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Is Intellivision II superior to original Intellivision in any way?


Justin
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Hey everyone, Intellivision novice, checking in. Is the Intellivision II superior to the original Intellivision in any meaningful way? I'm asking you, George Plimpton!

Intellivision II seems strictly like a cost-reducing measure, I don't see anything new, such as substantially revised controllers or integrated voice synthesis. All I see with the Intellivision II is the smaller size like the Atari 2600 Jr. or the smaller revisions of the NES and SNES. I'm iffy about those Intellivision II controllers, I get the impression they would feel cheap in your hand, not that the original Intellivision controller is anything to write home about. Curious what you guys think. I guess I could add lights to make it glow around the bottom.

 

 

Intellivision-II-Console-Set.jpg

 

Intellivision-Console-Set.jpg 

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The controllers on the Intelly 2 are awful! The buttons are stiff plastic that doesn't have much tactile feel to them and the keypad buttons are recessed and aren't bubble buttons like the model 1.

The ONLY thing the Intellivision 2 has going for it over the model 1 is the smaller size and I think it does look cool. And the fact that the controllers on the model 2 can be removed as they plug in using the same standard DB9 jacks of many consoles of the day. 

Model 2 Intellys also use a separate power brick vs the attached AC cord that is on the model 1. 

Model 2's aren't compatible with some Colecovision games that do work on the model 1, but the model 2 can use the system changer whereas the model 1 requires a hardware modification to do this similar to what you do with the 4 port 5200 to enable it to use the VCS adapter.

My preference has always been the model 1 units although they do generate a ton and heat and don't like be played on carpet.

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

 

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I'd rank them like this:

  1. Sears Tele-Games version - it has the detachable controllers.  Compatible with INTV2 controllers
  2. Orig version
  3. INTV 2

You nailed it with the comparison to the Atari 2600jr.  The INTV2 is smaller and looks nice.  In addition to the limitations others mentioned, it also has a horrible on/off/reset combo button (truly awful), and that gigantic external power brick will cover several plugs on a power strip. 

BUT the detachable controllers are a huge plus.  If you have the Intellivision Flashback, you can buy a converter cable and use those controllers on the Sears or INTV2.  They are a big improvement! 

And if you get a LTO Flash (highly recommended), that eliminates the BIOS issue on INTV2 that locks out some coleco games. 

FYI - I have a Sears unit and also an INTV2.  The INTV2 with LTO Flash (and using a Flashback controller) has become my GO-TO system for Intellivision.  Mostly because it doesn't take up much space.

One great thing about collecting for Intellivision in general -- the games are not expensive and plentiful.  It has been a lot of fun for me. 

 

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The Sears unit to me is the best one of the bunch and that is what I use as my daily driver. Controllers can be removed if needed for servicing easily, it uses the same internal parts as the standard model 1 so lots of stuff is interchangeable. In fact the interior layout is exactly the same. It is the center tray that is only molded differently to allow for the removable controllers. The cable harness that has the DB9 on it is snapped onto that center tray section and then uses the exact same molex style connectors onto the main board. There are differences in two of the IC chips but that doesn't affect the functionality at all. Until about a year ago, my Sears Intelly was actually using a standard Mattel 2609 mainboard in it.

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

 

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2 minutes ago, RickR said:

I'd rank them like this:

  1. Sears Tele-Games version - it has the detachable controllers.  Compatible with INTV2 controllers
  2. Orig version
  3. INTV 2

You nailed it with the comparison to the Atari 2600jr.  The INTV2 is smaller and looks nice.  In addition to the limitations others mentioned, it also has a horrible on/off/reset combo button (truly awful), and that gigantic external power brick will cover several plugs on a power strip. 

I concur on this order...

However, the power brick is not an issue. You can use any DC brick as well provided it provides at least 1.5A of current and provides at least 9v input. I actually use a 5200 PSU with mine with out issue and have for years now. And that works out well because the the 5200 is a large brick, but it is detached from the rest of the cords so you only need a standard 2 prong plug into the outlet or strip and then the brick further down the line and then another cable to plug into the power port. Using a DC PSU I think is better anyway because the supply board inside doesn't have to work as hard since all of the rectification to convert the AC to DC is bypassed in that regard. 

Also, Console5 provides a replacement resistor to help limit the time needed with that single combo power/reset button. Basically you only hold it down for about 2 sec to power it off. 

 

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

 

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I haven't looked in a while, but isn't it some weird voltage on the power brick for the INTV2?  Like 14.8 volts or something crazy like that?  If a 5200 brick works, I think I may go ahead and do that.  Thanks for that tip!  Oh, and aren't there two different 5200 power brick types (4 vs 2 port)? 

And nice to know on the Console5 fix for the power button.  It's a shame that's needed.  I always end up counting to 5 Mississippi's in my head and STILL get the timing wrong.  I'll check that out. 

 

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Yes the voltage is more like 16v AC input. But I believe that has more to do with providing enough overall current to power the system. It transfers the power down through a voltage regulator on the power board anyway before it gets to the rest of the main guts. And because it is used to rectifing an AC current, the polarity of the PSU you use doesn't even matter. The reason I mention the 5200 is because the Intelly 2 and 5200 use a larger center diameter pin on their barrel jacks vs more common ones. Specifically the jack uses a 2.5x5.5mm barrel jack. Most other systems and devices at the time that used a similar barrel jack only used a 2.1x5.5mm jack. So again the center pin is a slightly larger diameter and the 5200 was the next thing I had on hand that fit and did the job. But yeah, I use the 5200 PSU when working on and testing Intelly 2 units that have come to me for service because it works and I don't have to keep a separate one on hand just for one console.

The original NES also uses an AC power supply but like the Intelly 2, it rectifies that AC current to a DC current before it gets to the voltage regulator. As a result, you can actually power an NES all day long using a Genesis or SMS or Jaguar power supply. Again, the rectifier diodes in the console ensure that the current flows in the proper direction regardless of the polarity used from the DC power supply.

I question why they didn't just use a standard DC supply in the first place back then. It might be that the AC was needed for all the attachments perhaps? I don't own any of the attachments like the system changer or the ECS so it is possible that the AC current was needed to power all of those items. But for just playing standard intellivision games on the console itself, a 5200 PSU will do fine.

 

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

 

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Having only ever and currently owned the INTV II I will say I agree 100% with RICKS rankings here, Love that they detach but in every other way seem inferior to the original console however once I spotted the Sears version and how different it was that became my dream to own version. I like also that my INTV II is so tiny but yeah definitely has is it's negatives, I got it in a bundle years ago with the voice module and several games so that was my entry into it. My only other want in this area was the 2600 add-on as it's about the only 2600 compatibly console or add-on I never got, always seemed so cool playing a competitors titles on different hardware, you don't really see that anymore outside of emulation options. 

Edited by MaximumRD

I am Rob aka MaximumRD aka OldSchoolRetroGamer and THIS is my world http://about.me/maximumrd

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