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Thread: 32X Expansion Port Dongle

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    Default 32X Expansion Port Dongle

    For those of you who don't know what the topic was referring to, amung the various bits and pieces that the 32X came with was a small device that plugs into the expansion port of the Genesis, which I refer to as the expansion port dongle. A small sheet of paper that also came with the 32X advised you to connect it if you did not have a SegaCD . Most people have no idea this exists, since it doesn't seem to actually do anything, the 32X works perfectly fine without it, and anyone who eventually sold theirs probably threw out the dongle completely. For anyone who is still confused as to what I'm talking about, there are some pictures of this device over in this AtariAge thread.

    This may seem like a rather minor thing to base a topic around, but I've recently heard from someone on the AtariAge message board that his 32X and Genesis actually DO need the dongle to operate together. So, I'd like to hear from all the 32X user out there (all three of you :P) about your experiences with this. I can confirm that my MK-1631 model of Genesis (a Genesis 2) does not need the dongle, and I've been informed that the MK-1601 model doesn't need it either, so I'm thinking there are one or two very specific models that do indeed require this dongle. Do any of you have a Genesis that you know requires or does not require this dongle that you can add to this list? (if so, please post the model number.) Do you have a Genesis and 32X that don't work together for reasons you could never explain? Perhaps this is the reason!

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    My Megadrive 2 doesn't need that dongle to, the Megadrive and Megadrive 2 from my mate doensn't need it either. This is the first time i see this thing.
    So it can be that only one Genesis series realy need it and Sega fixed that problem in later series where the dongle wasn't needed anymore, but just to be sure that everyone could play the damn thing they packed a dongle with it.

    I just checked out the manual of my 32X and it doesn't say anything about that dongle. So in europe it was never packed with the 32X.
    The only thing here are that 2 metal plates that you had to put in your Megadrive, i think for static electricity or something with that. You don't need them either

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    WTF is that?!?!



    Another piece of flotsam to keep my eyes open for. Thanks for linking us up!

    I've used my 32X with a Genny 1, and a Genny 2, and had no use for the dongle. Nor did I ever see a dongle. I'll check my 32X docs and post back.
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    Yeah, I was just reading that thread at AA 10 minutes ago. I don't have a 32x but I'd like to get one soon so this is good info.

    As for the dongle, I'm betting it grounds some of the pins on the motherboard. Maybe a certain pcb revision had interference if some of the pins weren't grounded or connected to a CD unit... something like that, I bet. They did a LOT of effing around with the Genesis motherboards over the years so it wouldn't surprise me at all considering what a poor design the 32x is to begin with.

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    Default

    Well great. It turns out the guy who DOES need the dongle is also using a MK-1601 unit, so that just makes things even weirder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy
    I just checked out the manual of my 32X and it doesn't say anything about that dongle. So in europe it was never packed with the 32X.
    No, it's not mentioned in the manual... instead, there was an addendum page that was written in blue on white describing how to install the thing. The paper was written in 6 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Portugese and Dutch I believe, which pretty much confirms that this thing was intended for Europe. Note the absense of any asian languages).

    If you didn't get a dongle with your 32X... think back for a minute; did you find an expansion port cover with the rest of the pieces? If so, then the person who sold the 32X perhaps ended up leaving the dongle connected to their Genesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    As for the dongle, I'm betting it grounds some of the pins on the motherboard.
    I have opened up my dongle, and indeed there are no components. It connects a number of pins (6 if I remember correctly) using a ground plane type connection, so you're probably right. Perhaps it's just there to compensate for poor grounding in some goofy variations of the console.

    --Zero

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    Default

    well, i bought my 32x new from toys r us when it came out. i hooked it up to a model 1 genesis and it worked fine without the dongle for years (mine never even had it in the box). i did eventually buy an empty 32x box and genesis box on ebay since my original boxes were destroyed, and i got the dongle in the auction.

    i now have a sega cd also hooked up, so the dongle is unneeded and i have never had one in my system (now it just sits in the box)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_ro

    No, it's not mentioned in the manual... instead, there was an addendum page that was written in blue on white describing how to install the thing. The paper was written in 6 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Portugese and Dutch I believe, which pretty much confirms that this thing was intended for Europe. Note the absense of any asian languages).

    If you didn't get a dongle with your 32X... think back for a minute; did you find an expansion port cover with the rest of the pieces? If so, then the person who sold the 32X perhaps ended up leaving the dongle connected to their Genesis.
    With that 32X came the Megadrive that was used with it. Bot in very good condition and with the expansionbay cover. And in the box is no room for that dongle to.
    The 32X from my mate was in mint condition, everything in plastic and so on (even those metal plates), but not the dongle.
    Both we don't have that piece of paper.

    Very strange thing that dongle, never seen one in eBay sales to. Must be rare.

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    Well i sure dont need the dongle for the CDX. And i do have one to maybe trade away if anybody really needs one.
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