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Thread: Old pong console acting strangely need help!

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    Exclamation Old pong console acting strangely need help!

    Hi
    One day I bought an old pong console from an old lady at a flea market. When I got back at home I hooked it up to the TV But the problem was that I didn't have the AC adapter for it... So I took C batteries to insert them in the console but when I removed the battery cover there already was batteries in it... I removed them but the metal contacts where all corroded and rusted so they did not work anymore
    It used 6 1.5V batteries so in total that's 9V... I finally found a 9V AC adapter so I plugged it in the console and powered it on.

    It seemed to works but there was something really weird... The 1st paddle was invisible
    Also sometimes when I powered it on the ball was a straight line that went up and down...
    After a week or so I powered it on to see if it worked and it did The 1st paddle was visible but it was black... That's not normal since iv'e never ever seen a pong console that had a black paddle... But at least it worked
    I powered it off and then back on but it returned invisible... After moving every switch on the console color suddenly appeared on the screen

    So I really don't know why it behaves like that and how to repair it... Could you help me?
    It appears to be a "Sears Sport Center" and it looks like this Name:  post-4516-1144204332_thumb.jpg
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Size:  7.4 KB THAT'S NOT MY PICTURE

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    My repair skills aren't as good as other people's on the boards here, but I would suspect that some capacitors may have failed.. I would look inside and see if there's any leakage around them.

    Also, are you trying the machine out on an old CRT TV or a newer HD TV?

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    Looks like the console is showing it's age. Got to remember these things were built in the early to mid 1970's so many things are slowly decaying in them. My Atari Super Pong from 1976 does the exact thing sometimes with a nice long paddle that covers the screen, kind of cheap considering the ball can never get past it xP

    If your playing on an LCD, problems are going to show up easier since Pong is a console that relies on some very low interlace TV rates so, you may or may not see the ball or other things in motion on a newer LCD, CRT's are still the best bet.

    Ask for the main problem problems itself, three things most likely to fail in Pong consoles, Potentiometer, which are the knobs that control the paddles, the switches, which control game modes, and capacitors. Most likely the contacts on the potentiometers and switches are worn to hell so you could either try taking them apart and cleaning the contacts which is easier said than done. You can also try to find a replacement for them all but they very hard to replace since I have no idea where those specific pedometers and switches are sold, maybe someone else here does?

    And the capacitors, well it's always nice to replace those since lets face it, you don't want them to dry up and cause electrical problems or burst for some reason, and there's very few on the board so, not much work to get those in place.

    Hope some other tech people here can suggest some other useful info for you!
    Last edited by alec006; 01-02-2013 at 02:12 AM.
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    If there are any caps in there they're most assuredly dried up.

    Beyond that the power supply you're using may be out of spec or doing a crappy job powering the unit.
    I fix things. You name it, I'll work on it. Want something modded? Recapped?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alec006 View Post
    Ask for the main problem problems itself, three things most likely to fail in Pong consoles, Pedometers, which are the knobs that control the paddles, the switches, which control game modes, and capacitors. Most likely the contacts on the pedometers and switches are worn to hell so you could either try taking them apart and cleaning the contacts which is easier said than done. You can also try to find a replacement for them all but they very hard to replace since I have no idea where those specific pedometers and switches are sold, maybe someone else here does?
    Po-ten-ti-om-e-ter. I doubt the Pong system is trying to keep track of how far it has walked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsaneDavid View Post
    Po-ten-ti-om-e-ter. I doubt the Pong system is trying to keep track of how far it has walked.
    Good point! Edited, thanks InsaneDavid xD
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    several of my magnavox odyssey's did that, tried different PSUs but nothing helped untill i took the thing apart and gave it a through cleaning.
    i doubt its the PSU because its not often that you find a 9v wall wart that isnt able to supply 3 watts at 100ma.

    plus you said there were batteries in it that corroded, i bet theres more corrosion once you pop it open, a wire detailing brush may be in order to scrub some contacts and ground points clean

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    Thank you for your replies
    I tried the console on 1950's,60's,70's,80's,90's and 2000's CRT TV and it does the same thing. I don't have any of these HD modern flat Plasma 3D thing TV since I prefer CRT one And I only have old videogame console and a Wii so I don't need them
    I unscrewed every screws but I can't open the console... I don't know why it won't open The only way seems to have to use brute force but it rarely works without breaking the system
    Fortunately I managed to make a small opening in the console and I looked inside with a flashlight. Everything looks fine but it smells really bad inside...
    The potentiometer for the 1st paddle does feel weird but when the first paddle appeared in black I could control it like the second one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEARSS~1 View Post
    Thank you for your replies Everything looks fine but it smells really bad inside...

    The caps have probably shit electrolyte on the pcb. That stuff often smells like dead fish.
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    I recently acquired a Lloyds TV Sports 802 which has a problem like with your Pong game (likely uses the same chip, or a similar one), in that one of the paddles is colored black. Oddly, the other paddle is the color it's supposed to be, the ball shows up nice and bright, and the 'invisible' paddle registers like it's supposed to. I await a resolution to this thread; my personal suspicion is bad caps, but who knows.
    -Adam

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    I finally managed to open it up and I removed the processor to clean its pin but when I removed it one of the pin broke off And now the 2st paddle is invisible too . But if a broken pin can cause a paddle to dissapear and everything else in the console looks perfectly fine maybe the 1st one is invisible because the processor has some kind of problem...
    It's a "AY-3-8500-1"
    Does anybody know where to buy that thing? I searched on ebay and all they have is a "Lot of 13 Vintage Pong IC TMS1955NL (AY-3-8500-1 compatible) Schematics" for $26.00 and a "Pong Motherboard AY-3-8500-1 CPU" for $59.99.
    The problem is that the motherboard is too expensive for me and the TMS1955NL has "Squash" instead of Jokari for its third game...
    ?
    Last edited by SEARSS~1; 01-02-2013 at 09:59 PM.

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    Grind off some of the casing and solder a wire to what is exposed and to the appropriate spot on the mobo. Problem solved.
    I fix things. You name it, I'll work on it. Want something modded? Recapped?

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    I'd make sure that the disconnected pin isn't one of the unused ones. Sometimes, pins that aren't used on ICs are left disconnected from the board, for whatever reason. A Pong system not using the light gun-based games, for example, wouldn't need pins 18 or 19, and perhaps others. Here's a pinout diagram of the General Instruments AY-3-8500 chip:



    Hope this helps.
    -Adam

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    I talked to someone who's worked on Pong clones before, and he said to check pins 9 and 10 of the AY-3-8500-1, as well as any components connected to them. These two pins are the video outputs for the paddles (pin 6 is the output for the ball, and pin 24 is the output for the playfield and score display). Here's a schematic for a simple Pong clone circuit, where you can see these video outputs connected together through diodes (see below), along with the sync output (pin 16), to form the complete video output:



    Some Pong clones used simple diodes for this purpose; others used logic ICs. My Lloyds TV Sports 802 uses a pair of Motorola MC14011B ICs, which are basically equivalent to the CD4011. I intend to replace these chips once I pick up a couple of them. My suggestion to the OP is, once he's fixed the broken pin issue, to take a look inside his Pong clone, and look for any ICs or diodes near the AY-3-8500-1 IC. The ICs would be similar to the GI chip, but smaller, and have writing on the top which can be fed into a semiconductor cross-reference to find a modern replacement (normally a 74xx or 40xx code; ignore the four digit date code, which will likely start with 76 or 77). If there are diodes (which look similar to resistors but smaller, and without color-coded stripes, and are usually referred to as "Dx" (D1, D2, D3, etc.) on the circuit board's markings), try and find out if they have any markings written on them in tiny lettering (if you're lucky, the circuit board might have identification marks on the board nearby each diode, possibly in a "1Nxxxx" format). If all else fails, post a high-res picture of the board near where the AY-3-8500-1 chip is, and we may be able to identify the suspect part(s). Again, good luck!
    -Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    I recently acquired a Lloyds TV Sports 802 which has a problem like with your Pong game (likely uses the same chip, or a similar one), in that one of the paddles is colored black. Oddly, the other paddle is the color it's supposed to be, the ball shows up nice and bright, and the 'invisible' paddle registers like it's supposed to. I await a resolution to this thread; my personal suspicion is bad caps, but who knows.
    -Adam
    ever have any luck figuring it out? I'm having the same problem.

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