Best PlayStation 1 model?

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by ollidab, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. ollidab

    ollidab Active Member

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    Hi everybody, I'm looking for opinions into what would be the best Playstation 1 model available. Also in the past I've read some stuff about people changing older model laser lens with the PSONE SCHP-101 lens and that interest me if the lens is better since I already have one of these.
     
  2. Mechagouki

    Mechagouki Site Supporter 2013,2014,2015

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  3. master991

    master991 Enthusiastic Member

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  4. MottZilla

    MottZilla Champion of the Forum

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    The only ones to stay away from are probably the oldest models like SCPH-1001. Other than that you just want a system that has not been abused or neglected. You could even use an original 1001 model today but you'd probably need a new laser assembly and have it properly calibrated. I'd say the best advice is to look for a newer model as they perhaps got less use. And also one that looks to be in good physical condition as again it may mean it got less use or was not abused.
     
  5. shadaboot27

    shadaboot27 Rising Member

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    If you want to use a game shark then don't get the newest models as they don't have parallel ports on the back.
     
  6. NeC5552

    NeC5552 All your skullz are belong to us.

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    Best PS1 model I can think of is 750x,second being the 550x.
    750x because it uses new video encoder,which is essential for both PAL and NTSC TVs. (PAL consoles display PAL60 on US games,and I think NTSC consoles display either NTSC-50 or PAL-M)
    550x because while it uses the old CXA1645 (somebody correct me if I'm wrong)it uses a updated version of the 100x boot ROM.
    (100x uses v2.0 boot ROMs IIRC and 550x uses v3.0 boot ROM,but I need to recheck that when I can)
     
  7. geluda

    geluda <B>Site Supporter 2012</B><BR><B>Site Supporter 20

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    PAL60? So you get full colour over composite? Video signal.
     
  8. ollidab

    ollidab Active Member

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    Thanks for posts everybody. I think I'm gonna go with the SCPH-750x. As NeC5552 mentioned it has the new video encoder and it still maintains the Parallel Port.
     
  9. NeC5552

    NeC5552 All your skullz are belong to us.

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    Yes,PAL60.I checked that using DScaler.
    PAL60 is what the 700x-900x European PAL consoles output instead of true NTSC,as they use a new video encoder.
    Old 100x-550x\5552 consoles use the CXA1645 video encoder which outputs true NTSC when a US game is run.
    If I remember correctly the Genesis CDX uses the same video encoder as the 100x-550x PS1 consoles.

    You don't really need to have the laser calibrated.
    I had a chipped 1002 2 years ago and getting sick of the crappy 9002 laser it had I installed a entire gray PS1 drive after cutting a bit with normal scissors.After doing that I could play any game,even scratched ones were being read without a slight FMV skip.And yes,that was without any calibration on BIAS and GAIN pots.Not even on the drive itself I didn't do any calibration.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  10. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    It depends on what you are most interested it. There were a lot of hardware changes over the years.

    The CD mechanism generally improved with time, and in addition to this the newer ones will generally have less operating hours. They are all KSM-440s with different suffixes - AAM and early (plastic) ACMs are best avoided since they suffer from serious wear issues - the later ACMs with the die cast frames are generally OK, but old. ADMs are used with PU-8 and PU-18 boards and AEMs are used with PU-22 and PU-23 boards. The BAM is the PSone model. The BAM is generally recommended for fixing the old (PU-7, PU-8) machines because it has the same ribbon cable as the AAM and ACM, has a mechanically compatible mounting frame (you need to swap the top cover) and will normally have a lot less hours on it.

    The CD electronics also improved with time - the PU-7 and PU-8 have a hybrid servo system (digital spindle servo and analog focus and tracking servos), which is why they need careful adjustment. The PU-18 and PU-20 replaced that with a mostly digital arrangement (still had analog kick for the sled motor) and the PU-22 and later were fully digital. The PU-22 and later models have very good servos - it's a safe assumption that if a pickup doesn't work reliably with them, it won't work with anything.

    The boards up to PU-20 had a separate audio DAC, if you care about that sort of thing. Some people claim that the early units (PU-7, PU-8) sound better, but personally I can't say I can notice it - and test gear doesn't show anything significant either. One other implication of this is that if you want to add a optical audio output, then you need a machine with a PU-20 or earlier, since the signals are not available (the DAC is in the Audio/CD chip) on the PU-22 and on.

    The PSone doesn't have an external serial port (although the pins are still there on the board).

    The PU-23 and PSone don't have an external expansion connector.

    The slightly later PU-8s (-2x and onwards) can be modified to output real PAL and real NTSC by the addition of the missing oscillator (these were the boards used in the Yaroze, which is presumably why this was supported) - and PAL PU-20s and onwards can be color modded easily (this only applies to the PAL machines - doing the equivalent mod on a NTSC machine works on a technical level, but the signal in PAL mode (3.58MHz NTSC @ CCIR frame rates) is not something that most monitors can handle. Adding an external 4.43Mhz subcarrier oscillator and strapping the encoder to PAL works on every model (both PAL and NTSC), but results in increased dot crawl in NTSC mode because the subcarrier is no longer harmonically related to the line frequency.

    If you're using RGB, the PU-7, PU-8 and PU-18 are generally considered to produce cleaner video, because they have a separate video DAC and encoder, although (IMO) the effect is fairly minor. It's also possible that some of all of it is attributable to the changes in the clock generation in these models, since the GPU clock went from being directly clocked with it's own xtal to being derived via a PLL, and this caused a measurable increase in clock jitter.

    Edit:

    The reason I'm using board numbers is that they don't always map perfectly to the model numbers on the case, especially when you consider regional differences.

    PU-7: SCPH-1000, some very early SCPH-3000s, SCPH-3500, Early SCPH-1001, possibly some early SCPH-1002
    PU-8: Most SCPH-3000, SCPH-5000, most SCPH-1001, SCPH-1002
    PU-18: SCPH-550x, SCPH-5001, SCPH-5552, some early SCPH-700x, some Mexican SCPH-7501
    PU-20: SCPH-700x
    PU-22: SCPH-750x, some early SCPH-900x
    PU-23: SCPH-900x
    PM-41: PSone, multiple variants of this board.

    In general, each pair of boards (PU-7 / PU-8, PU-18 / PU-20 , PU-22 / PU-23) was mechanically compatible and the model changeovers were planned so that the remaining stock of the previous model board could be used in the new model.

    The Japanese tended to mark hardware revisions with new model numbers:

    SCPH-1000: PU-7
    SCPH-3000: PU-8 (early, old GPU and VRAM)
    SCPH-5000: PU-8 (later, new GPU and SGRAM)
    SCPH-5500: PU-18 (no AV jacks)

    SCEA called thieir inital machines "SCPH-1001" and kept that number for all the PU-8 revisions, only changing to SCPH-5001 with the PU 18 (hence a SCPH-5000 has AV jacks, and a SCPH-5001 doesn't...). Some time later, they changed the model number to SCPH-5501 without any apparent hardware changes.

    SCEE also kept "SCPH-1002" up until the PU-18, but at least they called their PU-18 based machine "SCPH-5502" from the start. At this point the numbers were in sync. The "SCPH-5552" is the same machine as a SCPH-5502, but was supplied in a "Value Pack" with 2 controllers and a memory card.

    The SCPH-700x was the model that was supplied with the Dual Shock controller as standard. Some units have PU-18s, but most are PU-20.

    SCPH-750x are based on the PU-22 board. There are some "Made in Mexico" SCPH-7501s that have PU-18s (and hence the older plastics) - I suspect they had a large stock of boards and / or parts and didn't want to mark them with the old part number because they were gong into dual shock bundles.

    SCPH-900x are PU-23 based, although some (presumably transition) machines have PU-22s in them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
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  11. NeC5552

    NeC5552 All your skullz are belong to us.

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    Do you have any pictues on the PU-18 700x,a PU-18 7501 and a PU-22 900x?I thought of asking as I never came across such consoles,not even in photos of dissassembled fat PS1s across the internet.Also,I assume that Sony did this with the PS2 too?
     
  12. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    I'm afraid I haven't - but there isn't really much to see - the PU-18 and the PU-20 exactly the same in mounting terms and you could simply swap the boards over - the only reason I know these units were shipped like this is that they were new. The PU-22/PU-23 is the same (although the later SCPH-900x machines had modified lower plastics and screening).

    The only real anomaly were the SCPH-7501s with PU-18s in them. They had the old plastics with the different vent patterns and both the date codes on the parts and the mold markings on the plastics were late '97 - but the production date marked on the label was a year later than that. The whole unit was in fact identical to the "Made in Mexico" SCPH-5501s with the exception of the label. If not for the fact there were several boxes of them, all packed up with dual shock controllers and clearly new I would have assumed someone just changed the label.
     
  13. Chacranajxy

    Chacranajxy Member

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    So, is there any reason not to buy a PSOne if I don't care about the parallel or serial port? All I'm looking for is a reliable system that's going to give me good A/V performance. Somebody posted some screens of various PS1 variants a while back, and the PSOne seemed to have basically identical video quality to the SCPH-5500 and 7500 models. The only real concern is sound quality. AFAIK, the AKM DAC doesn't really make a meaningful difference in the older model systems, but I'm not sure if there's any difference between post-AKM Playstation systems and the PSOne.


    Or, would I just be better off sticking with a Playstation 2 for its optical out?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  14. wilykat

    wilykat Site Supporter 2013

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    PSOne is nice and small but if you ever plan to get PS-IO to play ISO off the SD card, PSOne is not ideal since it lacks the parallel port. Personally I'd go with PSX and don't worry about bad CD drive since it's not needed with PS-IO.
     
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  15. CoolerKing

    CoolerKing Active Member

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    I compared the video output of some of my PS1 models.. my observations:

    SCPH-7502, SCPH-9002, SCPH-102 have the same video encoder chip (A2106R) so the difference in output quality between these models is negligible. Here are some s-video captures (SCPH-7502 vs. SCPH-9002 vs SCPH-102 in NTSC 433):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As you can see there is noticable noise / interference (for lack of a better word) in the picture... I don't know if this noise is also present when using an RGB cable, but I don't have the proper equipment to capture RGB signals (SCART input).

    I also tested SCPH-5552 and SCPH-1001 models.. These have a CXA1645M video encoder chip on board. The problem with this chip is that, for s-video or composite output, you will need a color mod to get proper colors with games that are a different region than the console (so PAL games on NTSC console or NTSC games on PAL console). If you're using an RGB cable, there is no problem though. I was only able to do an NTSC M s-video capture on my SCPH-1001 (the SCPH-5552 gave me "rainbow" colors because it's doesn't have a color mod):

    [​IMG]

    What surprised me here is that the image contained almost no noise / interference, unlike the newer models.. Although the picture seemed to be blurrier / less sharp than on the newer models.

    Would be nice if someone could do some proper RGB captures for comparison, but for now I agree with some of the other posters that the SCPH-7502 is the best model if a parallel port is needed. If no parallel port is needed, then the PSOne is a nice compact alternative. The newer models seem to have better lasers (which are also cheaper to replace than the lasers in older models) and are able to output both NTSC and PAL signals without a color mod or RGB cable..
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  16. horstenss

    horstenss Active Member

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    In RGB all I know is that the SCPH-9002 and SCPH-102 both have a brighter output by default (than any of the other models).
    I can't say if it's the proper level though, that would need better measurements.

    - SCPH-100x often have issues with the laser, mostly because the adjustment is manual and fixed via potentiometers.

    - The 500x series is a better tuned "full PSX", with auto laser adjustment and a better PSU. I recommend this one as the legacy PSX :p

    - 750x are good for the energy savings and efficiency, also they don't require a complicated color mod for different region s-video and composite out.
    The mod they do need instead is very simple to do. On the other hand, the system gets a bit bare bones from here on. It kinda doesn't feel like the full machine anymore :p

    - 900x are bright in RGB and often have good lasers and non yellowed cases. They were made pretty late and people haven't (ab)used them as much. The missing I/O port means no game enhancers and no PSIO when it eventually comes out.

    CoolerKing: How did you get these screenshots to be the exactly same frame? Any trick to it? :p
     
  17. CoolerKing

    CoolerKing Active Member

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    PS1 connected to easycap usb device with s-video cable.. then recorded with AmaRecTV with lagarith lossless codec... opened in virtualdub with yadif deinterlace

    I also tried RGB scart > scart coupler > scart to s-video > s-video cable > easycap usb.. but directly to s-video obviously looked better :D too bad the scart capturing devices are all so expensive, so no full blown RGB capturing for me

    ps. what mod are you talking about with the 750x? and how is that different from 900x and psone? because I thought those 3 were sort of identical in terms of video output, with the same chips (my 7502 didn't need any mod to output color in s-video)..

    But I agree with your findings about the SCPH-100x.. the one that I have here also has problems reading backups but it seems to read retail copies fine. A replacement lens (KSM-440ACM) is also more expensive than the KSM-440-AEM that is found in 750x and 900x models.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  18. horstenss

    horstenss Active Member

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    I mean the modTriMesh describes a bit up; PU-20 and up PAL boards can easily be modded to display in PAL60 by connecting 2 points and lifting a pin on the GPU.
    I forgot the details and can't find my diagrams right now but there's instructions here on the forums :p
    You should not get a color picture via s-video (or composite) on your PAL console playing an NTSC game if you didn't do this mod!

    When comparing them I found the 9002 and 102 only to be brighter than usual. The 7502 I have was in line with the other consoles.

    And yea, I too wish for affordable scart RGB capture. The best you can do atm is the PEXHDCAP which is listed on Amazon. (Price is constantly increasing on that,
    now at 130€.)
     
  19. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    It's possible he has a TV that can handle NTSC4.43, in which case that mod is not necessary.

    There are basically 3 things that determine the format of the video signal:

    1) The frame format - this is normally 60Hz / 525 line for NTSC and 50Hz / 625 line for PAL
    2) The actual color encoding - either PAL or NTSC
    3) The color subcarrier frequency - 3.58MHz for NTSC, 4.43MHz for PAL

    So a true PAL signal will use 50Hz frame format, PAL encoding and a 4.43MHz subcarrier.
    A true NTSC signal uses 60hz frame format, NTSC encoding and a 3.58MHz subcarrier.

    On everything from the PU-20 onwards, the color subcarrier is fixed based on the xtal installed on the board - so a PAL console will always use 4.43MHz and a NTSC one will always use 3.58MHz. The line that controls the operating mode of the color encoder is driven from the GPU, so the encoder follows the mode the GPU is using. As a result, in NTSC mode, the console will generate:

    60Hz frame format, NTSC encoding, 4.43MHz color subcarrier <-- This is NTSC 4.43

    If you do the mod, it will generate:

    60Hz frame format, PAL encoding, 4.43MHz color subcarrier <-- This is PAL 60

    The only reason the latter works better is that there are a lot more TVs that can handle PAL 60 than NTSC 4.43.

    If you try to do the equivalent mod on a NTSC console (cut the trace and wire the pin high), then it does what you would expect, but the results are not very useful because the resulting mode (50Hz NTSC) is so unusual that pretty much nothing will display it.

    Also note that with or without this mod the line and frame rates in NTSC mode are off by about 1% - the GPU was designed to take a different clock signal in PAL (53.20MHz) and NTSC (53.69MHz) modes, but they are just tied together on the board and driven with the same clock source. If you are a perfectionist and this upsets you, then lift pin 192 on the GPU and connect a 53.69MHz oscillator to it (you can find them on NTSC PU-7, PU-8 and PU-18 boards).
     
  20. horstenss

    horstenss Active Member

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    Thanks for the explanation :)
    Where else can one buy these oscillators btw? I couldn't find the PAL nor the NTSC one anywhere.
    Shipping different region consoles around to butcher them for their $1 crystal isn't so great either :p
     

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