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Frenzinator

No image shown on HDTV anymore - please help!

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Hey all!

 

I'm new here and this is my first post - please be gentle!

 

I bought an Atari 2600 Jr. from a bootsale for £15 (~$25) including some games, with the promise that it worked.

I got it home, plugged it in, and it did... sort of. The image was what I expected from an old Atari, but it had blurred lines rolling up and down the screen intermittantly.

 

However, once I tried to turn it on and play a couple of days later, nothing... No image at all. I know the concole itself is working (as the red LED light is shining), but no image is being sent to the TV itself. I have bought a new lead to connect to my TV, but still the same result.

 

It is also worth noting that my console has no switch to change between channels 2-3 (I opened it up, but there looks like there was never space for the switch anyway), and so I have tried manually tuning the console to the TV, with the above results.

 

So far, I have tried the following:

1) New coax lead

2) Opening and removing dust

3) Different TVs

4) Different games

5) Manual tuning

 

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

(I am fairly new to Atari fixing, so baby-language would be appreciated!)

 

Frenzii

 

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This is a fairly widespread problem. But I'd like to know if you tried all of this:

  • clean some games with 91% alchol
  • cleaned the atari cartridge connector

You can find tutorials online on how to do these.

 

Lemme know if you did these so I can make sure it's not the connectors that are doing it

 

Also, if you could turn the atari on with no cartridge in and tell me what it does that can be very helpful too.

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Hi coppertj,

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

At the moment, I have only tried using compressed air to clean the cartridges and cartridge slot. I will be able to get some 91% alcohol tomorrow if necessary, and will comeback with the results.

 

However, when I turn on the atari with no cartrige in, I get the same as before - just static (on channels 2-3, as well as after manual tuning).

 

(Just a thought, would a picture of the circuit board help?)

 

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Static? That doesn't seem right. When a atari is plugged in without a cartridge it should display lines. This means its a problem with your atari. My suggestion is get a multimeter and check how much voltage the is coming out of the powersupply. Post back when you did that.

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So I found out today I own neither 91% alcohol or a multimeter, so I'll buy them tomorrow. Anything else you would recomment picking up for console repairs? Any essentials?

 

I'll post my results tomorrow once I have everything completed...

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I would suggest getting a soldering iron, a desoldering iron, some sodder after you check the voltages I will find out some voltages you should be getting from the power supply ill post it later.

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When checking the powersupply it should be exactly 5 volts being put into the console. If not than your problem is a bad power supply which is a easy fix.

Edited by coppertj

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Hook your Atari up to an old analog set to confirm if the Atari works or not. HDTVs are notoriously finicky with the signals produced by classic consoles as the signals they generate are not within broadcast specifications.

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So I've managed to buy the supplies and just finished testing, here are the results:

 

1) I cleaned the cartridges and cartridge slot with isopropyl alcohol, but I still get no image

2) I have tested the power supply with a multimeter, and it tested around 12-13v every time (although this was my first time using a multimeter, human error may have played a part). Even still, this doesn't seem correct at all... From what I have read, this shows the power isn't converting correctly?

 

SpiceWare - I don't currently have an analogue TV, although I will try to pick one up tomorrow. Thanks for the tip!

Edited by Frenzinator

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I just need to make sure a few things:

  • Did you open the console and measure the voltage from the power supply?
  • Was it measured while a cartridge was in or with no cartridge. If there was no cartridge put a cartridge and and test voltage again.

Let me know what the results are from this.

 

Also, TBH, you're better off just buying a new atari jr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Atari-2600-Jr-Black-Console-NTSC-console-only-/191337973263?pt=Video_Games&hash=item2c8ca1c60f

 

I understand if you wouldn't want to attempt to spend extra money to fix this or, you just want to do this as a hobby project or something. But if you want to attempt to fix this I am more than glad to help you :-D

Edited by coppertj

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*facepalm* That was testing the power adapter itself (plug it in, place the prongs of the multimeter on the headphone-like plug, one above and one below the black line)

 

I'm not sure where to place the prongs of the multimeter to test it when plugged in, so I looked below the circuitboard and placed the prongs on the soldered part of the power connector (poor description I know, sorry). This measured 4 volts with a cartridge.

 

I'm fully aware im testing the wrong part, so any help appreciated (I couldn't find anything helpful after googling).

 

This is my first time atari fixing (heck, looking into repairing any motherboard, in fact), so this is my lack of knowledge showing up :(

 

Repairing a console seems much more interesting than just buying a new one. Hence, I'm saving replacing it for when I give up :P But thanks for the help - it's much appreciated and I've always wanted to learn how to repair consoles :P

Edited by Frenzinator

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So, after some playing around with the multimeter, and using this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W7CSjIgkVc) I have the following results:

 

1) The power chord itself (the male "headphone"-like adapter) outputs at ~12v

2) When plugged in, the voltage from the power adapter goes to ~4.8v

3) The input voltage for the 5volt regulator is ~4.8v

4) The output for the 5volt regulator is ~0.7v

 

This implies that:

1) Once plugged in, the not enough power is being sent around the motherboard

2) the 7805 regulator isn't working correctly, so this needs to be replaced.

 

Is the case, or can you correct me if necessary?

Edited by Frenzinator

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Nice. I thought so. 7805 can be purchased at:

 

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062599

 

http://www.parts-express.com/7805--5v-voltage-regulator-to-220--7805?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla

 

Glad you found a fix :) I reccomend you get the radio shack one since you're going to need to buy soldering iron, desolder bulb, sodder

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This is why I hate living in the UK - no RadioShack :( That shop seems to have everything!

 

I'll check Maplin, if not, I'll check online...

 

Thanks for the help! Much appreciated! (I'll post a follow-up post commenting how it goes).

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So I have added the 5v regulator, and also added in some extra solder to fill in the cracked old stuff... But to no avail :(

I have checked the regulator works with a multimeter, and it's inputting 12v, outputting 5v as it should.

 

I can't help but think that the showing of only static is the problem (in the video I posted above, when turned on the Atari showed a black screen, I get nothing as if the TV is not even registering the console's existence). I have tried on both a HD and analogue TV, same result...

 

Any more hints or tips on how to diagnose this problem would help greatly!

 

Thanks!

Edited by Frenzinator

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Well, Lets try to problem solve. Did you try any other channels (2,3,4).

If that doesn't work take a picture of your atari motherboard and post it on forums.

I want to check if there's any visual problems.

 

Also, atleast the power regulator is fixed :)

 

Also Also, currently there could be a couple problems if the channels don't work. It could be bad caps, Could be a bad wire, or worst case scenario... TIA chip is dead.

 

In other words, if the TIA chip is dead it usually means it's over just get another atari :(

 

So cross your fingers if it's just a bad cap because caps are replacable and are low costing.

Edited by coppertj

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If your console is NTSC, it will not work on a UK TV tuner. Most Euro TVs are compatible with NTSC composite formatted signals, but broadcast standards are totally different and do not operate on the same frequencies.

 

Analog or HD TV does not matter, you need an NTSC tuner for NTSC console and visa-versa for PAL. You can try AV modding it but I would verify the console works before you kit it out.

Edited by stardust4ever

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Yeah, I tried every channel on the analogue TV, and manual search on the HDTV, but nothing :(

 

Here are the photos of the motherboard: http://imgur.com/a/vedI0

(I uploaded them to imgur as they were rediculously massive when posted directly into this post)

 

stardust4ever - the console was bought second hand in the UK, so I would assume its a PAL version... Is there any way to check for certain?

Edited by Frenzinator

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Just played around with the console (looking at solder joints etc) and I noticed that the RF cable used to connect the TV to the console seems loose. When I plug it into the Atari itself, it can be pulled out with such little force (sometimes with just a gentle nudge it can fall out on its own). It seems especially loose when compared to my Sega Master System connection.

 

If this is the problem, this would explain why the image isn't showing on the TV at all, and why I have gotten it to work just once when I initially booted it up (just lucky with the connection?)

 

Is this a common problem with the Atari 2600 Jrs? Or is it supposed to feel this loose when plugged into the console?

Most importantly, would it be easy to fix if this is the problem?

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This may be a dumb question, but what do you mean by "tighten" it?

 

The loose connection is on the console side. I have tried multiple cables and they all seem loose, but I can't see a way of tightening the connection on the motherboard (I have pushed the outer prongs on the cable itself inwards to tighten it somewhat, but it didn't make a difference).

 

Was there any problems you could see from looking at the motherboard?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Frenzinator

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Relooking at the photos I don't think its a problem with the wire. Infact, your caps look fine also. I really can't see anything wrong with the board at all.

 

Is there any sounds from the games when the tv has static?

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Whilst I sometimes think I may hear Atari sounds in the static, I can't be too sure. It may just be the me hearing things in the sounds of the static, but not linked to the atari whatsoever.

The TV just seems to not pick up the Atari signal whatsoever, even though I know it is on and working due to the LED shining on the console...

 

Also, for future reference (and so I can learn a little more from this), what kind of things did you look at on the motherboard to check any problems? I.e. what are the "caps" you looked at?

 

Thanks!

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Whilst I sometimes think I may hear Atari sounds in the static, I can't be too sure. It may just be the me hearing things in the sounds of the static, but not linked to the atari whatsoever.

The TV just seems to not pick up the Atari signal whatsoever, even though I know it is on and working due to the LED shining on the console...

 

Also, for future reference (and so I can learn a little more from this), what kind of things did you look at on the motherboard to check any problems? I.e. what are the "caps" you looked at?

 

Thanks!

 

these are caps: http://bushytails.net/~randyg/badcaps-choyo.jpg

 

You said the wire is loose. How loose is it? If its really loose (like about to fall out loose) than just tighten the wire going around it the end of the wire. If that doesn't solve anything than it's most likely your TIA chip.

Edited by coppertj

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So I have had some progress today...

 

I tightened the wires as you suggested, but to no avail. I did, however, re-solder the TIA chip and get rid of any cracks, which seemed to work! For around 10-15 mins, I was playing Pac-Man, although the picture quality was fairly dodgy (http://imgur.com/vb1aIJR) with rolling lines going up the screen...

 

Now, however, it's going back to its original state of not working at all and no signal being sent to the TV at all. Resoldering does not seem tomake a difference...

 

Whilst I hope this doesn't mean this, is this the end of the TIA chip?

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