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PS1 Playstation blue debug repair help

ianoid

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May 21, 2020
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Hey,

Does anyone have much experience with Playstation debug repair? I have a DTL-H1001 unit that partially reads several betas, but it really never seems to make a full load of any game. Sometimes it will get to the menu but often it will just make it through the Sony screens or initial load screen. Are there defects in Playstation hardware that could result in the unit partially working?

Any suggestions for testing the unit? Test discs or controller key combinations? Also, I only have a Dual Shock PS2 controller handy, hopefully that is not an issue.
 

ReindeerNomad

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Oct 25, 2020
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I dunno your knowledge on this, and I am not the PSX repair expert. But the laser assembly is probably bad or the laser weak would be my guess.

Tuning the laser with a multimeter and screwdriver for the POTs would be my first check. IIRC these DTL-H1001 use old plastic lasers who can wear away and misaligned too.
 
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ReebokRaidZ

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I know the problem your having its due to the capacitors and laser assembly, basically the capacitors dry (or leak) out over time and loose there capacitance, dropping the quick burst of energy they provide to different parts of the system this can damage the laser electronics or make it require higher settings.

In your case i would do what reindeer suggested and change the ps1's potentiomiter setting a little higher but this is only a short term fix if your using yours every day i would suggest getting it recapped and I believe it should run smooth after that and the calibration, you might want to swap out the laser which works as well with a retail one but keep the original as there still hard to find sometimes if you do replace it.

TLDR: Recap if possible maybe change the laser and then tweak potentiometer settings and you should be fine to keep it running for a very long time
 

ianoid

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May 21, 2020
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I recapped the power supply with the 4 caps I had handy, and one was very ugly. I can do the other two later.

Then I adjusted the laser using this guide:

http://dogbreath.de/PS1/LaserAlignment/Laser.html. which seems reasonably good.

Unfortunately the unit behaves similarly, doing a lot of partial loads, loading only a couple of betas completely.

I think I'll try ordering a laser. They seem pretty easy to install, although most people seem to recommend the BAM which would require me to alter the case to fit it in.

Can anyone suggest a specific OEM laser vendor for this model, so that I can avoid modifying the case?
 

weldedale

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Jun 1, 2019
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I recapped the power supply with the 4 caps I had handy, and one was very ugly. I can do the other two later.

Then I adjusted the laser using this guide:

http://dogbreath.de/PS1/LaserAlignment/Laser.html. which seems reasonably good.

Unfortunately the unit behaves similarly, doing a lot of partial loads, loading only a couple of betas completely.

I think I'll try ordering a laser. They seem pretty easy to install, although most people seem to recommend the BAM which would require me to alter the case to fit it in.

Can anyone suggest a specific OEM laser vendor for this model, so that I can avoid modifying the case?
Just buy a PS One console and rob the Bam laser assembly from that. There is one seller that I know of that apparently sells new old stock BAM units but they are pretty pricey http://totalconsole.com/KSM-440BAM-...yStation-1-PSOne-PS-One--BRAND-NEW_p_370.html There is no need to alter the case to fit the BAM laser units, just swap the plastic from the top of the Laser unit itself from your old laser.
 
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ianoid

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May 21, 2020
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To update on this, if anyone has any suggestions;

I managed to buy a grey Playstation in the similar original style at the local Goodwill Computer Depot (Which has gone heavily downhill in the last few years). It cost me $25. It was a risk, but the crummy lasers from China cost about that much so I though I'd take a chance.

Not being terrifically familiar with the subtleties of these models, this one has a rather different motherboard and arrangement of the laser attachments. It is an SCPH-9001. It looks cost reduced, without the AV direct ports in the back.

I found that the laser had some extra plastic that made it impossible to fit in the debug. I trimmed that using some snips and fit it in. Unfortunately the laser worked exactly as poorly as the original laser in the debug. It basically could partially load games, like load screens and menus (some of the time) and it made it to a few full games exactly as the original laser did. And where the unit I just bought loaded retail games just fine, when the laser was transplanted, it did not want to load retail games.

SO, by elimination it seems like the problem is not the laser assembly. The only thing I feel comfortable doing is finishing the recap on the debug power supply (sadly I'll have to order just two caps from Digikey, unless I wait for the next project that demands caps to order them together to save a bit on shipping). Since the debug motherboard has 36 surface mount caps, often located close to other tiny surface mount resisters and components, I feel like I could do more harm than good if I tried to do that big of a job. I have successfully recapped other surface mount stuff like an Amiga 1200, but that is like half the caps with a lot more space to work.

Another flaw of note on the debug is that it has messed up sound. The start up sound is static, it beeps a lot, and the sound doesn't work for most games. If I can find a music CD, I 'll try one.

Any suggestions appreciated.
 

weldedale

Member
Jun 1, 2019
12
11
3
To update on this, if anyone has any suggestions;

I managed to buy a grey Playstation in the similar original style at the local Goodwill Computer Depot (Which has gone heavily downhill in the last few years). It cost me $25. It was a risk, but the crummy lasers from China cost about that much so I though I'd take a chance.

Not being terrifically familiar with the subtleties of these models, this one has a rather different motherboard and arrangement of the laser attachments. It is an SCPH-9001. It looks cost reduced, without the AV direct ports in the back.

I found that the laser had some extra plastic that made it impossible to fit in the debug. I trimmed that using some snips and fit it in. Unfortunately the laser worked exactly as poorly as the original laser in the debug. It basically could partially load games, like load screens and menus (some of the time) and it made it to a few full games exactly as the original laser did. And where the unit I just bought loaded retail games just fine, when the laser was transplanted, it did not want to load retail games.

SO, by elimination it seems like the problem is not the laser assembly. The only thing I feel comfortable doing is finishing the recap on the debug power supply (sadly I'll have to order just two caps from Digikey, unless I wait for the next project that demands caps to order them together to save a bit on shipping). Since the debug motherboard has 36 surface mount caps, often located close to other tiny surface mount resisters and components, I feel like I could do more harm than good if I tried to do that big of a job. I have successfully recapped other surface mount stuff like an Amiga 1200, but that is like half the caps with a lot more space to work.

Another flaw of note on the debug is that it has messed up sound. The start up sound is static, it beeps a lot, and the sound doesn't work for most games. If I can find a music CD, I 'll try one.

Any suggestions appreciated.
Try reassemble the 9001 ps1 to test if the laser works, the lasers in those are also pretty great. Sorry just re-read your post, and you eliminated the laser being faulty by testing it with the 9001, disregard my post. You may need to adjust the trim posts using an oscilloscope as opposed to the setting them to the values given on that dogbreath guide. This video is pretty good at explaining it
 
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Trimesh

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To update on this, if anyone has any suggestions;

I managed to buy a grey Playstation in the similar original style at the local Goodwill Computer Depot (Which has gone heavily downhill in the last few years). It cost me $25. It was a risk, but the crummy lasers from China cost about that much so I though I'd take a chance.

Not being terrifically familiar with the subtleties of these models, this one has a rather different motherboard and arrangement of the laser attachments. It is an SCPH-9001. It looks cost reduced, without the AV direct ports in the back.

I found that the laser had some extra plastic that made it impossible to fit in the debug. I trimmed that using some snips and fit it in. Unfortunately the laser worked exactly as poorly as the original laser in the debug. It basically could partially load games, like load screens and menus (some of the time) and it made it to a few full games exactly as the original laser did. And where the unit I just bought loaded retail games just fine, when the laser was transplanted, it did not want to load retail games.

SO, by elimination it seems like the problem is not the laser assembly. The only thing I feel comfortable doing is finishing the recap on the debug power supply (sadly I'll have to order just two caps from Digikey, unless I wait for the next project that demands caps to order them together to save a bit on shipping). Since the debug motherboard has 36 surface mount caps, often located close to other tiny surface mount resisters and components, I feel like I could do more harm than good if I tried to do that big of a job. I have successfully recapped other surface mount stuff like an Amiga 1200, but that is like half the caps with a lot more space to work.

Another flaw of note on the debug is that it has messed up sound. The start up sound is static, it beeps a lot, and the sound doesn't work for most games. If I can find a music CD, I 'll try one.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Unfortunately, swapping over the optical pickups on these units is not an entirely reliable way of determining if they are good. Specifically, the models with digital focus and tracking servos (start from the PU-18 board, SCPH-55xx series) are a lot more tolerant of poor signals than the older ones, so just because a pickup works in one of the later models shouldn't be taken to mean they will work on an older board. The only thing you can be sure of is that if it doesn't work on the newer boards then there is no chance at all of it working on the older ones.

If you have an older retail console around (I.E. SCPH-100x or the Japanese SCPH-3000) then that is a reasonable confidence test since they have the same analog servos that the debugs do.

You can also swap out the power supply between the retail and debug console for testing in this case (all the debugs use a 7-pin power supply) - but my general experience, even with very old consoles, is that the PSU is not typically the problem. One part of the circuit that is very sensitive to bad caps is the filtered 3.5V supply used by the RF amp chip and the pickup - if you have access to a scope then check the supply on pin 2 of the optical pickup FPC - it should have a very clean 3.5V supply on it - if you can see noise, this will screw up the CD reading for sure, and normally means you need to change the caps in the area near where the PSU plugs in.

The corrupted startup sound is unlikely to be related to the CD problems - the startup audio is generated by the SPU, which is downstream from the CD circuits. About the only thing they have in common is the 5V regulator - this provides the power for the audio and video DACs and is also sub-regulated down to provide the 3.5V_SER supply for the optical pickup I mentioned earlier. This comes from a 3-terminal regulator (78M05 type) mounted on the back on the PCB near the connector for the PSU.

If you find you can play audio CDs but nothing will boot, there are some other parts to check - if the drive doesn't seem to be getting to 2x speed then check the BTL driver (Rohm chip with heatsink tabs and a BA prefix mounted on the top of the board) - I've seen a number of them go bad and fail to supply enough current for 2x speed. If it plays audio and the drive goes to x2 but can't read data then suspect the CD interface chip (CXD1199 or CXD1815) and the RAM associated with it (on the back of the PCB) - especially if it's the original CXD1199BQ version.

Having said all that, these things are generally pretty reliable, and with the exception of the optical pickup there really isn't any part that has an obviously excessive failure rate - which is nice, but it does make suggesting possible faults harder.
 
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