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Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by racketboy Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:38 am

If I'm going to re-open the Racketboy store, AC adapters would be nice to have, but I'd rather not only carry those cheap/light ones. They are fine in a pinch, but the official ones are much heftier. Has anyone found a China source, etc that carries more solid stuff?
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by marurun Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:53 pm

Honestly, a quality multi-setting switching adapter with a good selection of tips is probably more than adequate. Sell a higher amperage model so it can encompass even the CD units and you're golden. If you open it up and try out the tips on various systems you can even inform people which setting and tip to use for various consoles with a printed accompaniment and a download PDF. That information might allow you to charge a slight premium. Your only holdout will be the NES, which does something weird if I recall.

Also, most power blocks are a lot lighter these days. Advances in capacitor and circuit tech probably has at least something to do with that.
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by samsonlonghair Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:18 pm

marurun wrote:Honestly, a quality multi-setting switching adapter with a good selection of tips is probably more than adequate. Sell a higher amperage model so it can encompass even the CD units and you're golden. If you open it up and try out the tips on various systems you can even inform people which setting and tip to use for various consoles with a printed accompaniment and a download PDF. That information might allow you to charge a slight premium. Your only holdout will be the NES, which does something weird if I recall.

Also, most power blocks are a lot lighter these days. Advances in capacitor and circuit tech probably has at least something to do with that.

I agree that those switching adapters are nice, but they're also significantly more expensive. You're also asking more of the end user in this scenario. Guys like me and you like switching adapters, but most consumers don't know the difference between voltage and wattage. They could just as easily reverse the polarity on the barrel tip as not. The consumer may be looking for a simple plug-and-play solution, but if you sell them something they have to work with and figure out, then they may be displeased with that purchase. On the other hand, consumers who aren't afraid to tinker would like switching adapters.

If a consumer just wants to power on his Sega Genesis, let's make it easy on him. Let's sell a 9 Volt, 1200 milliAmp power supply with center negative polarity. Then let's just slap a picture of the Model 1 Sega Genesis on the box. That way the consumer doesn't need to understand the specifications of the power supply; they can just look at the picture. By the same token we can sell a 10 Volt, 850 milliAmp power supply with center positive polarity. Then we slap a picture of the Model 2 Sega Genesis on the box.

I'm not saying that the consumer is stupid; they just want to know what they're buying in no uncertain terms. Why make 'em work for it when we could make it convenient?
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by pierrot Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:21 pm

marurun wrote:Your only holdout will be the NES, which does something weird if I recall.

Yeah, the NES has its rectifier circuit internal to the console, rather than the wall wart--in a kind of funky configuration that took me more time to figure out the electrical mechanics of than I would like to admit, and seems to just be a bridge that serves to reduce the voltage by only one diode drop, rather than two, with some clamping.
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by samsonlonghair Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:26 pm

pierrot wrote:
marurun wrote:Your only holdout will be the NES, which does something weird if I recall.

Yeah, the NES has its rectifier circuit internal to the console, rather than the wall wart--in a kind of funky configuration that took me more time to figure out the electrical mechanics of than I would like to admit, and seems to just be a bridge that serves to reduce the voltage by only one diode drop, rather than two, with some clamping.

NES is the only console designed to run on AC power - the kind of power that illuminates the light fixtures in your ceiling. Practically every house in America has AC power in the walls, but we usually adapt it to DC power before we send it to sensitive electronic devices.

That said, NES runs perfectly fine on DC power. I have been using a regular AC adapter that outputs regular DC power with my NES for ten years now. I think I salvaged the power supply from an old answering machine or cordless phone. It outputs the right voltage and amperage, so no harm done. I have heard tale that the Genesis model one power supply can power an NES without trouble.

On the other hand, if you tried to use the AC power supply that comes with the NES on any other game console, that would end poorly. ZAP!
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by marurun Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:33 pm

samsonlonghair wrote:I agree that those switching adapters are nice, but they're also significantly more expensive. You're also asking more of the end user in this scenario. Guys like me and you like switching adapters, but most consumers don't know the difference between voltage and wattage. They could just as easily reverse the polarity on the barrel tip as not. The consumer may be looking for a simple plug-and-play solution, but if you sell them something they have to work with and figure out, then they may be displeased with that purchase. On the other hand, consumers who aren't afraid to tinker would like switching adapters.

If a consumer just wants to power on his Sega Genesis, let's make it easy on him. Let's sell a 9 Volt, 1200 milliAmp power supply with center negative polarity. Then let's just slap a picture of the Model 1 Sega Genesis on the box. That way the consumer doesn't need to understand the specifications of the power supply; they can just look at the picture. By the same token we can sell a 10 Volt, 850 milliAmp power supply with center positive polarity. Then we slap a picture of the Model 2 Sega Genesis on the box.

I'm not saying that the consumer is stupid; they just want to know what they're buying in no uncertain terms. Why make 'em work for it when we could make it convenient?


Well, I was referring to switching adapters in terms of electrical conversion efficiency vs linear adapters. As to the multi-voltage thing, that's why I also said instructions should be included. Find your console model and just set the doodads like the instructions say. Genesis model one, use this voltage setting with this tip, etc... You're right, it involves a little work, but those devices really aren't prohibitively expensive and it helps with inventory management as well since one size really does fit all. I went that route with my PC Engine Core Grafx and it worked perfectly, and really didn't require that much involvement on my part.
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by samsonlonghair Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:55 pm

marurun wrote:
samsonlonghair wrote:I agree that those switching adapters are nice, but they're also significantly more expensive. You're also asking more of the end user in this scenario. Guys like me and you like switching adapters, but most consumers don't know the difference between voltage and wattage. They could just as easily reverse the polarity on the barrel tip as not. The consumer may be looking for a simple plug-and-play solution, but if you sell them something they have to work with and figure out, then they may be displeased with that purchase. On the other hand, consumers who aren't afraid to tinker would like switching adapters.

If a consumer just wants to power on his Sega Genesis, let's make it easy on him. Let's sell a 9 Volt, 1200 milliAmp power supply with center negative polarity. Then let's just slap a picture of the Model 1 Sega Genesis on the box. That way the consumer doesn't need to understand the specifications of the power supply; they can just look at the picture. By the same token we can sell a 10 Volt, 850 milliAmp power supply with center positive polarity. Then we slap a picture of the Model 2 Sega Genesis on the box.

I'm not saying that the consumer is stupid; they just want to know what they're buying in no uncertain terms. Why make 'em work for it when we could make it convenient?


Well, I was referring to switching adapters in terms of electrical conversion efficiency vs linear adapters. As to the multi-voltage thing, that's why I also said instructions should be included. Find your console model and just set the doodads like the instructions say. Genesis model one, use this voltage setting with this tip, etc... You're right, it involves a little work, but those devices really aren't prohibitively expensive and it helps with inventory management as well since one size really does fit all. I went that route with my PC Engine Core Grafx and it worked perfectly, and really didn't require that much involvement on my part.


You do make a good point regarding inventory management. Even if we forget about warehouse space, it's just plain simpler to have fewer SKUs to track.

I also liked what you had to say about an instruction guide. I typed up a wall of text three or four weeks ago regarding Racketboy differentiating himself by selling the expertise that goes along with the product. A nice, illustrated instructional guide would support that notion well.

We might be able to convince the consumer that it's a benefit rather than a hassle. "One power supply to rule them all!" :lol: Make it seem like a fun and relatively easy project (which is kind of true).
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by racketboy Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:27 pm

I am LOVING this discussion -- thanks guys!

So not being an electrical-gifted person, what should I look for in sourcing these things?
Are you guys familiar with Alibaba at all?
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by pierrot Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:20 pm

samsonlonghair wrote:NES is the only console designed to run on AC power

I see where you're coming from, and maybe it's simpler to state it in those terms, but I think it's a little disingenuous to say that the NES runs on AC. The NES's wall wart is only a transformer, and it's AC power at the barrel jack, sure, but it's still converted to DC (internally) before powering any of the other circuitry. It's just that the rectifier and ripple filter are in the console, rather than the brick, in the case of the NES. There are a number of ways to rectify an AC signal, though, and the NES has one of the most unconventional rectifier circuits I've ever seen. At first glance it looks like it should just be a standard diode bridge rectifier, but it's actually in a configuration like transil packages on an inductive load, to suppress back-emf. Far as I can tell, they were just trying to get up to 13V (unregulated) for the RF circuit. Not entirely sure why they couldn't have just used a transformer with a different turns ratio, though--.

racketboy wrote:So not being an electrical-gifted person, what should I look for in sourcing these things?

Bulk discounts, I guess. As long as the ripple on the output isn't too bad, and the actual voltage isn't too far out of spec, the linear regulators in the consoles will do most of the heavy lifting. I think it would be difficult to avoid some cheapness in quality for these kinds of power supplies, these days. I think it would be too expensive to engineer something that much better than the competition, considering the market.
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Re: Source of High-Quality Aftermarket Sega AC Adapaters?

by racketboy Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:07 pm

racketboy wrote:So not being an electrical-gifted person, what should I look for in sourcing these things?

Bulk discounts, I guess. As long as the ripple on the output isn't too bad, and the actual voltage isn't too far out of spec, the linear regulators in the consoles will do most of the heavy lifting. I think it would be difficult to avoid some cheapness in quality for these kinds of power supplies, these days. I think it would be too expensive to engineer something that much better than the competition, considering the market.[/quote]

thanks!
What terminology / names should I look for?
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