Aug 082017

This is a quick double repair log of Liquid Kids, a cute platform game release by Taito in 1990 on “F2 System” hardware.

The first PCB:

It played fine but sprites were blocky:

This Taito board like many other uses 4Mbit MASK ROMs to store GFX data, they are well known to be prone to failure.When I went to read the one @IC54 containing sprites data my programmer complained about pin 32:

The device was internally damaged and its dump was bad so I replaced it with a pin to pin compatible 27C400 EPROM, this fixed the issue and board completely.

The second PCB:

It was dead giving just a black screen on power up.Probing the main 68000 CPU revealed the /RESET and /HALT lines were both asserted all the time.The /RESET signal (and /HALT which is derivated from the first) is generated by the usual circuit made of a voltage monitor (in this case an MB3771) and some external components but it’s not directly tied to 68000 but it goes to the custom IC marked ‘TC0220IOC’  (which handles I/O too) which outputs it on its pin 8 :

Lifting this pin confirmed the custom was generating a stuck /RESET signal.Since by-passing the IC is not possible (device is addressable by main CPU) the only choice was replacing it, this is for sure another part very prone to failure, I can say from my experience that when a board that uses it is not booting then this custom is most likely bad :

This was right also in this repair.Job done.

 Posted by at 3:31 pm

  4 Responses to “Liquid Kids double repair log”

  1. How do you remove those large SMD chips so cleanly? Chip Quick? Hot air?

  2. Do you have a dedicated/specific nozzle for each size of chip?
    If not, could you detail how do you remove those big chips?
    For example: What settings (temp/flow) you using, how do you prepare the area, what kind of flux…


    • No, I use the same nozzle for all SMD ICs.I don’t apply any flux and move the gun around the IC starting from 100° C and then raising the temp until it got detached (I use a small screwdriver as lever)