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Cebus Capucinis

Astrocade Specific Repair - is it Dead, Jim?

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Okay, having cracked it open let's get to specific repair! This is a Bally Arcade unit that is post-Astrovision. Currently getting static on screen with a high pitched whine (see video).

 

Oops! Couldn't post video. It's a black screen with faint static and a higher pitch whine/buzz.

 

Things done so far:

Checked for bulging caps (looks good)

Pulled, cleaned, and reseated socketed chips (no change)

Cleaned edge connectors and pins (no change)

Flowed solder in a couple spots (no change).

 

PCB looks good - no broken traces etc. I've checked all the chips for continuity and there's a couple suspects, and I do have a logic probe but without knowing what the pins are supposed to be doing there's not much I can do with that.

 

Question is: is it worth attempting repair at this point, and if so, what approach should I take beyond shotgunning chips here?

IMG_20200512_124900~2.jpg

IMG_20200512_125018.jpg

IMG_20200512_125024.jpg

IMG_20200512_125028~2.jpg

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1 minute ago, ballyalley said:

Nice pictures, but I don't see any videos or links to videos.

 

Adam

I'll upload a short one to YouTube!

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1 minute ago, Cebus Capucinis said:

Here we go:

 

 

Yup, it looks like a typical dead Astrocade.  Do you get anything at all when the system is off to when it's turned on?  Any bars or change of colors?  How about with and without a cartridge in the slot?  And pressing Reset does nothing, right?  I don't mean Reset will make the machine start, I just wonder if it affects the video at all.

 

If you have the ability to burn your own cart, then it's possible that SetScreen will give you a display that can help you diagnose the issue.  Here are instructions for that program:

 

https://ballyalley.com/faqs/faqs.html#SetScreen2AnAstrocadeTroubleshootingUtility

 

Good luck!

 

Adam

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6 minutes ago, ballyalley said:

If you have the ability to burn your own cart, then it's possible that SetScreen will give you a display that can help you diagnose the issue.  Here are instructions for that program:

 

https://ballyalley.com/faqs/faqs.html#SetScreen2AnAstrocadeTroubleshootingUtility

 

Good luck!

 

Adam

Do you get anything at all when the system is off to when it's turned on?

Doesn't appear to. Just to this screen.

 

How about with and without a cartridge in the slot?

 

No change as far as I can tell, just similar output.

 

And pressing Reset does nothing, right?  I don't mean Reset will make the machine start, I just wonder if it affects the video at all.

 

I can *almost* see some movement on pixels but it's not really much, and there's a high probability I'm imagining it.

 

I'd suspected it's a chip issue, but yeah....maybe it's just a paperweight at this point. I'll look into SetScreen and see if that gives me anything.

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On 5/12/2020 at 2:29 PM, Cebus Capucinis said:

maybe it's just a paperweight at this point. I'll look into SetScreen and see if that gives me anything.

 

The Astrocade probably isn't a paperweight.  I think many, or most, of them can be made to come back to life.  The idea behind SetScreen is that it starts-up before the "BIOS" and you can get an idea of how far into the boot process that your Astrocade makes it.  It does this by setting the screen to certain colors or patterns.  I've never used SetScreen myself to diagnose a problem (except under emulation).  If you do use it, then I'd like to get some feedback about how well it works out for you.

 

Adam

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On 5/12/2020 at 4:29 PM, Cebus Capucinis said:

Do you get anything at all when the system is off to when it's turned on?

Doesn't appear to. Just to this screen.

 

How about with and without a cartridge in the slot?

 

No change as far as I can tell, just similar output.

 

And pressing Reset does nothing, right?  I don't mean Reset will make the machine start, I just wonder if it affects the video at all.

 

I can *almost* see some movement on pixels but it's not really much, and there's a high probability I'm imagining it.

 

I'd suspected it's a chip issue, but yeah....maybe it's just a paperweight at this point. I'll look into SetScreen and see if that gives me anything.

Reach out to Allen Schweitzer, not sure if he's a member here (honestly, I liked the way AtariAge used to be where you had a friends list) but you can find him on the [email protected] group. 

 

If any one can fix it, its Allen.  He's the guy on eBay selling the refurbished consoles and controllers, and the reproduction cartridges. 

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On 5/22/2020 at 5:46 PM, 128Kgames said:

Reach out to Allen Schweitzer, not sure if he's a member here (honestly, I liked the way AtariAge used to be where you had a friends list) but you can find him on the [email protected] group. 

 

If any one can fix it, its Allen.  He's the guy on eBay selling the refurbished consoles and controllers, and the reproduction cartridges. 

Thanks! Allen reached out to me and we've been discussing options. He generously sent me replacement RAM and I'm going to try socketing and replacing chips today!

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