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Betagam7
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Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan.

by Betagam7 Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:51 am

I finally got hold of the Core Grafx system I've been waiting for but I've encountered a few problems and I'd like to get some advice if possible.

I made a pretty dumb mistake in my eagerness to get it up and running. I had assumed that Japan used the same voltage as Thailand (since I've always charged up my portable Super Famicom here fine). That was a mistake as about ten seconds later I heard a pop as the AC adaptor overloaded.

I feared I had fried the Core Grafx unit but thankfully this has turned out not to be the case (probably because it wasn't switched on at the time or properly connected up).

I took a trip to nearby game store and purchased a similar adaptor probably used to power the famiclones they sell. It takes in the correct voltage for Thailand and outputs 9 volts DC which is what I believe the PC engine unit takes.

Switching it on I got a flickering purple image (worryingly identified online as: Purple screen of death), however after trying a different cart I was relieved to see the Hudson soft logo show up...but then freeze.

I realised I had another similar adaptor for the TV Boy (a knockoff gameboy/famicom device I bought a while ago.) This one, however, only outputs 6v.

I tried this one and got a much better picture with Populous and the game ran normally, recognising controller inputs, etc. Although I get some kind of odd refresh effect like a line moving down the screen. I tried it with New Zealand Story and while that game now loaded, the image was very wobbly and seemed to be getting a lot of interference.

The 9v power supply has also since produced similar types of image.

At this point I'm relieved that the PC Engine seems to have avoided being fried by my dumb mistake but I'm unclear what the problem with the display is. It further occurred to me that the TV (which is an old CRTV) might just be 50hz only and this might be causing a problem/that the AV output is somehow faulty or that it's a problem of voltage.

I remember now why I usually stick to handhelds living in this part of the world. :lol:

Does anyone have any advice that might help me get to the bottom of the problem because, as I've ably demonstrated, I'm quite hopeless with this technical electrical stuff and don't want to blow up the console or myself?
Betagam7
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Betagam7 Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:38 am

Here are some pics illustrating what I mean.

This is the 9v power supply and what Populous looks like running on it:

Image

Image

The image is wobbly, flickery and distorted in Populous. NewZealand story won't load.

Here's the 6v power supply.

Image

And now Populous looks like this:

Image

Lovely and clear but what the picture doesn't show is the "rolling"effect, like a watermark sweeping down the screen again and again.

Unfortunately using this power source, New Zealand Story now loads but looks like this:

Image

So I can't figure out if the problem lies with the power sources, the AV output or the TV. It also doesn't help that the two games also act completely differently! :x
Betagam7
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Betagam7 Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:29 am

Okay, got a new HD tv today. Tried the same process on that. Both games now displaying properly with the 6v power unit (suggesting that the old CRTV wasn't helping) although I'm still getting the wavy looking refresh lines scrolling down the screen.

With the 9v power unit, Populous again loads but New Zealand Story doesn't.

I'm puzzled. :|

I think I'm going to try and get another official power source and run it through a converter to properly simulate the 100v in 9v out that the PC Engine would have used in Japan.

If the wavy refresh lines still show then would an AV booster be an idea?

Anyone?

Merry Christmas by the way. :lol:

EDIT: Found this discussion about using a 3V out. Might that be the solution?

https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=543.0
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Anayo
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Anayo Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:39 am

Reading this topic makes me feel somewhat disheartened, since the only way I've been able to play the PC Engine so far is through emulation. Ebay prices are really high and I've never even seen one in the wild. When I looked into the difference between the North American and Japanese hardware, I felt like the Japanese one was way cooler looking, but it appears that getting the darn thing to work in this continent is such a hassle. From what I understand the games aren't even region-free, either.
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nightrnr
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by nightrnr Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:08 pm

One observation,
I think the amperage on both power supplies are a little low.
A Core Grafx should be 9v, 800mA.
That may be the issue.

I love my Core Grafx. Looks so cute and awesome. I have an everdrive and use a couple adapters to play with a Saturn pad. Gaming bliss right there.
Just need a couple more controllers and a multi tap so I can have a Bomberman party with it.
...just another lost soul...
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Thierry Henry
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Thierry Henry Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:19 pm

I use a regulated power supply with my Coregrafx, so I don't have to worry about step-down voltage converters and such. Works great.

This one here.

Image

Don't be put off by the "be use only at home" lol
and someone clearly having scribbled the polarity markings.

The Coregrafx, according to the specs, needs 800mA. Mine is 1A. But that's ok. In terms of the amperage, the system will only draw what it needs.



For future reference,

the PC Engine/Turbografx Power Supply list,


Image
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Betagam7
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Betagam7 Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:37 pm

Thierry Henry wrote:I use a regulated power supply with my Coregrafx, so I don't have to worry about step-down voltage converters and such. Works great.

This one here.

Image

Don't be put off by the "be use only at home" lol
and someone clearly having scribbled the polarity markings.

The Coregrafx, according to the specs, needs 800mA. Mine is 1A. But that's ok. In terms of the amperage, the system will only draw what it needs.



For future reference,

the PC Engine/Turbografx Power Supply list,


Image


Thank you so much for the reply. Do you think the lower ampage is what is causing the display issues?

Here in Thailand the output is 220V so I think that's what blew the original powerpack as it was only designed to take in the 100V outputted in Japan. Am I right in this observation?

I hadn't considered the ampage being to low, I had just looked at the 9V output as being the important factor.

I have seen those kind of powerpacks on ebay (like the one you have that ranges 100-240). If I got one of those and ran it through the correct pin adaptor, do you think this might solve my problem?

Thank you again for your detailed response.

Sorry, I really am a hopelessly new to this stuff and didn't know anything about electronics before this. Finally, would you say there is any risk of me damaging the Coregrafx unit by using these lower powered power packs. I have only used it for minutes at a time so far because the console wasn't cheap and I'm scared of blowing it up! :?

Anayo wrote:Reading this topic makes me feel somewhat disheartened, since the only way I've been able to play the PC Engine so far is through emulation. Ebay prices are really high and I've never even seen one in the wild. When I looked into the difference between the North American and Japanese hardware, I felt like the Japanese one was way cooler looking, but it appears that getting the darn thing to work in this continent is such a hassle. From what I understand the games aren't even region-free, either.


Don't be disheartened. Let's use this topic to help PCE newbies like us get set-up. Information is scarce on the internet about this so let's pool the knowledge of experienced users here and maybe we can get more new users for what is a really interesting console.

How much are you looking to pay? The Coregrafx 1 unit I got cost me about $70 US imported from Japan. You can get them for less than the $100+ BIN prices if you scout around.
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Thierry Henry
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Thierry Henry Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:23 pm

Here in Thailand the output is 220V so I think that's what blew the original powerpack as it was only designed to take in the 100V outputted in Japan. Am I right in this observation?

Correct.

Over in this neck of the woods we run off 220-240V. So similar to yours.

I have seen those kind of powerpacks on ebay (like the one you have that ranges 100-240). If I got one of those and ran it through the correct pin adaptor, do you think this might solve my problem?

At the very least you'll be ruling out that as a factor.


Finally, would you say there is any risk of me damaging the Coregrafx unit by using these lower powered power packs.

Well it's certainly not helping the situation.

Years ago when I bought my PC Engine Duo, the seller shipped it with a power supply with too low of an amperage than what was needed. The system used to overheat until I got the correct spec power supply for it.
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Anayo
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Anayo Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:02 pm

Betagam7 wrote:
Anayo wrote:Reading this topic makes me feel somewhat disheartened, since the only way I've been able to play the PC Engine so far is through emulation. Ebay prices are really high and I've never even seen one in the wild. When I looked into the difference between the North American and Japanese hardware, I felt like the Japanese one was way cooler looking, but it appears that getting the darn thing to work in this continent is such a hassle. From what I understand the games aren't even region-free, either.


Don't be disheartened. Let's use this topic to help PCE newbies like us get set-up. Information is scarce on the internet about this so let's pool the knowledge of experienced users here and maybe we can get more new users for what is a really interesting console.

How much are you looking to pay? The Coregrafx 1 unit I got cost me about $70 US imported from Japan. You can get them for less than the $100+ BIN prices if you scout around.


That depends on whether you ask Gamer Anayo or Collector Anayo. Gamer Anayo's happy with real hardware, repro carts, CD-R's, emulation, whatever. Collector Anayo's more of a snob, but if I put him in charge I'll run out of money.
Betagam7
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Re: Help needed getting a PC engine working outside of Japan

by Betagam7 Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:52 am

Thierry Henry wrote:
Here in Thailand the output is 220V so I think that's what blew the original powerpack as it was only designed to take in the 100V outputted in Japan. Am I right in this observation?

Correct.

Over in this neck of the woods we run off 220-240V. So similar to yours.

I have seen those kind of powerpacks on ebay (like the one you have that ranges 100-240). If I got one of those and ran it through the correct pin adaptor, do you think this might solve my problem?

At the very least you'll be ruling out that as a factor.


Finally, would you say there is any risk of me damaging the Coregrafx unit by using these lower powered power packs.

Well it's certainly not helping the situation.

Years ago when I bought my PC Engine Duo, the seller shipped it with a power supply with too low of an amperage than what was needed. The system used to overheat until I got the correct spec power supply for it.


Thank you so much for your help with this. I have been looking on ebay to find a similar device. They all seem to come with the British 3 pin plug but that can be easily fixed with a travel adaptor (it only takes about a week to import from the UK wheras I probably won't find anything suitable locally as I live on an island). I've been trying to find something close to yours and found this one:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/9V-Negative-P ... xylpNTTmSg

Do you think that would do the job? I really appreciate your advice and knowledge in this area.
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