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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 2:06 am 
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Well, lockout defeaters usually can work. But it want something that's 100%. If you have the wrong revision of NES, some types won't work. And there's no easy way for someone to tell before testing it. Also, the Famicom has no CIC.

The MHROM boards I used for the Garage Cart are from Mario/Duckhunt carts (not all of them are gloptops), I just removed the ROMs and modified it a bit to use CHR-RAM. Any carts I make like this later will probably have new PCBs though, because cleaning and preparing the old ones can be a pain.

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I hope for you that nobody will notice how plain is Hot Seat Harry before buying the card (or did you do a better revison ? The original one wasn't rally descent, as I remember (ooops... I hope you won't be scared...)).
Do you really think that people would be suceptible to buy that ? Personally, I would found this offer very suspicious if I didn't know what it is.


Heheh, yeah I don't think Hot Seat Harry is the main attraction. It's so small though, I had to put it in. The only thing I tried to change in it is adding intro music, but a couple bugs showed up too.

But people buy it for what it is. I've usually posted links to the games right along with it. And they're all sold out, I'm about to be shipping the last ones, except for a couple that I'm saving. Though actually it looks like I've only built more like 18 of them or so.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 2:44 am 
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Do you have that much suscess ? I ask myself is the NES have so much success in the USA. I think, that here, in Switzerland, a lot of people knows what a NES is, but only few really happen to still like this system today.
I found it overall incredibly expensive $45, and if you made your own board and patent, I can't even imagine that.
If you really susccess while selling unlicensed games, you may become a "game publisher", heh.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 8:16 am 
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Even the fact that the games may not be the greatest in the world, it's the fact that a new cart was released... no matter how few. Yeah, there's still a big market for NES games (see also: crazy prices on eBay). To be able to get a new cart for the NES after all these years is awesome! Even if they're refurbished PCBs, it's still new games inside :P

What Memblers did was put those games on a cart... then asked at a single forum (I think?). Those are pretty well gone. If something like NeSnake 2 was put onto a cart, it'd be SO sweet. As I said earlier, it's such a solid game that I felt like I was playing something released from the early '90s! Very sweet game.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 8:29 am 
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I get the impression that Membler's Garage Games Multicart was very successful. Collectors wanted it because it is a rare game, with a ROM that isn't available anywhere else, as there was some customization put into the menu and stuff. I think Memblers should consider getting PCBs printed, with his own custom logo etched on the board, and then periodically release a new Garage Games Multicart, which contains the best homebrew games (with author's approval of course).

A homebrew cart scene could really catch on for the NES. Look at how well it has worked out for the Atari 2600:
http://www.atariage.com/store/index.php?cPath=21_24

...they have tons of homebrew carts that use custom printed circuit boards, plastic cart shells, and labels! The 2600 is older and has worse graphics and sound than the NES. That is not the point. People who like the 2600 will buy the new games. Similarly for the NES. Though I think it is a good idea to add more customization and uniqueness to both the software and the hardware of the Garage Games carts, in the future. It will make them more collectable.

I think that a lockout defeater could work nicely. The best defeaters, such as the Camerica defeater, work for most of the original NES systems. The improvement that would have to be made would be to mod the Camerica defeater so that it doesn't damage systems that don't have a lockout chip like the top loader, by drawing too much current:
http://www.tripoint.org/kevtris/mappers ... erica.html

Percentage-wise, the number of systems for which the defeater could be made to work would be extremely high, as the new NES clones don't even have a lockout chip, most of the original NES systems have one that is defeatable, and the few that are undefeatable could simply be modded. Does anybody actually have a NES that is undefeatable without modding? How often do the NES refurbishing people on Ebay and such mod the lockout chip? Hopefully they do it for every NES for which they replace the pin-connector. If you open the NES, you might as well clip the lockout chip.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:57 am 
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Well, it's cool that it has success. I hope you'll be able to found something about a "perfect" defeater. Didn't Tengen consult the US copiright office, or something ?
My lockout chip can be defeated fine. I think my defeater is simpler than camerica, I just opended the adaptator once. It had only 2 caps, one resistor and one transistor, if I remember right. Well, if someone has the skill and the equipement to make precise measure, that would be great.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:04 pm 
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i still think, judging from the patent descriptions, that we can make the lock talk to itself.... i think we have just tried it incorrectly. i think there is more to the timing than it being 4mhz and having it divided into 4 different signals. it has to have another multipier in there.

in the patent description it mentions that on one of the 4 signals it outputs the result and then inputs on the next. this would mean the data has to stay on the bus for the 2 cycles or that it is repeated on the input cycle. i think that we need to dump the input, output, reset, and clock signals at something like 80mhz or higher, using the reset and clock signals divide it up in to its 4 parts and analyze the hell out of it


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:41 am 
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I made a shematic from the lockout defeater I got in the HoneyBee FC2NES adaptator. It has a slot for a real CIC, so it was easy to reverse-engineer.
Here you are the scematic :
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:07 am 
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Images tend to go 404 rawther rapidly, so I'll make an ASCII art diagram.

NES lockout chip defeater by Honeybee, found in an unlicensed Famicom to NES adapter
ASCII diagram by Damian Yerrick

Code:
           4700 pF
NES35 o------)|-----.
                    |
              1K    |
  VCC o------/\/\/--+----.
                         |
            5.1K         |
          (not E12)      |
CHR10 o--+--/\/\/---+--|/
         |          |  |\>--o GND
         | 2000 pF  |
         `----||----+-------o CIC10

  • VCC: +5V, NES pin 36
  • NES35: NES pin 35
  • CHR10: CHR A10, Famicom pin 53
  • CIC10: CIC pin 10
  • GND: NES pin 72, CIC pin 12

Apparently the CHR10 connection is supposed to do something similar to the line from the Camerica mapper that "fools the lockout chip into attempting to communicate."

Bregalad: What sizes of capacitors were used? And how reliable is this lockout defeat?

EDIT: updated with capacitance values.


Last edited by tepples on Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:34 am 
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Oops, I've forgettend the capacity values. The non-polarised cap in series with the 5.1kOhm resistor is 2nF (it's written 203 on it), and the polarised one next to the NES pin 35 is, I think, 4,7 nF (it's written 47-35 on it, normally there is only 3 digits, but I think the 5 stand for +/- 5% or something).

Yes, it's accurate, but sometimes the NES power light turns itself on and off (the TV syncrinisation also does turn on and off). I don't think if it's because of the lockout chip or because of the bad connections trough the adaptator. If it's because of the lockout chip, the reliability is 66%, else it's nearly 100%

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:22 am 
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How well does the Honeybee defeater work? Defeaters should be judged on a percentage-wise compatibility. As long as they work with an overwhelming majority of NES/Famicom consoles and clones, then it should be considered to be good enough.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:49 pm 
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Um, just FYI, cutting pin 4 on the lockout chip works, sometimes....

I had a lockout chip die on my NES (have no idea why), after cutting pin 4. It died after about 4 months after cutting the pin off.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 2:50 pm 
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Roth wrote:
What Memblers did was put those games on a cart... then asked at a single forum (I think?).


I also did mention it a couple times on the Digitalpress forums, and a couple people from there got one. I didn't get a lot of requests from there until they were all pretty much gone.

For the lockout stuff, short of using real chips, I guess the best thing to do would be to track down the last revision front-loaders and see if any lockout defeats even work on them at all. But I really doubt we'd be so lucky to find one that works on every NES 100% of the time. But we know Nintendo isn't making them anymore, so it's not a moving target at least, heheh.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 8:53 pm 
It's my impression that Tengen got the actual 10NES program code from the patent office by misrepresenting themselves (they were still working with nintendo at the time, but hadn't had any access to the CIC code, and claimed that nintendo had given the OK or something to that effect).

Chip mask patents only last for 10 years. I don't know if the program code is filed in the patent office or the library of congress or what (you don't normally file any source code at all), but if someone can find out where I need to look, I'll be driving through washington at the end of the month and may try to check it out (although I plan on going through on sunday, I may change that).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:08 pm 
Nevermind, I didn't remember correctly. Tengen alleged they were in a lawsuit with nintendo to the *copyright* office, not the patent office. That's not going to run out for a long, long time (or ever, if Disney, et al have their way with perpetual copyright)

Also, I think BU3213 in the FDS drive is also a CIC-style processor (same 4 bit jobbie, running a different program, just like the SNES CIC's were the same chip with a different ROM). It's likely a small micro, hooked up to a 4 MHz crystal, and the NES CIC numbering scheme goes from 3193 to 3197, so why not. (not that this information is in any way useful, or even true, since it's just a hunch)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:31 pm 
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Yep, that much we do know. I'd heard of the FDS's security chip, but never stopped to think it was this same CIC also.

The most useful thing to see now in the chip itself is the differences between the program for different regions. Could be useful, in the hopes that the program is pretty similar. As it is now, we don't really know how the memory rows/columns are decoded. So it's hard to even start trying to guess the instruction set.

The best thing would probably be to look at Tengen's chip. Supposedly it's core was done by Motorola, so it'll be something pretty different at least.

People have figured this stuff out before.. I know some Game Doctors and probably other SNES copiers had CIC clones in them.


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