Author Topic: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?  (Read 4230 times)

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Offline Drummel

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How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« on: 00:28, 09 February 16 »
I just got my GX4000 today. I have heard so much about it breaking. The box even got a sticker on it that warns you from removing the powercord when the GX4000 is running. But thats not what I want this thread to be about.




I would like to know how to prevent it. Replacing the power cord is a good start? What powercord should you use? Is it something inside the GX4000 that you can replace/mod to make it more stable?
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Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #1 on: 00:50, 09 February 16 »
I do not know if this particular thing applies to the GX4000 as well, but I have a UPS for delicate or valuable devices. I keep the PC, the PS4 and the Amstrad always connected to it  :) . This way you know, at least, that the power source is going to be reliable and your devices will be safe in case of a storm, etc (well, if the UPS is decent, that is).

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #2 on: 03:02, 09 February 16 »
I just got my GX4000 today. I have heard so much about it breaking. The box even got a sticker on it that warns you from removing the powercord when the GX4000 is running. But thats not what I want this thread to be about.




I would like to know how to prevent it. Replacing the power cord is a good start? What powercord should you use? Is it something inside the GX4000 that you can replace/mod to make it more stable?


It seems like we have been through this a 100 times on the forum but the simplest way to prevent your GX4000 from breaking is to never use the Amstrad PSU and to purchase a high quality replacement instead. The problem in most cases is the cheap Amstrad PSU failing. Add to that the PSU's are now 25 years old and you have a recipe for trouble.


Rather than re-tread old ground, there are links to high quality PSU's from RS in this thread - http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/(please-read)-gx4000-with-original-power-brick-and-c4cpc/
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Offline Drummel

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #3 on: 09:49, 09 February 16 »

It seems like we have been through this a 100 times on the forum but the simplest way to prevent your GX4000 from breaking is to never use the Amstrad PSU and to purchase a high quality replacement instead. The problem in most cases is the cheap Amstrad PSU failing. Add to that the PSU's are now 25 years old and you have a recipe for trouble.


Rather than re-tread old ground, there are links to high quality PSU's from RS in this thread - http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/(please-read)-gx4000-with-original-power-brick-and-c4cpc/


Thanks for reply, that thread help with the powerbrick part. But I also want to know if its enough to just get a new one? Or is theres something more you can do? The thing is that I have heard so much badmouthing about the GX4000 failing all the time. So I wonder if theres any "guide" for some mod that you can do or something.
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Offline dodogildo

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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #5 on: 14:33, 09 February 16 »

Thanks for reply, that thread help with the powerbrick part. But I also want to know if its enough to just get a new one? Or is theres something more you can do? The thing is that I have heard so much badmouthing about the GX4000 failing all the time. So I wonder if theres any "guide" for some mod that you can do or something.


That's all you need.


At the end of the day it's 25 year old electronics and the weak spot on the GX is the PSU. Personally I'd cover over the 5v port just in case as sticking the wrong voltage up it fries the console.


If you want something fragile try a Commodore Plus 4. If you as much as look at one they fail.


So other than the PSU not much to worry about really.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #6 on: 01:43, 10 February 16 »

Thanks for reply, that thread help with the powerbrick part. But I also want to know if its enough to just get a new one? Or is theres something more you can do? The thing is that I have heard so much badmouthing about the GX4000 failing all the time. So I wonder if theres any "guide" for some mod that you can do or something.

Electronically the GX4000 is a robust design and a lot more reliable than some other retro computers. It doesn't have the capacitor issues that certain Amigas suffer from, nor does it have extreme weak points like the SID and PLA of another well-known 8-bitter. It doesn't even have a membrane to fail.

Bryce.
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Offline Drummel

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #7 on: 22:44, 11 February 16 »
Thank you for your answers :).
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Offline TFM

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #8 on: 00:07, 12 February 16 »
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Offline Bryce

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #9 on: 10:21, 12 February 16 »

That's a switch mode PSU, @Bryce doesn't like them. Does it work ok with the GX4000?

I don't mind switch mode PSUs when they are done properly, but most of the Chinese ones, especially those that claim to be able to supply stupidly high Amps are usually built badly and cheaply. This means that they have huge ripple and noise on the rail which can cause all sorts of problems for a computer that has absolutely no internal regulation (most Amstrads). The GX4000 does have internal regulation, so it's not as much of an issue with these. The cheap PSUs also use the cheapest of capacitors, so they tend to fail quite soon too. A well built linear PSU can go for years without issues and delivers a very smooth rail.

Bryce.
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Offline TFM

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #10 on: 18:37, 12 February 16 »
The hardest part is to be able to judge which PSU is of good quality. I could use it's price, but I may be wrong. And the "Made in Germany" can not be seen on the usual sellers sites. Well, what's the best way to find out about the quality of a PSU? I don't know. Any idea?  :-X :)
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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #11 on: 18:45, 12 February 16 »
I don't mind switch mode PSUs when they are done properly, but most of the Chinese ones, especially those that claim to be able to supply stupidly high Amps are usually built badly and cheaply. This means that they have huge ripple and noise on the rail which can cause all sorts of problems for a computer that has absolutely no internal regulation (most Amstrads). The GX4000 does have internal regulation, so it's not as much of an issue with these. The cheap PSUs also use the cheapest of capacitors, so they tend to fail quite soon too. A well built linear PSU can go for years without issues and delivers a very smooth rail.

Bryce.


Which is why we always recommend on here all PSU's are purchased from RS, who sell high quality PSU's. Their own brand always come with proper datasheets and are very well built.


RS Components | Electronic and Electrical Components


In an upcoming video I tear down 2 cheap Chinese PSU's. They are both somewhat worrying!
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Offline Bryce

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #12 on: 22:28, 12 February 16 »
Looking forward to that video! :)

Bryce.
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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #13 on: 22:41, 12 February 16 »
Looking forward to that video! :)

Bryce.


Sadly not as entertaining as I hoped. I was at least hoping for a explosion or small fire!  :D


Currently scheduled for 2 weeks time.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #14 on: 23:20, 12 February 16 »
I can send you a few extremely questionable PSUs that would give "entertaining exits" in the right conditions if you like :D My favourites are Chinese Apple charger knock-offs and the PSUs that come with IDE->USB adapters.

Bryce.
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Online Gryzor

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Re: How to prevent your GX4000 from breaking?
« Reply #15 on: 19:14, 13 February 16 »
Well, now we have cheap USB-C knock-off cables that can do the job. Cables! By themselves! :D
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