Jump to content

5200 Maintenance Question


Atari 5200 Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey Atarians! 

I had to do some routine maintenance today on my 5200.

5200_Open.jpg.2c7f6cbcb065a396b099a56b3e8d0c0e.jpg

I'm mostly having to recalibrate the controllers again because that POT on the console is very erratic while it's being moved (remember those old volume knobs on stereos?).  A little cleaning and exercising it eliminated most of that.  But I have no clue where on the screen...

5200StarWarsArcade.jpg.3b37b6f8176135c1e898fccdc93de6d1.jpg

...that crosshair in Star Wars is actually suppose to be when the controller is in a "dead-center" state.  Is it suppose to be between the two top gunners or as centered as possible between all four gunners?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No..the crosshair will NOT be centered in Star Wars when calibrated. It will usually be off center towards the right most of the time. Missile command is a better game to use as the cross hair on that game is roughly dead center when you have the controller plugged in and both pots in their 6 and 9 positions for centering.

BTW... why is there a piece of masking tape in the lower left of the RF shield on your console? That wasn't done by the factory.

 

Edited by CrossBow

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, CrossBow said:

No..the crosshair will NOT be centered in Star Wars when calibrated. It will usually be off center towards the right most of the time.

You know what?  Since I centered the crosshair in Star Wars all of my games have been playing really well again.  I don't have any stray-walking characters, 4-way controlled games respond well, all games using analog controls are actually controlling really well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After dinner I will pop the top to check.  I know I've never taken that RF shield off.  I'm very particular when it comes to the 5200.  I specifically requested an original 4 port, unmodified, because I had no intentions of owning a VCS adapter because I found that to be overkill since I already owned a 2600.  I don't want a 5200 that is backwards compatible with the 2600 library.  I don't need it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, these are the best pics I could get.  It doesn't look like the tabs have ever been moved.  If they had the tarnish would be almost gone on those tabs.  

5200_1.jpg.778643ccc250948746e8a18d2e065d82.jpg

5200_2.jpg.7a94f89d1518d05620a2650f893dba31.jpg

5200_3.jpg.ad48754be31c3785f25713978daf8011.jpg

5200_4.jpg.3d8189d69613ab69b91384c9ce7a7521.jpg

That tape has given away to time and is no longer sticky...but it's glue residue is on the motherboard.  It's been there a very long time for that to happen.

Edited by Atari 5200 Guy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very strange. What is the black mass on that tape to the right of the boss post hole?

It looks similar to the same tape I've seen on 7800s near the power port. Likely because there is only about 1mm of space between the + input voltage rail and the large ground for the RF to sit on. But I've never see it on the 5200 in that part before. Because there really isn't much of anything in that part of the main board. I mean, the bottom RAM chips are under there, but really nothing that would require any tape to be used to isolate anything.

And in looking at the tabs that have been shown, the one next to port 3 doesn't look right. Looks like it was twisted counter clock vs clockwise as Atari normally did. So it is possible someone has been in it and just twisted them back the way they were supposed to be. And actually that tarnish really doesn't come off without some sanding. I've tried trust me LOL!

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

What is the black mass on that tape to the right of the boss post hole?

It's a small black peg.

6 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

And actually that tarnish really doesn't come off without some sanding. I've tried trust me LOL!

No...it doesn't...but I would expect to see marks from a tool twisting those.  I see none unless I'm missing it.

That piece of tape when I lifted it up for a photo op felt really brittle.  I know many 2600 boards I've worked on that had that same color tape on them, the tape was so old it just fell off, you really didn't have to touch it much.  This felt like that so it's been on there for a long time.

It is possible that the motherboard had been repaired by an authorized dealer before I got it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Come to think of it, many 5200's I found in the wild during the 1990's I had to fix, some had that same tape on them, some didn't.  All were 4-ports except for 1. I'm curious but I'm not sure I want to remove that RF shield. I wonder if that motherboard is officially modified to work with the VCS adapter regardless of the serial number?  They did have upgrade kits to modify original units to work with the VCS adapter.  If I asked for an original 4-port, and the seller went by the knowledge of the 5200's serial number without knowing it, there is that slight possibility that the unit I have could have been modified at some point.  

I've never taken the RF shield off.  I've only dusted it with canned air and a toothbrush.  I normally take the motherboards to my consoles, after I get them, spray them down with a liquid chemical, rinse them off, and then dry them off with a bath towel to remove all the years of build-up.  I never did that this 5200 because 1) it worked, 2) these things are very picky and delicate, 3) I can't afford to replace it should something go wrong.

Edited by Atari 5200 Guy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I recalibrated this system and controllers actually brought back the way I remember the controls working when I was a kid. 

I adjusted the POT on the console first to get that cross hair horizontally center.  I then adjusted the POTs in the controllers to fine tune the centering. Works like a charm now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can actually tell if it has been modified to work with the VCS adapter without removing the RF shield because some soldered on wires would be present and go under the shielding near the right center of it. If they did everything underneath, then you would see similar going under the bottom RF shield but most did it exactly like the factory required. So that means there is usually 1 or 2 wires going through the cart slot hole on the right side and that should also be visible with that top cover removed.

 

Edited by CrossBow

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Join the Atari Party! :donkey_kong_big:

    How lucky are you that you've finally found this place?
    It's time to join the best kept secret in classic gaming.
    Membership is limited, so let's get started! :wreck-it-ralph:

     

×
×
  • Create New...