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Snowflake
03-26-2019 at 05:08 PM
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My failed intellivision marathon

Some months back my mousetrap marathon failed as the intellivision blacked out after 12 hours. Well I love reading old magazines imagine my thrill when the section I’m reading had a question from readers on intellivision over heating. They even listed 12 hours as the key point and I kid you not use the word marathon. But it gets better? You know what their solution is? Just don’t play that long, have some moderation. Gee thx mom great tech advice there

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  1. Snowflake's Avatar

    A thx to the Atari compendium for archiving these

    What duh I can’t post photos ug


  2. datagod's Avatar
    a lot of people in my age anyway used to play with the intellivision right on the floor right in the shag carpet. talk about a heat trap. I suggest putting the intellivision up on little stand to allow airflow to cool it off. or even better place it on a giant solid hunk of aluminum which is a great heat sink. or you can have a small little fan blowing towards it that would probably work. surely there's a motto there where someone has added a liquid cooling system to old retro systems. damn now I got to start googling
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  3. Ragequit's Avatar

    Yea keep a fan blowing near the console, if you had air conditioning even better.

  4. EVN's Avatar

    Check if the console is full of dust, replace the thermal compound on any heatsinks, replace the 35 year old electrolytic capacitors in it, install heatsinks on any chips that get hot.

    From a quick google looks like the power supplies generate a lot of heat, might be that there are more modern regulators you could use that run cooler.

  5. Snowflake's Avatar

    i like the idea of checking for dust, an old system, has to have it, and my pets i'm sure dont help

    i dont want to make any modifications, its interesting you mention power supply though cause thats exactly the question from the '82 articlle. the reader questioned if he'd be better off moving the power supply, so not much of a modification other than repositioning and the "expert" just gave the advise of dont play so long

    the fan seems like it cant hurt as well

    i'll be doing a pseudo-marathon next month. that is to say i will be playing 12 hrs stragith, so good stress test, but it wont be one game so not truly a marathon. i'm currenlty thinking night stalker -- which should take 5 hrs, though currently i'm not good enough to last long at all. and i'm thinking for the rest of the time work my way through the two dungeons and dragons games. i cant imagine they're all that big, but since they're new to me i also imagine at least a few restarts. one of them is one of the remaining tg "pass/fail" tracks. for the other one i'll create a more appropriate speedrun track rather than simply another pass/fail.

  6. EVN's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowflake
    i dont want to make any modifications, its interesting you mention power supply though cause thats exactly the question from the '82 articlle. the reader questioned if he'd be better off moving the power supply, so not much of a modification other than repositioning and the "expert" just gave the advise of dont play so long

    I'm far from an intellivision repair expert so take this with a grain of salt but..

    You're going to have to get comfortable with refurbishing your old consoles sooner or later. Some components in these old devices are way past their operational lifespan. Replacing parts like this isn't really modification, it's necessary for preservation.

    I've been re-capping Amigas lately because its commonly accepted that these need it before the caps leak and damage things irreparably. It's just commonly accepted that the c64 and Amigas are due for new capacitors. The intellivision is even older than those.



  7. EVN's Avatar


    This is a good watch - I would at a minimum do what he did in this video if I wanted to do a 12 hour marathon. Also those massive heatsinks on the logic board being held down by hot glue, I'd be checking those.

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  8. Snowflake's Avatar

    the bright side is i'm not a sore loser and theres a reason my controls seemed to not be doing what i was entering...

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  9. EVN's Avatar

    Is that leaked electrolyte or 40 year old glue residue?

  10. Snowflake's Avatar

    i was wondering the same thing, fearing the worst. i watched your video after posting the picture. i was careful to check for in the video if there was any glue -- there wasnt. so yeah, i'm thinking a leak. not sure if this is the reason my controls are fighting me, but it cant help.

  11. Snowflake's Avatar

    also as much as i'd like to convince myself its glue, i've never seen anyone glue a capactior down. i didnt particularly enjoy hearing him say they're expensive and that he had to drill holes (not that that is crazy hard) to convert from axial to radial.

    i'm actually thinking of switching over to atari and this might push me. soldering is easy in theory, but in practice its just so easy to screw up. the only soldering ive done on my consoles is fixing my atari select switch after i broke it playing super man -- 1 minutes game that i played for a i think 6 hours, so several 100 uses in a row eventually worked it loose.

  12. EVN's Avatar

    Those Power Supply caps in the video look like they were set in place with some hot glue to me.

  13. EVN's Avatar

    Just because they haven't leaked does not mean they are still in spec though.

    ThanksSnowflake thanked this post
  14. Snowflake's Avatar

    i'll take your word for it then, my experience is pretty limited. its at least not the same color. i guess to be fair to i've only seem radial and whatever the word is for those disc ones. axial was never to me (so i learned a new term :)).

    is it common to glue them?

  15. EVN's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowflake
    is it common to glue them?

    It's not uncommon.


    I take it you haven't disassembled the logic board though? If the hot glue in the power supply has decayed like that then its possible the hot glue holding down the heatsinks is in a similar state.


  16. EVN's Avatar

    Look at how the heatsinks are secured:



  17. Snowflake's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by EVN


    It's not uncommon.


    I take it you haven't disassembled the logic board though? If the hot glue in the power supply has decayed like that then its possible the hot glue holding down the heatsinks is in a similar state.



    correct, i only opened it to clean up a little. then i saw that and got concerned. there actually is a very similiar substance elsewhere, so perhaps it is glue

  18. EVN's Avatar

    Looks like glue to me.

    That wouldn't change my course in the slightest though. Recap it and check all those heatsinks. Maybe remove them, clean them, apply some arctic silver and come up with a better way to secure them than hot glue.

    Then run the thing for a couple of days on attract mode or something and see how well it goes before having it tank a marathon.

    ThanksSnowflake thanked this post
  19. Snowflake's Avatar

    oh man, get this. i dont know to be happy or scared of my failing memory. turns out i have the sears super system (sears version of intellivision). i have no memory of ever buying it. and the shelf its on i put up only a few years ago. seems like i would remember this, because the sears versions i always thought were interesting foot notes. nothing super special, but neat. i dont see how i could have one, and not make a big enough deal of it in my mind to remember. all i can figure is it must've been part of a package deal where i was even more excited about something else and so forgoet about ti

    i alos have an intellivision 2 (which i wouldnt have bought had i realized i had the super system which i must've gotten sooner). i dont want to use that though, its controls suck.

    the bright side is i do have options in the meantime. i'll leave my main intellivision off until i'm ready to repair it.

  20. EVN's Avatar

    If I knew anything about Intellivision I'm sure I'd be suitably impressed. I'm barely older than that system. Again keep all I said with a grain of salt. Could be you just have a borked console and what I suggested won't fix it :)

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