a switch box and a power supply. I just got all that in today and tested it, and I'm getting nothing, no sound, and no video. I already measured the supply and it looks good and the switch box seems to be outputting the correct voltage and has a reassuring spark. I heard something about different 5200s using different power supplies, I bought one that says 9.3 VDC (I hope that's ok.) I just don't know what to test next or where to go, the red led doesn't even light up when I turn it on. the switch is really gummy but I don't know which points to jump to bypass it. please help with my 5200, thanks!
  24. So recently I purchased an Atari XE game and cleaned it the best I could with 100% rubbing alcohol and a white artist's eraser. I could not get the game to boot, so after looking around, I noticed some folks saying they soak the game contacts in vinegar to help remove corrosion. I'm currently soaking my cart's contacts in vinegar as I type this up, and will wait about 15 minutes overall before I remove it and dry it. So, when using vinegar, should I use regular distilled vinegar, or get industrial strength, non-diluted vinegar? The regular stuff from the store contains water, so I assume that would negate the helpful effects of the vinegar? I' not what you call a chemist, so I wouldn't have the faintest idea if this even will work in the long run lol
  25. Hello all, I'm a long time Atari fan. My parents bought an ATARI ST in the late 80s so I was thrilled when I saw the Atari Lynx and later Lynx 2- but of course I didn't get one... However, I always so much wanted a Lynx 2- so I was very much excited when I won an auction for a working unit a few days ago with a few games. I paid too much yes, but I really wanted one- so I was devastated when I switched it on to see this: Dots on Display So my question is... if it's fixable? They don't seem to be dead pixels as it depends on the viewing angle: Different viewing angle Also these marks can be seen when the unit is switched off: On switched off unit (opened it) I somehow expect the answer to be no , so is there any way to get an original screen? A mod with a Mcwill or Bennvenn is not an option to me, currently. I'm really sad about this issue as a lynx was my childhood dream. Yes, I talked to the seller and after some hassle I agreed for a small discount. Just not in the mood for arguing in these times. Thx for reading, Dan
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