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Recapping a Sega CD Model 1 = NOT FUN!


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Right..so for those that might not know, I've recapped quite a bit over the years. Started off with arcade monitors, and then eventually to consoles like the Genesis, TurboDUO..etc. And this weekend I decided I would give my model 1 Sega CD a recap job.


The basic kit includes all you need from Console5.com. And nothing is terribly difficult to get to to actually do the work.


I do advised that in the case of the model 1 Sega CD that it be done, if for no other reason, than the main CD logic interface to genesis board has many SMD caps on it and in the case of my Sega CD these were all starting to leak and I was able to remove most of them with my bare hands and hardly any force required! Again, they were apparently starting to leak, so it was a good thing I decided to do this.


That being said, while the task of recapping the audio and main logic board were easy enough. The CD mech and laser assembly...is the one item I advise you to NOT TOUCH! The kits included caps for either the JVC or Sony CD mechs as well. But I was warned about doing this and didn't heed that apparently.


So here is the problem with recapping the laser mech. First the caps themselves depending on the CD model are kinda up in the mech so you have to be careful about that. Also the caps only solder from the bottom side of the board so that shouldn't be a problem. The problem is that recapping the thing will change things electrically on the CD mech. As a result the CD laser has to be re-tuned to compensate and this is where problems arise. In my case I couldn't even get to a point to try and tune the laser because it appears the new caps were allowing more current to flow to the laser head. As a result the laser actually burned out pretty much as soon as I powered everything on. And yes I checked the polarity of the caps and values. The only difference in the caps of the new vs the old was voltage as the larger caps being 330uf were only 16v and 6.3v originally and the replacements are 330uf 25v caps. But I can't imagine that being a problem. Anyway, only but luck did I have a spare Sega CD model 1 assembly that has a broken tray mech. But the laser assembly was good so I was able to swap them out and it was good to go again.


So you should recap the rest of the stuff..but for the love of everything you hold sacred! Do NOT touch the caps on the main CD drive and Laser mech. In fact the originals on the Sony were Nichicons and likely didn't need to be replaced anyway.


See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections


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Game Gear recaps aren't that tough. I've done a few. The audio board is the one that suffers the most from the SMD caps it has on it. the power board has through hole caps on it already so that isn't that tough and the main logic board uses what look like surface mount caps, but are actually normal radial through hole caps that have been surface soldered and then folded over into these small plastic housings. Hard to explain, but...it isn't too bad. I do something a little different than most when I recap. When using radial in place of surface mount, most will bend the leads to little L shapes and solder those down. That is fine, but the cap still sticks up doing this. What I do, if space allows, is to fold the leads along one side so it looks like this along the side of the cap " || " and then from those I bend them back down to make the little L shapes. Doing this, allows me to solder them onto the surface pads, and then fold the cap over on its side back over the leads so little space is used. Might be hard to explain but I haven't any pictures on hand currently to show what I'm talking about.


Capping a GG is perhaps more time consuming than a Lynx, but not too bad. Oh..wait..here is my video I did of the process to get an idea:





What I haven't attempted yet, but I do have the parts on hand for...is the McWill LCD for a Game Gear. I already did my lynx and that wasn't too bad. But the GG requires removal and replacement of some of the SMD components, plus the wires to get the video signals to the LCD mod have to be soldered to really tiny traces. At least...to my 40+ year old eyes they are really tiny. So I've been hedging on doing that one. One day... (Soon I hope as getting older won't make it easier...), I will get it done.


But recapping the GG and Lynx is about an hour to do if you do it properly. I take a little longer that most I'm sure, but then I make sure the pads are cleaned..and double check my work. I have a much better success rate of first time working than not because I take my time when doing mods and repairs.

Edited by CrossBow

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections


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I never recapped a model 1 Sega CD but did have to take the one I had decades ago to clean the lens as it wouldn't read all discs. Some it would and others it had problems with. A simple cleaning solved my problem. I will admit that the system is well built and feels less flimsy than the model 2 unit. I've had both but recommend the model 1 personally.

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