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
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!
IF YOU HAVE AN UNDUMPED ST-V CART, CONTACT ME! :-)
thx to Darksoft and Brizzo for the help!
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:
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.
IMPORTANT: ALWAYS DUMP EACH GAME AT LEAST TWO TIMES, WHILE ALSO TO UNPLUG AND REPLUG THE CARTRIDGE BETWEEN BOTH DUMPS! TO CONFIRM THAT THE DUMP IS GOOD, BY COMPARING THE CRC's FROM BOTH DUMPS!
THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT, AS A BAD DUMP IS USELESS, LIKE TO HAVE NO DUMP!
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!)
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!!
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!
|TL866IIPlus and the TSOP48v3 base board. Both needed.
|TL866IIPlus - Dumping Adapter
|Mobigo-Cartrige inside the Adapterboard, which is on top of the TSOP48v3 base board and inside the TL866IIPlus