I bought a non-working Sega Rally 3 a few weeks ago. It’s a single-seat USA model. I can’t find very much solid info out there about these, so I figured I’d document my progress on repairing it. Hopefully I can get it running again!
I can’t find a manual for the USA model; there are some differences between this machine and the more common ones you see online. Notably, the hardware is not under the seat; it’s all in the back of the unit.
Accessory boards are in okay shape, this cabinet was definitely stored somewhere moist because there’s lots of light rust all over the frame and even some mild corrosion here and there on the boards. Hopefully nothing too serious.
The Europa-R is tucked beneath these boards, behind a fold-down panel.
There’s some sort of hazy residue on the bottom of the motherboard that doesn’t come off with isopropyl, and some corrosion around areas where the crappy heat sink was. Some of this was able to be removed with a light isopropyl soak and wipe; I’ll do a deep clean of the affected areas and check the traces for damage. Yikes!
Back at this project lately after a long break. The motherboard is damaged beyond repair, with many small traces eaten by corrosion. Too bad.
I sold the hard drive and security key to another forum user to help resurrect their SR3 -- organ donation is the only acceptable reason to strip a cabinet like this of parts, imo.
I spent quite some time trying to get the Sega IO card working in Windows 10. Research and plaintive emails to repair folks and parts supply houses revealed that while the IO card does get recognized as a HID device, it remains locked until the game shell sends a command to it. The shell is only compatible with older versions of Windows, so I didn't follow the lead further, but that's an avenue you can explore if you find yourself in this situation. A UK company sells them for this sort of use.
Anyway, after all these setbacks, I came across a thread here on a-p describing a racing multi setup using a kit from a board maker named Aganyte. I reached out to him via FB and he revealed that he had actually recently made a kit specifically for Sega Rally 3 cabinets. I ordered one, and a short month later, it arrived:
From left to right: FFB Converter board, SR3 board, PWM2HAPP board.
The FFB Converter board plugs into a PC via USB and presents itself as a multi-axis, multi-button gamepad. It handles IO for the buttons, potentiometers, lights, and FFB.
The SR3 board accepts the digital and analog wire harnesses from the cabinet -- no wire snips needed. It also has screw terminals for adding a secondary control button panel & lights for PC menu navigation, and power/FFB outputs for the DC motor.
The PWM2HAPP board replaces the original Happ driver board and drives the FFB motor. I don't have the technical details in front of me, but from memory, the FFB controller uses PWM to send the motor control signals, and the PWM2HAPP board applies them to the motor.
It took a while to wrap my head around the software config, and there's still lots of setup left to do for the multi, but everything is connected and working now -- I just need to fine tune the FFB strength and then properly mount the new boards inside the cabinet. Big win! More info and pics to come as I continue working on this project.