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Restoring a 5200 - advice and assistance needed


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After 5-and-a-bit hours of letting the 5200 loop Ms. Pac-Man's attract mode while we were at the movies, came home to find that it was still running perfectly happily.  This was with the top cover on, so heat doesn't seem to be a problem and the dead Rockwell CPU is gone.  Cool :D


6 hours ago, john_q_atari said:

I just got a 4 port today. Hooked it up with a switch box and I was getting a snowy picture, like a bad RF cable or something, but every once in awhile it would clear up and look pretty good for RF. Turned it on just now to test the sound, and the picture has been clean the whole time. Interesting. Not sure it's the same interference behavior as your snowy screen. Doesn't really matter I guess as I got this unit to convert to HDMI. Glad to hear your lockup problems appear to be fixed with a replacement CPU.

So, here's the interesting thing about the snowy picture: mine also comes and goes, but can be improved / made worse by fiddling with the position of the RF output cable and / or  the unit itself in relation to the PSU or TV - but sometimes it just does it, or just doesn't.  Letting it warm up usually makes things better, but that's not a 100% guarantee by any means.  I suspect that there may be components that need replacement, but will figure all of that out once I've had a chance to properly fiddle with things as they are now.


BTW: just in case you don't have it already, I'm attaching the FSM for the 5200.  Covers both 2- and 4-port models as well as the joysticks and trak-ball.


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  • 2 months later...

Been fiddling a bit more with the 5200 over the past couple of days.  Worked on the controllers with so-so results; it looks as though mylar replacement really is going to be necessary.  Keypads work, fire buttons are intermittent, and the function buttons do nothing.  Going to give them one last round of cleaning and see if any progress can be made, but I'm not holding my breath.


Reflowed all solder joins for the RF jack on the PCB, RF modulator, and channel select switch; also cleaned the switch and jack with contact cleaner.  Video output is greatly improved, but some minor snow remains.  Going to run through the FSM again and find the flowchart with the tangental reference to a snowy picture; IIRC, there were a couple of resistors it recommended replacing, so will look into that next.

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I kinda wish I'd documented doing mine (finished it yesterday). Hope you don't mind me jacking your thread for a post :) I'll it give a quick post and see if I can dig out some photos (EDIT: I may have gone too far...).


Been after one for a while and of course getting one in the UK can be fun and games. Usual spares or repair job as we tend to do, but this one was actually here and it came in at £105 which is actually a really good price. Generally speaking I wasn't bothered about it coming with games but it came with a nice selection and more importantly two controllers (both of which were presumed faulty, but aren't they all...). The top of the case had taken a hit at some point and it had bent some of the venting.




We've got a TV that though not NTSC, has a tuner granular enough that we can force it to a frequency to get a shitty black and white image with no sound out of RF and check whether it works or not. So we bodged in a standard power connector and hooked it up, and it worked, which makes life easier. Now because I'm using my S-Video input on my PVM with my 7800, and I didn't want to buy a 2nd Extron to get more inputs, so that was out as an option. I could have used composite, which on Cleggy's looks shockingly good, but I did have a free RGB input, so I got in touch with Simius here and got an RevB Sophia RGB instead. They're not quite a drop in, You could stack sockets I suppose, but I don't like that. Plus putting a turnpin socket into a single wipe isn't nice. So I pulled the socket and swapped it for a turnpin. Then I had to de-socket the two IC's that lay beneath the card. No biggy there. I actually put the hole for the 9pin D up by the channel select switch. It was less of a tight fit and allowed me to fit it higher so the plug doesn't impact the table as it does if you use the expansion slot cover. Anyhow, the picture is perfect, to be expected really.




The impact damage to the venting we heated up with a hair dryer and bent back into shape using a butter knife. It worked far better than you'd imagine. It's not completely gone as it's pushed in a little and we couldn't really get that out. But the vents are near straight now.




The controllers were, as you'd expect, both broken. What was nice about them was that they are carbon on carbon. Which meant all the buttons actually worked electrically. Cleggy ended up using metal tape on the backs of the buttons of his controllers to get them working as his were only carbon on the buttons. One controller had some broken tracks, they were patched (seen under the kapton tape in the picture) and that one now fully works. The bottom pot was off a little on the cam so that was adjusted and it was all set up on to the console using the internal trimmer. Interestingly we were getting jitter and we couldn't understand why. Thinking it could be a power stability problem we replaced both the regulators with new ones. Nope. We cleaned every pot. Nope. Then we compared it to Cleggy's 5200 and it was displaying exactly the same behavior. Moved it to another room, and it stopped. Turns out it was environmental. We initially thought it might have been the flourescent lights, but it might actually have been the WiFi. But something in that room really messes with the 5200.




The other controller was borked. The wires inside were crushed so the first point of call was to shorten the cable to before the breaks. Did that. Kontact cleaner in the plug helped also as they seemed to be quite corroded at that end also. That sorted it out electrically. However mechanically we couldn't stop the joystick jumping out of the cams, no matter what we did. So writing this one off, we decided to turn it into a Pole Position / Super Breakout paddle. Damn this works nice. Lovely new pot feels almost damped. The switch on the side changes gear in PP. It just feels so natural to play with it. Likewise Super Breakout.






One of the carts I received was dead which was handy as I was needing a box for this also:




In place you find the final issue with the 5200, it's so big! No way I could get it in my stand with my other consoles. so it's ended up on the bottom shelf. even with the RGB lead made as long as I could, it's still a bit short so it's awkwardly angled, but it's still usuable.






We have an S-Video or Composite video mod for the 5200. It does require removal of the modulator, but it sounds like yours is shot. It's an option if you're ok with veroboard. Gives a really good picture on a CRT.




Not fitted properly in this pic, but this is it in Cleggy's machine:




...and this is what it looks like on a CRT:



Edited by juansolo
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@juansolo: that is one hell of a result.  Well done :-D


That video output looks gorgeous.  I'll probably stick with a UAV for this one as these days composite is my lowest-common-denominator video format that isn't HDMI, but it looks so pretty that I'm being seriously tempted now.


Thanks for that :thumbsup:

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That's S-Vid via that mod through a Koryuu into a BVM. The UAV will be very similar and has the advantage of not needing to pull out a load of parts. The RGB, well that's something else, it's pretty much perfect. I haven't got a good pic of that... You could always go Sophia 2 if you want to plug it into something more modern. I think that one can output DVI.

Edited by juansolo
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28 minutes ago, juansolo said:

That's S-Vid via that mod through a Koryuu into a BVM.

It really is coming out beautifully.  Colour me impressed.

28 minutes ago, juansolo said:

The UAV will be very similar and has the advantage of not needing to pull out a load of parts.

Yup.  It also doesn't hurt that I'm also running them in the 800XL and 1200XL, so have some familiarity with them already.

28 minutes ago, juansolo said:

The RGB, well that's something else, it's pretty much perfect. I haven't got a good pic of that... You could always go Sophia 2 if you want to plug it into something more modern. I think that one can output DVI.

The kicker with the Sophia is that we got rid of all of our DVI and SVGA monitors about three years ago.  Every machine in the house is also a laptop these days (with one iMac as the exception), so that leaves us with HDMI-only monitors as the non-TV display option - and the TVs only accept component, composite, or HDMI for input.  Granted, DVI could be converted to HDMI using a dongle that can be had for cheap, but that leads to having nowhere good in the house to physically locate anything.


That said, I am by no means opposed to the idea, and am still giving it consideration.  The picture was just to pretty to dismiss out of hand :-D

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  • 9 months later...

Removed the heatsinks and 7805 voltage regulators today and replaced them with a pair of Traco 2-2450s.  There is a noticeable reduction in snow with either standard cartridges or the Atarimax, but the CX-55's output still looks unremittingly awful.  That one is going to be a project unto itself, though I suspect it needs not much more than a (deep breath) recap.  Either way, this was the pilot run for a wider-scale Traco conversion, and so far there is a definite drop in heat.


The remaining snow is (I suspect) either RFI from the TV or internal to the RF modulator's componentry.  Regardless, it's minimal enough that it works for backup/testing purposes, so moving on to the UAV install when the audio boards and A/V cables arrive in a few days is looking likely :-D

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