Category Archives: Disassembly

Disassembly

Pippin Atmark AppleJack Controller

Pippin consoles are based on Apple Macintosh PowerPCs. It is only natural that they use serial Apple Desktop Bus devices. There is a major difference though: the proprietary child proof AppleJack (P-ADB) connector. I never bothered to find an adapter dongle and was stuck with a Pippin Atmark AppleJack controller that wasn’t able to reliably register trackball movements anymore. Unfortunately, the ball is held in place by a plastic ring with two tiny holes. There’s probably a tool to open it up which I don’t possess. I decided to open up the whole controller from the back to clean it and also to take pictures. Note the nice red rubber cap that came with my controller.

Bandai Pippin Atmark AppleJack controller
Bandai Pippin Atmark AppleJack controller
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Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit

Back in 2010, I was aiming to own every game console system that used optical media, the Apple Pippin was one of them. I was lucky to obtain a lot of Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001 consoles from Japan for a reasonable price. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that one of them was different: It had the model number PA-82001-S, a pre-release ROM and several areas shielded with copper foil tape. No one has documented this model yet on the various Pippin websites. The only trace that I can find on the internet is my unit and another one that has been offered on Yahoo auctions earlier this year. Forum members of Assemblergames assume that this is an FCC model for evaluation / EMC accreditation.

I will call it “Monitoring Unit” because it came with an AP2735-01 KINKA non-E pre-release/monitoring ROM. On this Pippin FANDOM page, it says: “A WORM version of the same [Golden Master] ROM was manufactured in small quantities for market testing of ‘Monitoring’ units.” On the same page and also here it is mentioned that only 500 of these ROMs were released.

Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit
Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit
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Terraonion MegaSD Cartridge

This has just arrived yesterday: The Terraonion MegaSD Cartridge. The makers are known for quality products like the NeoSD and the Super SD System 3. Their recent move of the office from Spain to Andorra has stirred some controversy and caused over-the-top reactions from some buyers. I didn’t experience any trouble and my cartridge arrived safely within a few days. This is what I got:

Terraonion MegaSD box
Terraonion MegaSD box
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Philips CDI605T Disassembly and Repair

My Philips CDI605T/20 needed repairs before I can fully use it. Some of them was mandatory for operation (TimeKeeper), some of them to make it easier on the ears (fan, optical disc drive tray). I already had experience with a Mini MMC chassis on the very similar consumer player CDI220/00 and knew what awaited me inside (its service manual helped a bit). It is actually possible to perform these repairs without taking the entire case apart (see shortcuts). I took special precautions and made photos of each and every step to be able to put everything back together in the end.

I began with removing the case and the bezels of the extension cards on the rear. Make sure to slide out the lower card first, otherwise its metal plate will grind on the solder side of the upper card.

Philips CDI605T extension cards 22ER9132 (Ethernet, SCSI, 4 MB RAM) and 22ER9424 (DVC R2.1, 1 MB RAM)
Philips CDI605T extension cards 22ER9132 (Ethernet, SCSI, 4 MB RAM) and 22ER9424 (DVC R2.1, 1 MB RAM)
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NEO Power PC-E 128M+SAVE Flash Cart Repair

The PC Engine flash cart by Neo Team was first released in 2006, ten years before the Turbo EverDrive was born. In 2009, they added a save feature and released it as the new version V1.1 or ‘128+SAVE’. There is no unique name of this cart because there were usually expressions like ‘power’, ‘super’ or ‘ultra’ added to the name. I bought this cart in 2011 but didn’t use it very often. It just wasn’t as compatible as it claimed to be. With the advent of 64-bit Windows 8, driver troubles limited the usability even further. And I never got the save feature to work. The whole package was sitting on my shelf until last year when I took it out again to compare it with the Super SD System 3.

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Sony DD-1EX Data Discman Repair

This was an unplanned project. When I bought my first EBG disc for the Sega Saturn Electronic Book Operator, a Sony DD-1EX Data Discman came along with it. As it didn’t turn on, I took a closer look and found leaking capacitors and some stowaways.

Sony DD-1EX Data Discman
Sony DD-1EX Data Discman
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Capcom CPS2 at Home

After I had my first MVS at home, it didn’t take long until more arcade hardware followed. For example this CPS2. It looks shabby and needs some work, but it already has a Darksoft CPS2 Multi Kit installed.

CPS2 (front)
CPS2 (front)
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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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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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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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