This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

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This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby kevman3d on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:05 am

Well, if it wasn't the stash of Commodore stuff last week, one of my students surprised me this morning with a gift to say 'thanks for helping out' in the form of an old Sportstronic game! No power plug, and no idea if it even works - but its in the original box, with instructions (in fantastic condition) and the date of purchase on the warranty says 2 Jan 1978...

He knows I'm collecting old stuff, so its a nice gesture. And its one more for the new 'collection' I seem to have started building up. In case anybody wants to see some piccies, here's the link.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-yNJZpBnrutbk01Vy1SN2oyWU0&usp=sharing

I guess this just needs a 2 pin plug attached to it? Anybody know how safe it would be to wire on a plug and see if it runs? Should I prepare for a big bang and a puff of smoke? :lol:
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby Clym5 on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:19 am

When you say 2 pin, do you mean the mains socket plug?

I've come across quite a few 70's consoles, and all of them used a external AC-DC converter. I'd think this one would be the same, but I've never seen the Sportstronic before, so I very well could be wrong.
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby kevman3d on Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:46 am

Not sure - all I see is this long power cable coming from the bottom of it that looks like it needs a plug on the end. That said, there is also a wierd 4-pin connector on the back of the unit. Its possible I guess that this could be a power input, but there's no mention of it in the manual.

Does someone here own one of these and can shed some light on this? :)

You know, this bought back a memory of seeing one of these in a very small Electrical store in Kerikeri (I think it was probably Brian Jolly electrical). My parents ended up buying a Fountain instead when they were released (pre-ordered from Smith and Browns in Kaitaia)

Its funny how things like this fire off a few neurons now and again.
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby Clym5 on Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:02 am

A photo of the cable and the 4 pin connector might help. You can usually tell if the cable is used with 230v or a lower voltage (12 or less usually) by looking at the gauge of wire.

Another way to find out is to look inside, but that's up to you.
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby Radar on Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:35 am

I'm 95% sure (and not at home to check) that the white "power" cable is actually the antenna cable and it attaches to the 4 position switch box.

Power for the unit is batteries - should be a large silver screw in the centre of the base you undo to remove the whole bottom to access this.
4 pin connector I think is the one for the optional light-gun.

Your unit is an "interesting" one - its badged Kitronix/Kitset Electronics as Sportronic themselves went into receivership and Kitronix bought out and on sold the remaining inventory.
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby Clym5 on Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:53 am

I see two white cables in there. One has 3 wires, and the other has two. From the pictures regarding the RF switcher, the 2 wire white cable is the antenna cable, and the 3 wire one definitely "looks" like main cable. It actually looks like house wiring cable!

A photo of the bottom and a photo of the back, where the cables go into the unit would be nice, when you have time.
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby kevman3d on Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:18 pm

I'll have another check on it when I'm back at work on Monday. Thanks for all the info here... I have a pile of stuff I have to get home - all those commodores and the Sportronic - so its sitting behind my desk at work which means I can't check it out just at this moment (unless I can ask the wife to grab it on her way home)

It'll be interesting to see if it actually works. I already have someone at work who says he'd want to challenge me to a game if it was working... :D
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby kevman3d on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:26 am

Doh! This is where I step back, go bright red and suddenly realise I probably should have looked at untangling the jumble of wire first before jumping on here asking 'Does anybody know...' :oops:

Indeed, looks like it takes 6 D-size batteries. And the bare ends of the electrical-looking wire were in fact a bunch of spare wires twisted around the main ones that are wired into the TV switch box. So looks like nothing to worry about afterall... Geesh! You'd think I would have learnt to 'look first, ask questions later' by my age. :lol:

I think its time to get some batteries and see if this works. I suspect it should, but better not count my chickens before they're hatched... :roll:
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby Clym5 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:07 am

Ah, mystery solved! If it takes 9v, it should be easy enough to whip up a power supply to put where the batteries would be too. I just picked up a Atari 2600, and got a new power supply for it from my box of assorted power packs.

If it runs from batteries, and they've been taken out before leaking, no reason it shouldn't work. (mostly)
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby kevman3d on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:50 pm

Clym5 wrote:If it runs from batteries, and they've been taken out before leaking, no reason it shouldn't work. (mostly)


Its squeeky-clean on the inside - lets hope so... 8)
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Re: This mornings gift... Sportstronic TV game

Postby kevman3d on Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:55 am

Woohoo... Pong for everybody... :D

Works great - though give it 10 minutes and the beeping starts to get a little too much. Especially when its in a shared office and people are trying to work behind you...

Also, the second player on-screen bat seems to be missing (or just on the last pixel of the TV screen on the left) with the right being mirrored on the left (and active - ie. you get like a double bat). I noticed there's some kind of trim pot inside - unless someone here screams "Nooooo! Don't touch that!" I'm going to assume its what I can adjust to correct these onscreen issues. Will play a little with that.

But chuffed. Its great to see it working... 8)
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