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Thread: Game Gear still not working after a re-capping

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    Default Game Gear still not working after a re-capping

    I dont claim to be a professional electronics repairman so I won't rule out an improper re-capping job on my part but I did make sure the polarities were correct and that the legs were all stuck to the pads. This really wasnt an easy job.

    I bought the GG from a guy who said it didnt work and needed new caps. I did verify this when I opened it up and saw electrolyte spilled on the PCB and most of the caps tested bad. So I ordered the cap kit from console5.com and finished the recapping last night.

    Now, before I did the recapping, I'd turn the power on while connected to an A/C adapter and thered be no screen and no sound, red light would fade away right away. Now after the recapping, the red light stays on, I get sound, and really bright screen, but the picture is just a bunch of red and white lines. Known good batteries arent working on it either. No screen, red light or anything.

    I think my DC jack may be bad because Im getting only 6.8 VDC off the DC jack. I poked around on the power daughterboard and this was the highest voltage I was finding anywhere on it, other spots showed between 4 and 5.

    So I think it is entirely possible that multiple components are bad especially if I saw a decent amount of electrolyte spilled out, which I did clean by the way.

    Barring a bad cap job, I am assuming I should try a new DC jack?

    Also, what multimeter do you guys use? I have a cheapo no name one I bought from Harbor Freight for a few bucks. Apparently those arent the most accurate.
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    Also, another thing that is confusing is that the back of the GG says to use the 2103 adapter and it needs 9V. But the 2103 is 10 V but the male end fits perfectly.

    EDIT: Well now I am starting to think my power adapter is bad. Strangely, I have 2 2103 AC adapters but they have different male ends. The other 2103 doesnt push in all the way and I get 0 VDC. The other gives a snug fit but again onoy 6.8 VDC. So I may have to track down a good 2103 to rule that out. still doesnt explain the battery issue. My battery contacts and springs appear to be fine.
    Last edited by gbpxl; 04-30-2021 at 08:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    Also, another thing that is confusing is that the back of the GG says to use the 2103 adapter and it needs 9V. But the 2103 is 10 V but the male end fits perfectly.
    From memory there were a few different releases of this part over the years and the voltage listed was changed, this doesn't matter though and the parts are interchangeable. As long as the part number is correct it's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    EDIT: Well now I am starting to think my power adapter is bad. Strangely, I have 2 2103 AC adapters but they have different male ends. The other 2103 doesnt push in all the way and I get 0 VDC. The other gives a snug fit but again onoy 6.8 VDC. So I may have to track down a good 2103 to rule that out. still doesnt explain the battery issue. My battery contacts and springs appear to be fine.
    How are you measuring the voltage? Are you measuring the output directly from the end of the adapter when it's not connected to the console? If you're measuring correctly there shouldn't be any doubt whether an adapter is outputting correct voltage or not.

    I would need to see pictures of the adapters to see how the tips are different. There were a lot of different versions of this adapter going by the part number, it was used for the Genesis 2, Game Gear, Nomad, and 32X so it was available for many years. I can't remember if there were regional differences too, or if different regions used different part numbers.


    Honestly as the capacitors leaked the problem is most likely corroded traces, or you haven't cleaned enough of the board from the electrolytic fluid.

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    So update... voltages appear to be fine on everything except for the LCD pin which is supposed to show 34 VDC. I only get 1 VDC at that pin. So there's a problem between my wall outlet which is putting put the correct voltage of 120 and that particular pin.
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    1 is strange, is it a solid 1 or does it bounce from nothing to one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    1 is strange, is it a solid 1 or does it bounce from nothing to one?
    I don't know if he's testing it correctly. I get the feeling he might not be. He's not even sure if his AC adapters are working properly and still hasn't tested them before testing various spots on the console.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    So there's a problem between my wall outlet which is putting put the correct voltage of 120 and that particular pin.
    Really broad possibilities listed there.

    1) First check that the adapter is outputting the correct voltage. Just plug it into the wall and check the other end without it plugged into the system. If the system isn't getting the correct voltage, that would be causing problems with operation.

    2) If the adapter is working properly, then plug in the adapter and check the output of the voltage regulator. If the output isn't correct then replace the voltage regulator. There would be info online as to what the correct voltage output should be.

    There could be several other issues causing the problems but those should be the first things to check before moving on to anything else.

    With the batteries not working there could be something wrong with the DC jack, as there should be a small switch in it that switches between batteries and AC/DC input when the adapter is plugged in, and that switch could be stuck so a type of contact cleaner could help. I had a similar problem with something years ago and cleaning the input jack fixed the problem, I can't remember what item it was at the moment as it was years ago. Or the battery connections could be corroded and need cleaning, or a wire could be broken to the battery contacts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    I don't know if he's testing it correctly. I get the feeling he might not be. He's not even sure if his AC adapters are working properly and still hasn't tested them before testing various spots on the console.


    Really broad possibilities listed there.

    1) First check that the adapter is outputting the correct voltage. Just plug it into the wall and check the other end without it plugged into the system. If the system isn't getting the correct voltage, that would be causing problems with operation.

    2) If the adapter is working properly, then plug in the adapter and check the output of the voltage regulator. If the output isn't correct then replace the voltage regulator. There would be info online as to what the correct voltage output should be.

    There could be several other issues causing the problems but those should be the first things to check before moving on to anything else.

    With the batteries not working there could be something wrong with the DC jack, as there should be a small switch in it that switches between batteries and AC/DC input when the adapter is plugged in, and that switch could be stuck so a type of contact cleaner could help. I had a similar problem with something years ago and cleaning the input jack fixed the problem, I can't remember what item it was at the moment as it was years ago. Or the battery connections could be corroded and need cleaning, or a wire could be broken to the battery contacts.
    I have no idea how to test the A/C adapter. My test leads are too thick to shove into the center. I figured the negative was the outer part and positive was the inner part?

    The tricky part with all this is that I believe there are multiple faults. and yes I can verify it was a hard 1 VDC when it shouldve read around 34. The other leads on that pin adapter were pretty darn close to what they shouldve been (4.89, 489, 1.27)
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    to make matters worse, a diode (Q9) and its pads came off the board while I did the recap. I did scrap down to the copper on the PCB and made sure I got good solid joints on all 3 legs but who knows maybe something got messed up there too. I feel good about all the capacitors.
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    I may upload a video to Youtube when I get around to it because thats helped me in the past.
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    so I just checked the pins coming off the DC jack. I do get 10-11. I re-checked those other pins off that main connector while powered on and I think it was around 9 for the top two IIRC, the next two are grounds, next one I get 1.27 and the last one down is just a FLAT 1. very weird I know.

    EDIT: Ok so with my DC-DC daughterboard plugged into the main board and power on, I get from top to bottom

    ~9.68
    ~9.68
    GND
    GND
    GND
    ~1.27
    ~9.68
    1

    and if I have the same setup except not plugged into the main board I get the same values except instead of 9.68 or so I get 11-12. Which I assume is normal for those particular pins.

    The LCD pin is throwing me off. should be pretty simple. the board is tiny.
    Last edited by gbpxl; 05-06-2021 at 07:19 PM.
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    re-tested the caps on the dc dc board and the 820 cap is bad at least according to my meter. which makes no sense if it is brand new. unless I accidently put the old one back in which is pretty dumb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    I had a similar problem with something years ago and cleaning the input jack fixed the problem, I can't remember what item it was at the moment as it was years ago.
    It was a Speak and Spell! Just remembered today.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    I have no idea how to test the A/C adapter. My test leads are too thick to shove into the center.
    Put a paperclip or a pin into the centre of the plug end, then use the multimeter probe on that. It's low voltage and low amps so it's not a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    I figured the negative was the outer part and positive was the inner part?
    I can't remember off hand what the polarity is for the Genesis 2 and Game Gear, it should be listed on the adapter or console or elsewhere online. With the Game Gear it might also depend on which region it belongs to, US or Japan. You mentioned that you had two adapters with the same part number but the plugs were different, it could be that one is Japanese. I'm pretty sure my Game Gear is Japanese which is why it has a different adapter than every other one I previously came across, but I don't have access to it right now so I can't check it to look at the part numbers. I can't be sure which region yours is from based on your description, probably US but it could be Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    The tricky part with all this is that I believe there are multiple faults. and yes I can verify it was a hard 1 VDC when it shouldve read around 34. The other leads on that pin adapter were pretty darn close to what they shouldve been (4.89, 489, 1.27)
    Most likely your adapters are still working fine, it's just that if they weren't then it could have caused low voltage elsewhere in the system. You mentioned not being sure if your adapters were working properly which is why I suggested testing them first, just so there's no further doubt about them. It's sort of like having picture or sound issues with a SNES and not knowing if the problem is with the console or the cable, you need to verify the components separately to better isolate where the problems are.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    re-tested the caps on the dc dc board and the 820 cap is bad at least according to my meter. which makes no sense if it is brand new. unless I accidently put the old one back in which is pretty dumb
    It could be a defective part, it's rare but can still happen with any component. No idea about the quality of those replacement capacitors either as there's a wide range with different manufacturers. Or there's something wrong in the path that supplies that specific capacitor.

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    well I had this problem before dealing with this vender where they said the meter wasnt reading caps accurately. which may be partially true because it seemed like with really small radial electrolytic caps, those ones always showed as "bad" while every other cap was showing good. I was told to look at the data sheets but theyre hard to read/interpret. no brand name on the cap in question either and on Digikeys' website, you have like 10+ of those aame caps all with slightly different specs. Wish I could just go to a store and buy the single cap for <$1 but of course I have to order it online which automatically makes it a $3-5 thing and Ill have to wait. man I miss RadioShack
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    man I miss RadioShack
    What I remember with Radio Shack was needing a fuse and seeing it priced individually at $4.99 plus tax, where the same fuse was priced at other electronics suppliers for around $0.50 each. Radio Shack hasn't been good for a long time, long before it finally disappeared. Independent stores are often better than large chains for various items.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    What I remember with Radio Shack was needing a fuse and seeing it priced individually at $4.99 plus tax, where the same fuse was priced at other electronics suppliers for around $0.50 each. Radio Shack hasn't been good for a long time, long before it finally disappeared. Independent stores are often better than large chains for various items.
    still the only store in my area that sold that stuff
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    So Im an idiot. I had the voltage on my DMM set to only 20. With it set to 200 here's what I am getting...

    9
    9
    GND
    GND
    GND
    1.2
    9.8
    33.7

    also, getting 13.7 on the power adapter
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