Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Casio PV-2000 Multicart [27 in 1]

 Finally, as many of you asked for it...here it is. 

 A Multicart for the PV-2000, which has 27 games inside. All 12 commercial games and 15 homebrew games.

 As with the PV-1000 multicart i used here a Megadrive-Shell with CNC-cut hole for the DIP-Switch and a high quality printed cartridge-cover



Here's the DIP-Sheet:

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Tomy Tutor/Pyuta RAM-Cartridge (Updated Version)

 I updated the Tomy Tutor/Pyuta RAM-cartridge and it has now 16 homebrew games included.


Don't forget, you will also need the Adapter for this cartridge.

Insert it upside-down into the adapter (DIP-Switch facing to the console).

Here's the DIP-Sheet for it:

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The WEBAK-roadtrip

 Some of you maybe remember the "Long trip to get some Mouse Trap's", which i nearly did two years ago, to preserve an german revision of Mouse Trap.

I had to do another trip yesterday to preserve an completely unknown game for the WEBAK MPU-12 system.

The MPU-12 system from WEBAK is a pretty complex system, which uses a protected subboard completely covered in epoxy. The subboard has a PAL16L8, a M68B09P and a 28F512 flashrom (which contains the complete program) inside. Luckily by heating up the epoxy with about 300-400°C, you can pop it away with an screwdriver...just like an archeologist would uncover prehistorical bones from earth. This takes some time, as you don't want break the flashrom, so you really have to do it layer by layer.

I already dumped a MPU-12 board in 2012...but because of the complexity of the system it nearly took 10 years and a second board for Roberto Fresca, Grull Osgo and Mirko Buffoni to get these fully emulated in MAME. You can read more about it here on Roberto's blog.

This progress in 2022 got us motivated, so we hunted down some more boards from this system. While i always had my eyes open for MPU-12 boards since 2012, not many showed up for sale...and the only game we ever saw on that system was Fruit Star Bonus.

If you look at the MAME driver (mpu12wbk) you will find this:

  Games running on this hardware:

  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.2.00ITL),                     199?, Webak Elektronik.
  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.27PVIE),                      199?, Webak Elektronik.
  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.20PIR),                       1997, Webak Elektronik.
  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.36UNG-1100),                  1996, Webak Elektronik.
  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.30UNG-200),                   1996, Webak Elektronik.
  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.23PSTK, Steiermark),          1999, Webak Elektronik.
  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.17BGL-3, Burgenland, set 1),  1997, Webak Elektronik.
  * Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.17BGL-3, Burgenland, set 2),  1997, Webak Elektronik.

 So until december 2023 we only ever found different revisions from Fruit Star Bonus on that hardware. And in fact, we believed that this is the only game, which Webak ever released on the MPU-12 system.

Guess what, we were wrong! :-)

Just some days ago an MPU-12 board showed up for sale here in Austria, which had the handwritten title GOLDEN JOK on the subboard. You can be sure, that i was on fire to get this!

Sadly, the seller did not want to ship the board. So i had to make a 400km trip (for both ways) to rescue this unknown game.

The amazing team of Roberto Fresca, Brian A Troha, f205v and Kevin Eshbach helped with the financial costs! 

I started the trip at about 3pm and while we currently sadly don't have snow in Upper- and Loweraustria the weather was pretty good for such a trip. Fun fact, the board was again located near the czech boarder...like two years ago...

After about 2 hours of driving through the amazing landscape of Austria, i had the board in my hand and even had the chance to buy a second MPU-12 board from him.

I immediately drove back to my home, as it already started to get dark...

And after some serpentines threw the austrian mountains...i finally arrived at home two hours later.

Here's what we finally got:

After some sleep i directly started to get these two boards dumped and removed the epoxy from the subboards to get to the program-roms!

The flashroms for the program are 28f512 (having 64kb of space), but the program-data of each game is only 32kb..so Webak sometimes (at least we had it on one board before) put's two different program-revisions on one flashrom, which can get selected by setting the highest addressline to HIGH or LOW. (But currently we don't know how they switch between the revisions...this needs to get more investigation)

On both of these boards, two revisions were included inside the flashrom, which means, we got 2 games with two different revisions each!

I already sent everything to Roberto Fresca and here are some preview snaps of the preserved stuff:



 (a completely unknown game to this date and the first time to see this emulated in MAME)

The flashrom has the revisions 16.06UNG-25 and 16.10UNG-25 included!


While we already have eight revisions already in MAME, with this board we got  the new revisions 8.30UNG-25 and 8.36UNG-25

Thanks to everyone envolved here: Brian Troha, Kevin Eschbach, f205v, Roberto Fresca, Team Europe

You will most likely find all these new dumps in the next MAME release!

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Quizard - Some more facts and new AIO-MCU's

If you follow this blog you definitely know, that i'm a big fan of the QUIZARD arcade machines from TAB AUSTRIA and i already did invest many hours of my time and quite some money to save the history of these systems.

Thanks to Ryan, all four versions of Quizard are now fully playable in MAME and some years ago i designed a pcb, which let's you experience all Quizard games on any Philips CDI Player. So at least there are ways to play these games even today and with my board you can basically also repair every real machine! Don't expect any support for these machines from TAB these days...even 10 years ago, they did not have any spare parts or even documentations for these systems left.

Just in case you don't know the Quizard and how the hardware is working.

It uses a standard Philips CD-I Player inside the cabinet.  The complete program is on CD and TAB Austria did release quite a couple of revisions of each Version. The interesting fact is, that each revision also contains different language-packages on the CD.

Next to the CD's you will also need a, like i call it, "Protection PCB", which is JAMMA-based and contains an MCU as protection device. At the startup of the machine, the program on the CD communicates with the MCU. The MCU controls the supported Quizard-Version (each Version needs a different MCU!) and it also controls the language to which the Quizard boots. So if you have all 4 CD-Versions of the Quizard and want to play all four versions, you will always have to switch the MCU on the board for each Version...which isn't always fun to do.

I checked all of the available/known Quizard-CD's and here we have a overview of the included languages on each CD:

Title and Version on CD   |CD-Date| ENG | GER | ITA | SPA | CZE | GRE | FRE | SLO | AE  | CRO |
Quizard 1.0               | 09/94 |  X  |  X  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 1.2               | 01/95 |  X  |  X  |  X  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 1.7               | 10/96 |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |
Quizard 1.8               | 01/98 |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |  X  |
Quizard 2.2               | 03/95 |  X  |  X  |  X  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 2.3               | XX/XX |     |  X  |  X  |     |  X  |     |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 3.2               | 01/96 |     |  X  |  X  |     |     |  X  |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 3.4               | 01/98 |     |  X  |  X  |     |  X  |  X  |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 4.0               | 07/97 |     |  X  |  X  |     |     |  X  |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 4.1               | 06/98 |     |  X  |     |     |  X  |     |     |     |     |     |
Quizard 4.2               | 09/98 |     |  X  |     |     |  X  |     |     |     |     |     |
Quizard French Edition V1 | 01/96 |     |     |     |     |     |     |  X  |     |     |     | 

This is quite interesting, as they not only added languages to each higher CD-revision...they also excluded sometimes languages. (for example Italian and Greek on 4.0, which got removed on 4.1 and 4.2)

f205v and i found an before unknown CD-Version a couple of weeks ago! The Quizard French Edition V1, which is pretty interesting, as it only contains the French language and as it's dated 01/96 it's also the first time FRENCH was available on this system....at least in 10/96 it was also included in Revision 1.7 of the normal Quizard. (as we currenty don't have any revision between 1.2 and 1.7...it maybe got included in an revision earlier already...)

So far we had the chance to get german MCU's for the Version 1, 2, 3 and 4. (As this system mainly got released in Austria and Germany, the german MCU's are the most common ones...but also pretty rare available these days) We got an italian MCU for Version 1 and we got a czech MCU for Version 4. So we are missing many MCU's for the other Versions and other languages!

 With the new FRENCH version we found i tried to handcraft some MCU's and at least got some success! I modified an existing german MCU-dump to be compatible with all 4 Versions. Which means it's an ALL-IN-ONE german MCU and you will never have to change the MCU again on the board. Just change the CD within the CD-I-Player, reboot the machine and have fun playing the games.

My next step was, to modify this "AIO"-MCU to the czech language. Which also worked perfectly! This also means that we get the Versions 1.7, 1.8, 2.3 and 3.4 in MAME working with czech quiz questions!

Both AIO-MCU's got tested in MAME and on the real hardware and work perfectly on both systems.

Please always check the list above, which language is included on which CD-Revision. Before i made the list above i tried the new czech-mcu a couple of times with Revision 2.2 and always wondered, why the system does not boot! It didn't boot, because this revision does not include the czech language package...

So far i had no success with the other languages and hope that maybe someone from MAME will jump in here and get also the other languages to boot in MAME. Specially the new FRENCH EDITION V1 would be really interesting to see.

If you have any Quizard-CD-Revisions and MCU's which are not secured so far, please contact me!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Battle Chopper (World) - MCU decapped

I received this MCU for Battle Chopper today.

The decap-process worked without any problems and within some minutes i had the internal rom dumped.

Another long missing MCU is now preserved.

Thx to Ordyne & rtw

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Sega ST-V cartridge dumper v0.1

 This is in no way a finished product and the PCB will not be available for the next few months! I only wanted to show that this exists and that i'm working on it.

I already dumped a couple of Sega ST-V carts some years ago. But that always meant to desolder the flashroms and dump them with an selfmade Arduino-dumper one by one...and some flashroms (on the bottom side) have even a mirrored pinout which is not support by any dumper ...and even if you had dumped all flashroms you had to solder the flashroms back to the PCB, which is another pain work...and sometimes even fails!

So when i got a new undumped cartridge from Darksoft a couple of weeks ago, we were thinking, that it would be a good task to make a cartridge-dumper for the ST-V system...that way the dumping process would be so much easier.

My first attempt looked promising, but always only the first three flashroms of the cartridge got dumped, over and over again, but never the other chips...after alot of tracing i was pretty sure, the problems are the PALCE chips, which control the CE, OE of the chips.

Darksoft also confirmed my theory with his notes about this.

So i wrote an Arduino program, which stepped threw all 64 possible combinations and always dumped the 2MB of available data between them. This worked! But i had a dump of 64 x 2mb, with a couple of empty roms, and some duplicates.

Afterwards i could downsize the combinations and now this dumper can dump all soldered flashroms of the PCB directly.

This is version 0.1, which dumps the data in an serial stream to the PC:

Version 0.1 is working perfectly for dumping, but has some design-flaws. 

So Version 0.2 is already in the works, which will remove the design flaws and will most likely add support for a small Display (showing which flashrom is currently dumping) and i will most likely also add an SD-Card Slot, so you can dump the flashroms directly to an SD-card.

Even with version 0.1 we now have already an pretty easy way to dump ST-V carts! So stay tuned for updates about Version 0.2!

The Arduino-Board is pretty simple, uses standard parts and so all parts (even for v0.2 with the display and sdcard-slot) will only cost about 8eur. Take an cheap chinese Arduino MEGA clone...and for about 20eur, everyone can then dump ST-V carts!


thx to Darksoft and Brizzo for the help!

Preserving games - Anybody can now do it! #2

 In April 2020 i already posted about my Arduino Mega Shield v0.5, which supported cartridges from 10 Systems. This already got made a couple of times around the world and new V.Smile dumps from the US, France and UK got made with it!

The last couple of months i invested some time into the PCB and now i'm proudly presenting version 0.6 from the board.

V0.6 adds support for cartridges from Genius Leader Color, Genius Leader Super Color, Bandai Super Note Club, PreComputer 1000 / 2000, Mister X and Genius Leader 2000.

Full List of Supported cartridges:

  • Vtech V.Smile
  • Vtech V.Smile Motion
  • Vtech V.Smile Smartbook
  • Vtech V.Smile Baby
  • Vtech MobiGo
  • Leapfrog Leapster
  • Leapfrog Leapster L-MAX
  • Leapfrog LeapPad
  • Leapfrog LeapPad (My first LeapPad)
  • Leapfrog LeapPad (Little Touch)
  • Vtech Genius Leader Color
  • Vtech Genius Leader Super Color
  • Bandai Super Note Club
  • PreComputer 1000 / 2000
  • Mister X
  • Genius Leader 2000 

In the last couple of years we also saw a couple of Vtech V.Smile cartridges, which were not supported with the 0.5 version of the board, this got solved with v0.6.

V0.6 also got an "Expansion Port", which can get used for future support of other systems. 


The board itself is pretty basic and has only five switches for Voltage, Bits, Romsize and special switches (CS1 & CS2) for V.Smile (more on that later).
It uses two PCI- and two standard 2.54mm edge-sockets for the cartridge-slots.

Dumping takes about 45seconds per megabyte which will be about 6minutes for an 8mb rom.



Let's see how to insert the cartridges into this dumper...(i used some pictures from v0.5, but this is the same for v0.6!)

V.Smile / V.Smile Motion / V.Smile Baby / V.Smile Smartbook


BITS: 16
ROM-Size: 8
V.Smile-CS1: L
V.Smile-CS2: L

You can dump the cartridges directly by putting it into the black slot at the bottom. While i would highly recommend to also open the cartridge so you can also document the PCB of each game. At least in german-europe alot of different game-revisions got released for the V.Smile, most times you only could see which revision it is, on the pcb itself.

Explanation of the CS1- and CS2-Switch:
While most V.Smile carts only have one chip inside the cartridge and therefore a maximum size of 8mb, some of the games have two chips inside the cartridge. Older (first releases) games had for example two chips inside. One with 4mb and one with 2mb, so these games have a size of 6mb. The last few released cartridges on this system needed more space for the games, that way they used two 8mb chips inside the cartridge, therefore these games are 16mb. (for example Toy Story 3)

For old releases you need to get the 4mb chip dumped with CS1 to L and CS2 to L. For the second 2MB chip you need to set CS1 to H and CS2 to L.

For the 16mb games (Toy Story 3) you need to set CS1 to L and CS2 to L for the first 8mb. For the second 8mb you need to set CS1 to L and CS2 to H.

Don't forget to set both switches back to L after you finished dumping the game!!

LeapPad / My first LeapPad / LeapPad Little Touch

ROM-Size: 8
V.Smile-CS1 & CS2: L
To get the cartridges dumped, you have to open it. As only the bare PCB fits inside the socket. Insert it like on the picture above, with the glob pointing away from you. It's the middle socket on the left side.
Always check that the cart-edges fit to the pins of the socket, starting from PIN1 on the left of the socket!

Leapster / Leapster L-MAX


BITS: 16
ROM-Size: 8 or 16
V.Smile-CS1 & CS2: L
To get the cartridges dumped, you have to open it. As only the bare PCB fits inside the socket. Insert it like on the picture above, with the glob pointing to you. It's the top socket on the left side.
Always check that the cart-edges fit to the pins of the socket, starting from PIN1 on the left of the socket!


Genius Leader Color / Genius Leader Super Color / Bandai Super Note Club

ROM-Size: 8
V.Smile-CS1 & CS2: L

The cartridges for these systems are completely the same. Just insert it like show in the picture above and dump it. 

PreComputer 1000/2000 / Mister X / Genius Leader 2000

ROM-Size: 8
V.Smile-CS1 & CS2: L

The cartridges for these systems are special! Vtech did put two games in every cartridge! They used a 128kb chip inside each cart and with directly soldering the highest addressline of the chip to GND or VCC, they selected the lower or higher half 64kb of chip. So if you dump it, you will only get 64kb (one game).
But with an very easy modification of the PCB, you can dump the full 128kb. Afterwards you just can undo the modification and the cartridge works like before! You can even choose, if you want to activate the second game ;-)

Modification of the cartridges to get the full 128kb data dumped:

1. Cut/desolder on the red markings (so you removed the connection of the highest addressline with GND or VCC) and solder the two pins (marked in yellow) together:
Also check the other side of the PCB, sometimes they connected the pins with wires on the other side. Just remove/cut them:

 2. That way you have modified the cartridge, so the highest addressline is now connected to the cart-edge...and the Arduino Mega Shield will read the full 128kb from it.

3. After dumping you can desolder the YELLOW connection and just solder a connection to GND or VCC. (like it was before). NEVER solder a connection to VCC and GND at the same time, it will most likely destroy your console or cartridge!


BITS: 16
ROM-Size: 16
V.Smile-CS1 & CS2: L

The Mobigo is kinda special! As they released two different game-cartridge-pcb-revisions and you can only dump one revision with this Arduino dumper. (More on that fact below!)
Insert the cartridge with the glob pointing away from you, inside the middle slot on the right side.

Different cartridge-pcb-revisions of the MOBIGO:

So far we found two different pcb-revisions. You can see the different revision already when you open the cartridge. One revision has the glob on the top, the other revision as the glob on the underside.
One revision has the marking "128mb&64mb mask rom"...the other not.

While the cartridge-pinout is completely the same (logical, as otherwise it would not work on the console ;-) ), only the right cartridge-revision can get dumped with the Arduino Mega Shield. The other revision gives inconsistent reads on the Arduino. (And we don't know why!)

But i have also found a solution for the left cartridge-revision!

Mobigo - Save-Cart and other Cartridge-Revision adapterboard:

HIGHLY IMPORTANT: Only the cartridges with the marking "128mb&64mb mask rom" are dumpable with this adapterboard. The other revision will give you inconsistent reads with this setup!

I designed this board to get the Save-Carts and the other Mobigo-Cartridges dumped with an cheap TL866IIPlus programmer and you will also need the TSOP48 v3 board. The programmer costs about 35EUR and the TSOP48v3 baseboard will cost you about 10EUR.

TL866IIPlus and the TSOP48v3 base board. Both needed.
TL866IIPlus - Dumping Adapter
This Adapter-Board for the Tl866IIPlus has two positions how it can get used with the TL866IIPlus.

Let's see how to use it with the second cartridge-revision (128&64mb mask rom) of the Mobigo-Game-Carts:

Mobigo-Cartrige inside the Adapterboard, which is on top of the TSOP48v3 base board and inside the TL866IIPlus

Insert the Mobigo-Cartridge inside the adapterboard (like on the picture above) with the glob pointing away from you, on the right side of the slot. Put the adapterboard on the TSOP48v3 base board and insert everthing on the TL866IIPlus.

Inside the TL866IIPlus programmers-software select the IC 29GL064A10TFIR3 (IMPORTANT: select exactly this IC-Type!!), check that the two switches (A22 and A23) on the board, that both are positioned at LOW and click on READ inside the software.

You will get the following Pin-Detect-Error with 5 Pins not detected, which is completely OK and just shows that the cartridge is insert correctly! (If you have more than 5 Pins not detected, something is wrong with your setup, or cartridge wrong insert into the slot!)

Hit Cancel and deselect Pin Detect and Check ID at the Options at the bottom.

Now click again on READ to dump the cartridge, it should read now without problems and you should get an 8mb file afterwards!

Mobigo-Games are 16mb, so we need to change the A22-switch on the board to HIGH and dump the cartridge again with the same procedure, which will get us a second 8mb file!
Afterwards just concatenate both dumps and you have the real 16mb rom.

How to dump the Mobigo SAVE-Cartridge:
The Mobigo got an special SAVE-Cartridge released, which has 128mb of space for downloaded/bought games from the Mobigo-Online-Store. These carts use an NAND chip, and to our luck it's a very common NAND-Chip which is supported by the TL866IIPlus.

Normally you would need the special NAND-Chip adapter for the TL866IIPlus to get the NAND-Chips supported, but i already included this adapter inside this board.

Remove the TSOP48v3 board from the Mobigo-Adapter-Board and insert the board with the 40 Pins to the TL866IIPlus.
Insert the cartridge, like on the picture above, into the socket.

Select the IC TC58NVG0S3ETA00 inside the programmers software and click on READ, the chip should be detected and no errors should happen.
Afterwards you have an 128mb dump of your NAND-Chip.

Basically you can also program this SAVE-Cartridge with this method.