Have a few questions on Planet Harriers

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    • Have a few questions on Planet Harriers

      Hopefully this subforum gets traffic lol

      I ordered a Planet Harriers pcb, or at least what I think was one. Auction listed board working game unknown, and the eprom numbers matched Planet Harriers. Took a shot since auction was a wife selling her husbands collection...very confusing but I bit since it's eBay and if it doesn't work I am out nothing really.

      I am going to go ATX to JVS for power, so I can use my current 450 Watt SFX power supplies 24 pin connector. That makes perfect sense to me. For video, VGA to Framemeister adapted and TTL rectified down to 750Ohm.

      My questions : 1) What Sega I/O board model do I need for controls? Going to wire up a flight stick to control the game. I did this twice with Beast Busters : Second Nightmare, so luckily I've dealt with that already 2) I can't seem to find any photos of the end connectors of the original control connections. Want to know what plastic housing and pins I need to make the harness. Beast Busters was a combo of DB15 and a custom JST single row connector, but obviously Hikaru will differ

      That's about it. Honestly I half expect the board to come in with chips broken off since Hikaru is such a disaster piece of hardware. Heat syncs were glued down in the auction photos but who knows what I'll find to be honest. Project might be DOA before it even starts. I know at least if I get it to post and check for the I/O board it should be ok (minus any graphical glitches)

      Any help would be super appreciated!
    • I saw that auction, missed it but grabbed the other Hikaru the seller had.
      No chips broke off the board, but it is missing the main BIOS eeprom. Maybe you could look at your board and see what kind of eeprom it is? It's labeled EPR-23400 on the base pcb.

      All the items that seller had were marked "Tested working" but obviously if the board doesn't even have a bios... well, that is unlikely. I had to buy a filter board separately as it was missing.
      Hope your board works! Eventually I hope to get mine going but I am going to be investigating a Model3 I picked up first.
    • model3man wrote:

      I saw that auction, missed it but grabbed the other Hikaru the seller had.
      No chips broke off the board, but it is missing the main BIOS eeprom. Maybe you could look at your board and see what kind of eeprom it is? It's labeled EPR-23400 on the base pcb.

      All the items that seller had were marked "Tested working" but obviously if the board doesn't even have a bios... well, that is unlikely. I had to buy a filter board separately as it was missing.
      Hope your board works! Eventually I hope to get mine going but I am going to be investigating a Model3 I picked up first.


      It went right back to the seller on a return. Shipped today. Bios was there. So unfortunately I can't see the chip model. Sorry I cant help further


      Glad yours arrived with chips intact!
    • Well shoot. That sucks. My pcb arrived well packed but was missing the filter board, and it was pretty bowed near the center. I have no idea why the chips stayed on. I'm burning a new 27C160 eeprom for the bios and we'll see if we get a system menu.

      I've done BGA rework before (extraction, reball and resoldering of 0.8mm pitch). I'm pretty sure the boards are repairable. The hardest part will be getting the heatsinks off the chips, in order to see the part number and ID which chip goes to what footprint. There are multiple footprints of the same package but different part numbers, so one must be careful. The next hardest part will be preheating parts of the board, or possible most of the board, and using several hot air tips in concert to handle the reflow on top.
    • model3man wrote:

      Well shoot. That sucks. My pcb arrived well packed but was missing the filter board, and it was pretty bowed near the center. I have no idea why the chips stayed on. I'm burning a new 27C160 eeprom for the bios and we'll see if we get a system menu.

      I've done BGA rework before (extraction, reball and resoldering of 0.8mm pitch). I'm pretty sure the boards are repairable. The hardest part will be getting the heatsinks off the chips, in order to see the part number and ID which chip goes to what footprint. There are multiple footprints of the same package but different part numbers, so one must be careful. The next hardest part will be preheating parts of the board, or possible most of the board, and using several hot air tips in concert to handle the reflow on top.

      Thats like two levels above my paygrade lol. I'd torch the board I'd assume on reflowing that many points of contact
    • Was actually curious who ended up getting these boards, was considering picking one of them up in order to do some linked play with my Planet Harriers board but decided against it when they went above what I would consider spending on what was likely a broken board.

      I have a working planet harriers system, so if you guys have any questions on the game and how it works, feel free to ask me. Always willing to help anyone get this great game working again.
    • Burned a 27C160 eeprom with the EPR-23400 bios, since the board did not have one. (Big red flag if someone pulls the bios from a board!)

      After ordering a JVS power harness from Mitsurugi-w and building my own JVS I/O board power harness, I got the board to power up.


      No cooling/original box, so won't be running more than a few mins. The main pcb is quite bowed.





      After resetting it once, the garbage went away.




      Already I could tell something was wonky. It would hang randomly when entering the service menu. Sometimes there was font corruption in the menu. Eventually it worked.

      Data was set to Twin cabinet, Master link so it would keep trying to connect over the network and fail. After setting it to 1player no network, it booted.





      For several glorious seconds, it worked! Then it hung alternating between the previous and current frames.






      After a few more seconds, this, before I turned it off.







      Everything points towards bga/soldering intermittent connection. I am very lucky to have received it withouot losing any BGAs altogether. I suspect they are on the verge of failing though.
    • Thermal imagery


      Running with no rom board - idling at ERROR 3





      Running with 3d
      The video dacs are the hottest two small QFP's





      Running, looking at the SH4 cpus. One is working much harder than the other, typical








      After poweroff we can see some residual heat with romboard removed.

    • Nice thermal images!

      Yea the failure is most likely related to the board becoming hot and shifting the ball array just enough under the GPU(s) to error.
      I would think IF you could keep it cool enough that wouldn't happen, but the damage may already be done (so even the slightest amount of heat will warp/shift/error it).

      It also will most likely become worse over time unless you get the whole thing reballed (pretty sure the only person offering these type of services is @Mitsurugi-w, I was told the Ifixsega guy wouldn't accept any more of these but IDK).
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    • to test I might drop a few large ass heat syncs on the GPU's with some fresh thermal compound. Some nice IC Diamond or the like. That's if you can get the sync off w/o damaging the chip.

      Hell even a strong fan blowing air over the pcb would be a decent test case to see if you could keep heat in check enough to get it to run longer. That would be a great test to see if you could at least diagnose the problem
    • Well whatever you do, I suggest using heat sinks, and not heat syncs, because if you get the whole board to match up the temperature of the chips, you're going to have trouble...

      :)

      Great thermal pictures man, keep the experiments coming. I'm fascinated by this board, because I've never had a chance to play PH in the wild and it's crazy how messed up they were made.
    • In addition to the processors having the soldering issues from the factory, the two bga ram chips are susceptible to needing a reball as well. Those are the two next to the small daughterboard with the heat syncs. You can try testing by pressing down on them while booting the game to see if you still get the freeze.