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What would you require in a retro-console repair/mod kit?

Question Console Repair Tools

21 replies to this topic

#1 RockyRaccoon ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:12 PM

Hello!

 

I've been thinking about getting back into retro console repair and modification. I attempted to, a long while back, but then my life got kind of dumped on.

 

NOW that I have the time and money to get back into the hobby, I wanna get back to trying to learn.

 

What would you include in a retro-console repair kit? What sizes of tools? and so on.



#2 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:25 PM

Rags, paper towels, tissue, alcohol, goo-gone, magic eraser cleaning sponge.  Take broken things apart and see what you need in parts.

 

Tools? Depends on what you're going to work on...  I'd start with basic screwdrivers (#2 phillips) and a pocket knife, maybe a couple of security bits, depending on consoles you're working on. 

 

When a need for a new tool comes up, go get it.  Can get into soldering, fabrication, meters and scopes, depending on how far you want to go...


Edited by fiddlepaddle, Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:27 PM.


#3 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:26 PM

That's not an easy thing to answer. It's going to depend on what consoles and what you are going to be doing to them. Also, are you talking about selling kits or people sending their stuff to you for repair/modding?



#4 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:30 PM

I might try to take some pictures of my bench to show you some of my stuff(once I clean it and my work station no longer looks like a pig sty).  You are going to need a bit of everything if you are going to be working on multiple systems and other electronics.  You will want a screwdriver set with torx bits.  You will want the security bits for NES systems, NES/Sega carts.  A good soldering station and desoldering gun/iron.

 

As far as test equipment I will put in order of importance what I think you would need.

 

Multimeter

ESR Meter

Logic Probe

LCR Meter

Bench Supply - dual supply if you can get(this might need to be above a couple others in the list actually)

Dual Channel Oscilloscope with XY mode

Build an octopus (curve trace)circuit for the scope  http://http://www.ja...s-curve-tracer/ (having this for the scope helps tremendously)

 

Also I recommend getting certain parts to have on hand like 7805 regulators, have an assortment of 1/4 watt resistors, and electrolytic capacitors.


Edited by SignGuy81, Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:31 PM.


#5 Eltigro OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:40 PM

Just recently opened an OG XBox for the first time and it needed Torx heads. T10 and T20. It didnt need the security type, but security bits will work on both security and non security so they might be the better choice.

Also, a 4.5mm security gamebit (not sure what other name they might go by) opens up a TurboGrafx and Genesis carts and I think some Nintendo systems (SNES and later maybe?). Regular NES takes a regular Philips I think.

Other than those... maybe a small flat scraper... like a razor or exacto with a flat edge... perpendicular to the handle, for scraping labels, stickers, rubber feet...

A small pointed pick, like a dentist tool or something... for pulling or straightening pins or such...

Dont know how far youre wanting to go, but a multimeter and a soldering iron could be beneficial, too.

Not sure what else. Only recently starting to get into repair myself...

#6 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:55 PM

Repair kit?  Are you driving the console on a road trip?



#7 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:03 PM

What everyone else said, and

DeoxIT

Some form of magnification

Light

Bench/table/desk

Power bar

Monitor/TV with required inputs



#8 Eltigro OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:09 PM

Oh yeah, definitely some kind of light... I forgot I often use one of those head lamps (like an LED flashlight on a headband) so I can light things up hands free. 



#9 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:16 PM

omg rags and cleaners

 

at a minimum those blue "shop" towels, or hardware stores sell bags of cotton painters rags, you will destroy a standard roll of paper towels in a heartbeat 

 

dollar tree sell's 1 up magic erasers, and while you are in there get some LA's totally Awesome spray cleaner / degreaser best shit on earth, maybe a scrub brush you can use in the sink without using the one for dishes 

 

tools ... standard and phillips head screwdriver kit, walmart sell's one that has like 4 of each and a wall holder for not much of anything, um tweezers, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, and none of those 3 are found in the hardware section of walmart, go to the craft section for more appropriate sized model's for bead and jewelry work 

 

soldering iron, multimeter, some sort of magnifying glass, sharp hobby / box knife doesnt hurt (well it can so dont stab yourself) and a sharpie 

 

think that's about the most used tools in my modding adventures 



#10 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:23 PM

I decided to go ahead and take pictures of my mess anyway.  I work 40 or more hours a week and just haven't had time to clean it since my last project(plus I've been sick with a respiratory infection).  But I seen a few things I failed to mention above but that shelf comes in handy to set projects on that I have to return to later.  Also realized I forgot to mention a hot glue gun, as that comes in very handy.

 

 

PTDC0245.JPG PTDC0246.JPG PTDC0247.JPG PTDC0248.JPG PTDC0249.JPG PTDC0251.JPG


Edited by SignGuy81, Mon Jan 8, 2018 8:07 PM.


#11 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:42 PM

SG reminded me, you need a TV! though at one point I was using a tv capture card in my PC A tv is much handier, he has a CRT model I have a 13 inch LCD, which I use as a secondary screen to my shop PC 

 

having a PC handy is good for looking up tips and documents and whatnot without having to get up and go somewhere being distracted by chores or whatnot along the way, I have a dedicated machine (just an old 2008 era dual core) but I do a lot of vintage pc stuff as well, just a laptop will do 

 

it is nice having a dedicated workbench pc cause I can clutter it up with datasheets and documents and programs I dont give a crap about away from the bench, but its not needed, just handy 



#12 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:44 PM

I'm going to second Osgeld definitely if you have room for PC(or maybe even a tablet to have in the area) as I'm constantly having to sometimes go back and forth remembering pinouts or drawing out pinouts or schematics(I have a 3d printer but not a regular one, lol) because I don't have a PC in my area and it would save a lot of time if I could just do it there.


Edited by SignGuy81, Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:45 PM.


#13 icemanxp300 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 8:02 PM

Depends on what you are hoping to accomplish. I fix systems to a point but still on a very minor scale. Even swapping simple things like a voltage regulator or replacing a cap you are going to need a soldering iron and a de-soldering gun.

 

For what I do, I have:

 

soldering iron, desoldering gun, solder, wic, flux, sandpaper, wire (ide and cat5)

wire cutters/strippers, needle nose pliers, multi-meter, exhaust fan

gloves, goggles, face mask, many different screwdrivers, torx bits

security bits, dremel, deoxit (red and gold), q-tips, alcohol, goo gone

goof-off (use w/extreme care) grease lightning, cordless drill



#14 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 8:03 PM

I forgot to mention and you can't see it in the pic(it is what the back side of the socket and switch box is hooked into) but for when using the oscope, get an isolation transformer.  It is recommended to run power to the isolation transformer then to the DUT(device under test), not the oscope.  This isolation transformer is important because lets say I am working on a board and I think I'm clipping my ground on my oscillocope to a ground point on the board, but I accidentally hook it to a hot point on the board instead.  Well, if both units aren't electrically isolated from each other then it causes a problem.



#15 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 8:12 PM

well in regards to starting to get into lab grade equipment vs just starting off the op will have to make the decision on how far down the rabbit hole to go

 

I have a mini lab going on as well, but I do work in electronics professionally  



#16 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 9:06 PM

Don't forget those helping-hands alligator clips and magnifying glass. Those are invaluable for many soldering and gluing operations. And have a variety of test leads for your scope and dmm. Especially handy are the ones that can clip/latch onto a ground area, thus alleviating the needs to always manipulate 2 probes at one time.

 

And don't forget other clips and clamps like a mini-vice or forceps.

 

Dielectric grease

 

A selection of adhesives and velcro and different kinds of tape, masking, electrical, scotch clear, packing, duck, double-sided.

 

Breadboard

 

I.C. Extractor


Edited by Keatah, Mon Jan 8, 2018 9:15 PM.


#17 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 9:19 PM


 

I.C. Extractor

 

What for?  I watched a swampfox tutorial.  All you have to do is partially desolder some pins and then take a screwdriver and pry them up.



#18 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 9:24 PM

blowtorch



#19 icemanxp300 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 9:49 PM

I.C. Extractor

 

I actually purchased one of those but I don't use it. Not sure what good it is because unless the chip is loose enough to fall out in your hand those extractors are not pulling out shit. If the chip falls out in your hand anyhow what's the point?



#20 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 9:57 PM

It can be more of a help with surface mount ICs but I use a suction puller for those usually.



#21 RockyRaccoon ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 9, 2018 2:44 AM

Wow, thanks for the replies guys.

 

Basically I'd be getting into this more as a hobby thing than to do it for people or do it as a business, for the person who asked above.

 

I just wanted to know the things I should probably look into ahead of time!



#22 HoshiChiri OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 9, 2018 8:59 AM

I don't mod, I'm just starting to learn how to open things up for very basic cleaning & repair.

 

As a very basic starting point, I'd look into either the Sliverhill multi-console tool set or the Kobalt Precision screwdriver set. The Kobalt is more compact & better quality, but the Sliverhill is more gaming specific. Either way, you'll need to invest in a gamebit set (I like Sliverhill or Atlin) as well. It's not everything you'll need, but it's enough to get started- just be sure to look up a disassembly guide before you open something to see if you'll need extra tools.

 

For cleaning, get a some good isopropyl alcohol (minimum 90%), some q-tips and some cotton rounds. That's the bare minimum. There's a lot of other stuff I keep around (1-up cards, old cleaning kits from the 90s, goo gone, acetone nail polish remover, microfiber cleaning cloths, soft washcloths, small paintbrushes, Gamestop's scratch repair fluid, lemon furniture polish, etc.)- but that's my methods. Everybody does it differently, so your supplies could vary. 

 

I can't help with repair advice, I don't solder. 







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