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Thread: Ask general Genesis/MD/Sega CD/32X questions here (for new members)

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    AKA Mister Xiado Master of Shinobi Raijin Z's Avatar
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    Well, it's more simple than expected. Really, you just need to do a logic probe. Find which leads on a chip output data or any other kind of signal that can be monitored, and feed it into the scope so you can watch it. If you're seeing data being sent and received on the appropriate lines, then the chip can be assumed to be alright as far as a live/dead test goes. Troubleshooting is a pain in the neck to be sure, and even I don't have the equipment to do it. Still, with the rising cost of game system hardware, saving any "dead" systems with some elbow grease and study is a heroic effort. That said, don't try to dive too deeply, too quickly. It can become frustrating if you're out of your depth for too long. It took me about five or six years to replace my Goldstar 3DO's laser diode assembly because I really didn't want to go through the hassle of taking the drive apart and messing with a million tiny screws of differing lengths and thread pitches.
    Hah, while typing this, I got a call to troubleshoot a rifle that wasn't chambering cartridges correctly. SPORTS sorted it. Slap the magazine, pull the charging handle, observe the chamber/magazine top, release the charging handle, tap the forward assist, shoot.
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    Yeah, I'm mainly doing this as a hobby. Not too worried about the cost of learning(spending a lil more than cost of a working console) but I'm definitely not trying to go crazy either. If I can change out some components n save a Sega I'm for it. I may look into a cheap oscilloscope which would long term probably save me alot of time on recapping dead systems.
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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    The thing that might save the most time is a vacuum desoldering gun, like those stupidly expensive Hakko guns everyone shows off on Youtube. An o-scope is kind of like a timing light for troubleshooting car engines. Not a catch-all, but essential if you have a problem that calls for it. The desoldering gun would be like an air wrench.
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    True but I also used the word "cheap" lol. I'd love a better desoldering method than a wick but its cheap
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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    Look up TFT Digital Oscilloscope on ebay. A billion people selling cased versions. I may bother to get one if I get a wild hare to resurrect my Atari 2600 Vader.
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    If you're only dealing with digital signals, low/high, then a cheap logic analyzer might be better (see aliexpress).
    You can probably find some schematic on google to make a digital signal out of the oscillator.
    Some of those usb logic analyzers also have one or two analog channels, which can be useful too but somewhat limited in range of frequency you can measure.

    There are alternatives to those, like a genuine PC logic analyzer/oscilloscope mix which of course do cost more, but are just generally way better.

    Like I said previously, there are projects out there that are using an arduino as a logic analyzer, so you might not even have to buy anything.

    ------

    You might want to replace the voltage regulator too. You didn't mention it being warm, so I'm assuming it's not and thus not being overloaded by some faulty component down the line.
    Putting in a more recent voltage regulator will give you a more stable output. I've had to do this on my Mega-CD.

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    I haven't started working on the CD yet I'm still working on the VA 2 and VA 3 Genesis('s). I have replaced the v regs. In both gennys. The VA 3 has a good voltage improvement up to 4.8v I think, but the VA 2 had a really low voltage even after a changing the regulators, but I haven't changed any caps on it tho. I'm about half done recapping the va3
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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    Whelp finished recapping the va3 with not luck, I have some pretty weird results. Still no audio altho I'm getting some crackling now with black screen, then after trying some cart leaning black screen turned into a random black/ static signal. Then I gave a light finger tap to the ram chips and CPU, n got a solid white screen, a solid yellow screen and a solid red screen on separate resets so I'm at a loss rn. Plus my wallet was stolen a week ago so I have no debit card to get anything else to test/ replace on it for a while. Thinking I'll just use it for parts unless anyone else has any ideas.
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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    Several classic computing types online have had some luck in replacing RAM chips, and sometimes re-flowing other solder points. I keep my debit card information on paper for online use, but if anyone stole my wallet, I'd not be able to speak about it until the police cleared me.
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    Another bummer to top it off my va6 just went out, was cleaning a few thing up on it gave it a few test runs n it was working but was having a few audio issues and I noticed my led was really dim, since the last time I checked my regulators voltages I knew they were low. So I measured them n they were like at 3.5 so I replaced them turned it on led came on bright tmss came up n then nothing. Led started to dim and the screen went black. so I measured voltage at the dc input and I'm only getting 6v instead of 9v. When I turn the unit off n check voltage it's out putting 9v. So I'm thinking it's got a few bad caps and my dc cord is
    dead.
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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    Bleh, if I had more experience, I'd be glad to help, but I only have one Sega CD, and it's only had fossilized cola problems, nothing electronic. I, myself, won't do a re-cap project on anything, so it's hard to tell other people to do so. Still, screwy capacitors mess with voltage levels, and voltage levels tell chips and transistors that something is on or off. Voltage is too low, when it should be high? Off state. Goofed up caps can cause digital issues, not just bad analog sound.
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    It's best to try with another 9V power supply just to rule out that yours is dead or not.
    Best case scenario it's your power supply.
    Worst case something is drawing to much current and that's why your voltage is lower than usual.

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    That was gonna be the first thing I'm gonna rule out is the power source, I'm using a shitty thirdy party power cord n I don't think I've ever heard of anyone that was happy with one lol. Do you think changing the vregs would have caused this? New ones demanding more voltage than the failing caps can provide? The reason I say my caps are failing is 1. They're original, and 2. Tho they don't appear to be popped or leaking but several of them have stretched sleaves which is a sign of bulging. Like I said it worked right before changing them but it was acting strange (for instance when powered up when the game yells "SEGA" it sounded high pitched like the Chipmunks). I also had 0 trouble getting em out so I don't think I damaged any components or the board.
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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    Also in regard to the va3 I'm 100% confident the cap job is fine i went over the board doing 1 cap at a time taking note of orientation and cap type. I'm pretty sure it's either bad traces I can't find or bad chips.
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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    Still no luck on the VA 6. I have no idea what's causing it but when I turn it on my dc output voltage from the cord drops from 9v to 6v. Wish I had my original cord :/
    "Keep your friends close but get your enemies toaster."

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