MaxRD Inside Series Ep 1 COLECOVISION

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Rob Daviau's picture

Something new again, this time the idea is to give a different perspective of our precious classic consoles and computers. I had to take apart my Colecovision for some serious cleaning and thought "You know, it's cool seeing the insides of these systems, I wonder if anyone else might like to see this?" and so here is the "Pilot" episode of MaximumRD's Inside Series. I am far from a technical or electronics wiz, I can build a PC, clean the systems and that is about it. Still, I intend to take apart various parts of my collection and share my findings with you all. I may be incorrect in some of the details I mention so please feel free to comment, correct me on any details, give any advice etc. Comment, rate, subscribe and let me know what you think of this idea. IF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS or comments on how you would like me to do future episodes let me know, who knows? I will see what I can do.

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Bill Loguidice
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Love to see this confirmed working
Craig L wrote:

According to page 23 of the "ADAM system Check-Out and Trouble-Shooting Guide", the ADAM has the RF O/P, Composite Video, and a 7 pin DIN connector which contains composite Video on Pin 3, and audio on pin 1, with Pin 4 being the ground. Why this connector is called "AUX VIDEO", I don't know....

Craig

Interesting, so that implies that there is a cable that will do video and audio over aux. The ones that I have that work across systems like the TI, C-64, Atari, etc., don't seem to work on that, so it must be wired different.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Craig L (not verified)
Coleco's Adam

I will be doing this next week. I will post my results.

Chris Kennedy
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Surely there is a way to

Surely there is a way to modify a Coleco Adam for RCA audio output...

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Bill Loguidice
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Yep
Chris Kennedy wrote:

Surely there is a way to modify a Coleco Adam for RCA audio output...

No doubt and there are several such solutions for the ColecoVision. We're not talking about internal modifications, though. I'm always wary of such things, particularly if they change the output in a way that is not true to the original (particularly video mods).

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Chris Kennedy
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Modifications

Hey Bill -

So you sound like more of a purist than I am, although I do consider myself one. I always value tracking down an original cartridge/disk/CD, etc and playing on the official hardware over that of playing the same game via emulation. That said, I have no issues with modifying the machine for higher quality video output. This is because I consider A/V output to be limited by the times. Of course the same could be said for whatever processor, ram, etc was used in the device at the time, but I consider video and audio output to be independent of the actual design of the machine. Essentially, it was all that was available for presenting what the engineers had designed. Therefore, I don't consider changing video output quality to be an alteration of the hardware design. Maintaining proper color output is desired, however many of these consoles/computers were released in an era when taking the same device and hooking it up to a different display yielded a completely different picture. Displays have that same variant today, but it isn't as apparent as the tint/color/contrast/brightness settings of older sets.

That said, I *have* to acknowledge that some programmers used the oftentimes quirky video output as a form of trickery in order to obtain certain imagery on screen. For this reason, original video output - or at least something close to it - should be maintained. An example of this would be S-Video for the Atari XEGS. While I modified it for S-Video, there are certain games that use the color bleeding of the composite output in order to achieve certain colors/pictures on the screen. For this reason, I am glad the composite output is still available.

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Bill Loguidice
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Mods

Well, there are a few reasons why I don't mod my consoles often, chief of which is my limited hardware hacking skills. I can barely solder. I do have an Intellivision II mod I will try at some point, though, and I'm the last name on a waiting list to purchase a super modded Atari 7800.

I agree 100% about modern video output and would do it for everything as long as it keeps the colors and what-not accurate (as you say). There are enough ways to output old systems without doing any internal modifications that I often simply go that route, even if its just as simple as using an F-type adapter on an RF cable to avoid using the classic switchbox. I have also an S-video cable for my Commodore 8-bit machines (and some Ataris and TI-99/4a, etc.), etc.

There are also unusual circumstances like you mentioned. For instance, unless you're doing productivity work, you're often better off going composite with a PC CGA card (or PCjr/Tandy graphics) because it looks far, far better than using a CGA monitor (where there's no blending).

So, really, I'm not against such mods in the slightest, it's just that between my lack of technical skills, the sometimes clumsy manner in which some of these things are implemented (either too complicated or poor color control), and the fact that I can nice enough output without going through the trouble keeps me from doing it more often.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

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