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Thread: Need Help With Semi-Functional Magnavox Odyssey 2 (Video Display Jumbled)

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    Default Need Help With Semi-Functional Magnavox Odyssey 2 (Video Display Jumbled)

    A bit of a backstory: I recently started game collecting, I have been attempting to get as many game consoles as possible and building up a collection of games from a combination of ebay, thrift store finds, yard sales and Craigslist. I have done very well I would say. A few weeks back I managed to find a family selling a white Nintendo Wii for an incredibly low price (35 bucks) including a handful of games and wii motes. Seeing as how I already had one (two in fact) I got it with the intent to sell or trade it off for something else.

    I managed to find someone yesterday nearby on Craigslist who had an Odyssey 2 and a handful of games for sale and I managed to get them to agree to trade it for the Wii I had acquired. I really wasn't sure what the going rate of either console was exactly so I through in some extra controllers to make the deal a bit more fair, assuming it wasn't. I didn't bother to ask them any questions about the unit, as I figured everything was in order and that if there was anything wrong it would be a quick fix, as my Atari 2600 was.

    When I started hooking up the unit I noticed that the shell was not attached with screws. Initially I thought that was a bad sign until I realized that this was probably a godsend seeing as how I could access the channel toggle switch as well as all the ports.




    After hooking it all up and doing some maintenance work on it the best I can get it to do is display an assorted of blinking colored text, grey backgrounds and white blocks with or without a game. It appears much like a dirty Nintendo cartridge display.

    TL;DR: Here is the rundown of what I have done to attempt to get this thing operational:


    1. Turned TV to channel 3
    2. Put Console on channel 3
    3. Put adapter on end of audio/video cable for the satellite port of my tv
    4. Plugged it into satellite port
    5. Cleaned Console port connectors with rubbing alcohol
    6. Cleaned ports to games
    7. Inspected all the cables running into the system
    8. Power confirmed to be working
    9. Video cable seems to be working
    10. Cleaned the circuit board, noticed that it was filthy
    11. Tried a different video cable, same issue.
    12. Have turned on and off the console about 100 times now, each with nearly the same result.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I can find hardly any information on troubleshooting for this device and would very much like to get it up and running, otherwise it will remain a shelf piece.

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    An update of sorts. I have heard very very conflicting information from different people regarding this issue. A Youtuber who owns one of these machines claims that they will display the jumbled screen when a game is not inserted. Which essentially could mean that I just need to clean the ports a lot more. A friend of mine who is very technologically inclined believes that it is possibly the fault of the Intel MCS-48 chip. Seeing as how the inside of the unit doesn't show any visibly fried or damaged areas I don't know how likely that is. I am very new to vintage electronics like this and the technicalities of electronics in general. I am going to use a can of compressed air and see if I can have any luck with that.

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    Default Same Problem, did you solve that?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReflectingVoid View Post
    An update of sorts. I have heard very very conflicting information from different people regarding this issue. A Youtuber who owns one of these machines claims that they will display the jumbled screen when a game is not inserted. Which essentially could mean that I just need to clean the ports a lot more. A friend of mine who is very technologically inclined believes that it is possibly the fault of the Intel MCS-48 chip. Seeing as how the inside of the unit doesn't show any visibly fried or damaged areas I don't know how likely that is. I am very new to vintage electronics like this and the technicalities of electronics in general. I am going to use a can of compressed air and see if I can have any luck with that.
    Good Evenning Reflecting Void,

    I have the same problem, odyssey 2 dont recognize the cartridge inserted and weird characters appears on a grey screen. I try to clean the slot and cart but not success.

    Thank you

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    I doubt the OP will ever see your response, he's been gone for a year. But take the bottom of the case off, make sure the channel switch is set correctly and not in between positions, check the cord coming off the RF modulator inside there is ok, and check the RF modulator is on good, I forget for sure but I thought they just pulled off. It's just a standard "RCA" plug off the RF modulator, so replacing the cord is easy.

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