Sega Game Gear Repair

A weakness of all Sega manufactured Game Gears is a particular type of electronic component used in various parts of the internal circuitry; the SMD (surface mount) electrolytic capacitor. Many years ago these components were a common cause of camcorder faults. Now, as Game Gears getting to be 15+ years old, they are suffering from the "bad cap's" phenomenon too.

The symptoms of faulty capacitors include:

Further confirmation can be had by opening the unit and examining the board area around the capacitors. Faulty capacitors will often (but not always) leak their corrosive electrolyte onto the surrounding board. This is a clear, oily substance which can may attack the cap's legs and surrounding components, leaving a green corrosion behind.

What do they look like?

If one is faulty, the rest won't be far behind. Replaced them all at once!

These capacitors are glued and soldered to the board. To remove one, carefully rock it from side to side with a small pair of pliers until to feel the glue break, then desolder each leg from the PCB. When they're off, take the opportunity to clean up any leaked electrolyte and corrosion. Metho (rubbing alcohol to the Yanks) is good for this.

There are two versions of the Game Gear, the main difference being the main board layout. The later model also combined it's two ASICs (custom chips) into a single IC. There are other board layouts out there, if you have a Game Gear whose capacitor collection doesn't match the table send me a list and I'll update the page. Here is a list of all electro capacitors on the main board.

Mainboard

ONE ASIC (VA1) TWO ASIC VALUE   ONE ASIC (VA4) VALUE
C68
C43
C45
C55
C54
C48
C49
C1
C4
C14
C42
C11
C31
C49
C35
C45
C44
C37
C39
C1
C3
C6
C48
-
100 6.3V
22 6.3V
4.7 35V
0.47 50V
0.47 50V
68 6.3V
100 4V
33 6.3V
10 6.3V
10 6.3V
10 6.3V
10 6.3V
  C38
C36
C33
C44
C39
C47
C42
C40
C41
C1
C55
C31
C43
C37
22 35V
22 6.3V
22 6.3V
22 6.3V
10 50V
10 50V
10 50V
47 6.3V
47 6.3V
33 6.3V
100 6.3V
100 6.3V
1 50V
10 16V

Audio Amplifier Board

DESIGNATOR VALUE
C1
C2
C3
C5
C7
100 6.3V
100 6.3V
100 6.3V
47 4V
47 4V

Some things to consider when shopping for replacement capacitors:

If you find the sound from the internal speaker to be missing or distorted then a faulty C7 (47) on the audio board is the likely cause. If there also distorted audio on from the headphone jack then you many need to replace all capacitors on the audio board.

Capacitors on the power supply board are generally reliable, not being of the surface mount type.

Changelog
4/3/11 - Corrected the designators for the Two ASIC version.
12/8/10 - Included a capacitor list for the later version One ASIC board (marked VA4 USA).
22/9/09 - Added a list of capacitors for the audio amplifier board.
24/4/07 - Page created.

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