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About this blog

Stories on work done here at the ITC. Some of it might be interesting to some folks.

Entries in this blog

New PCB Design for Intellivision installs - Sample install pics

I already made a blog post not that long about about my new designs and had posted pics of the render of the PCBs. Well, I actually received the PCBs in the other day and have had a chance to test them out. While I did make a pretty big blunder on my model 2 specific PCB, it was easily fixed and isn't that big a deal to fix in situ when installing. And it only affects me since the gerbers that I play to release publicly already have the fix in place so future boards that get made up should be go

New PCB Designs & New Option for UAV Installs Soon!

For the past several weeks on days where I have some off time from other console service requests, I've been designing up some more new PCBs to assist me in the services I provide for folks.  I know I recently posted about a new PCB mount for the Intellivision and while I do have those new mounts in place, I wanted... more. So I designed new ones that are currently on their way to me. It is a 2 piece PCB design that uses a thicker bottom PCB as a base that can be used with either model Inte

Player 2 auto triggering fire button...again!

I already touched on this in an earlier blog post not that long actually, but I will summarize again really quickly. Main issue is that in 7800 mode and games, one or both fire buttons might show as being pressed without a controller plugged in. Plug in a controller and everything behaves as it should but ultimate, the console shouldn't read anything actively from the ports without a controller plugged in. In my previous blog, I mentioned that an out of spec resistor located at R35 was

Atari 7800 Powering On / Off issues...

As stated in another blog, I have a few 7800 sent to me for repairs and eventual upgrades. This 7800 had an interesting problem where as soon as you plugged in the DC power to the console, it would immediately power on and would NOT turn off. While there are a few components in the mix that can cause, this, I've found really only two components well technically 3 that should be looked into as possibilities: The first component and the one most people already know about, is the power switch

Very dark and poor RF output? Look to the 74LS32 IC...

A few 7800s have been sent to the ITC for repairs and eventual upgrades. Before any upgrades are done, I always get the consoles back to fully working stock condition first. This 7800 was working but had very dark, fuzzy, and as such very poor RF output. Now yes, RF output doesn't look that hot on modern displays to begin with, but this was obvious something was wrong. After looking over the board for a bit, it became apparently that someone in the past had replaced or tried to replace the 74LS3

Weird Paddle 3 issue on a 2600 4-switch?!

I've seen something similar to this before although not in the way I was seeing with a recent 4 switch console I was servicing. As part of diagnostics I will use Paul Slocum's excellent Test Cart program as it should some primary colors, shows the current state of all switches minus power of course, but also has a basic graphical view of each controller and small block on the bottom that will move left/right when you plug in paddles to test those too. So all in all a nice utility to know that al

Just a simple but kinda cool project?

The 'Tower' was without power most of last week due to powerful storms on Father's day. As a result it put me behind a bit on console services and projects. Well last night as I've been working kinda constantly on console stuff to try and get caught up, I took a break and decided to do something I'd been meaning to try and implement for a while now. I'm sure many of you here are aware of the Atari Vox? In summary it is a small device that plugs into controller port 2 on the 2600 or 7800 sys

Loctite and ABS = Gallium and Aluminum...

So over the past few months, I've been trying to find ways of making the RCA jacks that I install into consoles more secure so they don't free spin over time. What I've been doing in the past that actually works 90% of the time far as I know...is that instead of using the small lock ring washer that typically comes with RCA jacks, I use inner star washers of the right diameter to do the same thing, but with more points of contact to lock into the plastic. It also has the advantage of holding the

Intellivision Consoles can be quite frustrating! - Black Screen of Death...

Seems to be lately that I'm getting in more and more Intellivision consoles that all arrive with the same similar condition. Basically what most might call a black screen when powering on the console but it is more like a dark grey screen with a few lines along the bottom of the screen of even lighter grey. Pressing the reset button does produce a full black screen that will flicker and come back to the same dark grey screen or sometimes it might do something different like an all fuscia colored

A New Challenger Approaches! - A7800 BackBit Pro Adapter has arrived at the ITC!

Received my BBPro 7800 adapter today and we have some really good things and some not so good that I'm hoping can be worked out in time. - First the good, is that the menu of course is easy to navigate working in the same manner - This might be the fastest loading flash cart for the 7800 with the exception of the older Mateos cart - Plays the many of the original released games without issues including both Commando and BallBlazer with properly balanced and proper sounding Pokey audio! Ni

Atari 5200 BackBit PRO 4-port Soft Reset notes and modification

The BackBit Pro multi-system flash cartridge is quite amazing in all the systems it supports and the Atari 5200 is one of the newest systems to recently be added over the past few months. One cool thing that the BBPro cart has for the 5200 side of things that other similar devices do not have, is the ability to reset the console and go back to the game folder browser without having to power cycle the console. This feature works out of the box on the 2-port model 5200s by having a selector switch
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