Sega Pico Pen Repair

When I bought a second-hand Sega Pico in 2015, I immediatly noticed that something must be wrong with it. I didn’t expect a lot of interactivity or gameplay, but at least it should let me draw something. It turned out that the pen was registering the position/movement and also made a clicking noise when pressed down, but nothing else happened. The error was quickly found and repaired (broken micro switch), but the photos have been waiting on my hard drive ever since. A short repair instruction was posted on the ASSEMblergames board in the following year, so I didn’t see the need to rush out an article. Well, here we go:

The label of the pen is missing and it seems that somebody tried to open it up before me:

Sega Pico pen
Sega Pico pen
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Sega Pico Flash Cart – For Real

The times are over, when I had to hunt down and modify Sega Pico game cartridges that had been assembled in Mexico. This has just arrived from TeamEurope: Parts to build a real Sega Pico flash cart and more.

Sega Pico flash cart / adapter kits
Sega Pico flash cart / adapter kits
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Bandai Datach Ultraman Club: Spokon Fight!! Barcodes for MAME

Five years ago, I bought my second game for the Bandai Datach: Ultraman Club: Spokon Fight!! (ウルトラマン倶楽部 スポ根ファイト!!). Also five years ago, it became possible to play the Bandai Datach games in MESS and make use of scanned barcodes.

In the meantime, MESS became MAME, and it is still possible to play these games (for instructions see below). It’s time for another batch of scanned cards.

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SD2SNES Mk.III / SD2SNES Pro

This has arrived today from Ukraine: The new SD2SNES Mk.III aka SD2SNES Pro, designed by ikari_01 and manufactured by Krikzz.

Right now, it seems to have a bug when used in combination with a SuperCIC. As soon as the SuperCIC is enabled in the configuration, there is no picture and sync is lost (also, weird readings on the OSSC display). Upon switching the frequency, the LED of the console turns red and is stuck in that status. According to this thread, a firmware update is needed for one of the SuperCIC chips. I’m looking forward to see if this can be resolved through a SD2SNES firmware update. Otherwise, I’ll have to desolder and flash one of the SuperCIC chips.

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Super SD System 3 FBX and FU-RGB Mods

Two more modifications for my Super SD System 3 v2, to bring it onto the same level as the new revision B.

First things first, there was also a new firmware released that fixes the reversed audio channels: 1.02 R05

SSDS3 firmware update
SSDS3 firmware update
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IBM ThinkPad 760 Series MIDI/Game Port Adapter

While doing my research for another project (finding a plug for the Philips CDI350 RGB in/out port), I came across an old IBM MIDI/Game port adapter. It is listed with P/N 29H9467 (FRU P/N 29H9269) and can be used with some models of the ThinkPad 760 series (760CD, 760ED, 760XD, and also 765D). What makes it so special is the plug. It is similar to the 26-pin external floppy connectors used by several laptop brands in the ’90s. While most of the external floppy drives used a 17 mm wide plug, this one is 20 mm wide. This JAE datasheet lists the plug as TX20A series connector, part number TX20A-26PH1-D2P1-D1.

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Amiga CD³² Recap and TF328

This repair was not planned at all and took place while I was waiting for the capacitors for my CDI350 to arrive. I was thinking about buying a SX-1 or SX-32 extension for my Amiga CD³², and was recommended to go for a much cheaper modern extension: the TF328.

The TF328 needs a Kickstart 3.1 rev 40.60 to access the CF card, as there is no IDE driver in the earlier revision 40.56. Upon checking my CD³², there was not only the smell of electrolyte, there was also visible damage caused by leaking capacitors.

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Philips CDI350 Repair Part 2

Last year I began to disassemble and repair one of my Philips CDI350 players. This has been covered in the article Philips CDI350 Repair Part 1.

After that, it took me a while to make a list of all capacitors, to find replacement parts (the original Philips part numbers are not useful anymore) and to find shops that had them on stock.

The scanned CDI350 service manual on ICDIA is missing the pages 78 and 79, which contain the parts lists of the servo and power sections. I found some of the missing parts in the CDI360 service manual and some by comparing the removed parts with both service manuals.

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Philips CDI350 Repair Part 1

Two portable Philips CD-i players (CDI350) came into my care last month. They show common errors, such as not loading any CDs and not storing any settings, and also flickering screens. Let’s have a look inside and repair them.

The screen becomes normal after a while so that I can navigate.

Philips CDI350
Philips CDI350
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CD-i Earth Command Start Problems

What if your favourite CD-i game refuses to start or shows some weird behaviour? Most likely, this is to blame on a defective TimeKeeper and/or laser. This topic has been covered years ago. There is another problem with the game The 7th Guest, which is completely unrelated to the problems mentioned above though.

Earth Command isn’t my favourite game. It makes for some fun for a while, to tamper with the various settings and eventually watch the world burn, but it never got me hooked for a long time.

Then the reports of some people caught my attention. Some had trouble starting the game, as the screen just turned black after the intro, while others had no problems with the game at all. There was no common denominator to pin down the problem, as all the CD-i players they’ve used were of different revisions and generations.

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gaming, retro- and …stuff