Panasonic 3DO FZ-10 Teardown
This guide details how to competely disassemble a Panasonic 3DO FZ-10, piece by piece. This particular FZ-10 was manufactured in February, 1995.
The tools you'll need are
- A few differently sized Phillips-head screwdrivers, since you will encounter two screw sizes
- A small pair of pliers
- 1 Step 1 - Get prepared
- 2 Step 2 - Remove bottom screws
- 3 Step 3 - Remove plastic pieces inside the case
- 4 Step 4 - Remove drive cover
- 5 Step 5 - Recap
- 6 Step 6 - Remove CD drive
- 7 Step 7 - Remove RF shield
- 8 Step 8 - Lift out the motherboard
- 9 Step 9 - Remove bottom RF shield
- 10 Step 10 - Detach power switch and AC port
- 11 Step 11 - Remove power board
- 12 Reassembly
Step 1 - Get prepared
As you would do before taking apart any piece of electronic equipment, unplug all cords from the 3DO and remove any disc if there is one. To be safe, flip the power switch on after removing the power cord. You'll notice that the red LED comes on briefly and then fades away; this is because even when the 3DO, along with almost every other electronic device, is unplugged, many of its components will continue to store an electric charge. By turning the system "on," you dissipate some, but not all, of the electricity in the circuitry. This only reduces your chances of damaging the components, so do still be careful and know what you're doing before proceeding!
Flip the system over and remove the 7 screws on the bottom. Then turn it back over and lift the top straight up and off. You should feel no resistance when you do this.
Step 3 - Remove plastic pieces inside the case
This is what you'll see when you first reveal the inside. Go ahead and remove the plastic covering the power supply in the upper left-hand side and the plastic refractors covering the LEDs in the lower right-hand side. The plastic over the LEDs will come right off, but the plastic over the power supply may require some slight contorting to remove.
Note that the tape that's holding the CD drive cover to the RF shield is scotch tape in the pic, but originally it was silk tape, When I originally had to figure out how to open the FZ-10, I thought I needed to remove the tape, but it turns out it's unnecessary, and you can just let the cover hang off the RF shield. Because I don't care about replacing the scotch tape, I'm going to remove the drive cover in the next step for convenience, but it is not necessary to detach the two pieces. If you do remove the tape, you should apply new tape or find a way to keep the metal tabs in contact with the RF shield since the point is to keep the drive cover grounded.
Step 4 - Remove drive cover
To detach the drive cover from the motherboard, you will need to remove 2 black plastic pegs. They are located in the lower-right and upper-left corners of the drive and can be seen in the photo in step 3. This is where your small pliers come in - gently push down the drive cover so you can slide your pliers around the top of the peg and firmly pull it upwards to remove it. You will feel some resistance, but it should snap out. If you have trouble, the pegs extend through the bottom of the case, so you can push a screwdriver through those holes to help you remove the pegs.
Step 5 - Recap
The next thing we're going to do is remove the CD drive, but first, as a brief recap, here is what your 3DO should look like if you remove the drive cover by pulling off the tape. If you want to keep the drive cover attached to the RF shield with the original tape, then skip ahead to step 7, remove the screws holding down the RF shield, remove and put aside the drive cover and RF shield, and come back here.
In total the drive is tethered to the board in 5 places, 4 of which are underneath the drive. For now, go ahead and remove the orange/brown set of cords and remove them from the plastic trench. If you have problems detaching the cord from the board, try tucking your fingernails underneath the small plastic edges to get a grip.
Step 6 - Remove CD drive
It's difficult to see what's going on in the picture, but this is my attempt to make sense of what's going on under that CD drive. Of the remaining 4 connections, 3 of them are ribbons, and the last is another set of cords, one blue and one brown. I would suggest removing the ribbon cables first. Just grip them from either side and firmly rock them back and forth while pulling upward. Remove the brown and blue cable last. The cables have some length to them, so you can lift the drive somewhat to improve your access.
Step 7 - Remove RF shield
Now what you do depends on how far you want to go. If you want to remove the RF shield, remove the red screws. If you want to remove the motherboard, remove the red and yellow screws. If you want to remove the power supply, remove the blue screws. I will continue under the assumption that you want to remove everything.
By the way, all the screws inside the case are smaller than the screws on the outside, so you should use a different screwdriver size to avoid stripping the screws.
Step 8 - Lift out the motherboard
Here's what the 3DO will look like with the RF shield and all of its screws removed. To take the motherboard out of the case, you first need to remove the ribbon cable connecting the power board to the motherboard. Then you need to lift the motherboard from the front because the A/V ports in the back prevent you from lifting it straight out. I suggest lifting the board from the controller port and then sliding the A/V ports out.
And now all that's left is the power board and the bottom RF shield. I don't know why anyone would need to go beyond this point, but just in case, here's how to remove the final two pieces of the 3DO.
The power board is a bigger pain to deal with, so I'll start with the RF shield. It is glued to the bottom of the case near the expansion port on the right. You can see in the picture that the metal is bent in that spot; it took a lot of force to remove, but it might be necessary if yours is infested with bugs like mine was.
Step 10 - Detach power switch and AC port
If you need to remove the power supply board, then you must face these plastic covers. There are two, one for the power switch and one for where you plug in the power cable. You cannot remove the power board without removing these first. If you look carefully in the picture, you'll see each of them has two plastic tabs, one on each side. You need to push the tabs inwards and simulatenously push or pull the plastic piece out. The piece where you plug in the power cord is easy; your fingers have plenty of room to push the tabs, and you can easily squeeze a fingernail between the plastic of the case and the piece on the outside of the case and pull it out. The switch is more difficult because of a large nearby capacitor (bottom of photo) which makes it difficult to fit your fingers in to push the tabs if you have large hands. You'll just have to play around with this.
Step 11 - Remove power board
To remove the power board after removing those two plastic pieces, just gently lift the board up and out of the case. For completion, here's the bottom of the FZ-10's case after removing all the components.
To put everything back together, just follow the steps in reverse, and be sure to put everything back where it goes. Some tips and reminders:
- When reattaching the CD drive, you may need move the laser to the center of the track to make it easier to plug the ribbon cables back in. I suggest first connecting the two ribbon cables towards the back of the console, then the ribbon cable towads the front, then the blue/brown cables, and finally the orange/brown cables.
- Don't forget to reapply the tape connecting the CD drive to the top RF shield
- Don't forget the plastic cover for the power supply
- Don't forget the plastic refractor for the LEDs