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jschipmann

3DO Repair Help :)

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HI everyone first post here and excited to find this community.

 

Recently(now that my son has moved out, and daughter is headed to college) I decided to get back everything I had to sell off over the years (video game collections) to make ends meet, and expand. Needless to say I have gone a bit overboard and even have been picking up broken consoles too to fix and trade or sell to get more for my collection. I love fixing them, it's like rescuing something that would have been doomed for no good reason, especially the simple ones!! I have tons of tools and intermediate electronics experience (I have my own metcal soldering station and reflow air blower, desoldering gun etc etc etc)

 

Yesterday I came across a Panasonic 3DO FZ-1 at an estate sale. This estate sale was unlike no other I have been to in the area as the person was a Arcade / coin op machine repairman. On top of the 3DO I saw 2 things, first the $15 price tag (and there was 25% off that day too!!!) and a sticker indicating a new brush-less motor had been installed. Sadly they couldn't find the controller for it.

 

 

I get the 3DO home, plug it in grab an audio CD since I didn't have any games handy, hook in to my tube TV and it powers on! As I look at the 3DO logo I thought AWESOME! I eject the tray, pop in the CD, the access light flashes brightly a few times, the screen goes black, 3DO logo appears again, screen goes black, 3DO Logo and the access light goes off.... nothing.

 

I eject the disc out, unplug the machine and open the system up to take a look. This system is incredibly clean...I take the shield cover off the optical drive, plug it all back in and power it on. I can see the laser assembly move around a bit back and forth and bob up and down and can even see the red laser. I eject the tray pop the music CD back in and hope for the best. The CD spins the laser sled moves around, the laser moves around again as the CD spins up faster, then the CD slows a tiny bit bot nothing happens on screen. I'm left staring at the 3DO logo and nothing else.

 

I go back to my desktop and start to do some research. I read that when no disc is inserted the 3DO should show the 3DO logo when powered on then after a bit either show an insert disc screen or a screen saver consisting of asteroids. I get none of this either with a disc in or out, the empty CD Tray in or out, even after an hour of sitting there :( I assume you do not have to have a controller plugged in for any of this to happen.... is my assumption correct?

 

 

So I need the advice and help of the repair GURUs, should I go ahead and re-cap the whole thing? I do not see any obvious signs of caps bulging or leaking but I know that can be tricky sometimes as they may not look bad but end up being bad anyway. I'm leaning more toward the board since I am not getting pas the BIOS screen and the CD does spin and the laser assembly moves. Should I reflow solder joints just to make sure of good contact? Peeking around the internet I haven't found anyone with any issues like mine as most everyone says the get the insert disc or asteroid screens. even a few have said they get the no controller screen.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for any assistance!

 

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Hi, how's it going. I have seen this behaviour in some Panasonic 3DO where it will not boot to Bios screen. My Fz-1 does it when I remove the cd drive ribbon cables. This leads me to believe it might be a dead laser issue. Something is probably happening in the communication between the cd drive and the CPU which is sketching it out. Your psu and video encoder are working fine because u get the 3DO logo at the start of boot. The other reason could be the bios chip isn't getting the correct power which leans towards re- cap. The system is almost 25 years old sons laser replacement and re-cap is inevitable. The price we pay for maintaining antique hardware.

 

Lasers are hard to come by. U will need an SF92.5 but they sometimes need modification.

Edited by Taijigamer

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I'm already on the hunt for a compatible CD drive / laser just in case.

 

Behaviour is a bit odd though which points to power / laser now. I broke out my archive and burnt a 3DO game to CD-R. I only had verbatim 80 min, and could only burn at 16x.... Anyway I put the disc in, it tries to read it a few times as the screen goes black and goes back to the 3DO logo a few times, and then it ejects the disc. If I use a retail Music CD it does the same but it never ejects the disc.....

 

My thoughts / assumptions so far:

The laser Can partially see the burnt CD (I have read it is easier for them to read the burnt dics) but cant read it so it ejects, it has a harder time reading the music CD and doesn't see anything so it thinks nothing is in the drive and therefore leaves the drive closed.

It may be reading but something somewhere power wise is wonky. I lean more toward this as I never get any insert CD screen or Asteroids screen saver.

 

I'm going to try to look at all the caps on board today and get their values to make a shopping list, if I don't have them I'll get what I need and begin the re-cap. After re-cap I'll see how it acts and if I can get the asteroids screen saver up. If I can then move on to the laser assembly.

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Already ordered a cap kit off a guy i bought from before. $10.99 and Free shipping 53 caps in total lol, I like that he has nice step by step instructions (even for someone who doesn't know anything on this he includes basic info) and cap #s with values

 

https://www.mortoffgames.com/3do/goldstar-version/repair-and-replacement-parts132/panasonic-3d0-fz-1-capacitor-replacement-kit

 

Still hunting just in case for a full CD drive, finally got the screws off to disassemble the CD drive to inspect it and caps etc.

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Thanks for the link. His instructions refer to the Goldstar 3DO but the principals are the same. Here is the wiki link for the Panasonic FZ-1 caps and ICs.

 

https://console5.com/wiki/Panasonic_3DO_FZ-1

 

I haven't read about problems with the CD drive caps but it's worth a look. The more likely issue with the CD drives is Laser heads. These are SF-92.5 laser heads. They can be found easily enough but some may require modification to work in the CR-563 type drive.

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re-capped still no luck. Whats driving me nuts is with no disc in it never goes to the insert disc screen, nor the asteroid screen saver.

 

After re-cap I am still seeing the access light constantly flicker, it is dim not as bright as when you insert a disc, and it is a very fast constant flicker and again does it with no disc in the drive.

 

A bad laser or no controller plugged in shouldn't stop it from going to the asteroid screen saver correct?

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Are u still getting the 3DO logo at the start before black screen? I have a theory with this 3DO problem. The CD drive must be included somehow with the 3DO start up. When I remove my cd drive and try to boot the console, it behaves the same as yours.

 

Either a malfunctioning cd drive logic board or a bad laser head could be the culprit. The way to test would be to get another known working panasonic 3do cd drive and attach it to see if the console boots. If you don't have access to another Panasonic 3do then attempting to replace the laser head could be your next option.

 

If u have an oscilloscope, u could also make sure your psu is delivering stable voltages. A cap replacement won't always solve this as your voltage regulators etc could be faulty. I would look at the laser first though.

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Were you able to get the Insert disc screen and or asteroid screen saver after letting the system sit for a bit? That's what is throwing me off.... I can't get that. I don;t have a controller though so I don't know if perhaps it isn't progressing because I do not have a controller plugged in.

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Out of curiocity anyone know of any service manuals or etc around? Trying to verify the correct voltage needed for the laser to rule that out 100%

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I've been meaning to open up my 3DO and get some values from the FZ-1 CD drive but life has been slowing me down recently. I'm not sure of the voltage supplied to the laser but its the current that's important. This post from 3doplanet explains measuring the current supplied to the FZ-10 CD drive http://forum.3doplanet.ru/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=701.

 

post-61381-0-55854100-1503350087_thumb.jpg

 

By measuring the voltage across R720 (FZ-10) we can workout the current supplied. According to the thread, 50-100mA is the norm for a healthy laser. I'm not sure what the equivalent resistor is on the FZ-1 but I will try to look when I next get a chance.

 

The other option is to adjust the laser pot on the laser head. This isn't the best method but it may be a quick way to see if the problem is a failing laser. There is no set resistance that lasers come with as they are all calibrated slightly differently. Just take a baseline resistance reading of the pot with a multimeter and then reduce the resistance by 50 Ohm at a time, testing in between. Hopefully the laser should manage to read the disc. Just make sure u are testing with a retail disc with minimal scratches. I was going to recommend this video

 

 

but I see u have already asked GadgetUK about the laser problem. He brings up good points, did u change the CD drive caps when u recapped?

 

As for the service manual, I'm currently following a few leads and hopefully may be able to get hold of a copy. I'll post a link if/when successful.

Edited by Taijigamer

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yes recapped every cap I seen even on CD drive

 

Something that was throwing me off as well was as I adjusted resistence on the laser it looped back around.... even with smaller adjustments it seemed. so the schematic above may help me out a bit in figuring that one out.

 

Thanks for posting the power supply schematic it may help as well just to make sure all voltages are nominal.

 

I'm trying to get a hold of a scope to hook up like gadget UK did to see levels that way. We have some we no longer use at work so may not be an issue to "borrow" one lol It's just been way too long since I have had to delve this deep in to something. Recently picked up a Saturn and a dreamcast both wouldn't read discs, simple enough adjusted laser to spec (or around it) and viola, they worked. This 3DO is just toying with me now lmao. I just cant get past the fact it never puts up the insert disc screen or loads the asteroids screen saver thing.

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The flashing access light and and sled behaviour is classic for a laser struggling to read the disc. I haven't seen that flickering behaviour before. I would try to adjust the pot to try and get the laser to read the disc. What was the base resistance before u adjusted the pot?

 

I would look into replacing the laser. Replacements are hard to find as there is no direct drop in replacement. The SF-92.5 is the nearest replacement but requires modding to work in the Panasonic 3DO. There were some direct drop in replacements available on AliExpress a few years back but I've had no response from the seller regarding restock. I'm looking into easy reliable solutions with the SF-92.5 but it could take time as I'm also in the middle of designing RGB mods for the 3DO.

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I've been hunting around for CD drives lol I know there was a creative labs model that would work, I come across all sorts of things so it may be a matter of some patience. I'm getting ready to solder a few leads to the test points to be prepped for when I am able to use the scope. I think resistance was 800ohm but for some reason it never went back to that 530 seems the highest I can go now and it goes down to 100 then goes back up... very confusing which is why I want to look at voltage instead and look at a scope with leads instead of using my multimeter lol

 

Actually going to mess around with it for a bit now!

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THE MYSTERY HAS BEEN SOLVED!!!!!

 

This is not an ordinary 3DO unit... This is from an arcade machine that utilized a custom 3DO that used a special BIOS that would only work with that game and hardware!!! That explains why when I try to load anything it doesnt operate as a normal 3DO would.

 

The clues were pieced together by a few things, the first where I purchased it

 

to quote my first post: Yesterday I came across a Panasonic 3DO FZ-1 at an estate sale. This estate sale was unlike no other I have been to in the area as the person was a Arcade / coin op machine repairman. On top of the 3DO I saw 2 things, first the $15 price tag (and there was 25% off that day too!!!) and a sticker indicating a new brush-less motor had been installed. Sadly they couldn't find the controller for it.

 

this is why it doesn't work lmao.. well hell... I ordered a controller for it today lmao

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That's great that u solved it. do u know which game it's programmed to work with? Can u post a picture of the bios chip?

 

This may explain why other people get this issue rather than the asteroid screen. I've read about people swapping bios and adding kanji bios, maybe this can be done with your motherboard to give u full access to the games library.

 

Glad u got it figured out.

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That's a good find. Just swap the CD drives and you should be good to go.

 

If u get a chance, could u post a picture of the Bios chip? It would be interesting to see if it's a different IC to the stock IC or just flashed with a custom Bios Rom.

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Thanks. That's very interesting. Your FZ-1 motherboard has 2 ROM chips. ROM 1 is the Bios (IC341) and ROM 2 (IC340) is usually blank on US and PAL consoles as it's usually where the Kanji chip goes for the Japanese games which have Kanji fonts.

 

Which games did u test on the console? Some US games wouldn't play on a Japanese consoles with the Kanji chip.

 

http://3do.cdinteractive.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3739

 

This thread shows how a guy was able to remove the Kanji bios to allow the console to boot US games. Possibly something to look at in the future if u want to get this console booting games again.

Edited by Taijigamer

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he mentions return fire works I'll burn that and give it a try, my other 3DO + 20 games will be here this week to try and test those

 

I tried Dragons lair (Burnt) and a retail music CD, neither worked. I now have a 3DO sampler disc and pebble beach retail so I'll try those too. My gamepad from amazon never came so not sure wherethat is.

Edited by jschipmann

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