Cleaning Odyssey2 / Videopac cartridges

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Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006

Recently one of my subscribers emailed me about a problem he had with his newly acquired G7000.
What he I noticed about 2 of the games is that it would reset the machine if he touched the games. His other games are fine.

I think it's the cart for sure! I have that problem with one of my Terrahawks / Attack of the Timelord cartridges. This can happen to cartridges that are worn out a little. The metal contacts in some cartridges can oxidise and even wear out a little. Some carts are more susceptible to that sort of thing than others.

You can slide back /push in the metal protective part on the bottom side of the cart
plastic - metal bit - plastic

|_|\___/ \___/|_|

push in the metal part....

this will expose the cartridge contacts and make them easy to clean. A good clean with a cotton swab and alcohol does wonders for this type of problem. Same procedure as with other consoles.

Rarely do the contacts have to be reinforced with a small strip of metal - it's easier to get a new cart somewhere in most cases if it comes to that.

He also had a question about opening up one of his gamecarts. Opening up a videopac/odessey2 cart without damaging it is difficult. I have never had to open one up and it looks more 'clicked' together but it could very well be glued shut. I am not sure. But for cleaning the cart it is not necessary to open it up.

Then he wondered if it is safe to switch the cartridges while the machine is turned on?
I always switch of the mains before changing a cart, I have a switched power strip and it works wonders. Prevents any damage to the system and carts - but for some reason it is possible to change carts 'hot'. My friends did it to their machines all the time and some of them still have their consoles in working order! But I think it is better for the circuits not to change the carts with the console turned on.

Turning on the G7000 without a cartridge in the slot is a feast - the thing starts to display some initialisation routines but it really looks random. A lot of the bios/code is on the actual game carts the machine itself really can't do much on its own. Basically it is a 'crashed' machine when it is turned on without a cart. It can even make sounds sometimes in this state!

A good place to get more info on the Odyssey:

The programmer of all the 44 games:

A nice page with info and links: