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Apocalypse

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I'm now thinking of what could be the next Irem multi amongst M81/M82/M84/M85.
I've tried to built the pros and cons:
  • M72
    • PROS: it exists, can support any M72/M81/M84/M85 game, doesn't require any soldering or hardware mod
    • CONS: price of the donor board
  • M81
    • PROS: easy to port games from the M72 multi, wouldn't require any soldering or hardware mod (to be confirmed), donor boards aren't too expensive (can be found for ~$200, there's few on ebay at the moment)
    • CONS: donor boards are quite rare
  • M82
    • PROS: used to be not that expensive
    • CONS: latest sales I've followed have ended in the $200/$250 range for a working board, games would have to be converted, all mask ROMs would have to be desoldered
  • M84
    • PROS: very common hardware
    • CONS: 2 different layouts for the romboard and 2 different layouts for the motherboard, games would have to be converted, all mask ROMs would have to be desoldered
  • M85
    • PROS: cheapest hardware in the lot
    • CONS: games would have to be converted, all mask ROMs would have to be desoldered, not too common hardware
Please feel free to comment, or give your PROS & CONS.
 

PascalP

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M72 is the best platform for this IMO, M81 is the only alternative.
You don’t want people desoldering the mask rom for the sake of going back the original (+ the potential of destroying boards)
 

Apocalypse

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M72 is the best platform for this IMO, M81 is the only alternative.
You don’t want people desoldering the mask rom for the sake of going back the original (+ the potential of destroying boards)
Some have pointed out the fact an installation service could be provided by people with the proper tools and skills like @Mitsurugi-w.
 

Hammy

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M82 8 -in 1 is almost there thanks to gadget's conversions :)

Not a plug in board, more of a wiring & rom kit.

Only missing games are ken and the M72 exclusives.

The m84 needs some love next i think.
 

Apocalypse

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M82 8 -in 1 is almost there thanks to gadget's conversions :)

Not a plug in board, more of a wiring & rom kit.

Only missing games are ken and the M72 exclusives.

The m84 needs some love next i think.
That's cool but M82 is sought after for the well known R-Type and R-Type II conversions thus is becoming too expensive and close in price to the cheapest M84 games.
Also rarer than M84 hardware, I'm afraid we'll face the same problem we have with M72: will there be enough M82 boards in the wild for everyone to enjoy the multi?
 
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RealMFnG

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M84. Simply because of increased ubiquity. The advantages are:
  1. Well, it is all about being able to play those games, and increased ubiquity enables this in a far greater reaching fashion
  2. I and the community, I am sure, all want you to have a nice ROI for your efforts
Increased ubiquity affords you these things. Cost isn't a factor because it all evens out as a part of the cost of entry for any arcade platform multi. It may not seem that way, but it clearly does even out. Here is the math for entry using your M72 Multi vs. the Darksoft CPS2 Multi as an example:

Given the end user does not have already in possession the donor boards,

Darksoft CPS2 Multi = $380 shipped
Donor CPS2 B-board = $150
Requisite CPS2 A-board = $100
Total = ~$630

Apocalypse M72 Multi = $150 + shipping
Donor M72 board = $500-$600
Total = $650-$750

Anyone looking at entry into an arcade platform multi is going to pay in that range on the high side at this point (Irem, Taito F3, CPS2, CPS3, MVS, Taito TTX2). At the lower price range are the ST-V, Naomi, Taito G-Net at about half that cost. So let's look at the math again for the M84 using the pricing you set for the M72 as a precedence:

Apocalypse M84 Multi = $150 + shipping
Donor M84 board = $200-$400
Installation Service for those without the tools, skills, patience = my rough estimate puts it at $100-$150, or $200
Total = $450 on the lower price range, -$700 on the higher end

As you can see, cost is not a factor. That is simply the reality for the cost entry on any arcade platform multi. The difference is ubiquity which affords the two items above. Plus the installers get some love too :).

One last thing, at $150 for the M72, obviously you are not doing this for the money and thank you for that; I still want to see you rewarded for your efforts.
 
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Apocalypse

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Yes, I think M84 could be a good candidate but I'm still undecided if I should do it:
- 2 different layouts for the romboard
- 2 different layouts for the motherboard
- 3 different CPUs: V30 for Hammerin Harry & R-Type II, V35 unencrypted for Cosmic Cop, V35 encrypted for Kengo

Nothing major between the CPUs apart for IRQs (3 commands sent through ports $40-42 on Nec V30, FINT instruction for V35, etc.) but that's additional work.

There are only 4 games on this hardware:
- Hammerin Harry
- R-Type II => not cheap
- Cosmic Cop => V35 CPU so games would have to be patched specifically
- Kengo => encrypted V35 CPU, could reuse Cosmic Cop patched games IF a way is found to run unencrypted code (maybe it's like on M92 with jumpers to be moved)

We end up with only one realistic donor: Hammerin Harry.
 

RealMFnG

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Then that throws the value of ubiquity mentioned above out the window. We still want you to be rewarded bud. Don't do it if you don't think there isn't an ROI in there for you. We'll just pay the premium for the M72 donor board which is offset by your generous pricing on the M72 multi.

So for those that have been gun shy on pulling the trigger on M72 donor boards, it all breaks down to about $600-$700 USD for the M72 multi. That is the going rate for any of the other high end multi's once you have all the pieces together at today's prices:
  1. Taito F3 mainboard + Sacrificial cart just for the shell + DS Multi
  2. CPS2 A-board + B-board donor + DS Multi
  3. CPS3 + SIMMS + Repro cart or conversion service
  4. Taito TTX2 + SSD Drive
  5. Negeo MVS + Multi
  6. Deco + Multi
Each one of these, hits the same price range the M72 multi is in. Many of you paid much less for the M72 donor boards, but doesn't change the fact that in today's market, you are sitting on hardware that has that value. If you already have say the F3 Multi, it is the same hit financially if you want the M72 multi. With the M72 donor boards probably being easier to acquire than the F3 mainboard, go figure.
 

sk8er000

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I would say M84 because there are some missing games in the m72:

- Cosmic cop
- Ken go
 

rewrite

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I would strongly prefer one of the options that doesn't require desoldering all the mask ROMs. Not only because it's a pain and I personally don't want to do it, but it's just asking for people to ruin boards by attempting it in hopes of saving some cash.

And @acblunden2 if you know anyone willing to pay 6-700 for a TTX2 multi I would sell mine tomorrow :P. But yeah, totally, everything adds up very quickly and an M72 wouldn't be out of line with the rest of the multis when you're done.
 

Apocalypse

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Is that a typo in the first post then about the M72 not needing any soldering?
No it's correct, M72 requires no soldering, only few jumpers to be moved but they are on header pins.
When I said it left only M81 I was in the optic of a future multi. M72 is part of the present ;)
 

RealMFnG

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And @acblunden2 if you know anyone willing to pay 6-700 for a TTX2 multi I would sell mine tomorrow :P. But yeah, totally, everything adds up very quickly and an M72 wouldn't be out of line with the rest of the multis when you're done.
$400 for PCB + $50 for SSD + $150+ for I/O and boom, you're at $600. Left out the I/O part in last post.

EDIT: Add in possible memory upgrade, CPU upgrade, graphics card upgrade and now you're much closer to $700.
 
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rewrite

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And @acblunden2 if you know anyone willing to pay 6-700 for a TTX2 multi I would sell mine tomorrow :P. But yeah, totally, everything adds up very quickly and an M72 wouldn't be out of line with the rest of the multis when you're done.
$400 for PCB + $50 for SSD + $150+ for I/O and boom, you're at $600. Left out the I/O part in last post.
I'd argue the I/O is part of a JVS cab and it's like saying a JAMMA loom should be included in the price of the other multis.

But I hadn't realized X2's have jumped up to 200-250 or so before shipping. I didn't buy mine THAT long ago and they were selling at 75-100 on Yahoo.

This makes me want to pick up another X3 before the same thing happens to those, heh.

This is all off-topic, I just was making a silly comment because I thought they were still cheap.
 
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