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Bad TIA/RIOT? Need help!

Beyond Third

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Hello everyone, excuse any informalities, I'm new here. Anyway, recently my Darth Vader 2600 stopped reading games. I've tried multiple AC adapters, multiple RF cords (coax adapter, no switch boxes), multiple TVs and multiple games. I believe the problem may be the TIA or RIOT chip(s). After cleaning cartridges and the cartridge port, I got very garbled video such as this, with barely any input from the games. I tried Donkey Kong, Megamania, and Gorf. Donkey Kong made some weird movements, Megamania gave me a blank screen and Gorf started looking normal but eventually turned into a blue pattern. Here are some screenshots and the board itself. After cleaning the board a bit with rubbing alcohol, everything now shows up blank. It will output a black screen to the selected channel, but if I were to go to the other (i.e. if I had the switch to channel 2 and was on channel 3, and vice-versa), I'd get static and patterns. Any help would be very appreciated!





Edited by Beyond Third
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It might be the RIOT but I'm doubtful. I had a RIOT go bad on my four switch Woody but it played fine - it merely wouldn't read the difficulty switches. I suppose if the RAM portion of the chip was bad that might explain the weird graphics. The good news is that all the main chips are still available cheap. Personally I'd start with TIA, 6507 and then RIOT.


Do you have the Field Service Manual?



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If cleaning made it worse, than it might just as well be a bad solder joint somewhere, which totally lost contact now.

I'd try inspecting the connections and re-flowing anything suspicious.

Edited by Mef
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Just ordered an "as-is" motherboard and another 6532, might as well stock up. Just sent Best Electronics an email. I looked at the solder joints and they all seem fine, but I'm going to take another look later. For now I'm going through the service manual and seeing if anything helps.

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