Sep 042018

Got another Rastan for a repair.

This one had some vertical black lines and some text was wrong

Piggybacking sram IC2 and IC4 with a good ram brought some better changings so I decided to desolder them and test out of circuit

Both were reported bad

Game was 100% fixed

Rastan repair log #5

 PCB Repair Logs, Repair Logs  Comments Off on Rastan repair log #5
May 252017

The game had some missing background tiles



At first I thought it was a maskrom problem but once I checked all of them only to find they were good, I started to probe the ram responsible for the background.

A sram @IC31 had some weak data signals so I decided to change it and the guess was right because the game was fixed.

Feb 122016

Here is a picture showing a recently repaired Rastan PCB with the replaced chips highlighted in red.


I will explain every step of the repair process here:

1) When powered up, the game was starting but was constantly rebooting after about 5 seconds. I checked the reset pin on the CPU but it was constantly high so that seemed not related to that. I checked the signals on the 2 CPU RAMs @ IC10 and IC22 (2x TMM2063 – 64kb) but nothing seemed suspicious. Anyway, piggybacking the one @ IC10 made the game not rebooting after 5 seconds but after a longer time. That was sufficient to let me think it may be faulty so I desoldered the RAM and it was tested bad on my programmer. Replacing it by a new one made the game working and not rebooting again and again. Good.

2) Well, the game was now playable but there was no FM sound (so no music at all), only voices were audible. Schematics are available online so I could see that the FM sound is generated by the YM2151 @ IC63 then it goes to an YM3012 DAC @ IC78 then it goes to a TL074 op amp @ IC100 to finally going to the MB3731 amplifier @ IC101. Outputs signals looked healthy at the outputs of the YM2151 and I had correct sound for the voices so the issue should be located before the mix between FM and voices signals, so before the amplifier: more probably within the DAC or the op amp. The TL074 is composed of 4 operational amplifiers:


I noticed that every of the 4 output signals on the TL074 @ IC100 were looking weird with a negative voltage (between -1 and -2 V). There is another TL074 chip on the board that is related to the voices and every outputs showed a positive signal of approximately 2.5 V. That was suspicious so I desoldered the TL074 @ IC100 and replaced it by a new one and the FM sound was back ! (the signals on every 4 outputs were now showing a positive analogic signal of approximately 2.5 V).

3) and 4) Ok, so then the game was fully playable with perfect sound but there was some graphical glitches on a few items, as seen here in the attract mode:


I have a previously repaired Rastan PCB that had one of its gfx mask roms replaced by an hacked 27C010 EPROM so, due to the nature of the problem here (glitches on only a few particular items), I suspected one or multiple MASK ROMs to be faulty. I started replacing these ROMs with the ones from my working Rastan PCB and got the gfx working perfectly after replacing B04-07 @ IC14 and B07-08 @ IC27. As noticed in my previous Rastan repair log, the gfx ROMs on this board are 128kb fitted into 28 pins chips. Finding blank chips with these exact specs is hard nowadays so I used 128kb 32 pins 27C010/27C1001 EPROMs as replacement (I could use a 27C1000/27C301 EPROM to make the modification even easier but I didn’t have one remaining then). To fit them on the 28 pins sockets present on the Rastan board, you have to make the following modifications on every EPROM:

If you use a 27C301 or 27C1000 non-JEDEC EPROM (simplest way):

  • Connect pins #30, 31, 32 together and connect them to pin #1 with a small wire.
  • Connect pin #2 to pin #16 with a small wire.

If you use a 27C010 or 27C1001 JEDEC EPROM:

  • Connect pins #30, 31, 32 together and connect them to pin #1 with a small wire.
  • Gently bend pin #24 so it won’t plug into the socket and connect it to pin #16 with a small wire.
  • Solder a small wire on pin #2 that you will plug into pin #22 of the socket.

I did these connections on the underside of the chip. Here is how it looks on my 27C010:


And this is how it looks after the 2 chips plugged in:


Now the gfx are fully restored, as well as the rest:


Aug 302015

I bought a dead Rastan PCB for a fair price on a forum.


All I got was a screen with garbled graphics on boot:


Luckily, schematics are available online for this board. Anyway, I spent hours with my scope trying to find why there was no activity at all in the CPU area. I desoldered the two RAMs and the 68000 (all were tested OK as well as the ROMs).

Next, I desoldered the 2 PALs that are involved in the address decoding (labeled B04-09 @ IC11 and B04-10 @ IC12) in order to check them and finally discovered that B04-10 was slightly cracked (it is the one at the bottom-left corner of the board, you could figure it was heavily bended there) and, with no surprise, it couldn’t be read on my programmer. See the crack in the middle of the chip, it was unnoticeable before removal:


Fortunately, PALs for this game are available on so I took a blank GAL and burned the equivalent file but then got a black screen… Ok, that was my fault as the file was an untested dump from a PAL16L8 and needed to be converted to GAL16V8 in order to work properly. I did the conversion with PALTOGAL.EXE, reburned it then the game booted !

Great… But my enthusiasm quickly stopped as I noticed some issues:

1) The game sometimes crashed then rebooted, it happened 1/3 times when I started a game.

2) There was no sound (I could sometimes randomly hear a voice looping then fading away).

3) A few sprites were garbled.

It turned out that both issues 1) and 2) were related to a defective sound RAM chip @ IC50.

System11 reports the exact same problem on one of his Rastan repair logs (corrupted sound with main CPU crashing randomly due to a defective sound RAM).

This was not easy to troubleshoot because that RAM @ IC50 had seemingly “normal” pulsing signals on every pins and piggybacking didn’t worked at first. After reading that repair log from System11, I tried again piggybacking and that time it worked ! (well, it partially worked and not all the time)
So I’ve replaced the chip and got it working fine with sound and no freezes !

Only the issue 3) was remaining. The fault was most probably due to one of the gfx mask ROMs @ IC28 (1Mbit into a 28pins chip) that was replaced by an hacked 27C010 1Mbit 32pins EPROM. I could see things changing when touching a couple of pins on the EPROM. Here is a picture of it:


I could replace this bad looking hacked EPROM with a blank TC531000, LH531000 or a HN62331 mask ROM as they seems to have the exact same specs and size than the original mask ROM but it seems nearly impossible to find these chips nowadays.

After comparing the pinouts between 1Mbit 32pins EPROM and 1Mbit 28pins MASK ROM I found what was missing on that hack: pin #2 (A16) of the EPROM was not going anywhere and it should be connected to pin #22 on the socket. I soldered a thin wire on the EPROM and plugged it underneath the chip on the socket.

Plugged back the chip and the gfx were then fully fixed ! (as an example, this axe on the bottom-right corner was garbled before):


Alright, BUT… After playing the game for a few minutes, I noticed when dying that Rastan’s voice was suddenly cut and looped 3 times along with his jumping voice. If I had to replace what I heard with words that would make: DYING/cut/JUMPING/DYING/cut/JUMPING/DYING/cut.
Well, that sounded weird so a verification in the emulator confirmed that was not normal.

The test mode features a sound test so I compared all the voices between my board and the game in MAME and there was 3 voices replaced by this looping sound of Rastan’s dying/jumping.

Alright, had to look back at the schematics…

This was (most probably) related to the voice generating part which is pretty small fortunately as it involves only a few TTLs as well as the Z80, one EPROM and one M5205 (ADPCM sound generator).
Sound ROMs were tested OK and every address and data lines looked fine.

Checking the related TTLs with the scope, I noticed there was no pulsing signals on every of the 5 outputs of the 74LS193 @ IC60 while its inputs were pulsing. This chip is a counter and it is partially doing the link between the sound data bus and the voice address bus. There is another 74LS193 @ IC77 doing the same work for other address/data lines and outputs were pulsing when I pushed the button to generate one of Rastan’s voice in the sound test.

Piggybacking the chip at IC60 made the voices working fine with no weird loop. Also the other voices in the sound test were back. Replaced the chip and finally have now a perfectly working Rastan. (well, played it a few hours and it runs perfectly !)

Thanks to Porchy and Caius for their help on the PAL and hacked EPROM.