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  Back From The Grave - Two More
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   Author  Topic: Back From The Grave - Two More  (Read 1143 times)
Robert Weck
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Re:Back From The Grave - Two More
« on: February 27, 2006, 05:48AM »
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Quote from: Stefan Ottow on February 25, 2006, 08:59AM   

I could have told you how to open the old Novag machines. I was once forced to it for changing the CMOS battery on a Superconny. Like you described its not straighforward, but I managed it finally.

A call to all people, who are posting these descriptions about opening and repairing chess computers or know about it: put them in the Wiki!

Maybe some damage can be avoided, when we know how to open the 'tricky' models! And the Connies definitely are the most tricky ones, i have seen until now! (ok, the old Fidelity Challengers seem to be much worse, but i did not try them until now! )

I had opened a Constellation too, but i missed to take pictures and log the procedure!  Shame on me!  >:(


Robert
« Last Edit: February 27, 2006, 05:50AM by Robert Weck » Report to moderator Logged
Mike Watters
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Re:Back From The Grave - Two More
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 01:45PM »
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Stefan

Is it unusual for the CMOS batteries to go like that?

Mike
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Stefan Ottow
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Re:Back From The Grave - Two More
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2006, 12:04AM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on February 25, 2006, 04:36PM   

Hi Stefan/tomwill

What are the symptons when the Super Conny battery needs changing?

As you say Stefan it is not straightforward to open the old Novags, but a determined fanatic with a can opener would surely succeed.    There are not many tips, to be had, as to how to do these things. It seems that most people faced with mending a chess computer are on their own. So they make more mistakes than they have to.

You can't win them all regards
Mike


Mike,

well I guess it CAN look like this one:

http://www.schachcomputer.info/forum/showthread.php?t=55&highlight=CMOS+Batterie

You will be still able to play but the computer is not saving any games/positions and in the case of the Superconny you cannot save openings. Basically the battery is needed for supplying power to the SRAM in case you swich off the computer.

And do not forget that a leakage in the battery is an environmental and health topic. The material/electrolyte (cadmium) is highly toxic. So use gloves for working on this!.

best regards
Stefan
« Last Edit: February 26, 2006, 03:55AM by Stefan Ottow » Report to moderator Logged
Mike Watters
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Re:Back From The Grave - Two More
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2006, 04:36PM »
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Hi Stefan/tomwill

What are the symptons when the Super Conny battery needs changing?

As you say Stefan it is not straightforward to open the old Novags, but a determined fanatic with a can opener would surely succeed.    There are not many tips, to be had, as to how to do these things. It seems that most people faced with mending a chess computer are on their own. So they make more mistakes than they have to. Which brings me to the CC3 tomwill.

I do not have pictures but the story goes like this. The display had segments out and my cunning plan was to use a CC7 display to replace it.

You would think looking at a CC3 that the way in is to take off the rear hardboard cover. Wrong.   When you take it off (hard to do without damaging it) you are faced with the back of the PCB and no way around it. You notice that the PCB is secured on three posts which are soldered into the board. Surely unsoldering these will give access. Wrong again. 

At this point I started to worry. The PCB is secured to the keypad/display area by a pronged connector soldered in at both ends. Unsoldering this from the PCB is a tough ask as there are about 10 prongs and plenty to damage including the plastic connector holder. Which I did.

The actual way in is through the front. You have to peel off the plastic chessboard membrane from the metal plate to which it is glued. This is difficult without creasing the membrane and detracting from the look of the machine when you put it back. Peeling it off reveals four screws which when undone allow you to separate the metal plate from the wooden frame and the PCB. You now have access to the PCB but probably have ruined your chess computer. 

You can't win them all regards
Mike
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tomwil
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Re:Back From The Grave - Two More
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2006, 01:37PM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on February 25, 2006, 01:38AM   

I shall not bore you with tales of a CC3 fiasco.


Mike,

It would be great to hear about the CC3 fiasco.  Especially with pics and a description of what went wrong.

Thinking that there isn't much to a CC3, to me it would be interesting to see and hear about the guts, why it needed repair, and so forth.

Just a thought, to let you know that at least one person here is interested.  Thanks!

Tom
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Stefan Ottow
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Re:Back From The Grave - Two More
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2006, 08:59AM »
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Mike,

I could have told you how to open the old Novag machines. I was once forced to it for changing the CMOS battery on a Superconny. Like you described its not straighforward, but I managed it finally.

can-opener regards
Stefan
« Last Edit: February 25, 2006, 09:00AM by Stefan Ottow » Report to moderator Logged
Mike Watters
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Back From The Grave - Two More
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2006, 01:38AM »
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Hi All

I have not been put off by suggestions that I should visit my doctor. The attempted repairs continue. I shall not bore you with tales of a CC3 fiasco. Here are two rescues.

First a Novag Constellation I had lined up for the dustbin. Switching it on the Conny squealed continuously and flashed all its Leds. Nothing I did changed this. Having been intrigued by Novag's design which apparently allows no way in I decided to use this machine to solve this Chinese Puzzle of a chess computer.

Undoing the screws at the back gets you nowhere. The answer is to use controlled force on one of the side panels. These are held on by shallow plastic 'lugs' that sit in grooves and they have to be eased out of the grooves, with no easy way of prising them out. Watch out for plastic shrapnel.

Once a side panel is off, the front shiny metal strip slides off and the other side panel is easy to dislodge. Of course the screws also have to come out.



There are a number of push on transparent ribbon cables around the edge. Disappointed I could see no cause of the fault so put it back together again.



Surprise surprise it worked perfectly. All I can think of is that one of the ribbon cables had shifted over time.





Here are the insides of a Scisys Mark V. It was bought from a German collector with a Mark VI module and Sensor Board. After 5 minutes of working fine the Mark V began playing up and within an hour it had become unusable. The LCD screen showed pieces, bits of pieces, multiple cursors all over the place. Again nothing I did could change this. The Mark VI module and Sensor Board worked fine with other Mark Vs.

It stood in line for the dust bin, but I could not resist a peek inside. Quite complicated in there.



but I soon spotted a loose wire on the back of the LCD chessboard. Someone had looked inside before. The telltale signs were there. Washers missing. A few things a little out of place. Maybe whilst mending something else, they had weakened this wire.



The front of the LCD chessboard.



A quick soldering job and the Mark V working again as if nothing had happened.




Happy soldering
Mike
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