Pinned Taito F3 Make Your Motherboard Region Free

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    • Got mine this weekend, and yesterday I tried the needle-nose plier route; but my Japanese mobo did not want to snap all the way - just small pieces, and not all the way down. Also, even with my smallest pliers I was in serious jeopardy of snapping one of the nearby pins. In the end I had to use a hobby knife-set, and kind of shave off layer by layer until all the plastic was gone. This took about 90 minutes (watched two eps of The Orville during), but it worked perfectly, no bent or broken pins, and I just came back from the garage having had a few games of Arabian Nights and Puzzle Bobble!
    • If I understand correctly, different regions have the plastic pieces on different pins, and each set of pins that is blocked this way is not used by any region.
      Which pins are actually used?
      In the middle row I guess we can rule out the first three on each side as well as 7th, 8th, 9th (, 24th, 25th, 26th) and 10th, 11th, 12th (, 21st, 22nd, 23rd).

      btw, are the connectors a modified DIN41612? (Also used on the Sega ST-V..?)
    • I want to say that I finally did this on my Japanese mobo. My thoughts which may help others.

      1. My plastics were not brittle, but rubbery so doing the below still worked great.
      2. Do not wiggle it and watch the surrounding pins.
      3. Grab the plastic rectangle on one side and bend all the way to one side (left or right) until you hear a snap. Without letting go, bend the other direction. Then move to the other end of rectangle and do the same. Four "snap" sounds later and the rectangle will just slide off.
      4. Wiggling on my board, which was not brittle, resulted in chucks coming off and not getting a clean removal.

      Hope this helps others, also I used a really small set of needle nose pliers that had very strong grip.
    • I recently bought the Darksoft multi and a Taito F3 board, so have encountered this problem. The pin triplets affected by these plastics don't seem to be used (as some folks have removed them without issues), so can I ask a dumb question- why don't the Darksoft board connectors include 'triplet' holes at the relevant points to allow for these regional plastics (like the original carts do)? It would life easier, particularly for noobs like me :)

      As it is, I've ordered some small pliers to give this a go tomorrow, after making a mess of my first attempt today :(
    • Pinball wrote:

      I recently bought the Darksoft multi and a Taito F3 board, so have encountered this problem. The pin triplets affected by these plastics don't seem to be used (as some folks have removed them without issues), so can I ask a dumb question- why don't the Darksoft board connectors include 'triplet' holes at the relevant points to allow for these regional plastics (like the original carts do)? It would life easier, particularly for noobs like me :)

      As it is, I've ordered some small pliers to give this a go tomorrow, after making a mess of my first attempt today :(
      I believe it was because the cost of the connectors with the notches is much higher or they are not available.

      With very fine pliers, just wiggle slowly back and forth, don't rush, and they will come off clean. I rushed on one side, looks bad, but did it slow and easy on the other, and it looks very clean, stock even.

      Besides, once you have it on, you won't ever see it again!
    • I've made a mess of this so stopping now. Pins bent and broken.

      TBH I'm disappointed in this multi board. The design could have been better, frankly, particularly in this era of 3D printing. Sorry to be critical about what is otherwise of course an excellent product, but as I won't now be able to use this product, and have lost a fair bit of money on it and the F3 motherboard, I think it is a valid point.

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

    • You're right the multi board should magically plug into any motherboard, bad design.

      That was sarcasm btw, it's a simple mod to do I've done it. You just have to be careful and take your time, I used a soldering iron with small tip to melt the plastic and a small knife to scrap it away so no risk of breaking or bending any of the pins.
    • If you are going to get serious about the hobby, you are going to be crimping connectors and cutting wires, soldering and cutting axial leads. For these activities, a good set of side cutters are a prerequisite for any enthusiast in this hobby. Here is good great set:

      amazon.com/Hakko-CHP-170-Micro…ers&qid=1594752043&sr=8-2

      All tools are an investment and pay for themselves, and they have multiple uses outside of the hobby. The F3 multi is by far the easist to install. It is not a bad design at all. Some are just more prepared for the effort than others is all. Even still, it is a small investment towards reaching the goal: arcade gaming.
    • acblunden2 wrote:

      If you are going to get serious about the hobby, you are going to be crimping connectors and cutting wires, soldering and cutting axial leads. For these activities, a good set of side cutters are a prerequisite for any enthusiast in this hobby. Here is good great set:

      amazon.com/Hakko-CHP-170-Micro…ers&qid=1594752043&sr=8-2

      All tools are an investment and pay for themselves, and they have multiple uses outside of the hobby. The F3 multi is by far the easist to install. It is not a bad design at all. Some are just more prepared for the effort than others is all. Even still, it is a small investment towards reaching the goal: arcade gaming.
      I have used these side cutters they are the bees knees :). Decent side cutters are a god send.
      Family Members: 1x NAC, 1x Madonna, 1x G-Balance
      Searching for: DDP DFK 1.5, Black Tiger, Magic Sword
    • I will persevere :)

      I admit I'm a noob dick at this aspect of things, but learning. Pinball is more my skillset TBH.

      I like the soldering iron idea and will try this. I bought a vgc F3 board and the plastic is a bugger to remove with pliers- very tough and in no way brittle. I've also been quite sad to damage a pristine board TBH.
    • While barbaric sounding, ages back when I did this to one of my F3's I just used an exacto blade and cut the plastic away slowly and as close to the pin as possible.
      I couldn't find my side cutters at the time lol

      So if you have one laying around you could try that too but its not the most ideal way to do this lol
      Family Members: 1x NAC, 1x Madonna, 1x G-Balance
      Searching for: DDP DFK 1.5, Black Tiger, Magic Sword
    • Pinball wrote:

      I will persevere :)

      I admit I'm a noob dick at this aspect of things, but learning. Pinball is more my skillset TBH.

      I like the soldering iron idea and will try this. I bought a vgc F3 board and the plastic is a bugger to remove with pliers- very tough and in no way brittle. I've also been quite sad to damage a pristine board TBH.
      I had handy two F3 motherboards when the multi came out. The first one, I got cute and decided to use a Dremel. Ended up grinding away one the pins that are needed. Repairable, but damn it sucked. The 2nd one, I used those Hakko flush cutters which I had handy. Positioned the cutting edge of the cutters so that they were right down the middle between the pins and the tips of the cutting blades bottomed out, then squeezed gently till the blades touched. I did the long-wise dimension first. Then did the same cut along the shorter dimension. In some instances, those two cuts were enough to break the tabs away from the connector. In the other instances, using the same flush cutters as tweezers was enough to remove the plastic. The whole job took about 3 minutes.

      Proper tools for any job saves a ton of heartache and time. That is analogous to any job really. Surprising that a pinball guy wouldn't have a good set of flush cutters. So many applications with pinball uses the same tools. Don't use a soldering iron for this job. Flush/side cutters are best.