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Just getting static from Intellivision II

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I got my old Intellivision II out of the garage and decided to hook it up again.  It's been unused for about 20 years.

 

When I turn on the Intellivision II, the power light comes on, but I just get static on the TV.  I've tried both Channel 3 and Channel 4.  I've tried two different cables, two different "Game / TV" boxes, and two different 300-Ohm-to-75-Ohm converters, but none of it made any difference.

 

Any recommendations on the next step in troubleshooting this problem?

 

For no particularly good reason, I'm wondering if the problem is the RF modulator.  (My only real justification for thinking this is that the output jack on the RF modulator is bent at a bit of an angle.)  So I'm thinking about getting an AV mod and seeing if that fixes the problem.  Is that a good next step, or is there something else I should try first?

 

Thanks!

 

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I would advise against any AV mods on the Intelly 2 with the exception of RGB. All the composite mod kits I've tried on the Intelly 2 just don't look as good as they do on the Intelly model 1 units.

 

Are you using a modern HDTV with it or?

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Are you using a modern HDTV with it or?

 

Yes, I'm using a modern Samsung HDTV.  It has a 75 Ohm coax input, which I successfully use to view my VCR on Channel 3, so I assume it should work the same way for the Intellivision.  (If the Intellivision was working.)

 

(And of course it also has composite, component, and HDMI inputs, too.)

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That RF modulator does look a bit off-kilter.  You should be able to pop the cover off easily and see what things look like inside.

 

I opened it up, and although the connector is bent, I didn't see anything that (to my uneducated eye) looked amiss.  There wasn't anything obvious that should be connected that wasn't, or vice-versa.  Is there anything in particular I should look for?

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Plug a game into the Intellivision and turn it on. Then on your TV do a channel scan on the Antenna setting. It could be that your TV needs to scan and find the Intellivision in order to lock in to it. I had to do this with my 2600 the first time I fired it up on my Samsung a few years back.

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-^Cro§Bow^- did the A/V composite mod on my Inty II. He did a wonderful job of the work. He is correct, though, that an A/V mod on the Inty II will make the graphics a bit "smeary" (I think I borrowed that term from him, IIRC). I still love the work he did to the console, but he knows his stuff and he's right about sticking to RGB only.

 

I just want to add one idea here with the issue you're having. Don't overlook the simple stuff. I didn't see this mentioned before: clean the cartridge contacts and the cartridge port with the highest concentration of isopropyl alcohol you can access (CVS and Target have 91%, 99% is best). You can unscrew some Inty carts with a Phillips head screwdriver to make cleaning easy. Others need the triangle screwdriver. Just use isopro with a cotton swab to clean the cart contacts. You can use an old plastic card, like an old bank card or reward program card, and an old t-shirt to clean the cart port. Just wrap the t-shirt around the card and wet it with the isopro. Slide the t-shirt/card in and out until it comes back clean. This solves a lot of no-start / static / black screen issues with consoles. You might have already done this stuff, and I overlooked it, but it not, definitely give it a try. At worst, your static will be generated from a very clean Inty II cart port and set of games. ;)

 

- Blaine

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I tried the Intellivision with an ancient 13-inch CRT TV, and it didn't work there, either, so I don't think the connection to the TV is the problem.

 

I cleaned the cartridge and cartridge slot, using some 99% isopropyl alcohol wipes from MG Chemicals that I use for electronics.  I also tried a couple of different cartridges.  And I agree with @mr_me that if the console was working, I should be getting a blank screen when it is turned on, not static.  The character of the static doesn't even change at all when I turn the console on and off.

 

Test the power coming out of the power board. You can find the test voltages here.
https://console5.com/wiki/Intellivision_II#

 

Thanks!  I probed those test points, and they all seem to have the correct voltages as given on that page.

 

Any suggestions what I should test next?

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It's a long-shot... But I guess with the system opened as you've shown above, no power or anything, check continuity from that blob of solder near where the tip of the inserted cable is -- not the cable itself -- and the tip of the other end of the cable.  Similarly, check the continuity from the main box of the RF box (or any ground point) with the far end of the outer sheath of the cable'.

 

You've already verified the cable good, so if both of those test out with valid continuity, it's time to see if there's anything coming *out* on that contact that the inner wire of the cable is making contact with.

 

Be sure to avoid bending any of the inductors (coils).

 

This assumes you have an Ohmmeter handy, though.

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It's a long-shot... But I guess with the system opened as you've shown above, no power or anything, check continuity from that blob of solder near where the tip of the inserted cable is -- not the cable itself -- and the tip of the other end of the cable.  Similarly, check the continuity from the main box of the RF box (or any ground point) with the far end of the outer sheath of the cable'.

 

The continuity seems to be good on both of those paths.

 

Yes, I have a multimeter, although I don't have an oscilloscope or a logic analyzer.

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it's time to see if there's anything coming *out* on that contact that the inner wire of the cable is making contact with.

 

How should I go about doing that?

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