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Joe

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With an approaching battery replacement cycle on my four CPS2 games, I am left with somewhat of an existential crisis. Do I keep them on batteries, preserving their original state, or move to a battery-free solution, like Infinikey, to safeguard against leaks? Most of the time they are being stored and not played (unfortunately).

Having seen online the damage caused by battery leaks, I am leaning towards a battery apocalypse and removing them all. Being woefully inept with technology I don't know if there are risks with battery free solutions (e.g. any potential downside to reloading keys into ram each time it's switched on etc.?).

Can someone who has gone though similar indecision offer their views? If this is to go battery free, is there anything I need go be aware or consider? Thanks
 

nem

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Honestly, I can't think of any good reason to keep them on battery. If you're using an Infinikey (or similar) all of the code is the same. Instead of the keys been stored in memory, they just get injected at every boot. What's the difference?

If we're arguing about preserving them in their original state, what's the difference between replacing the factory battery with another battery and an Infinikey? Neither is original and in both cases you're tampering with the hardware. Hell, you might even have a security pin that you have to take off. Not OG!
 

RealMFnG

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Before the non-battery solutions were available, I bought a ton of batteries for my B-boards and CPS3 stuff. During a mass battery swap, I killed a B-board. There just wasn't enough charge in the caps to hold the keys active. So you'll run that risk too if you decide to battery swap. You won't have that risk with the non-battery solutions as a charge is not required.

When undamned announced the Infinikey, I organized a group buy. Killed all my on battery B-Boards and installed the Infinikey's. Was able to rescue that killed B-board and was happy I didn't have to repeat the activity every few years. Acquired more CPS2 boards later, some dead, some on battery. Ran out of Infinikey's, but I have an order pending with Digikey. aje_fr's Suicide Free mod chip came out, I already have a programmer, a soldering iron, and went with that solution.

No brainer: Battery free > Battery life.
 

Joe

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Thanks Nem/Real - appreciate the views. All valid points. I have actually already bought the Infinikey, but been procrastinating on whether to take the plunge and remove the battery, so you might have given me the push I needed!
 

ekorz

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preserving-arcade-games-42-638.jpg

They don’t call them suicide batteries for nothing
 

Joe

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preserving-arcade-games-42-638.jpg

They don’t call them suicide batteries for nothing
A picture is worth a thousand words! The sum of all fears. Just as I'm about to sleep (Japan time), this will give me nightmares, but thanks for sharing :)
 

Mechanos71

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Doesn’t the Darksoft cps2 multi allow you to rewrite the keys? I think given the current state if you want to stay on battery you can. If you want to remove your batteries you can. I think the only real risk of using a battery is it leaking and damaging the board and the costs of batteries. So I guess in some ways it’s a matter of preference. If I were in your shoes, I would consider removing all my batteries and getting a Darksoft multi. Use that to play whatever game suits your fancy on one board and resuscitate your other boards whenever you feel like it.
 

RealMFnG

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Using the Darksoft Multi to rewrite the keys is possible, but the most cumbersome way of doing that task.

The OP has several original B-boards. I am sure he might have a multi in there too, maybe not. He wants to preserve the discreet B-Boards for his collecting purposes. We are just chiming in on the merits of the battery-free alternative.
 

undamned

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Whether you go InfiniKey, one of the PIC solutions (there are multiple), or Arduino Nano (I think they are like $3?), I say get rid of your batteries ASAP. I first made CPS2 InfiniKey for myself because my collection was growing to the point where the thought of changing batteries on all those games every few years seemed dreadful. And even if I recently changed the batteries it was still some ticking time-bomb in the back of my mind and I was never fully confident in their safety.

And if you find you have a version of a game that's not supported (let's say GigaWing Europe), it's a great opportunity to get it dumped and added to MAME for preservation. I just did that with 1944 Europe.
-ud
 

Joe

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Whether you go InfiniKey, one of the PIC solutions (there are multiple), or Arduino Nano (I think they are like $3?), I say get rid of your batteries ASAP. I first made CPS2 InfiniKey for myself because my collection was growing to the point where the thought of changing batteries on all those games every few years seemed dreadful. And even if I recently changed the batteries it was still some ticking time-bomb in the back of my mind and I was never fully confident in their safety.

And if you find you have a version of a game that's not supported (let's say GigaWing Europe), it's a great opportunity to get it dumped and added to MAME for preservation. I just did that with 1944 Europe.
-ud
Thanks - the ticking is getting louder I admit, and I have even moved them to the bottom shelf because of an irrational fear the leak will escape the box and infiltrate the games below (re Aliens movie) :) so perhaps a sign it's time to remove the batteries. Thank you for your innovation in designing the Infinikey. I bought a number of them a while back, but just been hesitating on the installation.

This should stop most of the ticking (the only one that will remain is a DDP Daioujou black label I have. This will probably never have a solution given the audience is too small to justify putting in the time to design it, commercially speaking. With my luck you can guarantee this will be the one battery that has the catastrophic failure! :))
 

rememberizer

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I use the Arduino thing on the 20 or so CPS2 boards that I have. No real reason to stay on batteries.... except when you have games that have no available keys. My Puzz Loop 2 Asia and Mars Matrix Asia are still on batteries because of that. I almost killed them, too! Glad I checked the list of keys before I did that!

I CAN actually dump them but where do I send the roms?
 

undamned

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My Puzz Loop 2 Asia and Mars Matrix Asia are still on batteries because of that. I almost killed them, too! Glad I checked the list of keys before I did that!

I CAN actually dump them but where do I send the roms?
Nice! You can send to code [at] mamedev [dot] org. They like to have a photo of the EPROMs on the board, too. Naming is arbitrary, but I name mine like "NFFE.03", "NFFE.04", etc. so that the original label name and ROM location are retained.
-ud
 

rememberizer

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Thanks! I'll do the Puzz Loop when I stop feeling lazy about it. The board is really heavy and has a buttload of small eproms instead of the normal amount of mask roms.
 

idc

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No real reason to stay on batteries.... except when you have games that have no available keys. My Puzz Loop 2 Asia and Mars Matrix Asia are still on batteries because of that. I almost killed them, too! Glad I checked the list of keys before I did that!

The Mitchell games use the same key for all regions. Still a different key for each title, but region swaps for the same game are possible.

Using the Puzz Loop 2 Euro or Japan key will most likely work on your Asia board.
 
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