VA0/VA1 Hybrid + PicoPSU Dreamcast build for GDEMU

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    • VA0/VA1 Hybrid + PicoPSU Dreamcast build for GDEMU

      I want to have a nice Dreamcast to plug my pre-ordered gdemu into. I'm a big fan of the VA0 DCs (I have 5 working VA0s and three in parts), but gdemu is only compatible with VA1, so I had to improvise. I came up with a Franken-Dreamcast composed of: VA0 case, VA0 heatsinks, VA1 motherboard, VA1 fan (which I'll swap out with a metal VA0 fan once I work that out), and VA1 controller sub-board. Word of warning, never switch VA0 with VA1 controller boards or you'll fry the mobo.

      I also built an 80watt PicoPSU and used a nifty overpriced 3D-printed pico power jack mount. It's powered by a 12V/2A brick. The next step will be to recap it and add some internal voltmeters for a little flair once the gdemu arrives.


      GD-ROM is for testing. The fan is also temporary until I get the metal VA1 back in. I also installed a rechargeable LIR-2032 battery.



      The connectors were taken from a dead DC PSU, making the PicoPSU modular. The ferrite probably doesn't matter, but I have a box of them to get through before I die.











      Sony CR-2030 PVM. Photographed with an old Canon 50mm f1.2 on a Sony NEX-6 & focal reducer.

      Update: I recapped it using nice 105C long-life rated Rubycons.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by SmokeMonster ().

    • Unless they're completely shot, VA0 fans are the quietest once you lubricate them. This thing sounds like a high-pitched jet engine right now. Also, I don't like having to rely on hot-glue to hold the replacement in place.

      I added a couple of pictures from last night's recap to the first post. AV quality was perfect to begin with, so no changes there. It is relatively apocalypse-proof now though.

      I've also started to light it:

      The post was edited 3 times, last by SmokeMonster ().

    • SmokeMonster ... Sir,my only Dreamcast i have on hands are a NTSC J HJK3000 Dreamcast one + other jap accessories. i also have a Gdemu ode uninstalled yet and accessories for it from Bit-District. Now i found and understand things about console revisions and i found the GDEMU works on VA1 units. Please,canWhat to do with this jap console ? Should i buy a NTSC U va1 or will work with what i have ? Also i intend to use a DreamPSU replacement. Cheers and thank you very much for your time !
      Multi's: CPS2 / Taito F3 / Irem M72
      Superguns : HAS v3.1
      Scalers : OSSC v1.6 / RetroTINK-2X
      Scart switch : Gscartsw V5.2
      JNX: Spitfire
      NAC: Splitfire





      My Arcade Stuff

      [nes-101] [pce] [genesis] [segacd] [neogeo] [snes] [saturn] [psx] [n64] [gamecube] [dreamcast_ss]
    • AlxUnderBase wrote:

      SmokeMonster ... Sir,my only Dreamcast i have on hands are a NTSC J HJK3000 Dreamcast one + other jap accessories. i also have a Gdemu ode uninstalled yet and accessories for it from Bit-District. Now i found and understand things about console revisions and i found the GDEMU works on VA1 units. Please,canWhat to do with this jap console ? Should i buy a NTSC U va1 or will work with what i have ? Also i intend to use a DreamPSU replacement. Cheers and thank you very much for your time !
      Yes, GDEMU is for V1s only. I would hold on to that nice Japanese unit (V0 I assume?) and just grab any USA V1 for the GDEMU. DreamPSU is a good choice too.
    • @AlxUnderBase only NTSC-U and PAL consoles have the number in the circle to denote the version. Japanese Dreamcast units are different and take a bit more detective work to find out the revision. I have three Japanese units at home, all of them HKT-3000 and they work fine.

      The way I like to determine if it's a VA1 is to open up the console and take a look at the GD-ROM drive. If it says 3.3v in the bottom right hand corner on the metal housing, it's most likely a VA1. VA0 consoles have a 5v drive. VA2 consoles do not have an on board controller because that was integrated into the VA2 motherboard.





      Another way to tell is by looking at the Dreamcast motherboard, the version will be printed on the PCB, but this will take a bit more disassembly than simply looking at the drive. I still do it just to make sure 100%.

      An alternative way to determine the model is that VA0 consoles have a metal heatsink with pipes and a 2-wired fan instead of a 3-wired one which VA1 consoles have.

      If you're out shopping and can't dismantle the console to figure out the revision, a quicker and easier way to tell is to look at the vent of the fan opening. If it's a metal housing right next to the case, it's a VA0. If you see black plastic, it's a VA1, but only if it is a HKT-3000 model as VA2 also have plastic fans.



      Some Limited Edition consoles (Hello Kitty) and the HKT-5100 models won't work with GDEMU.
      Multis: CPS-1, CPS-2, CPS-3, F3, S16, ST-V, MVS, AES, M72, Crystal System, G-Net, Naomi, TTX2
      PVMs: 2043MD, 20M2MDA, 20L2MD
      Devices: Sentinel Gold / Ultracade uVC / JAMMAizer! / Framemeister XRGB-mini
      PCBs: VAPS Profile

      The post was edited 1 time, last by djsheep ().

    • djsheep wrote:


      If you're out shopping and can't dismantle the console to figure out the revision, a quicker and easier way to tell is to look at the vent of the fan opening. If it's a metal housing right next to the case, it's a VA0. If you see black plastic, it's a VA1, but only if it is a HKT-3000 model as VA2 also have plastic fans.



      Some Limited Edition consoles (Hello Kitty) and the HKT-5100 models won't work with GDEMU.
      It's the same model as in the picture with 2 wires on the fan and metal heatshink on the fan backside and metal fan too . i'll grab a Ntsc U console then , to finish this . Thank you very much @SmokeMonster & @djsheep for your explanations !
      Multi's: CPS2 / Taito F3 / Irem M72
      Superguns : HAS v3.1
      Scalers : OSSC v1.6 / RetroTINK-2X
      Scart switch : Gscartsw V5.2
      JNX: Spitfire
      NAC: Splitfire





      My Arcade Stuff

      [nes-101] [pce] [genesis] [segacd] [neogeo] [snes] [saturn] [psx] [n64] [gamecube] [dreamcast_ss]
    • The black plastic one is a VA1 console! You will be able to use GDEMU no problem on that machine @AlxUnderBase

      To be sure just open it up and look at the GD-ROM drive for the 3.3v marking.
      Multis: CPS-1, CPS-2, CPS-3, F3, S16, ST-V, MVS, AES, M72, Crystal System, G-Net, Naomi, TTX2
      PVMs: 2043MD, 20M2MDA, 20L2MD
      Devices: Sentinel Gold / Ultracade uVC / JAMMAizer! / Framemeister XRGB-mini
      PCBs: VAPS Profile
    • djsheep wrote:

      The black plastic one is a VA1 console! You will be able to use GDEMU no problem on that machine @AlxUnderBase

      To be sure just open it up and look at the GD-ROM drive for the 3.3v marking.
      Yeah ... my Jap console it's a VA0 one. I will buy a NTSC U with (1) to be sure it's a VA1 compatible with my Gdemu.
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      Multi's: CPS2 / Taito F3 / Irem M72
      Superguns : HAS v3.1
      Scalers : OSSC v1.6 / RetroTINK-2X
      Scart switch : Gscartsw V5.2
      JNX: Spitfire
      NAC: Splitfire





      My Arcade Stuff

      [nes-101] [pce] [genesis] [segacd] [neogeo] [snes] [saturn] [psx] [n64] [gamecube] [dreamcast_ss]
    • My bad, I read wrong. It's all good... now you'll have a nice unit for Japanese discs and a GDEMU too :)
      Multis: CPS-1, CPS-2, CPS-3, F3, S16, ST-V, MVS, AES, M72, Crystal System, G-Net, Naomi, TTX2
      PVMs: 2043MD, 20M2MDA, 20L2MD
      Devices: Sentinel Gold / Ultracade uVC / JAMMAizer! / Framemeister XRGB-mini
      PCBs: VAPS Profile