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In this video, I explore and dissect a 16-bit handheld gaming machine that hosts 160 Sega games. This interesting gadget priced at twenty dollars is surprisingly accurate to the original Sega console. After unboxing and testing the game Golden Axe, I opened it up to check out the internal components like the pcb, chips, battery pack and controls. Although it's not very hackable, as the functionality lies under an epoxy blob, this little machine was a treat to disassemble and reassemble, all while still keeping its functionality intact. With a dash of nostalgia and quality gaming in a handheld package, the machine is certainly an intriguing find.

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[0:00] I’ve seen these around for the past seven or so years, they used to cost around sort of five
[0:04] dollars or so but this one’s quite a bit more expensive it’s around twenty dollars and it’s a
[0:08] 16-bit so I believe this has almost 160 sega games so it comes with a
[0:17] composite cable so in theory we can hook this up to our tv and a micro usb charging cable so
[0:26] here’s the actual machine let’s uh let’s turn it on and see how well it works
[0:32] so it does have 156 games so I remember this game I used to play this a lot um Golden Axe
[0:43] let’s uh have a quick look I think I put a lot of 10 p’s into this in the student union bar
[0:49] I think we got to the point where we could actually finish it on uh on just one credit
[0:55] so I used to play the dwarf
[0:56] so I know the the SEGA port is um surprisingly accurate compared to the uh arcade version so
[1:06] I think I’ve still got the magic touch or maybe not well anyway we’re not here to play this game
[1:15] let’s uh let’s take this apart and uh see what’s inside so we’ll uh turn that off there is a volume
[1:22] control here it’s actually surprisingly loud um so let’s uh turn it off and um see how to open this
[1:31] up so the battery compartment um let’s unscrew this so it does say on the box that there’s a
[1:42] rechargeable uh what does it say 600 milliamp hour rechargeable battery so let’s have a look
[1:52] screw doesn’t want to come out there we go that’s interesting what an interesting battery um
[1:58] a1 uh writing’s quite small so we’ll look rechargeable battery pack um it looks very
[2:07] much like the uh battery pack you used to get on phones so that’s kind of interesting I wonder if
[2:12] there’s a job lot of um phone batteries left over from when you could still replace um batteries and
[2:18] phones so that’s the battery removed you can also power it from um three double a batteries very
[2:24] handy let’s get these screws out now unfortunately looking at how this is constructed I think we’re
[2:31] going to have to either peel this sticker back or more likely we’re going to have to cut into it
[2:38] which is a bit of a shame um let me get my exacto knife and we’ll do that it’s a shame as it would
[2:46] have been nice to keep this all in one piece I’m sure we can get it back together again it just
[2:50] won’t be quite as neat so let’s cut into here that’s that side and do the same on the other side
[3:00] and hopefully this will just come apart
[3:14] let’s do a bit more chopping
[3:19] and there we go interesting so looking here you have the battery connector speaker and the switch
[3:34] all going to this um this main pcb and then the usb is just on this little um door to circuit
[3:42] board so let’s uh let’s take that let’s unscrew that and we will unscrew this one interesting
[3:49] let’s unscrew this one I have a horrible feeling that we’re going to find a blob chip under this
[3:56] which is a bit of a shame I was hoping for something that maybe we could do a bit of
[4:00] hacking with but I feel like that might be unlikely so I’m giving you a fantastic view
[4:08] of my hands here um so that lifts out quite easily along with the screen let’s uh let’s
[4:15] undo this so we can get this out as well very interesting all right then so does this come out
[4:22] now so there’s the screen and I think there’s another screw here let’s undo that as well
[4:35] so it makes that come out and then it looks like
[4:41] all the controls stay in there I think that’s not screws in there yeah a couple of screws
[4:50] I wonder if we can leave the control panel in there and have a look at what’s on the other side
[4:58] well that’s very interesting so what have you got here then there is a big ic on a little daughter
[5:07] board there there is a blob chip um the display is just on a ribbon cable now we can actually
[5:13] detach that so that’s quite nice here’s the volume control let’s remove the display
[5:21] okay that’s the display removed and put that somewhere safe um let’s get a close-up picture
[5:30] of this and then let’s see what’s on the board um should be quite interesting it’s a shame we don’t
[5:36] know what’s underneath this um epoxy blob but it is seems to be pretty much a single-sided board
[5:42] anything on this side is the crystal oscillator and a smoothing capacitor so there’s space for
[5:48] another one there if we need it so I’ll get a photo of this and we’ll see what chips there are
[5:54] I think the control there’s some screws here that are going to be a bit of a pain to reach
[6:00] and so how they how they managed to screw those in themselves actually it’s kind of interesting
[6:07] i’m going to try and reach in there to undo a screw um and this maybe there’s a different way
[6:12] of taking this out which I can’t fathom at the moment maybe this whole thing comes out
[6:19] possibility oh there we go the whole thing slides out so that’s interesting
[6:27] oh we’re gonna have to ruin the sticker here that’s a shame let’s uh snip that there
[6:39] it’s that side and that side okay so this panel actually slides out that’s how we get to the
[6:47] screws let’s just undo these screws and see what’s underneath as well so well that’s
[6:54] not that exciting um just a simple membrane keyboard type thing um
[7:02] it is nicely labeled though so that’s good x y z a b c and we’ve got a little joystick and the labels
[7:09] all here so potentially there’s a bit of potential reuse here it is nicely labeled here let’s get a
[7:15] photo and see if we can identify this big chip here and see what that is that’s probably the
[7:21] most interesting thing on the board um so let’s have a look at that uh I thought I’d power it up
[7:27] just to see make sure it does actually work and um interestingly we do have some ladies I just
[7:32] didn’t notice because my lights are so bright but these do actually slot in here and then this
[7:40] little arcade actually lights up let me turn down the lights so maybe you can see that so there we
[7:48] go it does light up and with the little lights so that’s a nice little touch isn’t it anyway let’s
[7:54] get a photo and try and identify some of these chips but before we look at the pcb’s it’s time
[8:01] for a quick plug for pcbway I’ve been using them for quite a long time now and they’re really great
[8:06] i’ve got some pcb’s with them right now so check out the link to pcbway in the description they’re
[8:11] really great to work with and I recommend them so unfortunately as expected pretty much all the
[8:16] functionality is under the sepoxy blob this large chip is actually just a flash chip what is quite
[8:22] interesting is the board is completely single-sided so they’ve used this adapter board to basically
[8:28] take the flash chip and expose its pins in the right way to go through to the epoxy blob so it’s
[8:34] pretty interesting but it’s not very hackable I wonder if they’ve used this daughterboard so
[8:38] they can easily solder on different flash chips that are pre-programmed with different games
[8:42] because there are a variety of different versions of this thing so let’s get it put back together
[8:48] and see if it still works hopefully the controls will still work which I suppose I could actually
[8:57] connect up everything and check that let’s do that it feels like a sensible thing to do rather
[9:04] than put it all back together and then realize it doesn’t work so let’s get the display back in place
[9:12] okay I think that’s the display in so that’s good uh got the battery in already let’s power it up
[9:20] hey that still works up and down works start
[9:29] resound where’s my sound oh there we go expand nice okay start okay yes yes yes
[9:42] oops I think our buttons still work joystick seems to be doing something yeah okay that’s good and
[9:55] reset works great let’s uh get it all back together
[9:59] so this should slide back in nicely
[10:19] so
[10:30] there we go it’s like we never touched it um I think it’s actually not too bad you can barely
[10:45] see the cut marks and it still works so not very hackable but pretty interesting nonetheless
[10:52] um I don’t know what the uh copyright rules are on the games on here but um there’s a lot of them
[10:59] um yeah interesting very interesting there’s a whole bunch of these in aliexpress so um yeah
[11:07] i’m actually uh pretty impressed with it seems to work quite well so thanks for watching
[11:14] See you in the next video!
[11:15] (piano music)

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Chris Greening

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A collection of slightly mad projects, instructive/educational videos, and generally interesting stuff. Building projects around the Arduino and ESP32 platforms - we'll be exploring AI, Computer Vision, Audio, 3D Printing - it may get a bit eclectic...

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