A modern, universal, Dreamcast power supply

I have fond memories of playing the Dreamcast growing up, of many hours trying to figure out Ecco the Dolphin in the days before ubiquitous home internet. A few years ago I picked up a Dreamcast and installed an optical disc emulator (ODE), and had a good time revisiting old games from my childhood. As a huge fan of Jet Set Radio Future on the original Xbox, it was fun to play Jet Grind Radio for the first time.

When I moved to the Netherlands I shipped over my consoles, including the Dreamcast. Unlike most of my other consoles, the Dreamcast used an internal power supply that was region-specific. As I had a North American console, it was expecting 120V while the power system in the Netherlands is 240V.

For convenience I didn’t want the bulk of a step-down converter whenever and wherever I wanted to play Dreamcast games. So I set out to replace the power supply instead.

Replacement Power Supplies

At first I looked at replacing the power supply with a SEGA OEM power supply for the European region. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a power supply on its own on eBay or the Dutch auction website Marktplaats, nor a “for parts” Dreamcast. Most of my options were system bundles, which made this approach uneconomical since I’d still need to replace the capacitors on the power supply.

I also looked at the PicoDreamcast, which uses the PicoPSU and an external 12V DC power brick. However, I wanted to avoid the extra bulk of an external power brick. This also ruled out the similar DreamPSU.

Mean Well RPT-6003

Discouraged by my options, I happened across 3DprintRC’s /r/Dreamcast post discussing the near perfect fit of Mean Well’s RPT-6003 power supply in the Dreamcast. This is a modern universal power supply designed by a company well-known for making high quality power supplies, and it provides all the voltages needed by the Dreamcast.

3DprintRC later posted a follow-up showing the RPT-6003 being used by cutting up the original power supply. Unfortunately, my Dreamcast had a different revision of the power supply which did not allow for such a clean cut.

Dreamcast RPT-6003

A populated Dreamcast RPT board.

Dreamcast RPT installed alongside the RPT-6003 in a Dreamcast

I designed the Dreamcast RPT, a small board that interfaces the RPT-6003 with the Dreamcast’s AC connector and power button. In my design I focused on being able to reuse many components already found on the OEM power supply, as well as documenting widely available modern alternatives.1

I had boards manufactured here in Europe with AISLER and they arrived a few days later, looking great! It slotted into the Dreamcast case with no issue and worked the first time. 🥳

I’ve released the board as open hardware under the CERN-OHL-W 2.0 license. I designed it in Horizon EDA, an open source PCB design suite. I’d love to see others take and adapt the project. If you do, let me know what you build!

  1. I’m still hoping to find a drop-in replacement for the AC connector. The connector interlocks with the case, which rules out most without a case modification. ↩︎