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ColecoVision 17 Watt 3.4 amp USB Power Supply solution (user review)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

The charger I used is a legit Apple iPad charger that came with a Gen3 iPad Air. It is 5v at 2.1A. 

 

It has been working fine for me until the weekend. What happened is that I had it all plugged into the charger and into the adapter but didn't have the adapter plugged into the colecovision itself. Because of this, the power adapter continues to build up heat and apparently that burned out both the +5 and -5 regulators on the ColUSB. Because I'm only getting +12 off it now and nothing on the 5 volt sides. But a normal CV power supply is working fine on the same colecovision. Also I didn't mention it but it was only left like this for a few hours one afternoon. So it wasn't like this all weekend or days..etc. Just sitting connected on my bench but not plugged into the CV for a few hours. I came back to plug it in and noticed how hot it had gotten along with the warping of the plastic. The plastic went back into shape when it cooled down but the adapter is no longer working.

 

There is in small print a statement that says it is recommended to unplug the adapter from the charger when not in use. But it says recommended, not required and even then I'm willing to bet that most people won't notice that if they even bothered to read the included manual. I mean..you plug in your USB A to USB C cable to the charger and then the C end into the ColUSB and that plugs into the CV. I've reached out to Dragonbox and created a case ticket but have only received the automated message stating it had been sent. Nothing more.

 

 

It most likely was a problem with the brand and model of USB charger that you used. Many ipad chargers have fast charging modes that can switch from 5 volts to output up to 20 volts over USB (But normally a handshake is required before the USB charger would switch to a higher voltage). The 12 volt regulators in the Col USB adapter might be able to handle a 20 volt input and regulate the voltage to 12 volts. However regulating the voltage from 20 volts to 5 volts might blow the regulator in the Col USB. However Dragonbox company would be able to tell you how good the regulators are and their exact specs. Try measuring the voltage coming out of the USB cable or charger directly to make sure its 5 volts. The charger might have malfunctioned and switched to a higher voltage like 20 volts. 

 

So far I have connected two 17 wattt 3.4 amp ColecoVision solutions mentioned in the first thread. One ColUSB is connected to the ColecoVision with the power switch on the ColecoVision completely off. The other ColUSB is not connected to the ColecoVsion. So far no heat at all. The Col USB adapter when there is no load to it is not producing any heat using the parts mentioned in the first thread. The only way I am able to generate a small amount of normal heat to the Col USB adapter is to turn on and use the ColecoVision.

 

I will let both 17 watt 3.4 amp ColecoVision power adapter solutions run at least 48 hours without being connected, but so far no load equals no heat to the Col USB. It appears that there was something wrong with the brand and model of USB power supply charger that you used, or maybe the ColUSB adapter went completely bad without a problem with the USB charger. Hopefully its under warranty from the company you purchased it from.    

Edited by HDTV1080P

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Posted (edited)
On 4/15/2020 at 7:15 PM, 5-11under said:

I guess that information was missing from the review.

Everything worked perfectly fine for over a month doing 24/7 stress testing when I created this thread for the ColecoVision 17 watt 3.4 amp USB Power Supply solution. I have now completed the testing with one ColUSB adapter connected to the ColecoVision with the power switch off and also one ColUSB adapter with the adapter unplugged from the ColecoVision (USB-C cable with both ends connected to the USB-C charger/power supply unit). It has been over 72 hours (3 days) and everything works fine. Absolutely no heat on the Col USB plug adapter when used with a high-end energy efficiency level VI 17 watt 3.4 amp Cable Matters power supply solution. The only way I am able to generate a small amount of normal heat from the ColUSB adapter plug is if I leave the ColecoVision on with a load for several hours or several days.

 

Therefore the 17 watt 3.4 amp USB Power Supply solution works perfectly fine as long as one uses the parts mentioned in the first post. A lower quality brand and model of USB power supply charger and cable might try and send the maximum voltage and current to the Col USB plug when there is no load if the charger goes into the fast charging mode.

 

So if anyone is using a brand and model of USB charger with cable that generates heat to the Col USB plug when the ColecoVision is turned off, then they should switch to a different brand and model to fix the issue. These Col USB plug adapters should be bundled together with a USB charger and cable that has been verified to work, since there is to many variables that could go wrong. A USB charger that does not put out exactly 5 volts can shorten the life of the regulators in the Col USB plug if the voltage is way off. Also this thread is for the ColecoVision 17 watt 3.4 amp USB Power Supply solution, and anyone using a different brand and model of parts not mentioned in the first thread should post their comments in a separate Col USB thread.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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To answer this, it appears that while my apple charge is labeled as being a 10watt charger (And it is a legit apple charger as I pulled it from a brand new iPad Air box myself), it appears they still might go into super charge mode and actually generate 10 - 12v to USB devices unless those devices have logic in place to communicate with the charger to tell it otherwise. As the ColUSB does not have any logic like this in place, it is plausible that my apple charger was overvolting it and caused the internal regulators to burn out. 

 

I had no way of knowing this would happen since the apple charger is new and aside from charging the iPad mentioned above, it hasn't been used for much else. But the charger states it only outputs 5v at 2.1A. So I didn't have a reason to believe otherwise.

 

The other charger I've used with my ColUSB prior to this is the one that came with my Lenovo Tab 10 that I use on my work bench as well. I never had any issues using that charger although it is rated at 5.5v with 2.5A output. 

 

I've been in contact with Dragonbox about it and we will get it sorted out. Just wanted to update because I don't feel that an Apple branded charger is a cheap charger and I figured it would be one of the better ones to do the job vs something else I had laying around.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the information, and I am sorry that problem with your setup happen to you. I originally tried a high-end 65 watt charger that had voltage levels between 5 volts and 20 volts. And what happen is the charger would not put out any voltage at all, not even 5 volts. The reason being is the 65 watt charger required a handshake communication between the USB-C device, and if no handshake happen zero voltage would be sent (no voltage). The Col USB does not have any communication logic circuitry and is always waiting for 5 volts.

 

There needs to be agreed upon communication standard with USB chargers especially since some models push up to 20 volts at 5 amps for the coming 100 watt models. In the ideal world a USB-C charger should put out zero voltage, or no more then 5 volts unless the connected USB device sends a digital signal to the charger that tells the charger to switch from 5 volts to 9 volts, 12 volts, 15 volts, or 20 volts.   

Edited by HDTV1080P

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Posted (edited)

The ColecoVision 17 Watt 3.4 amp USB Power Supply kit that has sold on EBAY for around $84.99, is a great product for those that want a USB power supply solution for their ColecoVision system. However, on June 12th a much better quality ColecoVision Power supply solution was released on the market and it sales for only $49.99 on EBAY.  Click the following link for more details.

 

28.5 watt ColecoVision compatible power supply (The best quality PS every made for the ColecoVision)

 

There are Amazon and EBAY dealers that would like to offer both the Col USB solution and the new 28.5 watt ColecoVision Power Supply solution. In the ideal world ColecoVision owners should have two choices in power supplies to choose from, however recently there has been some issues with getting the Col USB in large QTY ‘s into the United States. Therefore the Col USB adapter is currently not available from any USA dealers and needs to be imported into the United States from Dragonbox website directly until supplies last.   

Edited by HDTV1080P

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Amazon and EBAY dealers in the United States now have both the ColecoVision 17 Watt 3.4 amp USB Power Supply kit in stock and the new 28.5 watt ColecoVision compatible power supply. Now ColecoVision owners from around the world have a choice of two different power supplies to choose from.

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So I have a question that may not be suitable here. I bought a ColUSB awhile back and never got around to setting it up. This morning I finally did and while it turns on, the screen is has a strong blue hue to it that isn't near as present when using the original brick. The system is RGB modded but I wouldn't assume that would be it. I tried many kinds of cords and adapters including one that says it supplies 2.5 amps. I saw the one in this topic and ordered it but I am worried it might still cause the issue, any thoughts? Basically the intro screen where it should be all black, it comes up straight blue.

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"Too much blue" is a well-known problem in ColecoRGB and several older RGB mods.  I've never heard of a small voltage difference causing it to come or go, but the whole circuit (with its "tuning") is balanced precariously, so I wouldn't be surprised.

 

A better answer might be to swap your RGB mod over to TMS-RGB which works around the root cause of the "too much blue" and several other problems.  (I'm a couple days from posting the whole set of build and install instructions.)

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And I'm only a few days away from receiving the last of the components needed.

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On 7/4/2020 at 8:01 PM, Falonn said:

"Too much blue" is a well-known problem in ColecoRGB and several older RGB mods.  I've never heard of a small voltage difference causing it to come or go, but the whole circuit (with its "tuning") is balanced precariously, so I wouldn't be surprised.

 

A better answer might be to swap your RGB mod over to TMS-RGB which works around the root cause of the "too much blue" and several other problems.  (I'm a couple days from posting the whole set of build and install instructions.)

 

I had my mod done from a user here years ago and I'm not really savvy with this. The odd thing is my original brick looks better but the colusb does not. Is there any reputable person who could do a better job modding the system for me? Dunno if people here do that anymore. 

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47 minutes ago, goldenpp72 said:

 

I had my mod done from a user here years ago and I'm not really savvy with this. The odd thing is my original brick looks better but the colusb does not. Is there any reputable person who could do a better job modding the system for me? Dunno if people here do that anymore. 

I have had issues with my colusb in that it doesn't fit "tight" in the colecovision so if I don't make sure it is firmly plugged in I get rolling screen effects and other odd issues.

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1 hour ago, goldenpp72 said:

Is there any reputable person who could do a better job modding the system for me? Dunno if people here do that anymore.

You're looking for @Ruggers Customs (also: http://ruggerscustoms.com/ ).  Jimmy is as reputable as they come and he coincidentally just helped with the final testing of the new TMS-RGB mod across half a dozen Colecovision revisions.

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2 hours ago, Falonn said:

You're looking for @Ruggers Customs (also: http://ruggerscustoms.com/ ).  Jimmy is as reputable as they come and he coincidentally just helped with the final testing of the new TMS-RGB mod across half a dozen Colecovision revisions.

I'll give them a shout, appreciate it. I've admittedly never been quite content with this system as it's never worked the way I feel it should.. Hopefully this can be the moment since I do enjoy the platform.

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