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chopperthedog

Getting my PONG collection up to snuff.

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Posted (edited)

Trying to plow through things from my todo pile before spring hits and the backyard RC track reopens. I've gathered these random units cheap over the last 4 years. They all had random issues ranging from crappy video, jittery pots, locked sounds, broken pot, non working switches and just over all filthy.

 

The major save for me is the coleco telstar arcade, had one growing up, it was a great option for a single mother raising 3 kids that couldn't afford a VCS at the time. Aside from RF tweaking, changing shifter switch, pot and switch cleaning, it had a sound issue. When it was supposed to be a blip or bloop it would output a crash sound. So something on the sound board was locked, figured out the signal trigger inputs and after looking at spec sheets narrowed it down to 2 chips. Found them online over a year ago, but finally did the repair with perfect success. The tennis game now blips and bloops instead of the crash sound. I'm proud to have this example in my collection.

 

The radio shack Electronic TV Scoreboard had a broken pot in the main unit. The sweep had come separated from the plastic shaft. Thankfully the plastic was real receptive to CA glue and got the sweep back in place for good. 

 

The speedway RF unit was toast, just could not be tuned, thankfully this is one of them units that looks sweet through composite. Lifted center pin from RF out jack and tapped from the video input. I'm only getting action from 1 of the 4  pots, I've narrowed it down to the comparator chip. Will hunt for one and hope for a fix.

 

Great weekend to finally get 4 out of 5 of my pong units ready for prime time and fully playable. Made great headway on the Telegames Speedway and saw a clean image for the first time, hope to solve the input issue.

 

 

good day.

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Edited by chopperthedog
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Very cool collection!

 

I'm jealous of that Speedway unit! I've been hunting for one of those for years--actually the Speedway IV, but this would do as well, lol--but either the price is never right, or I just missed out.

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Chopper, nice hardware! I've been doing a lot of research on Pong lately for some documentary videos I'm working on, and you've got some prime examples there, glad you were able to tweak and clean and resolve the jitter issues. 

 

That Tandy - I got a theory that's a forerunner to the modern day Plug 'N Play, all the hardware is build into the controller!

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14 hours ago, BassGuitari said:

Very cool collection!

 

I'm jealous of that Speedway unit! I've been hunting for one of those for years--actually the Speedway IV, but this would do as well, lol--but either the price is never right, or I just missed out.

I'll get some inside pics when I go to work on the controls again. Almost thought there was no hope for it when I first got it a couple years ago, it's one large PCB and the double sided tape on PCB retainers in center let loose. The player 1 & 2 pots are hard soldered to PCB and 3 & 4 have wires, but both player 1 & 2 pots got bent up separated in half due to the weight and whole PCB was bouncing around in case. If I can fix the controls, this will be a pretty nice save.

11 hours ago, 4cade said:

Chopper, nice hardware! I've been doing a lot of research on Pong lately for some documentary videos I'm working on, and you've got some prime examples there, glad you were able to tweak and clean and resolve the jitter issues. 

 

That Tandy - I got a theory that's a forerunner to the modern day Plug 'N Play, all the hardware is build into the controller!

If you need pics or anything hit me up. I have the boxes for the radio shack, speedway and pong sports IV units.

 

 

good day.

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Posted (edited)

This is quite a nice collection.  I've recently been looking through some of the old Pong consoles that I collected years ago that are in my garage.  I've found at least 3 Odyssey 4000s. There are several assorted Atari Pongs too.  I tested them all years ago, when I obtained them, but who knows how many work now.  I do have an old TV that I can't test them on via RF output but I'm almost more inclined to mod them all to composite video.  They've been out of circulation so long, that I'm thinking I should restore them and put them up for sale.  It would be nice if the could find a home where they would be loved.  What do you guys think?  What should be their fate?

Edited by mutterminder

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On 3/12/2020 at 12:56 PM, chopperthedog said:

If you need pics or anything hit me up. I have the boxes for the radio shack, speedway and pong sports IV units.

Hey, thanks Chopper! Glad to make your acquaintance. In truth, when it comes to dedicated pongs, I wish I could find a collector that had dozens, maybe a hundred, and just dive in and test each one, making a master list of which models had better or interesting controls & features. But since that's unlikely, I'm working on some other Pong material. Despite it being one of the most recognizable games in history, there's still a lot of un-mined material there about how Pong affected video game history. Right now I'm trying to finish up my doc on perhaps the strangest genre of Pong - the history of MECHANICAL Pong games!

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On 3/14/2020 at 11:18 AM, mutterminder said:

I do have an old TV that I can't test them on via RF output but I'm almost more inclined to mod them all to composite video.  They've been out of circulation so long, that I'm thinking I should restore them and put them up for sale.  

Very cool, mutterminder. Be sure to post some pics if you do this!

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Hey, @chopperthedog, I have a question - while this was the era of woodgrain, I saw a YouTube video about a dedicated Pong that actually was encased in REAL wood - anyone here know of a real wood console? I think the one in the video was Video Olympiad.

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