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Feb 6, 2022
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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.
Getting all the connections in a single photo is tricky. The USB I/O is plugged in directly below the security dongle; both are obscured in this first photo.


With the power and video cables detached, it’s easier to see what’s left.


The PSU is very large and the fan doesn’t spin when you turn it on. From what I understand about PSUs, this is Bad. There’s a screw missing, so I assume someone has already tried to “fix” it…

The screws were all removed from the lid of the Europa-R, but the security sticker was still intact. I guess they didn’t want to risk it 😂


Inside, the cards and RAM are held in place by brittle globs of hot glue. There’s lots of surface rust on the case and also signs of corrosion around the CPU fan…


The machine starts with the stock PSU, but doesn’t post. Jump-starting it with a working PSU provides the same results.

Let’s take a look at the CPU. The heat sink is in bad shape with rusty mounting hardware… and things do not look nice underneath.


Socket itself looks okay.


CPU doesn’t look so bad after a wipe, but this is a $7 part, so I’m just going to order a new one, in case it’s fried. I’ll need some thermal paste and a new heat sink/fan combo as well.


The HDD is 500GB, but contains only a single 80GB partition. I made a backup disk image using dd. Maybe the USB I/O and force feedback drivers would work on newer versions of Windows?


All caught up now — next steps are replacing the CPU, heat sink, fan, and PSU.

The computer itself is a bit of a potato, so if I can’t get it working with those new parts, I might switch gears and try running it on modern hardware… 🤷‍♂️
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!

Thanks, I might take you up on that! I’ve got a new heat sink and fan located, and a new CPU should be here next week.
New CPU didn't solve the issue so I'm suspecting a bad PSU. I'll order a replacement. Hopefully it's that and not the hot-glued RAM!
I had the super deluxe, great fun restoring it.
I don’t think it will run on a different spec pc, or at least the FFB controls maybe an issue.

You can boot grid on this cab too.
Which even tho I’m the biggest sega rally fan, I found it a better game than sr3
But both worth playing
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.