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Weird_Paul

Colecovision problem...

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Hi everybody.  I'm having an issue with my Colecovision and thought I'd describe here in case anyone has had a similar issue and resolved it.

 

I have had this system for probably 20 years and used to play it a lot.  It has been a long time since it has been powered on though - possibly as long as 10 years.  I tried to play Donkey Kong tonight and here is what it does:

 

I have everything hooked up right, channel 3 on the TV and system.  It doesn't matter if there is a cartridge in the slot or not, it does the same thing either way when switched on.  There are some lines in the static (which becomes darker) and a static-y "hissing sound".  When I switch off, it just goes to the normal static. 

 

I'm using the same TV/Computer switch that I use for my Atari, and that works fine.  The Colecovision was dusty and I cleaned the slot out and dropped a little alcohol in the power switch as well, as I heard being dirty can affect it.  But that didn't help.  Maybe it needs a new power supply...

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I think you're on the right track in suspecting the power supply has gone bad.  It could also be the power switch....which you can only clean up by taking it apart.  And it's a pain in the rear. 

 

The power supply can be checked with a voltmeter.  I don't know how comfortable you are doing that, but it's pretty easy and you'll know if it's the power supply or not.

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I think you're on the right track in suspecting the power supply has gone bad.  It could also be the power switch....which you can only clean up by taking it apart.  And it's a pain in the rear. 

 

The power supply can be checked with a voltmeter.  I don't know how comfortable you are doing that, but it's pretty easy and you'll know if it's the power supply or not.

 

I'd try this first

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Paul, the ColecoVision is one of my favorites from back in the day and I still have two consoles. Unfortunately it is not the most robust of the 80's consoles and a number of things can cause display and power issues. The power supply for sure but oddly the power switch on the console itself can get gunk and debris over time and also have adverse FX.  Have a look at this link for a number of problems and fixes that hopefully might help you sort out the problem. Ram is notorious for going bad as well  :mellow:

 

Scroll to bottom of this guide for repair tips. 

 

http://www.colecoboxart.com/faq/

 

Also this thread on Atariage (describes same issue as yours?)

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/124734-colecovision-with-no-picture-but-the-static-changes-color/

 

 

Something to consider - 

 

http://callanbrown.com/index.php/colecovision-power-switch-fix-upgrade

 

Colecovision power supply repair video

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfO1VFQBAvY

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I'm wondering if they decided to design them in a way to have failures so that they could have more sales.

I don't remember where or exactly when, or even if it was a former Engineer of Atari Inc. or Atari Corp., but an ex-Atari Engineer once said that they only expected systems to last an average of 5 years and he couldn't believe people were still using them 2 or 3 decades later!

 

Also, guys, I know I've been down on the Colecovision and have said I think the 5200 and Atari 8-bits are better from my experiences, but I do like the CV. And Frenzy is one of my favorites on the system too. I just avoid the games that need faster scrolling, like Zaxxon. But I will always turn to my Atari for the games that are on both systems in most cases. And, I still intend on getting an ADAM one day...there's just something about it that really intrigues me.

Edited by Bakerman

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ok, now my colecovision is dead.  I tested the power supply as per Willie's instructions and that is good.  Then I tested the switch which seems to work (I get 12v and 5 volts on the other side when switched on).  It may just be the cartridge slot, any good tricks on how to clean that, or other things to test?

Thanks

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ok, now my colecovision is dead.  I tested the power supply as per Willie's instructions and that is good.  Then I tested the switch which seems to work (I get 12v and 5 volts on the other side when switched on).  It may just be the cartridge slot, any good tricks on how to clean that, or other things to test?

Thanks

Do you get the "insert game cartridge" screen when you turn it on with out anything in the cart slot?  I saw you confirmed the 12 and +5 volt rails are ok, what is the -5 volt rail doing when you turn on the system?  is it staying close to -5 volts or is it drooping?  if it is drooping it could indicate a issue with the ram ships on the board.

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Do you get the "insert game cartridge" screen when you turn it on with out anything in the cart slot?  I saw you confirmed the 12 and +5 volt rails are ok, what is the -5 volt rail doing when you turn on the system?  is it staying close to -5 volts or is it drooping?  if it is drooping it could indicate a issue with the ram ships on the board.

I get nothing on my screen, but if I wiggle the switch I will get variation in my B&W static.  I will check the voltage before and after the switch tonight.  I just watched your switch mod and I was wondering if I just jump the wires on the board and take out the switch will that work so I can diagnose if it is the switch.  Will not having the board grounded to the shielding have any effect on it?

Thanks

Brian

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