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Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:22 pm
by Markos11
Hi there,

So, I'm a definite newbie, with very minimal soldering and programming skills.

But, I'm passionate about the nes, got my first set @ 6 yrs old.

I'm eager to create some "repros" of games that never were, and swag out my collection with some uniqueness.



I've looked into a couple of tutorials, and have ordered some donor carts, and tools etc.
Doubtless I will need some guidance when they come in.

Now since a lot of games are of the homebrew variety, and are not in pcb databases, how does one discern which board/pieces to use? And what is needed to make sure the game is compliant with nes hardware? ..No$nes won't seem to run some titles, for instance..

Sorry if my questions are not specific enough.. gss I'm not there yet...
Also sorry if this has been covered already...

But if anyone can point me in the direction of more resources for the ultra noob, would be much appreciated.
Thnks!

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:44 am
by tepples
The mapper number in a ROM's iNES header tells which boards will work. There are ways to look up a ROM's mapper: look in the debug or log section of an emulator. Give me a few homebrew game titles and your preferred emulator, and I might walk you through finding their mapper, and then based on that, finding boards that work.

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:43 pm
by Markos11
Thanks for the response!

Ok some titles would include: Solar Wars, The Mad Wizard, Pitfall: The Unofficial Adventure, Sting, and Mineshaft.

I'm using fceux (2.2.3)

I'd def. like to know how to locate the relevant info in the emulator, but also have found the famiROM tool to be useful in this regard.

Other questions would be:
Where to get erasable eproms?
The only source I've managed to find would be the Repro X ones, over at game-tech. These will work on donor boards, right?

And lastly, perhaps a silly question, but a title which uses a simpler board, like cnrom, may also be produced on an mmc3 board I'm guessing?

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:47 pm
by tepples
In FCEUX for Windows, from the Help menu, choose Message Log.
fceux_message_log.png
fceux_message_log.png (4.08 KiB) Viewed 2593 times
Games designed for CNROM, such as Solar Wars, have to be ported in order to use a more powerful mapper, such as MMC3. Usually this involves finding every write to a mapper register and changing it so that it instead performs a write to the other mapper's corresponding registers. This isn't trivial unless you're good at assembly language. I've made a patch to run Solar Wars on UNROM, for example.

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:54 pm
by pubby
I think most people use flash memory nowadays instead of eeprom.

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:10 pm
by Markos11
@Tepples -Ok, thanks for the info!
Doubtless I'll have more questions when my tools arrive.

@Pubby -Oh really? Even for carts with only one game? I'll look into it in that case.. Do you happen to know of a vendor?

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:11 pm
by tepples
Infinite NES Lives sells flashable NES cartridges.

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:24 pm
by Markos11
Right, but I'm interested in improving my soldering skills... I'd consider flash if I needed to solder them on.

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:26 pm
by rainwarrior
You can get UV EPROMs on ebay. That's been the easiest source for them that I've found. They'll probably be old and used, though.

Re: Complete Noob Questions

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:59 pm
by Markos11
Cool thnks, that's def. the place to get 'em.

Edit: Do I need to look for ones that say 27c128, or 27c020 ?
Or will any with the right capacity and pins work?

Edit the 2nd: I ordered some AM27C040, and M27C512.