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Csonicgo

Phantom lines, Dot Crawl, and color bleeding! Oh boy! (VCS)

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Since my first topic on this seemed to have destroyed itself (RIP), I decided to bring it up again.

 

Okay, First off, I love my Harmony cart to death. I play it on my new LCD TV that plays interlaced modes like a champ.

 

However, I decided to plug my VCS into my old Travel TV (color, RCA) and fire up some Enduro. I started to notice some really odd vertical lines around the road and oncoming cars.

Thinking it was my TV reception, I checked all connections (I use a straight adapter, no switch) and everything seemed just fine, signal was locked in great. But every once in a while, those blasted phantom lines showed up again. Sometimes they crawl, sometimes they don't. So to see if it was my Atari, I popped in my copy of enduro and... no lines.

 

So either this is a negligible problem caused by the current pull of the Harmony Cart, or my Atari VCS isn't firing on all cylinders.

 

Another weird thing that happens is if I don't play the thing for a while, green colors are more "Aqua" than they are supposed to be. not annoying, but the Harmony cart menu text is a marble green, so it really stands out. After a minute or so, everything is great.

 

The biggest problem still remains: Light blue colors are bleeding. A lot. A Photoshopped screenshot to show you what I mean:

 

5ZhVs23.png

 

It's actually a little worse than this, the black inner line in the O characters is almost gone. Every other color, however, seems to be okay.

 

What in the world is causing this?

 

Some other info I can give you:

This is a 4-switch woodgrain (with the 2 sprite TIA), purchased around 1982 or so for my cousin and I to play. All of the "Problem games" work as intended on the unit. It had Combat as a pack-in.

The AC Adaptor is a stock Atari 2600 one that came with this unit.

The case has been opened, but only for a little while to clean the inside using gentle blasts of air. the case itself was cleaned in December last year. The Game Center piece was also cleaned up recently, though the cover is always off when the unit is powered up.

 

Any ideas?

Edited by Csonicgo

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Looks like my AC adapter wasn't so good after all! I hope I can find a replacement. Both Atari VCS units that I have suffer from the same problem, which is probably not coincidental.

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I got a replacement 9V 750mA* Power supply yesterday. considering to replace the RF cable, maybe reseat the chips and see if that helps. Given that it's a specific color range for the color bleeding, would a resistor be the culprit?

 

*AC adapter documentation claims to support any lower amperage device safely.

Edited by Csonicgo

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*AC adapter documentation claims to support any lower amperage device safely.

 

yes thats true, when you plug something in its going to take whatever current it wants to operate, if your supply is less than that amount then it will heat up and eventually burn out. On the other hand if your supply can provide more than whats needed then the device will take whatever it wants and you have some left over.

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Regarding phantom lines, you may want to check out if the symptoms resemble those in this thread. If so, ensure you're using a good, shielded rf cable and try a ferrite bead.

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I used some aluminum foil, didn't help at all. buzzing is insane on bright scenes, too. I will need to get a shielded RF cable. will a shielded composite yellow work?\

Edited by Csonicgo

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