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Falonn

Alternative replacement ColecoVision power switch

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Digging through all the tutorials on replacing the original, prone-to-corrosion Coleco power switch, they all seem to mention the same Radio Shack part number (275-691).  Opinion-wise, the red doesn't match as closely aesthetically for my tastes.  Worse, the tutorial videos show that the nut on the back of the switch requires you to cut some tabs off the inside of the case.

 

I wanted to find a switch that wasn't red and didn't require any case modification.  After dredging through the switch catalog at DigiKey, I found this part that snap fits perfectly into the original case with no modifications required.  Here's the 10 second video with the (satisfying) sound of the switch snapping into place.  Once it's been clicked in, it's nice and solid with no jostling.  It also seems to be a little closer to flush with the case vs. the Radio Shack part.

 

 

The part is JWMW21RA2A from NKK Switches.  The DigiKey part number is 360-1718-ND.

 

Hopefully this will spread the word if anyone else is looking to keep their case in its original condition!

Edited by Falonn
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While this is a nice find, let me just correct your assertions here.  The ColecoVision switch was not "poorly designed" or "prone-to-corrosion".  This is misinformation that has grown in recent years simply because, at 30+ years old, the switch contacts have become tarnished and start to be problematic.  On all of my many ColecoVisions it is only in the past 5 years that I've had issues with some of the switches.  Personally, I think that's rather impressive how well these have lasted.  Now, assuming a ColecoVision is kept in clean, climate controlled, conditions (such as an average house), then it takes decades for the contacts in the switch to tarnish to the point of becoming an issue.  These style of sliding contact switches were used in many consumer electronics of the day including the original Intellivision.

 

Also, if you're willing to / capable of desoldering an existing switch to replace it, then why not instead simply take a few more easy steps and refurbish it.  It only requires one to dismantle the switch, clean its contacts and then add a little dielectric grease and reassemble.  Instructions can be found here.  I did this on a few of my ColecoVisions years ago and they have since continued to work like new.

 

Hopefully this will spread the word if anyone else is looking to keep their ColecoVision and power switch in original condition!

 

P.S. I'm just not a fan of power and/or pause switch mods - they all look bulky and clunky to me.  Personally, I much prefer the look and feel of the originals.

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I wasn't making any assertions, just reusing the wording I've seen in dozens of forum topics and tutorials.  All I can vouch for personally is that this particular ColecoVision developed its power switch problem in 1984 and has been in a box (stored indoors in a cool, dark place) ever since.  My father wasn't much of a troubleshooter, so he just bought a second system at the time and used that one instead.  Almost 40 years later, I pulled "the broken one" out of the box, saw the graphics corruption (described everywhere I looked as a poorly functioning 12V rail due to the switch), bypassed the switch, and now it runs perfectly again.  That one only lasted 2 years, not 30, which is decidedly less impressive.

 

I agree the original look/feel would be best.  I tried to find a replacement board-mount switch with similar'ish dimensions (even if it meant a tiny 3D-printed "adapter" that needed to be inserted between the switch and the original plastic insert.  I wasn't able to find anything with the right contact spacing or throw distance, unfortunately.  I suppose a small adapter PCB could solve the problem of the contact spacing.  That might not be a bad way to go to get the best of both worlds.

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At the end of the day, the switches fail. Some have the skill to refurbish them, some to replace them, and some neither skill.

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9 hours ago, MrPix said:

At the end of the day, the switches fail. Some have the skill to refurbish them, some to replace them, and some neither skill.

What i was trying to highlight is that if you have the skill to replace them then you most definitely have the skill to refurbish them.

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I was having trouble desoldering mine, so I ended up cutting the switch's legs off.  After that the desoldering was easy but the switch was beyond repair.

 

So your assumption of competence might have been bigger than you expected. 😅

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1 minute ago, Falonn said:

I was having trouble desoldering mine, so I ended up cutting the switch's legs off.  After that the desoldering was easy but the switch was beyond repair.

 

So your assumption of competence might have been bigger than you expected. 😅

Fair enough.  If you're having trouble desoldering something like this there is a trick.  Add some fresh solder to the problem connections and let that melt into the existing solder using a soldering iron.  The fresh solder mixed with the old makes removal of all of the solder much easier.  Also, if you don't have a solder sucker (or equivalent) then at least have plenty of solder braid to hand and use that.

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22 hours ago, Falonn said:

Digging through all the tutorials on replacing the original, prone-to-corrosion Coleco power switch, they all seem to mention the same Radio Shack part number (275-691).  Opinion-wise, the red doesn't match as closely aesthetically for my tastes.  Worse, the tutorial videos show that the nut on the back of the switch requires you to cut some tabs off the inside of the case.

 

I wanted to find a switch that wasn't red and didn't require any case modification.  After dredging through the switch catalog at DigiKey, I found this part that snap fits perfectly into the original case with no modifications required.  Here's the 10 second video with the (satisfying) sound of the switch snapping into place.  Once it's been clicked in, it's nice and solid with no jostling.  It also seems to be a little closer to flush with the case vs. the Radio Shack part.

 

 

The part is JWMW21RA2A from NKK Switches.  The DigiKey part number is 360-1718-ND.

 

Hopefully this will spread the word if anyone else is looking to keep their case in its original condition!

These are the same switches I can buy locally. However, they do not just 'click' in because the section that needs to click around the case to hold it, isn't deep enough and so it just slides in but can be pulled back out. I end up cutting about 4mm off the very top of the plastic legs near the top of the switch. That way when I put it into place, I can grab those legs and pull them outward where they then grip onto the top of the of the case and hold fast. The other option would be to remove the plastic frame around the opening on the underside of the top shell but modifying the switch is much quicker and easier to do.

 

Holy crap $9 each from Digi! And I thought the $3.50 I was paying for them locally was a bit mad. Good thing I've a small handful of them. 

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4 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

These are the same switches I can buy locally.

Are you sure they're the same model number?  Without any modification on either side, mine snapped in nice and tight with no play or other wiggling at all.  (It can still be removed fairly easily by squeezing the two grippers from the underside.)

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They sure look exactly the same and seem to have the same size as the ones I use. But again when I insert them the bulge on the plastic grips sits too high and won't clear the plastic rim on the bottom of the top shell around the opening so the switch just can just be pulled right back out.

 

Then again if my switches I'm using aren't as tall I can live with it since again it doesn't take any time at all to clip the legs the way I do and they don't cost as much either it would seem.

 

Here is how the switch I use looks and again it appears to be the exact same. But again that initial thickness of the top shell doesn't allow the legs to snap in properly so I cut the tops a bit and pull them through. Here is the latest one I did ironically enough using one of the @Ikrananka pause/led kits for a client. Top pic is just the switch and LED from another CV I did, but the second pic is the latest one I did with the pause kit.

 

 

 

Colecovision_PwrSw_Mod.jpg

pause_pwr_switch_int.jpg

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21 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

... and they don't cost as much either it would seem.

Yeah, that $9 is the biggest drawback.

 

Hmm, they do look very similar.  Is the square border on the top a little... I want to say "rubberized"?  I think this particular model is incidentally IPX rated to be a little waterproof (which probably goes a long way toward explaining the price), so there is a little gasket on the underside and the top has a slightly rubbery feel.  (I'm also curious what that texture will mean for dust collection over time.)

 

The "1" or "I" direction is rotated, too, but I think that's an option at DigiKey.  There is another part number (one digit off from this one) that is the same switch with the labels rotated.  I picked the one where it would follow the same reading direction as the words on the chassis next to it.

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Yes it is does have rubber gasket like seal around the top edge of the switch. It is what hides the remaining gap space on the sides of the switch of which there is about 1mm either side maybe but also seems to fit around he opening nearly perfectly too. But again the switches I have aren't deep enough to click in as is so I have to trim those legs as you can see and pull them through. 

 

I never bothered to check for these at Digi since my local shop has them in stock. I've not seen them with the 1 rotated as it is on yours and that does make sense. So I have to assume the ones I pick up are designed for horizontal placement and not vertical. Still, it works the same and they run $3.50 each at my local shop. I first found them because they had a ton of them on hand and were trying to clear them out for like .50 cents each for a month. I grabbed a few at that time to see if they would work and quickly went through them. I was sad when I went back to get more and they were no longer on clearance LOL!

 

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That's awesome.  At fifty cents, I wouldn't mind clipping a little bit of plastic off each one either! hehe.

 

Is your local shop part of a chain?  It'd be cool to check around and see whether I've got a shop around here like that.

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11 hours ago, Falonn said:

That's awesome.  At fifty cents, I wouldn't mind clipping a little bit of plastic off each one either! hehe.

 

Is your local shop part of a chain?  It'd be cool to check around and see whether I've got a shop around here like that.

No, they are a local operation only and I worry for them honestly. They used to be a huge store with pretty much everything you could want in regards to Tubes, etc. They still have a few tubes on hand and I mainly hit them up for supplies these days or the occasional part like these switches. They tend to be too high priced on their caps and other components as compared to larger online stores.

 

They do sell on ebay but their offerings on their ebay store is NOTHING compared to what they actually have on hand. 

 

They are called Affiliated Electronics and here is their ebay store if you wish to take a gander...

 

http://www.ebaystores.com/Affiliated-Electronics

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