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Control issues with Sears Video Arcade II


MunsonRoyE
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Hi All!

 

I recently picked up a Sears Video Arcade II system in a lot and I am having some control issues with it. The games boot up fine, and the controllers are recognized, but for some reason I can not move right at all. All the other directions and buttons work, but I just can't move right. I have tried both Sears controllers that came with it, along with a known working Atari joystick and none of them will move right. It happened on 3 different games I tried.

 

All the pins in the port appear to be there and undamaged. I cleaned the pins with a toothbrush and alcohol, as well as reflowed the solder to the pins on the board, and cleaned the cartridge slot really well. All of this had no affect.

 

I'm at a loss as to what it could be. The only other notable thing is that it didn't come with an original power supply, but had a Genesis model 1 power supply. I heard that these were OK to use on the system. If it's the power supply that is the issue, I have no problem replacing it. I just don't want to sink the money into an official power supply and find out that it wasn't the issue.

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Did you try a 2 player game and try the second port, player 2, and see if that works?

 

 

No, I didn't think to do that. I was just getting frustrated with it not working that it slipped my mind to try and see if all the ports were like that. I guess I'll try that out and see what the result is.

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Might be a broken solder joint on the motherboard, or a problem with the joystick port itself. If it turns out the 2nd player port works fine, I'd try opening it up and seeing what you can do with the that first player port. Possible the problem isn't even visible... had that issue on my very first Atari for many years and I never did actually see a physical problem. Finally just replaced the port and that fixed it right up.

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I put in Combat to test out the 2nd controller port. That one seemed to work fine. The first port still wouldn't move right and it was automatically firing shots even though the button wasn't being pressed. I have yet to take it apart again to test for continuity. I guess that would be my next step.

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The video arcade 2 has additional circuitry to allow switching between paddle and joystick mode using the buttons on the console (to use the combo controllers that came with the console). Since joystick right direction and fire are two of the signals that needs to be switched for paddle mode, a fault in that part of the circuit might explain what you're seeing. And because of this extra circuitry, there's probably not continuity between the pins of the ports and the 6532 RIOT like on the other 2600 models.

Unfortunately, there aren't schematics available for the SVA2/2800, but looking at some pictures of the PCB that I found on-line, there are 5 small (14 and 16 pins) ICs near the ports that might be worth checking.
post-10599-0-28821100-1492767063_thumb.jpg

Edited by alex_79
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