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Koopa64

Colecovision question

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I may be buying a Colecovision at some point over the next few years. What I'd like to know ahead of time, is what are all the known issues with Colecovisions that cause them to deteriorate or stop working.

 

You can explain here but I'd like it if I could be directed to a Colecovision fansite of sorts. Many thanks to anybody who helps! :)

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Woah, there's quite a number of things to watch out for. First, the AC Adapter is I think the part that breaks the most. More often than not, people think the console is no good, but it's really the adapter. There are no generic replacements like most other systems. Second, the controllers can be buggy. If the buttons don't respond, you can spray De-Oxit Electrical contact cleaner to fix them. If the joystick doesn't work right, probably have to chuck the controller. They say the power switches cause video issues, due to lack of lubrication, but I haven't had that problem. The driving controllers and pedals are extremely crappy and more than not, they don't work right. Anything else with the console probably requires soldering and changing parts.

 

As to what causes them to deteriorate? Age combined with components that were not of the highest quality. Atari and Mattel used much better components.

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Woah, there's quite a number of things to watch out for. First, the AC Adapter is I think the part that breaks the most. More often than not, people think the console is no good, but it's really the adapter. There are no generic replacements like most other systems. Second, the controllers can be buggy. If the buttons don't respond, you can spray De-Oxit Electrical contact cleaner to fix them. If the joystick doesn't work right, probably have to chuck the controller. They say the power switches cause video issues, due to lack of lubrication, but I haven't had that problem. The driving controllers and pedals are extremely crappy and more than not, they don't work right. Anything else with the console probably requires soldering and changing parts.

 

As to what causes them to deteriorate? Age combined with components that were not of the highest quality. Atari and Mattel used much better components.

 

I don't know if I agree much about the controller comments. The fire buttons can be desoldered and taken apart and the internal parts cleaned(deox-it). Put them back together and solder them back on the board and your golden. As far as the joystick, take a piece of poster board soaked in deox-it cleaner and run it back and forth between the dome and the contact, while pressing down on the dome, to remove contact corrosion and you should be good to go controller wise. In all fairness you may have to take it back apart and clean joystick contacts again, but the buttons have never gave me a problem once they where cleaned up. I have perfectly working original controllers that I use on my colecovision, and this is what I did.

 

As far as the console, their are several competent repair guys on this forum that can offer you help. I know 2 guys in my city that repair them. Get it working, and handle it with care and you should get a lot of playing time out of it.

 

Beware of ebay auctions that say worked last time I played it. I had a unit that was perfect, put it in climate controlled storage for 3 years and it was dead as hell when I got it out. I am lucky after getting screwed on ebay a few times I have 4 units ( one of which was repaired by a gentleman off this site, via a repair request )and about a dozen working controllers.

 

I suggest you get a non-doa guarntee if you buy one off ebay. Do yourself a favor and buy one, and have some fun. There are a lot of awesome homebrew games for the Colecovision to add to the library of classic games.

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I'd say the most common ColecoVision issues are:

 

- Flaky video due to poor contact in power switch (dried out lubricant)

- AC adapters that die and are not easy to find replacements for

- Controller port issues due to static electricity killing the octal buffers on the mainboard

- Crappy RF video output because, well, RF is crappy ;)

 

Issues like bad solder joints and bad video RAM are less common, but I've seen them happen before.

 

The nice thing about the ColecoVision is that it's very modifiable, and some of these issues can be allayed with mods. If you have a good imagination and you're handy with a soldering iron you can mod a ColecoVision to have an internal power supply, better quality power switch, composite/s-video output, etc.

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I have several CV'S.One i bought new in 81,still working like new!The others i found at the thrift and all worked except for 2 that had the flaky RF video output.I reflowed the cracked solder joints inside the RF modulator box like i mentioned a few times before,and problem fixed,nice solid game screen.That and the power supplys.Its hard to find a working one.Whenever i find power supplys,half are no good.Good luck with your ColecoVision,well worth the effort to hunt them down.Not trying to defend Ebay sellers that sell CV's that they insist worked when they sent it,and not when you recieve it,CV's are tempermental,work one minute,not the next,that happens.I'd wait for one to pop up at the flea market or thrift shop though,Ebay or any online purchase can become a major headache with these things.If you do buy from ebay or any other online site,make sure its gauranteed to work when you get it,and make sure they pack the damn thing well!!!!!!!you wouldnt believe how roughly packages are handled at the post station!P.S dont wait too long to get one,these things are hard to find now as it is in my experience.

Edited by Rik

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... First, the AC Adapter is I think the part that breaks the most. More often than not, people think the console is no good, but it's really the adapter. There are no generic replacements like most other systems....

 

From my own experience, I can tell you that Canadian Coleco Power Adapter is more reliable than the US one

I can't tell you for sure, but I think that's why they have been re-designed in Canada

I've 5 Canadian ColecoVision Power Adapter and they all work great :)

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New power supplies for the Colecovision are EASY to find and it's one of the best purchases you can make for your CV system/collection. Just search for a "arcade power supply" on Ebay and purchase a new switching power supply. Any local arcade/coin-op dealer should have them in stock as well. They put out the same voltages the CV needs and are designed to run all day and night. They can be had from .99 cents to $20 NEW. This often cures flaky CV's with fuzzy or glitched graphics because of an old, out of spec power supply.

 

 

switching power supply

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I have a CV power supply where the whole unit plugs into wall and 1 cord that goes to console,and it doesnt work :( Is that the Canadian model ?versus the one that sits on table ,floor ,etc,and has 2 cords?

Edited by Rik

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Maybe i've been lucky compared to some other ColecoVision owners, but the only problem that i've had with my three ColecoVisions (the black model 2400 consoles) is that the power switches need to be cleaned periodically. Other than that i've had no other problems with those consoles. The Coleco Adam Game Console (beige model 2410) is a heavy-duty ColecoVision sold by ecoleco.com. I've got one and a couple of others here have them and they're extremely reliable.

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Edited by chuckwalla

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