Iain Metcalf


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Dreamcast Battery Backup Mod


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posted by Iain Metcalf
from Durham United Kingdom
in General
on November 17, 2016

I got sick of having to enter the time and date every time I powered up the machine so started looking for a solution. The button cell is quite hard to find with the correct connectors, 2 pins on the positive and one on the negative.

After digging about the net I found a guide on how to replace the original battery with AAA batteries (linked).

Must admit is wasn't overly hard to actually do.

Parts list :

AAA Rechargeable Batteries rated 750 mAh
Battery holder
Wire

I had problems actually desoldering the original battery from the board, I think the mount was absorbing to much of the heat and stopping the solder from melting. So I had to carefully clip close to the circuit board to get the battery free. I then soldered small blobs onto the protruding bits of the legs (no bigger than what you normally see on a board).

I did forget to actually get the correct single core electronics wire but our local Wilko has wire of all types so i bought a meter of 3 core copper house wiring with 750 mAh and 240v spec. I dressed the end of the wiring after twisting it and good to go.

Soldered it onto the board ready to attach the battery box. Looking at the battery box the batteries go in what is know as series, this is essentially top to bottom going in a straight line. So the negative goes where the spring is and positive on the other.

I again struggled with soldering the battery box as the plastic is pretty cheap and heated up quickly so you have to be careful, thankfully no major damage but I may buy a better quality part later down the line and replace it.

Popped the AAA batteries in and done the test and I now have battery backup for date and time again on my DC. Another great thing with this small mod is that when the batteries are no good in the future they are easily replaced.


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COMMENTS

Corey Buckner
Chicago IL United States
November 17, 2016

Cool, that's good to know Iain. I'll definitely go that route then.
[reply]
Iain Metcalf
Durham United Kingdom
November 17, 2016

To make life much easier get the battery box from Amazon, they usually have the ones that have the wire connected to them already, this makes life a lot easier so it literally just needs the button cell removing and soldering the new onto the contact points.

In the next few weeks I am going to get one from Amazon as not 100% happy with the soldering onto the box
[reply]
Corey Buckner
Chicago IL United States
November 17, 2016

Thanks Iain. My DC has this issue, I might give this a try when I get a moment.
[reply]
Iain Metcalf
Durham United Kingdom
November 17, 2016

If you wanted to be a bit more rough you can actually get batteries that can be soldered onto, you CANNOT do it with normal store bought batteries as they would explode.

The knuckle on the top of the battery has holes in it and the top and bottom are heat protected so you can solder wire onto them. Doing it this way you would go top to bottom on the 2 batteries and then onto the board, it does mean though that eventually when the batteries are no good that you would have to repeat the process.

I am pretty chuffed with the mod, granted it is just an inconvenience having to put date and time in on each boot but at least now it is good to go for a few more years.
[reply]
Jody Robz
Melbourne Victoria Australia
November 17, 2016

Very nice tip!
[reply]