Konami PCB Conversions possible?

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    • Mitsurugi-w wrote:

      Darksoft and I actually appear to have some differing opinions on the subject of conversions.

      I'm going to admit here that I'm not a big fan of conversions. And while we allow a lot more leeway here than other forums, mostly because some of our projects were considered conversions and "bootlegs" under other forums' rules, I don't want to be known as the wild west of arcade forums. I think Darksoft and I need to discuss this issue further.

      The main thing I look at when considering the impact of conversions is SFII:CE. This pcb used to be plentiful and cheap. It was a $50 pcb for more than a decade straight. Now it is not easy to come by and the average price seems to be North of $150 when NOT on Ebay. Yet people still say its a common pcb. Well, it's not anymore. Period.

      I will say this, I don't think we should allow conversion guides to be posted. Info stating what is necessary may be ok but not the procedure. Also, noone should be pressured to release info. There is good reason for people to not want to release some of these things. My opinion.

      I think a fresh thread for the discussion of conversions as a whole is in order. But here's my quick take on it.

      I think conversions are a good thing as long as they are (A) used for private use, or (B) if sold, clearly disclosed as a conversion and priced accordingly.

      Yes, Street Fighter 2 CE and Major Title 2 are not as inexpensive or plentiful as they once were several years ago. I see that as a good thing - those boards are desirable and useful now. The boards are being repurposed and played instead of gathering dust in a storage unit or choking up a landfill. Likewise, Darksoft's Multi boards are bringing fresh life to boards that would be likely be mostly dormant otherwise (like the Taito F3). The Darksoft CPS2 Multi is essentially a penultimate conversion cart since you have to use an existing B board for it. I'll also mention that the prices of most "retro" 90s era video games are climbing - TurboGrafx and Super NES are insane.

      As for a potential forum policy of not allowing conversion guides to be posted, I would be disappointed if that rule went into effect. I've personally learned quite a bit about working on arcade boards through performing conversions. I've also learned how to identify conversions so I don't get duped into buying one on Ebay. And I've been encouraged by Darksoft in my work on creating an all-purpose Irem M92 Conversion Tool. When the Tool is finished, I originally planned on making it as "dummy-proof" as possible, with details right inside the app on the right EPROMs to use, correct board jumper settings, etc. I also planned on posting writeups in the Project Showcase on recent CPS and M92 conversions I've performed. For now, I'll wait on both and see how this discussion shakes out.
    • There are different classes of conversions I think. If it is fully reversible then ok. But in some cases I don't understand it. Why convert an expensive pcb to anything else? For example, someone asked if you could convert Sega Spiderman into Golden Axe 2. Why on earth would you ever want to do that??? I won't understand it. My real concern with the Konami pcbs are that the roms are not socketed in most cases. And it takes some skill to properly remove them from the pcb. It is extremely easy to pull a trace and even easier to pull the entire via out when removing socketed chips. It's almost a certainty that someone without the proper experience will destroy their pcb.
      I agree that we need to allow the free flow of knowledge on our site. I think in the case of conversions maybe it needs to be on a case to case basis. I already hate to see all of the conversions for sale on Ebay using shady words to hint it's a conversion without straight up saying it. There's a lot of info we've withheld over the years to prevent that very thing from happening.

      I guess there is no easy, blanket answer on this topic.

      Also, I still don't think people should be pressured into divulging info if they really don't want to.
    • I think information should be open, but personally I would not make a "how-to". An example that tells you everything you know to make sys246/sys256 bootlegs:
      wiki.arcadeotaku.com/w/Namco_system_256#Memory_card_details

      For me, it's the tech and how that's interesting - it would be WAY cheaper and quicker to just get the 'originals', but that's no fun - and I would never buy a conversion where the info is not public.

      Another example, wiki.pcbotaku.com/wiki/Sega_CF_box
      I made this because a "how-to" surfaced, but it was pretty badly documented and didn't say what you were actually doing - just solder this to that + it had errors.

      The best example is probably the way arcadehacker.blogspot.com does it - interesting, complete, no secrets, and no financial motivation.
      FOR SCIENCE! I make and sell the Jammafier & other stuff, irkenlabs.com
    • Mitsurugi-w wrote:

      I still don't think people should be pressured into divulging info if they really don't want to.
      I have ZERO problem with that... I do take issue with people jumping into a discussion just to imply that they have information that no one else is worthy of knowing. IMO that kind of attitude doesn't belong here on AP and the fact that we've so far avoided the stereotypical "insiders club" circlejerk is a big part of what makes this site worth vising over any of the other arcade forums.


      invzim wrote:

      I think information should be open, but personally I would not make a "how-to". An example that tells you everything you know to make sys246/sys256 bootlegs: wiki.arcadeotaku.com/w/Namco_system_256#Memory_card_details
      ....
      ]The best example is probably the way arcadehacker.blogspot.com does it - interesting, complete, no secrets, and no financial motivation.

      Those are examples of exactly the kinds of information I was looking for when I created this thread...

      I love reading that stuff, and most of the time I have no intention of reproducing those hacks myself, but gaining a better understanding of stuff works, the clever ways in which the hardware was designed and the clever ways in which people have discovered to exploit it opens my mind up to know ideas and new ways of looking at things in the other areas where I AM working.

      I'm not interested in killing a Sunset Riders, or a rare quiz board for TMNT2, (if there were some other cheap board that was a good candidate then maybe) but I'm still interested in what such a conversion would entail. This information doesn't and shouldn't exist solely as a means to an end.
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    • Mitsurugi-w wrote:

      The main thing I look at when considering the impact of conversions is SFII:CE. This pcb used to be plentiful and cheap. It was a $50 pcb for more than a decade straight. Now it is not easy to come by and the average price seems to be North of $150 when NOT on Ebay. Yet people still say its a common pcb. Well, it's not anymore. Period.

      It's not as cheap as anymore, but there's still loads available. I can buy multiple in the next hour if I wanted to. It's not rare at all.

      Pretty much everything in the arcade hobby is more expensive now than it was five years ago.

      Conversions play some part I'm sure, but SFII:CE would be a $150 PCB even if it couldn't be converted. Major Title 2? Yeah, that one's definitely more expensive because of conversions. But then that's something I guess you don't mind being converted.

      Honestly, not allowing conversion guides would be super weird for this forum.
    • nem wrote:

      Honestly, not allowing conversion guides would be super weird for this forum.
      and dare I say... Somewhat hypocritical as well, after all what is a multi if not a fancy hardware conversion?
      Darksoft/Apocalypse: CPS2, CPS3, F3, MVS, S16
      RGB: RECO v2
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24, Namco System 11/12 KHA
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special HAS Edition)
    • jassin000 wrote:

      nem wrote:

      Honestly, not allowing conversion guides would be super weird for this forum.
      and dare I say... Somewhat hypocritical as well, after all what is a multi if not a fancy hardware conversion?
      All our multis are fully reversible. Like I said there are different levels of conversions. I'm jst not sure I would want a guide that showed that you needed to remove a bunch of components, add jumper wires, etc.
    • Probably no, customs are not all the same, also priority chips are different sometimes. You might be able to, but looking to audio customs on premier soccer is way different then Sunset/tnmt, it could not work. Tnmt2 defenetly no, there's no room for 6 proms (that is also why they use sunset riders for it), i think they are 1mb 27c160, maybe you'll be able to join some roms to an 27c322 (2Mb) but probably CPU can't read it in whole data
      Also, you need the PAL/GAL dump and set jumpers with resistors at 0 value.
      Is still possible anyway.. if you have the patient to take a look at schematics and follow/check all (if not most) of the connections, you will probably able to.

      I succesfully converted many martial champions into mystic warriors/methamorphic force just because the layout is pretty much the same, they eventually miss some like a 054539 for the audio, i usualy take them from dead boards that i know i can't fix
    • TheDeath wrote:

      Probably no, customs are not all the same, also priority chips are different sometimes. You might be able to, but looking to audio customs on premier soccer is way different then Sunset/tnmt, it could not work. Tnmt2 defenetly no, there's no room for 6 proms (that is also why they use sunset riders for it), i think they are 1mb 27c160, maybe you'll be able to join some roms to an 27c322 (2Mb) but probably CPU can't read it in whole data
      Also, you need the PAL/GAL dump and set jumpers with resistors at 0 value.
      Is still possible anyway.. if you have the patient to take a look at schematics and follow/check all (if not most) of the connections, you will probably able to.

      I succesfully converted many martial champions into mystic warriors/methamorphic force just because the layout is pretty much the same, they eventually miss some like a 054539 for the audio, i usualy take them from dead boards that i know i can't fix
      That sounds like a lot of work and, unfortunately, my free time is running scarcer every day. :(

      I'll still keep following this thread to see if anything comes up.
    • Another view to keep in mind about discussing conversions on arcade-projects -- the theory stands if a conversion can be done, it is possible to build a multi game configuration on that hardware set.

      Any boardset with custom chips presents many challenges for hardware conversions.

      Someone could buy that eBay conversion and see what modifications were done, be it cut traces/jumper wire and/or patches to roms.
    • brizzo wrote:

      Someone could buy that eBay conversion and see what modifications were done, be it cut traces/jumper wire and/or patches to roms.
      The hope is that the hardware/board is un-altered from an original Sunset, and TMNT2 is running because it's been patched/hacked removing the protection/customs.
      Darksoft/Apocalypse: CPS2, CPS3, F3, MVS, S16
      RGB: RECO v2
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24, Namco System 11/12 KHA
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special HAS Edition)