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Mezrabad

Coleco Telstar Combat! Help me Fix!

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Okay, I'm going to refurbish a beat-up Coleco Combat that I just won from ebay (the kind of win where actual shipping costs more than the final bid). Very happy to have it, one side works fine, video is a little warped but I get the idea.

 

One of the sticks (left stick of black tank) has a shot spring, i.e. it just flops around like a dead floppy thing.

 

Like the Vectrex joystick, I figure it wouldn't be impossible to disassemble the stick's base and replace the spring in it.

 

Silly me, I can't get the damn grips off which will allow me to get into the base and take a look-see. I know this is possible, I'm just hitting a blank.

 

Anyone have any suggestions? Am I missing something really simple here?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Mezrabad

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Okay, I'm going to refurbish a beat-up Coleco Combat that I just won from ebay (the kind of win where actual shipping costs more than the final bid). Very happy to have it, one side works fine, video is a little warped but I get the idea.

 

One of the sticks (left stick of black tank) has a shot spring, i.e. it just flops around like a dead floppy thing.

 

Like the Vectrex joystick, I figure it wouldn't be impossible to disassemble the stick's base and replace the spring in it.

 

Silly me, I can't get the damn grips off which will allow me to get into the base and take a look-see. I know this is possible, I'm just hitting a blank.

 

Anyone have any suggestions? Am I missing something really simple here?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

My wife asked me about a question she got on ebay just like this one. Did you try the the hair dryer trick yet? I was just wounding if it worked for you. FYI, the spring inside the Combat unit is a leaf spring of sorts. You might have a hard time replacing it. You might want to look in to getting another one for parts. I only say this because you are at the point I was a couple of years ago with my Coleco Combat. Good Luck! I hope this helps.

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Drop Rob Mitchell a PM, he's a regular on AA. I had a similar problem with my Coleco Combat way back in 1999, and Rob was able to fix it up nicely. Great little system btw, makes me want to dig mine out of the box and fire it up!

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My wife asked me about a question she got on ebay just like this one. Did you try the the hair dryer trick yet? I was just wounding if it worked for you. FYI, the spring inside the Combat unit is a leaf spring of sorts. You might have a hard time replacing it. You might want to look in to getting another one for parts. I only say this because you are at the point I was a couple of years ago with my Coleco Combat. Good Luck! I hope this helps.

 

That was me!! Thanks for the advice there and here. I haven't tried the hair dryer trick yet. I was really hoping someone was going to say "oh, there's a release switch somewhere you have to hit with a screwdriver" but I'm starting to think that isn't going to happen. LOL.

 

I'll try the hair dryer trick and get in touch with Rob Mitchell. Bones, thanks for your advice, too.

 

I haven't seen a Coleco Combat "fixit" thread anywhere, so I'm declaring this to be "the official."

 

To refurbish mine I'm going to try to print up some of the decals for reapplication to the console. Has anyone ever done something like this? Any ideas what kind of sticker/printer paper I should use?

Edited by Mezrabad

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Hey, just a quick heads up. I just got through the Hair Dryer trick. It worked like a charm! The grips slipped right off and I was messing around with the leaf switches in no time at all. Ugh.

 

I see what you mean by "hard to replace." Each tank lever operates with "leaf switches" (a good explanation of what they are is available at buildyourownarcadecontrols.com.) and my center leaf has broken through the middle of the upper screwhole (exactly where it is most likely to break, this is not an uncommon problem I imagine.)

 

So, I just need to find another centerleaf, desolder the remainder of the first leaf and resolder the new one in and I'm done.

 

In the meantime, I need to find me some "goo gone." While I had the hair dryer out, I was able to remove the damaged stickers from the front of the unit without further damaging them. I'll retain them for size references, where to cut the holes, etc, for when I figure out how to print out my replacement stickers.

Edited by Mezrabad

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In the meantime, I need to find me some "goo gone." While I had the hair dryer out, I was able to remove the damaged stickers from the front of the unit without further damaging them. I'll retain them for size references, where to cut the holes, etc, for when I figure out how to print out my replacement stickers.

 

 

I think I might have a good way for you to do your own stickers as well. The method I am going to describe is a little different then what most people generally do. However it can be used for many different things, like game labels for cart or damaged decals. I have been using the method since 1998 when it hit me on how to make very good reproduction label. You will need following:

 

- Photo quality printer

- Full 8-1/2” x 11” sheet labels (you can get these through most office supply store like Staples)

- Extra wide clear packing tape 3” wide (also found at Staples)

- Scissors and a paper cutter (paper cutter is optional)

- Some kind of image to print out

- Sheet protector or wax paper.

 

Print your image out on your full sheet label (if you want better quality, use photo paper, but then you will have to use glue or double sided tape to hold down your decal). Do Not use Glossy paper or glossy labels! The tape will take care of that for you.

 

Pull off a length of tape that will cover past the end of the image. Place it on top of the image, but try not to touch the sticky side of the tape that will be on top of the image. This would leave your finger prints on the image.

 

Now, place the sheet protector (or wax paper) on top of the image with tape. With the handle of the Scissors rub back and forth to really push the tape on the image. As you do this you will notice that the colors of the image will start to pop or get darker. (it will not look washed out).

 

If you don’t use the sheet protector (or something over the image like wax paper) you will get small scratches on the tape from all the rubbing.

 

Now cut it out with your Scissors (or a paper cutter for a cleaner edge).

And there you have it. Most people will not even notice that it is a label you made.

 

If your image is larger than the clear packing tape will cover, you can use self-adhesive laminating sheets.

 

If your wondering how I came up with this method, I was wrapping Xmas gifts back in 1998 and I would use my finger nail to scratch down the scotch tape. I noticed that it would almost vanish and the color of the wrapping paper would get brighter. I figured why not use this to make new labels for my Odyssey2 carts. That the story.

 

I hope this saves you time and money. BTW this method works great on game overlays! :D

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It's been a long time since I fabricated a leaf spring for Bones. That was when I was fixing my own Coleco Combat. For a long time I had joystick cables attached to it to use the controllers for Battlezone and Combat games. See if you can get yours apart and see if Wico leaf springs might work ....

 

Rob Mitchell

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Pboland can you show us a example of some the lables you have done.Am rather curious about how well they look.Thanks.

 

I thought there might be a doubting Thomas out there, but all kidding aside, here are four pics for you to look at. I hope these pics are not to large.

The baseball cart on the right is the one a made (I'm sure the odd blue color on the word "baseball" gives that away). :ponder:

These labels are not perfect but they get the job done. Keep in mind different paper and types of printers will make a difference, so be sure to play with the color if you are a perfectionist.

And remeber to tell them you heard it here first! :D

post-9874-1164946265_thumb.jpgpost-9874-1164946297_thumb.jpgpost-9874-1164946317_thumb.jpgpost-9874-1164946342_thumb.jpg

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I did the same thing back in 1980, But I used stick on laminating tape from a vending machine in front of a grocery store. I just didn't have the luxury of a color printer in those days. I just used pictures cut out of the VCS catalogs. The cartridges still look like I just did them yesterday.

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It's been a long time since I fabricated a leaf spring for Bones. That was when I was fixing my own Coleco Combat. For a long time I had joystick cables attached to it to use the controllers for Battlezone and Combat games. See if you can get yours apart and see if Wico leaf springs might work ....

 

Rob Mitchell

 

Yeah, we're certified "old farts" around here ;) My Coleco Combat still works nicely, thanks again for the great fix!

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Yeah, we're certified "old farts" around here ;) My Coleco Combat still works nicely, thanks again for the great fix!

 

You are welcome! Well it's time for a 2 player game of Combat!

 

Rob Mitchell

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I just broke my Combat out again and it's not working to my dismay. The picture isn't working for some reason, when I put it on the channel I just get a rolling black screen. If I fiddle with the reset switch it will occassionally come in for a couple of seconds before fading back to the black rolling screen. The switch seems loose, I took it apart but don't know enough about these things to know if the reset switch in these things would be the problem. Does anyone have any advice for me? Also the board is getting some brown corrosion on it now, what is the best way to clean that off without damaging the board with a sharp object?

 

Thanks.

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I just broke my Combat out again and it's not working to my dismay. The picture isn't working for some reason, when I put it on the channel I just get a rolling black screen. If I fiddle with the reset switch it will occassionally come in for a couple of seconds before fading back to the black rolling screen. The switch seems loose, I took it apart but don't know enough about these things to know if the reset switch in these things would be the problem. Does anyone have any advice for me? Also the board is getting some brown corrosion on it now, what is the best way to clean that off without damaging the board with a sharp object?

 

Thanks.

 

I know just enough about electronics to sorta know what I'm talking about..... :)

 

Anyway, on the board is the big sliver box with two holes on it. They are used to adjust the picture . You need a set of plastic adjusters to put in those holes and turn a little (you may be able to get by with a small screwdriver but they are suppose to be plastic for a reason). There's also a screw adjuster in the upper right corner that you can turn with a small screwdriver. If you fiddle with these, you may get a stable picture. I've adjusted mine so that it's halfway decent, but wish it could be better.

 

I also replaced a broken leaf spring by fabricating a curde one out of the metal from a puddy knife. I drilled, shaped and bent it to look close to the original and used a very small copper rivet for the connection point. A little fine tuning and it works. It's a little stiffer then the original but it does work. I could probably make a better one if I try again. Hacksaw blades are also suppose to be reasonable material for making leaf springs. I went with a shiny puddy knife that was thicker and more closely looked like the original.

 

I'm thinking of replacing the capacitors under the silver box (RF shield) to see if the picture improves. But I did get mine working (bought it on eBay listed as non working) and I'm at least happy with that.

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Hi all - I'm surprised there is not more info. out there on this cause there seems to be a substantial cult following and Ebay seems to command lofty prices for it.  Anyway - I've got one here that I'm eager to get going with my young kid in the near future, and if I recall from my testing(sorry, right now I've got to repack everything between plays), everything seems to be functional except I have to wrestle with the controls to get some directional functions to activate (I believe if I push hard enough, then all controls function, but I'll check again soon- Also, the fire buttons both shoot if I recall). Just curious if there is a problem here anybody has experienced and/or a solution to? Do I just need to start using it to loosen these bad boys up? I may reach out to Rob Mitchell soon as suggested. But, since he last posted in 2006, I thought I'd see if he's interested first and/or anyone else has thoughts.  Sort of at the beginning on this here. But, thought I'd see if anyone had thoughts or has had any experiences with the controls being spotty. Again, I sure hope it's just that it needs some good hard playing to get it back up to speed.

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On 4/25/2020 at 1:21 AM, jatari87 said:

But, thought I'd see if anyone had thoughts or has had any experiences with the controls being spotty.

The controls are a little weird, first off the tank takes time get up to speed or move at all (part of the game logic, not controls.) Second, pressing one stick at a time will not do anything.

 

Two sticks forward=forward

Two sticks back=brake/backwards

One stick forward + one stick back=turn

 

If at least one stick is in the resting position, then your tank will move from its existing momentum, which does not decay unless you hit the brake.

 

See if that works, if you're still having problems you can try opening the console up and cleaning the contacts. They're in little removable black boxes underneath the sticks.

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Thanks! This is good info. I'm going get into this in the next week or so and will connect back to confirm resolution or otherwise.  Thanks again.

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