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Flash Cartridge Kit

Atarimax ColecoVision 128-in-1 Flash MultiCart

ColecoVision/ADAM Compatible Flash Multi-Cart with USB Interface

©2010 Steven J Tucker

Chapter 5: Known Problems and Troubleshooting


Reset button fails to return to the main menu

The Reset button on the cartridge is provided so you never have to turn the ColecoVision off and then on again when changing games, but wont always bring up the menu itself.

ColecoVision cartridges cannot actually reset the entire machine, so if you press the reset button on the cartridge and you are not returned to the menu, simply press the Reset button on the ColecoVision console to return to the menu without switching off.

Garbled Text or Graphics

Corrupted VDP Memory

Example of Corrupted VDP Memory

While playing, the on screen graphics will corrupt or disappear, even though the game continues to play normally.

This is caused by dirty contacts inside the ColecoVision main power switch. Systems with this problem will often fail the Video Memory Test in the self-diagnostic as well.

To correct this problem properly requires either complete rebuilding and cleaning of the on/off switch internal contacts, or replacement of the on/off switch with a new one.

A temporary fix that most people use it to just cycle the on/off switch rapidly to scrape off some of the dirt and get good contact. This will work for awhile, but it will continue to get worse until replacement is required.

I recommend the services of Viking Video Games for this repair.

Synchronization Failure

Should you experience Synchronization Failure and need to erase your multi-cart for re-programming, follow these steps.

  1. Detach the cartridge from the ColecoVision Game Console.
  2. Attach the cartridge to your PC using the included USB A-A interface cable.
  3. Start the Multi-Cart Studio software and make sure it indicates 'CARTRIDGE CONNECTED' in the status display.
  4. Create a new blank Workbook by using the 'File' menu, then selecting 'New' from the sub-menu.
  5. Press 'Synchronize' to erase your cartridge using this new blank Workbook.
  6. Complete erasure typically takes around one minute.
  7. After Synchronization is complete, remove the cartridge from the USB bus and plug it into your Game Console.
  8. Verify that the cartridge menu does appear and that all entries except the 'Self Test #128' are blank.
  9. Remove the cartridge from the game console and re-attach it to the PC.
  10. Load the Multi-Cart Studio workbook you wish to program into the cartridge and press 'Synchronize'.
  11. After programming is complete remove the cartridge from the USB Bus and place it into your Game Console
  12. Verify the cartridge is now completely functional, if not, return to step #1 or contact me for technical support.

Unrecognized ROM Image Format or game simply does not work.

The Multi-Cart Studio supports the following ROM Image formats as raw binary images:

This is every ROM Image available for the ColecoVision.

Even though nearly every ROM Image is supported, there are plenty of rom images floating around that are broken, or have been converted to some other format.

If you encounter a ROM Image that does not work, please look around for a good working copy of the raw binary ROM Image, or include the ROM Image in your bug report so I can test it and see what's wrong.

There are also many ROM Images that are the correct size and type, but simply do not work.

Many of these broken or corrupted ROM Images are already in the MD5 database and will be added to the menu with the annotation 'Known BAD'.

Do not expect these images to function when selected from the on-screen menu, they have been pre-tested and known to be no good.

Known Problems

USB Hubs

The Flash Multi-Cart is a "5 Volt" device and therefore requires full USB voltage to be programmed correctly.

There is a known problem experienced by some beta testers with a few self-powered USB hubs.

These hubs violate USB specification by providing less than 5 volts, typically 3.5 volts or so, on the USB bus, even during 'full power' operation and cause the Multi-Cart to fail various programming operations.

Should you experience problems with Synchronizing your multi-cart, please be sure to plug it directly into the USB port of your PC, or into a externally powered USB hub.

If your hub seems to work fine with the Multi-Cart then it is perfectly safe to use it, in fact many hubs that contain a built in transaction translator will actually increase the speed of programming the cartridge.

For the sake of easier troubleshooting and installation, never use any USB hub during the driver installation process or your first synchronization.


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