Thanks for the info, I did reach out to Opcode and might send it to them for diagnostics. A friend is letting me borrow his by mail, though he hasn't used it in a long time either. If it works, I know it is the SGM. If it doesn't, I might still send mine in for diagnostics cause I'm not 100% sure his is fine, while I look for a new console (after of course taking mine apart and checking for visible damage to the port). The SGM and console both worked great, and the pins on my console look pristine. I did clean them a little to be sure, but it didn't change anything. Even if I was lucky when it worked a few months ago, I'd think the 25 or so tries I've given of plugging/removing it would have resulted in one success if there wasn't damage to either the SGM or the console. I don't know who might have dropped what and not told me after all lol.
I tried holding down # while powering the system on with the SGM installed but it resulted in the same message. I tried on each controller, but no change in behavior. Does this apply to all SGM games? I was trying with Penguin Adventure. All games and everything worked great a few months ago. I do also use the Module 1 adapter for Atari games and it works great.
If it does end up being my system, I'm going to look for either someone to do mods, or some help, as the one I currently have has really clear RCA output, an internal power supply, and some other mods. Nothing that would affect the SGM though. Also, despite having several ways to play Atari VCS cartridges, using module 1 on this gives me a clearer picture than any of my other methods including an RCA mod on an actual VCS. Would break my heart, I love this awesome system, and would do my best to re-create it. The person I commissioned it from doesn't seem to be active online anymore.
I figure it can't be anything worse than a bad trace between the expansion port, which looks like it goes right to the cartridge port mostly. I'm no hardware expert, but can solder, test traces with a multimeter, and have done quite a few mods myself. I just prefer to pay an expert that's done it a million times to do it right when I can.
Edited by Hastor, Mon Jun 4, 2018 5:12 PM.