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Change Japanese Cassiopeia E750 ROM
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Powder2000! Been a while again. I've some news for you which might be useful, considering your unhappy CF slot. Mine (now my step-daughter's, as I gave her the Casio) has been dead for around a year or more, I think since last spring. I'd tried a lot of dipping old CF cards in pure ethanol and isoprop as well, plugging the cards in and popping them out to see if the contacts would clear. Sometimes, early on, it sort of worked. Then it just didn't, at least not for more than a second or two, and I gave up. Then last week I thought to try a different solvent. Last month I'd pulled the unit apart for another look at the hardware, to check for loose connections, but there wasn't anything new to be seen, so this time I tried 'Ideal' brand switch and contact cleaner, a spray.

I didn't spray directly into the slot of course! I sprayed a ton of it into a 16MB CF card's pin holes, and repeatedly plugged the card in and took it out, for several wetting cycles. I mean that I sprayed the holes, plugged the card in perhaps a dozen times, then sprayed again and repeated.

After letting this dry thoroughly, about 5 minutes, I tried a 64MB known-good CF card. It was recognised! I was able to browse the card, open files, even play a game on that card. After a little while I took it out again, and when next I put it back into the EG-800 I got the 'unrecognised card' error asking for a driver. I went through the Ideal treatment all over again, not quite so much, and since then - about a week now - the slot has been fully functional.

After establishing for an hour that the card worked, I popped it out and added a pile of songs and other files for the kid to use, then put it in for a few days. Worked great. SO I popped it out again and put in a Socket CF dialup modem, and that worked too! I connected and was able to browse in PIE just fine. Putting the memory card back in I found that it gave no errors, and has been fine right up to this minute, when last I checked.

So perhaps the pins in the slot are small (though they've always seemed a very snug fit to me, compared to other PPC devices I've used), but cleaning does seem relevant. Perhaps the coating they used is corroding invisibly? I don't know, but the kid is a lot happier with a working CF slot.

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Gerard Ivan Samija
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powder2000
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, one more thought after taking mine apart for the umteenth time. I've gotten my cards to work again. I think it has something to do with the release button and a sliding plate inside the cf slot. it seems to work fine if you use the button. I'm thinking maybe a contact is is lost easily every once in a while that, unless you know what you are doing is a pain to fix. I will probably do some more tinkering to confirm my thoughts. Nice to hear from you gerard.
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very early on in my CF slot troubles with the EG-800, the dude from Casio New Zealand offered various thoughts on what might have caused the problem. He was somewhat fixated on that CF ejector button, saying a couple of times that if this was not used always to get all CF cards/accessories out of the slot it could cause slot failure. One problem with this; the JK710-DC Casio CF II camera does not allow stylus access to the release button in the slot. I'd have had to drill a hole through the camera to get at the release button, and no doubt that would have killed the camera. I used the Casio camera quite a lot with the EG-800, and then for a while used a Pretec CF camera which likewise blocked the release button. I also used a CF modem, and various memory cards, and for those I always used the stylus tip to eject properly.

I don't understand how it could be that this release button/lever linkage could be so critical. The Casio E-115 didn't have such a release, so one just had to pull out the cards. Same for the E-125, I think. If you could explain further what you are after here, I am quite curious. Further, I wonder how this release mechanism might be influenced by my successful experiment with a contact cleaner spray. Very odd stuff. I wish there had been more ordinary consumers buying the EG-800, as the corporate ones seem to be completely silent about any such issues.

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powder2000
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, after killing my slot again, I have taken my eg apart and have found the culprit. There are two screws with nuts on the backs of them that hold the cf pins to the mainboard. Additionally, the pins of the mainboard 'should' be soldered. Once I took the two screws off, the whole slot fell off the board. It seems the shoddy soldering and loose screws are the problem. I think what we are seeing with the slot working sometimes and not others is the constant inserting and taking out of the card moving the connection points into and out of contact with the main board. It also seems the two screws were loose, which didn't add in the stability of the soldering. I don't know what my next coarse of action will be. I may see if ppc techs could resolder the cf slot to the board for me. I guarantee this is what is happening in all those units. Now we know.
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powder2000
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like I'll be sending it in to the fine folks at ppctechs for the sum of $45 plus shipping both ways. A fair price I must say. I really think this is a fine unit aside from this problem and I have been very happy with it.
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck. I just took the old EG-800 apart to investigate your tip... but no, taking those two bolts and nuts off the CF slot casing (with all ribbon cables disconnected, motherboard out of the unit) I found that the CF connectors are soldered just fine. I'd seen that before, but just thought I'd better triple-check. Gently tugging on the slot casing shows that there is only a trace of lifting on the non-button side. The button side has a little connector plate soldered to the board, and the bottom is very well connected.

I've sprayed the whole lower CF area with contact cleaner, and hope I remember how to re-assemble this thing. The kid'll kill me if I've killed it.

------------------

No problems. Got it all done up and restored with Sprite Backup, the clock set with CityTime's Internet Time update (my Socket CF modem worked fine), and back in the cradle before she got home for lunch. Bit of an alignment problem with the most complex ribbon cable, as the first two tries made for just a white screen, then the third try got me through the startup routine but the Flash Disk and Flash Disk2 volumes didn't mount. Fourth time lucky, so it's all good. EG-800 Update 3 showed itself, forcing a couple of messages and soft resets, showing that Flash Disk was again recognised. The CF card gave zero errors. Cool.

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Gerard Ivan Samija
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[This message has been edited by Gerard (edited June 17, 2004).]
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powder2000
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where the two screws loose at all?
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but not even a little bit. Had to 'break' a clean bond to the nuts, as they'd been adequately tightened at the factory. This is a weird device. I've had 5, each weird in a different way. One just hard reset itself about 70 times in the 6 days I had it, randomly. Sometimes just after a hard reset, other times waiting until I'd almost finished a software build... Others had different, equally amusing faults. Casio really went out of their way to entertain with the EG-800. Still, I like it.

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Gerard Ivan Samija
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powder2000
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Gerard, have you ever heard of anyone replacing the processor with the 200 mhz one that I've read a little about. That would be something very cool to have ppctechs do while my unit is there. I would have to ask them if they can get a hold of one first though. One other thing I remember is that the eg's might be a different processor than the e125's. Is this true?
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand things the E-125 and EG-800 use identical MIPS VR-4122 150MHz processors. They are obviously wired up differently on the very different circuitboards, with a lot of difference in components and arrangement of the parts. I think the real difference is in the storage areas, the 'Flash Disk' memory of the EG-800 which is not present in the E-125. I do not know which chips this resides in, but suspect it is not relevant in thinking about switching processors.

Looks to be a bit of a tricky business swapping out the processor, and I hadn't heard anything about the operation you suggest. If this is possible, and if you manage to get it done, I may be quite interested in sending this EG down to ppctechs as well someday for the operation. They could have a peek at the CF slot's mis-behavior at the same time, which while working again is obviously not permanently fixed. I'd hate to keep using this somewhat bogus solvent cleaning approach if a purely mechanical fix could resolve it permanently. Please keep me/us up to date on this adventure!

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powder2000
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my trusty EG back today. Working flawlessly with WiFi, bluetooth and memory cards. If you want to spend a few bucks (really not that bad) then I would give the guys at ppctechs a shot. I highly recommend them as their correspondance and workmanship is excellent.
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What great news! Thanks for letting me know this is possible. This EG-800 seems to be working fine still, with just the one interruption a couple of weeks ago needing the solvent cleaning to mend it. If it ever gets so bad again that nothing I can do will fix it, I will drop Leonard a line and see about getting ppctechs to fix it up. Can you say how much this set you back?
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powder2000
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$45 plus $6 ups ground to get it there plus $11 to get it back. $62 total via paypal, not bad.
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent service and a low price. Nice. Perhaps next time the kid's out of town for a couple of weeks with relatives I'll arrange to have my old Casio checked over before she gets back. Seems likely she'd never know it was gone, just that it was more reliable after her return. Thanks a lot again for reporting on this.
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