Installation of the 5-11under YpbPr/Component Video Modification

Installation of the 5-11under YpbPr/Component Video Modification Board for the ColecoVision
Version 0.02 - May 21, 2010
Select a suitable ColecoVision console to
modify. Before doing any work, test the
unit, to make sure it's working properly.
Find a clean area to work.
Remove the eight screws from the bottom
of the console. A magnetic screwdriver
comes in handy for this procedure. Do not
remove the front panel sticker or the front
Pry apart the bottom from the rest of the
console. This can be a tricky step, and
might take a few minutes. With the
console upside down, grasp the front
panel with your left hand. Pull the front
panel away from the bottom of the
console, until the lip of the bottom part of
the console can be seen. Then, with your
right hand, pry up the end of the bottom
of the console. The picture shows the lip
of the bottom of the console out its
normal position. Repeat with the other
end of the console, then carefully pull.the
bottom off. Don't use tools to pry the
console open.
Remove the two visible screws. You may
also need to desolder or pry apart the two
soldered points, one on the left, and one
at the bottom, near the left (shown as
green “X”s in the picture).
Remove the two remaining screws. Note
that all of the twelve screws are the same.
Also remove the lid to the modulator.
Remove the PCB. These are the parts
you'll need to keep. Not shown are the top
(with front panel and front expansion
door) and bottom of the console.
Here is the ColecoVision PCB. There are
several revisions of this board, which
may look slightly different than the one
shown here.
Here's a close-up of part of the PCB. The
inductors labeled L7, L8, and L9 (labeled
with a blue “X”) need to be removed.
Some revisions of the board are missing
one or more of the inductors. If any
inductors are missing, you should see a
metal trace between the two points where
the inductor would normally be. With a
sharp knife, carefully cut the trace,
leaving the rest of the circuitry in place.
After removing the inductors, the pad
holes should be desoldered, so that wires
may be installed. Several other pads need
to be desoldered to accept wires. These
are shown with a purple “X”. They
include the bottom of WJ3, and pins 2
and 6 of the single inline set of pads
within the modulator (there are 8 pins
total, with pin 1 labeled at the top). Don't
cut off any of the pins; just remove the
solder around the pin, to make it easier to
connect wires to.
Here's a close-up of the board, showing
all seven connection points that will be
used, including the six pads that have
been desoldered, and are ready to accept
Here's what you'll be installing. If you
don't have this part, you can buy one from
me. :) You'll see seven wires that need to
be connected to the ColecoVision:
Yellow: Video from expansion module
White: Audio
Orange: +5V power
Black: Ground for power and all signals
Red: Red (difference) signal
Blue: Blue (difference) signal
Green: Luma signal
Place and solder one wire at a time.
Ensure good solder flow and good
connection. This picture shows the white
wire with the strands crimped around the
pin with pliers, and ready to be soldered.
Ideally the connection should be solid
prior to soldering. Make sure no strands
are touching other connection points. You
can also see the desoldered pad where the
yellow wire goes. The red, green, blue,
and orange wires need to be placed in the
holes, and soldered from the bottom. The
black wire is “spot” soldered on the top
with a good amount of solder.
Close-up of the seven connections:
A wider view showing the modification
Make sure the power switch is in the off
position. Connect a power supply,
controller, and connections to a television
via the YpbPr/component RCA
connectors. You should see a picture
something like this. If nothing shows up,
ensure all connections are in the proper
location. Some televisions may show
slightly different colors, and the
potentiometers may have to be tweaked to
obtain the best image possible. If only
minor tweaking is required, follow the
descriptions of the potentiometers below.
If major tweaking is required, you may
want to start from scratch, as described
starting on the next page. Once the
picture looks good, don't touch the
Viewed from the back, here's the order of the potentiometers, from left to right:
Blue - Counterclockwise (CCW) increases the blue level (sorry it's backwards).
Red - CCW increases the red level(backwards again).
Brightness - Clockwise (CW) increases the brightness.
Blue difference - CW increases the effect (brighter yellows).
Red difference - CW increases the effect (some other colors slightly brighter).
If you need to start from scratch, set the
five pots (left to right) CW, CW, don't
touch, CCW, CCW. You should see
something like this picture, if you've got
the video test cartridge installed and
running. Adjust the brightness
potentiometer to some mid level that
shows varying shades of gray, as well as
black and white, of course. Because the
sync signal is on the luma (brightness)
line, turning the brightness potentiometer
too far CCW will make the picture flicker
and/or disappear. Other affects can occur
if turned too far CW.
Turn up (CCW) the blue potentiometer
until the fourth rectangle (the brightest
blue one) is a fairly bright blue color.
Turn up (CCW) the red potentiometer
until the picture looks something like this.
Feel free to re-adjust the brightness, blue,
and red potentiometers to suit. Notice that
the two yellow colors are still quite dull.
Turn up (CW) the blue difference
potentiometer. This is a key part of this
modification. The yellows should
brighten up, the deeper one to a fairly
saturated level, as shown in the picture.
Crank it up until the white square turns
yellow, then turn back a bit until it
appears white again. Tweak the
brightness, blue, and possibly red to
tweak, to get good color definition. Turn
up (CW) the red difference potentiometer
in the same way as the blue difference.
This control is much more subtle than the
blue difference signal, but will affect
some of the colors to at least some
Hopefully the colors are now properly
set, so you can enjoy playing some
games. Unfortunately, I only have an
early demo of this particular game.
Drilling template for ColecoVision YPbPr/Component video modification:
Print and cut out the template above. There's two, in case you need a spare. Make sure it's the correct
width, to match the holes for the RCA connectors. The width of the rectangular template above needs
to be 6.00”. If it's not, print it again, verifying the scaling of the printout.
Tape the template to the back of the top
piece of the ColecoVision case. The
template should fit the case vertically
fairly well, ignoring the small ledge at the
Detail of the taped template. Notice how
the bottom edge of the template is flush to
the main surface, with no overhang over
the lipped edge.
Carefully drill the holes to the following
Bolt holes: ~1/8” diameter
RCA holes: ~3/8” to ~13/32” diameter
Trimmer holes (optional): ~1/8” diameter
If using standard drill bits, it is wise to start with a small bit, then use progressively larger bits until the
proper diameter is achieved.
Slightly larger hole sizes should be acceptable. Note that the RCA holes need to be able to
accommodate the ground “ring” on the RCA cable you are using, because of the thickness of the
ColecoVision walls.
After the drill holes are cleaned up, bolt
the modification board onto the case. If
the “L” brackets don't fit, because the
holes are too high, carefully file them
down a bit and try again.
Install the bottom shield, and route the
power cable underneath the centre post.
Set the main board in place, as well as the
power input plug. Put the screws back in
the centre and top-right locations.
Using a pair of cutters, carefully remove
part of the wall of the RF modulator, as
shown in the picture. Wear safety glasses
when performing this task, and carefully
dispose of the extra metal material.
Place a piece of tape over the edge, so
neither you nor the wires will get cut.
Add a couple more pieces of tape, to
make sure the wires are guided properly
through the opening that has been
Some work needs to be performed on the
top shielding, to allow the wires to be
routed properly, and to make sure the
modification board doesn't get shorted out
on the top shield. You can selectively cut
an opening, but I've found it simplest to
remove the whole back portion as
described in the following steps.
Remove the back part of the shield: with
a pair of pliers, gently rock the back flap
back and forth until the creased corner
breaks free. Be careful not to get cut from
the sharp edges. Carefully dispose of the
back piece that was removed.
Place a piece of tape around the edge that
was “cut”, so you or someone else doesn't
get cut.
Place strips of tape on the top of the
shield, at the back. Approximately nine
pieces of tape should be sufficient. Place
three pieces of tape beside each other,
overlapping somewhat to ensure
coverage. Add two more layers, so there's
enough thickness built up. You may want
to put an additional piece of tape over the
edge, too.
Place the top shield onto the main board.
Make sure the top shield interlocks
properly with the bottom shield, as
shown. Put the screws back in the to-left
and bottom-right locations.
Place the switch covers in their proper
Put together both parts of the console,
making sure they fit together properly.
Make sure the switch covers are still in
their proper locations.
Put the 8 screws back in the bottom of the
The modification is complete. Check
everything over, and enjoy.
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