Author Archive: 8bitplus

Keeping Busy (June)

Its time for my monthly report. What Have I been up to this month….

Well firstly I managed to get time to visit the new Arcade Club in Leeds. If you’ve not heard of Arcade Club, its basically a perfect place to find retro arcade machines, and play as long as you like. All machines are on free play, you just pay to get in! Loads of amazing games from the 80’s, 90’s, through to some modern ones. Well worth checking out.

Regarding work on customers machines, Its not been a very productive month. I just never seem to have any time available, but a few jobs were complete and sent out.

This was a full Mega CD recap for a customer. He also asked for a region free bios, new drive opening belt and laser replacement.

Next we have another PC Engine Duo for a recap and RGB mod. All looking great now.

And there was also another PSIO switchboard to install. The 3DO USB installation covered below, and Saturn with the full table of mods.

That’s about it for June. Its going the a tight month in July to get any work done with Holidays and weekends away, but I try 🙂

Retro PC

During the last couple of months I’ve been playing around with the idea of building a DOS based retro PC. Now I’ve finally gone and made a start.

My aim is to have a good, fast, DOS/Win98 compatible PC for games. Nothing too fast or fancy. I also wanted to keep the price down. Unlike some other projects, this should be cheap.

I settled on a board, CPU and memory combo from eBay. The motherboard is a Lucky Star 5I-VX2B. CPU is a Pentium 100mhz without mmx, and it came with 32Mb of 72pin SIMM RAM.

I was tempted to go with a highend 486 biuld, but this was a good speed/value price-point. The motherboard chipset is also new enough to work with large drives (by that I mean over 8Gb) so no worries about fitting a large game collection on the HDD. 60Gb should be fine. Win98/DOS7.1 allows for FAT32 and removes the old 2gb partition restrictions. DOS7.1 is actually just as good as the older versions when setup correctly. Windows 98SE is just for a few Widows only games that need it.

I’ll upload more pics, videos and info as this project progresses.

Keeping Busy (May)

Its been a funny month. I’ve had lots of time, but for some reason it seems hard to get any work done. It sounds like a problem, but actually I’ve been working on couple of projects for myself. More on that another time, what did I actually get done….

MCD-Repair-Recap-1
MCD-Repair-Recap-2

One customer from Sweden sent me a Sega Mega CD mk1. it was not powering up, and suffered from the usual capacitor leakage. He also wanted a region Free bios, new laser and drive opening belt. 

DUO-Recap-RGB

Next up was a very nice PC Engine DUO. This also needed all the caps replacing and a RGB video mod installing. Sounds much better now.

Lastly I’ve had multiple PlayStation’s in for PSIO switchboard installs.

PSIO-May

I’m getting quite a lot of PSIO install requests now that the units are selling quicker from the supplier https://ps-io.com/

Upgrades on Upgrades

I’ve taken a little timeout this weekend to play with my Amiga 1200 Tower. Recently I got a very cool Apollo 1260 Accelerator card with a 80Mhz clocked Freescale 68060 CPU. One downside to the A1260 over the Blizzard line of cards was that they only shipped with a single RAM socket, limiting memory to just 32mb. This is still fine for most setups, but I always like to extract the max potential when possible.

The reason for this limitation was to allow the card to fit correctly in the original A1200 wedge case. A mounting point is present on the card for an additional 72 pin SIMM socket. After I tracked one down with the help of a fellow Amibay member, it was very easy to install. Now I have 64mb of ram with a pair of matching 32mb simms.

I also got to install the Elbox FastATA MkV controller that arrived recently. Replacing my original MK1 16bit version gives a big speed increase to HDD access. I’ll do some benchmarks later..
More to come soon.

Keeping Busy (April)

Its been a funny month. So much to do, and somehow no matter how much time I put aside, so little actually gets finished. It just seems every job I started leads to another problem, or parts were not available/stuck in the post. Despite this I did manage to get some results and a few consoles were returned this month, including:

Neo Geo Pocket Colour (NGPC) Front Light Mod.

This request was to install a LCD front light in the units to allow playback in the dark. This worked fine, but for the best result I bonded the front light unit to the screen with a UV reactive glue. The sharpness of the screen is reduced as its showing through another layer now.

Amiga CD32 Recap

Just a regular request for a CD32 recap. The console is much more stable now with new caps.

Terraonion SSDS3 RGB and Audio bypass mods

This was a new one to me. A customer had an early version SSDS3 unit. Apparently these units can be improved in the Audio and Video output quality with the installation of these two kits. One bypasses and replaces the stereo audio amp, the other replaces the video encoder. Some parts needed removing with hot air.

RGB mod on PC Engine Core Grafx

Another PC engine for an RGB mod. I’ve started making my own RGB scart cables for these mods. This allows me more control over stock but takes more time to do. Anyway great results from this unit now.

So that’s about it this month. I did get a little time to look at a couple of my own projects, but they can wait for their own post later.

Neil.

Keeping busy (March)

I’ve decided to make more regular posts each month showing off what I’ve been working on. Mostly it will be customers consoles, but once in a blue moon I might get something done for myself 🙂

So this month… I’ve installed another RGB mod board in a customers Panasonic 3DO FZ-1. Not much different to the other FZ-1 and FZ-10 systems I’ve done before.

Next is an RGB mod in an Amiga CD32. I fully recapped the console too as all Amiga’s with surface mount caps will eventually have problems. The RGB mod is quite simple, it already has the same RGB video encoder as the A1200 and A600. The signal just needs tapping off to a suitable port. I removed the RF module and soldered on a 9-pin mini din (same port as a MegaDrive 2)

Next was an official Unibios installation in a CDZ. I like this console more than the original top loaders. Installation involves directly wiring a new socket to the old bios location. Find more detailed info on this work here.

I also did a couple of PSIO installations, a Game Gear recap, MultiMega recap, battery changes on 3 CPS2 games and a PSOne modchip.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any mod installation or recap requirement.