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Is my game fried?


kennetzel
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A while back I purchased a heavy sixer on eBay that was advertised as working. And when it arrived, it did work fine. But one day when my wife was playing it, she suddenly got three green lines down the right side of the screen and it then went black. Now no cartridges work at all on it, it's just a black screen. Is the unit fried, or is there a fix for it? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

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I'm with trying to clean the carts first. http://atariage.com/howto/clean_cartridges.html( us 91% rubbing alcohol )

 

certainly can be other things ... this guy assembled a parts kit , with a pic of "the 7805" in question ;) http://atariage.com/forums/topic/262129-atari-2600-cap-and-voltage-regulator-kits/?p=3693862

 

if power supply went bad I would think screen would go to no-input snow like in Poltergeist :P

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Not if he is playing on a CRT it wouldn't.

 

I had several 2600s that I thought were dead as they would give me snow, then I would flip on power and get just a black screen and nothing. Found out that 3 "dead 2600s" were due to me actually testing by using a "dead wall wart". The fact it was working fine and then suddenly went to the three lines and then nothing since after about an hour of use... the power supply could get hot enough that if something in there was on its last legs that could be enough to take it out.

 

We don't know the full story on this either as there could have been a power surge or something they aren't ware of that could have happened.

 

If the carts were dirty...then you would normally at least get colored lines with a single tone playing when you flip on the power. I've even had actual bad carts that no cleaning could bring back to life, that would at least give me colored bars when powering on the atari.

 

Troubleshooting anything with electronics follows the ASAP rule:

 

Always Start At Power

 

I say replace the wall wart and see what you get. Never hurts to have a spare one anyway.

 

As for reconditioning kits for the 2600....I get mine here:

 

https://console5.com/store/atari-2600-total-refresh-kit-new-capacitors.html

Edited by -^Cro§Bow^-
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I'm with "Crossbow" (*) - start with the wall wart. In fact, before I ordered another one I'd check the one I have with a multi-meter. If you don't have a cheap multimeter, you really have no business owning and playing with 30+ year old hardware, or so it seems to me. :)

​Anyway, if the wall wart isn't the problem, my next guesses would be a dead 7805 voltage regulator inside, or a dead capacaitor. You'll have to open it up to check those components. A visual examine will show you if there's anything obviously wrong like a burst or leaking capacitor. If you don't see a cap that's obviously defective, here's where the multimeter comes in again - checking the output of the voltage regulator will tell you if you need to investigate further. If the voltage regulator is good and you don't see any leaking caps, it might be best to send the unit to a professional unless you're comfortable with a soldering iron. You'll have start testing individual components, possibly swapping chips, desoldering capacitors, etc.

 

(*) Not gonna try to type that string of characters.. :)

Edited by DrVenkman
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Is there a business that fixes these things I can send it to. My mechanical aptitude is poor. I wouldn't know where to start on replacing the power supply or the "wall wart" on this thing. I don't even know what a wall wart is. And would it be an expensive repair. Being a heavy sixer would be great if it worked...so would it be worth fixing.

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All 2600 systems are worth fixing!!! LOL. The Wall Wart is the black box transformer you plug into the wall and then connect to the atari for power. The power supply is what we are talking about. They are also known as wall warts because of the big blocky casing that plugs into the wall I guess looks like a "wart" on the wall.

 

Anyway, give your skill level on this, I would try and find a replacement power adapter, wall wart, whatever you want to call it first and go from there. There are several people in these forums you could send it to and have it get repaired. The H-sixers are usually a little easier to repair since a good bulk of their IC chips are in sockets and everything has plenty of room to work in there.

 

I'v ordered and used a few of these on systems I've given away at my retro gaming event in the past and to other friends etc. that need replacements.

 

https://console5.com/store/power-supply-adapter-for-atari-2600-and-atari-dedicated-systems.html

Edited by -^Cro§Bow^-
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I think I had a bad TIA or RIOT chip cause this similar condition as well once. Can't remember which, but if you are sure the power adapter is good, then the next thing is to make sure the the 7805 voltage regulator inside is outputting the proper +5 or near +5 volts that it should be to the rest of the system. Again, the fact that it was working fine for about an hour or so and then just quits to nothing isn't usually a result of a dirty cartridge. I'm not familiar with the Buffalo area so I honestly don't know anyone near you that might be able to look at it. I've had sent to me from my neighboring states to get up and running, but I'm sure there has to be someone closer to you that it would be cheaper on shipping...etc.

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I used to do a little bit of it. I limit my work to Apple II because of time, and it's the platform I know most.

 

I'm sure someone will come along and offer free repairs for cost of shipping and parts. This is a hobby to us, and some of us like the challenge of fixing these things up.

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What's stopping you from taking it apart and fixing it yourself? These systems aren't very complicated and anyone can work on them if they're patient and take their time. Spend a hundred bucks on a decent soldering iron, watch some Youtube videos and teach yourself. You'll get a lot of satisfaction, learn a lot, and then you'll be able to take care of problems that might arise in the future.

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What's stopping you from taking it apart and fixing it yourself? These systems aren't very complicated and anyone can work on them if they're patient and take their time. Spend a hundred bucks on a decent soldering iron, watch some Youtube videos and teach yourself. You'll get a lot of satisfaction, learn a lot, and then you'll be able to take care of problems that might arise in the future.

 

I thought about it. I have fixed a lot of stuff over the years and it probably is not beyond my abilities. BUT...I don't even know what's wrong with it or where to start. I have a good soldering iron, a volt meter and the like, but I never fixed any circuit boards or anything before. My aptitude lies more in the mechanical, not electrical.

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I thought about it. I have fixed a lot of stuff over the years and it probably is not beyond my abilities. BUT...I don't even know what's wrong with it or where to start. I have a good soldering iron, a volt meter and the like, but I never fixed any circuit boards or anything before. My aptitude lies more in the mechanical, not electrical.

 

All the more reason to unscrew the cover and take a look at it! :) The forums are full of posts about all manner of problems and what the cause turned out to be, and full of knowledgeable people happy to help walk you through troubleshooting and repairs. If you examine the bare board you can at least see if anything is obviously wrong like a burst or leaking capacitor, or test the voltage regulator to be sure its putting out the proper voltage. If the voltage regulator is good and none of the caps are leaking or swollen, you can try gently removing and reinserting the three main chips - sometimes the contacts oxidize over time and re-seating the chips restores good contact.

 

Anyway, just suggestions. Even if you don't decide to work on it, please don't just get rid of it! Eventually you'll find someone who can repair it or you'll work up the nerve to do so yourself. :)

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Was it on the carpet when using it? Did any static shock zap one of the controller ports? If so, then the Hex Buffer is Fried. I don't remember what the symptom was, but static on a controller port will zap that. Had it happen twice to me when I was a kid. My heavy now has a socketed Hex Buffer Chip...

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Advertised on ebay as working. Always a crap shoot as to what people define as "working". I wonder if the machine had any work done. Any evidence that the machine has been opened? Perhaps the seller did something that temporarily fixed a dead system. I'm shooting in the dark here but when it comes to buying systems on ebay it's always a roll of the dice.

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Well...I was just notified by Atari2600.com that their repair service has been discontinued. Now I'm stuck.

 

I would offer to look at it, but I'm half way across the country from where you are so it might end up costing quite a bit when you factor in shipping..etc.

 

It was also suggested that you send MojoAtomic a PM. He has been doing quite a bit of 2600 repairs and even some mods. He is more active about this on advertising on the AtariAge FB group, but he is a member here of course so shoot him a PM and see what you might be looking at in regards to costs.

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I would offer to look at it, but I'm half way across the country from where you are so it might end up costing quite a bit when you factor in shipping..etc.

 

It was also suggested that you send MojoAtomic a PM. He has been doing quite a bit of 2600 repairs and even some mods. He is more active about this on advertising on the AtariAge FB group, but he is a member here of course so shoot him a PM and see what you might be looking at in regards to costs.

 

Thanks for the advice.

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