Has Anyone Region Swapped a Mach Breakers PCB? Having Issues Trying...

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    • Has Anyone Region Swapped a Mach Breakers PCB? Having Issues Trying...

      Recently picked up a Numan Athletics 2 / Mach Breakers Japanese PCB. Looking at the rom sets in MAME, it seems like a pretty easy task to swap it over to the World edition. Basically erase and burn the two program roms, 11C and 11D. I've now tried this twice, and can't seem to get the board to function properly using the World roms.

      Condensed Info:

      - The PCB fully works if I re-burn the Japanese Program ROMS.
      - According to MAME, the only differences between the original Japanese version (MB1 romset) and the World edition, are those two Program Roms (MB2 romset).
      - Pulling all socketed EPROMs and verifying them against the Japanese romset in MAME comes back 100% accurate. There are a number of surface mounted flash roms as well, that I do not currently have the ability to remove. They are correctly identified, via their silk screening as belonging to the MB1 romset.
      - Using the World Program roms switches the language completely to English, but there are odd bugs.
      - The attract mode demo can sometimes reset the game, and various graphics that should be present (flags behind characters during selection) are either missing or completely wrong / a jumbled mess.
      - The service menu of the World edition should have an option for region selection (N. America / Europe OR Asia). My PCB with the World program roms installed gets defaulted to the Asia version, I am unable to switch it to the N. America / Europe option.
      - The Asia version is supposed to remove various Japanese references from the game, so it could be used in the Korean market. My Japanese version with World Program roms doesn't remove them. Even with the game being stuck on the Asia version.
      - The PCB w/ World Program roms does actually work when playing the game. At least the first three stages (only tested up to that point). No graphical issues, and everything is in English.
      - Other glitches and weird issues with the attract demo, but you get the idea.

      Has anyone done a region swap on this PCB before? Am I just overlooking something dumb? I've blank checked my EPROMs every time before burning, and verified the written data after each burn. Everything always comes back 100%. I even gave the EPROMs the full 30 minute erase cycle this last time, just to make sure there wasn't any lingering data. Again, this region swap seems like a no brainer. Any ideas are welcome.
    • I own 2 of these PCBs and have region swapped both from JP to World Region doing exactly this:

      Shadoron wrote:

      burn the two program roms, 11C and 11D
      it sounds like it's already too late but I very much discourage ANYONE from erasing original ROMs. having the original ROMs would give you something to go back to test with, and keeping them arguably adds some value to your PCB as original ROMs with original labels are more desirable than replacement ROMs or re-burns. I've also had lots of issues getting old ROMs to erase and take a new program.

      When you erase the original ROMs are you blank checking them? and after you program them are you verifying them?

      Also are you sure the source files your using are good?
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    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      I own 2 of these PCBs and have region swapped both from JP to World Region doing exactly this:

      Shadoron wrote:

      burn the two program roms, 11C and 11D
      it sounds like it's already too late but I very much discourage ANYONE from erasing original ROMs. having the original ROMs would give you something to go back to test with, and keeping them arguably adds some value to your PCB as original ROMs with original labels are more desirable than replacement ROMs or re-burns. I've also had lots of issues getting old ROMs to erase and take a new program.
      When you erase the original ROMs are you blank checking them? and after you program them are you verifying them?

      Also are you sure the source files your using are good?
      Yes, everything that TS just said!
    • Shadoron wrote:

      Basically erase and burn the two program roms, 11C and 11D.
      Ooops I missed that. Definitely what @twistedsymphony said, I would try different eproms and blank check for sure.
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    • Thanks for the replies. Yes, I have blank checked and verified the EPROMs both times I burned them. My next step will be to grab some new replacement EPROMs and give them a shot. I had some used 27C240's laying around that I used for the World roms. I was beginning to wonder if they might be bad... although again they did blank check and verify 100% after burning. Now that I have confirmation that I only need to swap those two roms for the conversion, I'll order some new ones and see where that gets me.

      I'm using the World roms from the MAME .207 set, they do work correctly under MAME.
    • the 27c240 or 27c2048 can be difficult to source. Make sure your new blanks are the same speed or faster than your original EPROMs.

      You might have an easier time sourcing 27c4096 or 27c4002 which will also work, you'll just want to double the ROM file before burning.
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    • Just wanted to post an update on this - still having exactly the same issue.

      Just for clarity: the original Japanese EPROMs on the pcb are Texas Instruments TMS27c240's with 120ns access timing. Even though their numbering is weird, they are in fact 4Mbit EPROMs, just like a 27c4096.

      Today I received 2 unused AMD 27c4096 120ns EPROMS, blank checked, burned the world roms, and verified them... and they have the exact same glitches as the original 27c240s I tried earlier. I also found some additional 27c240s that had better timings (100ns versus the original 120ns), burned those with the World roms, and again had the exact same issues.

      At this point, I've tried 4 (5?) different EPROM chip sets, and all exhibit the exact same glitches - game is fully in English, but crashes in attract mode, missing flags behind players in select screen, inability to switch the region from Asia to N America in the menu, a weird mix of the "Asia English" version and the "N. America English" version, etc. I know my burner is working correctly, I had to burn and replace a couple pinball machine sound roms today, and they worked flawlessly. And just to point out again, if I put the original japanese EPROMs back in, the pcb runs perfectly. I even took one of my burned world EPROM chip sets, blanked them and burned them with the Japanese Mach Breaker program roms, and *they* worked perfectly in the PCB. So it can't be my burner, or the EPROMs themselves.

      twistedsymphony - do you happen to remember what your source was for the world roms you used? I've now tried a set from both MAME .203 and MAME .207, with both showing the same issues. And just for my sanity, what EPROMs did you end up using?

      My only other thought is that my NB-2 Mask Rom Sub PCB contains some software revision that is incompatible with the world program roms. I would certainly be open to any other ideas. I'm hopeful that this is just something stupid on my part.
      Files
      • TMS27c240.pdf

        (197.28 kB, downloaded 11 times, last: )

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

    • I think you are on the right path and must be one of those. I'd say that rather the latter. Can you post a pic of your PCB?
      Can you find any indication of the version it holds? Did you check it againt MAME, to see if it matches the dump for Japan?
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      * If you want Drama go to Neo-Geo forum ---Darksoft
    • I'm not in front of the PCB currently, but I've attached a photo of an actual World version I've been studying against my PCB over the last few days. Aside from the two socketed roms labeled with "MB2", my board is identical. It appears that World and Japan versions share all the same roms, with the exception of the program ones. The Japanese set is MB1, and World MB2. I've pulled every socketed rom, and compared it to the MAME set, and they match the merged World one (with the exception of the program roms). I don't have the tools to remove the mask roms on the sub board and compare them to the MAME set, however. The silk screening on the mask roms matches what is on my PCB, but that doesn't have to mean that the info on them matches up.


      EDIT: the photo is too big, I found it on one of Caius' repair logs.

      jammarcade.net/mach-breakers-repair-log/
    • can you get into the test menu? if so, try going in there and doing a full reset to defaults.
      I'm more inclined to believe the two regions save data to the EEPROM differently and maybe it's crashing when it gets to a value it doesn't understand.

      Even if the Mask ROMs were different I don't think it would cause the game to crash. I've run the Mach Breakers Program ROMs and KEYCUS chip on a NB2 board loaded up with Outfoxies sound and graphics ROMs and it boots and plays (albeit with bad graphics and sound).

      I honestly don't remember which version of MAME ROMs I used but I'l dump them to see if they match the current version.
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    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      I'm more inclined to believe the two regions save data to the EEPROM differently and maybe it's crashing when it gets to a value it doesn't understand.
      This ended up being the issue. There's an undocumented feature in the test menu that lets you clear the EEPROM, once I did that I can correctly change settings and no more crashes.

      For anyone else who attempts this:

      Get yourself a couple 27c240 / 27c4096 / 27c4002 EPROMs with 120ns or better timing.
      Burn the World Program roms to them.
      Install, and turn DIP# 1 on to enter the test menu.
      Move down to the Game Options menu, and enter it.
      Hit Player 1 and Player 2 Start buttons at the same time. You should see the Region Option (which in my case was stuck on "Asia" in white text) turn to green text. You can now change the region to America / Europe, or leave it.
      Flip Off DIP# 1 to exit Test Menu and enjoy.

      Thanks to Darksoft and TwistedSymphony for ideas and help.
    • Glad it was such a simple issue.

      I get in such a habbit of clearing the EEPROM data whenever I'm doing conversions I sometimes forget that others might not think to do that.
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