Category Archives: Disassembly

Disassembly

Philips CDI490 RGB SCART Modification

It has been on my table for a while to figure out a working Philips CDI490 RGB SCART modification. The topic caught my interest when it came up in the community on The world of CD-i last year. Back then, I thought it would be quite easy because the small 470 and 490 CD-i players share a certain mainboard (Mono IV) with their big brothers 660/00, 220/80 and 210/60. There are only some components missing that could be figured out by looking at the service manuals.

However, I couldn’t try it out back then because I didn’t have a working 470 or 490. I focused on repairing my 470 first and then adding a PAL/NTSC switch. Eventually, I bought the needed components and two broken 490s to experiment with.

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Pippin Atmark Controller for Macintosh

I’ve recently acquired the Bandi Pippin Atmark Controller for Macintosh (PA-82004) and took it apart today to see what’s inside. I didn’t expect a lot of surprises because this is the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) version of the Pippin Atmark AppleJack Controller (P-ADB).

The small box contains the controller, a driver/software disk and a leaflet with instructions. You will find some more information about the software below.

Bandai Pippin Atmark Controller for Macintosh (PA-82004)
Bandai Pippin Atmark Controller for Macintosh (PA-82004)
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Sega Saturn (PAL VA3) Modifications

This is a follow-up to the modifications I did to a NTSC VA15 Saturn. In this article, I will implement the following Sega Saturn (PAL VA3) modifications: Region-free BIOS, FRAM, and a 50/60 Hz switch (SW4).

After finishing the last article, I took three broken PAL Saturns that I had lying around apart to see what I could repair and modify next: A Model 1 with VA1 mainboard, a Model 1 with VA3 (aka “PAL VA SD”) mainboard and an almost identical Model 2 (VA5, also “PAL VA SD”). I had only one working Type-B power supply, so I had to make a choice. I went with the VA3 Model 1 because the mainboard was in the best condition and only needed a working disc drive and power cable, reset button stick, power suppy and some cleaning. This is how is looked before:

Sega Saturn Model 1
Sega Saturn Model 1
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SD2SNES Pro SuperCIC Compatibility

Today, I wanted to try out the pre-release sgb06 firmware. It is a fork of the original SD2SNES (aka FXPAK) firmware and implements support for the Nintendo Super Game Boy 2. After I had set everything up, I was wondering why the SuperCIC was disabled. I remembered then that I had bought a SD2SNES Pro last year, but never used it because of this:

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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Sega Saturn Modifications

This article is about implementing the following Sega Saturn modifications: Region-free BIOS, FRAM, and switchless 50/60 Hz.

But first, we’ll need to go back in time a decade or so. Back then, I was modifying my “This is COOL” skeleton SegaSaturn (HST-0021/HST-3220) like crazy, stuffing everything inside that I could find:

"This is COOL" skeleton SegaSaturn
“This is COOL” skeleton SegaSaturn
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Philips CDI350 Repair Part 3

It’s been a while since I opened my first Philips CDI350 portable CD-i player and published a repair guide with capacitor list. I have already received some positive feedback that this was helpful for others fixing their players. However, part 2 of the article ended with a big question mark because some topics remained unsolved. Let’s have a look at the status of these topics and see if I can resolve them today in Philips CDI350 Repair Part 3.

1. S-Video output is not working

This turned out to be my fault. After carefully following the traces to and from the video encoder and comparing every component with the service manual, I noticed that I had soldered two electrolytic capacitors with the wrong polarity: C938 and C991. I can only assume that this happened because I used the + marks as indicators and not the white dots. Just look at the vast amount of plusses:

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Pippin Atmark Floppy Unit PA-82002

The Bandai Pippin Atmark Floppy Unit PA-82002 is an expansion dock for the Pippin consoles that made it past the prototype stage. It was released on the Japanese market together with the Pippin Atmark in 1996. It is still incredible rare and it took me while to get a hold of one of these units. The functionality is the same that the replica floppy adapter provides and the main reason why I bought it is really the casing. The floppy adapter setup was too unpractical and fragile and I was looking for something sturdier that could stay attached to the console at all times.

This article is mainly about photos and taking it apart. There will be a small section with explanations at the end.

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Puhui T-962 IR Reflow Oven Modifications

The Puhui T-962 is a cheap IR reflow oven that has been around for many years (the earliest occurrence that I’ve found is from 2007). It has some serious and not so serious flaws that many blogs have already addressed. Known modifications include: Proper grounding, replacing the insulation tape, custom firmware and additional temperature sensors. Some people go even further and replace the system fan and controller board, add more powerful infrared heating elements or an additional fan for better heat distribution. I have included links to all of these modifications at the end of the article.

I bought the T-962 last November to have some support when soldering SMD components. But before I could use it for the first time, I had to take care of the most critical flaws.

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Pippin Atmark Wireless Controller Set

This is a new member of my Pippin collection: The Atmark Wireless Controller Set (BDE-82014 / PA-82014). It has the same functionality of the standard AppleJack controller, except that it is wireless. Three infrared LEDs send the signals to a receiver. The set is advertised as compatible with both Pippin Atmark and Macintosh computers. The latter require a P-ADB to ADB adapter and the AppleJack system extension (not included).

Atmark Wireless Controller Set (BDE-82014 / PA-82014)
Pippin Atmark Wireless Controller Set (BDE-82014 / PA-82014)
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