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Do I need a special AC adapter for PCEngine in the US?


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I saw a handful of PCEngine CoreGrafx units on eBay for right around $100 so I snagged one. I knew I wanted that over the white one because it has stereo AV cables.

 

I wasn't thinking too clearly, though, because I didn't think about power. I know Japan uses the same plug physically as the US but voltages are slightly different. Do I need to buy a different AC adapter or can I use the one that comes with it? I don't want to blow up the console or set my house on fire. Googling seemed inconclusive.

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Any power supply with the right barrel tip delivering 9 volts and at least 650mA will do. you only need to care about polarity :

 

qp430o.jpg

 

The plus must be in the center.

 

I used the power supply from an US Robotics modem for quite a long time for mine, until I upgraded to the briefcase setup :D

 

I hope you got some games with your system, because 100$ for a Coregrafx is a bit on the expensive side. Usually one from Japan (on ebay) are more in the 40$ mark +25$ shipping.

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CatPix thanks for the picture. I can match it up now. Thanks all for your suggestions.

 

$100 is the going rate right now for a complete system with a controller if you don't want a white one (which is RF only and my TV can't tune channel 95). At this very moment the only auction for a CoreGrafx starts at $80 with no bids and all the BIN ones are $116 and on up. The one I won was CIB but it won't stay boxed for long.

Edited by derFunkenstein
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Ah, CIB then it's a fair price.

 

I know a seller form Japan that put all his consoles at 5$ so it's all a game of patience. The white PC-Engine usually sells for 10$/15$ and the Core more in the 40$, but depending on the seasons, it can get higher or lower.

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Any power supply with the right barrel tip delivering 9 volts and at least 650mA will do. you only need to care about polarity :

 

qp430o.jpg

 

The plus must be in the center.

 

Is that for the black CoreGrafx units? On my white PC Engine unit (which is broken anyway), it is clearly engraved that it takes center negative polarity. I never looked up the different PC Engine models, but apparently it is worth taking care what is what, if one takes center negative and the other takes center positive.

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If you use a Japanese power supply in America, you may or will end up frying your unit (only a matter of time) and things like Everdrives, whose sensitive circuitry is designed to run at only 3.3v. After blowing through two Turbo Everdrives (Krikzz just replaced, no questions asked), finally decided to take a look at my supply. Sure enough, I was using the one that came with my PC Engine, which is designed for 100vac. North America uses 120vac of course, so I then measured the output of the Japanese supply and naturally, was way out of spec. +5-7vdc IIRC under no load, but still... way too high for such electronics. You're stressing the regulator as it tries to "burn" off the difference too. Ever since I replaced the Japanese supply with an appropriate one designed to properly step down *our* voltage, haven't had a single problem with any of my gear. And I know they run cooler too, which is always a good thing.

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Is that for the black CoreGrafx units? On my white PC Engine unit (which is broken anyway), it is clearly engraved that it takes center negative polarity. I never looked up the different PC Engine models, but apparently it is worth taking care what is what, if one takes center negative and the other takes center positive.

Wow you're right. Half.

I checked on my white Pc-Engine and Coregrafx, and even my friefcase, and all three use a top with the opposite polarity.

I though htat the polarity was different between the Pc-Engine and briefcase to avoid connecting a weaker power supply on the Briefcace, but thats not even the case.

Maybe that power supply is for Duo systems then?

My bad.

After checking, this is the power supply for Pc-Engine/briefcase :

1024px-NEC-PC-Engine-AC-Adapter.jpg

Oddly, when you seach for Pc-Engine power supply, only Duo power supplies pop first. Make total sense.

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I'm kind of waiting for mine to arrive so I can be sure to buy the exact right US adapter, but I'm also looking at power converters like Bill mentioned...

 

 

Even though many people don't, I personally always use a power converter with my vintage Japanese computers and consoles just to be safe. There IS a difference between power in the two countries.

 

Would this thing be what you're talking about? https://www.amazon.com/VCT-VT-500J-Japanese-Transformer-Converts/dp/B004S2COIC?th=1(sorry for my ignorance)

 

Also, this is kind of off topic but the only PCEngine forum is dedicated to high scores - do I need something like a Tennokoe 2 to save things? What games save things that are worth saving? I'm very new to the PCE/TG16, so sorry if that's a remedial question. LOL I'm seeing Tennokoe 2s on eBay for like 15-20 bucks, so if it's worth it I'll grab one.

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Yeap I was going to say that I'm actually using a standard Genesis 1602 power supply with my Core grafx II unit I got and it works just fine for that. But I'm using the original NEC adapter on my TurboDUO since the polarity was different on that one.

 

However, while they are currently sold out at the moment there is this solution that allows you to use a standard Genesis or Jaguar PS on the DUO units...

 

https://console5.com/store/turbo-duo-power-supply-plug-adapter-cable.html

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If you use a Japanese power supply in America, you may or will end up frying your unit (only a matter of time) and things like Everdrives, whose sensitive circuitry is designed to run at only 3.3v. After blowing through two Turbo Everdrives (Krikzz just replaced, no questions asked), finally decided to take a look at my supply. Sure enough, I was using the one that came with my PC Engine, which is designed for 100vac. North America uses 120vac of course, so I then measured the output of the Japanese supply and naturally, was way out of spec. +5-7vdc IIRC under no load, but still... way too high for such electronics. You're stressing the regulator as it tries to "burn" off the difference too. Ever since I replaced the Japanese supply with an appropriate one designed to properly step down *our* voltage, haven't had a single problem with any of my gear. And I know they run cooler too, which is always a good thing.

 

Regardless of the voltage going into the console, the voltage regulators will still step it down to the +5 the system actually needs. Now...with more voltage going into it, it will cause the regulators to heat up more and possibly burn them out quicker. But it depends on the specs of the regulator and what the max input voltage rating is on them.

 

I've been using my original NEC JPN power supply with my JPN TurboDUO for about 7 years now and haven't had any issues. But...having said that, I have noticed that whenever I do play on the Duo for any length of time, that the actual power supply itself is starting to buzz pretty loudly. This got even worse when I changed out my two voltage regulators in my DUO with DC-DC switching converters. If it blows.. I have one of those cable adapters I listed above to use a standard Genesis PS with it.

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The safest way is to get a new regulated, switching power supply.

The PC-engine use a very "dumb" power supply. It's nothing special about it, like most 8 bits systems anyway. As noted by -^Cro§Bow^- , the PC-Engine (and other systems) use an internal power regulator. The standards ones (like the one in an Atari 2600) can take between 7 volts and 19 volts.

It's still better to get a new regulated power supply because they deliver a more regular voltage, they are more efficient. It's an added protection for your system.

Switching power supplies also have the advantage of not consuming a lot of power when the system power is off. (it's still better to unplug them if you don't use your system for a long time).

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Got said PC Engine in the mail today. Holy crap, I was not prepared for how small this thing is. I knew when I got my Turbo Everdrive that it'd be small, but I was still hoping for something big and flat enough that I could stack my SNES Jr. on top.

 

The markings on my PCE's power supply are like what CatPix posted in post #8, where + is on the outside and - is on the inside. PAD-105 is the model.

 

input: AC 100v 50/60Hz 12VA

output: DC 9v 650mA

 

So now what exactly should I buy? Along with what -^Cro§Bow^- wrote, I've read about the Sega 1602 being compatible elsewhere, but I only have Genesis 2's and it doesn't use the 1602-sized plug. I do have a Retro-Bit "universal" adapter with two cords meant for SNES and NES/Genesis 1, but I keep that thing for testing purposes only. I'm hoping other 9v adapters with inside negative will work, like this:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rockbirds-Listed-Charger-Portable-Adapter/dp/B01IHU0C84/

 

or perhaps get something fancier:

 

https://www.amazon.com/SoulBay-Universal-Switching-Regulated-Selectable/dp/B0722WN5TG

 

Whatever it is, I've confirmed the console works with what it came with, but I'll treat it with kid gloves and keep it unplugged when not in use until I get something else. I just want to make sure I get the right thing.

 

Also, any opinions on how badly I do or don't need a Tennokoe 2 for save games?

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The first power supply seems good enough. The PC-Engine power supply isn't rocket science, and the power consumption is way below 1 amp so this new one won't sweat to power it.

For the Tennokoe 2, It feels that hardly anyone bothered to do a list of Hu-card games that saves on it.

http://www.blackfalcongames.net/?p=190

 

There is this list, but it says it's incomplete so... Well, I guess you cna read it and decide if you really need it.

IMO, the Tennokoe 2 is cheap, it's very common so it was certainly useful. If you can get one while buying Hu-card games then grab it, from a Japanese seller, you should get one for 5$ or less.

 

I think that most people don't care because they end up getting the CD-ROM² module so they have saving built into the console.

Edited by CatPix
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I'd like to know a definitive part that could be used with a Core GrafixII system. I've been batting around the idea of getting one of those because of the RCA jack and then just an everdrive to keep it simple. The market is so wrecked on that hardware due to collectards I don't want to go broke buying a select few HuCards of all things. I miss my Duo but I'm resigned to the fact it's a dead and done and over deal as I can not and won't put up $500 for a nice used one. That and well I'd just be burning games anyway as the titles I used to have, enough of them are in the $100 and up range and I can't justify paying that for any game whatever the system.

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Yeah I pondered a CD-ROM2 but at the moment they're more than I want to spend. Might revisit that in the spring.

 

Thanks for the answers. I'll order that power supply and scour eBay for a decently priced Tennokoe.

Direct from Japan :

http://stores.ebay.fr/Used-Video-Game-Yamatoku-Classic

Starting bids are 0.01cents for everything, except consoles (5$ each) and massive (more than 100) game lots.

Usually a Briefcase sell for 25/30$, and is useable withouth the CD-ROM2 (for save and RCA video out).

Cd-ROM² can be a lottery : get one untested for about 40$, and hope that it's a rotten gear and not a dead laser. A new gear is 8$. Replacement is easy even for a beginner, no soldering, jsut be calm and have a place with lots of light.

Note that the Briefcase use the same 9V power suply and polarity, but need a more beefier 1.5 amps power supply.

 

In either case, remember to get a Tennokoe Hu-card :

pc-engine-rom-ram-hucard-tennokoe-bank-b

Tennokoe%20Bank%20(Japan)_1.png

It's a memory card, that will aloow you to back-up your CD-ROM or Ten no koe 2 memory. Pretty useful as the Tennokoe 2 is backed up by AA batteries and the CD-ROM²/Duo is based on super-caps that last about a month.

Edited by CatPix
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I miss my Duo but I'm resigned to the fact it's a dead and done and over deal as I can not and won't put up $500 for a nice used one.

 

Seems pricey. FWIW, just back in Sept. I bought a boxed, re-capped, etc. Turbo Duo off forum member mickcris for about $390.. and that was after adding $60 for a region mod (which I'll admit I didn't need). Awesome seller btw.

 

For the Turbo, even with an Everdrive you'll still want the CD games as the CD games are where a huge percentage of what the system's library strength is at.

Edited by NE146
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