* CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-revie

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Karmazen & Oliver
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* CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-revie

Post by Karmazen & Oliver » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:09 am

* CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-review / (edit 3 was added 4 images and a video of final assembly)

Novag CITRINE solar energy

Link Review original text solar novag citrine modding


- IMG presentación final - (bak 0)


- two battery solar (16 € * 2) and < 200 gr. (very portable)

- detalles batt solar presentación - (bak 01)


Hello dear friends of Talkchess
and company, I will post this "modding" about "famous" chess machine, "Novag citrine", we will detail both the steps taken and the technical characteristics of the experiment:

As fans we all know this machine is unable to connect to batteries, but the disadvantage posed to their mobility. (lost memory when disconnected over several minutes)

The end is similar this:


Rough indicator of the review:

1 - Test on actual consumption and readings Novag transformer.

2 - Components accessories for connecting to the computer.

3 - Concluding remarks and predicted battery life, taking as reference tables NiMH rechargeable batteries (no memory effect)

- Annex: More Photos and Videos.


1 - In this photo we can see that the original transformer delivery citrine 9V and 300 mA. (ALL are lies, or rather, half-truths)

- datos técnicos manual citrine.JPG - (bak 1)

In reality it is confusing to staff and at least in harm to your computer over time. Why do we say this?.

A. Actually reading in vacuum, without charge, is 15.6 Volts ¡¡¡,[/ b] a genuine savagery,

(actually this is a pretty bad transformer, without stabilization), where engineers were questioned Novag of "that allow +15 Volts, they said that it is a vacuum reading at no charge ...)

But then we discovered the second half lie ... tells the processor to deliver 9 Volts to 300 map, (if manual citrine said about 50 mA max, why used a 300mA transformer ?)... but it appears that the NOVAG CITRINE only consumes 20 ~ 26 map at maximum load), so the processor does not have the voltage drop that "the engineers say" leads to proper operation. In fact, checking with a "voltmeter" operational, "AUTOPLAY" SOUND ON, the input voltage is +14 V. Another authentic savagery.

The surprise comes when connected to a battery, (Carefully NOVAG has reversed the polarity of their processors and machines, so that if you mistakenly use a transformer with standard operation, ie with the positive inside, as it must, always negative because usually associated with mass and mass-frame, then we can burn the machine. I repeat, very careful in this step. The warranty is voided, indeed, a shame?, because it will be no... ;-)

- datos transformador citrine detalle.JPG - (bak 2)

This was solved by creating two cables in domestic plan, so as to reverse the polarity, as well as protection diodes installed in several series, so if there is a short, the diodes act as a rustic fuse in any case, the main idea is to prevent reverse polarity, to allow this component, the current flow in one direction.

The other branch of the "mini" cable, is ready to connect to a laptop battery, which contains an internal 7.4-V and 2300 map by electronics for varying the output voltages from 5 V / 600 mA, 8.4 V . - 9 V. -12 V, and max 1200 map, as you will, what they're doing is increasing the voltage slightly at the expense of losing some of amperage. (ok, it´s good, but this battery is very expensive, I prefer two other battery, we shall soon see that in this review... The only advantage is that it has a great power, but it´s not solar... is more versatile... for use with other devices...

I think that a lot of chess computer can run ok with a type similar this battery, the most hungry chess computer need 0,5 Amps, and the modern battery can do that for several hours... "remenber that a simple and domestic NiMH of 2650 have a long curve of discarge, near 5 hours...

- novag citrine batería principal 7-4 volts.JPG - (bak 3)

When testing the system, it is very surprised that the citrine Novag only needs 25 mA, (20 ~ 26), or 0.025, which is very reasonable for any type of battery really does not matter that they were AAA batteries, AA, C or D that either has a good behavior and leads to more than 40 hours of computer chess use, says a Spanish that clearly the donkey when bigger is better, walk or not walk, the saying goes. .. ;-)




Actually I got to thinking if Novag had told us some truth, or surrender the power transformer or the voltage consumes neither indicated nor ... well ... A quote from Em. Lasker said, "Trust, but verify" in reference to the theory of chess openings ...


Then another thought comes into operation:

- esquema novag citrine.JPG - (bak 4)

Passing through a store, I see that they have become fashionable portable solar batteries to recharge mobile (remember, these have also changed and the positive polarity is inside, just unlike Novag, you guess which is the intention of Novag to reverse the polarity ...)

- img principal novag citrine.JPG - (bak 5)

These batteries are of various types, can deliver the silver model 1200 Amp, 5.5 Volts at 300 ~ 500 ma, which is more than enough to citrine, the drawback of this model is that when the battery is damaged, we can pull the apparatus, is charged by solar and / or USB through a computer or via 220/5V current supplied to it. (Using sunlight takes about 25 hours to charge via USB cable and 3 to 5 hours), the downside is that the "connector" of this device has a special plug. (in the similar model 1800 Amp, have replaced this with a mini-usb, much more practical).

The other model, as you can see in the picture is very good, because it has rechargeable batteries that are recharged by sunlight or by USB cable, the advantage is that we can exchange the original batteries 2300 ma, and replaced by larger ones, without Further complicating matters, obviously the output power is reduced enough, they have 2300 mA at 1.2 V. Adding, 1.2 +1.2 = 2.4 to achieve 5.5 V. amperage is reduced by almost half ... let's say 1150, as are the final power is similar, with the advantage that we can swap the batteries and take over a game with them.

Experimentally, that the original batteries are still new, change these batteries energizer for a map of 2650, so the final output will be approximately 1,300 map to 5.4 V, the fundamental difference with the solar battery fixed battery, is that the latter despite being smaller and embedded design can deliver 300 to 500 amp, obviously for only up to 2 hours to recharge other devices and solar cell and rechargeable batteries interchangeable manual delivery based , delivery and sustained intensity of 150 to 300 ma.

List (in the original calculations was little offset, in fact consumption in the solar battery interchangeable with these batteries is higher for them, because they must raise the voltage of 3 V to 5 V approx., We see in the picture experimentally the actual readings of intensity in the citrine Novag and in the battery internal too... (25 ma and 70 ma):

- esquema datos tecnicos baterias.JPG - (bak 11)

(~ 25 mA) and that it represents (~ 70 mA) in the accessory internal solar batteries, in that light, the duration of these batteries is less than the alternative of solar battery, only we have the illusion of change batteries, although considering the small solar cost "only" 16 €, we can hardly justify the investment of a rechargeable battery pack of 2650 mA for the component that already costs 26 € ... a matter of individual needs)

video loads in real solar battery power supply citrine x 3 = 70 mA.


Either gives more than enough power for Novag citrine (actually if I know that only consumes 0.025 CITRINE, instead of 0.3 A Novag saying it needs the transformer hand, had done much modding before).

- Relacion de tamaños a escala.JPG - (bak 6)

- Detalle de bateria imgs.JPG - (bak 8)

Now is the last part, as we have seen, the batteries only deliver 5.4 volts, however we know that citrine need around 9 v. to operate, actually works perfectly with 8 V, but surprisingly, it works with 5.5 V, the LCD can hardly see, but the computer does not lose his memory and continues to operate in autoplay.

The solution is to connect the two batteries in series, as shown in the photo, it delivers 10.5 V, which in any case is much less than the 14 and 15 volts are delivered "incorrectly" and with obvious damage to the machine long term, even so, they have been inserted in series several diodes of 0.27 Volts, as fuses of 0.3 ~ 05 and constrained to reverse polarity. All that goes inside the cable and then isolated.

- + 9 detalle baterías solares caracteristicas.JPG - (bak 9)

There are three mounting options, ranked from cheapest to the most powerful and light and heavy:

• The cost of small solar battery is 16 €, or 2 * 16 = 32 € + 2 € + pin cable investor, say about 35 €.
• The cost of solar battery interchangeable battery, improved the usefulness and durability of the device, which will deteriorate even when the solar can be used as a simple amplifier 3 V to 5 V, is 26 €, 2 * 26 = 52 € + extras = 55 €. (100 ~ 200 gr)
• The cost of the main battery, solar is not unique, is 49 € and can be used for many devices and protections, and state of charge intervals. Inverter cable is required, total = 52 €. (200 ~ 300 gr.)

We see the videos / photos...




video novag citrine battery solar x 2.avi

- + 7 novag citrine baterias solares.JPG - (bak 7)

As a final note, we say that the citrine in Standby-OFF (switch OFF), but feeding the memory, consumes the "ridiculous" figure of >0.001 mA, so you can imagine that there really is no drop Volts, at all engineers say voltage is produced and therefore CITRINE is connected to more than 15 V. being turned off when still connected to AC. (we recommend installing voltage reducers in the original transformer and / or never leave the machine connected to the current, although that with the switch is OFF, this is still receiving power,)

(in any case remember that the "extinct?" Novag can not connect any power transformer and different from their "horrible" original transformer ... this is done at your own risk and that I do not held responsible for what happens ... nothing for me... but you never know what can happen...)

Technical data and graphics on the battery life of both the classic AA, Alkaline, 2900 ma, as the rechargeable NiMH 1600 ~ 2450 ma, ma of 2650. (download the graphics are about and higher consumption, so there is greater risk of long term missing energy drops, but accused it in rechargeable batteries, although slightly)

- +datos tecnicos pilas/baterias mercado.JPG - (bak 10)


Well, with this end this article, to serve as info to the entire community of users and fans of chess computers.

Greetings to MECA and community for the wonderful site of SPANISH MUSEUM Computer Chess, and his page of forums, in which increasingly we see a lot of different activities and participation by the Hispanic community talking: (;-)


review original text spanish, solar novag citrine modding

on other links info: (a lot of info is here too, it´s not spam, only is other support Languages)

http://www.talkchess.com/forum/viewtopi ... 288#288288

http://users.boardnation.com/~chesscomp ... eadid=1851

(where you can find out, that if this show is about Spanish and many other topics related to computers and chess in general)

We also wish to congratulate once again the ARENA CHESS GUI programmers.


to develop the driver to connect to a computer Novag citrine, but apparently because other programs are coming out this function ... (+ info?)

Pd: As Citrine power consumption is quite low, it is possible that "two simple solar panels (without extra battery) only through a circuit with a capacitor> 500 uF and stabilizer through a transistor circuit, get to keep running Novag citrine with simple sunlight, artificial lighting or perhaps without requiring battery charging times, as the electronic circuit would be responsible to "stabilize" the voltage and amperage for short periods of lack of sufficient sunlight (clouds, movements, etc) and in any case keep the memory of the computer shipments for many minutes, maybe even hours, depending on the size of the capacitor ... but that would be another modding, we'll see ...

The end for now...


- The end - (bak 12)

Well, I hope you like it and helps them apart from the final assembly, the intermediate steps are developed, adapter cables, gearboxes and readings, and here we go on vacation ... I'm "kills": roll: ;-)

Greetings, and the next review ... :arrow :idea :8)

solar greetings from Spain.

Karmazen & Oliver
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: * CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-r

Post by Karmazen & Oliver » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:28 am

PD: and test with other electronics...

(tv on batt)


OKIS ¡ 8-) :arrow:

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Michael Diosi
Posts: 671
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:37 am

Re: * CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-r

Post by Michael Diosi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:39 pm


We would like to have this presentation for the news section on the Arena page too please.

I think many people will find this usefull.



Karmazen & Oliver
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: * CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-r

Post by Karmazen & Oliver » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:38 pm

Michael Diosi wrote:Hi,

We would like to have this presentation for the news section on the Arena page too please.

I think many people will find this usefull.


hi Michael ¡

Thank you very much for the reply, always appreciated a response post, ;-), the intention was that, which is useful for chess fans and chess computer, and accessible so they can understand all the steps, needless to mention that this system is applicable to various chess boards ...

I've seen in the page of Arena has a new section, if you want to be "quoting" the main post of this website, and thus allow you to see the links in the code mode, and with a simple Ctrl + C to copy the code the text and links to the images, or it may be safer, save an image on your server, as they did in this,

http://www.playwitharena.com/common/pic ... earena.jpg

thus guaranteed that the web server does not "break" the link to an image, although I have taken the trouble to upload each image twice, so that there are two links available, the principal and. bak, which is the same image ... for safety, because we can not edit posts on this website. In the original site (Mecca web site), I can edit the post and "recover" some lost link ...

Anyway, thank you very much for responding, for your kind words and of course you have the option to keep this review in the web arena chess gui. (And if they dare to improve the "justito" English of the article, ;-))

Solars greetings from Spain.


Karmazen & Oliver
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: * CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-r

Post by Karmazen & Oliver » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:07 am

has created a controversial branch on AC / DC Novag ... +info link.
KZ wrote:
hondo wrote:
Hi... I would like to comment about the issue you brought up with regard to overvoltage where the power supply adaptor produces 14 to 15 volts dc. in your test and the unit requires only 9 volts dc.

Your conclusion that this is a bad thing for circuitry over extended periods is correct. In some instances a surge or spike in voltage could bring about disaster even faster and this brings me to my question for you. Many of the games whose circuits I have checked both physically and by looking at the schematic have a voltage regulator IC built in. This means that a 9 volt Dc adaptor can put out a little over the expected amount and the IC will clamp down or regulate and only pass the preset voltage....in this case 9 volts.

Many of these IC's depend on and only function correctly when they are in an over voltage situation. That means if you were to use a " regulated" power supply of nine volts like the game calls for the game most likely would not function as designed.

Now the QESTION....have you checked the circuit or the schematic or called the engineering section of Novag and asked if this is the situation for this unit? My guess is they would never produce this fine unit without taking into consideration the possibility of overvoltage from some cheap power supply messing up a very nice electronic game.

Thanks for your nice article and regards..... Hondo
Thank you very much for your comments, always welcome any answers,

about yours coments well, I hope I have understood correctly, my English is something bad/regular, but I understand that you question whether other 9V DC converters may give a poor response, more unstable and could damage the machine? ...

well, it's possible that there are Novag power supply AC/DC market very bad, even worse than the original Novag, but it costs 15 € in Spain Novag power supply AC/DC, and I find it quite expensive, I think it is possible to find very good AC/DC with the signal stabilized.

I do not know which will be the operation of the AC/DC Novag if you get more voltage in the primary, or have not checked if the parent receives 250 V instead of 220 V, if it really delivers even more tension, which would be, as you said a premature death of some chess machines,

I think it is possible that this signal is not stabilized, because in my house we have a somewhat variable tension of the day is about 220 V and at night is very close to 230, in any case secondary voltage AC/DC varies citrine, for months, not years I did a reading in vacuum and was about 14 V, my surprise came when the other day and perform the same test was 15.8 V what a crazy idea:

what would happen if instead of 230, get a 1-second peak of 250 V,?, (killed citrine film?)

AC/DC novag has always been plugged in during these two years, but the citrine has not always been connected, or the secondary of AC/DC varies as a function of entry without any security, or is this getting old and increasingly deliver more voltage?,

which is the limit of the computer citrine?, do not know, and of course I will not check it, this is one of the first units, with BUG included UCB version and I will not find another like that...

On your comment that other AC/DC stabilized, whether they work well while the IC works well, it is possible that if a IC fails, the machine is broken, ok, perphas yes/no?, but we must bear in mind that the series, kick, or Initially, the original transformer Novag already delivering many times more tension than necessary, almost double...

my suspicions were heightened when Novag engineers, they said that "nothing happens", which is within the margin, but affirmed that the "burden" when the machine is running, the tension down, due to consumption and That is absolutely and completely false, citrine Novag consumption is not enough to cause a voltage drop as the engineers claimed.

I've always thought that AC/DC where the voltage drop in the load function means they are very bad, very very BAD, and that are designed with much margin for error... why have not a zener ? or fusible in 0.250 mA... it´s very cheap ¡....

Since we can not guarantee that the correct voltage AC/DC in the event of failure, and nor can we guarantee that if sobretesion in the primary,> 230V, this is not taken to the secondary...

therefore we can only MUST that the AC/DC we use, (being careful of polarity chosen, many processors have polarity selector, but this is pretty dangerous, if by mistake you forget, you can break some equipment)

what we can only make it a condition (must) that it is preferable that the AC/DC is switched off or non-delivery in the secondary voltage ( when AC/DC damage), rather than continue to operate and deliver different values... >+V..

How to overcome this?, You can create a small circuit using zener diodes, resistors and capacitors, a circuit is very small and cheap, limiting the output to 9 V exactly, this would avoid any transmission to the chess computer by excess ... can be coupled to the output of any processor, including the infamous original AC/DC novag.

Now if you really trying to tell me is that many processors in the signal stabilized by IC, are dangerous when they fail, it is possible, but can be solved by incorporating a small circuit in a cable accessory through zener diode, to set aside the excess this voltage being grounded ...

Indeed, perhaps not properly understood, but hopefully you were not implying that Novag AC/DC, which he says deliver 9V, delivers 15 V in any case and that even in bad conditions the output voltage would be stable, let the joke, and laughed aloud ...

Now I do a question?, Taking into account the maximum two-year warranty on each computer, Which believes it is the goal of Novag long term, using a processor that delivers 15 V instead of 9 V AC/DC as original? and give yourself from first day...

PS: by the way, the processor of the controversy has gone to a drawer until the end of "my day´s" and not until the end of the days of the AC/DC.

It´s technically impossible that the two solar batteries never never produced more than 10.5 V, albeit a very very very sunny day, and novag citrine runs ok with only 7 o 8 V...

uhmmm ... though... now that I think, if when we are in the field, playing a game with Novag citrine, there is a storm and I drop a top electric grater, (lightning storm), it is possible that the solar batteries are given a "light" to machine Surge ... and all the work of the review would be lost, right?

I try not to get too near a tree or a cow, just in case, you imagine if a lightning storm break the chess computer. I'm dying of sorrow, instead of lightning ... ;-)

Wary greetings from Spain.
using or not using the ac-dc Novag, that is the question

Descartes greetings from Spain.

(Discard ~ Descartes, in spanish is the simlar caracters ASCII word)

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Location: England

Re: * CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-r

Post by mephisto » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:59 am

Hi Oliver
Many thanks for such a detailed account. I have printed it off so that I can read it better and hopefully try and understand it as it initially looks very technical.
Just one quick point. You said and I quote,
"As fans we all know this machine is unable to connect to batteries"
If you read my earlier post about the Novag Chess Table, you will see that the creator of this table incorporated batteries as it's main power supply.
Regards from England
What's my next move? - to the fridge for another beer !!

Karmazen & Oliver
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: * CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-r

Post by Karmazen & Oliver » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:57 am

mephisto wrote:Hi Oliver
Many thanks for such a detailed account. I have printed it off so that I can read it better and hopefully try and understand it as it initially looks very technical.
Just one quick point. You said and I quote,
"As fans we all know this machine is unable to connect to batteries"
If you read my earlier post about the Novag Chess Table, you will see that the creator of this table incorporated batteries as it's main power supply.
Regards from England
hi Bryan

a lot of thanks for the answer post,

About your remak, I certainly meant that standard this chess computer is not whether to include batteries. I have taken the precaution of informing readers that Novag void the warranty of the machine if you use another (feed) power supply than the original, which is no less curious in view of the infamous AD / DC supplied is set, and in addition to an exorbitant price... for me...

Moreover, this assembly does not require dismantling the machine, only to have another input pin similar to the original. (I've seen their photos on (yours) "the great citrine" ;-), a montage with a great finish, certainly a good job, maybe some amateur dost lack any intermediate step, because as you and I know you must be careful with the polarity of power, (+, -), in these chess computers, and again, I say that the end of your job result is fantastic.

We also know a short description of a small battery-mounting Schachcomputer.info published, I remember that they used a single 9 V battery, when I saw both productions, I must admit that I was somewhat skeptical about the battery life at last After Novag has deceived us enough about the actual consumption of Citrine. In testing experimentally that "only" need 25 mA, for me to make a montage by solar batteries, although the latter components are well advanced and can deliver 20 times the energy without much problem, which would serve to feed almost any model of chess computer.

That could fuel even more powerful model, the phoenix chess sets, I have read that these computers, running at 500 Mhz, 0.5 amp maximum need to run, but I think this is the maximum and not always consume Thus, curiously, small solar batteries I have used can deliver 0.3 ~ 0.5 amp for 2 or 3 hours, although this is a fair bit to other models, the fact is that it doubles with solar batteries 3000 ma , that deliver 5.5 V -> 700 m, are quite obviously more expensive, costing 50 € each, thus ensuring that such 2 batteries in series would be able to feed for 7 ~ 10 hours, any chess computer , enough for a couple of serious games in the garden ;-). (bluetooth too...)


PS: I have no doubt you will understand the steps taken, although my English is something "awful", I think that because you've made other changes before in this chess computer, and the pictures incorporated, it is possible to follow the thread of the argument.

In any case, here we are...

see you ¡


Karmazen & Oliver
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: * CITRINE Novag solar battery modding> 100 hours ON-r

Post by Karmazen & Oliver » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:09 am

Now I'm thinking an assembly that does not need to use batteries either, only a solar panel and a small circuit with a large capacitor, allowing use citrine, no battery charging times, obviously, is +50 hours of battery time more than enough, but I think it's interesting to get a rig that only require a light source, although this is artificial, and a solar panel, no battery, using the energy at the same time it is produced by plaque.

It may be possible, for I have seen solar panels for cars, 30 cm * 10 cm and very thin, used to recharge car batteries, and are capable of delivering 12 Volt and 125 mA in the best conditions, which possibly guarantee us at least 30 mA and + 8 Volts under conditions of cloudy days or use of artificial light, at first all the energy surplus is used to recharge the large capacitor through a transistor, if the primary source fails, use momentarily the energy stored in the capacitor, which is the correct voltage and deliver the right degree, possibly for more than 30 ~ 60 minutes without any kind of auxiliary power, and obviously with the lights out, though admittedly it is hard to play, the point is not that, but stabilize the supply of solar panel.

The cost should be much lower, as are the more expensive lithium batteries, which the system lacks, and there is no life cycle of these batteries.

If I had a good destination, I will tell you something.

greetings from Spain, Oliver

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