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Thread: Super Famicom Tragedy

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    Default Super Famicom Tragedy

    Today I received a super famicom in the mail with two games and ... no power adapter. I hadn't noticed it wasn't included in my purchase when I bought it. No big deal, I'll just use an equivalent one. Reading this post, I figured a 12 VDC 1.5A adapter would work and they tested it in radioshack. A red light came on. Tried it again at home, it came on but nothing showed up on my screen. I took it to another room, plugged it in, and this time plugged in my 3rd party unlabeled SFC RGB cord from Japan (didn't want to spend $100 to plug it into my XRGB3) and ... wondered why nothing happened at all. Looked down, and the light wouldn't turn on. The light will no longer turn on.

    So, what exactly happened here?

    Consider:

    1. Official adapter is 100 AC to 10 DC; power difference.
    2. The cartridge port sounds "sandy." Turning it on for a second in the first room, a logo began to come up then it turned off again. Could part of this have been the port?
    3. The 3rd party RGB cord. Can an RGB cord (from Japan/NTSC) affect a console? If i get a new one is it unsafe?

    Thanks for taking the time to read through this.

    Note: I am in North America so no PAL land power issues or TV issues should be in play here ...

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    The voltage on the power adapter seems high I don't know if that matters, but if you need an AC adapter for either a famicom or super famicom use a genesis model 1 or sega cd power adapter.
    What's up with islands? Get more land.
    What's up with deserts? Get less sand.

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    Also another tip is NEVER use an NES adapter it will ruin your system
    What's up with islands? Get more land.
    What's up with deserts? Get less sand.

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    Two things you did wrong.

    12v - while the system handle 12v, its rated for 9 (though can run on as little as 7.8v) meaning its voltage regulator is wasting ~3v as heat

    I also strongly suspect you incorrectly fed the SFC the complete wrong polarity. Like the Famicom, the Super Famicom requires 9v DC with a polarity of center pin negative.

    Like this:

    + ---C--- -

    NOT

    - ---C--- +

    You blew the 7805 voltage regulator by feeding it the wrong polarity. Open the system and replace that, and then make sure you only ever use the proper power supply.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Two things you did wrong.

    12v - while the system handle 12v, its rated for 9 (though can run on as little as 7.8v) meaning its voltage regulator is wasting ~3v as heat

    I also strongly suspect you incorrectly fed the SFC the complete wrong polarity. Like the Famicom, the Super Famicom requires 9v DC with a polarity of center pin negative.

    Like this:

    + ---C--- -

    NOT

    - ---C--- +

    You blew the 7805 voltage regulator by feeding it the wrong polarity. Open the system and replace that, and then make sure you only ever use the proper power supply.
    This is what happened. The wrong polarity was tested first, then the correct polarity. Because the power cord around the back of the system was awkward with the AV cable plugged in, it fell out and it was tested both ways again (because if it doesn't matter to Radioshack employees, does it matter at all?) Of course, the Radioshack employees had no real clue what they were doing.

    Thanks.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) ccovell's Avatar
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    The SNES/SFC also contains a fuse which you should test before replacing the voltage regulator.

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    Don't do anything based on this info, but I am definitely running my Super Famicom with a US NES power adapter outputting 9 volts AC. Just throwing that out there. Am I crazy? Do I have some weird modded system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccovell View Post
    The SNES/SFC also contains a fuse which you should test before replacing the voltage regulator.
    Seconded. The infamous SNES power-on fuse is easy to locate inside the console, and readily available at Radio Shack. In fact, you can test if this is the issue by simply bridging the fuse connections with a piece of wire. If the system works with the wire bridge in place, then the fuse is inexpensive to replace. Do not consider the wire bridge as a permanent fix as the fuse protects other components within the circuit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach View Post
    Don't do anything based on this info, but I am definitely running my Super Famicom with a US NES power adapter outputting 9 volts AC. Just throwing that out there. Am I crazy? Do I have some weird modded system?
    is it a first party power supply? or 3rd party? because 3rd party NES power supplies output DC which an NES can run on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urzu402 View Post
    is it a first party power supply? or 3rd party? because 3rd party NES power supplies output DC which an NES can run on.
    It's definitely first party. An actual Nintendo brand NES AC adapter. And I'm fairly sure I've used a few different NES adapters over the years, just grabbing whatever was available when I wanted to hook up the SFC.

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    I may try and repair the SFC, but I'm going to acquire another model and the original power adapter first. If I get the original up and running again, I'll put it back into "circulation" for others to enjoy. I'm a little concerned that my initial problems with the video cable and nothing appearing on screen were a separate issue., but maybe not. But thank you for all of your posts and I'm convinced now that it's the polarity in particular that killed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach View Post
    It's definitely first party. An actual Nintendo brand NES AC adapter. And I'm fairly sure I've used a few different NES adapters over the years, just grabbing whatever was available when I wanted to hook up the SFC.
    The two consoles don't even use the same style of power connector, and the NES adapter has no bridge rectifier, so it outputs AC instead of the needed DC.
    Something is definitely strange about your setup.

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    Zach either you're wrong, or you're doing it wrong.

    Post a picture of the AC adapter plug and also the back of your system.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by kedawa View Post
    The two consoles don't even use the same style of power connector, and the NES adapter has no bridge rectifier, so it outputs AC instead of the needed DC.
    Something is definitely strange about your setup.
    There's two types of official NES adapters. The most common is the type that you described that outputs AC current, the second rarer type outputs DC voltage and looks more like a laptop or printer adapter as a brick with a long power cord that plugs into the wall. I have both types of adapters, the rarer type is from early production consoles.

    I would assume that he's using the rarer type of adapter, it's the only thing I can think of unless he's mistaken about what adapter he's using.

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    This was so funny to me.
    "Open the system and replace that". All I know about electronics is the correct way to put batteries is and you made it sound that simple.


    QUOTE=Satoshi_Matrix;1946111]Two things you did wrong.

    12v - while the system handle 12v, its rated for 9 (though can run on as little as 7.8v) meaning its voltage regulator is wasting ~3v as heat

    I also strongly suspect you incorrectly fed the SFC the complete wrong polarity. Like the Famicom, the Super Famicom requires 9v DC with a polarity of center pin negative.

    Like this:

    + ---C--- -

    NOT

    - ---C--- +

    You blew the 7805 voltage regulator by feeding it the wrong polarity. Open the system and replace that, and then make sure you only ever use the proper power supply.[/QUOTE]

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    Call around and ask if anybody will be willing to desolder the old one and put a new one in. That's presumably all it takes. You'll need to get a new voltage regulator but if you can find somebody you can solder, they might also know where to order a new one.

    Actually - while I wouldn't second guess Satoshi here, I would say that the system should probably have a number of components checked with a multimeter. Again, somebody with soldering equipment and skills will surely have one of these, and should be able to find datasheets for many of the components for testing.

    Otherwise, there are probably some hobbyists who will take the system in the mail, do the work, and ship it back to you.

    But yeah, the first thing you need to do is take a picture so people can see what exactly went in.

    It's a good reminder to me to find and label my systems and wall warts - I've got a few different types floating around here myself (the one that came with my A/V Famicom doesn't have the Nintendo molded case we are familiar with, but has a shiny label and might not even be branded Nintendo).
    Last edited by Ed Oscuro; 01-06-2013 at 12:18 AM.

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    The Japanese SFC has the same 9vDC power connector as the PC-Engine, MD/Gen, SMS, Game Gear, etc. It's the US SNES that has the funny connector. So a US NES adaptor plug will fit, though certainly not a recommended power source.

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    I'm back with some more info. The question of how to power a Super Famicom pops up on here and other forums every few years, so hopefully we can come up with the definitive answer this time. And while this works for me, I have no idea if it will work for anyone else. My personal Super Famicom is the only one I've ever used.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Zach either you're wrong, or you're doing it wrong.

    Post a picture of the AC adapter plug and also the back of your system.
    No problem. Here are some pictures that clearly (I hope) show that this is an original first party NES AC adapter with a plug that fits the Super Famicom.

    These thumbnails link to larger versions for a closer look.


    As you can see in the 3rd picture, the back of the SFC does, indeed, call for DC, but this adapter, outputting AC, works just fine (and has been working fine since I got the system in 1999). A mystery how it works, for sure, but it definitely does work without harming the system.

    Maybe someone with some electronics knowledge can chime in with an explanation. For example, maybe there are diodes protecting the SFC from getting fried by the AC current, but it's still taking juice every time the current alternates to the correct pin, and capacitors are storing up enough to be able to deliver a steady stream of power? Obviously I don't have an actual understanding of these components, but it could be something along these lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by kedawa View Post
    The two consoles don't even use the same style of power connector, and the NES adapter has no bridge rectifier, so it outputs AC instead of the needed DC.
    Something is definitely strange about your setup.
    The Super Famicom does use the same connector as the North American NES, but it definitely IS different from the connector on the North American SNES. That uses a weird connector with a very small center pin, unlike anything I've seen on any of my other consoles (of which I've had many, like all of us around here!)

    And if you want to see this in action, I uploaded a video to YouTube showing the system actually running on this exact AC adapter.



    Feel free to repost any of this the next time this question comes up, here or elsewhere, as it almost certainly will!

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    Freaky.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro View Post
    find somebody you can solder
    Super freaky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach View Post
    As you can see in the 3rd picture, the back of the SFC does, indeed, call for DC, but this adapter, outputting AC, works just fine (and has been working fine since I got the system in 1999). A mystery how it works, for sure, but it definitely does work without harming the system.

    Maybe someone with some electronics knowledge can chime in with an explanation. For example, maybe there are diodes protecting the SFC from getting fried by the AC current, but it's still taking juice every time the current alternates to the correct pin, and capacitors are storing up enough to be able to deliver a steady stream of power?
    I don't really have electronics knowledge, but it's not mysterious. The system is set up so that the power goes through a rectifier (which converts AC to DC and ) but feeding DC into this is no problem (although perhaps the current level drops slightly). Indeed diodes are involved, as there are in modern rectifier design.

    this looks like a good explanation, and I picked it because it mentions the "ripple" description people give to AC current. Although being "For Dummies" makes it easier for me to understand, too!

    In the good old days they used "discrete components" to manufacture rectifying circuits. In the really good old days they could get really big (although it should be said that modern rectifiers still get bigger to handle larger currents, but in any case, I couldn't see that glass octopus fitting into an NES anytime soon). Today we use Thyristors.
    Last edited by Ed Oscuro; 01-06-2013 at 08:19 PM.

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