Current Consumption Measurements of Various Game Cartridges

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db-electronics
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Current Consumption Measurements of Various Game Cartridges

Post by db-electronics » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:18 pm

I felt like a good first use of my Genesis Probing Adapter would be to measure the current consumption of various games. I think this helps set an good guideline to follow when designing new carts. I think the Virtua Racing value is a good limit to follow.

Here are a few results:
  • Sonic 3 - 13.2 mA
  • Sonic 3 & Knuckles - 11.9 mA
  • Super Street Fighter 2 - 19.1 mA
  • Virtua Racing - 120.4 mA
Full results here:
http://www.db-elec.com/home/lab-posts/g ... asurements
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Jazzmarazz
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Post by Jazzmarazz » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:35 pm

Holy cow, can you take some shots of virtua fighter's insides? Why on earth is that so large?

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Post by db-electronics » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:46 pm

No problem! There's goop on the main chip because it has heatsink mounted on it in the cart.

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Post by Charles MacDonald » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:13 am

That's interesting, I have the JP version of the game and it doesn't have a heatsink. The chip and PCB are otherwise identical TBH I never checked the chip temperature, but the cartridge wasn't noticably warm after a few hours of use.

I wonder if there are two versions of the hardware and one runs hotter than the other?

The current measurements were really interesting, thanks for checking all the unique games. I'm surprised VR uses as much as it does!

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Post by db-electronics » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:25 am

Silly of me to talk about a heatsink and not post any pictures of it!

The entire board is wrapped in cheap-feeling RF shielding and a small aluminium heatsink is mounted on the SVP.

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Post by Chilly Willy » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:57 am

The cheap RF shield wrap is understandable in the US. As to the heat sink, all regions came out within 4 days of each other, so other than the Japanese version having save ram, I can't see there being much difference in the SVP itself, which is what the heat sink is attached to. My guess? The cheap RF shielding wasn't enough to pass FCC certification, so they added a big chunk of aluminum to pass, and some engineer noted that it could also be used as a heat sink at the same time.

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Post by notaz » Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:04 pm

EU version also has the shied. Notice some differences on chip markings:
http://notaz.gp2x.de/img/hw/virtua_racing_front2.jpg

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Re: Current Consumption Measurements of Various Game Cartridges

Post by doragasu » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:21 pm

Too bad I didn't see this before for my WiFi cart design. The ESP8266 module can draw up to 170 mA, and that's the module alone (I have to add the UART, Flash chip and the transceivers). So far I have experienced no problems, but I have not yet done stress tests.

If I would have read this before, I would have used a switching power supply to generate the 3.3V, instead of a linear one :(. An ideal SMPS would take those 170 mA down to 112 mA (of course there are no ideal power supplies, but I suppose I would be near those 120 mA.

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Re: Current Consumption Measurements of Various Game Cartridges

Post by KanedaFr » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:46 pm

Now you understood why I asked so many questions about external DC on the other topic ;)
I planned to do something similar (genny <->avr<->esp8266/HC005) and was afraid about the current needed.

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Re: Current Consumption Measurements of Various Game Cartridges

Post by doragasu » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:07 pm

Anyway, it might just work drawing 170 mA, we know 120 mA works, but we do not know if 170 mA works... I'm just walking on the edge, but it might work if I'm lucky...

And if it does not work, a switching power supply should lower the current to around the safe 120 mA limit... Using external power supplies is not fun!

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