PC Engine / TurboGrafx 16
- 1 Specifications
- 2 Revisions
- 2.1 PC Engine line
- 2.2 TurboGrafx-16 line
- 2.3 System cards
- 3 Best Possible Connection
- 4 Known issues and quirks
- 5 Mods
- 6 Schematics
- CPU/Audio/controller input: Hu6280
- GPU: Hu6270
- DAC: Hu6260
- Audio amp: C358C
- Main RAM: HSRM2264LM10
- VRAM: HSRM20256LM12
- Power regulator: 7805
There are many revisions of the hardware, but the two biggest subsets are between the PC Engine (PCE), available in Japan and later imported to France, and the TurboGrafx-16 (TG16), which was available in the US and parts of Europe (as the TurboGrafx). Aside from form factor, the biggest difference between the PCE and TG16 is that the TG16 uses a larger controller plug than every other system (including the Turbo Duo). HuCards are region-locked, but there are adapters and mods available to bypass region detection.
PC Engine line
PC Engine Shuttle
PC Engine GT
PC Engine LT
PC Engine Duo
PC Engine Duo R
PC Engine Duo RX
The European version (named TurboGrafx) is a lighter gray and removed the RF modulator in favor of a 5-pin DIN output for composite video and stereo sound. However, there are no PAL HuCards. The system produces NTSC video, but has an additional chip on board to slow it down to 50 Hz per PAL standards. The official release was cancelled, but distributor Telegames released the limited quantities they had in the UK in 1990. It was also made available in Spain and Portugal.
TurboDuoPC Engine Duo. Like that console, it has a Super System Card 3.0 built in, but requires the Arcade Card for Arcade titles. Unlike the TG16, it uses the same controller port as the PC Engine. It was released in North America in October of 1992.
TurboExpressPC Engine GT except for the branding. It was released in North America in December of 1990.
The system card is a HuCard that enables CD-ROM games to be played with non-Duo systems. Several versions were released over the system's life time.
System Card version 1.0
The 1.0 card was included with the original Interface Unit and is required to play standard CD-ROM games with the briefcase setup. Exclusive to this version is a hidden debug mode that allows users to modify save data stored inside the System Card's memory backup. The debug mode is accessed by holding Up-Right + I + II on the controller and pressing Select.
System Card version 2.0
Version 2.0 of the System Card was included with the Interface Unit/CD-ROM² bundle released in 1989. It added support for CD+G discs.
System Card version 2.1
Version 2.1 was released exclusively in Japan in 1990 and was the first card available as a standalone purchase. It added the ability to auto-detect disc changes.
System Card version 3.0
This is the same BIOS version built in to all Duo systems and the Super CD-ROM² add-on. It quadrupled the amount of buffer RAM and is required for any Super CD-ROM titles.
The Arcade Card was only released in Japan and is required for all Arcade titles. It is available in two versions: the Arcade Card Duo for Duo or Super CD-ROM² owners and the Arcade Card Pro for owners of the original IFU or TurboGrafx-CD. However, since it was only released in Japan, US consoles need a region mod to use any of the Arcade cards.
Best Possible Connection
RGB with an adapter such as the dbGrafx Booster. This is the recommended option for RF-only systems like the TG16 and original PC Engine.
Known issues and quirks
- Most consoles exhibit some degree of jailbars, but there is a simple mod to fix this.
- Earlier models of PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16, and Duo systems are prone to capacitor failures. It is recommended to replace the electrolytic capacitors (particularly surface mount ones) on any Duo system.
- A lot of the earlier consoles seem to be prone to noise/interference on the video lines. For RF-based systems like the TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine, it may be better to stick with an external option like the dbGrafx Booster for video output. If you want to use a CD add-on, you could modify the IFU/dock using one of the simpler mods since audio is already amplified. Systems that come with AV ports can use the simple mods as well and seem to exhibit less interference.
- PCE/TG16 disassembly guide.
- RGB mod for RF-based systems (TurboGrafx-16 and original PC Engine).
- RGB mod for systems with an AV-out jack (CoreGrafx, SuperGrafx, and Duo systems).
- TG16 region switch allows Hucards from Japan to be used on US TurboGrafx 16 systems.
- Turbo Duo and PCE Duo region mod allows Hucards from US and Japan to be played on PC Engines and all Duo systems.
- Jailbar fix
- SSDS3 video fix for video noise issues.
- SSDS3 audio fix for audio buzz issues.