Aug 292019
 

Got for repair this original Rapid Hero PCB, an obscure vertical shoot ’em up released by NMK in 1994 and a very sought-after board :

The board booted up but some sprites were affected by jailbars :

Besides, an entire music track was missing or sometimes corrupted as well as some sound effects:

 

The board had some sign of previous repair on solder side :

This is the area of the ‘CN1’ and ‘CN2’ connectors where the ROM board, which contains all the game code and data, plugs into the mainboard:

The repairs let assume a weakness and subsequent failure of the headers connections probably due to repeated disconnections and insertions of the ROM board.So I checked with a multimeter in continuity mode all the traces from the ‘CN1’ header and found another broken one that I promptly patched :

This fixed the graphics, no more jailbars on sprites :

Now the sound issue.

The audio circuit was previousy reworked, one of the OKI MSM6295 was likely replaced and one trace was repaired but this was not the culprit :

I noticed that if I pressed the ROM board on the ‘CN2’ connector some of the missing sounds were restored.I checked traces from ‘CN2’ to mainboard and found two missing connections to the ‘NMK112’ custom ASIC (responsible of  bankswitching the sample ROMs of the two OKI6295 ADPCM chips)

I patched the traces with some AWG30 wire:

Sound was totally restored and board 100% fixed.Repair accomplished.

 

 

 Posted by at 10:57 am
Aug 232019
 

Today I received this Arkanoid PCB from Rich.

I was told the fault was with the sprites not being visible.

Visual inspection showed a pretty grubby looking PCB that has clearly had some work done before by the looks of it.

It also had this wiring harness soldered directly onto two pads of the edge connector. It was only 2 but I really hate this.

I fired the PCB up and sure enough I had the exact issue

Before receiving this board I had decided where I was going to look for the fault. After probing for a few minutes I was sure I was in the right place.

All these outputs were barely toggling so I went ahead an removed it.

As I had similar issue on my last Arkanoid repair I had a decent stock of spare 669 IC’s. New one fitted and another Arkanoid fixed.

 Posted by at 6:54 pm

SSV system colours problem repair log

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Aug 142019
 

Some months bought for my collection Vasara and Vasara 2 in bundle from an american guy.

From the beginning Inoticed that Vasara had very dimmed colours and required to adjust monitor constrast to the maximum in comparison to Vasara 2.

Since I was not familiar with this system I thought it was due to the motherboard revision which is earlier on Vasara ( and there is a factory mod to make it compatible)

After some months I decided to check on internet if someone had a similar problem and I found mentioned on system11 blog about Cave CV1000 colour problems.

Repair – Cave CV1000 colour problems

According to him it’s a very common problems on SSV games and I found also mentioned on japanese blog sites afterward.

I checked with the oscilloscope the signals coming out from the 4 2sc1674 transistors ( RGB ans SYNC) and indeed all of them very about 2volts, same intensity of the inputs.

Signals in Vasara 2 in comparison were about 3,5V

I decided to change all of them and indeed it fixed the dimmed colours which are now very bright and crisp

 

 

What I find really curious is that all of them went faulty, I think  probably the transistors choosen by Seta are not correct for this kind of load.

Maybe someone with a good electronic background can shed a light

Pacmania repair log #3

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Aug 132019
 

Got another Pacmania faulty.

This time the sprites were glitchy with some black lines

 

Custom 39 is usually involved in sprites generation but after testing with a good one problem remained.

There are two 74ls377 connected to it and one @A3 has one missing output.

Changing it fixed the board

 

 

The New Zealand Story repair log #5

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Aug 022019
 

Received for repair from New Zealand this The New Zealand Story PCB (sorry for the wordplay…), the one layer hardware revision :

Board booted up but graphics were totally wrong :

GFX data are stored in eight 28 pin 1Mbit MASK ROMs whose pinout is pretty identical to 32 pin 1Mbit non-JEDEC EPROM (extra pins apart)

Before dumping them I used my logic probe and found stuck upper address lines (pin 12-13-14-15)

I traced the address lines back to outputs of a 74LS174 @U9 whose inputs were floating, these came from a Fujitsu 74LS374 @U41:

Inputs of it were toggling but all outputs were stuck at undefined voltage level of 1.48V, this is the typical way of failure of Fujitsu TTLs :

The chip failed the out-of-circuit testing, all outputs were indeed in ‘Z’  (or high-impedance if you prefer) state :

Once replaced the IC the graphics were restored but I noticed some corruption on title screen :

I dumped the 1Mbit MASK ROMs and my programmer complained about the one @U7  :

This was a good chance to use one of my adapters I designed some time ago for replacing the 28 pin 1Mbit MASK ROMs with a TSSOP Flash ROM

But suddenly during power cycling the graphics went bad again :

I quickly pinpointed the fault to another 74LS374 @U10 with floating outputs, another Fujitsu one obviously :

Chip totally failed the out-of-circuit testing:

Graphics were now perfect so I started a game but controls didn’t work, the main character of both players moved by itself:

 

Looking at hardware I figured out the I/O circuit.The inputs from JAMMA connector go to some custom resistor arrays marked ‘X2-005’ and then signals are routed to a 52 pin SDIP custom chip marked ‘X1-004’ that handles them :

Resistor arrays did their job by pulling-up the signals and then routing them to the custom so most likely the ‘X1-004’ was bad.I played the card of replacing it but I had to struggle before finding a good spare as it seems this custom is quite prone to failure.I tried two donor parts but they were faulty until I caught the good one:

This fixed the controls and board completely.Repair accomplished.

 Posted by at 9:25 am