PDA

View Full Version : PC Engine GT "revived"



cosam
July 17th, 2009, 04:04 AM
Just picked up one of these (probably better known to the North Americans among us as the NEC TurboExpress) on ePay for a pretty reasonable price seeing as the previous owner was experiencing video trouble. As with a lot of handhelds, sound and video often go bad due to leaky electrolytic capacitors, so I figured I'd take a punt and see if I could repair it myself.

The beast arrived yesterday and is in pretty good cosmetic shape: no scratches on the screen and only a couple of minor scuffs elsewhere. I figured I'd see how bad the reported video problem was and was greeted by a completely white screen. However, I reseated the game card a couple of times and, lo and behold, the thing works fine! I can only imagine the previous owner couldn't get a game in right, or neglected to insert one at all.

The sound isn't all that loud, but I know that's down to those pesky electrolytics in the audio circuit and easily fixed if need be. There are a couple of dead pixels but, considering these things often had such imperfections from new, I'm not worried. So, not much to repair, although I still got to have fun dismantling the thing in order to give the plastic parts a good once-over with hot water and dish washing detergent.

1864

Starshadow
July 17th, 2009, 07:56 PM
Nice find. I need to replace the joypad board on my Turbo Express, and get the internal amp fixed. The speaker used to play loud and proud, now it barely wimpers ( used headphones for sound after that happened)

willowmoon93
July 18th, 2009, 04:52 AM
A great acquisition -- I always wanted either a Turbo Express or a PC Engine GT but I've never seen one "out in the wild" before. Very forward thinking of NEC to allow those HuCards to be played on the particular portable versions of those console systems. Congrats, Cosam!

cosam
July 20th, 2009, 02:10 AM
Nice find. I need to replace the joypad board on my Turbo Express, and get the internal amp fixed. The speaker used to play loud and proud, now it barely wimpers ( used headphones for sound after that happened)
The sound on mine has already deteriorated even more, just in the few days I've been using it. In case you didn't know, the details of the fix are here (http://www.pcenginefx.com/forums/index.php?topic=702.0). I think I'll just replace all four capacitors in the audio amp circuit while I'm at it. I had a look when I had the case open - there's not a lot of room for the old soldering iron in there. I've found a supplier for the proper SMD parts, so no messing about with wires for me!

BTW, what's wrong with the joypad board?

cosam
July 20th, 2009, 02:27 AM
A great acquisition -- I always wanted either a Turbo Express or a PC Engine GT but I've never seen one "out in the wild" before.
They're probably even more scarce over here - I think I've only ever seen one other, and that was a long time ago now. Unlike the US, Europe never saw an official release of any PC Engine system (except for a very small number of modified TurboGrafx-16 machines sold in the UK) so grey imports were the only option. This, coupled with the price of a GT back in the early '90s, made it somewhat unobtainable for a kid like me whose only income came from a paper round. It's great to finally get hold of one, getting on for twenty years later!

Starshadow
July 20th, 2009, 08:45 PM
BTW, what's wrong with the joypad board?

One of the runners just flaked off. Its a bit weird. I'll have to take a pic of it one day. I haven't gotten rid of it yet because of its rarity in my area, though I probably will part it out if I find a TG-16 console.

cosam
July 24th, 2009, 02:56 PM
Just had an action-packed evening replacing almost all those tiny SMD capacitors on the main board. Fiddly work! I even had to remove the headphone socket to get at one in the audio circuit. Well worth the effort though - the sound is loud now and it looks like there's even improvement in the video department, too.

Starshadow
July 24th, 2009, 03:14 PM
Yeah the Turbo Express is nearly as loud as the Atari Lynx. Mine used to play at its full volume and was very impressive sounding on the opening riff to Keith Courage in Alpha Zone.