Videopac / Odyssey2 forum

Videopac / Odyssey2 => Hardware => Topic started by: RickO2 on February 24, 2009, 07:40:03 PM



Title: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on February 24, 2009, 07:40:03 PM
As I explained in another post I received a Voice Module as part of a system and a few games I purchased.  I'll cut to the chase.  The Voice Module is not working.  Here is the investigating that I have done so far:
I checked it out on the outside and nothing seems out of place, except one screw is missing on the module but I think it just holds the case together.  When I put in a Voice game I here a split second of static (when I turn the power on) and that is it.  I put Turtles! in and it would show the beginning but when I hit the action button to start the game I would only get a blank green screen.  When I took the Voice off the Turtles! game worked fine.  Is this a clue to solve the problem?  I am not a pro at small electronics so any help would be much appreciated!


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Rene_G7400 on February 25, 2009, 09:10:18 AM
Might just be a problem with the connector of the Voice module which plugs into the cartridge slot of the Odyssey2. Or the cartridge connector of the Voice module.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: ANDYRYALS on February 25, 2009, 10:50:24 AM
Have you tried the old trick of giving it a blow to dislodge any dust? Better still go to the chemist buy 100% alcohol and some cotton buds, simply dip the bud in the alcohol and clean the edge connector, you will not do it any harm. I use the same routine to clean vinyl on my Linn system (which costs a bit of money!!!), and there are no side effects!!


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Gorf on February 25, 2009, 01:24:12 PM
Have you tried the old trick of giving it a blow to dislodge any dust? Better still go to the chemist buy 100% alcohol and some cotton buds, simply dip the bud in the alcohol and clean the edge connector, you will not do it any harm. I use the same routine to clean vinyl on my Linn system (which costs a bit of money!!!), and there are no side effects!!


You should NEVER blow out your carts with your breath. There are chemicals and moisture
that can and will cause issues. Use a can of air if you want to blow anything out. Also
A q-tip swab is good for the cart but you need an old credit card to broperly clean a cart
slot. DONT USE ALCOHOL!!!!!! It's very corrosive. USe Contact lens cleaner. It does the job
and its not nearly as corrosive.


1 ) get an old cotton T-shirt and stretch it over the credit card

2 ) dip the edge of the card with the shirt wrapped over it in the solution.

3 ) insert gently into cart slot.

4 ) move in and out and very carefully side to side.

5 ) for any key-ed part of the cart slot, cut the credit card to size to fit.

I do this with my Jaguar which is notorious for getting dirty and quick.




Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: ANDYRYALS on February 25, 2009, 04:27:35 PM
Have you tried the old trick of giving it a blow to dislodge any dust? Better still go to the chemist buy 100% alcohol and some cotton buds, simply dip the bud in the alcohol and clean the edge connector, you will not do it any harm. I use the same routine to clean vinyl on my Linn system (which costs a bit of money!!!), and there are no side effects!!


You should NEVER blow out your carts with your breath. There are chemicals and moisture
that can and will cause issues. Use a can of air if you want to blow anything out. Also
A q-tip swab is good for the cart but you need an old credit card to broperly clean a cart
slot. DONT USE ALCOHOL!!!!!! It's very corrosive. USe Contact lens cleaner. It does the job
and its not nearly as corrosive.






Really, I have a couple of Science degrees to my name, what chemicals are on your breath whicg can cause damage??? As for using alcohol being corrosive, yes, it is, but its no so corrosive that it's going to cause MASS damage to a cart. I think your being a little over protective.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on February 25, 2009, 08:28:17 PM
I'll try to clean it up this weekend and see if it makes a difference.  I'm afraid something came loose inside since it was not secured when it was shipped.  The former owner says it worked before shipping (haven't we all heard this before?).


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on February 25, 2009, 08:30:58 PM
Might just be a problem with the connector of the Voice module which plugs into the cartridge slot of the Odyssey2. Or the cartridge connector of the Voice module.
I suppose I have to take it apart to find out?  I would think the cartridge slot on the odyssey2 is ok since it does play the game correctly (when the voice is not connected).  I'll take apart the Voice if cleaning doesn't do the trick.  Has anyone dismantled a Voice Module before?  Any tips I should know?  Thanks!


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Ozyr on February 26, 2009, 06:59:21 AM
If I remember correctly, there are like only four screws holding it together. Easy to take apart. Just make sure to pop off the volume control knob first (I think you have to do that - damn memory [mine]).


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Rene_G7400 on February 26, 2009, 10:27:27 AM
To clean the connectors of the Voice you don't have to open it.
If you do want to open it, you don't have to take off the knob of the volume control, but be careful with the sticker which surrounds the hole for the power switch button.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Gorf on February 26, 2009, 03:25:41 PM
Really, I have a couple of Science degrees to my name, what chemicals are on your breath whicg can cause damage??? As for using alcohol being corrosive, yes, it is, but its no so corrosive that it's going to cause MASS damage to a cart. I think your being a little over protective.

It what they teach you in college so maybe the schools are over protective? Not likely.

There are upwards of 3000 different chemicals in your exhale. Ammonia and carbon dioxide are two.
Both not good for metal. Yes the amount in one blow is nothing but over time it will build up. I used
to blow out carts all the time till even that stopped working. A cleaning as I suggested was the only
thing that would fix the problem. It is also the fact that over time the connector pins oxidize.

When you blow on something there is chemicals and there is moisture which coat the contacts and
eventually will build up oxidization which is a form of corrosion.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: ANDYRYALS on February 26, 2009, 03:36:35 PM

[/quote]

It what they teach you in college so maybe the schools are over protective? Not likely.

Didn't quite get that last comment  ???

There are upwards of 3000 different chemicals in your exhale. Ammonia and carbon dioxide are two.
Both not good for metal. Yes the amount in one blow is nothing but over time it will build up. I used
to blow out carts all the time till even that stopped working. A cleaning as I suggested was the only
thing that would fix the problem. It is also the fact that over time the connector pins oxidize.
How long in a day do you spend "blowing" carts, sounds very suspicious to me ;)
When you blow on something there is chemicals and there is moisture which coat the contacts and
eventually will build up oxidization which is a form of corrosion.
Agree'd but you would have to exhale one hell of a lot of breath before oxidation occured.
[/quote]

In a nutshell blow your cartridges to your hearts content and use pure alcohol it WILL NOT damage the edge connector.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on February 26, 2009, 08:30:21 PM
All right children, don't make me take my belt off... play nice or don't play at all.

I haven't had a chance to work on the Voice Module yet.  Still hoping to have time this weekend.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on February 27, 2009, 08:27:36 AM
I have a bit of insomnia tonight so I took the Voice Module apart.  I cleaned all of the contacts put it back together and the same thing happened.  So I took it back apart and checked all of the conections to make sure they weren't broken.  All appeared fine.  One wire leading to the speaker has been pinched but that wouldn't cause the game to just stop (when playing Turtles).  I double checked the system by putting my working voice module on and it worked fine.  Then I put the non-working module on and it still wasn't working.  Finally on the third try I took it all apart, double checked everything, spread the wires out to make sure they weren't missing insulation or had a cut in the insulation, cleaned the traces, put it all back together and... No change.   :'(  Physically everything looks fine.  I'm at a loss.  any other ideas?


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Sweersa on February 27, 2009, 12:54:06 PM
Have you tried the old trick of giving it a blow to dislodge any dust? Better still go to the chemist buy 100% alcohol and some cotton buds, simply dip the bud in the alcohol and clean the edge connector, you will not do it any harm. I use the same routine to clean vinyl on my Linn system (which costs a bit of money!!!), and there are no side effects!!


You should NEVER blow out your carts with your breath. There are chemicals and moisture
that can and will cause issues. Use a can of air if you want to blow anything out. Also
A q-tip swab is good for the cart but you need an old credit card to broperly clean a cart
slot. DONT USE ALCOHOL!!!!!! It's very corrosive. USe Contact lens cleaner. It does the job
and its not nearly as corrosive.






Really, I have a couple of Science degrees to my name, what chemicals are on your breath whicg can cause damage??? As for using alcohol being corrosive, yes, it is, but its no so corrosive that it's going to cause MASS damage to a cart. I think your being a little over protective.

I use alcohol to clean thermal paste off of CPUs and Heat syncs with no ill effects, many people I know in the IT field use this. 


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Gorf on February 27, 2009, 01:17:39 PM

In a nutshell blow your cartridges to your hearts content and use pure alcohol it WILL NOT damage the edge connector.


In a nut shell do it right and use q-tips and contact cleaner. Your method of
blowing is improper and does more harm than good.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Rene_G7400 on February 27, 2009, 02:17:08 PM
Have you tried to play a non-Voice game through the Voice?


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on February 27, 2009, 03:23:44 PM
Have you tried to play a non-Voice game through the Voice?

Yes, I used the multi-cart and tried a couple of different games and the others worked.  Even Smithereens worked but no voice.   ???

Should I take it to a small electronics shop and have them test it (it would probably be cheaper to buy another Voice and use this one as scrap/replacement parts)?  I have a multi-meter but I'm not sure what to test. 


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: K-C Space Odyssey on February 27, 2009, 05:16:19 PM
You said one screw was missing ; are you sure this module wasn't already opened by someone who did some things in it or wanted to fix a problem?


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Ozyr on February 27, 2009, 06:19:01 PM
Hey guys (the ones on cleaning stuff), this is about a voice module, not blowing or alcohol!

(each to their own method of cleaning stuff - I use sulfuric acid myself...  :P  )

Back on topic, sorry to hear the news Rick, but that Voice module sounds pretty much toast! I'd save it for parts, unless someone hear can wrap their head around this one.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on February 27, 2009, 08:40:43 PM
You said one screw was missing ; are you sure this module wasn't already opened by someone who did some things in it or wanted to fix a problem?
Thats always a possibility.  I bought it dirt cheap so I can't complain.  The system that it came with works.  Worst case, I'll clean  it up and offer it for sale (the system, not the voice).  I think I have enough spare systems. 


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Gorf on February 27, 2009, 08:45:01 PM

I use alcohol to clean thermal paste off of CPUs and Heat syncs with no ill effects, many people I know in the IT field use this. 

CPU's are ceramic or plastic and less likely to corrode. IT wont destroy it over night
but why do it as it is indeed corrosive? The contact cleaner is better.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Rene_G7400 on February 28, 2009, 12:16:21 AM
Have you tried to play a non-Voice game through the Voice?

Yes, I used the multi-cart and tried a couple of different games and the others worked.  Even Smithereens worked but no voice.   ???

Should I take it to a small electronics shop and have them test it (it would probably be cheaper to buy another Voice and use this one as scrap/replacement parts)?  I have a multi-meter but I'm not sure what to test. 

OK, so the connectors are working fine!
Turtles might not work because it's waiting for a response from the Voice chip.

I don't think an electronics shop will take a look at a 26 year old device.
Trying to fix it might mean finding a new Voice chip or Voice ROM, which can only be taken from another Voice module...


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Sweersa on February 28, 2009, 03:31:18 AM

I use alcohol to clean thermal paste off of CPUs and Heat syncs with no ill effects, many people I know in the IT field use this. 

CPU's are ceramic or plastic and less likely to corrode. IT wont destroy it over night
but why do it as it is indeed corrosive? The contact cleaner is better.

No I am talking about computer CPUs (processors), with the metal surface.  Believe me the preferred way to remove thermal paste from a CPU of this kind or heat sink is by using isopropyl alcohol. (I use 91%, or the highest I can find.)

Is shouldn't affect the CPU surface in any way, atleast in our lifetimes.  Some people (over clockers) even go so far as to lap (literally sand down and prep) the surfaces of CPUs and HSFs for maximum heat transfer for optimal cooling.  If you can sand down a CPU surface somewhat rubbing alcohol should have no effect, atleast for a long, long, long, long time.  And by then we would either be dead or using an entirely different computer long before anything bad happened, if ever at all.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Gorf on February 28, 2009, 03:42:21 AM

I use alcohol to clean thermal paste off of CPUs and Heat syncs with no ill effects, many people I know in the IT field use this. 

CPU's are ceramic or plastic and less likely to corrode. IT wont destroy it over night
but why do it as it is indeed corrosive? The contact cleaner is better.


For something like removing thick residue, yes you use alcohol but you should rinse
it off in water afterwards. It wont destroy anything for a good long time if it even does,
so ANDYRYALS is correct in that. However, we are talking obsolete, unreplacable O2
carts. You want to take as good a care of them as you can.

For anyone who wishes to test this, simply clean a mirror and every so often breath on it.
You will see a film form on the mirror. This same thing happens to your carts.

No I am talking about computer CPUs (processors), with the metal surface.  Believe me the preferred way to remove thermal paste from a CPU of this kind or heat sink is by using isopropyl alcohol. (I use 91%, or the highest I can find.)

Is shouldn't affect the CPU surface in any way, atleast in our lifetimes.  Some people (over clockers) even go so far as to lap (literally sand down and prep) the surfaces of CPUs and HSFs for maximum heat transfer for optimal cooling.  If you can sand down a CPU surface somewhat rubbing alcohol should have no effect, atleast for a long, long, long, long time.  And by then we would either be dead or using an entirely different computer long before anything bad happened, if ever at all.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: ANDYRYALS on February 28, 2009, 12:41:13 PM
Gorf,

I enjoy our debate and i'm in no way insulting or shouting at you!! But, the o2 as a console sold millions of units and is a widely distributed machine over in USA and all over Europe, finding replacements for [b]some[/b] of the carts is not a problems (Terrahawks)  ;:) being a good example. I agree that some carts are ultra rare such as the prototype's etc and as such deserve such respect! There I hope we can both put our handbags away and play like nice children!!!!

Regards

Andy


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: K-C Space Odyssey on February 28, 2009, 02:10:03 PM

(edit :Sorry, I didn't understand you'd already opened it!  :-[)

Well , suppose the seller might be right , that the module would have be working correctly before shipping. Then , the failure is due to a mechanical shock and is almost certainly a broken solder.
I think it is worth opening the module and looking inside with a good magnifying lens.

Of course, if the seller didn't tell the truth, the problem could be worse. I have some knowledge in electronic (building and repairing some electronic devices with microcontrollers) but doing a distant repair isn't easy! .

(Edit: What kind of components are inside ?  One or two chips or more than that?)


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Sweersa on February 28, 2009, 03:41:00 PM
No, only rubbing alcohol.  You want to keep water away from the surface of a CPU because of mineral deposits and such that could build up on microscopic imperfections on the CPU surface, that is why you want to use 91% alcohol in the first place, or higher if available. 


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Rene_G7400 on February 28, 2009, 05:27:13 PM
(Edit: What kind of components are inside ?  One or two chips or more than that?)

Basically the same as the Odyssey3 Voice module:
http://www.dieterkoenig.at/ccc/po/s_po_o3vmiv.htm (http://www.dieterkoenig.at/ccc/po/s_po_o3vmiv.htm)


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: K-C Space Odyssey on March 01, 2009, 12:47:01 AM
Hello

       I've looked at the photo (thank you Rene for the link!   :) ) and I've found the SP0256 and (I think) the SPR128 (ROM) datascheets. After a short reading, here is my early conclusion :

The ROM (named SPR128 : in fact it seems to be a kind of SPR016) can't be faulty because there is no waiting signal in its exchange with the SP0256 : if the rom was dead, the SP0256 would read 0 or 1 or erratic data, but wouldn't be frozen and , by extension, woudn't freeze the videopac. (sorry for my awful English   :-[ ).
There are only two signals in the interface between videopac and SP0256 that could keep the system from working :  SBY pin 8  and LRQ pin 9.  These two pins work like 'busy' signals when at 1 (5V). If the SPR256 was faulty and kept these signals always at 1 , then the videopac would be waiting without an end for them to return to 0. A measurement (?) with the voltmeter is worth doing on these two pins when the computer is switch on. If these two signals don't stay always at 1, then the SP0256 is healthy, I think.
There are two other components on the card : two 74LSXXX  that make me very suspicious, because all the faulty components I've changed on my old consoles were always 74LSXXX, so there is a little hope for an easy repair if they are involved.

good luck.  ;) 


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on March 02, 2009, 04:13:32 AM
Thanks for checking into it.  I'll keep it for parts. 


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Rene_G7400 on March 02, 2009, 10:11:23 AM
You could swap the chips which are in a socket with the ones of a working Voice module to check if they are OK.
(Place the chips of the non-working unit one-by-one in the working unit and check if it keeps working.)


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on March 02, 2009, 03:01:26 PM
You could swap the chips which are in a socket with the ones of a working Voice module to check if they are OK.
(Place the chips of the non-working unit one-by-one in the working unit and check if it keeps working.)


Do the chips come out easily or do I have to desotter them?  If I can remove them easily I might give it a try.  It help narrow down the problem.  What is the easiest/best way to remove them?  I appreciate the help!


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Gorf on March 02, 2009, 07:54:56 PM
Gorf,

I enjoy our debate and i'm in no way insulting or shouting at you!! But, the o2 as a console sold millions of units and is a widely distributed machine over in USA and all over Europe, finding replacements for [b]some[/b] of the carts is not a problems (Terrahawks)  ;:) being a good example. I agree that some carts are ultra rare such as the prototype's etc and as such deserve such respect! There I hope we can both put our handbags away and play like nice children!!!!

Regards

Andy


Fine but the fact still remains, blowing on your cart or connectors is not the proper or best way
to clean them. Again, I know many folks int he jag community that USED to do it by blowing. They
find themselfs cleaning the carts and connectors a lot less by using the proper tools and chemicals.

If you MUST blow them out, use canned air, not your breath. Besides canned air is more effective
as it can blow a tighter and more powerful stream of air. Fact is your breath may very well blow out
most of the dust from that connector, but chances are you still have plenty building up in the crevices
and corners.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Rene_G7400 on March 03, 2009, 12:13:47 AM
Do the chips come out easily or do I have to desotter them?  If I can remove them easily I might give it a try.  It help narrow down the problem.  What is the easiest/best way to remove them?  I appreciate the help!

If I remember correctly the SP-0256 and SPR-128 chips are placed in a socket, so they can be removed easily (no soldering iron needed).

If you have an older Voice module, it could have a separate small PCB with eight 16-pin chips on it instead of the 24-pin SPR-128 chip.


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Sweersa on March 03, 2009, 12:46:52 PM

 put our handbags away


What does this expression mean?


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: ANDYRYALS on March 03, 2009, 12:55:29 PM
As in "ladies put your handbags away", imagine two men arguing over some petty argument and getting really heated over the topic but imagine two women doing the same thing, they would fight with handbags rather than fists!


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Gorf on March 03, 2009, 01:51:23 PM
I guess I am a real man then as I dont subscribe to the use of handbags.
:P


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: RickO2 on March 03, 2009, 02:55:13 PM
OK.  Enough pissing on my thread.  Take it out back and settle your differences and share a beer after.



Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: ANDYRYALS on March 03, 2009, 03:20:09 PM
I've settled my differences!


Title: Re: Broken Voice Module
Post by: Sweersa on March 03, 2009, 09:05:10 PM
As in "ladies put your handbags away", imagine two men arguing over some petty argument and getting really heated over the topic but imagine two women doing the same thing, they would fight with handbags rather than fists!


Ah, I see. lol