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Power Problems - ID the problem part?

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Hi all!


So much great info here in the 5200 section. I've been learning so much, but I've just hit a hitch that has me confused and concerned.


I recently got a 4-port model, and after an initial hiccup with a bad chip in the switchbox, have been playing it like crazy. I replaced the chip after getting it, and once I did, everything worked perfectly, or at least, as I read it should be functioning.


Today, something started feeling "off" about my setup, specifically around the 5200. Here's what's up.




- I had a 7800 routed "through" the switchbox as well (as though it were the TV antenna). For the past few weeks, if I left the 7800 on, I could turn the 5200 on and off to "switch between the two", like it was supposed to do.


- As of today, this changed, though the static on the CRT tv is "dark" on that input, almost solid black. When I plug a game in (while the console is off), it brightens and audible static kicks in. This is new. Until yesterday it was standard static when the console was off.


- When the console is off, and no game inserted, the power LED remains on but very dim. Once a game is inserted, the LED goes out completely.


- I flipped the switch on the switchbox between "normal" and "standby" to see if that was what was up. I can see the "antenna input" in standby, but can't get the switchbox to automatically switch between the two in "normal" mode. Turning on the 5200 will not override the "antenna" input in "normal" mode.


- The "click" I'd been hearing from the fixed switchbox isn't happening now. I figure that's a bad sign.


- I opened up the switchbox again today, and replaced the chip once more (because I socketed last time), wondering if some other component might have blown the chip and if a fresh one could solve the problem, but the "fresh" chip resulted in the same behavior as the one that's been in there a month.



- won't switch between inputs automatically

- stopped "clicking"

- LED will remain on, but dimmer, when "off", until a game is inserted, then it goes out.





Do these symptoms indicate any specific disease?


Since most problems with the switchbox seem to be with that chip based on my reading, and a new chip didn't change a thing, I don't know what part of that switchbox could be causing problems.


My theory is that maybe the power supply itself (from the wall, with the box, that feeds into the switchbox) could be the culprit? I haven't learned how to test that yet, and don't know what type of components might remain in that box and hold a charge. Can anyone offer suggestions?


I unplugged everything when this occurred to me. I'm going to replace the power strip these were plugged into (and probably upgrade to a nicer one as well, just to be safe). I'm freaked and don't want to fry the thing.


I promise I'm trying to learn all I can about electronics, and even bought a nice new multimeter, but I'm a beginner, and sort of a "solder-by-numbers" type of heat gun jockey. So if you have any ideas, "basic" might suit me better. And I didn't wanna go stabbing around with a multimeter without knowing what I might be looking for. I'll probably open up the console tomorrow and make sure nothing around the power input looks blown.


Despite the behavior that's making me uneasy, it DOES fire up games just fine, and plays without glitches as well. I'm just worried something might be juicing it wrong in a way I can't notice and I don't want any invisible damage. My biggest concern I guess is that it's getting TOO MUCH power, and I know that's no good.


I've recently become completely addicted to my 5200. My modest stack of 5200 games has already left the rest of my systems collecting dust. Can anyone help? Please?



[NOTE: I do not plan on modding this console unless I absolutely have to. I often like keeping things as "stock" as possible, it's just my thing. So while I appreciate suggestions to do so, they're not what I'm looking for right now.]

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