Converting a JAP Sega Saturn Model 1 PSU 110V => 220V?

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by K405, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. K405

    K405 Site Supporter 2014,2017

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    Hi all,

    I was wondering if it's possible to convert a Japanese Model 1 version Sega Saturn 110V PSU into a 220V PSU by simply replacing the 140V varistor GNR 05D221K for a 250V version.
    Would be cool if it were that simply.
     
  2. AmmoJammo

    AmmoJammo Spirited Member

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    if you're asking this question, you probably shouldn't be touching anything that connects to mains power.
     
  3. K405

    K405 Site Supporter 2014,2017

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    Well I do appreciate your concern AmmoJammo.. maybe if you would have added some technical explanation with your concern I could have learned something as well cause I touch stuff that connects to mains power all the time. :p
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  4. AmmoJammo

    AmmoJammo Spirited Member

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    Ok, umm, no, replacing a 140volt varistor with a 250volt part won't make the power supply suitable for 240volts.
     
  5. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    I, too, would like to know how to make such a conversion. I heard there are variable voltage boards you can buy/make for consoles (primarily Segas and older Playstations), and as someone who will require being able to use a console in different countries with different voltage ratings in the near future, I'd like to know if this is indeed possible. Step-down/up converters are such a pain. They're usually expensive and cumbersome, for one, and they're just not an ideal solution overall.
     
  6. sp193

    sp193 Site Soldier

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    If using a step-down transformer is not possible, the next best solution would be to replace the PSU with another suitable one that is compatible with the console.

    Those switching PSUs are generally unofficial, made by a 3rd party.
     
  7. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    Personally for me, it's an option, just not one that I want to entertain. I know you can replace the PSU (which, for the Saturn, is pretty easy, if you can get ahold of a spare PSU), but the variable ones sounded better. I just assumed they indeed would be unofficial, but that shouldn't be a bad thing, necessarily (unless it's crappy and blows up in your face, in which case, yes, it's a bad thing).
     
  8. Kappa

    Kappa Peppy Member

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    would taking a power supply out of a different saturn work or not
     
  9. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    As long as it's a European Saturn, then yes, it'll work. You just have to take out the 240v PSU and put it into the Japanese Saturn. HOWEVER, most, if not all Japanese Saturns have a different PSU pin count to European/American ones, so you'll PROBABLY have to modify it. If I find the instructions for doing so, I'll post them here, but they should be fairly easy to find.

    As for actually modifying the existing PSU, I'm not so sure. I saw a website where someone or a group of people, perhaps (I don't remember all the details, but it shouldn't be hard to find - I think it was some other forums linked to from these very forums) were selling/trading Saturn PSUs for people who needed them so that you didn't have to get an entirely new console just to rip the PSU out of it, so you might want to look into that. I personally can't really afford that right now, though, and so I'd still be interested in seeing how exactly it could be modified, particularly if it is possible to modify it for variable voltage (or at least if there is a place to buy variable voltage PSUs from; I have yet to find anyone selling such a thing).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  10. HEX1GON

    HEX1GON FREEZE! Scumbag

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    If it's the same version saturn, quite possibly.
     
  11. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    OP is talking about putting a European PSU into a Japanese Saturn, so it's unlikely (but not impossible, from what I know).

    There's some information here that may help: http://segasaturngroup.proboards.com/thread/8097/jpn-pal-psu-swap

    It's basically making sure you get the right pins connected up to the points on the PSU. Not the hardest thing in the world, but you just have to make sure everything is connected correctly, else it won't work. If you try to just put a 5-pin PSU into a 4-pin Saturn (which tends to be the most common for Japanese Saturns from what I've seen), it won't work.
     
  12. HEX1GON

    HEX1GON FREEZE! Scumbag

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    Druid would know.
     
  13. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    It'd definitely be nice to have this detailed more in a reliable way. Sites such as mmmonkey's site are great repositories of information for mods and general details. It's a bit harder with forums to collate such information where it's reliably able to be referenced.
     
  14. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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    x
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  15. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    So then PAL consoles will ALWAYS have 5-pin PSUs? I probably should have read that thread I linked to in more depth, but I'm a horrible multi-tasker (i.e. I'm horrible at it and still do it to the extreme).

    I'm still personally interested in variable voltage PSUs for consoles, particularly the Saturn, but I'll try not to beat the poor, dead horse. It just seems that information on them isn't readily available, nor a place to buy them from, and I've seen people talk about them as if they're available at a corner dairy.
     
  16. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  17. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    I was specifically talking about making/buying variable voltage PSUs. Considering my electronics knowledge is fairly minimal (adequate for most things, but minimal nonetheless), I can't really find a way to interpret that information to make a variable voltage PSU out of it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  18. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

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    OK....

    1. There's no such thing as a dual voltage range replacement Saturn PSU. There were for PlayStations (the grey ones) when they were new. Yes, they were unofficial.
    2. Quit while you're ahead (read: still alive). If you have to ask how a PSU works, you shouldn't be working on one and definitely shouldn't be thinking about building one.
    3. Step-down transformers are really cheap and not that bulky for one that would power a Saturn. I have one no larger than a SNES PSU with one of my Japanese Saturns.
    4. If you're a terrible multi-tasker, quit doing other things and just read the damn thread! :p
    5. You might want to learn how to use a forum's search function rather than slag off the forum model. It's very easy to find information if you search correctly. It would be even easier if people bothered to tag their posts correctly, but that's another matter entirely ;)
    6. A website like mmmonkey's is a great place for misinformation. He's done it before. Sure, there's good information, but you're relying on one person and not hearing anyone else's opinion. A forum, conversely, will have someone jump on the post to suggest that you'll kill yourself if you take that advice, or similar ;)
     
  19. TankedThomas

    TankedThomas 100% Tank Engine

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    Like I said, I really don't know about them, but just that I've seen other people mention such a thing for Saturns and indeed other Sega consoles. I assume it's possible to make one. I'm not going to, but I don't see why it wouldn't be possible.

    I know mains power can be deadly, but I don't plan on electrocuting myself any time soon. Don't worry, I'm not actually going to build one or tinker with an existing one (although I will need to replace a cap or two on my V-Saturn's PSU, but that's pretty self-explanatory, and I'm in no rush to do that anyway). I'm really only interested in the theory so that I can learn more.

    I wish it was that simple. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but here in New Zealand, those things tend to be hard to come by, ridiculously expensive, and, of course, tend to be of the large variety. I'm not saying the small and/or cheap ones don't exist (they obviously do), but getting one in my own country isn't so easy. I mean, heck, I have enough trouble just getting compressed air, flux (which seems impossible to get here) and basic resistors or wire (seriously, getting small electrical components isn't possible locally any more, so I have to either go to the city an hour away from me or order them online and wait a week for them to arrive). New Zealand excels at making basic things infuriatingly difficult to obtain.

    If I did that, I wouldn't be multi-tasking any more~

    I've used forums for God-only-knows how many years, so yeah, I know how to use them, but I just prefer things all in one place, as opposed to having to search through threads upon threads, and then often get mixed answers. I have seen several other (Saturn) PSU threads on here, and I believe at least one or two pieces of my knowledge on the subject has stemmed from there. The hardest part is understanding some of what is explained. I'm no electronics newbie, but I'm also very, VERY far from being a professional (and likely never will be one), so I'm somewhere in the middle, and sometimes, that's more frustrating than knowing nothing. Still, just sitting and reading through a bunch of threads can be very informative, which is what I do sometimes (and not just for electronics - I do it for things such as model-building, too).

    I agree, but it's concise because the layout makes sense, which is more of what I'm getting at when I mention sites like that. I usually use multiple sources for projects anyway to ensure I'm approaching something from the right angle or that I'm using the right tools/components, but it helps when I know what to search for to begin with (things such as specific models of microprocessors can be confusing when you don't know what to look for). Sites like iFixIt are probably better (I know it's not 100% accurate, but it's still a pretty good resource for certain things) because they have multiple people contributing (although I'm not sure how well content accuracy is checked versus something such as Wikipedia).
     
  20. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

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    I'm pretty sure Robert Penfold wrote at least one book on PSU design theory, published by Bernard Babani, that was pretty good. Worth a look if you want to know how PSUs work. Design is critical on a PSU (down to finer points such as track spacing, even) and technically, if your house burnt down and your insurance company found out that you were using a homebrew PSU, they probably wouldn't pay out. Sticking to cap jobs is certainly more productive! ;) PSU design is a pain in the arse, which is why I tend to go with dedicated PSU manufacturers. Who would be charging somewhere in the region of £70-120 for what you're talking about IF they had an off-the-shelf solution that would work. Custom job? You're talking hundreds.

    I have used the third party PlayStation PSUs, but they were definitely Chinese and I can't remember what safety tests they did or didn't allegedly pass. AFAIK, they may still be working... but I don't know whether I'd trust them. That said, they looked good enough. They were from the time of dodgy caps, mind you.

    We have a wiki. It's in its early stages and accuracy on that, like any site, could be questionable. I certainly don't think Wikipedia is checked for accuracy - if someone sees an error, they'll change it and others might check the change, but that's about it.
     

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