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 Post subject: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:13 am 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
Posts: 824
My Dreamcast is single owner and in great condition as I have always taken good care of it. The system has grown finicky upon startup. Once it starts properly everything works great, so I'm fairly confident it's a cap issue. Problem is I can't find anyone willing to recap it. I know quite a few people in the community who would normally accept this kind of job, but somehow no one wants to touch the Dreamcast. Does anyone know of anyone I can contact for a Dreamcast Recap job?


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:54 am 


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Joined: 09 Jun 2017
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I'm willing to bet it's the caps on the power supply and not the actual Dreamcast motherboard. Those PSU caps get hammered in that system. I've recapped a dozen of them and about 10 of them had leaky caps. And although many people will recap a Dreamcast motherboard just as preventative maintenance, I've never seen a Dreamcast motherboard with leaky or failing caps. That said, the PSU is very easy and simple to recap. a bad PSU can cause all sorts of weird issues, failing video, audio, VGA signals cutting out, etc...

With that said, https://dragonshoardgaming.com/ does almost everything. His shop is closed until Sept 1st, but it will reopen at that time for service. He doesn't have Dreamcast cap replacement on his list of services, but use the contact link on his site and ask, I'm almost certain it's something he will do or consider doing. Or https://www.facebook.com/ifixretro/ is a very trusted retro repair guy. Send him an email through Facebook or a DM on Twitter. https://twitter.com/iFixRetro?ref_src=t ... r%5Eauthor His email is at the Twitter link.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:50 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
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Thank you so much for the recommendations! Greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:05 pm 


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Dragon's Hoard site should be at least working, so I'm not sure why it's down. You can DM him on Twitter, too.

https://twitter.com/DragonsHoardMod?ref ... r%5Eauthor


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:06 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
Posts: 824
TooBeaucoup wrote:
Dragon's Hoard site should be at least working, so I'm not sure why it's down. You can DM him on Twitter, too.

https://twitter.com/DragonsHoardMod?ref ... r%5Eauthor

Thank you so much. I sent him an email since I had found the email address on the site, but I'll try on Twitter as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:13 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
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So I got a reply from Dargons Hoard Gaming, unfortunately he won't do it either. It appears that when he reopens he won't be doing repairs and will focus exclusively on mods for "BlackDogTech, GameTechUS & CastleMania Games’s XStation".

I also managed to get through to iFixRetro via Facebook messaging (wasn't getting a reply through emails). He replied that it's not worth recapping and I'm better off buying a new system as it would be the same cost. I asked him for more specifics on the cost, because I would rather repair mine than throw it away and buy another obviously. I'm waiting for a reply.

I find it odd that in our large community of game console repair/modders/technicians no one is willing or interested in repairing Dreamcasts. It would be a cinch to find someone to repair an NES, Genesis or SNES, or even a PS2. Somehow for the Dreamcast it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:52 pm 


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These guys are the mainstream modders, I'm sure they're used to dealing with normal average customers who are mostly only interested in the bottom line. In that case, working va1 Dreamcast motherboards are plentiful and cheap. Economically speaking, for the average person, it makes more sense to sell the broken console (not trash it) and use that change to buy a working Dreamcast, rather than deal with paying for skilled labor to repair the board. Then electronics junkers can repair it at their own leisure in their downtime or use it for parts so that other Dreamcasts may live.

That said, I've recapped DC motherboards before and it's just a basic SMD recap so if you approach any modder with time available to take on new work explaining that you understand what you want and you have the $$$ for their time I would expect they'd take the job on. Perhaps if you also explain that you don't care if the recap does/does not fix the problem. You are only assuming the caps are the problem, and doing a diagnosis and repair can be a big time-consuming pain in the ass and lead to customer disappointment even if they do a great recap job but the problem still persists, or if the cost of labor greatly exceeds the value of a working good condition item on the market. I don't know how much modders expect their hourly value to be worth but just a couple hours of time spent fixing a console quickly exceeds just buying one, and I'd feel bad charging $100 or more for the repair of a console that's only worth like $50 on the market.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:03 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
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Good points. So iFixRetro is willing to do the recap for $60. It's pricey but I'll gladly take that to rescue my system over wastefully replacing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:16 pm 


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darcagn wrote:
These guys are the mainstream modders, I'm sure they're used to dealing with normal average customers who are mostly only interested in the bottom line. In that case, working va1 Dreamcast motherboards are plentiful and cheap. Economically speaking, for the average person, it makes more sense to sell the broken console (not trash it) and use that change to buy a working Dreamcast, rather than deal with paying for skilled labor to repair the board. Then electronics junkers can repair it at their own leisure in their downtime or use it for parts so that other Dreamcasts may live.

That said, I've recapped DC motherboards before and it's just a basic SMD recap so if you approach any modder with time available to take on new work explaining that you understand what you want and you have the $$$ for their time I would expect they'd take the job on. Perhaps if you also explain that you don't care if the recap does/does not fix the problem. You are only assuming the caps are the problem, and doing a diagnosis and repair can be a big time-consuming pain in the ass and lead to customer disappointment even if they do a great recap job but the problem still persists, or if the cost of labor greatly exceeds the value of a working good condition item on the market. I don't know how much modders expect their hourly value to be worth but just a couple hours of time spent fixing a console quickly exceeds just buying one, and I'd feel bad charging $100 or more for the repair of a console that's only worth like $50 on the market.


It does make sense since Dreamcasts aren't that pricey. It's just odd to me that the mainstream guys don't think it's worth it. I mean, eventually, all of these systems will need recaps, so I don't get why they think there's a big difference between someone paying them to do it now, or having tons of them that need recapping in ten years like all systems eventually need. I mean, like I said in my previous posts, I've never seen a Dreamcast motherboard with leaky caps, it's a pretty solid board. The PSU on the other hand definitely need new caps at this point. Still, the motherboard caps will need replacement eventually. I do agree with your bottom line thinking, though, and the fact that many people would likely want caps fixed for a cheap price or be mad if caps don't fix the issue.

Taiyaki, I'm glad he's willing to help you out. It'll be out of the way and your console will be a set for the next 20+ years. Make sure you get the PSU capped, too!


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:12 pm 


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TooBeaucoup wrote:
It's just odd to me that the mainstream guys don't think it's worth it. I mean, eventually, all of these systems will need recaps, so I don't get why they think there's a big difference between someone paying them to do it now, or having tons of them that need recapping in ten years like all systems eventually need. I mean, like I said in my previous posts, I've never seen a Dreamcast motherboard with leaky caps, it's a pretty solid board. The PSU on the other hand definitely need new caps at this point. Still, the motherboard caps will need replacement eventually. I do agree with your bottom line thinking, though, and the fact that many people would likely want caps fixed for a cheap price or be mad if caps don't fix the issue.


I agree 100% with your assessment; I haven't seen one DC motherboard cap leak so far out of the ~10 Dreamcast consoles I personally own as well as all the others I've been inside. But eventually they will start to create problems, so personally I think all of the pre-modded consoles that modders sell should include a full recap of electrolytic caps entire console top-to-bottom. These things are selling for ~$500+ after all.

But we are thinking like console enthusiasts/preservationists, not like most average people do in a market. People all the time make decisions that don't appear to make sense in the greater picture but make sense monetarily for them. For example, back in the day when I worked as a computer repair technician I saw people with virus-infected laptops throw them away into recycling because they were a couple years old and they'd rather invest in a brand new laptop than pay for the virus removal. It killed me because it was good hardware that could just be wiped to fix it, but all the business contract disposal rules prevented employees from doing anything for their fate other than shipping them off to some reclamation center.

The other reason I brought up these being the mainstream modders is they probably have all the work they can handle right now and they can be choosy in what jobs they feel like passing on because they are too involved. There are only so many hours to work in a day and I bet some of them have so much on their plates they can decide to satisfy 2 customers by suggesting one buy a used console instead of a repair and then free themselves up to mod a DCHDMI for someone else rather than spending that time recapping a DC and not taking care of the DCHDMI customer.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:54 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
Posts: 824
Everything darcagn said makes sense. Anyway glad I finally found someone willing to do the job.

Should I also ask them to change the rechargeable battery while they have it all opened up, or do those generally not cause any problems? The one inside is till the original.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:06 pm 


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If you're already having work done, it's worth changing. There's also a mod available that puts a battery holder in there that will allow you to replace the battery in the future. I installed one in mine and it's very worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:13 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1838
TooBeaucoup wrote:
If you're already having work done, it's worth changing. There's also a mod available that puts a battery holder in there that will allow you to replace the battery in the future. I installed one in mine and it's very worth it.

In addition, Voultar has instructions on his YouTube channel for installing a diode that lets you use non-rechargeable CR2032 batteries instead of the crappy rechargeable ones. I'd ask for that as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:34 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
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Thanks! I'll ask him.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:26 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
TooBeaucoup wrote:
If you're already having work done, it's worth changing. There's also a mod available that puts a battery holder in there that will allow you to replace the battery in the future. I installed one in mine and it's very worth it.

In addition, Voultar has instructions on his YouTube channel for installing a diode that lets you use non-rechargeable CR2032 batteries instead of the crappy rechargeable ones. I'd ask for that as well.


That's what I put in mine. Such a great little mod!


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:36 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
TooBeaucoup wrote:
If you're already having work done, it's worth changing. There's also a mod available that puts a battery holder in there that will allow you to replace the battery in the future. I installed one in mine and it's very worth it.

In addition, Voultar has instructions on his YouTube channel for installing a diode that lets you use non-rechargeable CR2032 batteries instead of the crappy rechargeable ones. I'd ask for that as well.


Crappy rechargeable ones? Were you using ML2032 or LIR2032? People frequently recommend LIR2032 but this is the incorrect battery to use as the Dreamcast does not provide the voltage necessary to recharge it properly. ML2032 requires a lower voltage to recharge and will work properly, but ML2032 are more expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:25 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1838
darcagn wrote:
nmalinoski wrote:
TooBeaucoup wrote:
If you're already having work done, it's worth changing. There's also a mod available that puts a battery holder in there that will allow you to replace the battery in the future. I installed one in mine and it's very worth it.

In addition, Voultar has instructions on his YouTube channel for installing a diode that lets you use non-rechargeable CR2032 batteries instead of the crappy rechargeable ones. I'd ask for that as well.


Crappy rechargeable ones? Were you using ML2032 or LIR2032? People frequently recommend LIR2032 but this is the incorrect battery to use as the Dreamcast does not provide the voltage necessary to recharge it properly. ML2032 requires a lower voltage to recharge and will work properly, but ML2032 are more expensive.

I tried both, and neither one seemed to last all that long.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:20 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
I tried both, and neither one seemed to last all that long.


Glad it's not just me. I put in a coin cell holder and sourced the exact right replacement, but the battery is always empty when I haven't used my DC for a month or so.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:12 pm 


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ASDR wrote:
nmalinoski wrote:
I tried both, and neither one seemed to last all that long.


Glad it's not just me. I put in a coin cell holder and sourced the exact right replacement, but the battery is always empty when I haven't used my DC for a month or so.


This is the correct lifespan of the battery, though. From the Dreamcast's manual:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast recap help
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:00 pm 


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darcagn wrote:
This is the correct lifespan of the battery, though. From the Dreamcast's manual:


Guess I should've RTFM. Since the Saturn seems to be able to keep save data, settings & time on coin cell for >1 year, what exactly is the issue here? From what I can tell the ML2032 has like a quarter the capacity of a CR2032, and I guess the DC needs 3x the power?


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