Until now this website has been a blog about my classic arcade game collection. I’ve blogged quite a few stories of my arcade game restorations. One thing I haven’t talked about until now is my classic console collection. I actually started my video game collecting years ago before I owned a house big enough to hold arcade games. When my wife and I first got married, we lived in a small two bedroom apartment. During that time I got the collecting bug and started collecting old, classic consoles I played as a kid. I was active in collecting these consoles until I made the switch to working on arcade games. I had Atari systems, an Intellivision, and a few classic home computers. My real favorite from my childhood was the Colecovision. This system was released by Coleco to compete with the Atari 2600 and Intellivision in the early eighties. My best friend growing up had one, and we played it at his house all the time. It was known for specializing in excellent arcade game ports. I even bought a Mr. Do! cartridge hoping to get the console but never did. Collecting old consoles finally gave me a chance to have my own Colecovision!
Even the box for these is cool!
I built up a nice collection of cartridges for the Colecovision. I had most of the common games, all of the expansion modules, and several rare or hard to find games. I also had more than one console and several sets of controllers. Since it is winter right now, I can’t work on any of my arcade game restoration projects. It’s too cold in the garage! I’ve been working hard to reorganize my basement work area so this spring I can finish up a few of my projects. This is also where I keep all of my console collection. I’ve been spending some time going through my collection and playing some of the old games. It’s really been fun to spend time with each system remembering some of the great games they had available. I’ve really been playing the Colecovision quite a bit. However, the console and controllers were really showing their age. If I have all of this experience restoring arcade games, why couldn’t I do the same with these consoles? It would be much easier and I could make them look and work like new.
I have two Colecovision consoles. I took my “spare” console and tore it down into smaller pieces to clean each one. I removed all of the labeling, including the plastic plates on the front and top. I cleaned everything. I cleaned the console case with hot soapy water, and any small pieces in the ultrasonic cleaner I used to restore my pinball machine. I cleaned off all of the adhesive on the plates, and reapplied them using spray adhesive. I also reflowed the solder on the joystick connectors to prevent any cold solder joints, which are common on old electronics. The console cleaned up really well!
The controllers were much more difficult. I had nine controllers in my collection, so I set up a little production line to clean them all up. Several had disconnected controller wires. The design used crimp connectors to attach the wires to the controller board. Many of these connectors were loose or broken. I cut the broken connectors and soldered the wires directly to the controller board since I didn’t have any more of this style crimp connectors. I ultrasonic cleaned as many parts of the controllers as I could, and scrubbed the controller housings as best I could. A few of them even needed some magic eraser work to clean off all of the scuffs and markings. They came out great!
I’m really happy with the final console. It looks great. I also plan to package a bundle and list it on my trades page. If anyone is interested in one, please let me know!
You can see more pictures of my Colecovision restoration on my Classic Console Collection Photo Page. My entire Colecovision cartridge listing, as well as my other classic console game listings, can be viewed on my page at VGCollect.com.