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crookesy

Intellivision blank screen when controller button pressed

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Hi guys! Im in the uk and I have a problem with my intellivision that I hope you can help me out with. A few weeks back I got the console from eBay. It was working fine apart from a small colour issue, the greens were red etc. But after 20 or so minutes the games would correct the colour. It suddenly went to a blank screen when i turned the console on or pressed reset. After taking it apart and giving it a dust down as well as cleaning the port with a credit card and a lint free cloth the title screen comes on, all in the right colours. Sometimes I have to hold the reset button and release it at the same time as switching it on to get the title screen. But as soon as I press any key or the d pad on either controller the screen goes blank. On mazeatron I get the title screen with the intro music, but, again, as soon as I press anything it goes blank. On demon I get the title screen and the graphics moving about, but does absolutely nothing when I press any key, it doesn't go blank, just stays on the title screen. I also tried leaving it on for a while on just the title screen to see if it would turn itself off as it did before, but it just stayed on the title screen for almost 20 minutes before i turned it off. I noted that underneath was quite warm. When i opened it up i couldnt see any damage, but then, i dont really know what im looking for. I have never attempted to fix anything like this before, i dont even know how to solder and i have no computer or electronic skills at all, i have absolutely no idea what im doing. Please help! Many thanks for reading!!

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When you opened everything up, did you remove the controllers? These machines can act oddly when the controllers are connected improperly or "stuck".

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It's normal for the power board voltage regulators with the cooling fins to get quite warm.

 

If you have a multimeter you can check the power supply voltages but I don't think that this is your issue but always a good idea to check.

 

Get some isopropyl alcohol or even better deoxit contact cleaner and give the cart slot another good clean.

 

I would suggest disconnecting one controllers at a time and trying with one controller connected. If the issue happens with one of the controllers you can try that controller in the other connector port to see if the problem follows the controller to narrow down a controller or logic issue.

 

If the problem is the logic board, then your board may have an issue with the AY-3-8914 sound chip as this chip also handles the controller inputs.

 

- HZ

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Thank you so much guys!!! No, I didn't remove the controllers ntvsteve, it looked extremely complicated and I thought that that would be my last resort. And, yes, hunterzero! I will give the clean over the weekend. If it still persists then I will give the controller's a try!

Thanks again guys! I really appreciate your help!

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Be extremely careful of the white power ribbon cable if you do take it apart, since you will need to lift the logic board sarcophagus to get the back controller connector out. The ribbon cable becomes fragile with age.

Edited by HunterZero
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Be extremely careful of the white power ribbon cable if you do take it apart, since you will need to lift the logic board sarcophagus to get the back controller connector out. The ribbon cable becomes fragile with age.

 

Yes indeed. In fact my INTV System III suffered from that. A long time ago I broke that thing and even worse, when trying to repair it, I damaged the traces on the board.

 

For the past … ugh, maybe 12 years now, it's had an absolutely horrible hack using (wait for it...) a couple pieces of ethernet cable and a DB9 M<->F connector in there. At the time I had only that console, and I was tinkering with it late one night. In a panic, I used whatever stuff I had at hand to get the thing working. I really should fix that properly one day.

 

Anybody happen to know (part numbers?) proper replacement parts? At one point, I thought I'd located something on Grainger or one of those similar sites but I can't locate the info any more.

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Anybody happen to know (part numbers?) proper replacement parts? At one point, I thought I'd located something on Grainger or one of those similar sites but I can't locate the info any more.

I replaced the power cable on my original Inty with a solution made from HDD ribbon and generic 2.54mm pitch 5 pin headers and connectors I found on eBay. Perfect fit.

 

I should upload a pic of the mod...

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Hi guys, well I did clean the port. And still nothing. The title screen will only really come on if I hold reset and let go at the same time as switching it on then as soon as I press a button....blank. Thinking I may sell it as parts, I just don't have the knowhow to fix it

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What does pressing reset while the system is on do? It's normal to usually have to hit reset to see the title screen when turning the unit on.

 

Sounding like a logic problem, probably sound chip, but possibly system RAM.

 

- J

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