Okay...so I installed two of the Traco buck converters into my genesis last night. However, I ended up taking them back out...here is why:
So first the good -
Standard stock supply was showing a constant 20va rating while in use overall draw according to the Kill-A-Watt.
The Power Factor indication was showing a steady .67. My understanding is that you want this closer to 1.0 I believe?
It was showing a usage of 16.8 watts while powered on and running Lightening Force in demo/attract mode.
Actual volts from the adapter was showing it was pulling in a steady 13.9 from the AC directly.
With the Traco converters installed I got these readings -
16.5 constant overall VA draw
Power Factor was worse showing .51 constant reading. Again I've read you ideally want this closer to 1.0.
It was only using 6.8watts of power...yeap... much less watts being consumed to operate.
Actual voltage being pulled from the AC to the stock adapter was only 8.9.
So with the exception of the Power Factor rating, it would appear that running a set of these in a genesis with a stock power supply will still be quite the improvement in overall power usage and efficiency.
Now for the bad...
So... the main issue and it was enough to make me put both of the 7805s back in was much louder and whining noise on the audio. Lightening Force (Thunder Force IV) was more obvious and I really couldn't handle it. Additionally, I would also hear a weird rhythmic ticking in the audio line during quiet or silence in the game. And it wasn't a subtle ticking either...very audible and easily picked up. This doesn't happen with the 7805s installed.
The other issue and I'm not sure if it related to the Traco converters or not, is that while TF4 played well enough, I was having more issues than I usually do with Sonic 3 just resetting itself randomly within a few minutes of starting a game. This was made worst with Sonic and Knuckles also rebooting itself constantly within about 60sec of starting a game. If you just left Sonic and Knuckles on long enough, it would eventually start to reboot just after the sega logo or right after displaying the title screen logo. With the 7805s in place, this doesn't happen.
That said...I have noticed that I can't get Sonic3 and Sonic And Knuckles attached to work on my Genesis at all. It will go through frequently reboots as well, and show corrupted graphics...etc. but only with them docked. Played separately they are fine. This is my test bed genesis and has seen a lot of mods done to it over the years...so it could just..be...tired. It has been recapped as of about 2 years ago so that shouldn't be an issue. But it does appear that the Traco converters on a Genesis at least do work for the most part, but present some very audible noise and ticking in the audio and might have issues with some of the more complex games. One game I didn't try out now that I think about it, is Virtua Racing and I likely should have. I also didn't test with the 32x attached.
Honestly with the increased whine in the line level audio and ticks...I just didn't see a point to continue on.
However, I can tell you that the s-video picture quality was completely unaffected by the Traco converters and they do run much much cooler. You can touch them easily and they only get warm. But I did notice the one closed to the power connection gets more warm to low level hot as compared to the one closer to the YM2612 location.
So...those are the results. Less power required and consumed so it does appear to be much more efficient even with a stock power supply. And I assume it would improve even more using a switching power supply. In fact the Kill-A-Watt estimated that running my Genesis with the Traco converters would only cost me about $2 a month if left on constantly... then again my power company rate is roughtly $.13 1/2 cents per kilowatt right now which, isn't a bad rate to begin with.
Now I realize this thread started off talking about using these in a 2600 and for that I'm sure these would be fine to use on most of the other 8-bit systems. I will still see about installing one into my 7800 and possibly changing out the two on the 5200 as well to see if there is any audible line noise or video interference. Again on the Genesis the s-video was not affected by these at all. I did not test composite but would be able to on the 5200 at least when I install it into that. My 7800 has Magic Knight's s-video kit installed and there isn't any composite for that so it is s-video only for that console.
Edited by -^CrožBow^-, Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:25 AM.