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Lynx LCD Replacement/VGA-Out by McWill

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+1 recapping. All GG and Turboexpress (and GT) needs it because they are going bad and some consoles have been damaged already. Atari Lynx generally does fine because the cap used weren't prone to failing and can be left with stock caps for now unless there's problem that seems to suggest bad caps.

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The larger caps at C39 and C41 in a Lynx 2 are worth checking, or even preemptive swapping since I have seen these go bad and start leaking onto the board. The smaller caps seem to do fine.

 

- J

Edited by HunterZero
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Well replacing the power supply caps should be a priority in any vintage game console... Especially when the originals are made in china or taiwan. If they aren't leaking and/or balloning they usually loose a lot of their rated capacitance.

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One more thing that will be interesting is how this new screen will affect the battery life? Will it increase (because of the efficient led backlight) or is there any energy loss because of some kind of conversion ( sorry if it's a noob theory, unfortunately I am quite bad in electronics) ? Would be great if some of you guys who has this screen mod could test it, I know with 2100 mAh Eneloop batteries my Lynx goes for 5-6 hours.

 

I finished the 5v regulator and McWill mod on one of my Lynx II's last Wednesday-evening, and I am very happy with the result. Especially as I am still quite a noob at soldering. These two youtube video's of (Daniele Tartaglia and GadgetUK164) where a great help:

https://youtu.be/NG9TNKmcv84?list=FLKRM8m1aiCV_KkO7H7AYwOQ

https://youtu.be/uBHiWqV_V_I?list=FLKRM8m1aiCV_KkO7H7AYwOQ

 

I found the soldering to pin-2 for the backlight button functionality and to lesser extend the soldering of the ground point (near the flat-cable of the new screen) quite challenging. The instructions state that this flat-cable can be detached, but I could not work out the release mechanism and did not want to use force on so I left it in place.

The paragraph of the instructions about the different chipsets and use of res or tpr is :? as it seems that the tpr point is under the copper shield on the Lynx II? So I just used res and checked the result, which was fine.

 

I was also wondering of the impact on battery life of these two mods. So I devised an experiment to make a time-lapse video of a modified lynx II and stock one side by side, with the same game and same brand of fully charged batteries, to see which would run the longest (just replaying the intro of the game). Little did I know that the lynx II has a 1hr auto power-off feature when no buttons are pressed, so both shut down simultaneously after 1hr :-D. I have to rethink that one...

 

But still this screen mod by McWill is gorgeous and pure quality! So kudos to McWill!!

Edited by Megantonneke

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Little did I know that the lynx II has a 1hr auto power-off feature when no buttons are pressed, so both shut down simultaneously after 1hr :-D. I have to rethink that one...

 

Might be better to use multimeter and measure current draw. Stock Lynx was something like 280mA with volume at zero.

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I've taken the current measurements of a stock Lynx 2 and my modified Lynx 2 with McWill screen which has been recapped and has a new Recom switching regulator. I've done the current measurements at different voltages too.

 

The results have surprised me to say the least. I'll post the exact results up when I'm back.

 

The modified Lynx 2 with new screen and regulator requires more power than the stock Lynx 2.

 

Due to the way that the new regulator is wired in it will also drain your batteries if you leave them in for several days as the switching regulator is always powered on drawing a very small amount of power.

 

The old power circuit will allow the unit to be powered on at around 4.5v against against nearly 6v for the Recom switching reg. The old power circuit also won't run your batteries flat after several days if you leave them in.

 

The new modded Lynx 2 exhibits the exact behaviour of what to expect from a device with a switching regulator i.e. the higher the input voltage the lower the current draw and vice versa.

 

The old unmodded Lynx 2 does.... well exactly the same thing! I.e. the higher the input voltage the lower the current draw and vice versa! No part of the power circuit is getting warm or hot and therefore it must also be a switching regulator.

 

I wasn't expecting this especially after all of the bad press the old power circuit in the Lynx 2 has been getting.

 

So from this I'm going to stick my head above the parapet and say from my quick look over the schematics the 4069 hex inverter is high frequency switching the MTD3055 FET, which would explain the presence of the 100uH power inductor/choke just after it's output. The schottky diode looks like it's just a reference for the 4069 hex inverter and isn't doing any power regulation at all, if it were then surely some part of the circuit would be getting hot? Also the only thing separating the 9v (input side) from the 5v (output side) is the 3055 FET.

 

I'll post up the voltage and current measurement when I'm back and when I get a chance will hook up the unmodified Lynx to an oscilloscope to confirm or disprove my thoughts on the Lynx power circuit.

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If you desolder the schottky diode, the input voltage is almost going through all parts in the LYNX (9 Volt or more)! Then your LYNX will be fried and is definitely defective.
The LYNX is never completely OFF, because of the standby circuit to turn it ON. You should not leave the batteries inside the LYNX for a long time.
Different people measured the power consumption before (me too) and confirmed, that the power consumption is almost the same with the new LCD replacement, but with new viewing experience :grin:

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I found both regulator circuits have parasitic drain on the batteries when "off" also. It might be slightly less with the original schottky doide system. I never leave batteries in anything that might sit so there is no problem for me anyway. You might get double the stand by battery life with the stock set up. (2-3 weeks) I prefer the Lynx to shut off with less then 6 volts also. 4.5 volts is rough on it with the extra current at the lower voltage. I have 2 fried Lynx here with bad schottky diodes. They looked taken care of but it doesn't matter if it's getting 9+ volts long enough.

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Hmmm, anyone got an idea if we can solder in something to end this parasitic drain? Maybe a switch between the board and the leads? I'm not sure if that sounds like a good idea or not... i'm a bit self trained in this field, my degree is IT/Programming etc, but, i've been doing PC builds and repairs for 20 years, just learning electronics now since PC's are disappearing and If I want to keep working on stuff... i better know this, lol.

Edited by RupanIII

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Hmmm, anyone got an idea if we can solder in something to end this parasitic drain? Maybe a switch between the board and the leads? I'm not sure if that sounds like a good idea or not... i'm a bit self trained in this field, my degree is IT/Programming etc, but, i've been doing PC builds and repairs for 20 years, just learning electronics now since PC's are disappearing and If I want to keep working on stuff... i better know this, lol.

 

If you did the 5v mod, just add a switch to the input pin of the 5v regulator. That will stop the power leeching. If you haven't done the 5v mod, it'd be a bit harder but still doable.

 

 

Do the connectors account for sync?

 

The LCD mod has RGB+sync out. Just need to find a standard VGA to SCART adapter that is wired properly for sync and has 220uf caps on the RGB lines. Make sure it's correctly wired as there are European and Japanese version and both uses same SCART connector but uses different pinouts.

 

This should work as long as your TV can handle 31.5KHz sync. Some older RGB display only works with 15KHz.

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I'm on my second LCD mod and I have the C104129-001 rev board.

 

I performed the 5v mod and then installed the new LCD. I connected to the TPR test point as the directions would suggest and got a screen full of static. I switched off to connecting to the res solder point and though "Rats, static screen again." Game booted up though.

 

Just seems like during the boot up process, the screen is static the whole time and not for an instant. After that, game runs fine. My other problem is the power light blinks the whole time even when used with a power supply. Related or not I'm not sure.

 

Since the game works I'm tempted to just leave well enough alone

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I'm on my second LCD mod and I have the C104129-001 rev board.

 

I performed the 5v mod and then installed the new LCD. I connected to the TPR test point as the directions would suggest and got a screen full of static. I switched off to connecting to the res solder point and though "Rats, static screen again." Game booted up though.

 

Just seems like during the boot up process, the screen is static the whole time and not for an instant. After that, game runs fine. My other problem is the power light blinks the whole time even when used with a power supply. Related or not I'm not sure.

 

Since the game works I'm tempted to just leave well enough alone

If you have the C104129, you have to use TPR (not RES) AND close JMP1 as described in the instructions :grin:

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Hi, just wanted to add another positive review for McWill's LCD mod. I decided to summon a Super Deluxe KickAss Atari Lynx into existence, and it's alive and kicking now.

I got an upgraded speaker installed from Best into a new extra Lynx, then sent that over to McWill for the LCD mod and 5 volt regulator. I wanted the version with the option for scanlines, and I'm glad I waited because I saw all of a sudden he was offering that. I got the whole package back in the mail last week, and it's pretty impressive. The first thing I noticed about the new screen was how much brighter all the colors were.

I could see everything in the games no matter what angle I was viewing the screen from, and the pure dark blacks in the games gave certain sections a real 3D feel.

 

I'm still not sure if I like the screen better with scanlines or not...the scanlines make all the colors a shade darker, but I don't know. I kinda like the normal screen, everything's clearer and the games look more colorful. It's good to have both options though. And the new speaker is crazy loud, it's blaring at full volume compared to the original speaker at its loudest. This new speaker has much crisper sound and the speech in games is clearer too. Here's some screenshots to show the differences. My original Lynx screen has held up well, and still doesn't look too bad. As you guys know, the old screen doesn't photograph well so the pictures I'm posting looked a lot better in person. I messed with the colors in my pictures of the original screen but it still didn't look as good as the real thing.

I threw in a couple pictures of the new screen with scanlines on and off so everyone could see, full screen and close-ups. Sorry for the long strip of pictures, I couldn't figure out how to get them in a horizontal format.

IMG 0855

IMG 0856

IMG 0854

IMG 0859

IMG 0864

IMG 0866

IMG 0865

IMG 0878

IMG 0867

IMG 0882

IMG 0868

IMG 0869

IMG 0871

IMG 0872

 

Edited by DockingBay64
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Last night I downloaded a load of sms and GG homebrews from sms power website to play on my modified mcwill GG through my GG everdrive. The sms ones work perfectly but the few GG ones don't, they're either frozen or the colour is right out. Regular GG roms are ok on the everdrive with the mcwill mod. Any ideas?

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I actually had the nomad's circuits checked out by James at gearforgames who does game gear and nomad mods and he didn't find anything wrong with the main board. So I'm hoping the error lies in the existing screen's circuitry somewhere. Hopefully it'll be solved if I get a new McWill mod once ready.

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I completely agree with the capacitor diagnosis. Recap that whole Nomad, it's old and needs it. Any good screen mod will make the Nomad look great.

McWill's got one coming, but, his best work was making things that weren't possible happen, the Lynx and Full Screen GG mods are the most important.

Nomad RGB mod is a premium, not that people don't want a premium quality screen mod on their Nomads.

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I have a few Lynx II's to do this week. All my own i'd collected broken over the years. My 11yo catbaby Pepper passed away 2 mondays ago, so, not been in any mood. I like to be happy when working on new things and these will be my first Lynx mods I'm doing.

 

I will say, McWill packages the things VERY WELL, lol.

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