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 Post subject: Trying to date a clone.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:20 am 
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Can anyone help me, got this really nice new clone, trying to figure out when it was made. I checked around on date codes, but I think I may be wrong.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:42 am 
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Seems a very nice clone!!
The only thing resembling a production date I can see is the 98822N on the 74LS373.
If I'm correct, this should be october of 1988.
Estimating circa 3 months interval between the manufacting and actual use on a assembly line... (just a guess)
This possibly puts the MFG date to 1989 or maybe early 1990, when famiclones were worth to be well-made just like this one.

As an totally off-topic joke, when I was a teen I had many weird dates!
But I never tried to date a famiclone! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 6:40 am 
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Okay, "trying to date a clone" made me think the thread was about something else entirely :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:48 am 
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nesrocks wrote:
Okay, "trying to date a clone" made me think the thread was about something else entirely :lol:

Same here... I didn't think of the words "date" and "clone" in the context in which they were actually used AT ALL. I was basically expecting SPAM, really.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 11:28 am 
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Visible ICs:
0.6" 24-pin SRAM, can't read anything in this photo
[ST] T74LS373B1 98822N — I believe that's actually YYMDD.
??? 74LS139P, other text illegible
[Vitelic] HH36 V61C16V SRAM
ZONIC P HH26
6005N HH26
[Goldstar] H17 GD74HC368
[Goldstar] H17 GD74HC368

Between all those "H" and the one IC that I can read with a year of 1998, my best guess is that H = 1998, because H is the 8th letter of the alphabet. I'm not certain how they would have encoded 1990, however. "HH" might mean august of 1998???

The 7805 on the heatsink will likely also have a date code.

The 26th week of the year is the last week of June. The 36th week of the year is the first week of September.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:23 pm 
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Well... Looks like I was wrong again! :oops:
On the 74LS139 I see something that seems to be H65.
But only with better pictures of this IC we can make sure.
Also, a picture of the regulator and maybe the labels on the case could help to better thack its production date.

By the way, around what time the NOACs become dominant?
I tought it was about 1995, but maybe it was 10 years later or so.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:35 pm 
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I don't think it's from that late, it is too good to be from after 1995.
In 1994, UMC had already moved to NoAC chipset. I can't see how these would have competed against all the clones flooding the market at that point.
Even good clones from 1993 seems cheaper versus what you're showing.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Maybe the '373's date code should be parsed as 9-8825 then, and HH = 8 = 1988 ?

But that feels too early for most of the known famiclones...


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:35 pm 
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My tought it was M-YY-DD.
But it's just an gues...


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:35 pm 
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Thanks, here are some more pics. Pulled the regulator.

https://imgur.com/a/z3xcVSH


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:28 pm 
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(transcribing for searchability)
The ones I found illegible:
SONY 8H04 CXK5816PS-15L JAPAN ← the aforementioned illegible SRAM
→Looking for pictures of that SONY SRAM... I've found date codes of 0H04Y , 8K33, 8L06, 6K27, 8J08, 6G06, 8K10 ... that's really phenomenally unhelpful.
HD74LS139P [Hitachi] 8H16

And the voltage regulator:
17805 8G2 [Hitachi] S TAIWAN
→That's at least standardized; 8G2 on a Hitachi part is unequivocally 19x8 / July / 2nd week ... but we still don't have a decade.

I mean, given everything else, it has to be 1988, but I'm vaguely annoyed that they managed to obfuscate that.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 11:37 pm 
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nesrocks wrote:
Okay, "trying to date a clone" made me think the thread was about something else entirely :lol:


:lol:

Fisher wrote:

As an totally off-topic joke, when I was a teen I had many weird dates!
But I never tried to date a famiclone! :mrgreen:


:lol:


lidnariq wrote:
(transcribing for searchability)
The ones I found illegible:
SONY 8H04 CXK5816PS-15L JAPAN ← the aforementioned illegible SRAM
→Looking for pictures of that SONY SRAM... I've found date codes of 0H04Y , 8K33, 8L06, 6K27, 8J08, 6G06, 8K10 ... that's really phenomenally unhelpful.
HD74LS139P [Hitachi] 8H16

And the voltage regulator:
17805 8G2 [Hitachi] S TAIWAN
→That's at least standardized; 8G2 on a Hitachi part is unequivocally 19x8 / July / 2nd week ... but we still don't have a decade.

I mean, given everything else, it has to be 1988, but I'm vaguely annoyed that they managed to obfuscate that.


Thanks, I thought either 88 or 98 but didn't think they still made them with separate clone CPU/PPU in the late 90's


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