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Thread: So I think I almost got this repro thing down. Correct me if i'm wrong!

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    Peach (Level 3) greedostick's Avatar
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    Default So I think I almost got this repro thing down. Correct me if i'm wrong!

    Spent probably 15 hours the last 2 days, 10 of which have been today, researching on how to make my own NES and SNES conversions. The information seems to be scattered around, with the only real help sifting through forum posts finding links to obscure websites. If I get the responses I hope for, I would like to write a whole FAQ after I get a few repros under my belt, that explains everything from A-Z. Here is what I gather up to this point about making a repro, in order.

    1. Find a NES or SNES rom that has never been released in the states. Splice the rom using either cajoNES or SNEStool, depending on whether the rom is NES or SNES.

    2. Gather all the tools I need.

    A. One 15-25 watt soldering iron (preferebly with a temp gauge)
    B. Flux
    C. Electric Tape
    D. Tweezers
    E. Small plastic coated stranded wire (28 gauge) (IDE wire is ideal)
    F. A dremel with thin diamond cutting wheel or flush cutters. (for cutting off roms from PCB)
    G. If need a "CR2032" Battery, if save data is needed.
    H. 1 reverse torque game bit for opening cartridges.
    I. One de-soldering pump
    J. One EPROM Programmer, with a wall adaptor for power, USB compatable. (this is overwhelming)
    K. Necessary rom chips. (this is confusing as well)
    L. EPROM eraser

    3. Find a donor cart by going to here...
    http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/home.php

    Can also lookup all NES carts and PCB types.

    4. Open game, clean it, then de-solder, or cut away necessary roms with dremel or cutters.

    5. Format rom chip to make sure it's good to use. Burn new rom to chips using programmer. Place new rom chips with new game image where they need to go, and re-wire from the bottom of the PCB using mappers, and replace battery if needed. I know a lot more goes into this, but that's basically it. Find out where everything needs to be jumped and solder it all together.

    6. Play game.

    Now here is where my troubles begin. I have a few friendly people who have recommended programmers to me. All I want to do is make NES and SNES reproductions for myself, and update my universe bios chip for my Neo Geo.

    Overwhelming issues that are giving me a headache.

    First, What is a cheap, but not cheaply made programmer that is user firendly and USB based with a option to use a power supply?

    Secondly, how do I determine what chips I need to burn the rom files to? And is there a FAQ or good book somewhere that can teach me what all the numbers on a rom chip mean, how much data they hold, exc.. This is my main problem. I have no idea what chips I need to be buying?

    Third, SNEStool, and cajoNES do not seem to work on my windows 7 laptop. What are the alternatives? Preferebly windows 7 compatable version.

    Forth, is there a guide somewhere that can teach me how to determine what need to be jumped when I am soldering on a new chip? I found these...

    http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/...OM_Pinouts.txt

    http://www.nesdev.com/NES%20EPROM%20Conversions.txt

    I really think if I could get this whole mapping down I could do one of these pretty easily. From what I gather mapping is determining where I need to solder new wires (if needed), when placing a new rom on the PCB of my donor cart, after removing the original chip (game rom), also called a mask rom.

    I know that's a lot of stuff. But I assume a lot of people have been interested in this and gave up, because it's all to overwhelming. But in reality it seems really simple just confusing with all the information scattered around the internet. If someone would be kind enough to PM me and let me call them and have a chat that would be ideal. Hopefully this post gets some other members who had the desire to do this in the past the motivation they need to get started and get a real FAQ written that isn't just how to do it, but Why you need to do the things you do, and the science behind it.

    Thanks for your time if you made it this far!

  2. #2
    Insert Coin (Level 0) ClubGhost's Avatar
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    I'm interested in finding this out as well, I'm not really sure what constitutes a good eprom programmer myself.

    The only thing I've run across is a website selling chips burnt with a rom of your choice (http://www.gamereproductions.com) but I'm not even sure if it's a good deal at that price point.

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    Peach (Level 3) greedostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClubGhost View Post
    I'm interested in finding this out as well, I'm not really sure what constitutes a good eprom programmer myself.

    The only thing I've run across is a website selling chips burnt with a rom of your choice (http://www.gamereproductions.com) but I'm not even sure if it's a good deal at that price point.
    I found a ton of info. I'm going to post later. I suggest signing up at www.nintendoage.com so you can view the Ezines. There are 3 really good issues. I can't post links to these, as you have to register on the website to view them. Once you register look to the left side of the homepage, and click on the "jump to" tab, and select "Ezines".

    Issue 01 2008- How to replace a battery

    Issue 09 - How to make a Earthbound Zero NES cart

    Issue 10 - How to make a Beast Busters SNES cart.

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    Pear (Level 6) Sabz5150's Avatar
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    Since I am armpit deep in repro'ing hardware and such, I will answer a few of the questions you are asking.

    First, a cheap USB EPROM burner will be hard to find... hardware to make it happen is pricier. A parallel port burner has much simpler off the shelf chips, so it is much cheaper. The "Willem" programmer (eBay Willem eprom) is an excellent first-timer burner that does everything you need for NES games and can be expanded to handle SNES games (NES games usually require 28 or 32 pin chips, but SNES often requires 40 pin). There are USB burners and I am sure that they work just as well as the Willem so its all about personal desire and pocket depth.

    EPROM chips. This is nowhere near confusing as you would imagine. The numbers on the chips are easy to get around. 27C is the chip type, the numbers afterwards denote the size. a 27C512 EPROM would be 512kilobits in size and a 27C040 would be 4megabits in size (note the emphasis). Sound easy? It is. Now, as for what size chip to use... thats where we turn the difficulty knob up one notch. Remember where I emphasized "bits"? That's because there is a difference between a 512 kilobit file and a 512 kilobyte file. In order to easily figure out what size you need, take your cajoNES'd PRG or CHR file and punch that size into Google as follows:

    Suppose your file is 32 kilobytes in size...

    Google: 32 kilobytes in kilobits (type it just like that)

    Google returns: 32 kilobytes = 256 kilobits

    You require at least 27C256 chip to burn this image. Don't have one but have a 512 instead? Copy the image file into itself, doubling the size (an EPROM ***MUST*** be filled to capacity to be used).

    copy /b file.prg + file.prg file512.prg

    That command will append your PRG to itself, doubling the size exactly, which is what you want.


    Hopefully this helps out, I will answer any other technical questions I can so feel free to ask!
    Last edited by Sabz5150; 08-14-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    You don't need Google to convert between bits and bytes. There are 8 bits in 1 byte.

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    Pear (Level 6) Sabz5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madman77 View Post
    You don't need Google to convert between bits and bytes. There are 8 bits in 1 byte.
    I was just giving him an easy button. I do math all day so its nice to have something do it for me once in a while
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