InfiniKey-CPS2

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    • Since it's been raining a lot here lately, I thought it'd be a good time to grab a soldering iron and finally replace the batteries on all my B boards with InfiniKeys.

      The installs on both SSF2X and AvP went fine, but my Japanese Mars Matrix (rev 7) is giving me a spot of trouble. Before cracking open the shell, I powered up the game on battery and played it for a while, and everything seemed to work great. I then de-desoldered the battery and proceeded to install the InfiniKey. However, after I'd put everything back together, the game booted into a solid white screen. I double- and triple-checked the installation, and everything seemed to be in order, including the game selection jumpers. (The rev 7 install should also be simplest of the bunch, too! )

      I then removed the InfiniKey, let the board sit for a while, and booted up Razoola's suicide tester ROM, which reports that the board has fully suicided (see attached photo).

      I also tried putting the battery back on, but this seemed to have no effect. The crazy thing is that at some point in my troubleshooting, I got the game to run for a good while without a battery or an InfiniKey installed. I assume this means at some point the encryption keys had successfully been loaded onto the board, and there were some caps still holding charge and keeping the keys in memory.

      One of @xodaraP's earlier posts in the thread mentioned that a solid white screen would indicate a problem with reading the ROMs. So far it's the best lead I have, but the exact source of the problem still seems to elude me. Are there any further troubleshooting measures I should try? I've been troubleshooting the board with just the bottom half of the shell on, in case that matters (assuming this is a contact problem of some sort).
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by dr_myslihiiri ().

    • dr_myslihiiri wrote:

      The crazy thing is that at some point in my troubleshooting, I got the game to run for a good while without a battery or an InfiniKey installed. I assume this means at some point the encryption keys had successfully been loaded onto the board, and there were some caps still holding charge and keeping the keys in memory.

      It's not crazy at all. The EXC5 cap is there exactly for that function. The cap holds enough charge to keep the keys in the memory while the battery is being replaced.

      The problem could be that the keys were only partially in the memory. Shorting the cap will wipe out the keys. Then try installing the Infinikey again.

      EDIT: also, reseat your program roms. The ones with stickers on them.

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

    • nem wrote:

      dr_myslihiiri wrote:

      The crazy thing is that at some point in my troubleshooting, I got the game to run for a good while without a battery or an InfiniKey installed. I assume this means at some point the encryption keys had successfully been loaded onto the board, and there were some caps still holding charge and keeping the keys in memory.
      It's not crazy at all. The EXC5 cap is there exactly for that function. The cap holds enough charge to keep the keys in the memory while the battery is being replaced.

      The problem could be that the keys were only partially in the memory. Shorting the cap will wipe out the keys. Then try installing the Infinikey again.

      EDIT: also, reseat your program roms. The ones with stickers on them.
      I did some further experimentation, and it now seems that neither the EXC5 cap, badly seated ROMs or a bum installation had anything to do with the problem. Read on for details.

      Following your advice, I tried shorting EXC5 several times, but it seemed to have no effect on anything and the game kept on running without a battery installed. Weird. I even let it sit without a battery overnight just to be sure (it was sunny out for a change, so I went for a bike ride), and it kept chugging along without a hitch. "Must be one big cap", I thought.

      I then tried to narrow down the problem some more. If I attached the Infinikey after shorting EXC1 (per the suicide tester README), I was greeted by a white screen, and the problem persisted even if I then detached the IK. If I shorted EXC1 with the IK detached, the game booted up OK. However, the game refused to start after shorting EXC1 if the IK was attached. This lead me to believe that the board is running on a decrypted ROM set (i.e. it runs without a battery, but won't boot with the IK). I'll have to dig out my programmer and dump the ROMs to be sure, but I'm guessing the they're from a decrypted set. (Unlike the Phoenix sets, Avalaunch sets are identical to the encrypted originals save for the encryption, so there'd be no visible or audible differences, right?)

      I bought the board off a eBay seller a year back, who described the board as being "100% original" and said the battery had been recently replaced. I guess they were also duped or had the battery installed as a ruse. Now that I've had a closer look at the board, the 04 and 05 ROMs also look a little suspect (see photo); like the labels had been peeled off and then reattached with Scotch tape (possibly after reprogramming). Serves me right for not buying from a reputable AP forum member. Being a rev 7 with a PAL G the board would be a good candidate for installing the DS multi on, so it's not a total loss, I suppose.

      Sorry for the tirade, I hope you had half as much fun reading it as I had getting to the bottom of the problem!
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by dr_myslihiiri ().

    • dr_myslihiiri wrote:

      I'll have to dig out my programmer and dump the ROMs to be sure, but I'm guessing the they're from a decrypted set. (Unlike the Phoenix sets, Avalaunch sets are identical to the encrypted originals save for the encryption, so there'd be no visible or audible differences, right?)
      If you suspect it's running on a decrypted ROM set, set game jumpers on the InfiniKey to all 0's. This writes 0xFF to every key byte, which is what a dead game has when using decrypted ROMs. If the game runs fine with that setting, that confirms your suspicion.
      -ud
      Darksoft Multi: CPS2/3, F3, ST-V, NEO ║ Cab: Namco Exceleena 1
      Scan Converter: Micomsoft XRGB2+, Silicon Optix ImageAnyplace
      Monitor: Amiga 1080, BenQ RL2460, Pioneer KRP-500M
    • Those labels look a bit weird, that line on the side of them isn't quite right. They may be very good repros or stuck back down as you said. If they're not foil backed they're definitely not original

      At least the board has the original mask ROMs in place and apart from decrypted ROMs which require no hardware modification, it is original.
    • New

      undamned wrote:

      If you suspect it's running on a decrypted ROM set, set game jumpers on the InfiniKey to all 0's. This writes 0xFF to every key byte, which is what a dead game has when using decrypted ROMs. If the game runs fine with that setting, that confirms your suspicion.-ud
      Well, what do you know? With a zeroed-out InfiniKey the game runs fine. Mystery solved!