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RCA Studio II Multicart

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I forgot that Flip wrote a test program which is on the multicart which includes a RAM test, did you try that ? The cart port is fairly chunky, should be fairly reliable ?

I actually did once I realized that the multi cart came with all these diagnostics. It passed the RAM test as well as all the others so I'm not sure what the issue is.

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I haven't got one of the carts but there's a jumper that you have to set depending on the version of your Studio II/Clone otherwise you get glitches.

Is the jumper something on the multicart that I would adjust or inside the console itself? Not very tech savvy.

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It's on the cart

 

Think you have to open the console up to see if you have a revision D or E board but..

Phew - you had me worried there for a while :)

 

On the Studio II, the cart works with the default setting. If you have an earlier board (Rev D), you can set J2 to position 1-2 (instead of the default 2-3). This bypasses Ed Keefe's TPA circuit that re-creates the full TPA signal on the cart. Without this circuit, the revision E boards seem to mirror the higher address ranges to the lower ones. This is described in Paul Robson technical pages. I can't think of any reason why RCA designers would have done this: it effectively limits the usable address space to $400-$7FF...

 

On the clones, I suspect that the timing is slightly different, so that the TPA circuit struggles with keeping things in sync. I've not looked with a logic analyser, but since bypassing the circuit works, it's not something to worry about.

 

In short:

 

RCA Studio II, revision D: J2 1-2 or 2-3 shouldn't matter

RCA Studio II, revision E: J2 must be in position 2-3 (as is on delivery)

Clones, including Conic and MPT: J2 must be in position 1-2

 

FliP

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It's on the cart

 

Think you have to open the console up to see if you have a revision D or E board but..

Ah okay. So I'll take the cart out of the case and see about these jumpers. And I'll open up the console to see if I can determine which board I have. Thanks for your help!

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Ah okay. So I'll take the cart out of the case and see about these jumpers. And I'll open up the console to see if I can determine which board I have. Thanks for your help!

 

Sorry - I was away for a few days and traveling all day today.

 

Revision Ds have a low serial number, probably lower than 10,000, but I don't think the board revision should matter on an actual Studio II, though it doesn't hurt to try. Move J-2 to the 1-2 position and see whether this makes any difference...

 

It's very odd that cleaning the slot would offer a temporary solution, let alone that some games seem to work. Every time I've seen such behaviour, i've traced it to one or more RAM chips behaving badly. You could try running the RAM test several times to see whether it trips up... Failing that, It might be a timing issue, whereby the oscillator that generates the clock is no longer tuned correctly. That *could* throw the TPA circuit on the cartridge off - but that a long shot, especially if you're getting a good image on the screen...

 

FliP

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Sorry - I was away for a few days and traveling all day today.

 

Revision Ds have a low serial number, probably lower than 10,000, but I don't think the board revision should matter on an actual Studio II, though it doesn't hurt to try. Move J-2 to the 1-2 position and see whether this makes any difference...

 

It's very odd that cleaning the slot would offer a temporary solution, let alone that some games seem to work. Every time I've seen such behaviour, i've traced it to one or more RAM chips behaving badly. You could try running the RAM test several times to see whether it trips up... Failing that, It might be a timing issue, whereby the oscillator that generates the clock is no longer tuned correctly. That *could* throw the TPA circuit on the cartridge off - but that a long shot, especially if you're getting a good image on the screen...

 

FliP

Thank you! And no worries, I decided it would only be fair that I bother everyone else on the thread and not just you. ;)

 

Thank you for the tip on the serial number as I have no clue how to determine which board I have. Also what does the jumper look like? I'm just wondering if it's something that'll be obvious to me when I open it or if I need to poke around. I'll try the RAM test a few times, did it about twice and it passed each time, all the tests seemed fine. The image is great actually, even on an LCD, crystal clear. And it is odd that it's inconsistent. I can play Pac-Man fine, he moves in all directions, no glitches, yet Space Invaders without fail the ship just doesn't move, unless I wipe the contacts with alcohol or an air can on the cartridge port, then it moves a bit and locks up again. But it's odd that other games are fine. I'll open it up and see what I cna do with my limited skills.

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Thank you! And no worries, I decided it would only be fair that I bother everyone else on the thread and not just you. ;)

 

Thank you for the tip on the serial number as I have no clue how to determine which board I have. Also what does the jumper look like? I'm just wondering if it's something that'll be obvious to me when I open it or if I need to poke around. I'll try the RAM test a few times, did it about twice and it passed each time, all the tests seemed fine. The image is great actually, even on an LCD, crystal clear. And it is odd that it's inconsistent. I can play Pac-Man fine, he moves in all directions, no glitches, yet Space Invaders without fail the ship just doesn't move, unless I wipe the contacts with alcohol or an air can on the cartridge port, then it moves a bit and locks up again. But it's odd that other games are fine. I'll open it up and see what I cna do with my limited skills.

you can see a photo of the jumper on the first post in the 4th image. just take it off move it along. (jumper 2)

Edited by TLD1985
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Thank you! And no worries, I decided it would only be fair that I bother everyone else on the thread and not just you. ;)

 

Thank you for the tip on the serial number as I have no clue how to determine which board I have. Also what does the jumper look like? I'm just wondering if it's something that'll be obvious to me when I open it or if I need to poke around. I'll try the RAM test a few times, did it about twice and it passed each time, all the tests seemed fine. The image is great actually, even on an LCD, crystal clear. And it is odd that it's inconsistent. I can play Pac-Man fine, he moves in all directions, no glitches, yet Space Invaders without fail the ship just doesn't move, unless I wipe the contacts with alcohol or an air can on the cartridge port, then it moves a bit and locks up again. But it's odd that other games are fine. I'll open it up and see what I cna do with my limited skills.

 

Just to make sure: the jumper is on the multicart - not inside the console... It has a yellow square on the attached photo. Just move the jumper so the left two pins are connected instead of the two pins on the right...

 

FliP

post-41391-0-00990200-1483737807_thumb.png

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Sounds like a dirty port or card edge connector.

 

DO THE FOLLOWING AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK...

 

What I would do is take a piece of 2000 grit sandpaper and wrap it over an old credit card (or something similar that would fit into the cartridge slot) with the grit out. Then I'd carefully clean the cart slot by moving the sandpaper wrapped card in and out of the slot a few times. I wouldn't move it side to side, just in and out to clean the contacts in the slot. I might also hit the cart contacts if tarnished, but if it is brand-new it is likely fine.

 

This trick also often works with a thin, lint-free cloth that has been moistened With a good alcohol in place of the sandpaper. The sandpaper is for when the cloth fails. ;)

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You can also use just a clean piece of heavier white paper wrapped over the edge of a credit card or similar card. Experiment with different ones if thickness is an issue.

Also they make little paddles just for doing this that come with cleaning kits, especially for the nes.

 

I would use sandpaper as a very last resort. And I would not use it on the multicart contacts!

 

Also blow it out very good with canned air before you do this stuff.

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Just to make sure: the jumper is on the multicart - not inside the console... It has a yellow square on the attached photo. Just move the jumper so the left two pins are connected instead of the two pins on the right...

 

FliP

Connected the jumper to the two pins to the left and OMG it works so far!!!!!!!! Yayyyy!!! I'm so excited. I've been waiting for years to play games like Space Invaders on the RCA S2. Thank you everyone!!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D

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Oh I do have one more question. I have been turning off the console, unplugging the power supply and removing the multicart after I'm done. But I was wondering, would it be okay to just leave the multi-cart in the console? I don't have any original carts yet so I'm not going to be plugging in any other carts any time soon. But I wanted to check in and see if there is any potential to do damage by doing that given the age of the console. Thank you!

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Hi

 

I was wondering if you still had any multi carts and composite mod available? If so I'd be interested in purchasing them and the box if you still have one.

 

Thanks

Matt

blinddog

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Hi,

 

The first batch of multicarts (about 40, including some complementary ones) is all gone. I need to re-order the PCBs, which I will do in bulk as soon as I've done some testing with an updated design. I post here when they are available again, but it will probably be mid-February...

 

FliP

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Well, I booted up my system only to have it get a black screen after a few minutes. It initially worked only to crap out on me. Feeling pretty bummed. Is there anyone here on the forums that can repair my unit? Thanks.

 

Are you still having this issue?

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Are you still having this issue?

 

I sent one RCA Studio II for repair. Y-bot sent me another unit with the same issue. Black screen, occasional graphics on screen but no sound or anything else no matter what I push.

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Hi,

 

The first batch of multicarts (about 40, including some complementary ones) is all gone. I need to re-order the PCBs, which I will do in bulk as soon as I've done some testing with an updated design. I post here when they are available again, but it will probably be mid-February...

 

FliP

 

Good morning! I'm a late, or new, joiner here and would appreciate being added to your list of (future) customers. THX :->.

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Oh I do have one more question. I have been turning off the console, unplugging the power supply and removing the multicart after I'm done. But I was wondering, would it be okay to just leave the multi-cart in the console? I don't have any original carts yet so I'm not going to be plugging in any other carts any time soon. But I wanted to check in and see if there is any potential to do damage by doing that given the age of the console. Thank you!

 

sorry, missed the question here...

 

Leaving the multicart in should be fine - in fact, given the age of the connector, it's probably best to pulg and unplug as little as possible. in addition, leaving a cart in protects the connector from dirt and what have getting in.

 

FliP

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I will be uploading an RCA Studio II video to my channel today. Such an awesome product and will be sending people to this thread. Thank you to all who were involved with making this happen.

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Great video on the Multicart... glad you got your unit repaired. I wish I still had mine but it went missing during the mid-eighties or else I would be all over the Multicart.

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I finally sat down and messed with my multicart after contending with some display issues (short version: my CRT doesn't want to play nice with the Studio II's rf output without going through a demodulator). I'm kind of impressed with the system - Star Wars, Space War, and the homebrew games are all pretty fun! Now to just convince someone to play some Moonship Battle with me.

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I'd love one of these since John Hancock did his video. Let me know when they're available again, hopefully for not at least another week or two so I can get some funds together! I'd like cart and shell if possible. Are boxes still available as well?

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