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Atari C-380 - Like new, but issues with picture. Thoughts?


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I purchased this off ebay for a low price. It is in excellent condition and even came with the box, cardboard insert and manual. Came with a Commodore computer RF switch, but I am using a standard RF to COAX adapter.


Problem is, when I turn it on, I hear nothing but static through the speakers and the picture is black & white. There is no 2/3 channel switch and it only seems to work on channel 3. I tried channels 2 & 4 as well, but picture is all garbled up as expected. I've even tried swapping the RF cable.


It seems to be getting a decent signal to TV, because the TV actually goes into STEREO sound mode (which I found odd as well)


I am using a standard 2600 power supply which is the correct power source as well per manual.


UPDATE: Just watched some videos. The sound is normal out of the TV. The sound comes out of the unit itself ONLY. So problem is with black & white only.


I've opened it up and see nothing immediately stick out as bad. Thoughts?


The day I received it:



On channel 3 - Clean picture, but black & white picture:



What it looks like on channel 2 & 4:



The board with buttons, speaker and rotary removed:


Edited by NISMOPC
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perhaps re-flowing solder or cleaning the tuning pot , I also wonder if oxidation on the cable that plugs into the RF box is the culprit


nice find


I would suspect you'd need to clean the paddle pot for the breakaway games as well


OK. Here is where I am at now.


I cleaned the entire board and all the switches with electronics cleaner. I did not have to mess with the paddle pot at all. Smooth as butter.


I removed the RF modulator from the board and opened it up.



As I was opening it, I noticed it wasn't properly grounded to the case like the 2600's I possess or have possessed. So I re-assembled the RF modulator and made sure it was properly grounded to the case with solder. in this picture you can see where there is NO solder between board and case in the upper corner where it protrudes and a very small amount in the lower corner. I added solder to both locations (forgot to take a picture).



Soldered the RF modulator back to the C-380 main board, tested it and made some adjustments to the RF pot to get it to work on Channel 3. I then re-assembled the whole unit.



I am still getting some color shadowing artifacts on the left sides of all the graphics, so I have contacted B & C for a replacement RF modulator and pray that takes care of the strange shadowing I am seeming.


All in all, I'm pretty happy with the results going from NO color at all to color and working.


For anyone who might run into issues in the future, I am hoping this will help them:


1. Recommended power source is the same used for the Atari 2600.

- Input: 120 VAC 60Hz 200mA
- Output: 9VDC 500mA
- or you can use 3 "C" batteries
2. It operates on Channel 3 per the manual
3. Turn the TV/Monitor speaker volume all the way down (OFF)
- Sound comes from the internal speaker on the unit only.
- TV sound will be static sound only as stated in manual
4. Correct RF Modulator part # is CA010410 (Same as the 2600 Heavy Sixer with no channel change switch)
Edited by NISMOPC
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