SEGA Saturn Sophia devkit - need help getting it to boot

Discussion in 'Sega Saturn Programming and Development' started by Headcrab, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Headcrab

    Headcrab Spirited Member

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    Hi!

    I have some Sophia units, and I'd like to get at least one booting. I've found a PDF of the user's manual and ensured the dipswitches are correct (I don't have an SCSI card yet so I've turned off all SCSI-related ones, and selected the correct region) but all I get is a blank screen.

    I've done plenty of reading and most sources say they need a POD and an ICE (the E7000 seems to mentioned a lot) or a second SH2 chip. I've opened them up and they're all sporting two of these snap-on cards:

    [​IMG]

    Are those the SH2 chips required?
     
  2. bart_simpson

    bart_simpson Intrepid Member

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    Yes other wise will not work.
     
  3. Headcrab

    Headcrab Spirited Member

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    Ok, so those are correct then. Does anyone have any experience with these? Any pointers as to why I get nothing on screen?
     
  4. LeGIt

    LeGIt I'm a cunt or so I'm told :P<BR><B>Site Supporter

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    Been a long time since I owned one of those bad boys.

    The only thing I can suggest is use the correct cables (I think EU and J AV are different), check the dip switches, check your TV supports an NTSC signal and lastly you really need a beast of a stepdown transformer.
     
  5. Druid II

    Druid II Officer at Arms

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    The cables only make a difference if he wants RGB output.

    I'd consider cleaning the dust from that thing as a first.
     
  6. vectrex_rox

    vectrex_rox Enthusiastic Member

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    Headrab ... i have the same setup as you (it seems)

    i also cant get a picture ... unit boots ... seeks cd, spins cd ....

    i tried different EDO Ram modules ... no luck .. black screen .. just some small flickering when booting up
     
  7. retro

    retro Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, you need a decent step-down at the right voltage. Make sure it's not in VCD mode and that the DIP switches are set correctly. If you still don't get anything, then you've got more serious problems.

    My workshop is in a state at the moment. When I eventually get round to sorting it out, if anyone still has any problems, I would be happy to take a look, although the shipping costs would probably be a fair bit, sadly. Of course, if you have broken Sophias (or other Saturn dev gear) that are surplus to requirements, do give me a shout as I might be interested! ;-)
     
  8. Headcrab

    Headcrab Spirited Member

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    Step-down? What's this for? Do you mean to convert the input voltage? The PSU is 240v, which is what we have here in the UK.
     
  9. retro

    retro Administrator Staff Member

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    All Sophias should run off Japanese mains voltage, as I've mentioned before, and be stickered as such.

    [​IMG]

    I've never seen one fitted with a 240V PSU. If you've plugged it directly into UK mains, you've probably blown it.

    Does the light come on?
     
  10. Jackhead

    Jackhead Deep down everyone┬┤s a Ferengi #284 Staff Member

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    well many thanks for detailed docs ^^. i had also problems with a sophia unit running with stepdown converter...Not sure about it, you will know it better...
     
  11. Headcrab

    Headcrab Spirited Member

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    Well, the sticker on the back says otherwise, so I guess these have either been modified or there was a batch made for the UK. The PSU looks like it's held in with just a few screws and clips so it wouldn't surprise me if it was really simple to replace it with a model of a different voltage. They've also run a 5v line to power a CartDev.

    IMG_20120317_093641.jpg
    IMG_20120317_093646.jpg

    The lights come on, the fan spins up, and if I hit the 'Power' push button my TV screen goes black as if it's about to do something, but nothing. I've tried hooking up one of my CartDevs to it but nothing changes (I've verified the CartDev works fine with a Cross Products Saturn). The units do have memory sticks in them (not sure what size) and the CD drives spin.

    This is the same story for FOUR kits, so my guess is I'm doing something wrong, I'm hoping it's unlikely that all four of the machines would have a common fault.
     
  12. retro

    retro Administrator Staff Member

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    Lol, does sound like it was hacked if it's been powering a CartDev, too!

    Is the VCD switch definitely in the right position, and all the other DIP switches? Umm, I think I posted the correct settings on another thread in this forum - I can't access my manual right now, but you could look at the one on Antime's site.

    Are you using an RGB or s-video cable?
     
  13. vectrex_rox

    vectrex_rox Enthusiastic Member

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    humm i have the SAME problems .... i am using a Saturn (Pal) Scart cable ... also i only see some black flickering. the VCD switch is in the correct position .. also i am NOT sure about the comination on the DIP switches but i think i allready tried a zillion possibilities ;(
     
  14. Headcrab

    Headcrab Spirited Member

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    Yep, I tried your DIP settings, I also have a copy of the manual here and tried all the logical combinations (anything SCSI OFF, mem arenas ON, all the ones that made sense). It's funny how all four of my units do exactly the same thing, and now vectrex_rox is seeing the same, I hope it's a common misunderstanding and not a common fault :(

    I've even tried hooking it up to SCSI, but it doesn't show up on the bus (even with the SCSI DIPS set ON).
     
  15. Druid II

    Druid II Officer at Arms

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    Try removing pin 16 on the scart connector. If it's the usual "pal scart does not work on ntsc machines" problem, this should give you at least composite output.
     
  16. Headcrab

    Headcrab Spirited Member

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    How on earth did I miss this post?

    Cheers Druid, I'll give that a shot!
     
  17. RetroJunkie

    RetroJunkie Blast Processed Since 199X

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    Here's hoping for some progress!
     
  18. pitsunami

    pitsunami 3DO maniac

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    I dont think the 'removing the pin' thing will do the job,
    i have the same problem with one of my units and
    i have tried an rca cable and every switch combination possible.

    Anyone has any idea what exactly is the setup with a cart dev
    includes?
     
  19. RetroJunkie

    RetroJunkie Blast Processed Since 199X

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    The same problem? I fear that if my two SH-2 CPUs are working... I too have the same problem...
    That's a lot of people either doing something wrong or a lot of Sophias going wrong!
     
  20. pitsunami

    pitsunami 3DO maniac

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    That problem is pretty common ,so i hope
    its sth we are doing wrong...

    What is your setup RetroJunkie?
     

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