Category Archives: Repair


Neo Geo MV2FS at Home

Neo Geo games and hardware have been a part of my life for many years. As I was looking at store displays during the early 90s, I was amazed at how huge these game carts were in comparison with other consoles, such as the Nintendo GameBoy.

In the late 90s, the emulators NeoRAGE and NeoRAGEx introduced me to the world of Neo Geo and arcade emulation. At that time, MAME didn’t yet have the capacity to emulate those games properly and at a decent speed. Later on, when MAME finally became a useable Neo Geo emulator, it became quite easy to add new released games and dumps to the source code, and play them as well.
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FM TOWNS II Fresh・E Battery Replacement

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.


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Atari Jaguar Power/Sound Fix and Rotary Controller

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):

Toasted U38 (MC34163DW)
Toasted U38 (MC34163DW)

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Philips CDI 220/00 Mini MMC 60Hz Modification and Timekeeper Replacement

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).

CDI220/00 inside
CDI220/00 inside

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NEC PC-FX Laser Pickup HOP-E1

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€.
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Repair an Xbox 360 Controller

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).

Xbox 360 Controller screw locations

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