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Problems with new Harmony cart


33 replies to this topic

#26 EvoMikeUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:49 AM

It is going to be funny when it comes out that those AV (RGB) mods cause damage to 2600 in long term...

Those single transistor solutions are a terrible mod, they worry me.



#27 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:36 PM

Yes. And it'll more likely happen as the consoles age and their specs go marginal.



#28 EvoMikeUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:38 AM

Yes. And it'll more likely happen as the consoles age and their specs go marginal.

 

Every time I get a new old console, I service it as best I can. Re-solder the mainboards, new capacitors, regulators... clean up contacts, colour calibrations (and/or optical drive calibrations). I try to avoid poorly designed mod "hacks" and stick to proper solutions where possible.

The state of most consoles being sold on eBay and the like are truly appalling at times. 


Edited by EvoMikeUK, Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:40 AM.


#29 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:57 AM

Every time I get a new old console, I service it as best I can. Re-solder the mainboards, new capacitors, regulators... clean up contacts, colour calibrations (and/or optical drive calibrations). I try to avoid poorly designed mod "hacks" and stick to proper solutions where possible.

 

It would be interesting to know the specifics of how you calibrate the optical drives, what parameters and how you measure them. And what the source/test disc is.

 

As some of these consoles approach 40 and 50 years of age the list of PM actions is only going to grow longer. Soon we'll need some sort of "official" school or class that teaches the general techniques and tools needed to keep them running. Or even get them running in the first place. The only other solutions are emulation and new hardware. And not everyone likes emulation, despite all its advantages.

 

Floppy disks weren't made to last the 30-40 years they already have. Semiconductor chips and ROMs in cartridges are supposed to be good for about 200 years. And i used to think that too. But it may be shorter considering the increasing number of carts that work on one system and not another. Parts are falling out of tolerance. Make no mistake.

 

---

 

Having to perform mods on consoles is neither good nor bad. It's yet another form of PM. It's a sign of a console aging. Maybe not manifesting through out-of-spec parts, but through obsolescence of standards and expectations.

 

Standards: Because consumer display devices are becoming less supportive of what consoles output.

Expectations: Because we "are being spoiled" with the consistency and clarity of new displays.

 

Some may think it sad that our hobby is changing because of no good reason for abandoning analog inputs or making them less compatible over time. Unfortunately the television manufacturers aren't going to all-of-a-sudden change their stance. It isn't even on their radar.

 

Classic gaming is firmly in the digital domain with NO analog go-between. And as far as I'm concerned consoles undergoing mods are indeed undergoing repairs. Repairs to bring fringe video-output characteristics (even when new) back into official specification.

 

Harsh? It's an accurate description.

 

The state of most consoles being sold on eBay and the like are truly appalling at times. 

 

Years ago, when eBay was new, I rarely had to ask the condition of what I was buying. Today it's a constant battle, especially when you're paying bigbux for something.

 

I recently bought a Communications Card for the Apple II, it operated at 110/300 baud. With mods to take it to 1200/4800. The card was stored in a place where water or condensation could drip onto it. So I had to do some cleanup and oxidation removal on some of the ICs and their sockets. It was pretty cheap compared against what they normally sell for so I didn't complain. But I did spend about 4 hours working on it.


Edited by Keatah, Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:46 AM.


#30 EvoMikeUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:29 AM

 

It would be interesting to know the specifics of how you calibrate the optical drives, what parameters and how you measure them. And what the source/test disc is.

 

As some of these consoles approach 40 and 50 years of age the list of PM actions is only going to grow longer. Soon we'll need some sort of "official" school or class that teaches the general techniques and tools needed to keep them running. Or even get them running in the first place. The only other solutions are emulation and new hardware. And not everyone likes emulation, despite all its advantages.

 

Floppy disks weren't made to last the 30-40 years they already have. Semiconductor chips and ROMs in cartridges are supposed to be good for about 200 years. And i used to think that too. But it may be shorter considering the increasing number of carts that work on one system and not another. Parts are falling out of tolerance. Make no mistake.

 

---

 

Having to perform mods on consoles is neither good nor bad. It's yet another form of PM. It's a sign of a console aging. Maybe not manifesting through out-of-spec parts, but through obsolescence of standards and expectations.

 

Standards: Because consumer display devices are becoming less supportive of what consoles output.

Expectations: Because we "are being spoiled" with the consistency and clarity of new displays.

 

Some may think it sad that our hobby is changing because of no good reason for abandoning analog inputs or making them less compatible over time. Unfortunately the television manufacturers aren't going to all-of-a-sudden change their stance. It isn't even on their radar.

 

Classic gaming is firmly in the digital domain with NO analog go-between. And as far as I'm concerned consoles undergoing mods are indeed undergoing repairs. Repairs to bring fringe video-output characteristics (even when new) back into official specification.

 

Harsh? It's an accurate description.

 

 

Years ago, when eBay was new, I rarely had to ask the condition of what I was buying. Today it's a constant battle, especially when you're paying bigbux for something.

 

I recently bought a Communications Card for the Apple II, it operated at 110/300 baud. With mods to take it to 1200/4800. The card was stored in a place where water or condensation could drip onto it. So I had to do some cleanup and oxidation removal on some of the ICs and their sockets. It was pretty cheap compared against what they normally sell for so I didn't complain. But I did spend about 4 hours working on it.

 

Optical drives on some consoles such as Playstations (being a great example here) often become worn or out of tolerance after heavy use over their life-cycle. On the board you can measure voltages across test points to see if the drive is operating at it's best or not. I tend to find slow-loading consoles and noisy ones, or ones that have troubles with CD-R media, need calibration. You then adjust the potentiometers on the board to bring the voltages back in line and then you tend to get a quieter, more accurate and reliable console as a result, that will last a bit longer.



#31 EvoMikeUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:34 AM

Ok, the Harmony Cart is now working but only with a very small selection of USB Cables.



#32 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:43 AM

What sort of cables? What's common?



#33 EvoMikeUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:09 AM

What sort of cables? What's common?

I have around 7 Mini USB cables that fit on the Harmony Cart in my house, only one, one out of those 7, allows me to connect it to my computer and send data to it. All other cables show an unrecognised device.

So I managed to get to the bottom of my issue, so now ordering various brands of cables to see what works, as the cable that works is 30cm and I need longer.



#34 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:03 AM

xkcd from last week

usb_cables.png




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