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Dubis7

Coleco Adam Repair - Any Help or Tips?

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I'm fighting a losing battle with my Coleco Adam. It's always had some video issues; I've been able to coax RF from it but the monitor out struggled to lock on screen and provided little color. A few days ago the monitor port snapped off inside my unit and I finally bit the bullet, cracked it open and replaced it with a spare from a parts board. 

 

Not only is the monitor out just as buggy after the replacement, but now I've got a weak RF signal with no color and my data drive (which was restored by retro system rescue prior to me installing it) is causing a mess of issues. It loaded smartbasic once but now kicks the machine into typewriter mode midway through the load. It won't load any other tapes but I'm not sure if those tapes are good or not. Worse, when I installed it and my second drive into the unit the machine failed to turn on entirely. It will turn on as long as I don't have the drives installed which sounds like a short circuit to me but a quick continuity check on my monitor port work didn't show anything. 

 

I've reached the limit of my digital repair skill, but I'd like to learn how to work on this and get it running reliably. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I've got a logic probe and a decent set of soldering and desoldering tools to work with, plus the aforementioned parts board that likely has a decent set of replacement chips if needed. 

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A quick update as I was fiddling with it today: I'm able to get color out by pressing down on the RF box. Perhaps there's a cold solder joint? Does anyone have any recommendations for what points might be worth touching up the solder on? I'm also thinking there's a grounding issue - I noticed when I plug a monitor cable in the whole picture flickers. 

 

Still no progress on the tape load though. It consistently kicks me back to typewriter mode when I try to use smartbasic. 

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