Atari 5200 Common Problems?


New Member
May 21, 2019
I recently purchased an Atari 5200 from someone on Craigslist. I remember having that console as a kid, and it came with the 2600 adaptor like what I had when I was a kid. My dad threw away the 5200 we originally had because it broke (such regrets looking back at it). However, my dad put it on the top of the garbage can, and it disappeared. I'd like to think someone picked it up instead of maybe ending up in a landfill. The one I bought came with the 2 controllers and power supply.

However, when powering it on, the red power LED lights up, but a blank screen. My TV seems to sense a signal, but it's garbled or doesn't want to show correctly. No sound either, though I'm not sure if any cartridges had sound on their menu screens.

In my experience with an Intellivision, I was able to get an Intellivision I bought working by taking sand paper to the cartridge port contacts on the console as it was corroded. I tried the same with the 5200, but no luck. Tried several different cartridges.

There's not much I've found online about common problems for the 5200 (this is the 2 joystick port model), and I don't feel like watching hour-long YouTube videos on others people have done restoring one of them, since it seems to be an uncommon machine. I am fully aware that it uses an RF signal.


Just curious if anyone has a list of common problems with the 5200 that I can check to fix my machine?


Jul 19, 2019
I know nothing of the 5200, as you say it looks somewhat less common, the primary information to come across if "how to repair the controller". If I was trying to do something with a dead one, the first thing I would likely do is look at the Service Manual for it.

I am assuming you are sure you have it connected up correctly, on the correct channel, on any correct switches etc. This site has a little to say, but not sure anything helpful:

If no luck there, and maybe even before going to deep, you may want to check over at Atariage's 5200 forum.