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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:28 pm 
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Well, some of you might remember that one of my first posts here was about my Fz-1 acting up when playing GEX.

The music suffered from a terrible slowdown after some audio effects played, but only in GEX.
I tried to burn many copies of different isos, and in different burners, with many different medias.
I tried to adjust the laser pot, tried to clean the lens and lube the rails and gears. Still nothing...
I bought a brand NEW laser for it, and even bought a factory SEALED copy of Gex, but it would still have the exact same issues.

Well, I tried to play it again today and noticed there were two consecutive slowdows this time, so whatever the problem is, it's getting worse...

I can only think something is ageing, that's the only explanation for what's happening.
I tested the voltage regulators, fuse and power supply, they're all working fine.

There's only one thing remaining to try: Replacing capacitors.

Sure I could try and investigate cap by cap to find wich one is failing, but as a 20-22 years old console, even if I change one bad capacitor, I'm sure others will follow soon.
So I decided to change every little f* single cap in the system. Even the capacitors in the CD-Rom drive!

Not only that, but I've chosen to replace each capacitor for something much, much better than what it came factory with.
For the power supply area, I'll be using long life, heavy duty capacitors and solid japanese capacitors when possible, low ESR.

For the audio section of the board: audiophile Elna capacitors.

For the Cd-Rom and rest of the motherboard: long life, high reliability capacitors, solid japanese when possible.

Most of these capacitors are rated for 20.000 hours of life, much much better than what the 3DO came factory with.


Postal service is laaaaame here in Brazil, it should take around 3 months for my capacitors to arrive.
But I'll make sure to share my experiences here when this little adventure is complete.

In total, I've wasted more than half the console's price in capacitors, but there's more:

I'll be replacing the CR2354 ram battery from the console AND the Memory Unit (both use the same model of battery) I've just bought for a massive CR2477 battery, wich, according to my calculations, should last another 25 years or so without issues.
I'll be using battery holders for both, so I won't need to mess with solder the next time the battery fails.
The memory unit also has one single cap inside, wich will also be replaced for a much better long-life cap.

Last but not least, I'll be replacing the cooling fan in my Fz-1 for a brand new one, with higher airflow, and lower noise than the original fan.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:45 am 
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Looking forward to seeing how this turns out. Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:12 pm 
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Some of the caps arrived today and I've replaced them.

But before I get into that, I think it's a good idea to list all the capcitors I found inside my Fz-1:

Power supply area:
25V 6800uF 105ยบ (the biggest capacitor in the system)
6.3V 1000uF (right next to the big one)
16V 10uF

Main board:
16V 10uF x7 (most common cap in the system)
6.3V 100uF x5
16V 22uF (next to the controller port)
6.3V 47uF
6.3V 470uF x4
10V 1000uF
6.0V 100uF x4 (these are on the RAM area, and are SMD type)

CD Drive: (yes, there are tiny little eletrolytic caps in the CD drive board)
6.3V 100uF
50V 1uF
25V 2.2uF
6.3V 22uF
16V 100uF x3


PS: I found out that the metal shield and basically the whole system was made with the original capacitor size in mind, even something as little as 2mm more in the height or diameter, will have problems to fit inside the system.
Same thing goes to the CD drive, there are caps right below the CD laser, if you install anything over 5-6mm tall there, they will stop the laser from moving and possibly cause serious damage to the whole thing.


Bonus:
Backup Battery: CR2354
Cooler: Two-pin 40x40x10mm 9V DC 0.11A SEPA Brushless



Today I replaced the big capacitor in the power supply area, the replacement I got is a industrial type, long life, LXG Nippon Chemicon cap. (model 3DV728)
Had less height than the original cap, but was wider, because of this, I had to move the 6.3V 1000uF to the side, and bend the metal shield where it touches the CD drive. I manged to fit everything in place, though it's not exactly good looking hahah.

Also replaced the 3 16V 100uF caps on the CD drive board, I choose Sanyo SP Oscon solid caps for this.
The problem I had with these was not in their size, but in their legs.
The gap between the legs of the original capacitors was around 2mm, while the Sanyos came with a 5mm gap.
I had problems here because my caps had short legs, like this one:
Image
I managed to install them, but it would be 10X easier if they were the long legged version, like this one:
Image

So that's the best advice I can give: always buy the long legs version of caps. xD

Also replaced the 6.3V 22uF on the CD board, also for solid Sanyo Oscon solid. This one was easy, first because my cap had long legs, and second because you can replace it (and a few others) without disassembling the whole CD drive.


So far, the console still works fine, but the audio slowdown persists in GEX.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:40 pm 
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I'm sure this is a no brainer to you, but for any caps you can't quite fit, you could always extend them out with a little bit of wire and stick 'em wherever you can fit them. In all my console modding and portablizing, I couldn't tell you how many components I've had to relocate over the years. Never pretty, but it works. Can always add a dab of hot glue to keep them from moving, wherever you've relocated them to.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:07 pm 
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I'm a bit paranoid with internal organization, so yeah, if it's not good looking I won't do it. heheh

Here's a pic of my original Xbox using a 50F super capacitor for the clock.
Image

Just for comparison, the original clock capacitor:
Image

I don't -like- to do it, but I will if it's needed. :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:16 am 
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Haha, nice.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:16 am 
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Yeah. haha

I must admit I'm having fun changing capacitors in my systems, it feels like tuning a car, or doing something to improve your home.

Yesterday I worked on my SegaCD model 2, It worked fine but would stop reading discs after a while.
I changed some capacitors in the CD drive (most of them are the SAME found on the 3DO's CD drive hahah), and that problem stopped.
But I also wanted to recap that whole system as well, and one of the capacitors I needed for it also arrived. Premium Elna audio capacitors, the same kind I'll use in the audio circuitry of the 3DO.

After changing all the 17 capacitors of the audio portion of the SegaCD, I powered it up, and tested it with my Daft Punk RAM CD.
Result:
It simply sounded amazing, like, 20X better than it was before. lol

If the 3DO gets anywhere near this quality, it's gonna sound awesome! xD
I just hope this recap fixes the slowdown in the music of GEX in the end, otherwise I'll have to find another motherboard or buy another system...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:35 am 
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Just changed the 6.3V 1000uF capacitor of the power supply area, from my researchs, this is the capacitor with highest failure rate on the system, and the big 25V 6800uF comes in second.

Choose a Fujitsu solid capacitor for this, the same kind you'd find in high-end motherboards.
This thing is supposed to last like... 20X more than the original capacitor it replaced. (yep, I'm serious)

Sadly, the music slowdown in GEX continues...
But, for some reason, I get the feeling that the console seems more stable now, and also seems to be booting the games faster than before. :mrgreen:


Fun factor: SegaCD model 2 also uses this same capacitor in the power supply area. Luckily, I ordered more than one, and SCD got it's new capacitor too. heheh
Maybe because these consoles all came from Japan originally, and were released around the same time, they share many similarities electronic-wise.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:20 am 
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Changed the fan today. Bought a 12V sunon Maglev 40mm, changed it's connector for the one that came with the original fan.

Although the console feeds the fan with 9V, there's not much problem in using a 12V model instead, it will just spin slower.
Also, this Sunon fan has much higher airflow than normal 40mm fans on the market, without being noisy. So, even spinning slower, it's actually pulling more air out than the original fan.

My 3DO is whisper quiet now, the spindle motor of the CD drives makes 2-3X more noise than the fan now. hahah


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:30 am 
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Well done :)

Acrof wrote:
Changed the fan today. Bought a 12V sunon Maglev 40mm, changed it's connector for the one that came with the original fan.

Although the console feeds the fan with 9V, there's not much problem in using a 12V model instead, it will just spin slower.
Also, this Sunon fan has much higher airflow than normal 40mm fans on the market, without being noisy. So, even spinning slower, it's actually pulling more air out than the original fan.

My 3DO is whisper quiet now, the spindle motor of the CD drives makes 2-3X more noise than the fan now. hahah

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:43 am 
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Nice work. Still really weird about Gex though. I wonder if maybe Gex does something that other games don't. You could try to track down one of the original programmers. I know that sounds like a weird suggestion, but I've actually had great luck in the past doing that with various games. Most of the time they're just happy to hear some one is still enjoying something they made years ago. Also getting the recognition. A lot of times, we don't hear about the programmers and stuff of games. Unless they do something revolutionary, like John Carmack for instance.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:51 am 
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The slowdowns happens when music and a sound effect are played at the same time.
Something could be out of sync, I've also thought about the crystal oscillators of the console (I found 3 in the main motherboard, an 1 more on the CD-drive board), if they're bad the console could have serious issues.
The problem is that these oscillators came with weird model names, so I'm not sure what would be the best replacement for them...

In the worst case scenario, I will recap and keep the system with me for the next 20 years, when the caps I installed get bad. hahah
For gex I can just buy another 3DO.
Thought about buying a FZ-10 with a dead laser. That wouldn't be a problem as I do have a spare laser here (bought for my Fz-1 to try to solve the Gex problem, and both the Fz-1 and Fz-10 use the exact same laser).

Anyways, update:

CR2477 arrives, and I've istalled them in the console and memory unit, with proper battery holders. Of course I choose a Panasonic batteries, to match the brand of my console. :wink:

Changed the 16V 10uF capacitors in the audio area, I choose premium Elna capacitors, audiophile stuff. =P

Also changed the 6.3V 100uF caps in the console, and one more in the CD-rom drive. Replaced the original caps for solid Sanyo Os-con caps.

EDIT
Now that the whole audio section of the 3DO is using Elna Silmic II caps, I've tested it with my audio equipment, and I can guarantee that the 3DO sounds absolutely wonderfull now, much better than any Sega console I own. (all the CD based systems)
I don't have other consoles capable of CD playback, except for my PS2, PS3 and Xbox(first model), wich can output better sound because all of them are connected to my receiver via optical Toslink cable.
The digital connection on these modern consoles can't really be matched by the analog circuitry found in these old CD consoles.

But I can guarantee that the 3DO has the best analog output sound I have ever seen in a game console. heheh 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:54 am 
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Changed more caps today, they won't stop arriving now. xD

6.3V 47uF - Replaced by solid Sanyo Os-con
(4X) 6.3 470uF - Replaced by solid Sanyo SEP
10V 1000uF - Replaced by Nippon Chemi-Con KZE Series

Most of the capacitors in the system were replaced already, problem with Gex persists, but something funny happened this time, instead of a instant slow down as soon as the "GEX" logo is sprayed in the screen (music + sound effect), this time it took half a second for the slow down to occur.

Dunno, maybe it's getting better? xD

On the main board, only a 16V 10uF, a 16V 22uF, and the 4 SMD 6V 100uF remains to be replaced. When those are gone, the whole motherboard will be using fresh, high quality capacitors, wich should last even longer than the original caps.

There's a few caps to be replaced on the CD-Rom drive board too: 50V 1uF, and 6.3V 22uF.


Bad news is that I decided to open the joystick today. I remeber I saw a picture of it's board in the past, and that it had a capacitor inside.
Well, I oppenned it to find not one, not two, but SEVEN caps. xD

And I have 2 controllers, both are the oldest model with a headphone jack. But one is the Panasonic controller that came with my Fz-1 system, the other is a Sanyo controller (I bought cheap for multiplayer games), but they share the same guts, wich means I'll have to buy 14 capacitors more. Oh joy. :roll:

These controller seem to have their own sound circuitry, complete with DAC, amplifier, and of course, capacitors. xD
That's why the sound coming from the controllers is a lot worse than what comes from the main output of the console, it's a cheaper and much more compact circuit.
Sadly, Elna Silmics won't fit in such a tight place, I'll probably have to use solid Sanyos again...

I'll recap my Panasonic controller first with the best audio caps I can fit in that tiny space, then I'll compare the sound quality between the Sanyo and the recaped Panasonic controller to see if there's a noticeable difference. Stay tuned! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:27 am 
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Ive never recapped any Panasonic product ever, 4x 3DOs included, and only one died. From salt air corrosion.

I doubt replacing all those capacitors is worth the effort, some may fail, but not all of them will. Mine are all still prefect and clear. Get an ESR tester and leave the good parts where they belong.

Mega CD on the other hand... Same as Game gear with the surface mounts, and those same Rubycons NEC used around the same time period that leaked simply due to age...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:34 pm 
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I kinda do it for fun already. hahaha xD

Also, my 3DO's sound already had weird crackling noises due to capacitor aging.
Not only that problem is fixed now, but the console probably sounds better now than it did back in the day it was released.

A little update on the matter: Every single cap was replaced, except for the 4X SMD 6V 100uF on the RAM memory area. Slowdown in GEX is still present, everything else works wonderfully.

Same with the Sunon fan, and same with the gigantic CR2477 back-up batteries in both console and memory unit! :D

My main guess now is that there's a bad crystal oscillator somewhere. The console has 3, the cd drive has another one, 4 crystal oscillators in total.
I have absolutely no idea of their frequencies, so I can't replace them unless I get a repair manual for the Fz-1.....

I'm still waiting for the SMD capacitors on the memory area, so I can't assume for sure it isn't a capacitor issue. I hope they deliver it soon.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:21 am 
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Really hope you're able to ferret out the problem. As far as the oscillators, this post lists them with part number. The post above that in the same thread had a link to something from Panasonic that no longer works, unfortunately.

Edit: Found this. But it seems they are out of stock.

Edit2: They seem to have them for special order here.

Edit3: Can't seem to find the actual values of the oscillators due to them being Panasonic proprietary parts. However, we might have more luck with Goldstar or Sanyo. The whole idea of the 3DO standard was...well, a standard. Needs more googling.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:22 am 
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I really hope so!

Well, finally changed the last remaining caps. The 4 SMDs 6V 100uF caps were replaced by Sanyo SVP of the same value.

The motherboard looks visually amazing with all these new caps. xD
There's solid caps everywhere you look, the big brown one on the power supply, and the black and gold Elnas for audio.

Issue with GEX persists, everything else is still perfect.


Quote:
Can't seem to find the actual values of the oscillators due to them being Panasonic proprietary parts. However, we might have more luck with Goldstar or Sanyo. The whole idea of the 3DO standard was...well, a standard. Needs more googling.

I did get my hands on a repair manual, but for the Fz-10. The whole design is different, much less components, if I remeber right it had only one crystal oscillator in the whole system!

I remember seeing a picture of the Sanyo motherboard, it looked somewhat similar to the Fz-1, component wise.

Another thing I could try is to get another Fz-1, maybe with a dead laser or with very beaten up shell. Maybe I could borrow one from someone. lol
That way I could try different combinations of CD drive and motherboard, and find wich one is faulty.

I wouldn't mind moving all the new capacitors to a new board, if I found one that worked.


This crystal oscillator (DECL50000P2W), in the sanyo, is a Kyocera 500000 Hz oscillator.
So it's safe to assume it's frequency: 50MHz, like the one in the Sanyo!

This frequency is usually used for CMOS, and as it's located close to the FZ1's back up battery, that could explain something...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Hey nice thread Acrof, my fz-1 has just died, like two days ago. Farout i've had a good run out of it. When i boot her up i get the 3do logo then some flicker, a bit of green light then no green light and constant red light.
I got the disc out of it eventually but now the tray don't open at all. Man i was so depressed...but now i have found this topic i have hope again.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:56 am 
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Weird symptoms. When the 3DO logo comes up, is it in the normal colors? But yeah I'd bet a recap would likely fix it. Good first thing to try, anyway.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:14 am 
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Yeah, the 3DO logo flashes on and off in it's normal colours for maybe 3-5 seconds then black screen. Red power led stays constant with one little flicker of the green led when i turn it on.
I mean, i got nothing to lose really, i can solder a bit so i'll have a crack a recap mission. Worst case scenario it could end up as spare parts. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:10 pm 
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Is that with a disc in or with no disc? If you don't have a disc in, does it go to the normal "space potato" thing? I'm guessing not. But if it does, could just be your laser's given up the ghost. Along with the drive mechanism, it sounds like. Once you get it apart, could be the belt came off. Well, assuming the 3DO's disc drive uses one. I haven't yet had the need to disassemble it.

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