Help me solve an SSV Mystery!

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    • Help me solve an SSV Mystery!

      I've been getting into SSV boards a lot lately I've got 8 games on this system with 2 more on the way.

      There's been some chat about Dyna Gear Conversions lately, I did this conversion AGES ago using Survival Arts as a Donor. If you loook at the mame driver: github.com/mamedev/mame/blob/master/src/mame/drivers/ssv.cpp

      Dyna Gear and Survival Arts use the same SAM-5127 sub-board and have the same memory map.

      Here's a picture of such a conversion (not mine):


      The Mystery is that @ShootTheCore bought a conversion using a "STS-0001" sub-board, which isn't super strange in itself but I'll get to the mystery in a minute...

      There are 4 games that use this STS-0001 sub board.
      1. Pastel Island, which is a super rare Prototype game, I've yet to find any pictures of this sub-board (if you have one please post it up!)
      2. Super Real Mahjong PIV, which looks like this:

      3. Monster Slider, which looks like this:

      and
      4. Keith & Lucy Dramatic Quiz, which looks like this:



      ShootTheCore's conversion, and another conversion I found searching the web, use a DIFFERENT VERSION of the STS-0001 PCB than those shown above, they look like this:



      Notice that all the extra IO equipment on the left hand side is just flat out MISSING from this PCB.

      Mystery #1: where the hell did this sub-board come from.
      Some possibilities in order of most likely to least likely...
      1. It's an alternate version of Keith & Lucy, since that seems to be the only production game that doesn't use the extra IO
      2. They used Pastel Island as a donor for these conversions :S
      3. It's a repo sub-board made to look like an STS-0001
      4. there is some other game that was released on this board that we don't know about.


      This brings me to Mystery #2: Where is the sound data?
      These conversion use a single 16Mbit ROM for sound data, except the dump we have of Dyna Gear uses 4x 8Mbit ROMs for sound for a total of 32Mbit of data... so where did the other 16Mbit of data go? I suppose it's possible there was a lot of empty space and they crammed the data into half the size, or they simply ignored the first half of the data and the game is actually missing sounds?

      Mystery #3: What does an original Dyna Gear sub-board look like?
      In trying to gain clues to mystery #2 I went looking for pics of an original Dyna Gear PCB and couldn't find any. I found LOTS of conversions, just no originals. does it actually use the SAM-5127 ROM board like the mame driver claims? or was that game just dumped from a conversion?

      In my searches I did also find a conversion on a VISCO-001B sub-board:


      I DO NOT recommend this as a donor as only 2 games were released on this Sub-board and both are more valuable than Dyna Gear at this point. but it's an interesting point of reference for research.

      ----
      So if you're keeping track and would like to help solve some of these mysteries I'm looking for:
      -Pictures of an original Pastel Island Sub-Board
      -Pictures of an original Dyna Gear Sub-Board
      -Pictures of that short STS-0001 Sub board with the original game ROMs on it.
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    • xodaraP wrote:

      I'm thinking it's a repro/bootleg. It's a totally different much lighter colour compared to the other SSV boards
      That seems likely to me. I'm going to desolder and dump the 29F ROMs from my conversion this weekend so we can try to figure out what the differences are with my sound ROMs versus the MAME sound ROMs. If I have something that isn't in MAME already then I'll submit it.
    • Hammy wrote:

      The gal chips are what makes the conversions here. Hardly any are dumped sadly......
      Good news most of them are not registered so easier to dump.
      I really need to go through all of my boards and see if I can dump them.

      Honestly, I've been playing around with numerous conversions in MAME and the vast majority of the games just work. there are a few with some weird hardware quirks (that PALs wont help) for instance Drift Out 94 and Storm Blade use a Custom Math Co-Processor on the sub board, and Twin Eagle II has some extra RAM, but there are far more similarities between the games than there are differences.


      For anyone that is interested I've started keeping track of similarities/differences in all of the ROM board variants here: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d…gtq4dbTQ/edit?usp=sharing
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    • Hammy wrote:

      Think they will be locked but not registered so the CMD 27c020 dumper should do it....
      Some programmers are very fussy on the 020 dumper.

      Info here: dreamjam.co.uk/emuviews/readpal.php

      I can operate an EPROM programmer and a desoldering gun, but I'm not yet a seasoned hardcore hardware hacker - if the GALs are protected, it would likely be better if I sent either the GAL chips or the entire B board off to someone with a proven track record. I'm totally willing to do that as long as there's a guarantee that I'd get a working board back eventually.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ShootTheCore ().

    • so Interestingly I just dumped 3 different GALs from 2 different ROM boards and I got data off of them, so, uh, maybe there is no protection?

      gonna see if I can program these to some new GALs and have them work.
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    • ShootTheCore wrote:

      Hammy wrote:

      Think they will be locked but not registered so the CMD 27c020 dumper should do it....
      Some programmers are very fussy on the 020 dumper.

      Info here: dreamjam.co.uk/emuviews/readpal.php
      I can operate an EPROM programmer and a desoldering gun, but I'm not yet a seasoned hardcore hardware hacker - if the GALs are protected, it would likely be better if I sent either the GAL chips or the entire B board off to someone with a proven track record. I'm totally willing to do that as long as there's a guarantee that I'd get a working board back eventually.
      The PLD's are normally socketed, the 020 adapter goes into the eprom programmer.
      The file can then be sent to someone for conversion.
      Pic below of 2 different styles, standard on the left, one from @brizzo on the right hand side.


      twistedsymphony wrote:

      so Interestingly I just dumped 3 different GALs from 2 different ROM boards and I got data off of them, so, uh, maybe there is no protection?

      gonna see if I can program these to some new GALs and have them work.
      Burn them back off to test, if they work then great. Without testing on hardware there's no way to know they are good dumps.
      Gal locked / unlocked seems to be luck of the draw.
      Images
      • IMAG1924[1].jpg

        594.36 kB, 1,296×776, viewed 31 times
    • so yeah... U25 and u36 on my Ryohrioh Cooking quiz board (converted to Vasara 2) dumped, burned to new GALs and play perfectly... Also tested the GAL on Pachinko Sexy Reaction 2 and was able to dump an test the dump successfully.

      my Survival Arts SI001-14 GAL appeared to dump but programming the dump to a GAL I get no boot... re-dumped and re-programmed again and the same.
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    • ok, well one mystery solved... when searching to see which PLDs for SSV had already been dumped/reversed I found that jammarcade has some good pictures of the Dyna Gear ROM board:
      jammarcade.net/wiki/index.php?title=Dyna_Gears

      that does indeed look like an original on a SAM-5127


      Also, the more I look at that Dyna Gear conversion board the more I think there is some credence to it being a bootleg PCB. Check out the difference in font on the [A] connector label, and the lack of a white square to the left of the PCB model number (used to outline an area where a serial number could be stamped. These are the kind of things that wouldn't go missing if the original creator had made a streamlined version of the PCB, but someone trying to make a replica would overlook.

      also the fact that every SSV sub board has a capacitor in each corner, and this one only has spots for 2 and neither are populated... so maybe another mystery solved?

      I'm still interested to see what's going on with the program/sound roms
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by twistedsymphony ().

    • Alright, I was able to cleanly desolder the sound ROM, data ROM and PAL chip on my Dyna Gears conversion. The PAL chip wasn't protected so I was able to dump it.

      I also had a chance to try out Dyna Gear on MAME, and it's now obvious to me what's missing from my board with that second sound ROM - most of the drum and instrument samples. The music on my board is much more simple and plain that what I'm hearing out of MAME. Hopefully I can redo the sound ROMs on my board so that it matches MAME.

      Anyway, here's a link to the Dropbox folder with the ROMs I've dumped so far. I'll tackle the A, B, and U banks of ROMs in the next day or so.

      dropbox.com/sh/huuodunjpb945rc…mXsJw144MUBpaSBWc0ga?dl=0
    • Already started analyzing...

      splitting the sound ROM it looks like it's a concatenation of U9+U8 of the original Dyna Gear set without any additional modification, which is exactly what you'd do when going from 2x 8Mbit ROMs to a single 16Mbit ROM

      Same goes for the program ROM...
      It's just U4 and U3 from the original Dyna Gear set interleaved and then doubled, which is exactly what you'd do when going from 2x 8-bit/4Mbit ROMs to a single 16-bit/16Mbit ROM

      I'm not sure there's any benefit to duping the graphics ROMs, they're likely also a perfect match with the original game, as it is the program ROM and sound ROMs are not modified at all, the data is just condensed to fewer ROM chips.

      This means that the work here (if any) is done in the PLD, or potentially in the PCB if it is indeed a repo PCB.
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    • If you want to try adding the rest of the sounds, try concatenating u7+u6 from the original Dyna Gear set and then burning the resulting file to a 27c160 and installing in the SND1 location.
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    • FWIW I tested converting Mahjong Hyper Reaction to Dyna Gear in MAME as it uses a similar sound mapping. it seems to work though the controls aren't all mapped. it's possible this is just do to MAME mapping controls for mahjong instead of normal joystick/buttons. So that could potentially be another donor/cheaper option than Survival Arts

      Meiosis Magic and Super Real Mahjong P7 are two other possible candidates that have the Ensoniq.2 soundbank available but I haven't tested either yet (Meiosis Magic doesn't use as much graphics data and I don't have a pic of the PCB so a full test on that isn't really possible without actual hardware)
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    • I've searched for a picture of sub board yesterday afternon of Super Real Mahjong P7 . no success until now . since in Mame nobody knows what she looks or what number she have writed on :( . anyway, as always, i love twistedsymphony's notes and posts . learn alot :saint: and i'm just curious why others don't want to learn starting reading.but,who i am to put this question to judge peoples
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by AlxUnderBase ().

    • It's the PLD's and extra chips, they are very important for all games!

      The different Pld's work together with the circuit on the board.
      PLD + circuit need to be correct / matching.
      Adding / removing the chips as needed so there's no conflict or anything.

      See the one on storm blade rom board, it's had all the extra stuff removed.

      Keep up the good work but those chips need to be correct for the PLD's.