My Falcon went to black screen

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christophe.griard
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My Falcon went to black screen

Post by christophe.griard » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:12 pm

Hello Atari Falcon fans,

Few weeks ago, when I was using my Atari Flacon, the screen went black.
After several power off/power on, the scrren is either black or with strange green lines/schemes (see enclosed picture).

Only the case green LED is on, the floppy orange LED one is off and there is no activity on the floppy drive

I launched the VT52 emulator on my STE, connected a null modem between the STE and the Falcon and powered on the Falcon with the diagnosis cartridge inserted. But nothing appeared on the STE screen runnig VT52 terminal...

I thought it could be a ram issue : then I purchased a new ram expansion from Exxos shop (before Coronavirus crisis). But same result.

Then I checked the PSU output voltages: if I have 5,0x volts on the 5V branch, I have "only" 11,35 volts on the 12V branch.
I wanted to know if it could be the root cause of the issue on my Falcon.

Moreover, if you have an idea of what could be the root cause of my Falcon issue I would be very grateful.

Thanks a lot in advance for your help and advice to make this beauty come to life again.

With my best regards.

Christophe.

Panne Falcon_small.jpg
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by exxos » Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:07 pm

Has your board got any clock patches done ? new RTC ?
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christophe.griard
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by christophe.griard » Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:29 pm

Thanks a lot Exxos for your help.

No : the motherboard has not been modified at all and is very clean.

The Dallas cell (MK48T87B-24 model) is still in place and has not been replaced by a new one or replaced by a clock patch...
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by exxos » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:05 pm

Can you post a image of your motherboard...

Have you also tried pressing the reset button after turning on your machine ?

Normally a clock patch (nothing to do with the dallas clock) is fitted in some respects, and the dallas clock replaced as they can die... Normally the floppy drive light will flash several times very fast, then be off for a couple of seconds, then flash very fast again to indicate a dallas clock problem...

Though my concern is the garbage on the screen will be an indicator that something has died It tends to be the Videl as the big cap next to it fails along with the PSU. if the caps have not been changed then it could have killed the Videl.. I have seen it happen to a few machines now. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=80&p=206#p206
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by christophe.griard » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:44 pm

Sorry Exxos not to have understood the meaning of the clock patch...

Enclosed, you will find as requested a picture of the motherboard, a closer one centered on the reset button and one centered on the Videl and the Dallas.

I looked at the post you gave me and it is probable that the VIDEL went wrong...

Thanks again for your help.

Zoom carte  mère 1_small.jpg
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Zoom carte mère 2_small.jpg
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Photo carte mère_small.jpg
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Interested in computers / computing, especialy 8 bits/16 bits/32 bits computers from Commodore and Atari.

christophe.griard
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by christophe.griard » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:45 pm

I forgot to tell you that the floppy LED does not flash at all...
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by exxos » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:02 pm

The 2 boards are shown here...

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=941


The only thing I can suggest is you maybe send it to @Steve (Or someone competent in doing such upgrades and repairs ) To fit the patch and change the RTC...and recap the PSU etc And if you are extremely lucky it may cure the problem, but I fear It may be something more serious like Videl blown. Is why keep stressing about re-capping those PSU's as they can spike up to several volts when aged and the chips are only going to withstand it for so long.
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christophe.griard
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by christophe.griard » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:43 pm

Thanks a lot Exxos for your informed opinion and your advice.

In France, quite nobody has the skills anymore to do such repairs (there was Mr Czuba who was quite well-known in France by the past with its firm named CENTEK to do such repairs : I tried to contact him in his new firm but I got no answer from him (the website of his "new" firm seemed to be outdated...).

So I would appreciate to get in contact with someone of confidence that still has these skills.

I think I wil order a new Videl (and may be a new Combel at the same time in case of...).

How can I contact @steve to exchange with him to see if he would be kind enough to make me these repairs and if so how to proceed?
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Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by exxos » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:07 pm

christophe.griard wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:43 pm
How can I contact @steve to exchange with him to see if he would be kind enough to make me these repairs and if so how to proceed?
memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=97

I don't think CZUBA is much involved with Atari anymore... @rpineau May know more...

@Steve can do some diagnostics and upgrades for you, but I dont think he can change the big chips.. I use a UK firm, so if he deems that necessary, then it will go off to a SMT rework company to have the chips changed.. Though be warned purchasing the chips and the postage costs alone are going to Likely cost a lot. Falcons are unfortunately very expensive to fix if chips have failed. You can expect £200-£500 depending what is wrong with it. There is of course no guarantees that it can be fixed.
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/store2/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

christophe.griard
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:36 pm

Re: My Falcon went to black screen

Post by christophe.griard » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:12 pm

Thanks a lot Exxos for the way to get in touch with Steve : I will contact him to see how to proceed.

Have a nice evening Exxos.
Interested in computers / computing, especialy 8 bits/16 bits/32 bits computers from Commodore and Atari.

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