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Bixler

"Turn off game before inserting cartridge"?

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Hey guys,

 

I'm using a modded ColecoVision from Yurkie (picture quality is gorgeous btw), but I have a quick question.

 

Whenever I insert (most) of the carts I picked up from mumbai, I get a screen that says something along the lines of "Turn off game before inserting game cartridge or Expansion Module #1," or some rainbow flickering colors on the screen briefly before it goes dark. I take the cart out, put it back in, and get the same screen after turning the system on again. I turn the system on and off a few times before the game works. Is this a case of a dirty cart that I can just clean with some 91% alcohol and some q-tips?

 

Thank you!

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I would give all these "problem" carts a good cleaning with 91% alcohol and if you are still having a problem, you could resort to using an eraser on the Cart PCB contacts and then alcohol. It's surprising to hear this seeing as the carts Mumbai sells are always in excellent working and physical condition. Do you have some carts that you did not buy from Mumbai and if so, do you experience the same problem?

 

When this CV BIOS screen is displayed, you can also press the "CARTRIDGE RESET" to see if the game will start up properly.

 

So you either have dirty or worse yet, worn edge connectors on these particular carts and quite possibly, but hopefully not, a heavily used CV and the cart connector's contact(s) in the system are worn, bent or loose. I'd test all the carts in your collection, or a good number of them, to see what the results are... after cleaning them as well as the cart connector in the system.

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The only carts I have are from mumbai. I tried the reset button -- no dice (except on one). I will clean all of them and report back here tomorrow!

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Alright, just tested all seven carts; three of them are perfectly fine and start up normally, while four of them only start up after a few attempts.

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Unfortunately these things happen with over 30 year old games. It could be some cold solder joints on the cart PCBs or simply the contacts have a lot of wear. It would be nice if you had another system that you could use to test these problem carts on, but seeing as you probably don't, I would contact Mumbai to see what could be worked out.

 

BTW, which carts are you still having problems with? I don't want to lead this conversation in another direction, but some games tax the power supply more and just maybe, the CV Power Supply is starting to show it's age.

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I had this issue with PITFALL and even after cleaning the contacts, the cartridge wouldn't work most of the time. I ended up using the rough side of this sponge I'm going to post below. After I used this delicately and cleaned it again with alcohol,that's when it was permanently fixed. Unfortunately you will have to punch through the label where the screws are at and open the cartridge to do this.

 

109520_front500.jpg

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I had this issue with PITFALL and even after cleaning the contacts, the cartridge wouldn't work most of the time. I ended up using the rough side of this sponge I'm going to post below. After I used this delicately and cleaned it again with alcohol,that's when it was permanently fixed. Unfortunately you will have to punch through the label where the screws are at and open the cartridge to do this.

 

Just a friendly note about preserving your label integrity... There is rarely ever a need to punch through a label, thus destroying it. Instead, just take a hair dryer, and begin heating up the label slowly and evenly. Find a curled up or "loose" corner. Use a tiny flathead screwdriver or guitar pick to begin prying up the label.

 

Peel and enjoy!

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Good idea, thank you. The OP will want to do this for sure. In my case the PITFALL label wasn't that great to begin with so it didn't hurt too much.

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Wait a moment!!!! DON'T PEEL OFF LABEL IN ACTIVISION CARTRIDGES!!

 

Just insert two "fat" plastics (USB memories serve well) inside the case along the PCB, the case plastic is flexible, extract the PCB and clean it fully with alcohol.

 

I had the recent experience that a Keystone Kapers doesn't worked until the PCB was spilled fully with alcohol (going under the memory). Of course waiting for it to dry.

 

A side effect is that if your USB memory drops out, the case can bite your finger ;)

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Alcohol is minimally effective. I strongly suggest getting some D100L.

 

This is an awesome deal (about 1/2 price versus other online sites) and will last the average person a lifetime.

 

http://www.markertek.com/Chemicals-Cleaning-Supplies/Chemicals-and-Maintenance/Caig-Laboratories-Inc/D100L-2.xhtml?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&cvsfa=3786&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=443130304c2d32&gclid=CKqShJXUvb8CFQMT7AodY04A-g

 

You might also want to buy this little bottle with brush off Ebay. This exactly what I use. I fill the bottle a little over half way and then just add a little when the level gets to where the brush is not mostly covered.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-2-OZ-Clear-GLASS-TOUCH-UP-Bottle-With-BRUSH-CAP-LID-/120695918577?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1a098ff1

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Thanks for the help everyone. I'll look into the D100L, but oomph, a bit pricier than I would have imagined. Is this product from Amazon the same thing? http://www.amazon.com/DeoxIT%C2%AE-Liquid-squeeze-tube-solution/dp/B0015A5AAY

 

I certainly hope this fixes the problem. Since it only happens with certain carts, I'm assuming it isn't an issue with the console itself.

Edited by Bixler

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That's a measly 2ml.

 

The bottle I linked is 59ml (almost 2 ounces)

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Just a friendly note about preserving your label integrity... There is rarely ever a need to punch through a label, thus destroying it. Instead, just take a hair dryer, and begin heating up the label slowly and evenly. Find a curled up or "loose" corner. Use a tiny flathead screwdriver or guitar pick to begin prying up the label.

 

Peel and enjoy!

 

OR cut the sponge so it's thinner and can fit "all up in there". a nail file might work too. lightly sand off the corroded layer to and expose a new layer.

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Can't you just take a popsicle stick with a piece of fine grain sandpaper glued to the end and use that to clean the cartridge contacts? That way you wouldn't even need to open the cartridge at all, unless it was one of those annoying carts with the contact shield inside, like a lot of old 2600 carts.

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Can't you just take a popsicle stick with a piece of fine grain sandpaper glued to the end and use that to clean the cartridge contacts? That way you wouldn't even need to open the cartridge at all, unless it was one of those annoying carts with the contact shield inside, like a lot of old 2600 carts.

 

I think these are some Activision cartridges for Colecovision, the PCB inside gets "greasy" and it needs to be cleaned. The cartridge contacts alone are not enough.

 

Pretty interestingly this doesn't happen with the Activision carts for Atari.

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I dont advise using any abrasives, if you scratch though that thin contact plating and expose copper its pretty much doomed. Copper is soft and flakes away easily, it also oxidizes very quickly defeating the cleaning in the first place, that's why they plate it

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I dont advise using any abrasives, if you scratch though that thin contact plating and expose copper its pretty much doomed. Copper is soft and flakes away easily, it also oxidizes very quickly defeating the cleaning in the first place, that's why they plate it

I will keep that in mind, thanks.

 

EDIT: Just tried to *play* Pepper II, just a gray screen. God damn. :(

Edited by Bixler

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I will keep that in mind, thanks.

 

EDIT: Just tried to *play* Pepper II, just a gray screen. God damn. :(

With so many bugs it must be your Colecovision or your power supply...

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With so many bugs it must be your Colecovision or your power supply...

Oh no! :( I certainly hope it's just the carts. I'll clean them at some point this weekend and hope it's not the CV...

 

Here's a video I took of what happens with Pepper II: http://gfycat.com/DampYawningAlaskanhusky

Edited by Bixler

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Just borrowed a friend's 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and tried cleaning the carts... nothing was fixed. :(

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Clean the cart connector in the Colecovision.

Get some thin cardboard or fold a few sheets of paper.

Wet with alcohol and insert it in the connector like a cartridge.

If it comes ourt dirty, start over and cut out another piece until the connector is clean.

Then you may have to take a pin and bed each connector toward the center so they all make contact.

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Seeing as the CV is a Yurkie modded unit, I'm pretty sure that the cartridge connector in the CV has been thoroughly cleaned and with top of the line cleaning products like De-Oxit. It's probably cleaner now at this point in time than it has ever been since the unit was manufactured and was thoroughly tested before Yurkie mailed off the system.

 

It would not hurt one bit to proceed with a good cleaning and to check the connector for good alignment of the contacts (Murphy's Law and all), but the more I think about it and read these posts, I have to think the problem lies with the carts or something else. in the system. If it ends up being a problem with the system, quite possibly something got jarred in shipping because we all know what a thorough job Yurkie does in refurbishing and modding these systems.

 

BTW, are you using the original CV Power Supply or did you have Yurkie mod the system to use a modern power transformer?

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Seeing as the CV is a Yurkie modded unit

 

that obviously makes it impervious to time, environment and power conditions for the rest of recorded time

 

cleaning doesnt hurt

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