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  1. #1
    Midwinter- Dreamcast Warm Midwinter's Avatar
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    Gg Game Gear Capacitor Swap (Recap)

    Anyone here performed a recap on their Game Gear?

    I have my wife's unit (she has had since she was young) that finally stopped playing external sound (can still hear through headphone jack at least). Will be looking in to getting it fixed soon and was wondering if anyone here as performed surgery on their unit yet.

    I also have a factory sealed Game Gear that I might open and perform the same process on assuming it probably has blown capacitors too. It is fun looking at the box on the shelf in its shrinkwrap, but it has been begging me to come out and play. I think Sonic would open it if he owned one still sealed.

  2. #2
    Living in /dev/ttyS0 Whooa21's Avatar
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    Capacitors wear out due to usage and high temperature.
    I doubt a unit that has never been used before would have any issues, unless the capacitors were extremely bad quality.

    I have never performed a recap on a Game Gear (as I do not have one), but I have performed it on many computer motherboards, monitors, power supplies, and other devices. I assume as long as you get the same rated capacitors (and size/form) it should be fairly easy.

    Pretty much all you do is heat up the pads on the circuit boards until the solder melts, take out the old cap, clean the pads, and solder the new one in.

  3. #3
    Midwinter- Dreamcast Warm Midwinter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whooa21 View Post
    Capacitors wear out due to usage and high temperature.
    I doubt a unit that has never been used before would have any issues, unless the capacitors were extremely bad quality.

    I have never performed a recap on a Game Gear (as I do not have one), but I have performed it on many computer motherboards, monitors, power supplies, and other devices. I assume as long as you get the same rated capacitors (and size/form) it should be fairly easy.

    Pretty much all you do is heat up the pads on the circuit boards until the solder melts, take out the old cap, clean the pads, and solder the new one in.
    Thanks for sharing the knowledge. The capacitors from that time period were cheap and designed poorly.

  4. #4
    Biggest X'Eye fan. Ever. supersega's Avatar
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    Oh goodness. Its real fun. Depending on your problem, you only have to buy a few caps. I took mine apart, unsoldered all the troublesome ones, and have yet to order any caps or even clean it up. If its the screen dimming, its just a few small caps near the bottom left of the PCB.
    Collection; Neo Geo CD, JVC X'Eye, Model 1 Genesis, Model 2 Genesis, 2 Japanese Saturns, 2 Game Gears in a few thousand pieces, 5 or 8 PS1s (don't judge), 1 PS1 DTL (TOOL, NOT a Yaroze), 1 Gamecube, 1 Wii, 1 Xbox 360, 2 Gameboy Advances, 1 3DS, 1 PS2 TEST that WORKS!!!

    Do I have a console addiction?

  5. #5
    Sonic INeedFruit's Avatar
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    I had to fix my Game Gear about a year ago, wasn't sure which cap was faulty so change them all out. I probably could of checked using a voltmeter but like you say all the capacitors where pretty cheap. The good news is you can't break it any more if it doesn't work! Whooa21's spot on about the method used in the repair. If you are going to change out them all just make sure that the polarity of the replacement caps are the right way around... don't pull a INeedFruit and think your the best at electronics but get the + and - the wrong way around
    Host of ClubSEGA - A show about the arcade scene and SEGA arcade games.
    Wednesday at 8pm UK/WET - 9pm CEST- 3pm EST - 12pm PST

  6. #6
    Living in /dev/ttyS0 Whooa21's Avatar
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    Yeah, thanks for mentioning that INF.
    Make sure you get the + and - right, otherwise, depending on the size, they can explode in your face and make a huge mess.

    Also, your standard multimeter can't measure capacitors, you need a Capacitance/ESR meter.
    Due to the age though it is best the replace all because sooner or later the others will fail.

    In practice, once one type/brand of capacitor has failed in a specific device, you replace all those, leaked or not, that are the same brand and model. But in this case they are cheap so you might as well replace them all. You won't have to deal with it again.

    If possible make sure to get good quality ones.

    Additionally you can get some solder wick and maybe some acetone cleaner to get a nice job done and remove the excessive flux from the circuit board.
    If this is your first time, make sure your solder has flux in it, otherwise it won't stick irritating you a lot, and the solder joints will break.
    Last edited by Whooa21; 26-01-2016 at 12:18.

  7. #7
    Midwinter- Dreamcast Warm Midwinter's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the advice!

  8. #8
    ゲームギアがすきです! Buta's Avatar
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    I wasn't happy to try and DIY fix my childhood Game Gear so sent it to be refurbished by someone on EBay. My screen my completely white and suffered from the notorious power cutting issue with the plug port before I sent it off. Works a treat now. Very pleased. They even threw in a replacement battery cover as it had lost one over the years.

    So glad I didn't keep batteries in it all the time it was in storage or I had to look at further repairs due to batteries going funny. >_>;

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