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Intellivision 'black screen' issue

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Okay, so I'll preface this post with a concrete disclaimer; I am not an electronics savvy kinda guy. Great with databases and software, but useless with multimeters or solder.

 

So, I scored an Intellivision and 12 boxed games for an amazing price and from an amazing location, but the Intellivision doesn't quite work. It powers up fine, but goes to a dark/blank screen and no game titles come up. I've cleaned contacts on cart/console with no effect (it's tuning in fine to the TV, just no game image/sound). Searches on Google present this as a potentially common problem with many causes/resolutions from the simple 'press the reset button a few times' to replacing chips on the board (which I'm in no way comfortable with).

 

In this Youtube video

the guy takes apart an Intellivision exactly the same as mine, and makes note of a ribbon cable that goes to the power board. I decided to open my console up and take a look, interestingly, it is missing this ribbon cable. (See pics). But even more interesting, is the fact that it appears someone has repaired or replaced the ribbon cable with standard wires soldered into the power board as per a guide like this - http://www.intvfunhouse.com/tech/ribbon/ which I found after a little searching.

 

Pics,

 

http://imageshack.us/g/849/20110816222320.jpg/

 

So, bearing in mind my lack of dexterity or experience with anything solder/circuit based, and these distinct possibilities,

 

* Someone did a repair that never worked

* Someone did a repair that used to work but has somehow stopped working as it was a backyard job

* Someone did a repair to the ribbon cable but the source of this issue is different

 

What is the best approach? Is there anything I can look at visually to tell if the solder is damaged? Not done correctly? How do I proceed?

 

Any advice welcome, and be gentle, I've done as much research as I can!

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If the system is powering up, I bet whoever did the ribbon cable swap performed a competent enough mod.

 

Even though you say you cleaned the cartridge port and games, sure sounds to me that could still be your problem. Get a little more aggressive in cleaning the carts with something. Contact cleaner or silver polish and Q-Tips for example. Fine sandpaper doubled over for inside the cartridge port.

 

Failing that, reseat (gently pry up with a flat blade screwdriver on both ends then press back down) any socketed chips on the motherboard.

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If you want to know if the Repaired cable works fine you should use a multimeter to test for conductivity (is the easiest task to do with a Multimeter).

 

The Blank screen issue can be caused for many issues, the most common is that the Cart can´t be read due dirt contacts. I use a more aggresive approach, I use can oil inside the cart port (don´t worry in not conductive.) and insert a cart several times. You could use a piece of cardboard to remove the extra oil and in the cart I use a Ink erasor (the type you use to erase pen marks) to clean up

 

I give this advice several times and many people refuses to take it, but if works in a million dollars Ct-Scan Machine, can work well in a 20$ Intellivision. Note that the substance to avoid arcs in a X-ray tube (140.000 volts) is Mineral Oil.

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I feel your pain. The Inty 1 I got had the controller connectors(at the mobo) put in backwards.

 

I now have it where half the games work just fine, the other half just sits there at the title screen.

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I bought an Intellivision I through Craigslist that had the black screen problem. After thoroughly cleaning the console pins with fine grain sandpaper and alcohol, it still had the black screen. On a whim, I sprayed electronics parts cleaner generously into the power switch and moved it back and forth repeatedly, multiple times. Presto, problem solved. That Intellivision has worked fine since. :thumbsup:

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I was going to post a reply but after a Google search for "Intellivision black screen" I realized I already did a few years back when this topic came up:

 

INTV black screen

 

:)

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