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yavuzg

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There has been so much talk about the much wanted 128 Mbit SIMMs for CPS3, especially to run games with Darksoft's SuperBIOS. As most of you know already that you have to have 2 x 64Mbit SIMMs and 4 x 128Mbit SIMMs to run Street Fighter III Third Strike (I'm not exactly sure but you need this amount of SIMMs to load ANY game from Darksoft's & Mitsurugi-w's CD. Please correct me if I'm wrong).

As you know finding 128Mbit SIMMs is hard and even if you find them they are most probably too expensive. There is already another option that Darksoft and Mitsurugi-w have provided to the community; freshly designed and build new 128Mbit SIMMs with very fare pricing.

What I'm trying to show you that (some of you may already know) you can convert 32Mbit SIMMs into a 128Mbit SIMM with some effort if you already have the skills and tools to surface mount soldering. I must say that, although this is an option, I wouldn't suggest you to go and buy 32Mb SIMMs on ebay to do this because it may not justify the cost. Still, Darksoft's new SIMMs are really cheap considering the effort and material to do this convertion.

So why am I bothered to show you how to do this? Well, you may already have some 32Mbit SIMMs laying around uselessly and you may already have some spare 64Mbit SIMMs or some Fujitsu flash chips. If that is the case, this is how to utilize them for a greater purpose :D

Enough talk, lets begin...

First, you need 2 x 32Mbit SIMMs; One target, one donor. You actually need only one PCB as a target (it is exactly the same PCB used for the 128Mbit SIMMs also) but finding "reverse pinout" fujitsu chips is next to impossible, so we are going to salvage the reverse pinout flash ICs which are "already" on the other 32Mbit SIMM.

The reverse pinout flash IC on the original Capcom 32Mbit SIMMs is MBM29F016-90PFTR

Which means; 016 => 16Mbit, 90ns speed and PFT"R" => R for Reverse pinout

Here are what you'll need:

IMG_8853_zpsagerh0f1.jpg


As you can see I already have 4 x 16Mbit Fujitsu flash ICs. They are MBM29F016-90PFTN ("N" for normal pinout). These can also be salvaged from a single original capcom 64Mbit SIMM. But these normal pinout chips can be more easily found on internet. Infact I bought these from buyicnow.com and they are infact MBM29F016A-90PFTN (I do not know what "A" means but it seems it is only a revision compatible with the ones without the "A").

So as a summary; You need a PCB, 4 x 16Mbit Fujitsu flash chips with reverse pinout and 4 x 16Mbit Fujitsu flash chips with normal pinout.

And a remark; No, other brand flash ICs do not work, I already tried intel and AMD without success...
 
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yavuzg

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First I recommend you test your 32Mbit SIMMs.

Plug them on the CPS3 board and power up.

IMG_8854_zpsrtl1bosz.jpg



While powering up keep pressing the 1P start button to land on the Darksoft menu.

IMG_8855_zpsjswvgol5.jpg


You'll see these SIMMs as "FUJITSU 32M" on the list. This is good news. They "seem" to be working.

IMG_8856_zpss3zpw5ka.jpg


Next, perform some tests on this menu such as; Erase, Checksum, Write test etc...

IMG_8857_zpskojdtdcu.jpg


These tests will indicate the flash ICs are working and we can invest our time and effort on them... ;)
 
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yavuzg

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Since we tested our 32Mbit SIMMs, now we can begin the convertion process...

You have to clean the solders on the empty pads. These solder blobs will prevent you to solder new ICs on these location. You'll never align the legs if these solder blobs exists. So what you'll need are some solder wick and no-clean flux (do NOT use flux with resin, it'll make a mess!)

IMG_8858_zps0viecuiv.jpg


Pour some flux on the solder blobs on the pads...

IMG_8859_zpsukafsoni.jpg


And use the solder wick to suck the solder out. Do this carefully and with patience. Do NOT do it right to left but top to bottom direction and NEVER move the solder wick without soldering iron tip on it. Otherwise the melted solder gets cold and stuck to the wick and if you try to move it it will rip the tiny pads!

IMG_8860_zpsmfv8kxqx.jpg


Next, clean your pads with IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) and/or Acetone and qtip.

IMG_8862_zpshpcqezm0.jpg


Lastly, examine the pads with magnifying glass to see if any solder bumps remains. If so wick a little more but do NOT over do it. Too much heat and agitation like this may damage the tiny pads... Flat pads like this will help you position and align the legs of the flash ICs more easily ;)

IMG_8865_zpsg3cyrsiq.jpg


And don't forget to cut off the soldered tip of the wick. Otherwise it'll melt again and you'll only move melted solder from place to place not sucking it away... ;)

IMG_8866_zpsgx4nw6iv.jpg
 
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yavuzg

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Since we've cleaned the pads, now we are ready to salvage the reverse pinout flash ICs from the other 32Mbit SIMM...

I'm using a hot air solder station to melt the solder on the IC and while doing it use something like a tweezer or a model knife tip to lift the flash a little when solder melts. Do NOT force it! It'll let go easily when solder is melted...

IMG_8868_zps0hrvcfwj.jpg


I generally adjust my hot air station to 375 degrees celcius for such operations. Do not overheat or you may burn the PCB or damage the IC if you target to the same location with too much heated hot air...

IMG_8869_zps5sqhplyf.jpg


Next, do this to the other side of the flash IC and carefully take it away and put it on some metal to let it cool down.

IMG_8870_zps76qgo5qn.jpg


Remove the other flash IC like this...

IMG_8871_zpsmxcmioje.jpg


Now you have an empty PCB which you can either put it away or keep it as a spare in case you may find reverse pinout ICs somewhere sometime :D

This is one of the flash IC that we are looking after. Now we have it.

IMG_8872_zpsgnhiuldf.jpg
 
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yavuzg

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Now start soldering the salvaged reverse pinout flash ICs on the target 32Mbit SIMM. I do this alignment by hand. When both sides align correctly (may take some time if you still have small solder bumps left on the pads) I press my finger firmly on the IC to hold it there...

IMG_8874_zpslfjiakas.jpg


Then I put some flux and some blobs of fresh solder to fix the IC in place. Don't worry, those solder blobs will melt later...

IMG_8875_zpspqb2z510.jpg


Now, I'll not show you (and cannot show it on still photos anyway) what is "drag soldering" technique but you can google it and watch the videos on youtube (which I also learned the technique from there... Basically lots of flux and you "drag" your soldering iron tip carefully over the legs. The melted solder rush to the legs because of the flux.

If too much solder blob still remains on the legs, drag it to one of the ends and suck it with solder wick.

IMG_8876_zpsl1bn6hk7.jpg


Do not forget to use lots of flux! Flux is your best friend here :)

Next, clean the legs with IPA and/or Acetone to remove the excess flux and tiny solder debris...

IMG_8877_zpsu19zaqna.jpg


Lastly, examine your work with a magnifying glass. I recommend you to look from an angle under good light. If you look only from top then you may miss a leg might not be touching to the pad. If you look from an angle you can easily see if legs are touching to the pads and soldered correctly...

If you see any legs not touching (sometimes it happens especially for the legs at the very ends) just pour some more flux there and touch with the tip of the iron...

IMG_8878_zpsgshrpzvt.jpg


Continue with the other ICs and you'll end up with a PCB having 4 x reverse pinout flash ICs soldered like this...

Two on one side

IMG_8879_zpsibjq6xjq.jpg


Two on the other side...

IMG_8880_zpsmcqjftp9.jpg


See the flash locations on the PCB.

IMG_8881_zpszvoifabn.jpg
 
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yavuzg

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Now we are finished with the reverse pinout ICs. Next, we'll start soldering the normal pinout ones. One thing is important placing the flash ICs correctly. You'll notice that there are triangle marks on the PCB. These triangle marks indicate the #1 leg of the IC should be located there. The flash ICs have a tiny circle on them (they also do have a larger circle but that is something else) indicating the #1 pin.

I put circle on the photo to help explain what I mean...

IMG_8882_zpsdpuvltne.jpg


With the same soldering technique I solder the normal pinout flash ICs one by one...

IMG_8883_zpsrsllnchp.jpg


And the other side...

IMG_8884_zpsh8azrqda.jpg


Top view... All in place, we are finished ;)

IMG_8885_zpsdedxxqx4.jpg

Don't forget to clean the flux with IPA and/or Acetone and double and triple check the legs with magnifying glass one more time. Sometimes your iron tip may accidentally touch the neighbor IC leaving a solder bridge that you may have not noticed...

Anyway, after cleaning and examining twice, this is what we end up; One empty PCB one 128Mbit SIMM :D

IMG_8886_zpsnglptiwd.jpg


And the ultimate question! Will it work?
 
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yavuzg

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So to test our new 128Mbit SIMM we have to plug it on the CPS3

IMG_8892_zpstiwr2fef.jpg


and go to the Darksoft menu...

IMG_8887_zpshi3djabx.jpg


Aha! Good news! Its on the Slot 6 and CPS3 recognized it as 128Mbit SIMM (No 32M - only it says FUJITSU and that means 128Mbit on THAT location)

Lets perform some basic tests...

IMG_8888_zpscxcxoavz.jpg

IMG_8889_zps32kahixf.jpg

IMG_8890_zpsx7gnlh1b.jpg

IMG_8891_zpszgcxkmdv.jpg


It seems we are done and it is working BUT the ultimate test should be to actually load a game!
 
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yavuzg

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To "really" test our new 128Mbit SIMM we have to flash a game. For that now I have to connect the CDROM with Darksoft CD in it. My security cart is the "custom SH2" version so I'm using the Custom SH2 CD version.

IMG_8894_zpsua2sm86m.jpg


Now its loading but I don't want it to load the first game so I'll go to Darksoft menu again...

IMG_8895_zpscuajvkao.jpg

Now I'll choose SFIII: Third Strike to "really" utilize ALL the 128Mbit SIMMs

IMG_8897_zpsx2bnfrhh.jpg

And the torture begins :)

IMG_8898_zpswzkmrrwn.jpg

"patience my young padawan" ;)

IMG_8899_zpsstcznftz.jpg

45 minutes later!

IMG_8900_zpsjvzlwmhn.jpg

And that's how you make 128 Mbit SIMMs at "home" ;)


IMG_8901_zpsinhqebfa.jpg


Enjoy!!!

P.S. Again, it is too much work and effort as you can see. It is a feasible option ONLY if you have the materials already. I'd still recommend you to just buy Darksoft's new SIMMs if you do not have these tools and materials in your possesion...
 
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rewrite

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I don't have anywhere near those skills, but I wanted to say thank you for making such an incredibly detailed tutorial. That's really something.
 

K405

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Thank you for this interesting and informative post.
 

Derick2k

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Nice Tut, thank you for sharing. You should post a video showing your solder techniques.
 

penrhos

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Wouldn't it be easier to solder the chips on in the order they fit on the PCB rather than fit the reverse pin first then the normal pin between them?

Not that my soldering is anywhere near good enough to do this anyway...
 

yavuzg

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Well guys, I'm not an expert in soldering, I mean I don't do it professionally. I really learned it while reparing arcade PCBs for the last 4-5 years. The key is using liquid flux, lots of it and a flat soldering iron tip ;)



Wouldn't it be easier to solder the chips on in the order they fit on the PCB rather than fit the reverse pin first then the normal pin between them?

Not that my soldering is anywhere near good enough to do this anyway...
Yes, probably it would. But since I don't solder pin by pin I don't really need much space to work so never thought of it before :) I just "slide/drag" the flat iron tip
 

RealMFnG

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Late to the party, but does anyone know where I can swoop the Fujitsu Flash IC's? The link provided by the OP doesn't have anymore.
 
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RealMFnG

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You know what, this is academic. I read in another thread that you mentioned you cannot convert a 32mb SIMM to a 64mb SIMM. For my board, I need two 64mb SIMM's and one 128mb SIMM. I'd be saving like $30 at most. Had I been able to convert my four 32mb SIMM's to what I needed, then it would be worth pursuing. As is, not so much.

Perhaps I can donate my 32mb SIMM's to someone on this board that has a bare CPS3 that wishes to take on this project/challenge.
 

RealMFnG

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Strike that. I looked at my NG board and I need two 128mb SIMM's. That is about $70 in equity, enough for me to pursue this. And if it goes south, it is good experience for a novice skilled solderer like me to pick up some valuable surface mount soldering experience.

So the question is, where can I pick up the reverse pinout flash IC's?
 
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