ColecoVision A/V Mod

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
Hey everyone,

I wanted to share the results of my latest project. I purchased two ColecoVision consoles not long ago. The RF output was horrendous so I went looking for a mod to install A/V jacks on the system.

I decided to use Ben Heck's Colecovision Composite Video Mod. Yesterday I cleaned the motherboard and case and let it all dry until today. I proceeded with the mod and everything worked out wonderfully! See the images below. The screen is actually clearer than the picture I took with my camera.

I haven't started on the second system yet. Unfortunately, the Player 1 controller port on this system seems to be broken. I need to try to find out how to fix that. The Player 2 controller port works perfectly. Does anyone have an idea how to fix the first port?

Thanks everyone!

Heather
 

Attachments

  • ColecoVision AV Mod 001 [1024x768].jpg
    ColecoVision AV Mod 001 [1024x768].jpg
    127.3 KB · Views: 10
  • ColecoVision AV Mod 002 [1024x768].jpg
    ColecoVision AV Mod 002 [1024x768].jpg
    98.6 KB · Views: 4
  • ColecoVision AV Mod 003 [1024x768].jpg
    ColecoVision AV Mod 003 [1024x768].jpg
    101.4 KB · Views: 5
  • ColecoVision AV Mod 004 [1024x768].jpg
    ColecoVision AV Mod 004 [1024x768].jpg
    132.7 KB · Views: 5
  • ColecoVision AV Mod 005 [1024x768].JPG
    ColecoVision AV Mod 005 [1024x768].JPG
    131.2 KB · Views: 5
  • ColecoVision AV Mod 006 [1024x768].JPG
    ColecoVision AV Mod 006 [1024x768].JPG
    57.2 KB · Views: 5

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
Yep! These are photos of the completed system. :) The first controller port is automatically pushing one of the numbers on the pad and it acts like 'Up' is being held all the time. One of the buttons work on the controller itself but that's all. :(

On a side note, I just put a coin battery mod in my A4000. :) I'm just trying to catch up on all these projects I've been putting off. I also tested the caps on my A3640 and found they need replacing. :( I'll have to see if I can get replacement caps somewhere locally.

Take care,

Heather
 

AndyLandy

Acceleration!
Treasurer
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Posts
9,898
Country
UK
Region
Southampton
Crikey! Careful you don't burn out your soldering iron, young lady! You'll be rivalling our Zetr0 before long. ;-)
 

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
LOL! I have a long way to go before I ever get that good! :D

I've really been enjoying doing some hardware hackery. Soldering is actually challenging and it's fun doing these things and making them work! I just tested my A4000 battery mod by setting the date/time and saving it. I then turned off the system and unplugged the power for a bit. I plugged it all back in and turned it on and viola! It still has the correct date/time. :)

I guess I need to learn how to test different board components (capacitors, resistors, etc) to make sure they are good. I hope I can fix the player 1 control port on this ColecoVision!

Take care,

Heather
 

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
I actually bought a board from Radio Shack that had four connectors. I removed one connector from the board then trimmed the top and bottom of the board to make it fit in the back of the ColecoVision. :)

I'm probably going to do this mod to my second ColecoVision this weekend.

Take care,

Heather
 

r0jaws

Mondeo Man
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Posts
7,237
Country
UK
Region
Lincolnshire
Nice Job there SDG. (y) It's a great feeling to get a project, and with a little research and work get it going again, sometimes better than before!

I'm sure the Flux Mastah will be along shortly to bestow upon you the exulted rank of 'Solder Tech level 1'. Richly deserved I feel. :)
 

Zetr0

Ya' Like it Retr0?
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Posts
9,900
Country
UK
Region
Norfolk
@SdG

"Impressive..... the force is strong with this one!!!!"


well and truly SolderTech level 1 richley deserved!!!

and as AndyLandy states
[quote="AndyLandy]
Crikey! Careful you don't burn out your soldering iron, young lady! You'll be rivalling our Zetr0 before long. :wink:[/quote]

He has a point =D

It clearly shows in your work that you really enjoy it, this is above any acolade anyone could say.


now, for your other Coco - lets talk adaptation =D

instead of two phono's for sound you could use a single smaller stereo jack at the back ( < $1 from radio shack) this you can drill a small hole and use the thread screw on the outside to hold it in place... its small and discrete -

Although you would need a 3.5mm jack to phono's for the composite RCA adapter, they have jack-splitters at your local radio shack for less than a buck too - however since I was thinking RCA via a scart and most US TV's dont have that then this would seem pointless in conversion for purely asthetics.

Anyway - A very cool Coco mod - worthy of the AmiOrical!

If you get time, do a "How-To" guide on hacking the CoCo for A/V Composite RCA - that would be awesome =D
 

rkauer

Amiga fanboy
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Posts
10,337
Country
Brazil
Region
São Leopoldo, RS
My friend, sorry for the courtliness, but CoCo is not just the colour generation of the TRS-80?
 

quarkx

insane in the main frame
AmiBayer
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Posts
2,430
Country
Canada
Region
Edmonton, Alberta,
My friend, sorry for the courtliness, but CoCo is not just the colour generation of the TRS-80?

Nope, but many people thought that. The TRS-80 was based around the z80 processor. The CoCo or Color Computer was based around a reference from Motorola using the 6809 processor. It even started as a video-tex terminal, bit the engineers at both RS and Motorola sat down and created the CoCo. It originally was suppose to be called the TRS-09 or 90 depending on which source you here it from, but they thought it would be too confusing for the public.

BTW, The Dragon Computer is based on the same Motorola Design specs., but the dragon had a true parallel port added and a few other bells and whistles. IIRC the software and most hardware is interchangeable.

Also, my old website: www.thecocolounge.com has all the information I could get from the RS archives on the history of the CoCo, and www.cloud9tech.com has a whole bunch of goodies (like Amigakit) but in the US for the CoCo. You will want to run NitrOS 09 on it for a true multitasking UNIX environment.
The CoCo 3 is a very powerful machine, but I found that when I had it, getting a decent 501 Disk Drive set up was very expensive- at that time over $100 for a drive and a controller.
 

Zetr0

Ya' Like it Retr0?
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Posts
9,900
Country
UK
Region
Norfolk
My friend, sorry for the courtliness, but CoCo is not just the colour generation of the TRS-80?

indeedy!!! i forgot... I have always called coleco's coco's even though there not coco's also knowing that THE coco is infact the colour motorola based thingy

I didn't mean to confuse, just my sillyness..
 
Last edited:

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
well and truly SolderTech level 1 richley deserved!!!
:woot: Thanks Zeets! That really means a lot to me. :)
It clearly shows in your work that you really enjoy it, this is above any acolade anyone could say.
I'm glad you could tell! I am trying to do everything right the first time around so I take my time with everything. Cutting corners just leads to shoddy workmanship and possibly non-functional equipment! :)

instead of two phono's for sound you could use a single smaller stereo jack at the back ( < $1 from radio shack) this you can drill a small hole and use the thread screw on the outside to hold it in place... its small and discrete -
Thank you very much for the suggestion. :) I actually already cut the holes in the second case for the composite jacks so it's too late to change the design. I also wanted to use standard composite cables instead of having adapters hanging off the back of the system. It's bulkier with standard RCA but I never have to wont for a compatible cable. :)

If you get time, do a "How-To" guide on hacking the CoCo for A/V Composite RCA - that would be awesome =D
Well, I used Ben Heck's ColecoVision mod directions and improvised where I needed to. BTW, I washed both these boards in the dishwasher and they came out nice and clean!

I do have one question though. What's the best way to clean the pins in the cartridge slot? I can't seem to find any good information. I would replace the connector altogether but I can't find them anywhere. :(

Take care,

Heather
 

Zetr0

Ya' Like it Retr0?
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Posts
9,900
Country
UK
Region
Norfolk
@SdG

You deserve the praise - most people (with exception to a few) would wince at soldering - not to mention the addition of exotic components like transistors =D

Now the Cart Slot -

hmmm to clean the slot, I would suggest to start off with a can of compressed air and blow-out any debris or dirt and then the slow and pains taking job of cottenbuds / cue-tips and IPA (Isopropanol Alcohol)

In replacing the slot altogether there are always alternatives, if you know the pitch of the pins then I can suggest some, alas the pictures I googled up of the cartridge port are a little vague =(
 

PatBB

New member
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Posts
2
Country
Montreal, Canada
I actually bought a board from Radio Shack that had four connectors. I removed one connector from the board then trimmed the top and bottom of the board to make it fit in the back of the ColecoVision. :)

I'm probably going to do this mod to my second ColecoVision this weekend.

Take care,

Heather

Thanks.

I just finish mine...only the video for now with a direct cable.
Works very well.

Your pictures were a big help...thanks again.

For the audio, I read somewhere else, on atariage forum I think, that with Ben Heck method, the expansion module for the 2600 won't have sound. But it's possible to connect near the video #13 pin to get the sound to work the the module. I'll see what I can find.
 

TheCorfiot

Out in the Wild
VIP
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Posts
8,698
Country
Greece
Region
Corfu
@Zetr0/rkauer/SDG/Quarkx

I think you are all being very cruel in teasing me :nod:

You all know I have been hunting for a TRS 80 CoCo for ages :LOL:

TC :p
 

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
I think, that with Ben Heck method, the expansion module for the 2600 won't have sound. But it's possible to connect near the video #13 pin to get the sound to work the the module. I'll see what I can find.
I heard something along those lines as well. Let me know if you find out the audio mod that allows the 2600 expansion to work. I have one and would like to use it. :)

TheCorfiot said:
I think you are all being very cruel in teasing me :nod:

You all know I have been hunting for a TRS 80 CoCo for ages :laugh:
Still no luck on that? :( I didn't realize they were not that common over there. I hope you find one soon! :D

Heather
 

quarkx

insane in the main frame
AmiBayer
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Posts
2,430
Country
Canada
Region
Edmonton, Alberta,
@Zetr0/rkauer/SDG/Quarkx

I think you are all being very cruel in teasing me :nod:

You all know I have been hunting for a TRS 80 CoCo for ages :LOL:

TC :p
Well, They (CoCo 1 and CoCo 2's) are a dime a dozen here in North America, they cant seem to give them away (when I had my CoCo store, I had over 32- CoCo2's in stock, most boxed, and I could not even sell them for $5 plush shipping. What you really want is a CoCo 3. Try Cloud9, they will probably ship to the UK, and with the exchange rate, you can pick it up for next to nothing, but if you do order from them, get the 512K upgrade, its well worth it, for OS 9.
 

UberFreak

Active member
AmiBayer
Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Posts
1,028
Country
Israel
Did the ColecoVision sell in Europe?

I've never seen one of them locally, they werent sold here (lots of other brands did, however).
I remember trying to find a PAL unit online some time ago, but only saw NTSC units.
 

zombie10k

New member
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Posts
18
Country
Philadelphia, PA
thanks for the photos, Ben Heck is the mod god, no doubt. amazing talent.

I have a Colecovision with a ton of games and even the 2 large controllers that came with the baseball game. I was thinking of trying this mod, but then started a MAME cabinet project with the all the emulators including the colecovision.

I am going full retro with the Ultimate Arcade VGA card modified for the 15hz output and one of the new CRT's that can handle the original resolutions.

Who can forget the first time they saw Donkey Kong on the coleco, it really put the 2600 to shame at that time. and Zaxxon!!
 
Top Bottom