Nomad battery life fix

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Bibin, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
    882
    0
    0
    New York City
    Ghost in the Machine
    This isn't anything particularly amazing or impressive, but I just did it and thought I'd post it.

    I removed the CFL backlight from the Sega Nomad, and replaced it with two LED lights, and it should add about an hour or so to the battery life. It looks stock when in use.

    You to be link:
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COK63d5tC1w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COK63d5tC1w</a>
     
  2. Lobotomy

    Lobotomy

    35% Cognac Misfit
    4,394
    1
    0
    Traverse City
    Project: Matter/Energy
    Do you have a diagram or specific LED type you used? I want to do this.

    Do you think it would do the Gamegear any good?
     
  3. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
    882
    0
    0
    New York City
    Ghost in the Machine
    The Game Gear, yes, this should operate on the same principal as long as the backlight's light spreader works the same way.

    A diagram I don't have as it's so simple - you just tap into a 6V line coming off a point on the board that I can provide later, and hook up two 3V white LEDs (I used tiny ones from a cell phone's backlight) in series, pointing in at either side of where the tube used to be.

    I can take pics later too of the insides.
     
  4. TmEE

    TmEE

    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
    1,726
    0
    16
    Estonia, Rapla City
    T-04YBSC-A !
    I have been doing some backlight mods for quite a while now, and I've have got few more hours of battery life when doing so with no negative effects. My record is 8 hours of playtime out of Nomad (using 6x 2100mAh NiMHs).

    <a href="http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7214" target="_blank">http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7214</a>


    and your 2x LEDs are damn bright, I'm using 6x LEDs
     
  5. Overlord

    Overlord

    Aros gartref, diogelu'r GIG, achub bywydau Moderator
    17,815
    133
    43
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Nice stuff. If I had a lot more than one Nomad I'd be inclined to try this =P
     
  6. GeneHF

    GeneHF

    SEGA-ier than you'll potentially ever be. Site Staff
    8,389
    0
    16
    Scenic Studiopolis
    Complete Global Conquest
    Nothing a step by step photo process can't fix... for those of us who aren't so adventurous with modding hardware like an uncharted frontier.

    Looks pretty cool, IMO. I'd be interested in doing something like this if I had a Nomad or a working Game Gear (it turns on but nothing is displayed on the screen and the audio is SUPER quiet.)
     
  7. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
    882
    0
    0
    New York City
    Ghost in the Machine
    <!--quoteo(post=345414:date=Aug 30 2009, 11:22 AM:name=TmEE)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (TmEE @ Aug 30 2009, 11:22 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=345414"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I have been doing some backlight mods for quite a while now, and I've have got few more hours of battery life when doing so with no negative effects. My record is 8 hours of playtime out of Nomad (using 6x 2100mAh NiMHs).

    <a href="http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7214" target="_blank">http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7214</a>


    and your 2x LEDs are damn bright, I'm using 6x LEDs<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    It's all about positioning - I slid the tube out of the reflective mylar coil, but left the coil intact, and just pointed two small LED's inwards. When I get back home tuesday I'll take pics and such, maybe even write it up.

    This was my only nomad, I was scared shitless ripping it apart for the security screw.

    TµEE, just curious, is there any super-easy modification I can do to amplify the sound even further without purchasing components, and just messing around with the insides?
     
  8. TmEE

    TmEE

    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
    1,726
    0
    16
    Estonia, Rapla City
    T-04YBSC-A !
    I have things done like you have, getting the tube out and putting LEDs there instead. Though 6x LEDs, and I have to break the plastic a little in one area to make room for them (using regular 3mm ones). I have more even light distribution since all LEDs point towards the screen at 90 degree angle.

    And wow on trying to have louder sound from Nomad... Nomad is one of the handhelds which I consider loud enough, it's got more power in it than typical cheapo computer desktop speakers.... BUT if you're referring to the internal speaker, then there is a mod to get things louder, but it requires one to buy at least 2 more components since you have to replace things, you cannot get away with just removing. On NDSlite you can get 2x louder sound from headphones by removing couple of resistors... I need to document that one ;)
     
  9. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
    882
    0
    0
    New York City
    Ghost in the Machine
    <!--quoteo(post=345732:date=Aug 31 2009, 02:49 AM:name=TmEE)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (TmEE @ Aug 31 2009, 02:49 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=345732"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I have things done like you have, getting the tube out and putting LEDs there instead. Though 6x LEDs, and I have to break the plastic a little in one area to make room for them (using regular 3mm ones). I have more even light distribution since all LEDs point towards the screen at 90 degree angle.

    And wow on trying to have louder sound from Nomad... Nomad is one of the handhelds which I consider loud enough, it's got more power in it than typical cheapo computer desktop speakers.... BUT if you're referring to the internal speaker, then there is a mod to get things louder, but it requires one to buy at least 2 more components since you have to replace things, you cannot get away with just removing. On NDSlite you can get 2x louder sound from headphones by removing couple of resistors... I need to document that one ;)<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I meant the speaker, yes. The headphones are satisfactory for me.

    As for the LEDs, I wrote up a guide on how I did it, but just for reference, I did not actually put any LEDs on the bottom of the screen. I kept the little mylar tube that housed the light, and pointed two LEDs inwards at the sides, and it ended up surprisingly even. I used two small SMT LEDs, not traditional 3mm ones.

    Here's my writeup! I'll have some pictures when I get home.

    <b>H</b><b>ow to vastly improve your Sega Nomad™'s battery life!</b>
    <I>By Bibin</I>

    So you've played your nomad on battery before. You've cried deeply. These two things, they are closely associated, because the nomad only lasts an hour or so on battery. Let's fix that!

    Note: I am writing this guide from memory as I am not near my sega nomad right now, so there might be some slight inaccuracies.

    Before we start, it's best to understand why, and how, this happens. The Sega Nomad™ is otherwise great for a number of reasons, and one being that it has a fully backlit color LCD. This means you can see it in the dark. The downside is that the way in white sega backlit it (which is similar to the Game Gear, so this applies too) is very inefficient. They used a CFL tube, which is a glass tube full of mercury vapor, and they pump high voltage through it, which causes it to light up. On 6 AA batteries, this is unacceptable, and it draws lots of power.

    Back then, this was excusable- cheap white-colored LED's just weren't so available. Now, though, you can get thousands for mere dollars. We are going to replace the aforementioned CFL tube with two bright white LEDs.

    Now that we've talked about that, get your parts together. You need to choose which type of LED to get. As far as brightness goes, it doesn't matter quite so much which one you get. I used an SMT LED, which are very small:

    <img src="http://www.scionlife.com/tech/images/clock_led_mod_xb/IMG_0136.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    You may also use a traditional-type LED, but it might be a bit harder to fit in there. If you do, you'll want 3mm or smaller ones;

    <img src="http://www.soselectronic.com/a_info/img_data/d/dio/led_3mm_clear3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    You'll also need some wire. This is easy to get. If you play your cards right, you can actually avoid using new wire by reusing wires that were already inside your nomad, but that's stupid. Just get some wire, you can even steal some IDE ribbons and split the wires off. They make a good supply.

    <img src="http://www.cablesdirect.com/prodimages/IDEHD-2_LR.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    A phillips screwdriver will be needed. Size is not that important, but you should have a large "normal" size one as well as a smaller one (you can do without the small one but it's better to have).

    Lastly, you need a soldering iron. I am just going to assume you know how to solder.

    <img src="http://www.chipworld.co.uk/store/images/15w_soldering_iron.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Oh, and a sega nomad.

    <img src="http://www.club-nintendo.ch/boutique-2007/images/sega_nomad.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Now, let's go!

    First, turn your sega nomad over. It is not necessary to remove the cartridge at all, nor the battery pack, but you might want to. Take your larger phillips screwdriver and remove the four screws in the corners. You will notice there is a fifth screw hole with a "Security screw". If you have the driver to remove this, great! Remove it. If you don't, do what I did. Just pry open your nomad from the top until the screw post snaps. It doesn't matter, doesn't affect stability, nobody cared about that screw. Your nomad will be just fine after.

    Now your nomad is in two halves. There is a white ribbon cable going from the back half (we'll call this the GEN half) going to the front half (we'll call this the LCD half). Gently tug on it towards the GEN side to unplug it. After that, remove the screws on the back of the LCD side. There are four that compose a square in the centre. Don't remove those yet! Remove the three others around the side. Oh, unplug the speaker cable in the corner and the grey backlight cable in the other.

    After that, lift the board up and out of the LCD side housing (this was the inverter - keep it, toss it, make a taser out it, I do not care). Flip it over, you should see the LCD assembly. There is a metal border covering it. Pry up the tabs on the side of the metal and plastic housing, and remove the metal. The LCD itself can now just flip down, out of the white plastic housing. After doing this, flip the board over. Remove the four screws that go through the board to the white housing, and again flip it over. Pull out the white housing.

    The white housing has a small little inverter board in it connected to the white tube. Using scissors or something, cut the wires on either side of the tube. Using a small screwdriver, remove the two black screws that fasten the piece of white plastic down. Gently pull up the piece of perspex that is the light, and slide out the old tube.

    Now, take your two LEDs. Wire them up in series, meaning that the long pin from the LED goes to the short pin on another. Off the top of my head I forget which one is positive and negative, but you'll know that you got it right if it works, and if not, you just rewire it, It's easy.

    Position the LEDs on both sides of the slot where the old CFL tube used to be, pointing inwards. Run a wire from the far one along the bottom, and then up towards the top where the inverter used to be. Now that you've done that, grab a 6V battery or something and just quickly test it out and make sure it looks good and even. After that, replace it onto the LCD-side board, screw it in, put back the screen, and the metal frame.

    You're not done yet, though. You need to pull 6V from the nomad. There is a small resistor (I forget which one off the top of my head) pretty close to the "HIGH VOLTAGE" warning. Use a multimeter to find which one it is, and hook that to the positive wire. The other can just be wired to any common ground, I used the wire towards the back that is hooked into the copper grounding slab.

    Now screw it back in, put it back together!

    I'll upload pics when I get back home.
     
  10. TmEE

    TmEE

    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
    1,726
    0
    16
    Estonia, Rapla City
    T-04YBSC-A !
    I don't know if you also removed the inverter (you did not mention doing it), but if not, do it, even without the tube, it will suck considerable amount of power (with tube it is whopping 400mAh of power !!!). Its directly connected to 5V used in the system. I just cut the other end of the inverter power cable and attach my LEDs there (using a 47ohm resistor to limit current so the LEDs would not fry).
     
  11. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
    882
    0
    0
    New York City
    Ghost in the Machine
    I removed the inverter, yes, I made the assumption that it goes without saying.

    I tried to use the inverter's power cables, but it would not light them up - it seems mine did not supply 6V? I'm not sure why, oh well. The inverter's power didn't work.
     
  12. TmEE

    TmEE

    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
    1,726
    0
    16
    Estonia, Rapla City
    T-04YBSC-A !
    You get 5V from the inverter cable, but it should still light up the LEDs. 5V is the only regulated power source in Nomad to my knowledge... I'd like to know where do you get this 6V... photo or part number (I.e R123) will help :)
     
  13. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
    882
    0
    0
    New York City
    Ghost in the Machine
    <!--quoteo(post=346049:date=Sep 1 2009, 03:11 AM:name=TmEE)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (TmEE @ Sep 1 2009, 03:11 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=346049"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->You get 5V from the inverter cable, but it should still light up the LEDs. 5V is the only regulated power source in Nomad to my knowledge... I'd like to know where do you get this 6V... photo or part number (I.e R123) will help :)<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Sure, I'll grab a picture. My LEDs seemed to be very strictly 6V, so it needed something higher. I think I'm overdriving them a tad, but they've been running just fine. My multimeter has been broken for years, so guessing's been a fun activity of mine, with LEDs strung in series functioning as a terrible multimeter.

    Prepost-edit: Fuck, I peeled up some electrical tape and lifted the resistor off the board. Give me a minute or so. I took it from the video-out side of the R214 resistor, though.