Bootleggin’ blues

After years of getting other people to burn my EPROMs, I decided to bite the bullet and grab a modest EPROM burner to suit a range of late 80s and early 90s projects. After doing some research it seemed the best programmer in my price range was the TOP3000 unit. It’s sub-$200AUD and does the vast majority of chips you see on boards like CPS2 etc like the 16mbit  27C4096 &  1mbit 27C010 etc. It also does the 32mbit 27C322’s which are used to make “unofficial” CPS2 games. It has windows 7, 64bit support too which is a must for me. I purchased it and a basic UV eraser thinking I’d revive all those dead boards in next to no time. I was wrong.

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Like a lot of people I’ve dealt with in this hobby, we have an over-inflated sense of optimism when it comes to dealing with 20+ year old electronic devices. In addition to an over-inflated sense of optimism, I’m also a sucker for a bargain. I think that like most folks in the arcade collecting family, I’ve collected my fair share of ‘dud’ boards. Advertised as ‘untested’ or any other permutation of that word which attracts suckers like me; exhibit A:

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Although I’m a sucker and an optimist, I do actually have a fair bit of experience with reviving dead boards and making conversions – albeit using Roms that someone else had programmed for me. So far, I have attempted to revive two CPS2 boards – a Cyber Bots (Japan) and a Dark Stalkers (Asia)

I’ve been using the decrypted CPS2 Roms available here; unfortunately with no success to date. The Cyberbots seems to go in to a continuous loop on start up. It gets past the warning screens and then re-boots. Dark Stalkers is completely dead it seems. Is it the fault of the Roms – absolutely not. The culprit in both cases seems to have been very, very small amounts of un-neutralized battery acid, caused due to exploding lithium batteries. How do I know this? Only thanks to the awesome work of Razoola and his CPS2 Suicide Tester available here.

Luckily I have a bit of a stash of CPS2 boards which I can use for parts. I’ve also ordered some GAL16V8D-15LP generic logic array ICs to act as replacement PAL-G chips for my dead boards. I’ll be following this post up to review how I went with re-making the damaged PAL-G chips.

 

 

 

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