Tag Archives: mods

Modifications

Sega Saturn Modifications

This article is about implementing the following Sega Saturn modifications: Region-free BIOS, FRAM, and switchless 50/60 Hz.

But first, we’ll need to go back in time a decade or so. Back then, I was modifying my “This is COOL” skeleton SegaSaturn (HST-0021/HST-3220) like crazy, stuffing everything inside that I could find:

"This is COOL" skeleton SegaSaturn
“This is COOL” skeleton SegaSaturn
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Philips CDI350 Repair Part 3

It’s been a while since I opened my first Philips CDI350 portable CD-i player and published a repair guide with capacitor list. I have already received some positive feedback that this was helpful for others fixing their players. However, part 2 of the article ended with a big question mark because some topics remained unsolved. Let’s have a look at the status of these topics and see if I can resolve them today in Philips CDI350 Repair Part 3.

1. S-Video output is not working

This turned out to be my fault. After carefully following the traces to and from the video encoder and comparing every component with the service manual, I noticed that I had soldered two electrolytic capacitors with the wrong polarity: C938 and C991. I can only assume that this happened because I used the + marks as indicators and not the white dots. Just look at the vast amount of plusses:

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Capcom CPS2 Digital AV Interface Firmware Update

Last weekend, marqs has released a new firmware for the CPS2 Digital AV Interface. The new firmware enables changing the output resolution with the Volume – and + buttons. The current functions of these buttons (scanlines and vertical offset adjustment) have been removed.

When I installed the AV interface last year, I wasn’t very happy about the 8 missing lines in the default 1920×1080 resolution. I was hoping to have a 1920×1200 Line5x format one day, similar to the OSSC. This is now reality: By pressing Volume +, I can change this video output to this format.

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Puhui T-962 IR Reflow Oven Modifications

The Puhui T-962 is a cheap IR reflow oven that has been around for many years (the earliest occurrence that I’ve found is from 2007). It has some serious and not so serious flaws that many blogs have already addressed. Known modifications include: Proper grounding, replacing the insulation tape, custom firmware and additional temperature sensors. Some people go even further and replace the system fan and controller board, add more powerful infrared heating elements or an additional fan for better heat distribution. I have included links to all of these modifications at the end of the article.

I bought the T-962 last November to have some support when soldering SMD components. But before I could use it for the first time, I had to take care of the most critical flaws.

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Modifications for Philips CD-i Players

This is an attempt to collect all known and available modifications for Philips CD-i players in a single article. Consider it a work in progress – I will add new information from time to time. Please give feedback if you find an error or want to add something to this article.

Due to the plethora of different models, versions and revisions of CD-i players that have been sold under the Philips / Magnavox or entirely different brands (OEM), it is virtually impossible to create one big list that contains every player. I chose a different approach with several lists to cover most of the hardware combinations: Available modifications, mainboards, video encoders and NVRAM.

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Philips CDI470 PAL/NTSC Modification

50/60 Hz modifications are quite simple hacks that have been figured out for almost all Philips CD-i player types with SCART connector. But what about all the CD-i players that do not have an RGB output, either because of reduced cost or because they have been sold outside of Europe? Technically, they can still be modified, but the foreign mode is pretty useless and results in a black and white picture or no picture at all.

The reason is easily explained: All Philips CD-i players have a main system clock at either 30,0000 MHz (PAL) or 30,2098 MHz (NTSC) and additional clock generators for some components. All newer players (Mono III and up) have a Brooktree video encoder and generate the colour subcarrier frequencies (PAL 4,4336 MHz and NTSC 3,5795 MHz) from the system clock. The older players with a Sony video encoder use one or two additional crystals and some more components for this task.

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Philips CDI470 32 KB NVRAM Upgrade

Some time ago, I noticed that the service manuals of most Mono II – IV boards have notes about 8 and 32 KB NVRAM types, to be set by jumpers and resistors. I never attempted to do that upgrade because most of my CD-i players feature 32 KB NVRAM or have older mainboards that cannot be upgraded. When I mentioned the possibility in this article, CD-i Fan warned me about the consequences: If device driver and descriptor in the ROM don’t support the extra RAM, then the player might not recognize it and lose the real-time clock – or it won’t work at all.

Why would you want to upgrade the NVRAM anyways?
For example, the save files of The 7th Guest, Lost Eden and Burn:Cycle already take up a lot of space. Add some more games and settings, and you will soon reach the critical limit of 97-98% where the player refuses to start.

CD-i memory full (8 KB)
CD-i memory full (8 KB)
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Pippin Atmark ADB Adapter Dongles

Initially, I was planning to replace the P-ADB connector of my AppleJack controller with an ADB plug (Mini-DIN-4). The remaining P-ADB plug attached to a Mini-DIN-4 socket would then become an ADB adapter dongle.
But why would I destroy the cable of my only controller? According to the documentation, which can be found here and here (in a very low resolution, unfortunately), a “Hosiden HGC0492-01-010 or equivalent” connector is needed. And that connector is impossible to find.

To get started, I created a new schematic based on the available documentation:

Pippin-Apple Desktop Bus pinout
Pippin-Apple Desktop Bus pinout
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Formac ProFormance 3 Plus Fan

This is a quick fix for my Apple Power Macintosh 7500/100. It doesn’t have its own article yet and has only been mentioned a couple of times. This article also isn’t about the Power Macintosh itself, but about the graphics accelerator that the previous owner had built in. The Formac ProFormance 3 Plus was advertised as “The Fastest Graphics Accelerator for your Mac” in 1999. This is the best version of ProFormance 3 with 300 MHz pixel frequency and 32 MB SGRAM (PNGA94-5).

Formac ProFormance 3 Plus 32MB
Formac ProFormance 3 Plus 32MB
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