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SpaceBooger
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Power Supplies

by SpaceBooger Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:08 am

So I have had a bit of an electrical issue at the house, which made me look into what is plugged in and what is not. While working on this I noticed that I have a SEGA Genesis w/SCD which both use those huge plugs. I have those along with the bricks for my NES and SNES plugged into a separate power strip than my other systems.
My question is, are these things safe after all these years? Is there any reason to purchase a Duo from retrogamecave.com that powers both my Genesis and CD with one adapter along with the one that will power both a NES & SNES?
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Re: Power Supplies

by samsonlonghair Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:27 am

SpaceBooger wrote:So I have had a bit of an electrical issue at the house, which made me look into what is plugged in and what is not. While working on this I noticed that I have a SEGA Genesis w/SCD which both use those huge plugs. I have those along with the bricks for my NES and SNES plugged into a separate power strip than my other systems.
My question is, are these things safe after all these years? Is there any reason to purchase a Duo from retrogamecave.com that powers both my Genesis and CD with one adapter along with the one that will power both a NES & SNES?

Those power supplies are large, but that's only a problem if it bothers you. I've owned and used dozens of Sega power supplies over the years, but I've never had an issue. I do turn off my power strip when I'm not using it.

On the other hand, if the power supplies show signs of corrosion, fraying, or bulging, then throw them out immediately. Safety first. If there's no signs of trouble, then I wouldn't worry about it.

Naturally, if you just simply WANT new power supplies from retrogamecave, then that's a good enough reason. You don't really need them, but that shouldn't stop you from buying something you like. If Duo power supplies would make you happy, then go for it. 8)
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Re: Power Supplies

by Ziggy587 Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:48 am

There's not a lot inside these types of power adapters to go bad. Most of it is just a transformer.

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https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/techni ... rectifier/

The one pictured above has only a transformer, diodes, and a single capacitor. Electrolytic capacitors eventually go bad, but brand name devices like this almost always use good parts. Your Sega and Nintendo brand power adapters should be good for a long time, the quality is probably better than any generic power adapter you could buy today. My suggestion for replacement power adapters is always to use a good brand name.

Using a remote is a good idea. I've been using these for a while...

https://www.amazon.com/Woods-13569-Indo ... ef=sr_1_29?

Not for turning off my retro console power adapters, but I've been using them for other things for years now. There are plenty of other types of remotes like this though, including some that do more than 3 like this one that does 5...

https://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Househo ... ref=sr_1_3?

Frayed wires and that sort of thing are definitely a huge concern. But if the adapter is in good condition, and it's a Sega brand, I wouldn't worry.
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Re: Power Supplies

by marurun Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:53 am

Those older power supplies are less efficient, and therefore waste a little power, but they shouldn't cause problems for your home's electrical system. Maybe replace any old power strips you have, though. The MOVs in power strips that absorb surges typically have a limit to how much they can absorb, and when they are done they no longer offer any protection. And if you have a refrigerator or freezer or AC on the same electrical line, the power they push back down the line when the compressor comes on will slowly wear down your power strips, even without discreet events.
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Re: Power Supplies

by Ziggy587 Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:01 am

marurun wrote:Maybe replace any old power strips you have, though. The MOVs in power strips that absorb surges typically have a limit to how much they can absorb, and when they are done they no longer offer any protection.


Good point. I always like to offer this as a PSA because it seems that 99% of people don't know this. That and that there's a difference between a "power strip" and a "surge protector," some people think they're all one and the same. But yeah, most better made surge protectors will have a light indicator that will let you know the condition. Belkin surge protectors have a "protected" light that if it ever goes out indicates that you need to replace it.
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Re: Power Supplies

by SpaceBooger Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:13 am

I don't know what was causing the problem - we had a "fishy" smell in the basement near the CRT TV. We read that that smell could be from overheating electrical issues. I checked every outlet and every light socket near the smell and the surrounding rooms. The only other thing I could figure was either it was the old Sony Trinitron CRT TV or the surge protector I bought from Radio Shack in the 1990s. I replaced the surge protector and am keeping an eye on the TV. The problem occurred twice in the afternoon at about the same time each day. On both days the pool pump was running along with the whole house AC was running, the window AC unit in the upstairs (cape cod house with little to no air circulation in the 2nd floor and always about a 10 degree difference - hot in summer and colder in winter) as were two PC's a Plasma TV w\XBOX One and the CRT with a Roku (remember I have 5 kids) for about 3 hours. The second time the sump pumps were running almost constantly since it was raining heavy all day. The TV was plugged into the old surge protector so both or either could be the problem. Since replacing the surge protector we have not had screen time for over 2 hours at a time since it's been nice out and the smell hasn't returned. I don't know what the cause was but if it comes back I have narrowed it down. On a side note, I did have someone look at my main breaker box and he saw nothing wrong with it.
After all of that smell stuff I put the 4 "bricks" (2 Sega & 2 Nintendo) on a newer Belkin protector and turn it off when not in use. The TV, Dreamcast and Saturn are in the new surge protector with a light to indicate it's working.

Thank you for the advise, you just helped me save $95 on two products that would be awesome but not needed.

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Re: Power Supplies

by Ziggy587 Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:30 am

SpaceBooger wrote:I don't know what was causing the problem - we had a "fishy" smell in the basement near the CRT TV.


That's very unsettling. I don't blame you, I would have checked everything as well!

A couple of months ago my brother and I were remodeling my parents' kitchen. I replaced all of the outlets, added a few new outlets, and added a bunch of lighting. After I was done wiring everything and had the electric back on with the new lights on, there was one point that my brother and I both smelled that kind of "fishy" smell. Like maybe electrical overheating or burning smell. Since I had just done all of that work with the electric, I was naturally very concerned that maybe I fucked something up. It turned out to be nothing. I'm not sure where that smell came from, but it went away and never came back.
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Re: Power Supplies

by Anapan Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:56 am

I've kept every power supply for every system plugged in constantly for ever. Never had a problem. Tested most of them with a multimeter a couple of years ago and they are all operating within specifications.
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Re: Power Supplies

by Nemoide Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:18 am

BTW, this might be relevant: I found a modder who restores old Sega power supplies.

According to him, there's a good amount that can go wrong with an old power supply. It might not make your console explode or anything, but the quality may degrade over time.
If you really want peace of mind, a restoration is not a bad option! (It also looks simple enough to do yourself if you're handy with a soldering iron.)
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Re: Power Supplies

by Mad_Hatter Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:35 am

I highly recommend those duo/trio power adapters for Sega consoles. It's basically one power brick for the Genesis/Mega Drive, 32x, and Sega CD. It's $60 bucks, but future proofs your Genesis setup in case you expand with a 32x and CD. And it's nice to save on power brick space. There was no room for those clunky power bricks in my setup.

I bought one years ago from retrogamecave, I believe. Though, I feel my model was a little different. The brick was in the middle and not on the end. If I remember correctly, I think there was an option to which one you preferred. I chose to have a lead cord come out of the power brick to reduce outlet space. This really helped me.

They are currently out of stock though.

You have this one too, but I never bought from them

If you buy one of these, make sure you buy the insulators for the systems you don't have at the moment. If you leave one of those plugs hanging, it can cause issue as there is live power going through them.



Nemoide wrote:BTW, this might be relevant: I found a modder who restores old Sega power supplies.

According to him, there's a good amount that can go wrong with an old power supply. It might not make your console explode or anything, but the quality may degrade over time.
If you really want peace of mind, a restoration is not a bad option! (It also looks simple enough to do yourself if you're handy with a soldering iron.)

$25.00 seems a little steep for a power brick mod. I would rather just donate my old power bricks to him so he could resell them all together for 25.00 or something. Since you could still buy an old power brick for about 15.00.

Shipping a power brick out isn't that cheap since they are heavy and can't be sent first class.
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