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Latest stuff at the ITC



I know I've not made a video in a very long time on my ITC Youtube channel. But I figured I would mention here the latest things happening at the 'Tower'. Just because there haven't been any vids uploaded, doesn't mean there isn't something always still going on.

First is that console service requests have picked up quit a bit for me over the past 2 years. It really started during the pandemic, but then larger and larger service requests started to come in since and at this time, there is pretty much always a console or 3 at the 'Tower' waiting to get serviced it seems. When not working on enthusiasts game consoles, then I use that time to work on my own consoles to improve old install work I did in them (Some going back over 10 years ago). 

Well, currently what is at the ITC to be serviced is essentially done and will be getting shipped out soon, but as we had some pretty inclement weather come in this past Sunday and as a result our offices were closed at my normal day job yesterday. I spent the time to finally design some new PCBs for use in my services. One isn't that big a deal but is my own pcb breakout for use with 9-pin mini din connectors. I've got an old gerber file set that I either found a few years back or was sent to me that I've been using. But decided to make my own with some slight alterations on the design I'd been using. Not a big deal so not really anything to show there.

But, I also finally designed revision 2 of the 7800 mount board. I already had another slight revision that I was calling r1b for the past 6 months but decided to just add in one new feature to make it easier in the future as I'm now getting requests for it. The new feature is adding in an optional audio input pad with resistor onto the mount board that can be used to mix in a 3rd audio input source into the 7800 setup so that it along with the normal audio can all be heard from the RCAs or whatever is used for the audio output on the console when upgraded. I'd been doing this manually by just adding in a resistor in series on separate wiring that would then get soldered to the + pad on the output filter capacitor. It works but I like how this will look better and I don't have to hide a resistor to solder in place anywhere and can just run a wire straight off the pad to the jack used for audio input.



The other project I worked on yesterday was to finally design a new mount board setup for use in the Intellivision RGB installs. I previously designed a small mount PCB about 2 years ago for this and that will still be needed and used in some circumstances. But more and more lately, most of my clients have me remove the RF modulator and install the mini din jack there for the RGB output. This is because with a PCB of the right height, you can place the jack here without having to cut the case. The current PCB mount is kinda difficult to install as it requires a lot of heat to ensure that the solder seeps it way under the PCB and has always been a little smaller than I'd like to help provide the needed anchor and support for the mini din. Well, after installing a few other difficult kits into consoles designed by others, I decided to adapter something similar. This new mount is larger and uses 2 of the original intellivision RF anchor holes that I run clipped leads through some vias to solder the mount board into place easier with less heat and possible provide a more secure mount as a result. It does actually use a 2 PCB setup to achieve the height needed but I've found that 2 PCBs in a stacked configuration is still going to be much easier and cheaper to have made. The older mounts were 2.6mm thick PCBs and as a result, they weren't cheap to have made. Using a 2 board solution will also similar results with less cost. I will be refining this further. But this is the top PCB that the mini din will fit into the lower right corner section and then be held in place with solder along the two large ground planes along the left and rear of the jack. Both PCBs feaure hashed ground planes to help with strength. The top logo and wording on this PCB are now silkscreened but in fact are done by removing the solder mask over a copper filled section of the PCB. This way the logo and words have a shiny look to them that is actually part of the PCB and not just silkscreen that can wear/rub off.


So, yeah all of these and other parts on order now and I'm excited to see how it all looks and works first hand.


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