Sunday, January 16, 2022

Long trip to get some Mouse Trap's

 One week ago we did find a german version of MOUSE TRAP near the Austrian-Czech border. So far nobody did know, that a german version of this game even exists. Luckily, the owner allowed us to dump it, so i did the nearly 300km roadtrip today to get the board dumped and preserved. Not only was this interesting because of the german version of the game, all other official MOUSE TRAP sets in MAME also have one bipolar prom marked as BAD DUMP, as it was used from an bootleg and not confirmed from an official board so far.

 As it takes about 1,5hours of driving-time to the board, i started my trip at 08:00am. The streets were nearly empty this sunday at this time and while i was getting nearer and nearer to the czech border the adventure started to take off.

"Zacky", the owner, was a nice guy and shortly after my arriving, i had the board infront of me.

While this board is over 40 years old, it was in a pretty good shape! I took nearly my complete dumping-equipment with me, just to be sure to get everything dumped and preserved. Most work was finished after 30 minutes, i dumped all eproms and bproms at least 3 times and always checked that the CRC's matched between the dumps of each chip.

A quick romident in the newest MAME showed that 11 of the 17 roms did match the other MOUSE TRAP sets in MAME. The other 6 roms (marked "GMTL") had no match. I expected this already before i did the romident, as the G stands most likely for GERMAN.

GMTL-4.a10           NO MATCH
GMTL-4.a11           NO MATCH
MTA-1.5a             = mta_5a.5a             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mta_5a.5a             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mta_5a.5a             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mta_5a.5a             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
MTA-1.6a             = mta_6a.6a             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mta_6a.6a             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mta_6a.6a             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mta_6a.6a             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
MTA-1.7a             = mta_7a.7a             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mta_7a.7a             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mta_7a.7a             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mta_7a.7a             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
MTA-1.d2             = mta_2a.2a             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mta_2a.2a             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mta_2a.2a             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mta_2a.2a             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = mta_2a.2a             mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = ms2a.8d               mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
MTA-1.d3             = mta_3a.3a             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mta_3a.3a             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mta_3a.3a             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mta_3a.3a             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = mta_3a.3a             mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = ms3a.8e               mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
MTA-1.d4             = mta_4a.4a             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mta_4a.4a             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mta_4a.4a             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mta_4a.4a             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = mta_4a.4a             mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = ms4a.8f               mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
MTA-1.d5             = mta_1a.1a             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mta_1a.1a             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mta_1a.1a             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mta_1a.1a             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = mta_1a.1a             mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = ms5a.8h               mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
MTL-1.d11            = mtl_11d.11d           mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = mtl_11d.11d           mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = mtl_11d.11d           mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = mtl_11d.11d           mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = 2516.j6               mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = ms11d.6j              mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
742s97-VEL5C-1.c5    = vel5c_1.c5            mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = vel5c_1.c5            mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = vel5c_1.c5            mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = vel5c_1.c5            mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = 24s10n.1c             mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = 24s10n.1c             mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
                     = tt5c.129              teetert     Teeter Torture (prototype)
                     = vel5c-1.c5            venture     Venture (version 5 set 1)
                     = vel5c-1.c5            venture4    Venture (version 4)
                     = vel5c-1.c5            venture5a   Venture (version 5 set 2)
7603-HRL6D-1.d6      = 74s288.d6             mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = 74s288.d6             mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = 74s288.d6             mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = 74s288.d6             mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = 74s288.3d             mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = 74s288.3d             mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
                     = (BAD) prom.6d               spectar     Spectar (revision 3)
                     = (BAD) prom.6d               spectar1    Spectar (revision 1?)
                     = prom.6d               spectarrf   Spectar (revision 2, bootleg)
                     = stl_6d-1.6d           targ        Targ
                     = stl_6d-1.6d           targc       Targ (cocktail?)
                     = tt6d.123              teetert     Teeter Torture (prototype)
                     = hrl6d-1.d6            venture     Venture (version 5 set 1)
                     = hrl6d-1.d6            venture4    Venture (version 4)
                     = hrl6d-1.d6            venture5a   Venture (version 5 set 2)
                     = sn74s288n.3d          venture5b   Venture (version 5 set 2, bootleg)
7603-HRL14H-1.h14    = fxl-11b               fax         FAX
                     = fxl-11b               fax2        FAX 2
                     = (BAD) 74s288.h14            mtrap       Mouse Trap (version 5)
                     = (BAD) 74s288.h14            mtrap2      Mouse Trap (version 2)
                     = (BAD) 74s288.h14            mtrap3      Mouse Trap (version 3)
                     = (BAD) 74s288.h14            mtrap4      Mouse Trap (version 4)
                     = (BAD) 74s288.6c             mtrapb      Mouse Trap (bootleg)
                     = 74s288.6c             mtrapb2     Mouse Trap (version 4, bootleg)
                     = hrl14h-1.h14          pepper2     Pepper II (version 8)
                     = hrl14h-1.h14          pepper27    Pepper II (version 7)
                     = hrl14h-1.14h          spectar     Spectar (revision 3)
                     = hrl14h-1.14h          spectar1    Spectar (revision 1?)
                     = hrl14h-1              spectarrf   Spectar (revision 2, bootleg)
                     = hrl_14h-1.14h         targ        Targ
                     = hrl_14h-1.14h         targc       Targ (cocktail?)
                     = tt14h.123             teetert     Teeter Torture (prototype)
                     = hrl14h-1.h14          venture     Venture (version 5 set 1)
                     = hrl14h-1.h14          venture4    Venture (version 4)
                     = hrl14h-1.h14          venture5a   Venture (version 5 set 2)
                     = sn74s288n.6c          venture5b   Venture (version 5 set 2, bootleg)
GMTL-4.a6            NO MATCH
GMTL-4.a7            NO MATCH
GMTL-4.a8            NO MATCH
GMTL-4.a9            NO MATCH


 To get a quick confirmation that everything is dumped and good, i started the new roms as mtrap in MAME and quickly got a fully working german version of MOUSE TRAP up and running.

All three bprom's matched the existing bprom-dumps in MAME, so the BAD DUMP flag can get removed from all set's too.

With the new dumps on my laptop i started my 150km roadtrip back to my home, knowing that we now have a new version preserved and documented.


Driven distance: 300km

Expenditure of time: ~5 hours 

New preserved data: 24kb (6 roms with 4kb each)

Credits: team europe, rtw, f205v, darksoft, zacky

Sunday, January 2, 2022

YENO - Masters of Multicarts

The PC-Logomax 2 is a "learning pc" for kids (Age 6+). YENO released this machine in 1992 in Germany, Austria and Swiss. Also three cartridges "LOGO-DENKSPORT", "LOGO-WORT" and "SAY IT IN ENGLISH" got released here. Thats the only know cartridges for this system.

PC-Logomax 2 with all three cartridges

The main-unit uses a TMS50C44N2S chip with internal ROM. This chip was also used in some dolls in the late 80's, which had speech synths.

The cartridges just have a glob on top of it:


Luckily the pinout was pretty straight forward! But the most interesting part was on the backside of the cartridge-pcb:

While i already knew, that VTECH at least did put 2 games on each cartridge, where they could select each game with solderable pins (like a DIP-Switch), this is now one big step better!

YENO made these cart-pcb's extremely flexible and the highest 4 addresslines could get modified in all possible ways on the PCB, by just soldering some bridges. That way you could select banks and even change banksizes on each pcb.


The biggest possible size of the rom-chip is 128kb. the selected banksizes on "LOGO-DENKSPORT" and "LOGO-WORT" are just 8kb. which would mean, that this cart can hold up to 16 games!

I changed all four pads the get the maximum output on the chip and dumped the full 128kb from it, from both carts. guess what, both dumps matched! Which means both cartridges have the completely same romchip inside.

Now i had to analyse the complete 128kb, as LOGO-DENKSPORT and LOGO-WORT only use 8kb each. What are the other 112kb inside the rom?

After stepping threw the 128kb ROM, i found another game for the PC-Logomax 2 inside. It was "SAY IT IN ENGLISH", but this game uses 16kb, which means you have to change the banksize too on the cartridge! Changed the solder-bridges on my LOGO-WORT cartridge and voila i had SAY IT IN ENGLISH running on my machine.

The other 96kb of ROM-DATA are another three games (32kb each), but it looks like these are not for the "PC-Logomax 2"! I believe they are for another YENO learning laptop...the PRIMUS the cartridge-cases for this machine look nearly identical. This is not confirmed so far!

The Rom-Content looks like this:

 This means, if you have one cartridge for the PC-LOGOMAX 2, you basically already have all three available games in your hand and just need to change the solderbridges to get your game started on the console.

You also have three games for another console included, which is most likely the PRIMUS EXPERT.

Here's the cartridge-pinout (cardridge-edge):


    D03 |- -| GND
    D04 |- -| D02
    D05 |- -| D01
    D06 |- -| D00
    D07 |- -| A00
      E |- -| A01
    A10 |- -| A02
    A16 |- -| A03
    A11 |- -| A04
    A09 |- -| A05
    A08 |- -| A06
    A13 |- -| A07
    A14 |- -| A12
    VCC |- -| A15


It was a fun challenge to get all this documented and to get the cartridge-design reverse-engineered. This means 6 new cartridge-dumps for MAME and some documentation of the PC-LOGOMAX 2.

YENO made a good trick to just produce one cartridge and get it sold maybe even 3 times to each customer.

The TMS50C44N2S will most likely get shipped to caps0ff, maybe they can decap it, to get this machine fully preserved. I will try to get a PRIMUS EXPERT next to confirm some stuff.