GAME REVIEWS

Saturday, July 18, 2009

TECH DOC: TurboTap Cable Replacement/Extension


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TURBO-TAP/MULTI-TAP EXTENSION CORD D.I.Y.
TurboGrafx-16/TurboDuo/SuperGrafx/PC-Engine
March 18, 2007
Written by: Nat Hall (hall.nat -at- gmail.com
)
==============

I'm writing this because of interest expressed at
www.pcenginefx.com and because (apparently) nobody else ever has bothered to do it before.

WHY?
--------
Because the TurboTap (TG16) and MultiTap (Duo/PCE) by default come with cords so short they hardly classify as cords. You want the 'tap to at least make it to the coffee table, where it belongs. You also don't want to waste your time with inconvenient extension cords. Finally, the reason this document exists is because it is not a simple plug 'n play swap like it is exchanging cables between US- and Japan-region controllers. The pinouts on the inside of TurboTaps and MultiTaps are different from Turbo/PCE Pads, although the cables are compatible with some simple re-wiring. You can also use these instructions to make reverse DuoTaps, etc.

WHAT YOU NEED
-------------------------
* TurboTap or MultiTap (from here on out we are going to consider the "DuoTap" a "MultiTap")
* a spare controller cable from a dead TurboPad, Avenue Pad or PCE/SuperGrafx pad (or you can butcher a working pad, but keep in mind you are now going straight to Hell)
* philips head screwdriver
* very tiny flathead screwdriver (like the kind used for eyeglass repair)

ENOUGH OF THIS, LET'S DO IT
-------------------------------------------

First off, you're on your own in securing a replacement cable you intend to use in your 'tap. If you can't figure that part out you shouldn't be attempting this at all.

Use the philips head screwdriver to open your 'tap. Remove screws, then remove the half of the shell that's facing you (bottom half). You should be looking at the bottom of the circuit board.

Carefully remove the circuit board and flip it over. You can remove the cable and plug from the PCB.

Get your new cable in hand with the white PCB plug closest to you, "number" side up.

Use the tiny flathead screwdriver (a knife blade might work to) to push down the small metal "teeth" for each of the wires' pin sockets. These teeth are what hold the wires into the white connector. After you've pushed them all down, you are now able to remove them from the connector. Do this now.

Depending on what kind of Pad you pillaged for this cord, the actual wires for each pin will be one of two color sets. See the following chart for these sets and how they correspond:
Wire color for Avenue Pad | TurboPad/PCE Pad
--------------------------|-----------------
BLACK | BIG BLACK
PURPLE | GREY
YELLOW | BROWN
BROWN | GREEN
BLUE | BLUE
ORANGE | YELLOW
RED | LIL BLACK
GREY | WHITE
GREEN | RED

Now we need to re-wire the connector so the 'tap will work with the cord. Re-insert the wires into the connector using the following pin schematic:

Pin | Wire color for Avenue Pad | TurboPad/PCE Pad
----|---------------------------|-----------------
1 | GREY | WHITE
2 | RED | LIL BLACK
3 | ORANGE | YELLOW
4 | BLUE | BLUE
5 | YELLOW | BROWN
6 | BROWN | GREEN
7 | PURPLE | GREY
8 | GREEN | RED
9 | BLACK | BIG BLACK
Now re-attach the connector to the PCB. Be careful as you do this as sometimes the pins on the PCB will push the wires backwards out of the socket because we bent the "holding teeth" earlier. Just apply a small amount of pressure to the base of the wire and any stragglers should push on just fine.

Re-assemble your 'tap. Make sure you route the new cable through the posts so that it is held securely in place. As long as you do this you won't have to worry about the wires coming loose inside.

Seal 'er up and you're done. If it doesn't work, don't blame me, blame your inability to follow directions.

If it does work, you're now cooler than anybody else because your 'tap has a longer cable than theirs does.

Except me, of course, because I did it before you.

What to do with the old cable? If you're like me, you have a box of miscellaneous console "parts" in your closet dating back to who knows when. You might as well throw this useless excuse-for-a-cable into this box where, like everything else in the box, it will likely never be used again for anything. But at least you can rest easy knowing should an unfortunate natural disaster ever wipe out 99% of the world's supply of MultiTaps, you can restore yours to it's original factory condition and sell it on eBay for $1,294,345,983.00.

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