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The "perfect" Lynx....


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#176 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2016 1:09 PM

I wonder if c39 was helping to buffer the power rail before. Maybe without it your have too much draw?

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LOL....in fact I figured it wouldn't hurt to leave it in so I kept it on the board.....if it doesn't help, it's not in the way either.....at worst it will act as an extra filter for any AC....draw shouldn't be a problem. I measured 700mA max. by the Lynx with McWill screen, the Visaton _and_ the frequency mod at max frequency. I have since removed the frequency mod (for now....) so it should be less. The Powerboost 1000C is capable of 1000mA so there is a pretty high margin....so I don't think it can be the draw....



#177 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2016 2:30 PM

Mmmmmmmm...well I opened the Lynx again and sound is normal....must be something physical....actually quite happy about that, the audio amp is still fine.

While checking the LCD and former LCD "pins" for shorts, I also measured the voltage again.

I was quite surprised to measure only 4.3V when it was running on battery !!!

This shouldn't be happening....but even so....the Lynx works 100% on that voltage, even the LCD works as normal.

Now this is the even stranger thing:

When I hook up the AC adapter the voltage is about 5.15V....exactly as expected. Then,,when I remove the AC adapter connection, the voltage stays at 5.15V..............however, when I then power down the Lynx with the button, and turn it on again, the voltage is only 4.3V !

That's now how it should be IMHO...

But again....the Lynx actually doesn't seem to mind....it works fine, thanks to its CMOS nature I guess.

Anyway the voltage doesn't have any influence on the LCD.....

Going to post about this on the Adafruit forum...they respond very quickly there....

Edited by Level42, Thu Sep 8, 2016 2:33 PM.


#178 cowdog360 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2016 2:41 PM

Hmm, I wonder if the the enable pin has anything to do with it.

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#179 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2016 3:55 PM

Yeah was thinking about that too....but that would be very strange, I even already discussed the set-up with the LTC2950 on the Adafruit forum and they say it should be OK.....

O well..... No time for it anymore until.....next week or so....

#180 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2016 4:12 PM

Oh noes! the dreaded Insert Game screen. I always found it odd they included an Insert Game message that only shows when the game is dirty. Because without a game, you cannot power on at all. :P

Also I'd love to see pick of the components you gutted out if you haven't tossed them yet. ;-)

Weird about that 4.3V thingy. The difference between it and nominal 5V is about the expected .6-.8V range for a silicon diode junction.

#181 7800fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2016 11:19 PM

Oh noes! the dreaded Insert Game screen. I always found it odd they included an Insert Game message that only shows when the game is dirty. Because without a game, you cannot power on at all. :P

Also I'd love to see pick of the components you gutted out if you haven't tossed them yet. ;-)

Weird about that 4.3V thingy. The difference between it and nominal 5V is about the expected .6-.8V range for a silicon diode junction.

 

I wondered about insert game message since it only shows when the cart is inserted but is dirty or defective. Was that an original design before someone ran 5v line through 2 pins to make it act like power enable where disconnecting the cart would cut off power and prevent battery for draining?

 

QcYnULe.jpg

is the battery pack I opened.  10k mAh PNY brand, and it appears to be 4 batteries in parallel with charging circuit in between 2 of them. The 5v input is on the bottom right side of the picture and the output are on right side.  My idea was to carefully rearrainge those batteries so they'd fit inside my Lynx, remove the original power jack, mount the micro USB where the original power jack was, alter the shell to accomodate the mini USB plug, and run the 5v output to where the 5v regulator normally is.

 

The only issue would be low power warning, unless I can figure that out I could just play Lynx until it shuts down unexpectedly. Since the output isn't supposed to go below 5v, the low battery flashing LED on Lynx II probably won't happen. Those chips are frickin' tiny and even with 10x magnifying glass I can't read the number.  Or I could hack Lynx shell and move the 5 LED plus status button from the pack so I could check at the press anytime and start charging when it shows low.


Edited by 7800fan, Thu Sep 8, 2016 11:21 PM.


#182 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2016 11:47 PM

 

I wondered about insert game message since it only shows when the cart is inserted but is dirty or defective. Was that an original design before someone ran 5v line through 2 pins to make it act like power enable where disconnecting the cart would cut off power and prevent battery for draining?

 

It is possible the power design circuit was added after the firmware was finalized. Someone decided it was a good idea to make a system  that could not turn on without the power rail present on the cart connectors.

 

As for low battery indicator, the Li-Ion battery pack outputs 3.7V or a multiple thereof, so a step up DC-DC transformer/regulator IC provides 5V. The voltage on the Li-Ion battery will droop somewhat before it fails to provide sufficient amps. This also occurs with any battery technology, rechargeable or throwaway. Therefore a low battery indicator needs to source the voltage level from the Li-Ion battery pack, not VCC. It's up to the controller whether it cuts the juice cold turkey or slowly browns out as the battery fails to provide adequate current. It is better for long term life expectancy not to allow Li-Ion batteries to deep discharge so most modern controllers use cut-off as opposed to brown out. Also brown out won't damage components but can cause data corruption on smart devices which rely on rewriteable storage. This is a non issue for embedded systems that do not rely on non-volitale storage.

 

Personally I've found it fascinating to watch the failure modes of portable game consoles as the batteries die. Each subsystem goes out at a different time. For my backlight modded DMG gameboy, the red LED fades slowly, then the screen disappears but the audio and CPU continue to run. Finally there's a pop from the speakers indicating final death but the lime green backlight continues to glow long after the system is dead.

 

For Lynx I, The screen starts turning green, and I bump the contrast. It turns more green until the graphics fade, then audio starts getting distorted because the driver can't keep up, followed by a "pop" and the system goes nite-nite.



#183 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:45 PM

Oh noes! the dreaded Insert Game screen. I always found it odd they included an Insert Game message that only shows when the game is dirty. Because without a game, you cannot power on at all. :P

Also I'd love to see pick of the components you gutted out if you haven't tossed them yet. ;-)

Weird about that 4.3V thingy. The difference between it and nominal 5V is about the expected .6-.8V range for a silicon diode junction.

 

 

Well......they couldn't have put :

 

"Please remove the cartridge, get some 96% alcohol and Q-tips, dip a Q-tip in the alcohol and rub the contacts (the metal shiny things on the bottom of the cartridge) with it until all dirt has gone. Get a new Q-tip and repeat if Q-tips stay turning dirty looking. When they stop looking dirty, you're done. Now re-insert the cartridge and power on again !"

 

on that tiny screen, right ? :D

 

I thought I had uploaded the pic with all the gutted parts, but it looks like I didn't, so here it is:
 

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#184 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:50 PM

Well it was a fantastic arcade game weekend at Eurocade 2016 in Oldenburg Germany. The most impressive moment for the weekend for me was while we played a Quadrapong table with friends........ maybe the most simple of video games ever, but even so, playing it with 4 guys (and a bit of alcohol in the blood) was totally AWESOME !!!

Even greater was it that my 14 year old son was there too, and on many, many games it was me and him staying playing until the last moment......and in all modesty....I won most games.......then again, I was the one with the (ahem) most experience with Pong games (= I was the oldest bloke there).

 

Anyway, playing against a human being, and especially some good friends is simply BRILLIANT ! :) 

 

(That's why we need an internet adaption of Comlynx !).

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Edited by Level42, Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:52 PM.


#185 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:02 PM

OK, the screen is still the same and I guess I will take McWill's offer to ship it to him to have a look....

 

In the mean time, I saw a cheap Lynx I on offer on Marktplaats and offered an even lower price since it was a "restoration project". Obviously the screen glass was missing and the battery cover was gone too. This didn't matter for me since I wanted the shell only....and of course I'd keep the PCB for spare parts (f.i., the pot I needed :) )

 

So for 15 euro's I picked it up today. The case is in very very nice condition, even the stickers on the backside.

The reason I needed is because a long time ago......I put the long screws in on the wrong side....and if you screw far/hard enough.......you get two of those nice "bumps" on the left side of the Lynx......which I really do not like ;)

 

Also....I'm currently running some tests to see what the Lipo battery really is.

 

I am charging the Lynx with a power bank. The capacity of this powerbank is about 2500mAh I guess, so I knew it would take several times to charge the Lynx fully.

 

I'm measuring the total mAh with one of those little USB devices....might not be 100% accurate, but I just want to have a rough idea.

The good thing is that it never resets the total time and mAh until you press a button, so you can run multiple charge runs after one another.

 

So I fully charged the power bank, then charged the Lynx with it until the Powerbank was empty, then charged the powerbank again and so on and so on....

 

The picture shows the results after the SECOND run so the lipo is not complete full yet !

 

The charging is running with about 0,60 A. I guess the Raspberry Pi power supply could provide some more amps, but not sure if the Powerboost allows for more charging current.

 

Oh and of course I'm doing all this with the Lynx constantly powered off.

 

Now at the third (and I guess last) run....

 

Anyway, this will give an idea of the real capacity of the Lipo.

 

 

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#186 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:22 AM

Well it was a fantastic arcade game weekend at Eurocade 2016 in Oldenburg Germany. The most impressive moment for the weekend for me was while we played a Quadrapong table with friends........ maybe the most simple of video games ever, but even so, playing it with 4 guys (and a bit of alcohol in the blood) was totally AWESOME !!!

Even greater was it that my 14 year old son was there too, and on many, many games it was me and him staying playing until the last moment......and in all modesty....I won most games.......then again, I was the one with the (ahem) most experience with Pong games (= I was the oldest bloke there).

 

Anyway, playing against a human being, and especially some good friends is simply BRILLIANT ! :)

 

(That's why we need an internet adaption of Comlynx !).

 

 

Nice!  

 

I got to play 4-player 2600 Warlords for the first time in several years at this year's Davis Atari Party. Warlords would be a great title for ComLynx action.

 

But before we start preaching to the choir about ComLynx-to-Internet, let's settle first on getting the emulators supporting ComLynx-to-USB!



#187 pixelperfect OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:53 PM

Awesome! Glad to see you're still plugging away on this. My "perfect" Lynx is pretty much there, just got mine back from cowdog and he did a full refurb (new caps, zener, mosfet, flex, rubber pads, etc), and of course the McWill screen. Now we just need the ultimate battery solution :)



#188 af0l OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 6, 2016 1:18 PM

 
I thought I had uploaded the pic with all the gutted parts, but it looks like I didn't, so here it is:
 


Great job, Level42! It's exactly what I had in mind. I have two Lynx MKII's waiting to go through similar makeover. I have noticed the power section is a bit different than on MKI though. Which parts do you think I could butcher off the board?

One of the lynxes gave up on me after a recap, but luckily it still works if I pipe 5V directly on C41. So I'm thinking if I gut everything ftom there back to the power input, nothing could go wrong, right? :)

#189 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 6, 2016 10:38 PM

How's that giant battery working???



#190 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 7, 2016 4:59 PM

Absolutely brilliant ! I only recharge the Lynx every few weeks. Then again, I don't play that often either.

 

Still need to do a test run to see how long it lasts but it's insanely much better than with the original rechargeable batteries.



#191 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 5:29 AM

Hey CowDog.....did you develop the custom PCB already ? ;)



#192 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:55 AM

Hey CowDog.....did you develop the custom PCB already ? ;)

So we are to designing new PCBs as drop in console replacements now?



#193 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:12 AM

That was CowDog's plan, at least he mentioned that a few time in this thread. It would be awesome. We could add some features like external LEDs.

I guess the hard part is designing the PCB. Production can be done in the far east for little money these days ;)

 

It will never be a "dead easy" mod though. Tracks will have to be cut, (some) components will have to be removed. But it shouldn't be much harder than installing a McWill LCD.



#194 karri OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:10 AM

That was CowDog's plan, at least he mentioned that a few time in this thread. It would be awesome. We could add some features like external LEDs.

I guess the hard part is designing the PCB. Production can be done in the far east for little money these days ;)

 

It will never be a "dead easy" mod though. Tracks will have to be cut, (some) components will have to be removed. But it shouldn't be much harder than installing a McWill LCD.

 

The big problem is the cart connector in this idea.



#195 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:35 AM

?



#196 karri OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:23 PM

Oops. I got the impression to change the inside completely with a new pcb.



#197 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:53 PM

Haha, no.....although.......hah....well who needs a cartridge connector if you could incorporate the SD-card hardware onto that brand new main PCB ;) 

 

Wow. A brand new PCB, all Lynx hardware in FPGA, McWill's screen incorporated....damn would be sweet. But also expensive and a lot of work to develop and produce. Would cost a lot and.....oh well, it's nice to dream a bit ;)

 

 

No, the idea was to develop a small PCB that would incorporate a Powerboost 1000C and some on/off circuitry to keep using the original buttons and maybe one or more simple extra features....

 

You'd need to somewhere break-up the original power circuit, there were the 9V line ends and the 5V "starts" (but we don't really know if there is a good (single) spot for that to be honest, that's why I removed all those parts ;))  You'd insert the output of the designed PCB there..... but it will always require to cut tracks at least to use the original power on/off buttons. Oh and I'm only talking Lynx I....I haven't got a clue how the same idea would work out in a Lynx 2....






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