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Rukas

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Hi All,

I have a Version 2 Darksoft board and a Xmen VS SF PAL F board that was working okay.
The board I own is not suicided and still has the OG red battery installed.

The A board would run XvsSF with some missing sounds like dragon punch and the music would come in and out, graphics and sprites are fine.
The game itself played fine so rather than troubleshoot the sound issues I thought about using the darksoft board for multigame goodness.

This went fine and everything was plugged in as per the new darksoft instructions PDF and I had 2 SD cards (1 with decrypted roll up, & the other with the new 2020 pack from archive.org) https://archive.org/download/darksoft
When the key writing cable is plugged in the games boot to the RAM\CPU check screen and freeze. The background is also red not black like it is usually. When its not plugged in I get the light blue or just black screen.
As I have the latest darksoft board I have not explored any of the soldering options. I have shorted the EXC5 capacitor also just as a troubleshooting step.
The board is a Rev 6 PAL F board.

Decided I may aswell try and go back and use the OG romchips and fix the sound and install the darksoft board on a dead Pal G A board I have coming from ebay.
Now when I boot the A board it just displays a light blue screen just like the darksoft was doing initially when installed.

The battery reads 3.6V from each end and doesnt seem to be flat. Is it possible that the darksoft attempted to overwrite the OG keys and now the board just wont boot at all?
Sorry about the poor quality information I'm new to CPS gear.

So my main question is can I get my xvssf working again? or is this board dead now and need to be infinkeyed or install the darksoft into it again and just accept the OG xvssf wont work anymore?

Thanks in advance
Tim
 

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BlinG

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I don't believe you can leave the battery in place for Darksoft installation. You need to remove it, then short EXC5
 

jassin000

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Correct, battery must be removed for key writing... Otherwise the board won't forget the previous key value, thus won't accept a new key value.
Solid color screens are normally a sign of suicide/incorrect or otherwise missing key(s).
 

jassin000

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Is it possible that the darksoft attempted to overwrite the OG keys and now the board just wont boot at all?
Yes that is literally how the kit works.
Only it won't overwrite, rather you blanked the key yourself when you shorted EXE5/CC1.

Snip off the battery and put the DS kit back on... Your OG ROMs will NOT work unless you restore the original key or use a decrypted/phoenix version.
The board is now suicide/forgotten its OG key, but this is required for DS kit to be installed (so just continue as normal).
 

ekorz

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You actually need to “kill” the board first, to use the multi, like others are saying. Cut the battery off.

But there is no “killing” nowadays anyway. If you want, when you’re done with the multi, you can restore the original keys and use your original roms again through various methods. (But who wants to do that once a multi is installed??? I’m just saying you can if you want)
 

Rukas

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Thanks for the info guys. I made the stupid mistake of using a non dead board for the multi which I assume has now caused this cascade of problems.

Ill take off the battery when I get home, short EXC5 and go again.
When not using key written roms is it ok to only have one of the keywriters connectors loose on the new board? its a pain in the ass trying to get to the A-board connector.

Also as I have a F board will I need to switch that out for a G chip? Ive seen people running traces on the old darksoft board from the 7th or 8th pin on that chip. Does the latest darksoft board need that?

Thanks for the help guys im a major noob at this.
 

jassin000

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When not using key written roms
Why would you ever do this? ROMs that do not require a key are decrypted to a NULL/0 value...
Yes they *should be identical to encrypted ROMs that have been decrypted by the actual system.
However we've actually found some very minor differences (ie I can't guarantee ANY decrypted ROMs are 100% accurate to the originals for this reason and stopped even trying to verify if they are).
Ive seen people running traces on the old darksoft board from the 7th or 8th pin on that chip. Does the latest darksoft board need that?
I don't believe so, but you should ask @Darksoft or review the latest install directions.
I have the older kit, and yes it was needed at that time.
 

jassin000

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I made the stupid mistake of using a non dead board for the multi which I assume has now caused this cascade of problems.
Oh almost forgot... Nothing wrong with this approach guy, I did the same with my kit.
As @ekorz mentioned the idea of "killing" CPS2 B-boards is a thing of the past now... You can restore the original battery, rewrite the original key and replace the OG ROMs.

You can even make conversions this way, and if you have/can use real mask ROMs the resulting board will be identical to an original.
Due to Capcom reworking boards internally at the factory, no one could ever say beyond the shadow of a doubt this wasn't the case (aka still think that original Progear/SSF2T is worth 800$ spoiler its not). ;)
 

ekorz

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The only way to really kill a B board, nowadays, is to leave the battery ON and have it leak all over your pcb. Remove all batteries even if they’re not being used for multis! Install infinikeys.
 

ShootTheCore

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You don't have to worry about changing B Board jumper settings or the PAL anymore with the Revision 2 CPS2 Multi. Please note the second paragraph from the Installation Manual:

Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 9.38.26 PM.png
 

Rukas

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All right little update.

After removing the battery and re-shorting I put the darksoft back in with the 2020 roms and whole kit hooked up nicely.

Initial boot up went to the old trusty light blue screen. After a poweroff and a little twist and press of the components again it fired up.
Flicked on X-men COA and it booted in with no issues other than character models being distorted. Reloaded same game same thing (Romset might be no good?).

Switched to SSF2X, no issues other than a strange set of 0000x00 in a part of the lower left screen.
Powered off again and checked connectors and fired up. The game worked flawless.
Tried around 6 games from the 2020 pack and all have worked fine and have sound at boot once the demo mode is turned on.
Tried a couple of others mostly xmen vs games, vamp savior and a couple of others have torn sprites like the pic attached.

Some takeaways from my experience other noobs may find useful.

* The new kit requires none of the old soldering changes to jumpers or PAL chip swapouts mostly regardless of board rev.
* The new kit is extremely easy to install most of the issues are to do with connectivity with the pinsockets and having everything seated properly.
* Try not to use SD cards that exceed 16GB I found every one of them failed to detect regardless of brand.
* Its worth buying the longer cable for the screen as I cbf getting down on the floor all the time
* infinkeys are a must if you ever want to reuse your old legit roms


Thanks to everyone that sent me down the right path its most appreciated. I'm off to try and find a CPS2 kick harness for the blast now and figure out these broken sprites.

tldr : Working good with minor game sprite issues
 

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nam9

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Start by reseating your A&B Board. See if that clears things up.
Next would be ensuring the kit is seated fully - then remove and reseat if that isn't it.
It's going to be a physical connection issue, not a Romset one for sure...
 

BlinG

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yes, those sprite issues is most defintely a connection issue with either the darksoft kit or the A and B board not mating well. Reseat the darksoft kit or give it a little snug to make sure all connections are making good contact. I had that exact sprite issue with my kit and it was because one of the pins from the darksoft kit broke.
 

ekorz

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Sd cards have to be type SDHC not SDXD, probably that’s your issue with the >16gb ones.
 

jassin000

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Try not to use SD cards that exceed 16GB I found every one of them failed to detect regardless of brand.
infinkeys are a must if you ever want to reuse your old legit roms
I'm currently using a 32GB Samsung Evo, it works fine provided I format it MBR:FAT32 with Minitool Partition Magic first.
I will admit 32GB is rather unnecessary for a collection of this size however.

Infinkeys are protection, and a perfect solution to revive boards that have already suicided.
As @ekorz said, why anyone wouldn't cut a battery off in favor of an infinkey install today is beyond me.
 

ShootTheCore

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If those batteries aren't removed then you might end up with a mess like this trauma I found hiding on my CPS3 board. Pull those batteries people!

EuKWG86VIAA70LC-2.jpeg
 

ekorz

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oh god that's yours?
sad part is I don't think the battery under there does literally anything.
 

jassin000

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sad part is I don't think the battery under there does literally anything.
I think in Red Earth it retains the high score table between power cycles. ;)
Its def NOT worth the risk to keep it!
 
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