Recapping of an old Sega Game Gear

Replacing the capacitors on a Sega Game Gear

"And so begins the recapping ... "
A little while ago I decided to restore something I forgot I even had. A Sega Game Gear!
Wow! That looks interesing! What era is this from?
In Europe it was introduced in 1991 as a competitor with Nintendo's Gameboy and the Atari Lynx.
Unlike it's Nintendo rival, it features a colour backlit LCD display. Although unfortunately this is one part of the system that has not aged so well.
I see. What exactly happens to these that causes them to age so badly?
The main thing that causes these units to fail over time is the electrolytic capacitors.
These are the same types of capacitors that plagued Apple products of the time and also many video cameras of the day.
They are surface mounted caps so they can be hard to replace if you're an absolute beginner. Luckily this rat has much experience in the way of taking things apart!
You sure do! How did you fix it?
It's a simple matter of replacing all of the capacitors on the board.
A lot of these capacitors are used for smoothing and powering of the audio and display control hardware. If they fail it results in low audio output and a washed out display. Eventually the Game Gear will fail to power on at all (as mine did). Below is a diagram of all the mainboard caps that needed replacing. There were also some on the power and audio boards.
Even after the recap the display looks far from amazing but at least it's now usable! These older generation colour LCD screens really do not age well. This is about as good as you can expect one to look...
Well hey that's still pretty cool! You did a great job, rattie!
Heh...thanks, Hazel