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thetallguy24

How to align/adjust Vectrex screen?

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So I just got a Vectrex for the first time, and while it works great, the image is pretty tilted. Was purchased on Ebay and everything appeared on ok when I opened the package.

 

Tried to contact the seller, but he/she is saying that it was fine before it left (of course).

 

Is there any way to align the screen? Maybe a tutorial somewhere? I'm not getting any help from the seller, and from what I can tell the manual calls for using a test cartridge.

 

Any ideas on what to do here?

 

Thanks.

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I had the same issues with mine. There are plenty of calibration tutorials online. You will need a good o-scope to do it properly, but it can be done close enough by eye.

 

There are 2 adjustable pots on the board inside the unit. Take the back off and look on the board at the bottom, they should be black/white and mounted vertically along the edge of the board. Very MINOR movements of the pots will go a long way. Just visually inspect the screen as you make the adjustments. Be careful of the voltage!! Can be deadly... just take your time with it.

 

Also helps immensely if you can get a hold of a rev 4 test cart.

 

I love the Vectrex! Its totally worth any work put into it!

Edited by ArcadeJunkie

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I had the same issues with mine. There are plenty of calibration tutorials online. You will need a good o-scope to do it properly, but it can be done close enough by eye.

 

There are 2 adjustable pots on the board inside the unit. Take the back off and look on the board at the bottom, they should be black/white and mounted vertically along the edge of the board. Very MINOR movements of the pots will go a long way. Just visually inspect the screen as you make the adjustments. Be careful of the voltage!! Can be deadly... just take your time with it.

 

Also helps immensely if you can get a hold of a rev 4 test cart.

 

I love the Vectrex! Its totally worth any work put into it!

 

So adjust it while it is turned on? What kind of tool (if any) will I need?

 

Also, would an antistatic wristband ground myself properly to do this? Where would I connect the wristband?

Edited by thetallguy24

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So adjust it while it is turned on? What kind of tool (if any) will I need?

 

Also, would an antistatic wristband ground myself properly to do this? Where would I connect the wristband?

The "you will kill yourself" stuff is overblown. Plenty of threads/docs on the adjustments, check 'em out and let us know if you have questions.

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The "you will kill yourself" stuff is overblown. Plenty of threads/docs on the adjustments, check 'em out and let us know if you have questions.

Ummm I do have questions. That's why I asked them above

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Your alignment looks good but the image isn't centered. Probably the yoke has shifted during shipping and the adjustments are physical and not electrical. I wouldn't touch the adjustment pots until observing if the yoke is loose and either try shimming it or recentering the image with the yoke magnets.

 

The only electrical adjustment that will affect centering is the DAC 0 adjust and it should not be used for purposes of centering the image. If DAC 0 is used for centering you may end up with brightness or convergence problems on part of the screen.

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Your alignment looks good but the image isn't centered. Probably the yoke has shifted during shipping and the adjustments are physical and not electrical. I wouldn't touch the adjustment pots until observing if the yoke is loose and either try shimming it or recentering the image with the yoke magnets.

 

The only electrical adjustment that will affect centering is the DAC 0 adjust and it should not be used for purposes of centering the image. If DAC 0 is used for centering you may end up with brightness or convergence problems on part of the screen.

 

Can I adjust the yoke while it is on or do I do it while it is off?

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The yoke is safe to touch while running but you'll need to be totally comfortable working around the anode wire for sure. There are probably tips and videos online for CRT yoke alignment but I'm currently in the boondocks and can't provide any links.

 

I'd look and see if one of the rubber yoke block has slipped as you may only have to wedge it back into place.

 

You may be able to use the tab magnets too, and if so I'd just draw and alignment mark across them so they can be reset if necessary.

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The yoke is safe to touch while running but you'll need to be totally comfortable working around the anode wire for sure. There are probably tips and videos online for CRT yoke alignment but I'm currently in the boondocks and can't provide any links.

 

I'd look and see if one of the rubber yoke block has slipped as you may only have to wedge it back into place.

 

You may be able to use the tab magnets too, and if so I'd just draw and alignment mark across them so they can be reset if necessary.

 

I've yet to find a single YouTube video on aligning a Vectrex

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I've yet to find a single YouTube video on aligning a Vectrex

As far as image centering and rotation goes it is practically the same as a B&W CRT television set. The yoke sets where the electrons "land" on the screen. The yoke has a coarse alignment set with rubber wedges or blocks and fine alignment set by fixed magnets. IIRC the service manual details usage of the magnets.

 

Looking at your photos the text seems good (non italicized and not squished it tall) and the corners of drawn images are aligned well, it's just that the whole thing is shifted down and left. In those cases the yoke alignment is usually at fault for sending the image to the wrong portion of the screen, more or less.

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The more I think about it, I believe the service manual details full yoke alignment, starting with loosening the clamp, removing blocks, and pushing it completely forward on the tube. Can't recall where it goes from there.

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