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Drexel923
08-19-2003, 12:57 AM
I recently dug up my colecovision systems and went to test them out. I bought rf adapters for both systems, and after I hooked them both up I ran into some problems. The systems power up fine, but I get a scrambled mess on the screen which consists of random colors. And its not like its scrambled and I can make out a title screen, its just colors and thats it. Can someone please tell me what the problem is. Any help would be great.

omnedon
08-19-2003, 10:40 AM
Well, clean the carts. If that doesn't do it, try blowing out the cart slot with compressed air. Also clean the contacts where the AC adapter connects to the unit. Also, try an alternative genuine ColecoVision power supply. If all of that doesn't work....

...it needs surgery. The most common CV deck failure I've seen (about 6 out of 10 old decks) is power switch failure. It's noted in the CV FAQ, but their repair tip for it is not very good (doesn't work for me).

Basically, what happens is the lubricant in the power switch dries out over the years, resulting in poor contact- which means insufficient power to the unit. You can buy a DPDT switch for it from ratshack, and that has worked for me. Thing is, soldering out the old switch, and soldering in a new one is the easy part. The HARD part is making the new (and slightly different height) switch play nice with the exterior glamour cap (the black slider you actually touch on the outside of the unit). I've successfully done it a number of times, but it involves a file, and a dremel, and some trial and error.

It "may" be possible to inject some di-electric grease into the old switch, re-applying the lubricant. I haven't tried this yet, but I plan on it on my next dead switch CV.

Sorry. In my opinion, before long, there will be VERY few working CV decks. Even the stored away ones are going to fall victim to this, as it seems to be a "time" thing.

FABombjoy
08-19-2003, 12:09 PM
On my Colecovision, I took it apart and cleaned the switch with standard contact cleaner (not disassembling the switch, just spraying it in through the top & sides, and then flicking the switch about 50 times). When I reassembled the Coleco it I found that the power switch was extremely difficult to slide back and forth, but if I pushed down on the switch then it was a bit easer. It's just a bad design to have such a tall switch, since that reduces the possibility of sliding it evenly. The atari switches have the same problem, but appear to have tighter tolerances & definitely have less power flowing through them.

I took it apart & packed a bit of paper towel in the switch cap, so that it would press down on the acutal power switch when installed. The switch became super smooth to use, and the static in the switch was eliminated. It may take a bit of trial and error to figure out how much to pack in the cap, but it worked for me.

omnedon
08-19-2003, 12:44 PM
That's definitely worth a try. My experience with wadding stuff (paper towel in your case) into the switch cap was very frustrating. It can work, but too much, and the switch is super stiff with the deck assembled. It's definitely a pain in the ass fix. It almost makes a guy want to ditch the factory switch cap, and maybe go with some sort of LED toggle, with a long handle. :/

Drexel923
08-19-2003, 01:52 PM
O_O Wow...thanks guys for the info, but I might have to just bite the bullet on these. I'm not very handy when it comes to fixing things and I just thought it would be a simple solution. It would probably make more sense for me to just buy a new system. Maybe I'll give it a try, but I don't know about right now. Thanks again for the info though.

omnedon
08-19-2003, 03:18 PM
Beware on a new system. They're not "new". They will be having their switch contacts drying out too. I've had 10 CV's go through my hands. 6 of them had faulty power switches. they were all called "working" when I bought them.

Some people have a loose definition of that word.

Drexel923
08-19-2003, 04:17 PM
Beware on a new system. They're not "new". They will be having their switch contacts drying out too. I've had 10 CV's go through my hands. 6 of them had faulty power switches. they were all called "working" when I bought them.

Some people have a loose definition of that word.

I understand...if I get another one it will probably be from someone who knows about such things. Like someone on this site. But I might just screw it and use all of my stuff as display only...there's always emulation right.

omnedon
08-19-2003, 05:48 PM
But I might just screw it and use all of my stuff as display only...there's always emulation right.


It breaks my heart, but you're right!

Duncan
08-19-2003, 10:17 PM
Sorry. In my opinion, before long, there will be VERY few working CV decks. Even the stored away ones are going to fall victim to this, as it seems to be a "time" thing.

Ouch...guess I'll have to hold off on looking for a ColecoVision of my own until someone figures out a good fix for this. I suppose there's no one specializing in Coleco repair issues yet, huh?

Duncan :D

omnedon
08-19-2003, 10:45 PM
Just guys like me and FABombjoy. Maybe MrKitt?

I wouldn't avoid buying a CV. I buy questionable stuff all the time. It's how much you pay for it that counts. Then you may be able to afford to pay to have it shipped and repaired.

I've auctioned repaired and refurbed Intelly's and CV's, but they do tend to go a bit high. I offer money back gaurantee's on my auctioned units though, so that may also drive 'em up.

If you buy local, if they want REAL money, insist on a test. Without a test, LOWBALL.(i'm assuming buying from a stranger here) I gotta Lynx cheap this way, because when I tested at the pawn, the controller veered left all the time. Got it for a third of the price, and fixed it. :-D

My point is, is if you can get it cheap enough, you can still possibly get it fixed for cheaper than buying a refurbed one on Ebay. I can't speak for FABombjoy, but I'd do a CV switch repair for $20-40USD (depending on whether or not the whole switch had to be replaced), but you'd have to add to and from ship to that.

I caution people to pay big bucks for a "working" anything on Ebay, unless the seller seems to know what they are talking about, and has a lot of stellar feedback. Some people (I know many flea vendours like this) call it working if the light comes on, or if a logo comes on the screen. @_@

It usually takes about a half hour of testing before I can declare anything "working".

Duncan
08-20-2003, 12:16 AM
It usually takes about a half hour of testing before I can declare anything "working".

That, friends, is the definition of thorough. :P

Thing is, I know just barely enough about the CV to get myself in trouble thinking that one I find on eBay will be okay. Problem is, I can't find one locally -- but then, I haven't searched very hard yet either. Certain carts are readily available, though, so someone's got to have an unneeded console just kicking around.

Thanks for the info, though. Great tips as always! :)

Duncan :D

chadtower
08-20-2003, 09:22 AM
Yard sales, yard sales, yard sales. Get your butt up early and hit them at 8am. You'll find one. A great source for old consoles is church fairs, too, since those are usually all kinds of old stuff donated by tons of people. You have to get there when it opens, though, as all the good stuff is gone an hour after that.

FABombjoy
08-20-2003, 04:16 PM
I can't speak for FABombjoy, but I'd do a CV switch repair for $20-40USD (depending on whether or not the whole switch had to be replaced), but you'd have to add to and from ship to that.

Personally, I do repairs and mods for trades. I like stuff more than money.

In all my hunting, the Coleco that I have is the only one I've ever worked on. Plus, it was an eBay purchase, also (a birthday gift from my wife). I'd like to get my hands on another with a bad switch, to see if I could source a new one. I'm willing to bet the part is out there somewhere.


It "may" be possible to inject some di-electric grease into the old switch, re-applying the lubricant.

Have you done this to a switch before? I'm wondering because previously I've used dielectric grease on spark plug boots to keep out water. I've always thought of it as more of an insulating grease (like the insulating dielectric compound in caps). Sounds like an interesting idea, tho. It would at least keep the internals free of moisture.

I'm just glad that most of the older stuff is friendlier than CVs and Intys to work on. Those two give me a headache.

omnedon
08-20-2003, 07:38 PM
No, I haven't. It's a variation on the advice the Colecovision FAQ gives for this issue. They recommend that you disassemble the switch itself, lube it with di-electric grease, and re-crimp the switch. they claim it works "OK".

My experience with those kind of switches tells me disassembly is risky at best, as getting them back together is problematic. I always seem to get tension issues when I try this, and the tension can adversely affect contact, whether too tight or too loose.

A regular DPDT from ratshack works (solves the garbled graphics). I first tried getting it to play nice with the original switch cap with an extender (like a straw :-D ). This seemed to increase the bad angle pressure the design puts on the switch in the first place. What's worked the "best" so far for me, has also been the biggest pain in the ass to do.

I raised the switch up to the exterior cap :-D . I mounted the switch way higher, using a couple of long bolts, 8 nuts, and some lock washers. Then I ran short wires from the switch posts to the contacts. To attach the bolts, I had to slightly widen the holes that already exist on the PCB to the top and the bottom of the switch. Then, I dremelled the exterior switch cap so it was shorter. This made for a smoother travel of the switch with the finished product. Looks good too. It 'can' be sensitive to the tightness of the case when you put it back together, but the height of the internal switch is adjustable with this solution. This solution is also waaaaay too much work. I'm open to ideas to do it better! :-D

For what it's worth, I will trade service for stuff too. I just like to put some kind of dollar amount on a service, to give a person what I may expect in trade.

Fact of the matter is, on a classic system (2600, Inty, CV), I get stupid. What I mean is, I will move heaven and earth to fix it. I don't care how long it takes me.... or if it costs me more than replacement in the long run. Not very smart from a business standpoint. I've occasionally charged $50 for a repair that took me more than 8 hours, and ten bucks in wires, switches and supplies. LOL

But Dammit.. I FIXED IT!!! LOL

chadtower
08-21-2003, 09:57 AM
Dude, sweet. Personally, I'd do the same if I had the ability. I'll definitely keep you in mind as I get broken hardware (in fact I just got a broken Jaguar in the mail... but don't have any connectors to see if it's an easy fix).

omnedon
08-21-2003, 10:09 AM
Your jag will work with a genny 1 PS and a genny 1 RF adapter. I have an irrepairable one, with badly bent pins in it's cart slot.

chadtower
08-21-2003, 10:14 AM
I knew it could do standard RF, but a Genny 1 PS! That's excellent info, I should have a Jaguar cart or two coming in the mail this week. I'll test that sucker out and see if it's not something simple. considering I bought it off ebay as broken, though, I wouldn't be surprised if it's totally hosed. I wanted one to display until I manage to pick up a good one. :)

FABombjoy
08-21-2003, 10:26 AM
Holy cow, that Coleco solution is insane. You're insane, do you hear me! :-D

I know how it is with not wanting to give up on older systems. Besides all the work I've done on video games, I own a car that had a total production run of less than 9,000. Some of the other owners are incredibly zealous, and become downright hostile when the subject of 'parting out' comes up. The idea that something is irrepairable is foreign to them, even though the bill may exceed the total value. Fortunately with the video game thing, most consoles were made in such abundance, and enough parts are available that there should never be a real supply issue.

If it's worth enough to you, I have a Jag with a great cart port, but messed up sound. I could desolder and send you the cart port if you're interested. Unless you know what causes the sound to be about 60dB too quiet, in which case I'll fix it and stick it in my hollow Tempest cabinet.

omnedon
08-21-2003, 11:24 AM
nah..I got a working one. This one is for parts..... :D

Duncan
08-21-2003, 05:06 PM
Besides all the work I've done on video games, I own a car that had a total production run of less than 9,000. Some of the other owners are incredibly zealous, and become downright hostile when the subject of 'parting out' comes up. The idea that something is irrepairable is foreign to them, even though the bill may exceed the total value.

Hate to rip into a great topic, but just grant me one post about what kind of car you have -- I'm curious.

Then I'll shut up. 8-)

Duncan :D

omnedon
08-21-2003, 05:27 PM
I'm guessing ...

MOPAR MUSCLE of some type.....
:)

zektor
08-21-2003, 09:12 PM
Regarding the power switch being difficult to slide after re-assembly:

Don't tighten the screws on the bottom of the unit too tight. Especially the one in the middle front of the unit. If you loosen it just SLIGHTLY, you will notice the switch will move with ease :)

Duncan
08-22-2003, 03:12 AM
I'm guessing ...

MOPAR MUSCLE of some type.....
:)

Yeah, or possibly AMC. Those two groups are fanatic enough...

Duncan :D

chadtower
08-22-2003, 08:46 AM
Heh... in college I had a one of a kind car. I had a 1982 Ford EXP coupe that we cut the roof off of and built a custom convertible frame, clothed it with a mercedes cloth top. It was the shit. Looked like a tiny little 5.0. Chicks LOVED it. The engine was so small it made today's Ford Escort look like a Vette. Too bad people kept trying to steal it. Idiots. Still not sure why, it had an actual book value of like 1.95.

FABombjoy
08-22-2003, 09:39 AM
Good guesses, but it's actually one of these (http://labwww.csv.cmich.edu/luke/auto/delorean/springs/DCP_2426.jpg) (113k image). Some day, I aspire to own a Charger (Mopar connection), and a Bricklin (AMC powered). So, you've both pinpointed my goals :-D

omnedon
08-22-2003, 09:47 AM
Well, if you reach 88 miles per hour.... we may miss your posts.... or have to wait for them. LOL

I have a Mr. Coffee you could borrow, but no Mr. Fusion....

chadtower
08-22-2003, 10:08 AM
SWEET.

Zaxxon
10-05-2003, 05:08 PM
Fact of the matter is, on a classic system (2600, Inty, CV), I get stupid. What I mean is, I will move heaven and earth to fix it. I don't care how long it takes me.... or if it costs me more than replacement in the long run. Not very smart from a business standpoint. I've occasionally charged $50 for a repair that took me more than 8 hours, and ten bucks in wires, switches and supplies. LOL

But Dammit.. I FIXED IT!!! LOL

I read that CV's are made entirely out of off-the-shelf parts that anyone can buy and should be easy to find to replace. You can find z80's cheap all day long. What else is there to a CV? A few ROM chips, some RAM, a couple db9 ports. Nothing proprietary that couldn't be fixed/replaced if needed. The weird power supply is the only thing that you can't find new easily. Recotron made a replacment PS that works with the CV. I bought 3 NOS ones off a guy I found here at DP. I no longer have his email address or anything :( .

fadingstarlight
04-27-2009, 02:00 AM
Hey
I have a Colecovision and I am trying to get it to run...
I can get power and things going cause the printer moves..
so far I can get a black screen and like a weird ringing noise starts...
I just kinda need some direction on how to clean things or some trouble shooting to get it working again or if it is even possible
please help!