Batman cart blinks

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mbstone
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Batman cart blinks

Post by mbstone » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:46 pm

My copy of Batman refuses to work. It last worked about 10 years ago. All other games work flawlessly. I have linked a video of the problem, which is that the Batman startup screen loads but blinks. No matter what position I put it in, it blinks. I've tried cleaning it with IPA and used a white eraser but to no avail. Any thoughts on how I can resurrect this beauty of a game?

[Video of the problem in question](https://photos.app.goo.gl/oWWYtTTdLNjFj2v98)

lidnariq
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Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by lidnariq » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:54 pm

Either the cart's CIC is damaged, or the pins that connect the CIC to the console are damaged.

The simplest solution is to disable your NES's CIC, which can be either the "cut pin 4" technique, or the "add two wires" technique.

mbstone
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:43 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by mbstone » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:54 am

I'm convinced it's the cart itself, as all other games in my collection work without problems. I've wanted to disable the lockout chip, but don't want to cut the pin, though the "two wires" method looks like it's right up my alley.

Is there a way to troubleshoot and narrow down that it is the cart's CIC? Could I reflow some solder on the CIC's pins? Anything else I could try?

lidnariq
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Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by lidnariq » Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:09 pm

Visual inspection isn't wrong. Check the wires going from the CIC to the card edge. You could try reflowing the pins, but there's no particular reason to think that's the problem.

You could replace the original CIC with the modern ATtiny-based avrciczz.

You could try using a logic tester to see if the four pins from the card edge get to the game CIC cleanly.

mbstone
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by mbstone » Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:38 am

lidnariq wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:09 pm
You could replace the original CIC with the modern ATtiny-based avrciczz.
Where do I purchase such a thing? I've looked online and I've found lots of resources for software, but if I understand it correctly, the CIC is a physical chip. Correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm happy to admin my newb-nes(s).
lidnariq wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:09 pm
Visual inspection isn't wrong. Check the wires going from the CIC to the card edge.
I'll be cracking it open later today to give it an inspection. Are there any glaringly obvious issues a newb should be on the look out for? For example, corrosion, general dirtiness.

Thanks.

tepples
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Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by tepples » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:36 am

The Checking Integrated Circuit (CIC) is a physical chip, a Sharp SM5 4-bit microcontroller running a program in its mask ROM. The same microcontroller running different programs was used in Game & Watch and Tiger Electronics handhelds, the R.O.B. accessory for NES, and the Famicom Disk System's write-protect circuit (to keep games from accidentally overwriting themselves).

Nowadays, one can make a CIC replacement by loading software that behaves the same onto a modern microcontroller.

mbstone
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by mbstone » Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:09 pm

Thanks, that was concise. So, if I understand correctly, the data on my Batman cart's CIC might be corrupted somehow and needs to be re-written? Or am I totally misunderstanding and need to solder a new CIC and re-write data on it?

lidnariq
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Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by lidnariq » Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:54 pm

The latter. The existing CIC might be damaged, maybe, and if so the only fix is to either modify your NES to not need it, or to replace the CIC on the cartridge.

mbstone
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:43 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by mbstone » Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:28 pm

Any place where I could purchase a replacement CIC? I suppose I could use one from an existing cart, but I'm not about to sacrifice one cart for another.

lidnariq
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Location: Seattle

Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by lidnariq » Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:34 pm

I unfortunately don't know of anyone selling pre-programmed avrciczz.

yaros
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Re: Batman cart blinks

Post by yaros » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:40 am

lidnariq wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:34 pm
I unfortunately don't know of anyone selling pre-programmed avrciczz.
I know Muramasa sells some. But afaik pinout is different.
https://www.muramasaentertainment.com/product/avrcic/

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