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ED-209

Need Help: 2nd Player Paddle Issues and a Few Others

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Greetings Programs,

 

Long time lurker, first time poster:)

 

Anyway, I recently went head first into my Atari obsession, I mean collection and bought a Woody 2600 4 switcher. Everything was going great, didn't see anything regarding Hmove (will go into that in a little bit) then all of a sudden it stopped working, nothing would happen but a garbled mess when turning on the power. Again, everything was working fine, I had already cleaned everything, even the switches and games.

 

So, thankfully the retro store I got it from has a 30 day guarantee and luckily they had another 4 switcher but it was the Vader model. They tested it with two games (Pitfall and Mario Bros.) and all seemed fine.

 

Got home, tried it out and unfortunately the Black and White and Game Selection switches weren't working, as well as the difficulty switches were glitchy. So once again I took all the switches out, cleaned them and all was good again.

 

However, the first thing I noticed that was different was this presence of a bar\line on the left side of the screen, it was present in some but not all games. In Kaboom it was very obvious, sort of a dotted blue line and the dots moved up and down while playing. So I researched and I believe it is the Hmove thing which is supposedly normal and even present on Emulators? Well I did see it in some games, like Ms. Pacman, but I didn't see the same dotted blue line in Kaboom (in Stella emulator), so not really sure if there is an issue or not?

 

I plan on doing the AV Composite mod and hoping that will fix some issues or at least make the picture better as it looks pretty grainy on my 20" CRT RCA TruFlat TV.

 

So, the main issue I have now is regarding my paddles. I previously cleaned them very thoroughly and they both were working fine with Kaboom on the 2600 Woody I previously had but now on this Vader model, the 2nd player isn't working right. What happens is it jumps almost instantly when you get to a certain point. Think of it as turning it slowly, then all of a sudden it goes from Right to Left instantly. I am able to get it to go half by just inching the paddle ever so slightly.

 

So off to AtariAge I went again, researching all I could. I came across threads that said it could possibly be a short with either the 5 and 7 pin or the 5 and 9 pin or the 7 and 9 pin, you get the idea. So I tested all of these and there wasn't any shorts and I even took it completely out and resoldered everything but still no luck.

 

Next I came across another thread that said possibly the capacitors were the culprit, specifically C218 or C219, so I went to RadioShack but they didn't have the .068 uF but didn't have a .047 uF and a .022 uF, so I put those together (parallel, even though what I read stated these were polarized, so I just used the writing on the capacitor to ensure they were lined up the same ) and replaced both of them but still the same exact issue exists.

 

I also inspected the paddle pin holes and the pins on the console, used ISO 91% to clean but they looked fine and again they worked fine with the Woody 2600 I had.

 

So that leaves me here, what am I missing or is it something to do with the main chips or the TIA thing?

 

I originally wanted to get a 7800, you know best of both worlds, but couldn't find anyone around here that had one for a reasonable price that is.

 

Thanks for any and all help and apologies for the above novel but just wanted to be as detailed as I could in all the research and troubleshooting I've tried.

 

Ed

Edited by ED-209

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Welcome to the forum! I'll bet we can get your 4 switch straightened out.

 

Start at the beginning - what's the rev level of the board? It will be etched into the copper, either on the from, back or both, depending on the revision. Also - keep it simple and troubleshoot one thing at a time. Forget about the paddles for the moment and verify that the port(s) work correctly using the joysticks, then move back to the paddles. Missile command is a good cheap choice for this task - plus it's a fun game :-)

 

Are the original c218 & c219 salvageable?

 

Moving on to the picture - you have to straighten out the underlying issues before applying an AV mod to the unit. If you don't you'll just amplify the existing noise and have a crappy AV mod. Once straightened out... you'll be amazed how nice 2600 RF can be. Start here - some weirdo wrote some nonsense about this at one point -

 

The same idiot posted this showing some RF tweaking... (post 32 & 35)

 

Here's a good source for paddle parts if they're needed - although it could be a bad A202 RIOT chip (it's the one under the female cart slot on 4 switch units). But I doubt it.

Edited by mojoatomic

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The TIA handles the paddle lines and does not have the benefit of a hex buffer, like the 6ers do. Another issue with 4sw in general is broken pins under the controller ports.

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Welcome to the forum! I'll bet we can get your 4 switch straightened out.

 

Start at the beginning - what's the rev level of the board? It will be etched into the copper, either on the from, back or both, depending on the revision. Also - keep it simple and troubleshoot one thing at a time. Forget about the paddles for the moment and verify that the port(s) work correctly using the joysticks, then move back to the paddles. Missile command is a good cheap choice for this task - plus it's a fun game :-)

 

Are the original c218 & c219 salvageable?

 

Moving on to the picture - you have to straighten out the underlying issues before applying an AV mod to the unit. If you don't you'll just amplify the existing noise and have a crappy AV mod. Once straightened out... you'll be amazed how nice 2600 RF can be. Start here - some weirdo wrote some nonsense about this at one point -

 

The same idiot posted this showing some RF tweaking... (post 32 & 35)

 

Here's a good source for paddle parts if they're needed - although it could be a bad A202 RIOT chip (it's the one under the female cart slot on 4 switch units). But I doubt it.

 

Hello again and thanks for all the helpful info.

 

The board is a REV 16 and the other info has CO15519 and 1980

 

I already did the composite mod and it helped A LOT and figured it would be one less thing.

 

I can safely say that the issue is the TIA chip as I've tried everything else as well as tested the Right Controller port with Warlords and both paddles work fine.

 

I found the Best Electronics site and spoke with the man on the phone and he too confirmed that it would more than likely be the TIA chip. He said he'd be happy to sell me one so I am thinking I am going to try that.

 

Regarding the c218 and c219 caps, they seem ok, should I put them back in or just leave the .69 ones I put in from RadioShack (the .22 and .47 ones in parallel)?

 

Regarding the links you sent, would those resistors, capacitors and voltage regulator help the picture? The picture seems ok, the colors are good although it seems a little blurry or not in focus, but in Pitfall, the Activision at the bottom is clear as a bell. It's hard to describe.

 

I think I'll go ahead and get the Paddle and Joystick upgrades while I order the TIA chip. I hope he also carries a spare controller port as when I was checking and desoldering the existing one, one of the pins broke, but I soldered it back together and it works ok now. It was pin 3 for the Left control.

 

Thanks again and just let me know about the above question and feel free to share any other ideas\upgrades I should consider. I'll see if my RadioShack has all those parts you listed. With my board being a Rev 16, I assume I don't need the 820 ohm resistor, although if I do get another TIA chip from Best Electronics, not sure if that matters or as long as I have a Rev 16 board, that it doesn't matter about the TIA chip and I am in the clear?

Edited by ED-209

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The TIA handles the paddle lines and does not have the benefit of a hex buffer, like the 6ers do. Another issue with 4sw in general is broken pins under the controller ports.

 

 

Yeah, I'm learning fast about these Atari 2600's but thankfully it's not too complex as I am not that good with schematics just yet but I think I have it narrowed down to the darn TIA chip but thankfully I can get one ordered and just hope he also has a spare controller port as like you said, when I was troubleshooting, I accidentally broke off a pin but temporarily soldered it back together.

 

Thanks again for the help!

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One thing you can do to avoid breaking pins in the future through even normal use, is to drill through the plastic pins and use screws to hold the port securely to the board.

post-25215-0-38190100-1491599322_thumb.jpg

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Thanks again everyone for the help.

 

I think I have this solved, for now as I ordered the TIA chip and it should be here next week sometime. Once I get this installed, I'll post an update to confirm if this fixed the issue.

 

As always, I truly appreciate all the help from everyone here.

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Well, that was fast. I ended up going to a flea market today and lo and behold they had an Atari 2600 Vader, same Revision 16 and this one even had the IC chips socketed. It was kept outdoors as the difficulty switches were rusted and I didn't get any picture or anything when I tried hooking it up.

 

However, I took the TIA chip off (easy part thanks to the socket) and then took out the old TIA (what a PIA) and went ahead and put my own 40 pin socket, just in case. Drumroll.......it now works perfect, both paddles for player 1 and 2 work great, SUCCESS!!!

 

Icing on the cake is that I also took one of the controller ports and replaced the one on this one that broke, so that's taken care of and the next step is the screw those bad boys down.

 

Picture still isn't what I thought it would be but I started another thread about that.

 

Thanks again and hope this helps someone in the future if they have this same problem.

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