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Capcom CPS1 C-board fix

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    Posted: 18 Mar 2019 at 9:52pm
After I spotted ArcadeHacker post about getting some Capcom CPS-B-21 custom chips a couple of months back, I thought I'de do a sample purchase and see if they were indeed the real deal. Sure enough, they are.

I had a couple of faulty C/B board combos lying around which had graphics issues both related to the PPU2 custom chips on the C boards. One was a Final Fight, and the other was a Pang 3 which had a non-suicide variant C board as used on SF2ce. This defaults to the CPS-B-01 custom register configuration and also works with Forgotten Worlds, Ghouls & Ghosts and Strider (plus I believe a few others).

So thought I'de try to get the C board running and do a conversion. Ordered three customs from UTsource, they arrived a few days later (plus customs 'handling' charge effectively for doing nothing, thanks FedEx). De-soldered the old custom from the C board, cleaned up the solder pads a little, and hot air flowed a 'new' custom on. I say new, they did look slightly like pulls, the legs on a couple of the chips had solder bridges across them, so they must have been de-soldered from PCBs at some stage in their life. I made sure there were no more shorts and straightened some of the legs as they looked a bit out of joint here and there. They were fairly well packaged but they could have been thrown about a bit during the last 25 years, so I was forgiving considering what they've probably been through.

The Pang 3 rom board had already been robbed of a couple of chips and I couldn't remember what they were so I decided to use the Final Fight rom board as it was a pretty close configuration layout to what I wanted to convert to, which was Strider (of which I have fond memories of playing it down the arcades, and also of it being one of my very first jamma PCB repairs, back in the early 90's when it was like £40-£50).

I didn't have many 4mbit eproms for the graphics, and Strider needed eight of them. I did have an abundance of 32mbit 27C322 eproms though, which are basically the same pinout except for the top two pins which would be redundant extra address lines. So I repeated the graphics roms to fill up the 32mbit space, and burned the 27C322 chips with the extended image. Plugged the eight roms into the B board with the top two pins of each eprom just dangling in the air, which isn't really advisable due to potential physical and electrostatic damage, but for now I just wanted to see if it worked. With those address lines 'floating' they just swap between banks of identical bits, so I don't see any glitches in game, but I could do with tying them either high or low.

The next thing I needed was a different PAL chip for the tile graphics size banking that Strider uses (ST24M1), so downloaded the jed file from JAMMARCADE and stole a GAL16V8A from the Pang 3 board and programmed it up.

All this made me think about doing my own basic CPS1 multiboard. I have some 42 pin sockets which I'll wire up the top two address lines of the 32mbit eproms I used to a dip switch to select between four banks, and apply the same kind of hack to the sound, program and data roms. The main issue is that the programmable PAL logic chip that does the tile size banking would need replacing for each different game, but swapping one chip is a lot easier than a whole load of them, and I might be able to work up a new GAL program which also takes the dip switch as an input.

I burned the sound PCM eproms, and the program and data roms, powered it up, and Strider worked first time! No issues at all, no lines through backgrounds or incorrectly flipped sprites, the CPS-B-21 was fine and the eprom bodge worked great. Had a good play through and not found any problems.

So that lead me down a new path, and I'de started designing a C board reproduction which might be a home for further B21 custom chips hopefully.

Taking the old custom off:


New chip soldered on:


Eprom hackery:


Fully working Strider:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Vamino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2019 at 10:32pm
Nice job. Smile

Regarding the Fedex surcharge, I've disputed the fee on the past few parcels I've recieved and they've squashed the £12 fee each time. So I continue to use them when I need a heavy parcel sent as they don't add the parcel price to the VAT total like UPS do.

I got the info from this website:

I modified the remplate to make it sound a little less demanding, and fair play to Fedex they've emailed me every time to say the fee has been waived. Just make sure you email them BEFORE you have made the payment.


Edited by Vamino - 18 Mar 2019 at 10:34pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ArcadeHacker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2019 at 10:47pm
Great work, congrats.
Looking for the following board: Taito Chack'n Pop
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Layer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2019 at 11:19am
Is it possible to resurrect a B21 C-board (C-board with battery) as a B04 instead with Eduardo tool + the right algo ?
I think it could.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote lix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2019 at 1:53pm
Originally posted by Layer Layer wrote:

Is it possible to resurrect a B21 C-board (C-board with battery) as a B04 instead with Eduardo tool + the right algo ?
I think it could.

Yes, should be possible, it's just a case of sending the bit stream for setting the registers of the 21 PPU to mimic the 04 PPU.

I was looking into this myself in the form of wondering if a universal C-board was possible, maybe a board where you can set some pin jumper settings and have the 21 PPU auto load with any other configuration. So I've started designing a pcb with a modern CPLD that can replace the PAL chip on the board and handle setting up the PPU registers based upon the work by Eduardo.

I need to get a MAX 5 dev kit running next so I can test this theory, but if it works then I'll put the eagle cad pcb and cpld files on github and people can get their own boards made up.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ace` Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2019 at 9:12pm
That repro looks sweet, handy too since there's plenty of B21 chips about (for now anyway).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote GadgetFreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2019 at 11:52pm
Great work, still not worked on surface mount replacement, but am sure the day is soon approaching
BTW Just in case you haven't come across it lix, I modified 10 of the CPS 1 games to accept any C board on the fly. You can find the patches here:
Arcade Rom Patcher
As Ace can confirm they work well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vib_ribbon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2019 at 6:49am
Skillz on the soldering.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rockbottom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2019 at 9:56pm
So I have a dead CPS-B-04 on a 88622-C-5 (magic sword) and a new CPS-B-21 coming from Utsource.
Didn't realise they're not exactly pin compatible!
Don't suppose anyone has the details for modding older C board (eg. 88622-C-5) to accomodate a CPS-B-21?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2019 at 1:32am
That's going to be a lot of hard work, practically impossible alas without major fine wire and chip leg raising surgery. I can't remember exactly which pins have moved, a laptop HD crash has wiped some data and program installs, but the B21 is definitely incompatible with all the other variants. Sorry!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rockbottom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2019 at 10:39pm
Actually I don't think it's that bad, I remember seeing it done, few years ago on a french forum. Of course I didn't bookmark it and now I can't find it again Censored
There was some track modding and I think a GAL to wire up, as the later c boards have a couple.

The chips arrived today so need to get cracking, i've got a working 92631C-6 with a 21, I guess i'll have to spend some time tracing the tracks Wacko

did your universal pcb idea come to anything? that would be a good alternative for me.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rockbottom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 2:30pm
Well looks like cps-b-21 is no longer available from UTSource, good while it lasted I guess, anybody know alternative source?

Strange it says "Product taken off shelves" rather than just out of stock, doesn't even come up in a search anymore Confused  too many failure/returns perhaps?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ace` Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 2:35pm
It means they're out of stock and sick of people asking from what I can tell (they've done the same with other parts). They're just a middle man mostly from what I can tell as they often say there's no stock or prices have gone up when it comes to ordering.

I doubt any more stock will surface I think that was it, but you never know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rockbottom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 2:46pm
Oh, I see, watch and wait then I guess...

Originally posted by Ace` Ace` wrote:

I doubt any more stock will surface...


Of course what we also need is some A board customs to surface Thumbs Up

With all the "repros" of various custom parts these days it's suprising nobody's took up the challenge, there can't be anything in as much demand as cps1 customs. Furrtek has reversed nearly all the NeoGeo customs to a point where they could be implemented in FPGA, can't see cps1 customs being much, if any more complex than the big NeoGeo customs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Layer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 4:02pm
You can find B01 PPU @New Strength in China but it is expensive, it is 100$ for 1 unit.


Ask Susan, their mail is sales@pro-electr.net

I ordered one B01 to repair my Ghouls'n'Ghosts 2 years ago.


Edited by Layer - 16 Sep 2019 at 4:02pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 4:51pm
Originally posted by rockbottom rockbottom wrote:

Oh, I see, watch and wait then I guess...

Originally posted by Ace` Ace` wrote:

I doubt any more stock will surface...


Of course what we also need is some A board customs to surface Thumbs Up

With all the "repros" of various custom parts these days it's suprising nobody's took up the challenge, there can't be anything in as much demand as cps1 customs. Furrtek has reversed nearly all the NeoGeo customs to a point where they could be implemented in FPGA, can't see cps1 customs being much, if any more complex than the big NeoGeo customs.
Exactly what I was thinking! As long as there's an FPGA with enough power and gates, I would've thought there's a multipin socket or whatever that can be soldered in place of the chip and the "repro" slotted into it. I suspect it'll happen at some point (hopefully!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 5:09pm
I tried ordering some DL-0411-10001 from pro-electr.net earlier this year and they cancelled my order and refunded me, so I'm guessing they have also sold out.

I gave up on my repro board alas, I didn't fancy re-doing a load of work that I had lost and I pretty much knew there wouldn't be many C board customs remaining, I'm sure they were pulls anyway. I've still got some notes from when I was working on reverse engineering the customs, but I was doing that on an external signals analysis level. Would be much better of being done as a gate mapping of the silicon die as of Furrteks approach.

Working on Sega model 2 stuff at the moment so don't know when I'll get back to CPS1 unfortunately.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ace` Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 5:11pm
They weren't pulls, they were new old stock goodness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rockbottom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 5:37pm
Originally posted by tb2000 tb2000 wrote:

Exactly what I was thinking! As long as there's an FPGA with enough power and gates, I would've thought there's a multipin socket or whatever that can be soldered in place of the chip and the "repro" slotted into it. I suspect it'll happen at some point (hopefully!)

The hardware side would be tricky, not least the 5v -> 3.3v aspect as it's virtually impossible to find anything 5v tolerant that would be big enough. But certainly possible somehow, even if it was a small sub pcb with 160 wires to solder I wouldn't care if it meant a working A board Approve
But that's actually the easy bit...

First you've got the actual decapping and delayering of a donor chip. The B21 was done by arcadehacker (actually someone else did the decap, can't remember who) I think they focused just on the small section that contains the programming logic and sram that stores the key.
Now, if they did capture the whole chip (hi res photos etc.) and they're available somewhere, then that's a massive step taken towards doing a B chip replacement. If the A chip has been done at all, I have no idea.

Next up, we've got the real business, the actual reversing of the logic at the silicon level. It takes somebody very knowledgeable in such things to be able to recognize individual gates and interconnections, and then even with a veteran of such things, it's a very time consuming and error prone job, eventually turning the whole thing into a giant schematic or logic definition.
I remember reading Furrteks blog, how it took something like 200+ hours to do just one of the NeoGeo customs!

Hopefully someone capable will step up. I'd certainly donate towards the effort, I'm sure many others would too.





Edited by rockbottom - 16 Sep 2019 at 5:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rockbottom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2019 at 5:41pm
Originally posted by Ace` Ace` wrote:

They weren't pulls, they were new old stock goodness.

yep, mine looked like NOS, at least if they were pulls, they did the best job removing solder i've ever seen Wink
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