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:
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).
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 will need it for the Atari Jaguar mouse adapter).
When looking for a modification to improve the video size/quality of DVC games on my PAL CD-i player, I’ve found that only two tutorials are covering that kind of modification (here / here and here). The modification enables a PAL player to display full screen video without the black bars on top and bottom. NTSC players benefit from this modification too, as there are PAL exclusive software titles that already have full screen video (e.g. De Zaak van Sam) – without the modification, parts of the screen are cut off.
Unfortunately, the mainboard of my CD-i 220 differs from those used in the tutorials, so I had to get a service manual to figure it out myself. The service manual I found is valid for the Philips CD-i players CDI 220/20 220/25 220/39 (PAL) and CDI 220/31 220/37 (NTSC). It says there is an unimplemented connector 1201 in square C6 of the mainboard: