Category Archives: Modification

Modification

Philips CDI470 32 KB NVRAM Upgrade

Some time ago, I noticed that the service manuals of most Mono II – IV boards have notes about 8 and 32 KB NVRAM types, to be set by jumpers and resistors. I never attempted to do that upgrade because most of my CD-i players feature 32 KB NVRAM or have older mainboards that cannot be upgraded. When I mentioned the possibility in this article, CD-i Fan warned me about the consequences: If device driver and descriptor in the ROM don’t support the extra RAM, then the player might not recognize it and lose the real-time clock – or it won’t work at all.

Why would you want to upgrade the NVRAM anyways?
For example, the save files of The 7th Guest, Lost Eden and Burn:Cycle already take up a lot of space. Add some more games and settings, and you will soon reach the critical limit of 97-98% where the player refuses to start.

CD-i memory full (8 KB)
CD-i memory full (8 KB)
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Pippin Atmark ADB Adapter Dongles

Initially, I was planning to replace the P-ADB connector of my AppleJack controller with an ADB plug (Mini-DIN-4). The remaining P-ADB plug attached to a Mini-DIN-4 socket would then become an ADB adapter dongle.
But why would I destroy the cable of my only controller? According to the documentation, which can be found here and here (in a very low resolution, unfortunately), a “Hosiden HGC0492-01-010 or equivalent” connector is needed. And that connector is impossible to find.

To get started, I created a new schematic based on the available documentation:

Pippin-Apple Desktop Bus pinout
Pippin-Apple Desktop Bus pinout
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Formac ProFormance 3 Plus Fan

This is a quick fix for my Apple Power Macintosh 7500/100. It doesn’t have its own article yet and has only been mentioned a couple of times. This article also isn’t about the Power Macintosh itself, but about the graphics accelerator that the previous owner had built in. The Formac ProFormance 3 Plus was advertised as “The Fastest Graphics Accelerator for your Mac” in 1999. This is the best version of ProFormance 3 with 300 MHz pixel frequency and 32 MB SGRAM (PNGA94-5).

Formac ProFormance 3 Plus 32MB
Formac ProFormance 3 Plus 32MB
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Philips CDI660 Mono IV NVRAM and 60 Hz Modification

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.

CDI660 inside
CDI660 inside
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Pippin Atmark Floppy Adapter

A floppy disk drive for to the Pippin Atmark is nothing new. In fact, an expansion dock called Pippin Atmark Floppy Unit was released back in the days. These units are incredibly rare and I was never able to get ahold of one of them. Apart from an Apple floppy disk drive with 20-pin ribbon cable, these units contained no additional hardware but a simple X-PCI adapter board. It didn’t take long until Japanese enthusiasts tried to replicate these adapters. When I recently rediscovered my Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S, I also looked around for additional hardware. I found this article about an adapter board that had been finally replicated two years ago. This board can still be ordered from OSH Park.

Pippin Atmark Floppy Adapter
Pippin Atmark Floppy Adapter
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Capcom CPS2 Digital AV and I/O Interfaces

After finishing the repairs on my CPS2 in April, I had already some more additions in mind:

I had already ordered the digital AV interface kit from VideoGamePerfection.com in the beginning of the year and was only waiting for the I/O interface to get started. Last month, it finally arrived. Also on the picture: a home-made kick harness and a RG174 coaxial cable.

Capcom CPS2 digital AV and I/O interfaces
Capcom CPS2 digital AV and I/O interfaces
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Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S External SCSI and ROM Dump

Earlier this month, I wrote about my Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit. Initially, I didn’t plan to do any modifications to this special Pippin model. But then Keith Kaisershot told me that it is possible to feed a long SCSI cable over the metal lips of the case without doing any permanent modification. He also asked me to verify the checksum of the ROM. In this article, I will add external SCSI to my Pippin and also dump the ROM.

Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S external SCSI
Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S external SCSI
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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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TAB Quizard on Philips CD-i

Quizard was a series of quiz games published by TAB-Austria in the ’90s. What makes it special is the fact that it is one of the very few arcade games based on Philips CD-i hardware. The protection of Quizard 1.x and 2.x has been figured out quite a while ago and since then it is emulated in MAME. Quizard 3.x and 4.x, however, refused to run – until now. A first step was done when Team Europe dumped a protection MCU a couple of years ago. Very soon, they will release an MCU board that will turn almost every CD-i player into a Quizard arcade machine. I received a sample last week and just finished assembling and testing it.

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