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Jacro017

Vectrex repair issue....

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Can an expert determine what is going on here and is someone willing to repair for me as well?Thanks!

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I wish I were closer. I'd love to help. I'm Central Pennsylvania - Harrisburg area.

Does the serial sticker on the back say Hong Kong, Taiwan, or C1 - Canada? Canada Hong Kong say 1983. US Hong Kong say 1982, and seem to me to hold up better than the Taiwan ones.

 

They usually are repairable, but high difficulty because of many reasons.

It's so easy to overheat and lift traces when de-soldering a capacitor.

The circuit boards are double sided, without metal conducting through the holes like a double sided board is made, and quite poor quality. The 2 boards are connected with cables that suffer from 35 years of tarnish on the connector ends.

 

SOMEBODY DONATE AN OSCILLISCOPE TO ME. You really need that to properly adjust everything. And a Voltmeter that can handle adjusting 15,000 Volts. Those aren't affordable.

 

I repaired a Vectrex with "single white dot". The computer board was working and had sound. That was in the early 2000's when you could still buy "for parts" Vectrex reasonably like $75 (shipping cost is high due to weight and the need for lots of padding, protection), but my fix is not 100%, I'd say 90%, maybe due to a bad solder joint?, no oscilloscope to properly calibrate, and no voltage meter. My fix was the last possible component I could check or replace, centered under the huge power board heat sink. It is used in the beam deflection circuit. Probably overheated even though it has a heat sink longer than a brick.

 

What's tough is every fix I read about is something completely different.

Sometimes it's the On/Off volume knob, sometimes a socketed chip pressed firmly back into the socket is a fix, sometimes cleaning cable connectors, sometimes replacing the sound chip. I could go on and on.

Ones like your picture that are over bright with the center dot and trails coming out to the vectors I'd guess would be at the very difficult stage to fix, just saying -- but maybe not.

 

I have a pristine one that has too-high pitched sound, until it warms up. Then it's fine, although it's one that doesn't play digital samples. Can't figure that one out. Space Frenzy and an interactive Synth Drum on Sean Kelly's Multicart play samples loud on some Vectrex, but barely at all even with the volume at max on others...

 

Many report Vectrex systems that need to "warm up" until the display pops on.

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sometimes (if you dont mind having the back cover off and your hands inside the vectrex when the unit is powered on), you can 'massage' or apply some pressure to the chips (such as the socketed chips like the VIA chip), and see if what is happening on the screen changes. if it does, then that can help pinpoint if a chip is not functioning properly or is not seated in the socket very well/poor connection.

doing this method i repaired a vectrex in the past when i noticed that if i touched (squeezed a little) the polystyrene (funny looking silver barrel) capacitors in the integrator section, the already erratic screen would change.

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sometimes (if you dont mind having the back cover off and your hands inside the vectrex when the unit is powered on), you can 'massage' or apply some pressure to the chips (such as the socketed chips like the VIA chip), and see if what is happening on the screen changes. if it does, then that can help pinpoint if a chip is not functioning properly or is not seated in the socket very well/poor connection.

doing this method i repaired a vectrex in the past when i noticed that if i touched (squeezed a little) the polystyrene (funny looking silver barrel) capacitors in the integrator section, the already erratic screen would change.

not sure if I want to pay the $125 asking price

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