When your games go on the fritz - Suteneko's repair & mod thread.

Awesome! Glad it was such a simple fix.


Yet another Game Gear Repair:

I got my hands on another Game Gear from my local tip and saved it from landfill.

This time on testing it powers up but audio was almost non-existent and the screen displayed garbage:

I had never seen a screen like this before so :crossed_fingers: maybe the original screen might work?

Unfortunately the case of this Game Gear is not in the best shape and is broken around the D-Pad:

So as usual went about a full recap:

I usually replace all the Audio PCB capacitors with identical SMD mount capacitors but this time I was one short, so instead had to solder in a single regular through hole capacitor:

The Power PCB was recapped as well:

And the moment of truth:

For a change I actually have a working original screen!

@Gravitone was kind enough to send me an original good condition case from the first production run of Japanese Game Gear’s that had a flat plastic lens (Thank you so much!):

So I was able to do a case swap:

Leaving me with a very lovely condition all original Game Gear:


This thread is just wonderful, thank you for sharing.


Man that brings back memories. I haven’t played a GG since the 90s. It’s the one console from my childhood I haven’t kept around.


Great work/write-up as usual!

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Two More PS2 Slim Not Powering Up Repairs:

These are a couple of repairs I previously never got around to writing up, but ran across the photographs earlier today so decided to post them up.

PS2 Slim (1):

First up another rather typical issue I’ve come across on these awful models:

Solder joints on the power connector broken, which is a really simple re-solder fix:

Back to working fine:

PS2 Slim (2):

This PS2 Slim also would not power up so needed to be taken apart.

The case screws hidden under plastic covers that can be easily pried off with a flat headed screwdriver:

Naked PS2 Slim:

For a change the power jack connector was not the issue here.

Instead if you look closely over the PS2 Slim motherboard there are lots of tiny little green coloured SMD fuses littered across it, a couple of which I have circled a couple below:

After testing them all using the conductivity test of my Multi-Meter I discovered that fuse at location PS17 was broken, so as I didn’t have any appropriate replacement fuses to replace it I bridged the connection:

Re-assembled and re-tested:


Playstation (SCPH-9002) Player 1 Controller Port Not Functioning Repair:

A friend saved this SCPH-9002 PS1 from being thrown away because Player 1 controller inputs were not working and passed it over to me to have a look at today:

After some easy disassembly I have the controller ports removed:

Hmm can you see what might be the problem here:

After trimming off the broken traces I epoxy bond the contact back down to the PCB:

Using a Fibreglass Pen I exposed the Copper on the broken tracks:

With a bit of Kyna wire the tracks are re-connected.
Please excuse the poor workmanship as I’m doing this as a freebie ASAP repair :


And working again:


How would only one pin get pushed out like that? Must have jammed in a controller that had a bent pin or something.

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looks good to me!


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Game Gear Va0 Refurbishment - Power Shorting to Ground Repair:

I currently have a Game Gear that needs a replacement cartridge slot and found a junk Game Gear for sale at £10 as a potential donor.

However, on initial testing the screen display was mostly black with a few thin white horizontal lines on it which was very similar to a previous Game Gear that ended up having an original functioning screen.

This changed my mind and instead I decided to recap it and see if the original screen was salvageable.

So I re-capped it as usual and afterwards the Game Gear just does not turn on at all.

The power board is known to be good but as soon as it is attached to this Game Gear the power vanishes…

After getting out my Multi-Meter I find that the 5v power lines coming directly into the Game Gear are shorted to ground and I have no power coming into this Game Gear.

While testing around the front side of the PCB I find that the Q3 & Q4 transistors are shorting to ground:

I also eventually find out that capacitors C1, C3, C5, C19, C31, C50, C81 and resistors R38, R51 are also shorting out:

To make testing easier I de-soldered the power cable and removed to square transformer:

The removal of the transformer stopped transistors Q3 and Q4 from shorting so they could be eliminated as not being the problem.

With the assistance of @Gravitone and the help of some badly scanned official hand drawn schematics, we slowly worked around the board looking for possible causes of the short circuits, beginning from where the power initially comes into the board:

One by one potentially problematic components are tested and any components that are short circuiting are taken out of circuit to eliminate them and to see if the short circuit persists.

Eventually we end up at the power input for the Z80 CPU:


Where I find that the removal of the tiny 0.1µF SMD capacitor solves all the short circuit issues:

I then found a working replacement SMD capacitor from my spares to replace it and then soldered back in everything else that had been removed:

Time to test:

Sadly during the PCB cleaning process I accidentally got some cleaning fluids behind the screen which I noticed as soon as I saw the original screen come back to life:

So I carefully had to remove the already damaged plastic bracket from the screen:

Thankfully I have a spare:

After cleaning away the fluid everything is re-assembled:

Finally after way too much work this Game Gear lives!

To think the whole problem for this Game Gear was just this tiny SMD Capacitor:

If not for @Gravitone’s assistance I am not sure I would have gotten this far any time soon, as it felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall for hours making zero progress, only finding more potential issues. Many thanks man!


Great work guys!

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Team work makes the dream work!

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SEGA System 16b 171-5797 ROM Board Repair:

This is a follow up to a previous “repair” where I found this E-Swat 171-5797 ROM board to be faulty:

Any time this ROM board was inserted into a working SEGA System 16b Motherboard you would get a black blank screen and no sound.

While looking around the board originally I had discovered that the axial salmon coloured non-polarized capacitor at C109 had a small crack across it and when pressed very lightly broke away:

I couldn’t find anywhere to buy replacements for this sort of capacitor and put it to one side to look at properly some other time.

Recently I was salvaging parts from some old spare junk VCR PCB’s and lo and behold noticed they were using the same type of capacitors which jogged my memory about this ROM board and de-soldered a bunch of them, of which a fair few were the exact same banding as the one I needed to replace:

I didn’t expect this to be the end of the problems and sadly that was the case the board was still dead.

I decided to test the 4 470µF and 1 x 4.7µF capacitors and while their capacitance measured fine their ESR while not bad enough to stop them working was a little high so I replaced them all anyway:

Again as expected this didn’t change anything and the board was still not working.

So I got at my logic probe set to TTL level and started probing around the board while it was turned on to see if I could discover what was going on.

I had correct activity on all the SOUND and Graphics ROM, however I was getting zero activity on any of the input and output pins on the Program ROM :

These Program ROM are 27C2001 EPROM and to test farther I needed to check if they were getting power and connected correctly to ground:


VCC is the 5v power input pin which is on pin 32
VSS is the Ground pin which is on pin 16.

For those curious VPP is for the re-programming voltage input and can be ignored here.

Using my multi-meter I was able to confirm 5v was present and the ground was also connected properly.

These Program ROM are connected to two custom QFP SEGA IC (a SEGA 315-5250 and a SEGA 315-5248 on the solder side of the board) and a HD74HC139P 74xxxx Series TTL Logic IC.

The solder on the custom SEGA IC didn’t look the greatest but had no visible continuity issues.
Regardless I re-flowed their solder just to be on the safe side:

No change, so I de-soldered the HD74HC139P and went to test it in my Universal Programmer:


It tested good so got soldered back onto the PCB.

So now I either have a bad custom SEGA IC which can not be replaced or a broken trace somewhere.

I start to have a much closer look all over the PCB under magnification and eventually notice this:

Unfortunately the 3 traces go underneath the IC2 located Program ROM so I had to remove the EPROM and the socket to be able to test these 3 traces properly:

Using the continuity mode of my multi-meter I discover that the top 2 traces are still fine however the trace that connects to PIN 2 of the Program ROM (Address line 16) is broken.

Usually here I would scrape away the solder mask a little around the break and re-connect the trace with some thin gauge wire, however at present I don’t have a fibreglass pen at hand so I had to resort to a bodge wire which i placed on the underside of the ROM board:

And working again:


Since this is a repaired ROM board and because I already have a working E-Swat ROM Board I am tempted to convert this into another game (possibly Golden Axe) in the future.


Awesome write up! I always love seeing how you go about your repairs. I need to pick your brain about my Raiden Fighters Jet board that doesn’t have any sound. The amp works… But no sound.


I think there’s a limit on image uploads. Try again later.

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Thanks for the support as always dude!
Send me a DM regarding Raiden Fighters with a few photographs and we can figure something out!

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Nintendo DS Lite Cartridge Slot repairs:

I’ve done a lot of DS Lite repairs and generally they have never really been worth the time or effort to work on considering how cheap they can still currently be obtained for, the many issues they can end up having and the comparatively high cost of replacement parts.

However, recently I got handed over two very nice condition DS lites:

Everything is working great apart from both of them have non working “SLOT 1” DS cartridge slots.

The deal here being if I can repair them I get to keep the black DS lite for myself.

Which I decided to take up as the only DS lite I had is actually the result of combining many trash free systems together to make one working system and even then I still had to use parts of a 3rd party shell casing to bring it all together.

So anyway, I bought 2 replacement DS cartridge slots from Zedlabs:

Turning over the Pink DS lite and removing the Dummy GBA Cartridge:

The Battery and two feet are removed:

Four Tri-wing screws and three Phillips screws have to be removed:

You can leave the screw in the center of the battery housing alone:

Gently you can now pry up/off the casing:

Close up of the cartridge slot we need to remove:

Because I do not want to remove the PCB fully and don’t have any need to try to save the cartridge slot, I decide to cut the pins to the rear of the slot to avoid having to use hot air:

Using solder wick I remove any excess solder from the cartridges ground solder tabs:

Using my solder iron to gently heat up these tabs I can now prise up the cartridge slot and remove it:

Since I cut the pins previously I now need to remove them with my soldering iron:

And with some more use of solder wick I clean up all the contacts:

The original DS cartridge slot (right) versus the new one:

Taking off the top shielding of the original slot we can see how badly mangled the original pins are inside:

The new replacement cartridge slot is now placed into position:

And soldered onto the PCB:

I find that unfortunately I can not close the casing of the DS Lite because of two black pieces of plastic sticking out of the back of the replacement cartridge slot:

So I trim these off:

After re-assembling:

Both are now fully working again.


Super detailed and informative post as usual. I haven’t worked on one of these yet. Super interesting.

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I really don’t recommend it to be honest.

The third party cases tend to not be moulded very well and end up breaking the charging circuit when you close them together unless you knew in advance to file back the excess plastic inside to give good clearance over certain components.

I learned the hard way sadly… >_<

Replaced plenty of screens and touch screen digitizers in these DS lites over the past couple of years.

Found a fair few with broken charging circuits, bad internal fuses, one with a unfixable bad VDP, many with bad DS and GBA cartridge slots along with the very typical broken hinge issue.

But really as I said already they rarely feel worth the time/effort to repair and can be fiddly to deal with.

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The pins in the original cartridge slot!!! Wow.

Great post.

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