Lightning Fighters repair log #4

 PCB Repair Logs, Repair Logs  Comments Off on Lightning Fighters repair log #4
Mar 242020

I got a Lightning Fighters PCB with GFX problems. As you can see, major colors and layers issues:

1) Probing the Konami 053251 custom chip revealed some weak signals on a few pins. This chip is a priority encoder, it deals with colors and layers and seems to be prone to failure in more and more boards of that generation. Unfortunately, you have to find a donor board of the same era to get a working one (good thing anyway is that it is used in a pretty good amount of Konami games).

Here is the result after swapping it with a good one:

2 & 3) Colors and layers are now fixed but we have some jailbars on sprites. This looks to be a sprite’s data issue. Probing the mask ROMs revealed missing signals on a few data lines for 939A05 and 939A06 ROMs. I replaced them with two burnt 27C400 EPROMs. Board is now fixed:

Here is an overview of the chips I had to replace on the board:

Esp Ra.De RAM locations

 Technical Info  Comments Off on Esp Ra.De RAM locations
Mar 012020

Some time ago I repaired an ESP Ra.De board and while doing it I noted down which RAM chips were for what.

Hope it helps

 Posted by at 12:22 pm
Feb 212020

21/02/2020 10:59 ( AEST )

I’ve been meaning to update this page for awhile but work and life has got the better of me.

If your Track&Field/Hyper Olympic has the following layout then you have unencrypted roms and you will need this updated version of my diagnostic to run on this particular board.  Note that this version will not run on boards equipped with a K1 cpu ( 42 pin custom IC ) or a game ( usually a bootleg ) with daughterboard that has a 6809 processor onboard, the daughterboard version also has some extra logic associated with it to decrypt/unscramble the opcodes.

Note: The board does not have a K1 CPU but uses a standard 6809 processor to run the game. Decryption related circuitry is also absent from this version.

I have prepared a version that will run on this board.


See TEST VERSION 1.2 – Unencrypted for download


TEST 1.2 is now the current version which installs in socket 5A on Konami and Centuri versions.

  • Fixed detection of ROM A7 [ $9E99 ] ( Hyper olympic bootleg) which broke in TEST 1.1

See TEST VERSION 1.2 for download


TEST 1.1

This is a test release.  A BETA version will replace it and this post will be updated pending sufficient feedback. It has been reported by one tester that this version works on real hardware but more feedback is desired.

IMPORTANT: The diagnostic EPROM now installs @ 5A on the Centuri and Konami boards. For the Hyper Olympic bootleg install the EPROM @ A7 and for the NZ bootleg install @ 2A.

This frees up 4 sockets for verifying game EPROMs instead of only 3. Since 5A is mapped to 0xe000-0xffff and the reset vector is obtained at 0xfffe/0xffff, it made sense to move the test rom to this socket.

See TEST VERSION 1.1 for download

test 1.1

IMPORTANT: All versions below install in socket 1A


Bullet points represent items fixed in the current version.

BETA 1.3 is current.

  • ROM A1 FOUND! text missing when generated check-sum verifies successfully in socket 3a & 4a.

TODO: Future versions will install in socket 5a. The main reason for this change is to ensure the test rom boots since the 6809 obtains the reset vector from EPROM A5 ( 0xfffe ), there is a chance that the reset vector could be corrupted if the game EPROM A5 is bad. Moving the code to run from socket 5a will prevent such an event and also make the first 4 sockets available for verifying an A5 EPROM or any others.


See 1.3 for download CHK: F3E9 CRC16: 1421


BETA 1.2

  • Further checks suspended if video ram/colour ram is bad. Priority given to preserve NVRAM/high scores. ( worst case scenario – screen totally unreadable ).
  • Introduced audio alert. 5 beeps for bad video ram 12H, 6 beeps for bad colour ram 11H.
  • Provided work around to keep tiles on screen if scroll ram is detected as bad.

See 1.2 for download CHK: F3EB CRC16: 5695

Special thanks goes out to Purity on UKVAC for his help with testing and feedback.


BETA 1.1

  • Fixed SFX menu. Speech now plays from sound index 0x80

If you believe there are missing sounds please report them in the comments.

See 1.1 for download CHK: 9909 CRC16: AB36


BETA 1.0

  • Bootleg rom support added ( see hyprolymb from the MAME set )
  • Fixed watchdog reset issue during EPROM check routine
  • Fixed character bank bug ( was displaying extra bank of null tiles )
  • Added CRC of current software to version string ( calculated at runtime )


ROM A1 $9E99
ROM A2 $35E8
ROM A5 $7DD2
ROM A7 $F932

TODO: Fix SFX test in diag mode. Speech is not playing.

See 1.0: CHK: 9F7E CRC16: 2F6F


BETA 0.9

  • Support for Hyper Olympic roms added
  • MISC code improvements

See 0.9 CRC16: 70E6


See below for correct 16 bit checksums matching your set.

Pre-calculated ROM Checksums.


ROM A1 $9F6E
ROM A2 $3620
ROM A3 $2FA5
ROM A4 $7CA6


ROM A2 $3CA7
ROM A3 $17C8
ROM A4 $569E
ROM A5 $E991


ROM A1 $9E79
ROM A2 $35E8
ROM A4 $7DD2
ROM A5 $F932


BETA 0.8

  • Support for Centuri roms added.

See 0.8 CRC16: 9EBE


BETA 0.7

This EPROM installs on the CPU board @ 1A. This does not replace the original software in 1A but is only used as a means of testing the main-board, sound and video.

Diagnostic mode is accessible by holding down player 2 start whilst powering the game on.

In the normal mode ( power up tests ), nvram tests may be skipped to preserve high score data if so desired. This is done via DIP 8 of SW2. A ~10 second countdown is also included even if you desire to test your nvram, in this mode nvram tests may also be skipped by pressing the “player 1 button 1”.

Power up tests also include a rom utility. This currently identifies track & field software in any of the 3 available sockets ( 2A to 4A ). For example, an A1 ROM installed in any of the above available sockets will still be identified for its designated 1A socket.

Important: A5 ROM needs to remain in socket 5A, this is because the 6809 obtains its reset vectors from this ROM. If the test rom or game fails to start and the screen is full of zeros, verify the A5 rom manually. 

Note: That this is a very BETA release and is currently in the testing phase, bugs are expected. Use at your own risk if you love those high scores.

See 0.7  CRC16: 8C8A

BINman update – v4.6.4b

 Downloads, General  Comments Off on BINman update – v4.6.4b
Feb 182020

A few updates.
*Small bug fix when loading larger files so they now load.
*Removed a couple of the more obscure routines as I wasn’t happy with them.
*Now, if the loaded file is an uneven size it will offer to pad the file for you. Minimum size for this is 0x400.
*Fixed a bug with bit manipulation when saving/loading settings


 Posted by at 10:46 am

Double Dragon II – The Revenge repair log #2

 PCB Repair Logs  Comments Off on Double Dragon II – The Revenge repair log #2
Jan 252020

This board is a bootleg board but seems to follow the original fairly accurately.

On initial boot up this didn’t do a great deal but then other times it actually started up with various errors.

A fault like this always makes me look at the reset circuit.
This board uses a 6809 as the main CPU and a Z80 as a sub CPU.
The reset pin for the 6809 is pin 37 and using the scope I could see that most of the time it didn’t do what a reset should do.
Tracing it all back I came to this

The reset circuit on this is as simple as it gets really with a capacitor, resistor and diode.
I removed and replaced the capacitor and now the game boots up every time.

Now, although the game booted it appeared to crash when entering attract mode or starting a game with this fault

I remembered Bryan McPhail had the very same issue some time ago and he mentions that the sub CPU needed to be running.
Checking the ROM for the sub CPU I found pin 1 (A15) was dead. Further inspection of the solder side of the PCB I found this

I patched this up as neat as I could and covered it using an overcoat pen

Now the issue was fixed

Last thing to do was deal with the sound.
My initial inspection of the PCB showed the volume pot had been messed with

I removed it and found some bad track damage underneath and on top

I fitted a new pot and patched all this up nicely but I still had no sound.
Tracing it out revealed that the bootleggers mixed up the two SPEAKER connections so SPEAKER+ was connected to SPEAKER- on the JAMMA edge and vice versa.
I spoke to Muddymusic to see what he wanted me to do. The option were hack the board to swap them or make an adapter. The prior option was chosen and I cut the two traces and ended up with this solution.

Now everything works great

 Posted by at 6:53 pm