The Naomi Actually Works
Friday February 2, 2024
Before I get into the good stuff, I’ll fill you in on the little things that have happened since putting in the new monitor.
When mashing the sticks or even just opening and closing the control panel, the monitor would freak out. This is an old video. You can tell by the frozen CvS2.
I had a feeling it was a ground problem, and the guy who sold me the monitor walked me through how to ground it. I made this cable at work:
One end connects to a screw on the monitor chassis and the other end connects to a screw on the bottom of the cab, along with a couple other grounds.
That’s a shit picture, but give me a break. It’s crowded in there.
A while ago I ordered a kick harness and a JVS power extension cable with voltage displays from Lemony Vengeance. When it arrived in the mail the box contained the wrong kick harness and no power cable. After a few emails it was sorted out and I eventually received a proper kick harness and a partially broken JVS power extension cable. The top display shows the voltage of one pin just fine, but the other display doesn’t work at all. This is my life.
The Big Problem
I was pretty convinced that the Naomi freezing had to be related to the voltages. Here’s a diagram:
Those two pins MUST be 3.3v and 5.0v or else you’re gonna have issues. I tested my ATX power supply with a multimeter and the voltages seemed fine, but people on the internet suggested getting a Sun PSU which allows you to adjust the voltages. So I did. The cable is comically short, which is the main reason I bought the extension from Lemony Vengeance. The Little voltmeters were just a bonus.
Instead of shipping more shit back and waiting even longer for a replacement cable, I just grabbed the multimeter again. I had the voltages ON THE DOT and thought SURELY this will fix the freezing issue. It didn’t.
I read online that sometimes the RAM test will report that all the RAM is fine when it actually isn’t. Cool. I also figured that maybe the RAM sticks inside the NetDIMM got knocked out of place during shipping, which I never thought about until my CPS3 BIOS cart got obliterated on it’s way to me. When I opened the NetDIMM up and it did kind of look like one of the RAM sticks was loose on the left side. I was so hype. “This is it. It’s gonna work now.” It didn’t.
I swapped the sticks, tried one at a time, then just put it back how I found it. At this point nothing was booting at all. I had no MiSTercade, a broken CPS3, and a Naomi that kept getting worse.
I gave up and sent it out to Ken at irepairsega.com. I hate that I have to keep sending things out instead of fixing them myself. Ken told me it was quite a battle to get it working right, so this time I don’t feel that bad for giving up. Never in a million years would I be able to fix this thing. I honestly didn’t understand a lot of the stuff he was telling me over the phone about specific chips and boot ROMs, but basically my Naomi motherboard was mostly okay. He replaced the case fan and cleaned up the GPU fan, but the real problem was in the NetDIMM. That’s the blueish cart that plugs into the top which allows me to load whatever game I want. He asked me if it came from China and I think he said something about how it was probably assembled from a bunch of scrap NetDIMMS. At this point I am pretty sure I got ripped off by the original seller. Whatever.
Here it is running games it was never able to run before. Thank you Ken. You are a legend.
There’s a small catch. Something was also up with the Pi set up that holds all the games. In the picture above, CvS2 was loaded from my laptop. I will eventually get around to fixing the Pi. It may be as simple as getting a new SD card and starting fresh. For now I don’t really mind loading games in from my laptop. The easier it is to switch games, the more my friends will request that I change it.
I also put a new lock on the door. The guy who sold me this cab forgot to include the key, so the day I got the cab my neighbor picked the lock. The door has been off this entire time but I just got a new lock from the locksmith at work. It’s a little too long but I don’t care. It keeps the door closed. If I was going to worry about the locks being right I’d buy real Sega locks.
With all that complete, I think I am officially done with the important stuff. The speakers sound like pure dogshit but I hear it’s a huge pain in the ass to replace Blast speakers.
On another post about the Blast someone asked for a video of it running Tetris, which I said I would post but never did. Next time I have people over I’ll get a sick video of CO-OP TETRIS.