Author Archive: 8bitplus
Finished with my latest commission work. A PC Engine Duo was sent in for a full service, board re-cap, RGB Amp and dual region mod. Take a look how it turned out.
PC Engine Duo (first version) can suffer from bad caps after so many years resulting in audio and CD problems. I always recommend changing them. RGB modification is also a must. Its hard to believe NEC didn’t include RGB output on most PC Engine consoles
If you have any console that needs repairs, capacitor replacement or upgrades, please get in contact here.
I’ve just uploaded an article about the CPS-3 arcade system by Capcom. It also included info on the DarkSoft bios modification to bring the system back to life and allows all the games to be played off one CD!
New review just published
ProGamer Supergun by Retroelectronik.com
Click the image to see the full review. Or go to the review section.
Still looking at the 1.D.1 board with the bad capacitors and missing IDE connection.
I managed to clean up the IDE connector as you can see below. A little flux and the solder pump did the job. I also removed and replaced all the original capacitors and replaced with new ones. The board cleaned up very well.
I sourced the replacement IDE connector from AmigaKit. Installation was very easy on a clean board. Just slot it in and apply a little liquid flux to the solder point. Then its just a matter of making sure not to apply too much solder. Results look good to me.
When I finished cleaning up the board, I connected a 4Gb CF hard drive and boot it up. Loaded Workbench first time.
Another board fully restored. So that only leaves the one with the video color problem…..
Finally got chance to take a look at another couple of A1200 boards.
Firstly a version 1.D.4 that looked to be in good cosmetic condition. This board booted up and passed all my tests so far. No work needed. Happy days!
Next was an older 1.D.1 and it wasn’t in such good shape.
I hooked it up and couldn’t get it to boot. After hunting round the board I found it was missing a smd resistor (R591C) next to the CPU. It looked like it had been knocked off at some point. Replaced the resistor and it Boots!
That’s it for the easy part of this particular board. It was clear to see it was missing its IDE connector. I do seem to remember when I got this board (10 years) ago, that someone had soldered an IDE cable directly to the board, and I quickly removed it. After that it went to storage and I didn’t look at it again. The connector area was a mess, most of the caps in that area also look very bad. I can hardly believe it still works. C239 is even starting to split.
So I plan to replace ALL the Caps, and fully unsolder and clean the IDE area. Then replace with a new IDE header. I may have to repair some of the motherboard tracks that look heat damaged.
Lets take a look at another couple of A1200 boards from the pile.
The first one was working right away, it was just missing its mouse port. With it being a rev. 1.D.4, the mouse port is on a ribbon cable from a pin header which was missing. All I needed to do was clean up the board and solder on some new pins. Fixed in 5 minutes. Everything else seems to work; HDD, Floppy, Sound and PCMCIA.
The next board however is proving more challenging…
At fist I couldn’t got it to power up properly. The power LED was on but no other sign of life. I could see that a couple of caps around the power input looked bad so I changed them.
It then powered up but still without an image on the screen. I could tell it booted by only by the floppy drive idle clicking.
Next I tried the composite video output rather than RGB. Now I can see an image, but its badly colored.
So I think this is something to do with the composite output system and the RGB output. But at least the board is working.
I decided it would be a good idea to find a spare motherboard for my A1200 tower or WHDLoad system. I thought I might have one or two in storage that might need attention but should be fixable.
Found 5! (3x version 1.D.4 and 2x 1.D.1)
The first board I selected (v1.D.4) booted up fine with a pair of 3.0 roms. I connected a compatible floppy drive and played some Alien Breed II form 20 minutes or so. Everything seems to be in order but the sound is a bit low.
Next I need to test out the PCMCIA connector and see if Hard Drives work on the IDE port. Changing the capacitors on this and some of the other boards would also be a good move. So far its a good start. The cost of A1200 motherboards has gone up a lot from when I used to buy them for £15-20 each 10 years ago. They regularly sell for £100+.
Looks like I need more Kickstart Roms and Cap kits.
I’ll be taking part in a 24 hour video game marathon this month to support the charity Special Effect.
They specialize in helping people with disabilities access video games. Furthermore they support access to technology that can lead to independent education, work and leisure.
If you would like to support us please donate with this link:
for more info on Special Effect. Please visit their site Here