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SpaceBooger
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Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by SpaceBooger Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:26 pm

Ok, so I am playing through Albert Odyssey and I left the game running to help my 2-year-old only to come back and find that my 5-year-old played through the boss battle I was on and the console was back on the intro screen. I do not know if she lost and the game was over and reset or if she did something to reset it (the buttons on the console itself). Anyway, when I went to play it again the console restarted and then didn't recognize the disk. I powered it off and tried again, no luck. I tried another copy of the game - no luck. I tried my original, but scratched, copy of the game and it didn't work either. I finally got it to boot again and it restarted about 5 minutes in and would not recognize the disc.

My Saturn is a modded Model 1 from 1996. It has the chip I bought here at racketboy and I tried two burned copies along with my original copy of Albert Odyssey. I did boot up Magic Knight Rayearth (burnt) and it started but I did not play through it to see if it would restart. So maybe it is a game issue... but really I don't think that is it.

I looked around the internet and see that this could be either a laser or PSU issue. I cleaned the laser and did a couple of things I found on the internet and will try again this afternoon to see if the PSU was overheating. I also opened up the console and checked there were no broken or leaking caps on the PSU. I did find a replacement PSU on eBay for $12 that looks different but is the same version "C". Before I buy that I was wondering if anyone here has had a rebooting problem to compare issues and see what else I should try.
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Anapan
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by Anapan Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:14 am

Damn. That sucks. I have the exact same as you described.
One time I found that my 4-in-1 was causing boot problems.
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by SpaceBooger Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:45 pm

Ok, so I played around with the pot more to adjust the laser's power and nothing. The only thing that happened is that it stopped spinning on its own. If I move the laser almost all the way in towards the disc spindle. Speaking of the spindle, I tried adjusting the tray height and that does not seem to matter either. Same thing, no spinning.
I have had some luck getting a game to load partially but then it freezes and nothing happens. Shining the Holy Ark (original disc) it gets to the blue text that says "now loading" and just stays there forever. In Albert Odyssey, it will start, load a game, but freeze as battle loads.
I tried a new laser (from amazon) and nothing happened just the same exact errors. Now I'm thinking its the PSU. Any other suggestions or ideas?
Thanks!
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by Ziggy587 Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:41 pm

I would uninstall the mod chip and see if that does anything. It's easy enough to uninstall and reinstall since it's only two wires.
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by SpaceBooger Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:11 pm

I was wrong, I had a model 1 Saturn, but this is a model 2 round button that I modded. I tried taking out the modchip and just connecting it like normal and nothing happened have me a red blob of the left side of the UI instead of the yellow cube.
I did not remove the wires. I only have a power wire and I connected the points on the chip instead of talking it to the Saturn board. This worked like that for over 10 years.
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by Ziggy587 Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:38 pm

I would try removing the chip including removing the power wire.
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by SpaceBooger Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:38 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:I would try removing the chip including removing the power wire.

Ok. Unsoldered it... Same issues. I'm thinking its a PSU issue, so I am trying that next.

If I cant get this to work, Ill look for a new Saturn or something... Man this sucks.
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by Ziggy587 Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:01 pm

Well luckily replacement PSUs are fairly cheap and easy to swap in. The only thing is, if you get a used OEM PSU from eBay, you have to trust that it doesn't have the same issue that yours is having. For example, the seller might list it as "tested, works" because the console simply turned on. But it could have the same loading/reset problem yours has, but the seller didn't bother to test it that far.

There are aftermarket PSUs now available for Saturn that work off of a DC power brick. Not sure the quality of those, but they exist!

You could also try and recap your PSU, cap kits for them are cheap from Console 5...

https://console5.com/store/cap-kits/con ... aturn.html

Not sure of your skill level for soldering, but recapping the PSU would be relatively easy. I'm pretty sure they only have through hole electrolytic caps, which are fairly easy to desolder with only a soldering iron (and no special desoldering equipment). You could also try recapping the motherboard, but that will be a little harder since I believe they have surface mounted caps. It's really not too hard to do if you check out a few videos, but this is where novices tend to cause more damage by lifted pads and traces.

I would also readjust the laser pot so that it's not unnecessarily running too hot. Did you take a reading before adjusting it? That's always recommended.
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by SpaceBooger Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:20 pm

I have a used PSU on the way from eBay. If that doesn't work I'll try a cap kit like you linked. Thanks.
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Re: Saturn Randomly Restarting?

by SpaceBooger Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:04 pm

PSU caps look good... I can not figure out what the problem is. Like I said I was playing walked away. My daughter picked up the controller, lost a battle.... or something and it was at the game's title screen. Since then no game would play more than one "in game loading screen" and now the disc won't even spin even after a new laser was installed.
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