Saturday, 24 March 2018

KC901 Family Game

Following a tip-off, I bought this Chinese console from a flea market for 2 euros. It looks vaguely like a Sega Megadrive II but I suspected it was probably a NES clone.

The case is labeled as KC901 Family Game, but I could not find much about it on the internet. I did learn the polarity: tip is minus and the ring is plus. I tried with 9 volts and this appears to be ok. Also, some say the A-V plugs are not really connected so there is only RF. Looking closer at the circuit board this seems to be true, the parts are soldered in but there is no connection!

Left: the TV/power stuff, centre: the CPU/Cartridge, Right: Controllers/inputs
I stripped the cartridge of it's cover, which had come loose anyway, then went in into the console itself. There's a large "clamp" thingy that helps remove a cartridge with a push of a button.
I removed this and all non-essential parts and tried to connect the device to a TV, but got no picture.

Looking inside, I saw that someone had tried to re-solder a few connections and the RF, and the results are even uglier than my own solders. The circuit board surface had become damaged too.

I removed some with a solder pump, cleaned the connections and tried to get the thing running. Eventually I could get a hold of the picture via antenna, and it's a pretty solid image for an RF.

The controller and CPU compartments are quite clean, the power/TV not so much
I also tried whether the internal "video" pin could deliver a signal to the TV video, but although I saw a glimpse of a rolling dark ghost of a screen, this does not seem to be the way to go. If it were so easy, the A-V would probably have been connected.

Guess if there are really 150 games...
For some reason I could only get one controller working. Plug them both in and neither works. There's logic inside the controllers, they are not simply a bundle of switches, so a broken controller or a wrong connection might explain this.

What's a "Comnado"?
But it's enough to see this is a NES clone alright. The 150-in-1 cartridge is even a bigger rip-off than my other 8-bit "Powerstation 64" NES clone, here there are maybe a handful of games with zillion variants with different names.

Possibly the variants have been patched to create some negligible difference, but I could not be bothered to check this. The presence of Duck Hunt and Wild Gunman shows this system has been indeed sold with a light gun, but without one I can't really play them.

The power/ TV crap, showing some of my cable additions
Although I'm not 100% certain the 150-in-1 belongs with the console, I think that's the idea. Can't say if a NES clone like this runs real NES cartridges, and if it does, do they need to be Japanese, European or US? No clue.

Wild Gunman

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