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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:03 pm 
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98digger wrote:
I am no fan of the EPROM chips, as they erase themselves over time.
Then I suggest to make a backup copy; you can then reprogram the EPROM chip if the data is lost.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:12 pm 
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zzo38 wrote:
98digger wrote:
I am no fan of the EPROM chips, as they erase themselves over time.
Then I suggest to make a backup copy; you can then reprogram the EPROM chip if the data is lost.


I would like to do this, however I am not sure if RetroZone/Sivak would allow for it. I like to stay on the legal side of things, so unless the manufacturer gives me permission to, then I probably will not back it up. :?

On a side note, it would be helpful if RetroZone offered some sort of service that would do that for you. But, it appears that the UVEPROMS, being modern, will last at least a century if kept in good condition, and any copyright on the game should expire by then anways, so that would make it legal to burn a ROM of the game back onto the cart. :)

Does anyone know if Sivak or RetroZone has mentioned this issue before? :|

EDIT: I have just emailed their Customer Support now about this, so I will post what they tell me when I get a response.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:45 pm 
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The cartridges haven't been out for long enough to have any bit rot show up, honestly.

IANACopyrightLawyer, but legal precedent seems to be that if you make the back-up copy yourself and you don't have to circumvent a copy-protection device to do so ("thanks" DMCA) and only one copy is in use at a time, you seem to be ok. And that's the only thing I'll say about it.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:53 pm 
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After I got my o-scope I read that it has EEPROMS. Lacking a dumper, I still pulled them out and swapped them with ROMs in other things and programmed them to dump them, just so I could have backups for when they rot. Imagine having a nice piece of equipment that has failed simply because some trapped electrons in a component have migrated a few nanometers.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:29 pm 
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98digger wrote:
any copyright on the game should expire by then anways

Provided that Disney doesn't dupe legislatures into extending the copyright term again.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:05 pm 
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RetroZone's support just sent me an email. They basically said:

-The Battle Kid carts do not use UVEPROMS
-There is nothing to tape over (no UV exposure window)
-Opening the cart would not void the warranty anyways
-If something did happen to the game, they are willing to reprogram it
-A problem with the game is extremely rare

I asked them what type of chip they use, but they did not say in the email. The good thing is that, it appears whatever they use is not only reprogramable, but durable as well. I'm not very knowledgeable on computer chips, but if I had to guess, I think they might actually use Flash-NAND chips. According to ebay prices, they seem to be cheap to buy in bulk, they are reprogramable, and, (assuming the data is not erased and written often) supposedly very durable.

When I get the cart I will take a look at the chips and post what I find here. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:32 pm 
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It's most certainly not NAND, probably NOR if it is indeed flash...

Popped open my BK2 cart and it has a SST 39SF040 which is NOR flash IIRC.

Something I never noticed before though, looks like retrozone doesn't bother to put ANY capacitors on their carts... My BK 1, and Nomolos don't have caps either. Their boards have locations for them, but they're not populated. :(

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Pics or it didn't happen. Front and back. I find that hard to believe.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:01 pm 
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I looked at my BK1, and it too had unpopulated places for capacitors.


Attachments:
capless_bk1.jpg
capless_bk1.jpg [ 24.65 KiB | Viewed 2318 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Full resolution in all it's glory. Also funny that the BK2 board says "repropak MMC3" on it, I'm guessing he used his mmc3 board as a starting design and missed the bottom layers silk still being there cause that ain't no mmc3 board... ;)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18341918/nesdev/IMG_0022.JPG
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18341918/nesdev/IMG_0021.JPG

Considering the fact they're doing through-hole for everything still it's not too surprising I guess. You can get by without them, and they're a pain to install. It boggles my mind they haven't made the switch to surface mount after all these years and all those carts.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:38 am 
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infiniteneslives wrote:
Full resolution in all it's glory. Also funny that the BK2 board says "repropak MMC3" on it, I'm guessing he used his mmc3 board as a starting design and missed the bottom layers silk still being there cause that ain't no mmc3 board... ;)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18341918/nesdev/IMG_0022.JPG
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18341918/nesdev/IMG_0021.JPG

Considering the fact they're doing through-hole for everything still it's not too surprising I guess. You can get by without them, and they're a pain to install. It boggles my mind they haven't made the switch to surface mount after all these years and all those carts.


So it appears that the PRG-ROM is Flash Memory-based! Thanks for posting this!

I find it strange that there are no capacitors on the PCB, because every NES game I have opened up contains at least one capacitor. Could this be potentially dangerous to the cart and system?

Also, is the CHR chip a CHR-RAM? It has the circle-imprint on it, which I usually see on SRAM chips.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:53 am 
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Battle Kid series uses CHR RAM for juxtaposition.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:23 pm 
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I hate to ask such a noob question, but will the Battle Kid cart, for the fact that it has no capacitors, wreck my NES (model 001) or itself?

The only carts I have seen with no capacitors are glob-top famicom carts and multicarts, so I assume that they aren't 100% necessary. But Battle Kid has full-sized chips on the board, so I think it might be a different case.

Also, in the case that the cart is damaging, could I solder in capacitors to repair it?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:18 pm 
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No. The absence of capacitors may make it fail to work, but will not damage anything.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:04 pm 
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I was just looking at the pictures of the Battle Kid 1 cart infiniteneslives posted and I noticed that the PRG-ROM chip is an ST M27C2001 10B1, which is a OTP EPROM. RetroZone's customer support told me that if a problem occured with the game, it could be reprogrammed. In addition to this, the Battle Kid 2 cart in the picture has a FLASH-NOR EEPROM holding the data, which is guaranteed to hold its data for at least 100 years. So, from what I can gather:

-Pre-Battle Kid 2 carts contain OTP EPROMS
-Post-Battle Kid 2 carts (most likely) contain Flash-NOR EEPROMS

When I get the cart, I will confirm this information.

Also, the ReproPak manual states that U*ROM carts should have three 0.1uF capacitors on the PCB. Should I add them to the Battle Kid cart when it arrives (It shipped today :) )?


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