When my FM TOWNS II Fresh・E suddenly refused to boot from HDD and Towns OS (from CD) didn’t show the HDD anymore, my first thought was that the HDD has finally given up. It had sounded like an airplane engine lately (and still does). Then I noticed that date/time settings were lost too, meaning it was probably related to the BIOS battery. To access or replace the battery (3V CR2450), the whole unit needs to be disassembled.
The other day I prepared my Atari Jaguar to build a rotary controller for Tempest 2000. I hadn’t used it in a while and accidentally picked the wrong power supply – smoke was rising from the console immediately.
The culprit was easily found, chip U38 (MC34163DW):
Just recently my GD-ROM drive stopped reading Discs. It’s time to try something new: GDEMU
To replace the aged Lynx screen with a new LCD screen is no rocket science.
First you need an Atari Lynx II and the LCD screen kit by McWill.
Continue reading Atari Lynx II New LCD Screen, 5V Mod and Connection to Framemeister
Recently I found a CDI 220/00 with Mini MMC mainboard. It’s a heavy and bulky unit that contains lot of PCBs, wires, screws and metal parts. It’s one of the first consumer CD-i players. Later models have all components on one single mainboard (Mono).
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
If you drop an Xbox 360 controller, don’t let it land on its bumper buttons. The micro-switches break easily on the inside. They might still work, but need more pressure to be triggered. This problem plagues old Sega Saturn gamepads too.
To open Xbox 360 controllers, you need a special Torx security screwdriver with a hole in the tip, size T8H. If you don’t have this rather unusual screwdriver, you can break the tiny pins in the screws and unscrew them with a regular T8 or T9 Torx screwdriver. Seven screws need to be removed (yellow circles). One of them is hidden behind the white sticker with the barcode and not behind the black sticker where I looked for it first (red circle).