Tag Archives: CD-i

Philips CD-i

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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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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First Steps in OS-9 on Philips CDI605T

The Philips CDI605T/20 is the last professional CD-i player with authoring / development capabilities. As every other CD-i player, it runs on CD-RTOS v1.1, a real-time operating system based on Microware OS-9/68K v2.4. Additionally, it features extended memory, an internal OS-9 shell, a floppy disk drive, SCSI, ethernet, RS-232C and printer ports. When compared to its predecessor CDI605/00, it was upgraded with a tray loading mechanism, a built-in DVC and a newer system ROM v1.3. Even though this player is perfectly fine for playing the whole range of consumer CD-i titles, I got it mainly for experimenting with the titles and the operating system. On the first start, it performed a CRC check and displayed the software version:

CDI605T CRC check
CDI605T CRC check
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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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IBM ThinkPad 760 Series MIDI/Game Port Adapter

While doing my research for another project (finding a plug for the Philips CDI350 RGB in/out port), I came across an old IBM MIDI/Game port adapter. It is listed with P/N 29H9467 (FRU P/N 29H9269) and can be used with some models of the ThinkPad 760 series (760CD, 760ED, 760XD, and also 765D). What makes it so special is the plug. It is similar to the 26-pin external floppy connectors used by several laptop brands in the ’90s. While most of the external floppy drives used a 17 mm wide plug, this one is 20 mm wide. This JAE datasheet lists the plug as TX20A series connector, part number TX20A-26PH1-D2P1-D1.

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Philips CDI350 Repair Part 2

Last year I began to disassemble and repair one of my Philips CDI350 players. This has been covered in the article Philips CDI350 Repair Part 1.

After that, it took me a while to make a list of all capacitors, to find replacement parts (the original Philips part numbers are not useful anymore) and to find shops that had them on stock.

The scanned CDI350 service manual on ICDIA is missing the pages 78 and 79, which contain the parts lists of the servo and power sections. I found some of the missing parts in the CDI360 service manual and some by comparing the removed parts with both service manuals.

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Philips CDI350 Repair Part 1

Two portable Philips CD-i players (CDI350) came into my care last month. They show common errors, such as not loading any CDs and not storing any settings, and also flickering screens. Let’s have a look inside and repair them.

The screen becomes normal after a while so that I can navigate.

Philips CDI350
Philips CDI350
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CD-i Earth Command Start Problems

What if your favourite CD-i game refuses to start or shows some weird behaviour? Most likely, this is to blame on a defective TimeKeeper and/or laser. This topic has been covered years ago. There is another problem with the game The 7th Guest, which is completely unrelated to the problems mentioned above though.

Earth Command isn’t my favourite game. It makes for some fun for a while, to tamper with the various settings and eventually watch the world burn, but it never got me hooked for a long time.

Then the reports of some people caught my attention. Some had trouble starting the game, as the screen just turned black after the intro, while others had no problems with the game at all. There was no common denominator to pin down the problem, as all the CD-i players they’ve used were of different revisions and generations.

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The 7th Guest CD-i DVC Compatibility / Cake Puzzle Bug

The 7th Guest is a great game for Phillips CD-i. Unfortunately, there is an annoying bug that crashes the game when trying to solve the cake puzzle:

The 7th Guest Cake Puzzle Bug
The 7th Guest Cake Puzzle Bug

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Serial Terminal on Atari Portfolio and Atari Card Drive HPC-301

There is always a need for a serial terminal (VT100 compatible) to debug Philips CD-i players and other old units with a serial port. Even though an old laptop with Windows 98 and HyperTerminal works fine, I was looking for something more portable. The Atari Portfolio with Serial Interface add-on is a good choice.

First of all, we need to transfer the terminal software to the Portfolio. It is possible via the serial port, but I had to back-up some data from the old memory cards too, so I hooked up the Atari Card Drive HPC-301:

Atari Portfolio and Card Drive HPC-301
Atari Portfolio and Card Drive HPC-301

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