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.Continue reading NEO Power PC-E 128M+SAVE Flash Cart Repair
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 R05Continue reading Super SD System 3 FBX and FU-RGB Mods
Two quick fixes for my Super SD System 3 v2.
I inverted the orientation of the C60 tantalum electrolytic capacitor:
Unfortunately I won’t be able to use it with my Duo-RX and GT, and the SuperGrafx is too bulky and ugly to take it out for gaming. I ordered a cheap CoreGrafx from Yahoo! Japan Auctions which came with a Tennokoe 2 backup memory device attached to the expansion connector.
Continue reading Tennokoe 2 RGB Output
Changing settings in the BIOS of a japanese computer can be dangerous if you don’t have any knowledge of the japanese language or don’t what you’re doing. I don’t have that much knowledge of the language either and tried to translate the BIOS.
This is how I did it: I connected my PC-9821Xe10 with a sync combiner to the Framemeister and grabbed a video of the selection of each and every BIOS menu item. Then I converted the frames of the video to image files. The images were then cropped and converted into grayscale negatives to be processed by an OCR engine. Most of the output was gibberish and every single line of text needed manual processing. The japanese text was then fed into the Bing and Google translators and some common sense added to the output.
Continue reading NEC PC-9821 BIOS Translation
The NEC PC-9821 computers output a very unusual resolution that most western monitors struggle with: 640 x 400 @ 24 kHz. I tried at least half a dozen monitors of all types and ages and none of them was able to display a picture at all (except an “out of range” message). Video scalers like the DVDO iScan VP50 Pro don’t recognize the signal either. Some sources claim that the cheap GBS-8220 converter is able to convert the signal – that is only partially true. You can see a stuttering picture that eventually becomes clear when you start the Windows 98 Desktop, but that doesn’t work in DOS.
I’ve been struggling with a weak PC-FX laser for quite some time. What kept me from changing the laser or pickup unit was that having to take the PC-FX apart and put it back together later is something you wouldn’t wish your worst enemy. A complete disassembly can be found here. However, getting close to the drive unit is surprisingly easy if you just follow this guide.
First, you need a replacement laser. I chose the complete pickup unit (Hitachi HOP-E1), which was available for about 15€.
Continue reading NEC PC-FX Laser Pickup HOP-E1
Two more items for my PC-FX collection:
This was in the mail today: two brand new Super CD-ROM² games for NEC PC Engine.
Pyramid Plunder by Aetherbyte:
Because the internal storage space (32 kB) is limited sooner or later every PC-FX owner needs a FX-BMP memory backup module (128 kB).
The module is backed by two AAA batteries and has it’s own place behind an access door in the PC-FX front expansion port.
When the internal memory is full some games (e.g. Dragon Knight IV, about 12 kB free space required) refuse to start. Then it’s time to move things around until enough space is available for the game to create an initial save state.