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Junk or not? Troubleshooting help!


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Junk or not?

I just bought a Colecovision off Facebook marketplace for what I think is a pretty good deal. The problem is that I know less than nothing about the system. 

I plug it all in and turn it on then nothing but snow on the screen and static from the speakers (there was no noise before turning it on).  I tried several games like this with the same result. I popped on Expansion Module #1 and tried that and I got the same thing but this time there was no noise. I took off the module and tried again. This time I got the noise back and it's still snowy but not as bad and I could see the screen that says "turn off game before inserting cartridge..."

I'm not sure if it mtatters but I'm using the rf cable from my NES. 

Is this thing junk? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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That could be the NES RF cable doing it. Have you got an old switch box and old RF cable for Atari? They might help. It could be the RF receiver inside the ColecoVision might need some TLC, but then again I am not an expert. It sounds like the RF needs some fine tuning, but as far as the ColecoVision being junk I don't know. I wouldn't throw it away, though. They are excellent collector's items. If it still works above and beyond the funny signal from the RF, I would keep it.

The Expansion Module #1. That is the A2600 add-on, isn't it? I had a ColecoVision myself with the 2600 adapter. Curious. Thanks for letting me share.



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It IS the NES RF switch that is the issue. You see, by the time the NES came out (later the Snes / Genesis) the RF switcher was different in that merely turning on the system was enough to power and automatically switch over to the console output. The Colecovision and indeed consoles and several computers before that relied on a switchbox where selected between console / TV and these older machines don't put out quite enough to fully switch over so you tend to get that, snow and static interference. So the option is either get one of the old type of Pre-NES RF switcher OR as many do these days, a plain RF cable with an tiny adaptor at the end that plugs directly with no need to switch. That is what I use on my own Colecovision. Let me add you WILL get people that swear up and down the NES RF box is perfectly fine and they use it with no issues, they are either straight up lying OR remember wrong. To clarify keep the NES RF switcher / cord for most systems from NES onward, for Pre-NES (Colecovision / 8-bit computers / Atari 2600 etc) you need either THIS:

RF cord plus Adaptor to TV input: !NOTE a standard composite cable will do if a true RF cable not available if using this adaptor. 




RF cable (or quality AV composite cable) + proper old-style switchbox that fully switches between the two: 


I don't recommend this route though since it still requires an adaptor for the Antennae output to TV input and they won't all come with that if you buy it loose, a whole other can of worms. 



So really the most straightforward option is the first method, you can find these little adaptors easy on Ebay / Amazon searching " RF Adapter F Male Coax to RCA Female " that with either a proper RF cord OR a decent Composite cable will do as standalone RF cables are getting scarce. 




Lastly for those that prefer visual instruction, this little kid 8 years ago, nothing fancy but short enough video and he covers what is important clearly showing the steps, he even uses a composite cable many have with the 3 cords (video + 2 audio) obviously he uses only one as required but I think it's good to show what most people have but still solving the issue, near the end he does display the Colecovision Start screen if only for a couple seconds but I think you will agree overall a pretty damn good output anyone would be happy with using RF. 😉



😝If I seemed just a tad bitchy about those that insist the NES RF switcher is fine it's just because I hate that type of misinformation especially when people absolutely insist on it when I know form first hand experience this is not the case and I have had such people make this claim elsewhere when I am giving all this detail and the reasons why it is absolutely not adequate so I get a bit salty over it since Colecovision is hands down my favorite console Pre-NES and i want people to enjoy them to the fullest. 




Edited by MaximumRD

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

"For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday."

 - M. Bison

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