1. Make sure it's correctly setup. You will need two power supplies (genesis and 32x) and two video cables (gen to 32x, 32x to tv). A stereo genesis AV cable is nicer if you can get one. RF setups will not work. Refer to the diagram below. Make sure genesis will work without 32x first.
2. Check that both power supplies work. If you are not using a genesis1, try swapping the supplies to make sure each can power the genesis. If you do have a genesis1, check the 32x supply with a voltmeter. Do not use genesis3 supplies, they don't give enough juice.
3. Make sure you are using the genesis correctly:
Gen1 -- need special Din to miniDin adapter cable (middle of picture)
Gen2 -- need plastic spacer on 32x to get solid connection when plugged in (middle bottom of pic)
Cdx, X-eye -- compatible, but make sure you have good fit.
Gen3, Nomad -- not compatible with 32x
4. Clean all cart connections with alcohol
5. Open up 32x (4 screws on base, 10 on RF shield), then unplug and plug in the two white ribbon cables 2-3 times. Do both ends. This is what fixed my three broken 32Xs.
6. Check genesis-to-32x cable with an ohmmeter, some connections may be broken
7. If things still don't work, pick up another 32x. They aren't that expensive
Just found another site for 32x help: Sonic-Cult
A 32x was meant to plug into a genesis and stay there because genesis games work just fine through it. However the power base converter (for playing SMS games) will not work through a 32X. Neither will the genesis Virtua Racing cart, because it has some special chips inside that are similiar to 32x innards. However, you can simply play 32X Virtua Racing which is better. Someone posted that Taz: Escape on Mars doesn't work either, but it does on my setup.
There are also some metal RF shields included, but they aren't needed, and are a pain to hookup right. I don't use them, and didn't include them in the picture.
Yes, the cdx and x-eye manuals say they are not 32x compatible, but they are. Do a Google search if you have trouble believing. It seems the 32x should work on a Nomad when the output is going to a tv, but it doesn't (strange because genesis Virtua Racing works on a nomad.)
I recently found a site with a nice photo how-to section on 32x to cdx hookup: Genesisreviews
Some people say that there is a problem with playing a cdx and 32x with 2-disk SegaCD games because the 32x blocks you from opening the lid enough to swap cds. I have tried to use a game genie below the 32x as a spacer, but it seems almost impossible to get a stable enough setup. There are only four 2+ disks SegaCD 32x games anyway (Night Trap, Fahrenheit, Supreme Warrior, and Slam City with Scotty Pippen.
The following was posted to rgvc on USENET by Dan Mazurowski on Dec 1, 1998:
________________ | | | | | Your | | T.V. | | | | | |________________|--, |________________| | | ____________ | <- cable: 32X AV out to TV (or VCR) / \______/ \---' (MUST have Genesis2 style connector | 32X unit | for 32X, but NOT included w/ 32X!) ,--------\____________/----, | ____| |____ | <- cable: Genesis AV out to 32X AV in | / |______| \--' | ,---/ \ | | / Genesis \ | | /______________________\ | | \______________________/ | | | | _ | | | | <- power supply: Genesis | | |_| _ | | | | | <- power supply: 32X | '----' |_| | | '----------' Note that both units must have their own power supply, and that the Genesis video is passed through the 32X. If the power is hooked up wrong, nothing works. If the AV is hooked up wrong, then you'll probably either get partial graphics/audio or nothing at all. By your descriptions, I think you have all this right. I'd try cleaning contacts on carts & cart slots, and making sure everything was fitted together firmly. (It can be tricky getting the 32X firmly seated with those goofy RF shield inserts in the way, so be sure it's all the way in.) BTW - somebody make a copy of this diagram and stick it in an FAQ or something, I know it'll be useful to collectors in about 10 years!
Okay Dan, you got it :)