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Snatch1414

Vader 2600: Can't Quite Bring It Back to Life

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So I've done basic cleaning on a 2600 Vader and cleaned out the card slot with the 'cloth over credit card and windex' method. I've gotten the system to prove it can power on but can't get the games to play. I just get random colored bars on the screen sometimes with Atari-sounding noise, or nothing at all. I've cleaned a couple of carts in particular as best as I reasonably can I think and still nothing. Some games seem to at least give me a wacked out picture like I described above while others do nothing, regardless of whether or not they're cleaned.

Do I need to maybe just try to keep cleaning the card slot, or go the extra mile and take that apart as well in order to clean it better?

Side notes: I am using the gold cable connector from Radio Shack. Also, I have two 2600s and neither's power supply seems to work. I had an old charger with the same power/wattage with a headphone-style jack so I plugged that in and it gave the system power but again no full picture.

 

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Probably the TIA chip, the one closest to the bottom. I had a similar problem on one and this fixed it.

Could also be the RIOT chip too, the one directly below the cart slot.

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I see. How intensive is it to remove and replace it? I know how to solder that's about it, not that I couldn't learn to replace one if needed.

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chip inside, there are 3 of them

 

There are four chips.

 

HINT: when I was shit-faced and green and knew nothing of engineering I would fix things with chips by simply swapping them. Sooner or later you hit paydirt!

 

 

 

I see. How intensive is it to remove and replace it? I know how to solder that's about it, not that I couldn't learn to replace one if needed.

 

Well, for chips that are soldered into the main board you will need to de-solder each and every pin on them. This means 40 repetitive operations. There are youtube vids on how to do this no doubt. You may want to practice on a bogus scrap board first.

 

Soldering and de-soldering is like learning to use a socket set and torque wrench when working on classic cars.

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There are four chips.

 

its been a while since I looked inside of anything aside from my JR, so there may be a buffer chip or some "glue" (unless you count the voltage regulator, which yes IS an IC), but 3 meat n potatoes chips, RIOT, TIA, and CPU

 

Looking online, the vader board I am looking at is double sided with the holes plated, which is a PITA to desolder with just an iron and a pump or some wick, but on the good side its got chip sockets so you dont have to worry about it

 

I would pop it open and see if yours has sockets on the chips so they can be easily removed, if you have a meter check the voltage output of the regulator (the 3 pin rectangle that should have a heat sink, the third pin is out)

 

from there its a matter of tools and experience, a simple logic probe can tell you where the bits stop dancing, a meter probably wont be fast enough to show you that ... otherwise its shotgunning the chips until the unit works

 

TIA is almost universally blamed for all dead 2600's, and while its often shouted out as the de-facto root of all evil, I personally have not seen one toasted, having repaired a few 2600's. There is something to be said about dead TIA's though as it seems to be a cause of a lot of problems and it would not be the first thing out of everyone's mouth if there was not a reason.

 

Its a tiny bit harder to find TIA's cause everyone replaces theirs in repairs but its still quite common, maybe not as common as a first hit on ebay like the 6507CPU or the found all day long as new old stock 6532 riot (that was used A TON in embedded systems back in the day).

 

BTW if your in the states I have a brand new riot chip I will be willing to let go for postage

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TIA = TV interface, it handles graphics sound and a number of other things

RIOT = Ram / rom input output timer, it contains the system ram and interfaces with the rom in the cart

 

im in TN

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I gambled on a Sears heavy last Saturday from the Mobile, AL flea market. It doesn't work of course. I have a few light fours though. How interchangeable are the IC's? if it turns out that one or more is defective. I won't have time to take a closer look inside for a few days, but I did notice the RF cable had exposed copper near the stress relief where it comes out of the back, so I'll start there naturally.

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