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Franco23444

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Hello everyone! I have acquired this Namco system 246 driving chassis around 2 weeks ago. I got it for really cheap and wasn’t expecting much, probably a huge paper weight. It came from a ridge racer v cabinet and it was untested. It came with its I/O pcb and original CD drive but no internal power supplies or dongle. When I got it, it was in pretty decent shape apart from a slight bend on the chassis holding the PlayStation 2 motherboard (the board is ok though). My first thought was how to power up the system. The system uses a 1X4 female molex connector but has the same colored wires and pinout as a the other 2X6 systems. I had some spare 12 pin to 6 pin power boards from some broken 246 B pcbs and used those. The system and the I/O pcb works perfectly fine. The cd drive came with a pretty beat up burned copy of Ridge racer V. I tested the system with other drives and games and they all booted up properly. Since this version of the pcb doesn’t have dip switches, 31khz 480p can’t be used. My question now is: what can I really do with it? Would anyone else be interested in it? How rare are these systems?
 

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Mrhide

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Did you have to use the the Namco V257 STR board ?

Do you have a V320 ? Can you see if Ridge Racer works with it or is it really only the 257 that works?!

if so I might be interested :)
 
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Franco23444

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Did you have to use the the Namco V257 STR board ?

Do you have a V320 ? Can you see if Ridge Racer works with it or is it really only the 257 that works?!

if so I might be interested :)
Im in the process of trying to find the STR feedback pcb. I found a compatible racing wheel but this game looks extremely daunting to setup. This is one of the few games I want to setup because I like the PlayStation 2 version of the game. I will try to hunt down and try both STR pcbs for compatibly and write up my findings. Someone here on an earlier post has mentioned that the V320 STR pcb is compatible but it really hasn’t been documented. Both the V257 and V320 pcbs look nearly identical. I will keep you updated! :)
 

Franco23444

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Well, I was able to wire up everything and since I couldn’t find a V257 or V194 STR pcb, I settled on using a V320 STR pcb. The same one used for the “newer” Wangan midnight games and Mario Kart arcade. Well, it did not boot. I double checked my connections ; kept testing but no luck. I’m suspecting that the V320 STR pcb might be the issue. I get motor error 20 on the screen. The wheel steers a bit to the left but then locks up when it tries going to the right. Even though the V320 pcb works, im thinking that is has something to do with the roms. This board uses rom version “MKA1 STR0A” while both the V257 and V194 use “RRV(X) STR0-A”. I’m thinking that both boards should be compatible despite the V320 pcb being a newer version but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I was lucky enough to find someone selling a V257 STR pcb so I bought one and now I have to wait and see what happens. Kinda disappointed but if I can’t play ridge racer V then I’ll just convert this game pcb to Wangan Midnight and sell the whole thing as a set.
 

Franco23444

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Ok, update #2: I popped in Wangan Midnight as a little test and it does the same exact thing with the steering wheel. I’m fairly certain that it’s an issue with the STR pcb. The steering wheel I got came from a Ridge Racer V machine btw.
 

Franco23444

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I was looking around for some pictures of Wangan Midnight and came across some pictures. Someone has modified their system and use a Dreamcast racing wheel and pedals to play. As you can see, it doesn’t use the STR pcb. I’ll most likely attempt something like that.
 

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Franco23444

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I got another 32mb ram card in the mail today and Wangan Midnight finally works. It was able to boot properly. I was also able to play the game for a while. Pretty interesting racer. It does need 64MB of ram to boot. At least I got 2 246 racing games working (Wangan Midnight and Wangan Midnight R).
 

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Franco23444

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Still have the system in my possession and I had been noticing some weird things with the way the system behaved. First of all, it does take quite a while for it boot. Sometimes taking as long as 5 minutes. Didn’t think much about it. I also thought the dongle might have been dirty so I gave it a good clean on the contacts. The system got to a point that it wouldn’t even boot. So, I took it fully apart for the first time and I was in for a surprise! The ribbon cable for the PlayStation controllers was totally demolished, looks like someone has been in here before. I’m surprised the system still booted with this ribbon cable, I have replaced it with another one I had laying around. The main PlayStation 2 motherboard is a GH-004 PlayStation 2 motherboard. I actually do have a PlayStation 2 fat with this exact same main board and I think it’s pretty neat. Now, the system seems to boot properly with the new ribbon cable installed. Hopefully this fixed this unexpected issue. :)
 

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Franco23444

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Some unfortunate news my fellow friends, one of the ram cards have gone bad. Would it be possible to fix it by replacing the bad ram?
 

Franco23444

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I checked it with bloody roar 3 (with the multi) as I put away the rest of my games into storage at the moment. BR3 has a RAM check and I was able to see which pcb was bad.
As for fixing it, I do have a hot air station and a coupe of 246 B motherboards I can pull the RAM off of. Hopefully I can pull it off and fix it myself. If not, hopefully someone can help me out?
 

Franco23444

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First thing first, I’ll reflow the ram card and see what happens.
 

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Well, reflowing it revived it for a bit until it freezes on the demo mode for BR3. One or both of the RAM chips on the RAM card have gone bad. Luckily the other RAM card that came stock with the PCB is good. I will order some flux once I get the whole moving to a new place situation “situated”. It’s been a hectic month lol!
 

Franco23444

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I actually found my flux while packing things and went ahead and removed both RAM chips off the card using my hot air station. This was extremely daunting for me as this is the first time I actually tried to remove SMD ICs. This RAM card was inexpensive but it’s still a rare piece. I did practice a bit on some old pcbs and got the hang of it. I still need to salvage the RAMS off an old board but one of the 246 PCBs has Samsung chips and the other has Hyundai RAM chips. Is it a good idea to mix both brands? Does it even matter? What is a good temperature to remove the chips without damaging them?
 

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Franco23444

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I have some other ideas I would also like to try out, especially trying to use that V320 STR (B) pcb. I got a broken V257 STR pcb and I’ll take off that ROM it has (RRV1) and solder it on. It should be interesting. Heck, it might help someone in the near future who wants to do the exact same thing that I’m doing now :)
Also, converting a stock GH-006 PlayStation 2 motherboard to a Namco system 246 PlayStation motherboard. I’ll make a separate thread for that if it turns out successful. I’m hoping that the extra circuits for composite or S-Video would work. If it works, I’ll definitely take some pics.
 
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Franco23444

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Well, good news my fellow friends! I was able to repair the broken RAM card today as the new replacement DRAM chips came. They were quite expensive ($12 a piece) but with some good liquid flux and a steady hand, it’s repaired! If anyone is curious, I did remove some ram chips off a couple of dead Namco 246 P Mother boards and they didn’t work, I’m not sure if they were also dead or my hot air station somewhat damaged them or caused micro cracks. I suspect that dying ram might be an issue with these systems in the near future. One of the symptoms of dead ram(s) on these systems is the attract demo mode locking up. The intros will always play unless they are using in game graphics. The buffer ram is the exact same except that it won’t boot anything up at all. Seems to be an issue with the system 246 driving and A pcbs though. I’ll post pics of the system working and of my hideous solder work lol! I also got something awesome but I haven’t gotten it to work yet unfortunately.
 

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