Author Topic: REPAIR GUIDE - TurboExpress: Sound Fix  (Read 7168 times)

D-Lite

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 568
REPAIR GUIDE - TurboExpress: Sound Fix
« on: May 29, 2005, 03:50:44 PM »
Haha, not the biggest news in my world, which would be the Turbo Duo sound fix, but this is the other scourge of the Turbo World!  

I was discussing the problems with Duo units with TZD's Steve and he mentioned that by far and away the biggest problem for them has been weak/no sound from Turbo Express units, even brand new ones!  So I asked if he could send a unit of two and I'd look into it.  Tried contacting RetroGames Bob Frasure, but no luck (still, if anyone has a way to contact him please let me know!).  So off I went with the multimeter.

So I sat with a TE with a weak speaker and started tracing the circuit back, looking for the culprit which I figured had to be a dead/dry capacitor or dead op amp IC.  Since there is a dense mask on the system, I had to do a lot of scraping and shining of light through the PCB to find the contacts.  Here's what that looked like:

Notice the Op Amp for the sound highlighted and two little holes through the PCB.  These holes are the + and - of a capacitor that leads to the input into the op amp for the audio are also tied to the speaker line which is just above the "03" in L103 on the PCB.  Those holes are connected to this capacitor:


So, I figured, likely culprit.  I tapped a new 100 uF, 25 Volt capacitor to the proper holes and SUCCESS@!!@!!   The sound amplified to a normal level!!!!!!  What I've noticed is that there are varying degrees of the sound issue from weak sound to no sound.  This mod works with both and even in the worse case it is amped to a satisfactory level.  Meaning there is likely another cap somewhere that needs looking at, but this fix will definitely work.

Here's step-by-step instructions on how to do this.  I can't make linking pics here to the bigger versions of these, but if you copy the location of the image I have and simply remove the "a" that's after the number, before the ".jpg", then you will get the 800 x 600 version.
All these are in this folder on my site:
http://www.multimods.com/TEsound/

OK, on the back of your TE, remove the 4 screws on the outside and the two inside the battery compartment:


CAREFULLY separate the front and back of the unit enough that you can disconnection these connections.  The flat cables should be wiggled gently back and forth to make them loose.


On the rear part of the unit, remove the screw indicated in the pic.  Note that the two holes we're soldering too are located where the arrow is pointing:


Closeup of the holes with + and - indicated.


Here's the culprit.  You can twist the cap off with a pair of pliers but leaving it in is no problem.


Now take an electrolytic 100uF cap (25 V is what I used, but you can use 10V, 15V, etc) and connect two wires to it, preferably close to the cap body as shown so most of the wire and terminals are coved by insulation.  I used wrapping wire (30 gauge), but you can use 22 gauge, which is pushing it on how small the spots you're soldering too are.  Wires should be about 1.5-2" long.


And now connected:


Here I've tucked the cap under the PCB where there is ample space to hold it.  Note in the picture I have also added a short wire between two places on the PCB.  This is connecting the right and left channels on this unit since the right channel was dead.  I'm sure the issue with it can be solved, but this works great for addressing the problem at hand.


Now with the PCB reset to it's place, note the location of the wires.  All you have to do now is screw in the proper screws and reconnect the cables (carefully!  I use needlenose pliers for the flat cables so I don't bend them) and you're done!!!


So, there it is.  You can buy the capacitor dirt cheap in packs of 10-100 from DigiKey or Jameco and even Radio Shack has the capacitor.  All you need after that is 3" of wire and soldering equipment.  Oh, and a small Phillips head screwdriver.

If you need yours fixed, I will probably start offering to fix them for people shortly.  Shipping plus maybe $10 for the fix.  So about $20 shipped back to you (you pay shipping out, and then it's about $10 back to you).  I figure there are a lot of people that are nervous about soldering such small connections and opening anything electronic like this, so I'll probably offer to do this.  We shall see on this, but most importantly I wanted to make this available for everyone!  

Next biggy, and the one I'm most passionate about, the Duo sound issue!!!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 07:13:11 AM by Pcenginefx »
Check my site for Turbo, Neo, NGPC, and superguns!
http://www.multimods.com

nodtveidt

  • Guest
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2005, 04:08:26 PM »
Excellent man. Very excellent. :)

DragonmasterDan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3508
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2005, 04:15:37 PM »
That's cool, the only problem I've had with my TE is that the turbo switch will actually disable my I button when its stuck in between normal and the low level turbo. I've heard quite a bit about the sound issues though, at one point I thought I had that problem. It turned out I needed new batteries :-D
--DragonmasterDan

esteban

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24063
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2005, 04:29:45 PM »
Simply superb. :D
  |    | 

zborgerd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2005, 06:00:30 PM »
Nice find.  This is as I've expected for some time (as it's the most logical failure point), but I've not had a broken one one to test this theory.  I suspect something similar going on in the Duo systems, but it's undoubtably a much bigger task since there are two seperate audio circuits (one for typical FM synthesis and the other for CD audio).  CD audio isn't particularly complicated though.  It normally consists of (after the drive) only a DAC and an opamp, and a few other little things like caps, so it really should be pretty simple.

I know that you marked the polarity, but it is important to stress to everyone that these caps are *polarized* and you can blow the electrolytic caps if you have it soldered in backwards.  Also, pulling apart a Turbo Express can be pretty complicated for novices.  It takes a bit of care to get everything back in there just right.

Nice work.

Keranu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9054
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2005, 06:29:44 PM »
Awesome information. I'll look to you if I ever get an Express (which I surely will some day) and need help with that problem.
Quote from: Bonknuts
Adding PCE console specific layer on top of that, makes for an interesting challenge (no, not a reference to Ys II).

D-Lite

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 568
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2005, 07:56:09 PM »
Quote from: "zborgerd"
Nice find.  This is as I've expected for some time (as it's the most logical failure point), but I've not had a broken one one to test this theory.  I suspect something similar going on in the Duo systems, but it's undoubtably a much bigger task since there are two seperate audio circuits (one for typical FM synthesis and the other for CD audio).  CD audio isn't particularly complicated though.  It normally consists of (after the drive) only a DAC and an opamp, and a few other little things like caps, so it really should be pretty simple.

I know that you marked the polarity, but it is important to stress to everyone that these caps are *polarized* and you can blow the electrolytic caps if you have it soldered in backwards.  Also, pulling apart a Turbo Express can be pretty complicated for novices.  It takes a bit of care to get everything back in there just right.

Nice work.

Thanks.  I really enjoy this stuff so figuring out solutions like this keeps me going.

With regards to the Duo, I've traced the circuits and I know where all the op amps are and I can figure out the caps.  BUT, and this is a big BUT, like JLo big, I can't easy test which it is because I need to physically access the caps while the lid is on since I need the CD cover in place to hold the disc.  I think I have the solution to that though.  Hoepfully I'll have the *cure* posted for that soon too :twisted:
Check my site for Turbo, Neo, NGPC, and superguns!
http://www.multimods.com

twor2005

  • Guest
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2005, 07:31:21 AM »
Good work. In fact this deserves better than a post on a forum. Maybe Aaron will put this on the site!

Liquid Snake

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 202
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2005, 01:05:15 PM »
D-Lite is the man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You wanna to show us your TG/PCE game/console collections?
My happy meal box is empty~~~

Play-Asia

Pcenginefx

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1844
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2005, 06:20:47 PM »
Great work D-Lite!  I read over your instructions and seems pretty straight forward to follow.  Speaking of TE's, I have a TE that is in need of the sound fix and I'd rather have you do this than me....when you taking orders? :)
//Aaron
Owner/Creator of PCENGINEFX.com

shadowlife25

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2006, 09:10:16 PM »
Hey D-Lite, I just wanted to say thank you for posting such an informative (and picture filled :) ) rewiew and also i wanted to say that the sound fix works wonderfully. now if I could just figure out how to do the screen fix...
Anyhow, many thanks!
M.

ctoomey

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2007, 08:46:04 AM »
I did this fix today and it works like a charm. Thanks so much for the post!

I would be willing to fix peoples units if there is a need out there.

If you would like to discuss please let me know via email: ctoomey75@hotmail.com

Thanks again D-Lite

Keranu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9054
Re: BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2007, 11:28:13 AM »
I still need this done for my Express, but still not sure if I should do it myself or not.
Quote from: Bonknuts
Adding PCE console specific layer on top of that, makes for an interesting challenge (no, not a reference to Ys II).

ctoomey

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2007, 11:34:38 AM »
I have decided to do this for a limited number of folks that need it. Check out the forum topic TURBO EXPRESS SOUND REPAIR for details. Thanks!

GUTS

  • Guest
Re: BIG NEWS: Turbo Express SOUND FIX!!!!
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2007, 05:49:12 PM »
Haha I did this fix on a friend's express with a part from a dead Xbox motherboard.  Awesome.