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Vic-20 weird start up after not using it for a few weeks


zacht03

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First off, long time reader and love the community on this platform! I have wanted to post this for a while but just finally got a video of it doing the problem. I got this Vic-20 about 3-4 months ago, and when going to use it for the first time in a while (about a week) and it does this - https://imgur.com/gallery/a9pHtWU . Please view with sound as well because it makes a loud buzzing? Not even sure what to call it (haunted?). I’ve checked the voltages on the board when starting it up and everything is correct, 5.04v, 11.98v. The computer works just fine when it finally “loads”, tested games and small basic programs, works great. Is it maybe the capacitors loosing their value and “recharging” when being powered up for the first time in a while? Also to note, I am using the included rf adapter along with a switch box. Don’t have anything else to test the rf adapter on to see if that is causing this issue other than a Ti99 but don’t want to send 12v through it. Any help would be appreciated.

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Does the image really look black with red border for a while, until it warms up and gets the right colors? Can you obtain or make a composite video cable to eliminate the RF box as I remember it can cause trouble? Essentially you need a 5-pin DIN, a cable with at least three wires and perhaps two RCA connectors in the other end. Many generic cables with four RCA connectors already are wired with ground on the right pin, so it would be a matter of testing which RCA connector has video and sound.

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Yes that is exactly how the image looks. I do have a composite video cable that I’ve used on a dell monitor for testing it when I first got it, and now that I think about it the Vic-20 was fine then. So I guess it is just the rf modulator. Are there capacitors in there that can be replaced? If so I can do that as my tv sadly only has rf. 

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Better test with the monitor again so you rule out the computer. I wonder if you might having a short in the RF or just tired components. Back in the early - mid 90's when I picked up VIC-20 again, I had trouble with RF modulators that would go from working to garbage from one day to the next. I spent a significant amount on getting a NOS modulator from a former reseller until I found out you can use composite video instead.

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Well I have tried it on my monitor first, and it was completely fine, no video issues at all. Next tried it with my rf modulator on my crt tv and no issues here as well. I’m not really too sure what to think other than it hasn’t been long enough to recreate the issue again. I think it’s only been a 3-4 days since I’ve used it opposed to 2-3 weeks like before I used it a few days ago. 

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