Blimey! where did the year go!
Been away from the repair bench for a while sorting the house out, bit of building work, re-arranging, so I now have a games room, so finally got everything in the one place, and now started getting everything up and running!
Some early pictures with the start of the foundations and the cabin before the doors and windows were fitted. It's now wired up, and has everything moved into place. I'll add some photo's of the cabs and pinballs at some point. Then hopefully be able to settle down at the workbench again and get the high score saver / galaxian tester finished at last!
I'm planning to sell PCB's for the high score saver / single rom / tester as well as kits of all parts - it can be used to do many different things for Z80 based boards, I've used it to single rom a Ms pacman bootleg, run test code on pacman boards and it could be used to develop high score savers for almost any PCB's that use Z80 CPU's for the main code. (6502 version may be coming along once this is completed - mainly so I can add high score saving to the missile command cab I just bought)
Back onto the Galaxian tester / high score saver combination. The new PCB's check out OK, so I'm adding some more screens to the tester. First up is a port test, which lets you toggle all of the various outputs. Next one to be added will be for the sounds on the board.
Whilst wiring up a loom for a multi-galaxian in a cocktail, I thought it would be handy if I could check the wiring without having to keep going into the games. Since I'd already written the switch test for the high score and tester, I added the code to the multigame and adapted it for the switches used.
I've been working on the test screens to go with the high score saver and galaxian / moon cresta test board. still got a few to go, but the ram test is completed (and somewhat more thorough than the standard galaxian ram test), as are some of the video test screens and the switch test.
Ram tests will tell you what chip is likely to be faulty and will also display the bit mask that failed (I find this useful to allow me to probe around the board looking for stuck lines / buffer chip problems etc)
I still have the sprite screen and the sound triggers to do, and anything else that springs to mind whilst I'm coding away.
The pcb's have arrived. If you ordered an S2650 Fluke adapter, then I've posted them. just need to re-visit the S2650 page and alter the price. If you want one of these, let me know - I only get them made to order since there don't seem to be many people who collect S2650 based stuff.
Also got some Galaxian high score PCB's, but I will also be doing Galaxian (and probably moon cresta) test boards - same board, but with an eprom with diagnostic software programmed in - you will also get the diagnostic software with the galaxian high score saver, but only the galaxian version then!
High score saver will be £25 as mentioned, Test board will be £20.
Ordered some PCB's today, should be sending out some galaxian high score saver boards in about 3 weeks if everything goes to plan. Price for these will be £25. They currently work as high score savers with a clear high scores function, but I still hope to add some basic test routines in.
I've also ordered some S2650 adapter boards, so if you have asked me for one of those, then they should be going around the same time.
I'm also looking at adding an extra game or two to the Galaxian multigame. If you have one, then the games can be added to your existing multigame easily enough, if you haven't got one - why not ?
Some interesting boards from ebay this week, 2 unknown boards with an Intel 4040 CPU. Need to make an adapter to try and read the roms, but nothing in Mame using this CPU so could be interesting. If anyone knows what game has 'Pave 2000' in the solder mask of the board, send me an email.
A bit of luck with a cheap board from ebay. I got a Numan Olympics since I was hoping to get one worker out of the two I would then have. Noticed a gash in the bottom of the new one, soldered about a dozen wires to patch over the breaks, and we have a working Numan Olympics.
First real use of the de-solderer! - Phil sent me another of his boards from hell, this one with a weird screen ram problem. See the log for details.
Been having a go with the new DIP IC de-solderer I bought, and after a bit of practice, it seems to work quite well. hope to start using it on 'real' repairs soon.
Mainly looking at the encryption of the Gaelco PCB's recently, having dumped the entire 32 bit lookup table for Squash (bit big to load in at runtime - 16 gig or so!), but hopefully have enough information to help someone work out the encryption calculations to allow it to be reproduced.
Looked at a Galaga bootleg (or five), and had a common fault on a couple of them so added that to the repair log. Having fixed them all, I also did some playing around with one to get it back looking like Galaga (correct title, logo and colours) - details in the repair log and on the Galaga page.
Added an extra option to the multigame, a couple of people had reported some strange errors with the menu's, which turned out to be corrupted NVRam. Now, if you power the board up with DIPS 3,4,5 and 6 on, then the ram (and high scores) will be cleared on power up.
Added an odd eprom, DS40986 to the equivalence page.
Had a look at the Tazzmania game I was sent, and it does some memory layout hacks that are not going to be easy to get around to make it fit into the multigame. However, it did set me thinking. When I started the original Galaxian multigame, I was planning to do something similar for Scramble hardware (and Bally Astrocade, but thats a different story)
So, what is the interest in a Scramble multigame? What games would you like to see in there ? - Scramble, Super Cobra, Amidar, The End, Anteater ?
Let me know if you are interested and what games you would like to see! - If it goes ahead, I would hope it to be a similar price to the galaxian multigame, but it may include surface mount components, in which case it will not be available as a self assembly kit.
Nothing major, it was pointed out that a couple of the tables on the web site didn't work with some browsers - this has been fixed.
Another year already!
I just received a Data IO 29A eprom programmer, so I can finally start looking at some of the older boards in my collection that use three rail devices (2708's etc), to celebrate managing to get it working (with some help from Leopardcats page - the serial lead does work OK on a 29A) I've decided to add the manuals for the programmer and the Unipak 2 (DjVu format) and also a copy of the Promlink software that I have which has been patched to work on 2ghz+ CPU's. (Back in 1994 when the last version of promlink was released, they probably were not expecting CPU's to get that fast!!)
Data IO 29A Manual
Unipak 2 Manual
Promlink 6.10 Programs (with Speed Patch)
The new batch of multigame PCB's have arrived, so if you were waiting for one, you should get it soon. If you were not - then email me now and place an order!