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Author Topic: Neo Geo  (Read 3900 times)

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pbj

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Neo Geo
« on: August 31, 2022, 11:02:25 pm »
Iíve been around here a long, long time in various guises.  Since 2000ish.  And for various reasons there have been moments of introspection lately.  I woke up this morning to this and pondered that thereís fewer of these ahead of me than are already behind me.



It is what it is and I think most of us are in the same boat.

So, what are those things in our shared realm that have been haunting meÖ. And it turns out it was a Neo Geo.

Bust out the credit card and hereís what arrives here 3 days later.  Shipping from Japan is simultaneously the cheapest, fastest thing ever and also the most expensive and complicated.  Entirely dependent on the seller/scammer.



ďWorks but turns off randomlyĒ = who the ---fudgesicle--- knows.  I probably got raped.  I had an MVS board I pulled out of a smoldering cabinet 20 years ago and quickly got bored with it, so Iím not sure what I hope to find with thisÖ. Besides recreating the experience of playing Art of Fighting on a console like I did one time at Incredible Universe 30 years ago. 

Iíll also add that everything for this system is unbelievably ---fracking--- expensive.  Iím keeping a running tally and itís gasp inducing.  Iíll share it if I ever get this thing running.

 :cheers:

bobbyb13

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2022, 02:31:44 am »
At least you figured out what itch you really needed to scratch.

Presently I have 6 projects that I hope to finish and get to play even just once before I'm dust.

I'm totally unfamiliar with Neo Geo stuff so this should be even more of a fun learning experience than your Sega cart mayhem.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

lilshawn

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2022, 11:29:04 am »
lift the skirt on that badboy and lets see some cracked solder joints!

pbj

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2022, 11:45:37 am »
So, if Neo Geo forum posts are to be believed, you can't really trust the sticker on the bottom of the console to indicate what power supply you really need.  And if you stick a 9V power supply into a 5V system, you run a very real risk of smoking the motherboard.  Meaning your only option is to physically inspect the board inside.

An old credit card made short work of the rubber feet and here's what was inside:



Thankfully the board is very clean and has had no previous work.  I took one look at the BIOS chip, and yeah I'll be desoldering and lifting pin 2 and soldering the Unibios chip on top of the old one.  It is surrounded by tiny, delicate traces and this isn't a $1 Genesis football game.

Here's the power switch area -



Now what's kind of interesting here is that the system is labeled to "USE PRO-POW AC ADAPTOR ONLY" which implies a 5V supply.  But there's a 5V voltage regulator.

 ???



Anyway, that means I can just toss a readily available Genesis 1 9V power supply at it and we're done here.  This was sold as, "Occasionally, power switch contact is bad.  Occasionally, the power switch turns on and off repeatedly."  Maybe the seller had it hooked to a 5V supply?  Maybe I won't lose ---my bottom--- on this?

Phones can do anything except hold me at night and take photos of things up close, but you get the general feeling here that we're not dealing with cracked solder on the power jack:



This, however, is giving me some hope.  I have had issues with old consoles turning off and on randomly, and it's been corrosion on the power jack.



Anyway, a little scrape scrape with a needle and we've got shiny metal again. 

The power supply... av cable... joystick... and actual game are all in the mail.... so no testing this thing for awhile....

 :cheers:


pbj

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2022, 10:03:55 pm »
Got bored, hit it with cleaning carnuba wax.

 :cheers:


KenToad

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2022, 12:40:29 am »
Nice work, it really is a cool looking console and yours looks like it's in good shape. Looking forward to seeing how this project turns out.

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2022, 07:16:29 am »
Looks great! I may have a neogeo memory card in the coin box of my cab, I'll check tonight or tomorrow.

Now I gotta go wax my Genny model 1 and hope it looks that good
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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2022, 08:33:00 pm »
Got my AV cable.

The one and only time a blue screen is a good thingÖ.




Anyway, 12VDV 2A adapter pulled out of a trash pile.  Cut wires, flipped polarity. 

Blue screen means it passes all the RAM checks.  Wish I had tested it before I scraped up the power jack, but eh.  Did a lot of wiggling on the board, power switch, and all that and it seems to be solid.  Fingers are crossed this will work 100%.

pbj

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2022, 09:47:58 pm »
More stuff arrivingÖ some guy on arcade projects sells high capacity memory cards, so got my hands on one of those.

Also got my ďgreat conditionĒ joystick.  The seller very carefully cropped that dogshit cord out of the photos but at least itís readily replaced if I bust out another twenty.  Did shine up very nicely, though.

Sadly, you canít get into the memory card management without a cart, so Iím still staring at a blue screen.

 :cheers:


Howard_Casto

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2022, 09:58:35 pm »
So you going to pimp that joystick or not?   Just curious.   

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2022, 11:04:15 pm »
Trying to staunch the financial bleed, so Iím not sure how many mods Iím doing.

I once saw an AES joystick with replacement snap in buttons to match the Neo Geo colors and thought it looked cheap.  I dredged up some snap in buttons from a parts box and Iím still not a fan of the look.

I do have a brand new 35mm white ball top off a Sanwa stick I never used.  The original 30mm ball is cracked (they all are).  Trying to decide if this looks too cheesy or not. 



A lot of people take a dremel to the underside of the reset button and mount an LED.  Iím not real crazy about carving out the original button, especially in the days of super bright lights.  I played around with a $1 harbor freight flashlight and it worked greatÖ but then Iím out a flashlight.  So then I pulled out an old pinball led I use in those rectangular poker buttons.

My very high tech setupÖ.



But damned if just lazily pointing it at the side of the button isnít effectiveÖ



And with the lid on




And a pointless blurry photo taken in the dark




So, for being something I already own and can mount in a non destructive way, I think Iím proceeding with this one.

 :cheers:


KenToad

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2022, 01:12:07 am »
Pic attached of what I did to my Neo Geo X stick. Sanwa buttons are a lot snappier than stock in this case. The bigger issue is that I can't find a decent spring to replace the crappy lightweight spring in the stick. I have a heavier spring coming from the UK that is reported to work, but shipping is taking forever.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2022, 01:14:18 am by KenToad »

pbj

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2022, 05:34:56 am »
Hm. Iím coming around to that look.  Still havenít played any games but I can tell the stock buttons are going to piss me off.  Have you installed an octagon restrictor?


csnow

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2022, 09:13:47 am »
I have been thinking of picking up a CMVS.  I have been thinking of trying my hand at some fighting games and the four button controls seems like it might be easier to learn.   :dunnoI had a MVS cabinet but because I was a product of the 80s arcade scene and didn't visit arcades in the 90s, I didn't have any nostalgia attachment to any of the games, so I sold it. 

KenToad

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2022, 11:38:23 am »
Hm. Iím coming around to that look.  Still havenít played any games but I can tell the stock buttons are going to piss me off.  Have you installed an octagon restrictor?

I saw that several people recommended the octagon, but I haven't gone that route. The stick just isn't great in general. I don't have any problem with circular motions in fighting games. The X sticks are greased to hell, too. The whole joystick shaft spins freely, which I hate. I've removed a lot of the excess grease, but it hasn't helped too much, hoping that the new spring stops the spin. If it doesn't I'll probably take it apart and give it a detergent bath. It's that annoying.

Generally, the Neo Geo X sticks are slightly worse than the original Neo Geo sticks I've tried at gaming conventions. The X is lighter and cheaper feeling, so your stock buttons may be better than what the X shipped with. Overall, all the Neo Geo sticks and control pads I've tried feel worse to me than real arcade controls, though I guess there is something cool and nostalgic about playing Last Blade or Blazing Star with the arched button layout.

The Sanwa snap-in buttons don't sit perfectly flush, but they are secure and haven't moved at all. The bezel does make them feel a little small compared to the stock buttons, which are closer to the full-sized arcade buttons, given the lack of bezel. Unless you encounter a lot of sticking buttons or other problems, I'd probably keep the buttons stock.

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2022, 07:58:34 pm »
I ordered the octagonal plate from an etsy seller, my mistake for doing purchase as a guest, couldn't leave product review. I think all these players are high that bought it, I saw the flaw instantly, sent the dude my video outlining how his product is worthless, said he'd look into it and never heard back, tried to poke him once after, no reply.

I did add black 24mm buttons, but the stick is fine for me stock. Stay away from "sanwa like buttons" they will start to squeak and develop white powder in the plunger fast.





good day.

pbj

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2022, 10:01:06 pm »
You canít post something like that without telling us the problem with the gate.  PL1 printed one for me, and itís impossible for me to own a console without a mod from PL1 in it, so Iím installing it either way.

 :cheers:

chopperthedog

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2022, 10:21:24 pm »
The actuator never touches the plate, the switches become the "gate".


good day.

KenToad

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2022, 10:32:18 pm »
The actuator never touches the plate, the switches become the "gate".


good day.

Is that a Neo Geo original or an X stick? Nvm, saw the title of the video. Is it possible that there are slightly different sized gates for X or original? I have a memory of seeing some original stick owners being able to fit Sanwa joys in there with some slight modifications to the plastic base, but I don't think that's possible with the X version.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2022, 10:34:45 pm by KenToad »

PL1

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2022, 07:51:08 am »
The actuator never touches the plate, the switches become the "gate".
The one PBJ asked for is a different design (smaller plate corner radius and 3d printed instead of laser-cut/milled acrylic) but the gate is the same size as the one in your video.

We'll see if it is the right size.

PL1 printed one for me, and itís impossible for me to own a console without a mod from PL1 in it, so Iím installing it either way.
:lol   :cheers:

Here are some links for anyone else who wants to join in on the fun.

Gate:
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3407862

Reset button, LED power switch, and non-LED power switch:
https://www.printables.com/en/model/79116-neo-geo-aes-power-reset-button-led-variant


Scott

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2022, 10:55:26 am »
The actuator never touches the plate, the switches become the "gate".
The one PBJ asked for is a different design (smaller plate corner radius and 3d printed instead of laser-cut/milled acrylic) but the gate is the same size as the one in your video.

We'll see if it is the right size.



Top image is from the 3d print you linked which looks like how my piece of acrylic SHOULD look. So, if you didn't make the gate bigger and printed that as is, pbj should be happy.

Found this other print file, judging by the comment it's to the same specs as my worthless acrylic piece. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4333474/comments


good day.

Malenko

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2022, 11:14:00 am »
Pic attached of what I did to my Neo Geo X stick. Sanwa buttons are a lot snappier than stock in this case. The bigger issue is that I can't find a decent spring to replace the crappy lightweight spring in the stick. I have a heavier spring coming from the UK that is reported to work, but shipping is taking forever.

Just needs a custom red and white vinyl to make it look like a neocab
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PL1

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2022, 12:58:28 pm »
Found this other print file, judging by the comment it's to the same specs as my worthless acrylic piece. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4333474/comments
There was no file update after that comment.

Comparison print in progress.

We'll know how the two models compare in a couple hours.   :cheers:


Scott

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2022, 03:35:12 pm »
PBJ model print:
- 16.62mm point-to-point on octagon
- 15.50mm flat-to-flat on octagon
- 2.24mm thick plate

Chopper model print:
- 19.62mm point-to-point on octagon (1.5mm more from the center to the gate)
- 18.45mm flat-to-flat on octagon (1.475mm more from the center to the gate)
- 2.16mm thick plate (0.08mm thinner plate)

How do those measurements compare with your "worthless acrylic piece", Chopper?


Scott

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2022, 04:23:30 pm »
maybe the original makers stick had a larger actuator on it... thus making the size of octagon appropriate... it's possible in later (or earlier revisions) there was a change in the actuator size.

PL1

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2022, 05:54:54 pm »
maybe the original makers stick had a larger actuator on it... thus making the size of octagon appropriate... it's possible in later (or earlier revisions) there was a change in the actuator size.
Good point, lilshawn.   :cheers:

PBJ and Chopper:  What is the diameter of the part of the actuator that engages the restrictor plate on your stick?


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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2022, 07:14:23 pm »
acrylic plate:
point to point 20.2 mm
flat to flat 19 mm

Digital caliper battery dead, using ruler for my data.

The plate I bought was marketed for the neo geo X stick. But stick specs are same as original. Look close at my pic again, top is original stick and bottom is X stick and you can see how tight actuator is with the leafs between old and new.


good day.


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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2022, 10:52:06 pm »
Hm.  Interesting posts.  Iíll have to check all this out when my plate arrives.

Also got a line on one of the Furrtek MVS to AES converters.  About $70 shipped.  In theory, the MVS carts are cheaper.  No more $1 Fatal Fury Special or $15 Metal Slug like 20 years ago, tho.  But still cheaper.  You can get basically any game from China for $60-70 on MVS.  EPROM swapping seems better documented on MVS and Iím confident at this point I could do it.

On the other hand, Iím really just playing a waiting game on the Darksoft AES carts at this point and thatís going to set me back $500.

But the stupid converters are usually a couple hundred so I donít know.

Sanity left the building a long time ago, so this is what vexes me now.

 :cheers:

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2022, 10:59:31 pm »
Got a copy of Fatal Fury Special with the box coming for $27 shipped.  I think it and Samurai Shodown 2 must be borderline worthless.  Itíll keep me busy until the bootleg clears customs I thinkÖ.

 :cheers:

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2022, 08:07:13 am »
Hm.  Interesting posts.  Iíll have to check all this out when my plate arrives.

Also got a line on one of the Furrtek MVS to AES converters.  About $70 shipped.  In theory, the MVS carts are cheaper.  No more $1 Fatal Fury Special or $15 Metal Slug like 20 years ago, tho.  But still cheaper.  You can get basically any game from China for $60-70 on MVS.  EPROM swapping seems better documented on MVS and Iím confident at this point I could do it.

On the other hand, Iím really just playing a waiting game on the Darksoft AES carts at this point and thatís going to set me back $500.

But the stupid converters are usually a couple hundred so I donít know.

Sanity left the building a long time ago, so this is what vexes me now.

 :cheers:

I bought neo geo board with a bad battery i still havn't replaced....it's a big one cartridge job though so if i tried to make it a console it's would be about the size of an atari 5200.
anyway i got a multi cart off alliexpress for $30 last April. 151 games or something like that.
I tried multiple times to buy an MVS board and it didn't happen.
thus the reason i settled for one off ebay with an error common with a dead battery.
this thread makes me really want to pull it out of it's tote and replace the battery to see if the damn thing actually works.


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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2022, 01:41:07 pm »
PBJ and Chopperthedog:  PM sent day before yesterday.  LMK if it didn't arrive.


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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2022, 07:20:55 pm »
Got a copy of Fatal Fury Special with the box coming for $27 shipped.  I think it and Samurai Shodown 2 must be borderline worthless.  Itíll keep me busy until the bootleg clears customs I thinkÖ.

 :cheers:

Sam Show 2 is inexpensive, not worthless. Its my fave game in the series, but its also one of the most mass produced carts and for some reason people think 5 is the best /shrug

Darksoft is the way to go, no regerts.
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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2022, 09:18:08 pm »
Hilariously, the 161 in 1 cleared Chicago customs the same day my Fatal Fury Special hit the mail stream.

That means both will arrive on the same day, I guarantee it.

PBJ and Chopperthedog:  PM sent day before yesterday.  LMK if it didn't arrive.

Chopper doesnít respond to PMs and itís hard for me to see the alert on my phone when Iím on the shitter.  Can I think about it another day or two? 

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2022, 10:13:18 pm »
Can I think about it another day or two?
Take as long as you want/need to confirm that the adapter is "Rev. E" and the filament/color you want for the shell -- just asked to be sure the PM didn't get lost in the bit-bucket.   :cheers:


Scott

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2022, 03:54:55 pm »
Got my heavy springs from the UK and it has made a big difference. I also went after the joystick and sleeve with rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs and removed most of the grease. The stick still spins easier than my Happ joysticks, but it's improved.

I still don't love the short throw that doesn't feel like any arcade cabinet I've tried, but it's a lot better with a stiffer spring. If you're looking for a replacement spring for the Neo Geo X stick, the Seimitsu LS-56 spring works. I tried Sanwa springs before and they didn't fit. I've also been to the hardware store and struck out, so it's not a standard size around here, apparently.

pbj

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2022, 09:28:52 pm »
So, my copy of Fatal Fury Special arrived a day earlier than expected.

Case is a little rough and no manual but for $27 shipped Iím good with it.



Had a few heart stopping minutes where it wasnít doing anything.  Cleaned the cartridge slot with a rag and some lighter fluid and Iím thankfully in business.  Have not had any problems with the system resetting and Iíve let it run a couple of hours.  If the problem with this was a low voltage power supply and a dirty connector, then I made out okay on it.  ($280 shipped as ďoccasionally resetsĒ)

Anyway, Fatal Fury Special is a beautiful game and my home brew memory card is working fine.

Iíd be very curious to learn more about the stiffer spring.  Iím also replacing this tiny 30mm ball top with a 35mm.

Mono sound out of the back of the console is complete BS and I lasted about ten seconds before I hooked up a headphone to RCA adapter in the headphone port. 

Always tough to photograph this TV but you get the ideaÖ.




 :cheers:

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2022, 10:23:36 pm »
Cracked open the joystick, stretched out the spring, and replaced the ball top with the white one I had laying around.

I donít hate the whiteÖ.



Definitely not going back to 30mm.


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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2022, 04:03:36 pm »
So, here's the damage with taxes, shipping, and rounded up to the nearest dollar.  Only thing I didn't have to buy was a power supply. 

I chopped and flipped the wires off a trash pile supply meant for an external hard drive.  So add another $10-15 if you need that.



Price           Item
$281          AES Console
$103          161 AES Cart & Shockbox
$70            AES Joystick
$45            Aftermarket Memory Card
$27            Fatal Fury Special Cart & Shockbox
$8              M27C1024 EPROM (10 pack)
$6              AV cable
$4              10' extension cable
$3              40 pin socket (10 pack)
$2              Black ball top
$549




 :dizzy:

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2022, 12:36:54 am »
Well, this arrived.  Some games working great, some with weird vertical lines but still working.  Not sure what to make of it.



 :dunno

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Re: Neo Geo
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2022, 07:07:05 am »
Phones can do anything except hold me at night and take photos of things up close

Get a magnifier app.  I can't ever get clear pics of chips with the regular camera, but the magnifier app works great.  It even keeps the light on while taking the pic.

The one I use is by app2u, but it is from a time when you could just pay a couple bucks and not be bothered with ads or location tracking.  The newest version appears to be all in on those things.

EDIT: Curious about how the app could focus when the default camera app couldn't, I played around with it a bit.  I think the trick is that the app starts out zoomed in (digitally) so you hold the phone further away.  If I hold the phone a few inches further away and zoom in with the default camera app, I get results almost as good, but with pinch to zoom it takes two hands.  I still like the app better.

Double edit: Using default camera app zoom in before even pointing the camera at the object.  It works fine. Make sure the camera is set to macro.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2022, 09:24:55 am by BadMouth »