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n7m6e7

Help, Thrift store Atari not working

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i got an atari 2600 recently at a thrift-store, then got a replacement cord. i cleaned the contacts repeatedly, and all i get is a black-screen when a game is inserted. sometimes a flash of the title screen, and without a game i get random stripes, sometimes buzzes, and sometimes black-screen. what do i do?

its the wood-front model

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The "replacement cord" what are you referring to exactly? Power cord? RF cable? What type of connector are you using to the TV input?

 

http://atariage.com/howto/connect.html

 

FYI you cannot use the type of RF box like NES or (auto switching) as it does not have the power to properly switch the signal over. You need a manual sliding switchbox type OR you need to bypass the switchbox altogether with a RF to coaxial adapter.

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What you get when a game is not inserted sounds correct ... but maybe the board is bad or getting ready to kick the bucket. What carts do you have? Also, is the replacement power cord a third party Atari power supply or ???

 

post-30739-0-78245700-1369791312_thumb.jpg

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its a 3rd party cord, but indeed a 9v supply. and so far pitfall and ms.pacman flash title screens every once and a while, and space invaders, pacman,breakout, super breakout do nothing. and space jocky makes the screen roll...but it is a weird sears/2600 cart

Edited by n7m6e7

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That almost sounds like PAL issues but you may need an original 2600 PS to make sure the unit isn't junk. Maybe then your screen could look like this:

 

Atari-2600---16763.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just kidding - good luck, hope you get it working.

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He probably got a Retro Bit power supply and those are fine as I'm using one on my light six. It fitx, has the proper voltage, and hopefully enough amperage.

 

I'm a noob (knewb) here but sound to me like the games are bad or the cart housing is dirty. Clean the games with a q-tip and a mild glass cleaner. I use the type intended for LCD screen. High alcohol content alchol can be used as well as some people use either Everclear or Diesel (offbrand but the same potency.) Use one side of the Q-tip to clean with the liquid and the other side to dry. I don't know of a way to clean the console's cart reader but usually using clean games fixes these issues.

 

Getting a clean title screen can be good as it more or less proves the console is powered on and transmitting, reading even to a certain extent.

 

If you are serious about starting a hobby you can order a new game here to test with as well. That kind of leaves you hanging in the wind for a while.

 

One more thing, let the games sit for an hour after cleaning. I know it shouldn't matter but it does in practice.

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One last thing, Atari2600.com will repair it if it comes down to it. I have never used them nor purchased from them.

 

http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/ also offers service if I recall. I have bought from them. Don't let the antique website fool you, those guys are real Guru's. Send them an email and ask them about it.

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The power plug you have should be adequate. The RCA to Coaxial converters, usually work great. Try cleaning the cartridges. It's difficult to clean the socket on the atari. You will probably have to open it up. There are some capacitors that go bad, and a 7805 that will often go. Do you have a multi-meter to test the components?

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The power plug you have should be adequate. The RCA to Coaxial converters, usually work great. Try cleaning the cartridges. It's difficult to clean the socket on the atari. You will probably have to open it up. There are some capacitors that go bad, and a 7805 that will often go. Do you have a multi-meter to test the components?

yea, i got a multi-meter, but no idea what to check for

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It's easy to check the 7805. On the main board there will be a 7805, it has 3 legs. You need to check the voltage, between the center leg and the other legs. One leg will be about 9v, and the other will be 5v. If it's below 4.95v, then the 7805 should be replaced. Here is a youtube video showing fixes.

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It might just be the jack that the ac adapter plugs into. If there's a broken solder joint on the jack, it could cause those problems. Possibly also a bad on/ off switch.

 

That's my guess.

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It's easy to check the 7805. On the main board there will be a 7805, it has 3 legs. You need to check the voltage, between the center leg and the other legs. One leg will be about 9v, and the other will be 5v. If it's below 4.95v, then the 7805 should be replaced. Here is a youtube video showing fixes.

 

UPDATE:

 

its not the voltage regulator, as it's giving out 9.02 and 5.03

 

how do i check the capacitor? since the only time it flashes the title, is when the system sits for a bit. i'm fairly confident that's the issue

 

and side question, there was a peice of paper taped below the cart-slot with:

 

17.2.10

 

written on it. does that mean anything?

Edited by n7m6e7

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What exactly are the games doing then? If it were a power issue the console would turn off wouldn't it? On most TVs lack of signal will either display static or a blue screen. Black screen tells me the game isn't being read but the console is still sending a signal.

 

I think he really needs to revisit that area first even if it means ordering a game that has been tested and verified to be clean and working. Taking the console apart may not be needed.

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What exactly are the games doing then? If it were a power issue the console would turn off wouldn't it? On most TVs lack of signal will either display static or a blue screen. Black screen tells me the game isn't being read but the console is still sending a signal.

 

I think he really needs to revisit that area first even if it means ordering a game that has been tested and verified to be clean and working. Taking the console apart may not be needed.

 

too late for that, and when i put the game in and turn it on, it'll give a solid black screen. if i leave it off for a long time, and turn it on, the title screen will flash for 1 frame.

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This is why the other recent thread where someone saw a VCS at GW for $30 untested was a cautionary tale. Never pay more than $10 for possibly broken game consoles from thrift stores without being able to try them out first. If I spent $30 on this and it only gave a black screen, I would not be too happy about now.

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This is why the other recent thread where someone saw a VCS at GW for $30 untested was a cautionary tale. Never pay more than $10 for possibly broken game consoles from thrift stores without being able to try them out first. If I spent $30 on this and it only gave a black screen, I would not be too happy about now.

 

well, the atari case is like-new. so if nothin else, i got bragging rights above all my friends with a nice decoration. and like i said, i'm pretty sure it just needs a replacement part, it flashes the title screen

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I seem to remember mine doing something similar, i still havent fixed it but i believe the fault is with the chip as its gets very hot to the touch.

 

Cant say it's your issue but its worth while giving everything a once over.

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ok, since i cant edit the main topic. here are all the symptoms my atari is experiencing

 

 

When game is inserted:

screen is solid black on channel 2 setting

screen is fuzzy-black on channel 3 setting

title screen flashes if system is turned on after a while of being plugged in

 

This happens with all my games

 

without game inserted:

random patterns and tones such as

red/orange stripes

blue stripes

rolling diagonal lines

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A common practice is to remove the RF shield and verify that the chips on the board are seated in their sockets snugly. I would also inspect the board front and back and try to see if there are areas where the copper line traces are bubbling. The voltage regulator could also have been unseated and may need a slight adjustment, but that's likely not the problem if you got consistent voltage from it.

 

I liked the idea about the power blinking out and maybe not having a good connex, but I had one like that and it went to snow - not black.

 

To me it sounds like some of the lines from the cart port could be peeling or cracking, or it could be that one or more pins on the various chips are somehow loose.

 

With any PC or device that is having trouble that I can't spot, I like to take it completely out of the case and inspect then try again with it removed from its case. You never know if there's just something that needs to move around slightly for it to work. Its kind of a waste of time as it usually doesn't fix anything, but ya never know. The RF shield fits snugly so could be removing it relieves some tension somewhere and things work. Its also not very invasive and you might as well try before you go replacing parts.

 

To test the capacitor, I believe you can test the voltage on its two ends. I'm no engineer, but I know you can also test the resistance. There should be some but not infinite. If you tested and got infinite resistance then it'd be bad. The markings on the capacitor should tell you what the results should be, just check Wikipedia on how to interpret them.

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ok, since i cant edit the main topic. here are all the symptoms my atari is experiencing

 

 

When game is inserted:

screen is solid black on channel 2 setting

screen is fuzzy-black on channel 3 setting

title screen flashes if system is turned on after a while of being plugged in

 

This happens with all my games

 

without game inserted:

random patterns and tones such as

red/orange stripes

blue stripes

rolling diagonal lines

 

Alright. Without the game plugged in, all Ataris will show rather a black screen or random garbage with a random sound. Lots of fun. There's no internal BIOS ROM or anything like that, as you'd find on a PS, where even if a game isn't inside, it will still come up to a system screen. As for the real problem it could be many things. If something like this happened to me and it has many times (I used to have my own online vintage gaming store), here are the steps I usually took:

 

System is getting power if you're getting at least something to pop up on the screen.

Dirty connectors on cartridges and/or cartridge connector on Atari. Clean with isopropyl alcohol (the higher percentage the better) and a q-tip. The cartridge connector on the Atari is a bit tricky since it has this plastic sliding cover that goes over the inside, so you have to take a small flathead screwdriver and use it to slide it out of the way to get to the connectors. You usually can't use a q-tip on the connector of a video game system, so I usually rig up a piece of cardboard with a thin cloth on it and make sure it stays fastened to it, put the alcohol on the cloth it and slide it in and out to give those connectors a good cleaning.

If the games still don't come on, try wiggling the game around a little in the cartridge slot to see if that helps make a solid connection. If still nothing comes up after all those tries, it's time to open it up and see what's going on. While you have it open, this is a good time to check everything out and see what shape it is all in.

You'll have to remove the RF shielding that is over the IC chips and main part of the board, once you have the Atari open.

Check the pin connectors from the cartridge connector on the back side of the board and make sure none are loose from the solder points. If so, some soldering is required to get that baby refastened again. Check out the joystick ones while you're at it. I find that those occasionally start coming undone as well with all the stress it gets from unplugging and plugging in various controllers over time. Test it out and if it's still not working you more than likely have a bad chip. It could be any one of the main 3 that could cause this problem. I've had to do this numerous times and it's all trial and error. When I had my shop, I built up a stock of chips over time and had the luxury of swapping one chip out at a time until it worked. The TIA chip (the one on the bottom edge), can be a little tricky sometimes. Sometimes when that's a problem and I would swap it out, I'd get no color display and found that it just wasn't completely compatible with that Atari model. The middle chip is the 6507 CPU and the top chip is the RIOT chip. In my experience the problem chip could have been any one of them. I think the CPU was the less likely, but they all failed almost evenly.

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also, does the rf shield affect the functionality of the system? like of i put it back on wrong, or left it off completely , would the atari mess up?

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