RTC not working?

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pofehof
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RTC not working?

Post by pofehof » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:36 pm

I started having issues similar to this topic a year ago: https://www.gc-forever.com/forums/viewt ... 349#p43349

Where the clock would only run if the GameCube was powered on, but would stop running when powered off. Also, it wouldn't lose any menu settings on power off. So I replaced the internal battery with a new one and things seemed to be working fine. However, the same problem started occurring last week, which I found odd since I thought that these batteries would last a while, but nonetheless, I ordered a new battery and soldered it in (made sure the voltage of the CR2032was at 3.3), but I am having the same issue. Does anyone know if the cause of this would be due to something else?
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by emu_kidid » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:59 pm

I mentioned this via PM, but what's your setup like? What's the boot process for you, do you ever see the original IPL/GameCube menu or are you straight into Swiss?
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by pofehof » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:55 am

I boot the GameCube normally, but I do use Datel's Action Replay to boot into Swiss 0.5 (r827, which I realized is somewhat old) at times. Is there an option in Swiss that I missed that allows it to be fixed?

I would like to add that the time stops working when I power off the console without even booting Swiss (for example, changing time through GameCube menu then turning it off). I noticed that if I quickly turn on and off the console (after checking the time on the GameCube menu), the time goes back by a few seconds as well.
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by Outrunner » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:08 am

Dismantle the whole console, dust off with air pressure and then clean with some solution. Dry. Check every pin and wire and assure that everything in that order is working and well plugged or/and solid. If you have an electrical tester, I would also go through each capacitor and resistors. Maybe something is up there. Before doing that, just in case, solder another battery. Dont use a coincell CR2032 3.3. Use a lipo or a BR 2032. That will keep a constant. Try first with a BR 2032. It might be a mA thing. A lot of cr and br batteries will have around 190mA and CR coincells, normally dont get them as a constant. Some might even tell you they give 230mA but they are mostly not constant. Chech the mA in those CR batteries. If they claim 190mA, you might need a CR with 200mA or 230mA. And if those are not stable, go directly for a lipo or a BR 2032 with the mA constant you need.

I didnt open the gamecube, ever. However, if the stock battery is a CR and not a BR, the problem will be found with the mA constant rating. So, you can always try to get another CR coincell 2032 with a higher mA rating. If you have 190mA in yours, the CR never give them as a constant. So I think you might have a CR with 190mA or 200mA. Try with a CR with 230 mA.

This is a common problem in very sensitive mA and A systems. More present in older hardware than in new. Things just keep resetting or simply not giving what they should be giving. In the mA sense, CR are worse than BR because they degrade very fast and they are not stable from the get go. However, they are cheap. BR give a constant mA rating due to the chemical process during their whole life. So, in my theory, you have a CR with lower than expected mA, since they degrade fast after a few days of use the mA constant drops and you get even less. Its still giving a reduced mA, enough to keep the settings saved on the rom or whatever the gc uses but not enough to keep the clock ticking. If you think about it thats pretty neat someone designed it as such so you can keep your settings on which is more important than keeping the clock on or it might be just luck/base from the engineer.
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by Papy.G » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:15 am

The settings RAM need so low power that you have the time to change the cell without losing them.

I just changed the CR1616 in my black unit (yes, these are from a bad batch I have to deplete), and it showed 0,7 V after desoldering.

Bad battery batch exists, and may be quite common, especially when got straight from China where zero QC seems to be the rule. There is no other reason why the clock would not work, unless the console has been modded or a cap or passive component is dead or shorted somewhere.

You have to check the battery voltage in place, but not connected to the MB, and check if the RTC chip and the clock circuitry receives enough power. You then check the battery voltage when connected to the motherboard, if the diode is dead, maybe it is consumed then.
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by Outrunner » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:49 am

Hey Papy.G!

Can you actually fit a lipo battery in the gamecube easy?
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by Papy.G » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:02 am

There may be enough room for something like a mini rc copter battery and the charging stuff in the back of the controller's daughterboard.
But if something is shorted, it may be safe to check before, not to burn something, as the LiPo may provide more Amp to the components, unless a limiting device is added.

I was lazy enough to solder the battery on the wrong side of the board as nothing gets in the way. :oops:
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by Outrunner » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:23 am

If I get my hands on another ngc, I will try that route with the regulator and if it works, continue with other upgrades and pass it on to another person. I suppose the ngc doesnt have a regulator of any sort. If the CR1616 have the correct mA, they will work as well and if you have them, why not. Yes, Saturday nights and Sunday mornings can lead to the wrong side of things.
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by Papy.G » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:38 am

I consider Nintendo as a good hardware designer, so I won't change anything unless absolutely needed (such as restoring digital port and SP2 on DOL-101 units). When I'll be out of those bad 1616s, I'll get CR 2032 compartments and may even deport it or a standard connector to the SP2 hole, for ease of changing batteries without needing to open the case on the long-term.

Mounting it on the backside was intended, as it is easier, as one don't need to unscrew the board from the front panel to do it properly.
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by pofehof » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:06 pm

Outrunner wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:08 am
Dismantle the whole console, dust off with air pressure and then clean with some solution. Dry. Check every pin and wire and assure that everything in that order is working and well plugged or/and solid. If you have an electrical tester, I would also go through each capacitor and resistors. Maybe something is up there.
Something was definitely up on the motherboard it seems. I attached an image of the X2 capacitor (RTC Crystal from what I have researched: https://www.gc-forever.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4400) on the motherboard and it seems to have completely burnt out...

I ended up ordering a replacement motherboard and just swapped the entire thing in for my old one. Not 100% sure that the RTC Crystal was the reason for the issue, but it seems to have been, since after swapping the motherboard, the RTC is working as expected with the same replacement battery. Will check periodically to see if it gets burnt out again, since in that case, the battery might have possibly caused it to burn out.
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Re: RTC not working?

Post by Papy.G » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:23 pm

I don't know how the GC works, but it is very unlikely that the time would have run while the unit was on, as this crystal makes it autonomous for the time count.
Anyways, this kind of crystal is probably a 32KHz one that you may find for cheap or easily rip off any electronic stuff, wristwatch…
But it may have burnt for another reason, and the replacement can burn as well unless the original issue is adressed first.
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