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PC Engine Mini


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So I got my replacement PC Engine Mini today! Good times. Plugged it in, controller worked! Got past the language screen and played a bit of Sapphire. Note this was with a different USB PSU than last time...

 

Happy it worked, turned it off. For some reason known best to my unconscious idiot mind, I wondered what would happen if I used my Raspberry Pi power supply I used with the previous one... 

 

Plugged it in, controller no longer works. Eeek. Swapped back to the previous (working) PSU. Nope, controller doesn't work. It otherwise runs fine, even goes into a nice attract sequence after a bit, but no more playing the actual games for me. 

 

At this point I think 'I can't be that unlucky surely' and go hit Google. Turns out I'm not alone. There looks to be some kind of problem where they just stop working with the controller. As evidenced here...

 

And if you go look at Amazon.jp and run the 1 star reviews through translate, a bunch of users with the same problem. 

 

So be warned, it looks like either it's really delicate about what kind of current you put into it or there is some kind of manufacturing defect in the first batch. Let's just say I was kicking myself using the Pi supply. Till I read Reddit and saw there were others using one with no issues whatsoever.

 

I've mailed Amazon Japan to see what they want to do, fair play to them, their English support has been great, including promising to refund the £75 it costs to ship the original one of these back via DHL, but for the moment even if you're tempted, I'd suggest waiting to see how this resolves itself. I'll let you know what they tell me when they respond.

 

It's a surprise as they look to be manufactured by Hori, who I don't think make bad stuff generally. 

 

Figured I'd share in case someone else runs into the same problem! 

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Uuurgh bad times!  When I first got mine I had issues trying to find a power supply that worked ok as the unit seemed pretty sensitive (no leds anywhere so couldn’t tell if the unit was even powering on). Thankfully none of them have borked the controllers. Yet. It’s good to know that there appears to be a general issue.  

 

On a slight tangent, I tried the megadrive retro-bit pad (wireless via usb dongle) with it.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work.  Well, start and one other button does. I’m a bit paranoid that that was the last time I played with it, what if that has knackered the controller port?!

 

edit: thinking about it, the lower of the two USB ports didn’t work, the upper one does but I attributed that to being P1, P2 thing....

 

edit2: P1 top, P2 bottom. 

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And it's got to go back to Amazon. They've offered me a refund once they get it. I was hoping they'd give me the refund and leave me to keep it. I could have used the pad on my PC!

 

My Japanese is terrible, but I think the USB ports are Pad 1 in the top, Pad 2 in the bottom, it's covered in the manual. I had ordered a second pad, I should probably cancel that given the PCE Mini is going back to Tokyo!

 

I'll get one down the line though. When it worked it was lovely. The UI is great, the little animations when you pick something as the HuCard goes in or the Super CD-ROM spins up are brilliant. M2 have done a lovely job on it. It's got a genuinely great collection of games on it too. You know it'll be hacked so you can add essentials you consider are missing soon for sure!

 

I've seen rumours 8-Bit Do are going to do a wireless controller for it. Likely still needs a dongle. 

 

Glad yours works, stick with the same PSU :)

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Well I can only go on the evidence out there and from personal experience. I'd suggest avoiding higher amperage PSU's, so not the Raspberry Pi ones. The one that worked for me was the Amazon plug thingy I got with a Kindle Fire 7 tablet (5V 1A), but older Micro USB phone chargers or TV/PC USB sockets tend to be lower so should be OK. 

 

My theory is that if the current is too high, it's knocking out some kind of surface mount components on the USB controller. I think once it stops recognising the controller it doesn't come back. It might be fixable if you have the knowledge and the kit, but whilst Amazon are offering me a refund, I'm not going to gamble :)

 

I have to say that a lot of people so far have them with no trouble. Whether that's down to their choice of power supply, I can't say with any surety, but I imagine it's a factor. Till there is an official word on it (and I've not found anything yet) I'd be wary of importing one, but if you have one and you had it from Amazon, they're so far great with refunds or exchanges, I see no reason to plug it into a 'safe' supply and see if it works for you. If not, good chance you can also get a refund or replacement, so it's relatively low risk.

 

If I spot any more info out there I'll point it out. I had a good old look last night and it was only really that thread on Reddit and the reviews on Amazon.jp.

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12 hours ago, S0L said:

Well I can only go on the evidence out there and from personal experience. I'd suggest avoiding higher amperage PSU's, so not the Raspberry Pi ones. The one that worked for me was the Amazon plug thingy I got with a Kindle Fire 7 tablet (5V 1A), but older Micro USB phone chargers or TV/PC USB sockets tend to be lower so should be OK. 

 

Thanks. Mine is supposed to arrive via DHL today...I guess I'll just plug it into one of the ports on the TV, or an old Amazon 0.85A USB adaptor I just found in a box of junk, and hope for the best.

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On 30/03/2020 at 23:14, S0L said:

It's a surprise as they look to be manufactured by Hori, who I don't think make bad stuff generally. 

 

Between this, D-pad JoyCons that drained the Switch battery in standby and the Switch screen protector that bubbled up and peeled off, they've diminished themselves a bit.

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6 hours ago, DeciderVT said:

 

Between this, D-pad JoyCons that drained the Switch battery in standby and the Switch screen protector that bubbled up and peeled off, they've diminished themselves a bit.

 

I've been using a Hori Switch screen protector, and it's been excellent so far (after nearly 2 years of use).

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5 hours ago, Keyboard Koala said:

 

I've been using a Hori Switch screen protector, and it's been excellent so far (after nearly 2 years of use).

 

There are two different versions, I used the premium one. It bubbled up after being exposed to heat in the dock and started to peel off, requiring me to press down on it to reattach it during portable play. It was a common problem shortly after launch. I switched to the amfilm glass protector, which is much better.

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23 hours ago, Santas Boyfriend said:

 

Thanks. Mine is supposed to arrive via DHL today...I guess I'll just plug it into one of the ports on the TV, or an old Amazon 0.85A USB adaptor I just found in a box of junk, and hope for the best.

 

Thankfully, it works with the old 0.85A adaptor. It's really nice. My only minor complaint so far is that the d-pad feels stiff; it's been over 20 years since I sold my PC Engine and longer since I used one of the original 2-button non-turbo pads so I can't remember if that's how they always were? I remember instantly preferring the Megadrive and Super Famicom pads back in the day so this is probably normal :D Anyway, the console is lovely.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have ordered the the uk version from Amazon Japan yesterday but says it will not arrive till the 21st of April, is that an accurate time how long did it take to arrive for anyone else ordering from Amazon Japan?

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A higher amperage PSU shouldn’t matter - devices will only pull whatever they need. So long as it’s the same voltage and at least the minimum amps required, 1A vs 2A vs 50A won’t make a difference.

 

Unless, the device isn’t regulating what it draws, which is bloody dangerous.

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10 hours ago, deKay said:

A higher amperage PSU shouldn’t matter - devices will only pull whatever they need. So long as it’s the same voltage and at least the minimum amps required, 1A vs 2A vs 50A won’t make a difference.

 

Unless, the device isn’t regulating what it draws, which is bloody dangerous.

 

I shouldn't, but two dead ones sent back to Amazon suggest it does make a difference.

 

Could be my Pi PSI is faulty, but it works fine with my actual Raspberry Pi.

 

I read some comment on reddit suggesting the Pi supply always pushes 2.5 Amps unlike most PSU's that only provide what is pullled. Not sure how true it is. 

 

But my advice would be to avoid them and go with something lower. The second one worked just fine till curiosity got the better of me!

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My never-fulfilled wish for a PC Engine + COVID19 boredom tipped me over the edge into ordering a whitey model from Japan.  Looking forward to it!  Hopefully the audio lag isn't much of a thing, also, that the thing can be cracked open for more games to be put on it (even if not, there's plenty of games to be getting into). 

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