Help to diagnose possible lens failure

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Turom
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Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Turom » Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:49 pm

Hello there, I lurked for a long time on this forum but here I am with my first post!

I have a PAL NGC since its release and it's still part of my retro setup (I even wrote a piece about it a few weeks ago), and sadly I'm starting to encounter a boot issue with it I would like some help to diagnose.

I can put any game in the console and it boots first try, event an old Melee spare disc I have that looks like literal garbage boots fine with it, but lately when I put my SD Media Launcher disc I get more and more "Disc could not be read" red message. My SD media launcher disc was not pristine but was still very clean still so I wondered maybe there was a scratch that was preventing the boot, I tried to clean the lens with appropriate alcohol but didn't help, finally I bough another new SD Media Launcher disc and even with a brand new disc the issue persists. The disc would load after a lot of attempts but it takes a while now.

What bugs me is literally any official disc I put in there boots without any issue, so I wonder, is my lens failing really? Or maybe is there some boost I can give to the lens with a potentiometer somewhere to alleviate the issue?

Any hint would be appreciated.

Cheers
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Diego borella
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Diego borella » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:09 pm

Well, if your original games are getting on without a hitch, that means you have to lower the Ohms rate on the gamecube's potentiometer.
this will solve your problem.
if your cube is a 001, it will probably be at 400 to 450, drop to 250 Ohms.
if it's a Dol 101, it should be 250, down to 150.
in reality, the ideal is to lower it every 50 ohms, until you get the Datel Disk works.
I believe you have a 001.
open the Game Cube, and do the work of turning it counterclockwise.
I think it will make Datel catch on.
see the potentiometer in the photo below.
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Papy.G
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Papy.G » Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:44 pm

Booting off a Datel disc proved to be hasardous, on the long-term.
Time to set up a game exploit, and save the pot tweak for later (and don't risk the lens to totally die faster, this way), no need to touch this risky part as long as you can boot original discs just fine.
You can at least try to dust off the lens with a very soft and clean paintbrush.
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Diego borella
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Diego borella » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:32 pm

the point, my french friend, is that he must have a hacked WII, or gamecube, to transfer the save for the first time ...
but PAPY.G is right, it is better to leave the hacking of Smash Bros for the conservation of the laser.
right here you have 2 options ...
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by emu_kidid » Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:29 am

It's not your lens failing (I mean they all are really to a different degree), the Datel/CodeJunkies discs are known to be notoriously hard to read even on lasers with low mileage.

The suggestions Papy.G made are worth looking into if you have an original disc of an exploitable game and a spare memory card.
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Andross89
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Andross89 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:31 am

Do your discs have a lot of scratches? Have you ever thought about taking in someone you trust to do the polishing? It helped me several times before my laser died.

I think changing the potentiometer value is a good solution if you use the Gamecube rarely.

If you have problems starting the disc, it is quite likely that you will have DRE in specific areas of some games.
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Turom » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:09 am

Thanks a lot for the answers.

TBH using the Datel disc to boot Swiss and having to swap discs is already a bit of a pain so adding a game + another memory card swap in the boot loop annoys me a little..
I think I'll try the laser boost for now, and if it dies I'm ready to replace the lens if that's easy enough? I did it for my PS2 without problem.
I'm thinking also if that's not very conclusive that I may install a modchip to boot Swiss without third party disc, it may solve a lot of my problems actually. Modchip install may be out of my soldering skills though so maybe you have a good recommendation for installation in France/Europe?
Andross89 wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:31 am
Do your discs have a lot of scratches? Have you ever thought about taking in someone you trust to do the polishing? It helped me several times before my laser died.
Some of my OG games have a lot of them but the specific Datel disc is the one not wanting to boot and it is brand new. Relying on this disc to play my PAL games in 480p is the issue I have for now since it's the only disc that has issues even after replacing it with a brand new one.
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Andross89 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:17 pm

Turom wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:09 am
...I think I'll try the laser boost for now, and if it dies I'm ready to replace the lens if that's easy enough?...
If you can already open the GameCube, changing the lens is quite easy.

If you modify the value of the potentiometer, you will have enough time to purchase an ODE.

I think you need a good reason to keep going to war with the laser.
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Papy.G » Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:06 pm

Diego borella wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:32 pm
the point, my french friend, is that he must have a hacked WII, or gamecube, to transfer the save for the first time ...
He currently uses the SDML disc to boot, so setting up an exploit won't be a problem. ;)
Turom wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:09 am
TBH using the Datel disc to boot Swiss and having to swap discs is already a bit of a pain so adding a game + another memory card swap in the boot loop annoys me a little...
I use games that I never play to boot my GameCubes, and have dumped all my discs, plus, I only use US and PAL games, so I never have to swap any card or disc, except for my zeldas and FFCC, since they are on a 8GB SD, and the saves on a separate memcard (with the exploits for the three non-zelda exploitable games I have).
You'll be able to find one of those 007 or SC for 5€ at CashBidule or MachinCash if you don't have one of the other classic or don't want to use them.
Also, booting off a game exploit allows booting straight from an SDHC/XC card, unlike the SDML.

Changing the lens has proved to be a systematic fail, even the most talented ones didn't find any way to precisely adjust it.
Changing the whole optical drive assy is not a solution, as without a source for brand new ones, or refurbished, it needs a donnor that would be useless in the end.
Andross89 wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:17 pm
I think you need a good reason to keep going to war with the laser.
Spare the lens/console as much as possible is enough a good reason IMHO.
To do so:
Don't touch that F pot.
Boot SWISS off an official disc (Game Exploit).
Use the games off SD cards.
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Andross89
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Andross89 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:45 pm

Papy.G wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:06 pm
Spare the lens/console as much as possible is enough a good reason IMHO...
I understand your point of view.

But I would trade for the ODE as soon as possible. This is already functional and may become expensive in the future.

I have always adjusted the potentiometer of various GameCube without tools and could at least 1 year of life. And I played a lot at the time.

As I said, plenty of time to buy the ODE and be happy without worrying about scratches, and random DREs.
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Andross89 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:32 am

Reading the words of Papy.G for a second time made me doubt whether I was understood.

When I said "war with the laser", I meant living with the worries and problems of a mechanical unit.

Keeping the original design is a good reason to continue, for example. I'm just imagining that the author just wants to play.
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Papy.G » Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:21 am

Sure, it's not a bad idea to get an ODE and/or a backup unit as long as they are available and not too expensive, even if you don't use them au the moment.
DMG/MultiFreq OC/EDGB/EZF Jr, AGB/SC miniSD, NTR/NeoMK3, USG/flashme V8/SC miniSD
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Turom » Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:58 pm

After more research on the subject it appears the ideal solution I want (playing my OG discs through Swiss without swap) requires an IPL replacement like Hyperboot - especially through SD2SP2 to free both memory cards slots - but it seems there's no availability at all for any model of IPL solution on the market today. That's so sad.. I though something like the Xeno would do this but I was wrong as I still need a burned disc so that means the same issue I have with the SDML disc would arise.

The OG game save hack looks like the best solution I can think of now.. I have a PAL melee disc that can boot normally on my console so I believe I could use it, do I need to keep a memory card only for this? Does it involve memory card swap? I see there are instructions on this post: https://www.gc-forever.com/forums/viewt ... =39&t=3023 though I'm not sure I understand everything correctly.

EDIT: FlippyBoot is probably the solution I'm looking for though it's still in development so I should use the save hack in the meantime.
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Papy.G » Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:26 am

Try to rip your own OG discs to play from an SD (with CleanRip), you'll get longer laser lifespan, quieter console, no disc swap, no risk of disk damaging (I killed my SMS disc just by dropping it). IMHO, it's really worth it!

As you have three memcards for each console region, the exploit won't need that much memcard swap that you already do, just put the exploit for PAL Smash on your NTSC-US memcard, from which you'll always boot, once SWISS is launched, put the memcard according to whatever game you want to play.

Flippyboot seems very promising, but without that much news about it, we can't know if it is still WIP or stalled.

As you already can run SWISS, you just have to get GCMM on your SD card, with the corresponding exploit (numbering on the center of the disc), and a dolauncher (see there how it works) in the MCBACKUP folder. Run SWISS from the SDML, put the NTSC memcard in its slot, launch GCMM and copy (restore) the save files from your SD, and you're set up!
DMG/MultiFreq OC/EDGB/EZF Jr, AGB/SC miniSD, NTR/NeoMK3, USG/flashme V8/SC miniSD
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Turom » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:52 am

Thanks a lot for the explanation steps.
Papy.G wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:26 am
As you have three memcards for each console region
For now I only use a different memcards for Japan but I use the same for US and PAL games, are there potential issues? I though it was a problem with japanese characters only.
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Papy.G » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:46 am

No problem with US and EUR saves. It's lust that you can't keep the save and exploit together on the same card for a said game.
DMG/MultiFreq OC/EDGB/EZF Jr, AGB/SC miniSD, NTR/NeoMK3, USG/flashme V8/SC miniSD
DOL001(EUR)/RGB/GCPlug/GBP/SD2SP2, RVL 001(EUR)/RGB/CMP/WiiSD

Zelda WW with Tingle Tuner in split screen was what the GC RF modulator was made for! (Video)
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Re: Help to diagnose possible lens failure

Post by Turom » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:01 pm

Papy.G wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:46 am
No problem with US and EUR saves. It's lust that you can't keep the save and exploit together on the same card for a said game.
Ah I see, I'll use a card just for the exploit then to avoid confusion, thanks.
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