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.Continue reading IBM ThinkPad 760 Series MIDI/Game Port Adapter
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.
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.Continue reading Philips CDI350 Repair Part 1
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.
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:
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 backup some data too from the old memory cards, so I hooked up the Atari Card Drive HPC-301:
Continue reading Serial Terminal on Atari Portfolio
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).
More Philips CDI stuff arrived this week: The twins CDI 450/00 and CDI 550/00. While the 450 is a very common low-cost model I’ve never seen a 550 before (actually the 450 + DVC was sold as 550).
Chapter 5 of the Philips CDI 220 service manual (the manual that helped finding the right spots for the 60 Hz modification) deals with the built-in service software:
5 SERVICE SOFTWARE
In the set there are 3 different testsoftware available:
1. FTD-display/keyboard test
2. Low Level test
3. Service Shell
I’m going to cite the instructions for 1. and 3. and add pictures or comments if needed (I’m not going to cover 2. as it requires an extra service pcb and/or terminal).
Note: The service manual is valid for the Philips CD-i players CDI 220/20 220/25 220/39 (PAL) and CDI 220/31 220/37 (NTSC). On other players/models the test instructions should be similar if not the same. Continue reading Philips CDI 220 Service Software / Self-Test
Before messing with the timekeeper chip or exchanging the battery it is very important to backup game saves you don’t want to lose from the NVRAM. With a null-modem cable hooked up to a PC there are two options to communicate with the CD-i player:
To build a cable we need a standard serial extension cable and a male 8-pin Mini-DIN connector. Remove the male D-Sub connector and keep it for later (we need it for the Atari Jaguar mouse adapter).