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:
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.
In 2014, I bought two top-loading CD-i players, the Philips CDI550 and CDI450. While the Magnavox CDI550 pops up every now and then in the U.S., the Philips CDI550 is quite rare in Europe and I’ve only seen a single one in all these years.
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:
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.
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.
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).
When taking new screenshots for my old PC-FXarticles, I noticed that my PC-FX mouse (FX-MOU) didn’t work properly anymore. It still detected the movement fine, but if failed to register one of the mouse buttons. My spare mouse turned out to suffer from this too.
It’s time for a quick repair. Two screws underneath the label hold the mouse together (marked with yellow circles).
The CDI660/00 is one of the last professional CD-i players by Philips. The mainboard, Mono IV, is also used in various consumer players. So far, there are no tutorials for 60 Hz modification. When this topic came up in the community on The world of CD-i, I looked it up in the CDI220/80 service manual (also Mono IV, with plenty of remarks for other player models) and attempted the modification myself. It has been on my to-do list for quite some years now. First, we need full access to mainboard. Remove the marked screw of the DVC plastic holder.