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View Full Version : PAL PC-ENGINE, modding to make multi regional???



lettuce
16-04-2004, 04:49 PM
Is it possibel to mod a PAL PC-Engine so it can play carts from all regions?? I know you can get an adaptor for the NTSC systems so you can play JAP and US games but is there an adaptor for the PAL system? If there is will NTSC games be full screen and speed on a PAL system?

Square
16-04-2004, 05:35 PM
I don't think the PC Engine was ever released in PAL territories.

Pavey
16-04-2004, 06:24 PM
The PC Engine was Japan only.
The Turbografix-16 was US.
So there.

Jashin
16-04-2004, 06:29 PM
No, the PC-Engine was definately released in Europe. I have some old issues of 'The Games Machine', and there are adverts for it in there. Nor sure if it outputted a PAL or NTSC signal though.

Pavey
16-04-2004, 06:35 PM
It was never released outside of Japan. Those adverts were from an import company that claimed to have working (in the uk) PC Engines as around the time they were first imported (i was about 15) there were horror stories of machines over heating, and all sorts of out put problems.
NEC even went as far as to place ad's in ACE and other mags of the time warning people away from them, and shifting all responsibility away from them, as they were from NEC Japan.

Cripper
16-04-2004, 07:37 PM
I have a PAL Turbo Graphx 16. It comes with an NEC UK manual that confirms it is a PAL machine. It will play any US game (with an adaptor for Japanese games). It outputs a PAL RF signal but I have only tried it with component cable (full screen not sure about speed). Telegames UK also sell PAL Core Graphx 2 (?329.99).

Cripper
16-04-2004, 07:54 PM
there is a PAL tg-16

http://nfg.2y.net/games/pce/

lettuce
16-04-2004, 07:57 PM
I have a PAL PC Engine Core Graphx 2. It comes with an NEC manual that confirms it is a PAL machine. It will play any US game (with an adaptor for Japanese games). It outputs a PAL RF signal but I have only tried it with component cable. Telegames UK sell them. I bought mine on ebay

Do you know if you play NTSC games on the PAL system if their full screen or do they have boarders and are slower??

Pavey
16-04-2004, 08:02 PM
I have a PAL PC Engine Core Graphx 2. It comes with an NEC manual that confirms it is a PAL machine. It will play any US game (with an adaptor for Japanese games). It outputs a PAL RF signal but I have only tried it with component cable. Telegames UK sell them. I bought mine on ebay

So ask yourself why NEC, in all thier wisdom, released a console for the european market (PAL) and not one single game.
I wouldn't trust Telegames as far as i could throw them. Look at thier prices. The place is a ****ing joke.

Naiera
16-04-2004, 08:10 PM
There IS a PAL TG-16. Both Lik Sang and Play Asia have had them in stock within the last year.

Looks like a US TG-16, but it has blue and red colours instead of the red and yellow stuff on the US version of the console.

lettuce
16-04-2004, 08:26 PM
Whats the difference between the Core Graphx 1 and 2? Is the Core Graphx just a different name for the PC-Engine? or was it different inside?

Jushin-Thunder-Liger
16-04-2004, 11:43 PM
It was never released outside of Japan. Those adverts were from an import company that claimed to have working (in the uk) PC Engines as around the time they were first imported (i was about 15) there were horror stories of machines over heating, and all sorts of out put problems.
NEC even went as far as to place ad's in ACE and other mags of the time warning people away from them, and shifting all responsibility away from them, as they were from NEC Japan.

The Engine was released in both the USA and France.
Why are you giving such crappy information?

Pavey
17-04-2004, 06:42 AM
The white Engine?
If im wrong im wrong, but i remember those adverts from NEC, as i was close to importing one.
(crappy?)

Square
17-04-2004, 11:49 AM
The Engine was released in both the USA and France.
I though it was the Core Grafx, not the white engine that enjoyed a USA release?

Papercut
17-04-2004, 01:11 PM
The US Turbo Grafx 16 was something different again, it resembles a black double width white PC Engine, presumably because Americans couldn't get their heads round something smaller than a Mega Drive being any good.

I'm fairly sure the original white PC engine and Core Grafx were not released outside of Japan as Paveynick says. I know there is the pal TG-16, but I didn't think that was released in any European countries. MD will know for sure.

The adverts in The Games Machine were for grey imports, Japanese white PC Engine with a 240v psu and dodgy RGB mod.

There is a decent roundup of PC Engine versions on Raven Games:

http://www.ravengames.co.uk/engine1.htm

I remember a pal white PC Engine being available in Birmingham, it had a big nasty red ntsc -> pal converter plugged into the back which was 1/2 the length of the machine itself. I'm not sure how official it was, but I was told the pal adaptor was made by NEC, so I can only imagine it was for whatever territory uses pal at 60Hz (I forget now).

Papercut
17-04-2004, 01:19 PM
Whats the difference between the Core Graphx 1 and 2? Is the Core Graphx just a different name for the PC-Engine? or was it different inside?
The main difference is that they both have an AV connector instead of an RF modulator. The difference between the Core I and II is a slightly redesigned case and joypad. The Core I and II is otherwise the same machine internally as a white PC Engine.

Pavey
17-04-2004, 02:08 PM
The adverts in The Games Machine were for grey imports, Japanese white PC Engine with a 240v psu and dodgy RGB mod.




They were the ones that NEC then released a disclaimer about. The psu must of been the reason they were overheating and blowing up.
(Thanks Papercut)

gordon
17-04-2004, 06:52 PM
No, the PC-Engine was definately released in Europe. I have some old issues of 'The Games Machine', and there are adverts for it in there.

I had one of them. It somehow worked its way under my desk at Zzap! Towers, then found a place in my home, where it has worked without problems now for the past 18 years. I have a converter for it. It's one of my favourite shoot 'em up machines, too: Dragon Spirit, Galaga 90, Gunhed, etc.

But AFAIR it was never released in the UK, except via Andy Smales's importing company.

gIzzE
18-04-2004, 03:08 PM
The TG-16 was released in Europe, it played the US Hu Cards and it was RGB due to the fact that it only came out in France, distributed by a french company, and as the french use the secam colour system it was easier to give it RGB.

And you could walk inot a Hypermarket and it was sitting next to nintendo and sega machines, you didn't need to go to an import shop for it.

Papercut
18-04-2004, 03:11 PM
do you know if it was 50 or 60Hz?

gIzzE
18-04-2004, 03:19 PM
I would think it was 50hz?
I am going from memory as it was years ago, saw them in a supermarket when I was over there on holiday.

sailor-fuku
18-04-2004, 06:23 PM
I just got rid of my PAL turbografix 16 today, along with the import adaptor. US and JAP games run in 50 htz with borders, and are the usual 17.5 percent slower.. it came with a standard 2 pin euro lead. and ran in RGB.. it looked more like a shrunken ps2 than any resemblance to the classy white or dou versions....

Madbury
19-04-2004, 09:10 AM
Yeah,

I'm a fan of the white engine myself. Once you have that married up to a CD-ROM2 it does everything the Core G does anyway. Plus it looks like injection moulded sex.

Just wish I had more than 3 game to play on it. :(

MD
19-04-2004, 11:12 AM
Right sat down and did a bit of research and came up with this...

The original white PC Engine was a NTSC machine it supported NTSC RF, although the expansion bus at the back had Composite, Stereo Audio and RGB and sync signals. You could get Composite with an AV Booster. The machine became very popular if because against the Famicom it looked and sounded amazing and the Sega Megadrive had not yet come out.

It became popular via grey imports in other places including the rest of asia, europe and the States. However as NTSC RF or even composite video doesn't work on PAL TVs it meant that some people couldn't play the machine. Although RGB existed on the machine very few TVs had a SCART socket and the ones that did may not have supported RGB (this was the late 80s after all, a lot of people didn't even have CD players....).

However some engineers in Hong Kong found a way of reducing the video refresh rate to 50Hz and converting the video signal from NTSC to PAL (which technically isn't all that difficult to do...) and lo the PAL PC Engine was born. It was a third party adjustment and it was soon copied by people who could just barely hold a soldering iron in the UK (cough colin moron diamond cough...).

NEC saw how popular the machine was and decided to launch the machine in the states and would see how the machine would do before commiting to a european launch. The US machine was a lot larger, the official reason given was that it required more RF shielding then the PC Engine to pass FCC tests. However the unofficial reason was that americans would think that anything that looked smaller then the NES would probably be worse and would struggle to do 64x48 pixels in 4 colours and go beep at the same time. NEC struggled to match SEGA and Nintendo in advertising and the machine struggled to sell in any great numbers.

Back in Asia, NEC decided to try and sell the PC Engine in Asia and unofficially made a small number of PAL Core Grafx units and sold them via a distributor, they didn't sell very well and NEC decided not to enter certain Asian markets.

Back in Europe, NEC saw how the PC Engine in France was selling well via a large games distributor who sold converted PC Engine units. Still Grey imports but NEC decided not to do anything except refuse to repair the machines, in the UK the same thing happened when a few distributors sold the machines via mainstream shops, most notablely Hamleys. NEC then decided to convert NTSC units into PAL ones to see if they could shift some units.

The major differences between the PAL and NTSC ones is the fact that the PAL ones have an Composite AV socket on the machine rather then an RF connector (although an PAL RF box came with most machines). No machines were sold as RGB machines although in France some machines were converted to RGB SCART by the distributors.

NEC did dither about which regions they would sell them in, mainly due to the success of the Sega Master System, Nintendo NES and even Sega Megadrive and the slow sales in the states. Several distributors came up including some investors in the UK that claimed they would sell the TG16 in the UK (which they er didn't). In the end they decided not to sell the machine officially anywhere in Europe. However they did let distributors sell the machines and NEC would at least honour the warrenties. They turned up in Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Austria and they even were sold in Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

Most of them were unsold and a distributor did sell most of the European stock to various distributors includig Lik Sang and Telegames.

lettuce
19-04-2004, 12:11 PM
So if i want to be able to play a PC Engine on my TV (NTSC) i should get pne of the CORE systems then, as they have AV rather than crappy RF??

Papercut
19-04-2004, 12:19 PM
... or better still, have Saurian RGB mod a white PC Engine for you, as they are the sweetest visually.

Saurian
19-04-2004, 01:15 PM
Hell yeah baby!

AV port replaced (http://members.lycos.co.uk/lockysaur/RGBPCEfront.jpg)
Finished (http://members.lycos.co.uk/lockysaur/RGBPCEclosed.jpg)

An RGB SCART cable is included with the mod.

lettuce
19-04-2004, 01:30 PM
How much do you charge buddy?

Madbury
19-04-2004, 01:35 PM
You know that RGB mod is a thing of beauty. I just can't bear the thought of anything being done to my little white fella. :blink:

Infact looking at my consoles the PS2 is the only one I don't mind having the guts ripped out and chipped to the middle of next week, which is exactly what I had done.

Guess I'll just have to live with composite through the CD system. To be honest the picture is ok, just not RGB lushness.

lettuce
19-04-2004, 01:47 PM
So internally there is no difference between the Standard White PC-Engine, Core GRAFX 1, or Core GRAFX 2. Just the casing is different on these models and the connections??

Saurian
19-04-2004, 01:48 PM
I try to make them mod look "legit" in that from the outside it does not look modded.

This tobacco stained one aint mine I swear! (http://members.lycos.co.uk/lockysaur/RGBPCEfinal.jpg)
The circuit for boosting the RGB levels is inside the supplied SCART connector (inside the casing itself)

Papercut
19-04-2004, 01:51 PM
So internally there is no difference between the Standard White PC-Engine, Core GRAFX 1, or Core GRAFX 2. Just the casing is different on these models and the connections??
yup.

Madbury
19-04-2004, 01:57 PM
I try to make them mod look "legit" in that from the outside it does not look modded.

This tobacco stained one aint mine I swear! (http://members.lycos.co.uk/lockysaur/RGBPCEfinal.jpg)
The circuit for boosting the RGB levels is inside the supplied SCART connector (inside the casing itself)

Sorry Saur, I didn't mean to detract from your craftmanship. It is the neatest mod possible. If I had 2 engines I'd be sending one off to be modded this instant.

It's a condition I have where I like to have things in their original factory condition. Which is crazt as I'm sure I'd love the nice bright colourful picture you'd get with an RGB mod.

Guess I'm just being stoopid. :hmm:

Papercut
19-04-2004, 02:05 PM
The coolest thing about Saurian's mod is that it can be entirely undone, unlike everyone elses mod that cuts a hole in the case.

Madbury
19-04-2004, 02:21 PM
Damn it I'm wavering...

Papercut
19-04-2004, 02:25 PM
Do you get interference out of your CD-Rom2 interface?

I do, both subtle wavey lines in the video signal and a small hum in the audio. From the PC Engine or CD Rom2 its fine, but from the interface there is interference. I have two interface units too, its the same with both.

My bloody PC Engine died recently when the psu went up in smoke, so I've been running PC Engine CD Rom games on the Xbox instead (flawless). Damn the ?40 I spent on an Arcade Pro card.

MD
19-04-2004, 02:34 PM
The Wavy lines and hum could be due to the PSU being on it's way out and the unit is trying to draw more current then the PSU can handle, the PC Engine we run in Game on (via CD-ROM interface unit and via composite... "It should be in RGB SCART as it originally was intended" said one goer, er yeah...) is perfect mainly as we use a new switched mode PSU unit.

Madbury
19-04-2004, 02:37 PM
Haven't noticed any, but then I've only used it the once to test it.

I only have one CD game and its a bit crap really (Cyber City OEDO 808).

Is it possible that the Psu was causing the interference? I didn't know you could play the CD games on the XBox. that is very cool indeed. Still there is something odd about playing a game on a machine that is 5 times the size and about 5 times as heavy as the original hardware.

Papercut
19-04-2004, 02:45 PM
The Wavy lines and hum could be due to the PSU being on it's way out and the unit is trying to draw more current then the PSU can handle, the PC Engine we run in Game on (via CD-ROM interface unit and via composite... "It should be in RGB SCART as it originally was intended" said one goer, er yeah...) is perfect mainly as we use a new switched mode PSU unit.
I've used a 1.5A regulated psu, and the interferance was no better. It just made the CD Rom2 less reliable. I also tried a 1.5A switch mode psu and the CD Rom2 barely worked at all. I have two CD Rom2s as well, one is on its last legs but the other with the original psu worked fine.

Maybe I've just been unlucky and bought two dying CD Rom2 and Interface sets in a row.

spinpug666
19-04-2004, 04:49 PM
Play-Asia still have a stock of Pal Turbo Grafx (http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-3u-70-1nb-4-7.html) systems.

lettuce
19-04-2004, 07:59 PM
Yeah, i believe there only PAL 50hz systems though, so the games would have boarders and be slower (17.5%)

lettuce
19-04-2004, 08:00 PM
Damn the ?40 I spent on an Arcade Pro card.

What does the Arcade Pro card do?

Naiera
19-04-2004, 09:09 PM
They let you play... Arcade games!

Madbury
20-04-2004, 10:52 AM
Basically with the CDROM2 add on you put a card in the PCEngine and it uses that card in tandem with the game CD. There were newer and newer versions of the Arcade card released which supported the latest games. The arcade pro card was the latest i believe.

Naiera
20-04-2004, 01:58 PM
There were only two arcade cards. One for DUO consoles and one for PCE + CDROM2 unit consoles. The other cards were just called System Cards.

Papercut
20-04-2004, 02:03 PM
System Card 1.0
System Card 2.0 (Super System) - more memory, plays Super CD games
System Card 2.1 (Super System) - adds Karaoke
System Card 3.0 (Arcade Pro) - more memory, plays Arcade CD games

something like that, anyway.

The Arcade Duo is a version of the Arcade Pro with less memory aimed at Duo versions of the PC Engine (those with built in CD drives), which already have the extra memory of the Super System card (v2.x) built in.

MD
21-04-2004, 12:59 PM
System Cards (ignoring American one...)

V1.0 - CD-ROM2 Card, 128K (1 Megabit) (Note: Altered Beast will only work with this card.)

V2.0 - CD-ROM2, 256K (2 Megabits), most games would use the extra memory and would load faster.

V2.1 - CD-ROM2, 256K (2 Megabits), add CD+G abilities.

V3.0 - Super CD-ROM2, 512K (4 Megabits). Allowed Super CD-ROM games to work. Although a lot of Super CD-ROM games would work on a V2.1 card but would take longer to load. Was built in on the Super CD-ROM system and Duos.

Arcade Card Pro - Super CD-ROM2, 2 Megabytes (16 Megabits). Had no extra hardware, just had a lot more ram and a V3.0 BIOS. Allowed Arcade CD-ROM games to use the extra memory to store sprites, CG animations, etc. Required for the PC Engine CD-ROM system (although does work on the Duo...).

Arcade Card Duo - As Arcade Card Pro but without the BIOS, so works on Duo and Super CD-ROM2 systems.

Games Express CD Card - Games Express who made adult hentai games made their own CD-ROMs and made a BIOS card and RAM card to run the few CD-ROM games they did make. It's unofficial and won't run PC Engine CD-ROM2 or Super CD-ROM2 games (the Games Express games won't work on any System Card).