Failed GX4000 adventure

Started by Oribaa, 21:12, 22 July 22

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Oribaa

Can anybody help me? I am a console collector and I wanted to experience the GX4000 for the first time in my life. I love to play older games on original hardware. I also collect failed systems so I already know the Atari Jaguar, Amiga CD32 and Panasonic 3DO. I love to explore new systems so the Amstrad GX4000 was supposed to be my next console. I have never seen it before. 

Unfortunately I failed. This is what happened: I bought a GX4000 online about two weeks ago. Finally I got it today. So what can I say? I turn on the console but all I see is a black screen. There is no picture... So I guess I bought a broken console  :( I want to ask you kindly: Can anyone repair it? I don't know any expert who could do it and I know this is a rare system so I want to preserve it. I never throw my consoles away and I will always try to bring them back to life. 
I also failed when I tried to find a flashcart for the system. I love flashcarts because you can explore a system even deeper than without one. I use them for all my systems. Some games are just too expensive, you need one to play homebrew games or even conversions and it is much more convenient. I love it! I searched for GX4000 flashcarts and I found out about the C4CPC. Unfortunately it is sold out and Gerald, the producer, can't produce another batch in the near future. So I guess I need a different solution for my problem. Is there any other flashcart for the GX4000 available? Does anyone want to sell his C4CPC or make one for me? Can I make one by myself? Do you have another idea? 

What else should I know about the GX4000? I never had anything Amstrad related so I want to know everything. I am new here.  
I need some help...  :)

robcfg

Do you have any cartridge for it?

The GX4000 won'e do anything without one.

Oribaa

Actually I got it with Burnin Rubber. But I can't test the game. Maybe the cartridge is faulty... 

The console turns on but there is just a black picture. 

Shaun M. Neary

How are you powering it up? The stock power supply was absolutely rubbish.

Also bear in mind there are two power sockets, a 9v and a 5v. The 5v is for an Amstrad monitor and the 9v is for the power supply. Problem was, Amstrad made the two sockets very similar and many people put the 9v PSU into the 5v socket and it would instantly blow the RAM. Thankfully it can be fixable by desoldering the bad ram, socketing the board and replacing the ram chips.

I'd start there, to be honest.
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Oribaa

It came without the original power supply so I bought an aftermarket 9V one on ebay. I was confused with the two similar looking sockets but I checked online before blowing anything up. 
Maybe someone did it before I got it. 
Too bad the seller sold it as working... So I guess he even doesn't know it is broken.

andycadley

Have you tried plugging headphones in? If the Burnin' Rubber cart is in you should hear the music at least, if it's just a problem with video out. Although if the ASIC is fried, the whole thing is basically dead.

Shaun M. Neary

What video cable are you trying to use? I remember trying to use SCART on 5v and the image was very very dark and could barely make it out. Ended up dropping down to 5v and using an Amstrad Plus video cable to SCART instead.
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Oribaa

Damn, that's actually scaring me. I hope it isn't fully dead... I am still hoping that I can get it repaired. I bought it as a working unit so I could give it back because the seller either lied in the description or didn't know it was broken. But I want to keep it if it is repairable 😥

I plugged in some headphones: I can't hear any music. Just some buzzing noise so I know it is turned on. 

I am using a scart cable. My console actually came without an RF plug. 

dragon

Try clean the cartridge conector  with a eraser rubber.

Some people think a device works because have light on the led.

There are out there a 32 in 1 device but I don't know where to buy it,if you don't have rf that was a French gx4000. 

Oribaa

I just cleaned the cartridge pins and the cartridge port on the console with isopropylalkohole... still not working. I also watched some videos on Youtube. They all have problems with overheating ram chips. I checked mine but they stay cold. So it isn't overheating. Is it a good or a bad sign? 

I see. I live in Germany and I ordered it from France. The whole space in the right back corner is empty on the board. So that is normal in french consoles. 

That was my thought. Maybe they plugged it in and saw the LED so they assumed it's working... I bought two consoles from them. The other one is working so they're not selling junk I guess. I won't tell you the store name because that could destroy their reputation and that's not fair. I really don't know what to do. If they sold me unrepairable junk I want my money back to buy another GX-4000. But if it is repairable I want to keep it. 

dragon

#10
I think the only guy that can tell you if is dead or reparable  is Bryce, I not sure if he live in Germany, maybe you can ask he if you can send  it the gx4000.

There is a program from Gerald to Chek the ram from cartridge. But of course you need the c4cpc. Or burn it in a eeprom donor cartridge.

The burning rubber can die to, so at this point. You need another gx4000 to Check the cartridge or another cartridge to Check the console.

I think there some people here that made cartridge boards.

I found these page. Here are some gx4000 programable cartridges.

https://www.tradera.com/en/search?q=Amstrad



robcfg

@Oribaa , when you say the other one is working, are you trying the same Burnin' Rubber cartridge?

I ask to rule out a cartridge problem.

Oribaa

@dragon 
thank you for the tip. I will try to buy a programmable cartridge. Sorry for asking but how do these work? Do I need something else to programm these cartridges? They aren't expensive so I think I will try that. The C4CPC is sold out right now. Maybe in 1-2 years there will be a new batch. I am always looking on ebay for a used one but they don't appear often I guess... 
So until then a programmable cartridge seems like a nice solution. I will check out who Bryce is. I am new here so I don't know anyone. I also don't want to bother anyone but I would appreciate any help. 

@robcfg 
The other console is a Famicom. I actually bought only one GX-4000 and one Famicom from that seller. Sorry for the missunderstanding. So everything is still possible. I am actually hoping that the GX-4000 is working fine but the game is broken. But I can't check that right now because I don't have a second game. Or maybe even the game and the console are broken...

dragon

#13
You need buy a cheap  Chinese programmer. And a eeprom( M27C1001  or 29f010 flash memory) . (better flash because you can erase it with the programmer, eeprom can be erase but you need a eeprom eraser).


I you take the memory and the rom and then you burn the rom in the flash memory with the programmer.

That's the method we use when the c4cpc don't exist years ago.

http://www.cpcmania.com/Docs/GX4000/GX4000.htm
https://www.northdevonretroarchive.co.uk/gx4000-game-backups/
Better with a zif socket (to easy swap chips).

As these for example https://www.tradera.com/en/item/3018/540414671/amstrad-cpc-plus-gx4000-game-cartridge-inkl-programmering-cpc-

Oribaa

I bought this thing: 

https://www.tradera.com/de/item/3018/540414671/amstrad-cpc-plus-gx4000-game-cartridge-inkl-programmering-cpc-

It is a Swedish page I guess so I will have to wait. 

Thank you for the link

dragon

O.K I think it's the best you can buy. He sell also the other two formats.

One don't have zif socket so you need extract the ic with a tool. Ant the other is plc32 so it's the same, you need extrat the ic with a extract tool every time you want change it

Also this its compatible with the plus computer as it's a little more longer. If anytime you buy one you have it until Gerald sell the c4cpc.



CraigsBar

I hope your GX4000 is working. There is not much that can go wrong with them to be honest... RAM and ASIC. Ram is easily fixable (And upgradable to 128k) the Asic.... erm.... not so much
IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

Oribaa

@dragon 
Sounds great! I know it doesn't replace the C4CPC but it also is a nice solution. 

@CraigsBar I really hope it isn't the asic. In a couple of days I will know more. I am waiting right now for the cartridge from Sweden. So the Asic is unfixable? I guess I will have to buy another console if it is broken. 

CraigsBar

Quote from: Oribaa on 23:58, 31 July 22@dragon
Sounds great! I know it doesn't replace the C4CPC but it also is a nice solution.

@CraigsBar I really hope it isn't the asic. In a couple of days I will know more. I am waiting right now for the cartridge from Sweden. So the Asic is unfixable? I guess I will have to buy another console if it is broken.
I've never seen a broken ASIC in a GX4000 so it is far more likely to be the ram. Fortunately 41464 IC's are still freely available, I've just put and additional 2 in @Shaun M. Neary 's GX4000 to make it a GX4128 :)
IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

dragon

But with the cartridge he can burn the ram test and know if was ram or asic or cartridge.

Oribaa

I am still waiting for the cartridge. I hope I will get it soon. 

Oribaa

I have got some bad news. I got the cartridge and my console still doesn't work. Now we know it for sure. My console is broken. I will send it next week to an expert. I hope he can fix it. He has never even seen a GX4000 but I trust his skill  :) so let's hope that he is going to rescue my console.


Oribaa

Hello guys,

my GX4000 is finally working fine. I just got it back today. My expert repaired it! He really rescued my dead console. 

So now I have a GX4000 with Burnin Rubber and a CPC plus cartridge. My CPC plus cartridge came with Puzzle Bobble installed. Didn't even know there is a GX4000 version of that game. So what should I do or try with it? What do you recommend? 

Gryzor

Well the GX collection is pretty small so you can go through it pretty quick. But there's a huge collection of games converted to ROM format on the wiki! 

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