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Lynx 2: repair help needed - only blank screen

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Does anyone know what is wrong with an Atari Lynx 2 which only shows a blank screen (backlight does switch on)? It clicks when switching on, but that's all, not even the infamous "Insert game". The brightness knob doesn't do anything too. Inserting several game cartridges also does not help. I disassembled the whole unit and put it back together again to make sure there is no loose cable - no luck.

What I would like to know is what needs to be replaced to get it running again (transistor, resistor, whatever). Please help me to bring it back to life. Yes, I know I can get a relatively cheap replacement, but that's no fun at all - I'd like to restore this wonderful console. Technicians: please reply!

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Does anyone know what is wrong with an Atari Lynx 2 which only shows a blank screen (backlight does switch on)? It clicks when switching on, but that's all, not even the infamous "Insert game". The brightness knob doesn't do anything too. Inserting several game cartridges also does not help. I disassembled the whole unit and put it back together again to make sure there is no loose cable - no luck.

What I would like to know is what needs to be replaced to get it running again (transistor, resistor, whatever). Please help me to bring it back to life. Yes, I know I can get a relatively cheap replacement, but that's no fun at all - I'd like to restore this wonderful console. Technicians: please reply!

 

The Atari Lynx is becoming old enough to show aging problems. Start by heating up a soldering gun and re-solder the connections looking "cold".

 

The next thing to do is to get a multimeter for measuring voltages. When you apply power you need to measure the main voltage going to the Lynx chips. If the voltage is too high (lots more than 5 V) then the cheap regulator hw may be broken and there is a great risk that some important parts are fried for good. If the voltage is far too low (lots less than 5 V) then there may be some chip that eats up lots of current. In this case you may be able to spot it by looking for cracked or burned parts.

 

There is also a possibility that the famous Q12 MOSFET switch is partially broken and it does not give enough power to the Lynx. This can be tested by putting the wire between the earphone ground and the battery minus. If the powers go back to 5 V with this trick then the Lynx may be repairable.

 

At this point I would also solder a wire from cart connector pin 31 to pin 33. It allows me to run the Lynx without a cart. So we are only aiming for the INSERT GAME message at this time. You can leave the wire there permanently as it allows you to do some nice tricks later.

 

Once the voltage problem is solved you need to check the clocks. Some multimeters can measure frequencies. An oscilloscope is also handy for this.

 

After also the clocks are ok it is time to look for loose/bad connectors or cold soldering joints. Good candidates are connections close to large mechanical parts. They tend to vibrate mechanically and break the fragile tin-connections.

 

If the Lynx is not cured by now you should start learning to read schematics and understand how the parts work to make the Lynx tick. This is quite time consuming and there is still no guarantee that you will be able to fix it.

 

Almost all my dead Lynxes stumble at the first problem - the voltages are wrong. And usually in a bad way. The AC-power supply has fried the voltage limiting circuitry and the full power has entered the main chips destroying the Mikey and Suzy.

 

But a few Lynxes have woken up by only changing a diode, a mosfet or just resoldering some cold joints.

--

Wishing you luck,

 

Karri

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Thanks, Karri, for your effort taken to write this reply! I tried the trick connecting the battery minus to the headphone ground, but it still gives the same result: only a blank screen with the backlight on, no "Insert Game" message. I got this Lynx from a guy who gave me a power supply as well. It turned out that the power supply does not have the right plug(!!) to power the Lynx, only a 3,5 mm plug which fits into the Comlynx port. I'm afraid he has tried that...:sad: Do you know what might me blown when someone does that? Can it be repaired?

Other question: which pins should I use for measuring the voltage on the chips?

 

Many thanks, Robert

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I have the exact same problem with a Lynx II of mine.

 

The unit always worked flawless, until one day when I took it out of the case, it started up fine.

While I was watching the screen, I could see the image slowly fading away, leaving only the blank backlit screen.

 

Insert Coin, please let us know if you manage to fix your unit. :)

I will try to do some of the tests that Karri has mentioned.

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Thanks, Karri, for your effort taken to write this reply! I tried the trick connecting the battery minus to the headphone ground, but it still gives the same result: only a blank screen with the backlight on, no "Insert Game" message. I got this Lynx from a guy who gave me a power supply as well. It turned out that the power supply does not have the right plug(!!) to power the Lynx, only a 3,5 mm plug which fits into the Comlynx port. I'm afraid he has tried that...:sad: Do you know what might me blown when someone does that? Can it be repaired?

Other question: which pins should I use for measuring the voltage on the chips?

 

Many thanks, Robert

 

The ComLynx center tip goes through one inductor to 5 V and the ComLynx shield goes to the ground. The pin in the middle is bidirectional data. If you plug in an AC adapter here you will fry something on the board. Sorry.

 

--

Karri

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I have a Lynx II that´s been sitting dead for a year or so now.

Backlight does NOT come on.

 

When I hit the ON button all I get is a splitsecond of light in the power LED and a splitsecond where the screen sort of goes gray/white and then black again.

 

Then nothing.

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Try connecting the battery minus to the headphone ground (shield) - with batteries inserted your Lynx should power on and stay on with the "Insert game" message. If it does that, there is still life in it. Then go through Karri's tips.

 

- Insert Coin -

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Try connecting the battery minus to the headphone ground (shield) - with batteries inserted your Lynx should power on and stay on with the "Insert game" message. If it does that, there is still life in it. Then go through Karri's tips.

 

- Insert Coin -

 

Sorry, I´m not what you´d exactly call a technical wizard.

What does the above mean in layman´s terms? :)

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It is problably some dust on the pin that the lynx uses to spot that there IS a game in the gameslot. the result of this is that it realizes that there is no game, and in lynx II; this result will be that the unit automaticly turn itself off. Try to clean the pins (in the lynx, not the game card) with a dry eyeglass-napkin.

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Mmm Hello guys I'm new in this forum and I had bad luck with the Lynx I bought last week on Ebay, I have two Mk1 Lynxes since 3 years ago and they work flawlessly but the one I got from Ebay is a Lynx II and it doesn't work. I turn the Lynx on and get a "pop" noise and a black screen, the backlight comes on but the brightness knob has no effect on the image at all, it remains black, the LED power starts to blink and that's all...

 

At this point I would also solder a wire from cart connector pin 31 to pin 33. It allows me to run the Lynx without a cart. So we are only aiming for the INSERT GAME message at this time. You can leave the wire there permanently as it allows you to do some nice tricks later.

 

I'm going to try to do this but I don't know the location of pins 31 and 33, can anybody tell me?

 

I checked the Q12 voltage regulator and got this values:

 

GROUND to 1st leg: 6,3 Volts

GROUND to 2nd leg: -0,20 Volts :ponder:

 

Is this normal? what values should I get?

 

Thanx in advance

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I'm going to try to do this but I don't know the location of pins 31 and 33, can anybody tell me?

 

I checked the Q12 voltage regulator and got this values:

 

The Q12 is a switch - not a regulator. If the Lynx powers on it works and the headphone trick is not needed.

 

The Lynx cart has 34 pins

 

1 GND

2 D3

3 D2

4 D4

5 D1

6 D5

7 D0

8 D6

9 D7

10 CARD/ (this is OE/)

11 A1

12 A2

13 A3

14 A6

15 A4

16 A5

17 A0

18 A7

19 A16

20 A17

21 A18

22 A19

23 A15

24 A14

25 A13

26 A12

27 SWCON/ (this is WE/)

28 A8

29 A9

30 A10

31 Vcc

32 AUDIOIN (I/O pin but not analog, digital, for 1MBcards used)

33 Vcc

34 SWVCC

 

Pins 31 and 33 are connected together on every Lynx cart. That is how the Lynx knows that a cart is inserted.

 

If you connect them inside the Lynx then the Lynx believes that it has a cart inserted at all times. When you power it up and there is no cart data available the signature check will fail and you get the text INSERT GAME on screen.

 

If you don't get the text INSERT GAME without a cart there is no point in trying to clean any cart connectors as the Lynx is broken inside somewhere.

 

--

Karri

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mmm I think I have bad news...

 

I did the trick and bridged pins 31 and 33 (actually I picked up a cart and covered all pins except 31 and 33 with masking tape) and got the "insert game" text on my working Lynx 1 but on the Lynx II I still got nothing but black screen of death...

 

I know that on Lynx II systems when you are running out of batteries the orange LED starts to blink and this is happening to me even when using the AC adaptor so I suspect something is wrong with the power line... any suggestions? thanx Karri

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mmm I think I have bad news...

 

I did the trick and bridged pins 31 and 33 (actually I picked up a cart and covered all pins except 31 and 33 with masking tape) and got the "insert game" text on my working Lynx 1 but on the Lynx II I still got nothing but black screen of death...

 

I know that on Lynx II systems when you are running out of batteries the orange LED starts to blink and this is happening to me even when using the AC adaptor so I suspect something is wrong with the power line... any suggestions? thanx Karri

 

 

My LYNX II has the same blinking led... but the console works perfectly. It could be just a problem of the led.

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I suspect something is wrong with the power line... any suggestions? thanx Karri

 

Most of my dead Lynxes have really big problems with the power supply.

 

The first thing I measure is the operating voltage. It should be close to 5 V. In broken Lynxes it may be 7 V or 2 V. A high voltage means that everything is already fried because of overvoltage. If the voltage is low the some chip has sacrified himself and turned into a short. If this chip can be located and changed then the Lynx may be saved. Sometimes the broken component is cracked or it may turn black.

 

Understanding schematics helps a lot here.

 

Usually I feed 5V from a lab supply while I work on a Lynx. The original power supply sucks.

 

But in any case you get cool parts from broken Lynxes too: new covers, LDC-packs that can be tuned with filter sheets, clean battery compartments, a good loudspeaker that can be used as replacement for other Lynxes. And the famous Q12.

 

Spray-painting a cover, removing the display plastic and building a filtered LCD improves the Lynx a lot.

--

Karri

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Usually I feed 5V from a lab supply while I work on a Lynx. The original power supply sucks.

 

 

1) I bought an original Atari european adaptor 9V-1A, and now i'm using it. Do you think I have to replace it with an universal adaptor?

 

2) In the past I used many times an adaptor with 0,5A altough the recomended is 1A, do you think it could have created problems to the system?

 

many thanks

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I know having a broken Lynx for spares is good but I want to bring it back to life!!! :roll:

 

I am going to start trying to measure voltages in different points of the board but I don't know where LOL. I have seen the Lynx schematics on this site but they are only available for the first model I suppose... or can I use them with the Lynx II too?

 

Where can I start measuring? the main processors Mikey and Suzy? from Vcc to GND? I really know nothing about reading schematics but I understand the symbols used in resistances, capacitors etc and I have a multimeter

 

This seems way harder than installing a PS2 modchip LOL

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UP!

Hi everybody! I'm a newbie here. :)
I'll present myself in the right forum area.
Now I ask your help for the same problem of this post
(I don't know if I do a good thing writing in an old discussion,
or was better opening another one?)
Anyway I've bought a Lynx II which starts up (so yes backlight and power led)
but no images and no audio.
I checked for poor solderings but I haven't found.
I don't see "fried" components.
Changed the all capacitors but no results.
I've got a working Lynx so I can compare values.
I checked diodes and in D13, tester (in diode mode) shows a value of 0,110 in both ways, while in the working one
the value is of 0,5 or 0,7 if I remember well (so the common right values for a diode).
I heard about the mosfet. I ask: with the mosfet messed up, can the unit power on?
What do you suggest to me?
Where can I correctly measure the 5v on the PCB?

Is it right that the big D10 diode seems pass trough in both ways?
Tester made sound in both ways.
I thought also about that, but on the working Lynx it does the same, so maybe this thing is due to connections on PBC?. :?

Thank you!

Edited by ATLynxer

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