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A more efficient Genesis 
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Joined: Tue 13 Sep 2011, 14:54:16

Posts: 779
Post A more efficient Genesis
This simple part swap allows you to have a greener console and possibly (havn't tried it myself yet) improved a/v performance. You replace the LM7805 voltage regulators with DC Buck Converters. BCs generate no heat. They don't even get warm, so you can toss the heat syncs (would be nice if we could do this in the SMS). You can even keep your 9v supply (whether the original linear or newer switchmode supplies).


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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 00:33:11
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Joined: Thu 03 Jun 2010, 18:56:03

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Location: Soviet Venezuela
Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
Niiiice.

I already replaced the stock heatsink (which is HUGE, and gets in your way if you're doing mods in that zone of the motherboard) with a couple of smaller (but still bulkier) separate heatsinks from dead PC motherboards. So far, my Model 1 hasn't melted down.

As usual, it looks like one of those sweet cool parts that are a pain to find if you don't live in the usual places, yet I might try to track down a few, as 78xx are grossly inefficient with regards to the heat issue (heatsinks are no cool, yo). The video also says that the audio part most likely will require additional mods due to the extra ripple added by the buck converters.

Somewhat related: is it possible to feed a 32X/Genesis combo with a SINGLE power brick?

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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 08:52:52

Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 04:13:19

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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
Mmmm... I don't think there's power passthrough provisions in the cart slot. Genny/32x power sharing would have to be done through a y-cable.

You CAN get Genny/SegaCD power-sharing, though.

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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 08:55:04
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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
You can use switching supplies in place of the honking linear things that it came with.

The SMS uses these as well. So it will be getting the BC treatment too. I imagine the 32x could have this done to it as well. Not so sure about the CD addon.

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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 10:02:29
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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
Here they are:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370929093036

Does the SNES use a 7805? Too early where I am to break mine open.

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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 13:08:21

Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 04:13:19

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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
vxbinaca wrote:
Here they are:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370929093036

Does the SNES use a 7805? Too early where I am to break mine open.

Probably, though I won't swear to it.

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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 14:29:20

Joined: Thu 05 Aug 2010, 18:46:09

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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
Slightly off topic, but:

Lately I've been thinking about consolidating all my consoles' PSUs (even internal ones) into a single, configurable, external, switched one, using either specific adapter cables for each console, or a unified plug layout (with unused voltages left unconnected). The idea is to (hopefully) reduce power consumption, as well as to save some space.

The thing is, there's quite a lot of different voltages in use. My list already comprises 1.55, 1.8, 3.3, 5, 5.2, 8.5, 9, 10 and 12 volts, and I'm still missing a few devices.

Right now this looks like the first iteration would be just a huge bank of individual PSUs, possibly all together in a bigger enclosure and each one able to be turned on or off individually. Or all in a row on a huge power strip (which sounds really, really ghetto imho...). Second iteration would be to consolidate all those PSUs on fewer (ideally a single) PCB (I'm aware this would mean a custom design) with a nicer enclosure, possibly followed by a third one with a simple LCD-based menu to toggle individual voltages, or directly bring the PSU into the correct mode for a given console (via a list of builtin presets).

What do you guys think? Doable? Worthwhile? Any ideas for a better approach?

Thu 31 Oct 2013, 14:59:38
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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
greggetra wrote:
Any ideas for a better approach?


Why not build your own adjustable power supply. You can switch cables by chopping the end off dead PSU's and capping off the cut with say, a headphone jack connector.

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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 20:15:34
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Joined: Sat 01 Dec 2012, 01:50:23

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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
vxbinaca wrote:
Here they are:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370929093036

Does the SNES use a 7805? Too early where I am to break mine open.

Yes, it does.

Thu 31 Oct 2013, 21:57:09

Joined: Fri 10 Apr 2009, 22:30:48

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Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
now that I pretty much have my audio and video matrix figured out, I've considered just having DC on tap, having +12V -12V +5V -5V, and whatever else I need and just bypassing AC all together.

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Thu 31 Oct 2013, 23:00:55

Joined: Thu 05 Aug 2010, 18:46:09

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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
vxbinaca wrote:
Why not build your own adjustable power supply.

Yeah, got some of those already, including a pretty decent lab PSU. Thing is, some console PSUs (e.g. GameCube, and pretty much every internal one I've looked at) provide multiple voltages simultaneously, so I'd need to use - and (re-)configure - a whole bunch of those at the same time. I'm not sure yet if it'd be better (efficiency-wise) to build a bunch of fixed-voltage units (which can be optimized for their specific output) or implement a bunch of adjustable ones... (fixed ones would be really easy to control via a MCU - simple on/off, one channel per pin).

panzeroceania wrote:
now that I pretty much have my audio and video matrix figured out, I've considered just having DC on tap, having +12V -12V +5V -5V, and whatever else I need and just bypassing AC all together.

If those are the only voltages you need, you could hack up an ATX PSU. Also, I heard server PSUs are usually a bit more efficient than "normal" ones, so you might want to take a look at those too.

Thu 31 Oct 2013, 23:22:04
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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
My next question:

Where can I get a good switching SNES power supply?

Edit:

It's looking increasingly like I'll have to convert my SNES to use the 9v hookup the Genesis 1 uses, and go back and do a buck conversion on it to make sure I get as efficient as possible. Am I going to run into any problems when I do this?

I use one of these on my Genesis/SMS/PCE and plan on picking up a few more as backups/SNES-mod use. I havn't put these under a scope yet but they appear to work great! I'm a big fan.

When buying my Genesis from a local retro seller, we were at his place and always he had problems with all his Genesis consoles. I bought one on the cheap saying I'd have to fix it. Plug it in at home and it works great. Turns out he was using the two plug Genesis/SNES supplies and they were sending horrible power into the console. I told him to do like Penn Jilette does and put that brick into the trash and use an official plug.


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Fri 01 Nov 2013, 00:13:08

Joined: Fri 10 Apr 2009, 22:30:48

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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
you for my use case I'd rather have a bunch of fixed voltage ones. But that's because I own most mainstream consoles ever released...

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Fri 01 Nov 2013, 05:38:08
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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
I remember the cheapo "UL listed" 9V supply that came with my Super Joy III Famiclone. There was almost no weight to it, and the thing was just glued together. Either I cracked it open or it fell apart on its own (can't remember), and I noticed that it had two completely naked strands of copper leading from the 120V prongs to the tiny little PCB inside, and they were very nearly touching each other. Needless to say, I pitched that thing straight into the trash, and used an official Genesis 9V adaptor (the most versatile adaptor on the planet) from that point on.

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Fri 01 Nov 2013, 05:41:07

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Post Re: A more efficient Genesis
It occurs to me that if you're replacing the voltage regulator ANYWAYS, you could just cut the VRM section out entirely and use a regulated 5v supply.

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Fri 01 Nov 2013, 08:58:20
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