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Mega CD II and 32X woes, help needed What you get when buying "untested/broken" and loose hardware

#1 User is offline xdaniel 

Posted 22 March 2008 - 03:57 PM

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Well, yeah. My hopes of getting a working bargain Mega CD II and 32X have turned into the sour realization that I've bought busted crap. Oh, and by the way, rather long post ahead...

The systems arrived and the MCD was the first to be checked. Plugged my MDII into it, power and RF into the MD (via some universal switchable power supply as the original one's missing), power into the MCD (via my old MD1's power supply), turned the MD on and... nothing. If emulators are anything to go by, the MCD's BIOS should've come up, asking for a CD, right? This MCDII's just giving me a black screen, and sometimes the TV's outputting a low humming noise through the speakers. Carefully cleaning the MD-MCD connectors on both machines didn't help. Then, despite not having much of a clue on electronic, I carefully opened the MCD up, hoping for some kind of obvious problem with it, like a loose plug or whatever.

Here's the insides of the MCD, plus close-up's on some suspicious things:
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

What's with this small brown board wired to the main one (2nd picture)? Is that some kind of fix for a factory-side problem applied after manufacturing the main board or something, is that a mod of some kind? Also, there's the empty plug socket on the 3rd picture - it was like that when I opened the machine up, and there's no loose plug that would fit it either as far as I can see.

After screwing the MCD back together, I tried the 32X. Well, I'm missing the MD-to-32X AV cable, though. But even then, the 32X's "pass-through function" - so that, when a normal MD cart is plugged in, it just lets the MD boot that, I mean - should work, right? It doesn't. Okay, plugged the 32X into my MD1, its RF cable and power supply into it, the universal power supply into the 32X, and then Space Harrier 32X into the, well, 32X. YET again, nothing. Out goes Space Harrier, in goes Sonic 2 - plain old MD game, obviously. Nothing either...

I assume that neither extension is actually turning on... I could see the 32X having this problem, because of that universal power supply - which, omg you're gonna kill me for that, is set to 12V instead of the 10V the systems need because it doesn't support 10 -, but not the MCD, which is using my MD1's official one.

Well, hope someone might've read all this crap and has some kinda idea on what I could do now - besides trashing the MCD and 32X or putting them on eBay as "untested" or something.

(and I'm not sure if there's a better subforum to put this, please move it if there is)

#2 User is offline 87th 

Posted 22 March 2008 - 09:44 PM

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What model of Mega Drive are you using? I know the Mega CD II required some kind of metal extension piece before it would work with an original Mega Drive. MDII owners sometimes threw away this part, since they didn't require it (or so seemed to be the case with the original owner of my Mega CD II). I believe the 32X also used a similar metal piece. If you don't have them, they may be the cause of your problem.

#3 User is offline Bibin 

Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:12 AM

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I believe the piece was just to make it fit comfortably without wobbling around.

#4 User is offline xdaniel 

Posted 23 March 2008 - 08:12 AM

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I have both MD models, but I tried the MCDII out with the Mega Drive II - which, ironically enough, was missing the expansion port cover and had a metal plate screwed to the bottom when I bought it, which perfectly fits the MCDII. So I'm guessing I'm having all the parts I need here (sans box, manual and whatever there was to make the MCDII fit better with a Model 1 MD, but those aren't needed for operation, now are they?).

The 32X I've got only has that plastic spacer thingy that makes it fits properly on a MDII, don't know what other parts might be missing besides the power supply (bought them loose after all) and the MD-to-32X AV cable.

And btw, update on the situation: I'm starting to suspect that the combo of not-original-and-too-strong-even-power-supply (on MDII) and original-Model-1-MD-power-supply (on MCDII) is the culprit of the MCD problems... I've got randomly colored screens multiple times after resetting the MD once, and somehow even got the MCD's access light to light up for ~1 second two times, when putting the MCD's power plug in and turning the MD on right afterwards. Maybe the MD is pumping too much power over the expansion port and into the MCD (there are two +5V lines on the connector after all, or did I misunderstand the pinout?), which is causing the MCD to, don't know, hang up, or maybe I've already busted it myself by using that non-original power supply with the MD?

Scratch that, the MCD's got this problem here: http://www.mrvfone.c...u/sega/fuse.htm Feeling bold I bridged the fuse with a screwdriver... bam, the machine turns on and throws me into the BIOS. I haven't had the chance to test if it actually reads CDs and plays games, but at least it's not 100% busted so far... I'm going to get me the replacement parts mentioned on the page above and a soldering iron after Easter to try and fix it correctly.

Now, what's left is the 32X, which I haven't had taken apart yet...
This post has been edited by xdaniel: 23 March 2008 - 10:32 AM

#5 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 23 March 2008 - 07:11 PM

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The 32X is a notoriously fickle piece of equipment. You may find this helpful in any repairs:

http://www.sonic-cul...g/articles/32x/

#6 User is offline Aurochs 

Posted 23 March 2008 - 10:20 PM

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View Postxdaniel, on Mar 23 2008, 09:12 AM, said:

Feeling bold I bridged the fuse with a screwdriver...
  • Fuses are there for a reason. Don't circumvent them.
  • A screwdriver is NOT a jumper wire.


#7 User is offline Squints 

Posted 23 March 2008 - 11:05 PM

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Actually, I think know exactly what's wrong with the 32X (in other words, either I'll be exactly right or totally off)

First off, I'm assuming you've got whatever AV or RF cable you're using plugged into the AV OUT on the 32X (that's what it sounds like; if not, what I say may or may not apply to you, I'm not really sure). Regardless of whether you're using 32X games or standard MD games, you still need the MD-to-32X AV connector. If you don't have that connector cable, then no video or audio is being routed to the 32X, and so nothing happens visibly (or audibly) because the 32X is looking for input that it doesn't have. If you want to play standard MD or Mega CD games through the 32X, then in theory you should have some success just hooking the RF cable up to the MD itself as long as the 32X still has power; for 32X games, you're out of luck unless you can get that connector cable.
Other tricks that I've had success with in the past include moving the console off the floor and onto an elevated surface, even if it's something small like a box or something. Maybe it was just happenstance, but it could have been static from the carpet somehow affecting the console.
At any rate, the 32X may not be broken quite yet (and if it is, it's probably the power supply that fried it; I have a non-functional 32X sitting in my closet right now that I suspect would still be working if the guy I bought it from hadn't sent me the wrong power supply. Me, being excited about getting it, just plugged it in with the supplied adapter, and...nothing happened. Ever. Even after I got the right supply and used that).

PS: If your power adapter has a 9V setting (rather than 12V), you might want to try that; I have a third-party universal power adapter hooked up to my US model II Genesis that supplies 9V, even though the console says it needs 10V, but it still works fine, even when I've got the 32X and CD running
This post has been edited by Squints: 23 March 2008 - 11:06 PM

#8 User is offline xdaniel 

Posted 24 March 2008 - 08:46 AM

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Even when plugging the RF cable into the MD and trying to play an MD game through the 32X, I get nothing. Well, nothing on screen, but I noticed the machine itself is giving off some electric noise or something, a low humming sound not coming from the TV's speakers. Guess it is getting power then... I'll check the power supply and set it down to 9V (should have that setting), hoping that I haven't fried the 32X yet - which is damn likely now it seems -, and then try the guide Overlord linked to next. Hopefully it's just something listed there, but I'm not too positive on that.

Aurochs: 1) I know they are, and 2) I know they aren't. After trying to get it to run for hours, I just thought "what the hell", bridged that fuse using the screwdriver (two or so times in total), but was - obviously - still careful not to touch any other components with it. I've now, well, for the moment taped a small wire to both ends of it to bridge it, which allowed me to test if the unit could actually still read CDs, etc. Put in a CDR copy of Sonic CD, works perfectly. And now I'll let the machine rest until I get the replacement parts and truly fix it instead of this, at best, hack-job.

#9 User is offline Sith 

Posted 24 March 2008 - 04:38 PM

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The 32X doesn't like model 1 MegaDrives. I know this out of personal experience.
Don't know how that was in the States with model 1 Genesis.

#10 User is offline Squints 

Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:28 PM

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View PostSith, on Mar 24 2008, 05:38 PM, said:

The 32X doesn't like model 1 MegaDrives. I know this out of personal experience.
Don't know how that was in the States with model 1 Genesis.


I had a model II and had...well, minimal problems, anyway. None, it seemed, related to the Genesis itself.

Quote

Even when plugging the RF cable into the MD and trying to play an MD game through the 32X, I get nothing.


Then you definitely need the connector cable. You might be able to find it on ebay. I would suggest the site where I got my 32X (the working one), because they had a whole shitload of loose stuff like that, but I've since lost the URL. As for a humming sound...yeah, that's probably not a good sign. Definitely try the 9V setting.

#11 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:53 PM

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afaik the 32X should run on an MD1 with minimal problems. It's the Multimega it has issues with.

#12 User is offline Sith 

Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:23 PM

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View Postxdaniel, on Mar 24 2008, 02:46 PM, said:

Well, nothing on screen, but I noticed the machine itself is giving off some electric noise or something, a low humming sound not coming from the TV's speakers.

This sounds familiar. When I still had a 32X it created static lines in the screen image with humming inside the 32X.
Got a replacement but same thing.
When it was warmed up after maybe half an hr the humming and lines disappeared.
Switch it off for 5 mins and that shit was back.

Bought it from another shop and again got 2 units tried out but no humming but game crashing instead.
Then I was tired of that crap and got a refund.


Don't know if it was the same kind of 'humming' you are talking abt though...
This post has been edited by Sith: 25 March 2008 - 06:27 PM

#13 User is offline xdaniel 

Posted 27 March 2008 - 03:53 PM

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Let's see... The 9V setting sadly didn't help, it's still just giving me black screens, no matter what MD game, no matter where the AV cable's plugged in. Also, the humming noise is gone once it's getting 9V instead of 12... Afterwards, I pretty much took apart the whole damn thing, all the plastic pieces, shielding and screws pretty much scattered everywhere (luckily I didn't loose anything), I cleaned it carefully, I removed and reinserted those two flat, white cables as said in the guide at Sonic Cult, double-checking if they fit correctly, etc., etc. - still nothing. All that's left now is getting a proper, original power supply AND one of those MD-to-32X connector cables and trying those, right? ...hell, I think I might just throw it back on eBay, selling it as "broken" and be done with it.

#14 User is offline Sith 

Posted 27 March 2008 - 07:56 PM

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Yeah, dump that shit. 32X is a pain in the ass...

#15 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 29 March 2008 - 07:15 PM

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View PostSith, on Mar 25 2008, 06:23 PM, said:

View Postxdaniel, on Mar 24 2008, 02:46 PM, said:

Well, nothing on screen, but I noticed the machine itself is giving off some electric noise or something, a low humming sound not coming from the TV's speakers.

This sounds familiar. When I still had a 32X it created static lines in the screen image with humming inside the 32X.
Got a replacement but same thing.
When it was warmed up after maybe half an hr the humming and lines disappeared.
Switch it off for 5 mins and that shit was back.

I had the opposite problem with my MegaDrive 1. It started out fine, but the screen would increasingly look worse with time, and after half an hour everything would look like the video cable was severly damaged. Then it would work fine again once you turned it off for some time.

I have a very first model Mega Drive with no startup message, by the way.

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