Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Project planning

TLDR:
  • Support us on Indiegogo or Patreon if you can
  • What chips do you want to see next?
  • We might start reaching out to community for practice samples

You may have noticed we spit out a bunch of posts and then mostly went quiet.  While we've continued to move some chips through the pipeline, we've been focusing on a longer term project strategy.

The biggest issue to keep moving is ensuring sufficient funds.  Excluding existing equipment and our time, so far we've spent over $2500.  This includes supplies for a number of chips already in progress.  We love this project but need to find a balance between what we and the community contributes.

To that end, we are experimenting with fundraising platforms.  If you want to make a one time donation, support us on Indiegogo.  If you want to provide longer term monthly support, support us on Patreon.  Part of determining which chips we'll work on is what resources are available.  More resources allow us to work faster and mitigate risks.  For example, procuring practice samples before working on a rare chip.  To be clear, even if fundraising completely flops we'll continue to do what we can.

We realize that these platforms may not be ideal for everyone.  We are exploring some alternate methods such as PayPal.

Finally, we are compiling a list of chips to work on for Q1 2017.  Shout out in the comments below for what you'd like to see.

16 comments:

  1. First of all, congratulations for your efforts so far!! Your team is great and I'm really impressed with the results you guys achieved in these past few months. Since near all arcade games are already emulated, your project is what we were missing (and needing) the most!

    I've contributed with a few drivers in the past (Tokio being one of them) monetarily speaking, and if possible, I would like to contribute again. Not at this particular moment since my funds are dry, but hopefully in a near future :)

    The one MCU I would like to see emulated is the one from Jaleco's Saint Dragon. Yeah, I know... this is such an expensive and rare PCB but I have hope that somewhere in the future, we will be able to achieve this one.

    Keep with the great work people!! And keep posting the results here, I love reading them :D

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  2. As far as MCUs go, I'd like to see these decapped if possible:

    #38 Kiki Kaikai
    #78 - 80, #100 - 101 Gals Panic 1 and 2
    #99 B-Rap Boys
    #101 Jackie Chan
    #137 Earth Defense Force
    #209 Raiga Strato Fighter
    #232 Bonze Adventure
    #236 Rainbow Islands

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  3. if you guys can redump some bally midway games that are bad dumped that would be epic like blasted,xenophobe,sarge and list goes on

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    Replies
    1. Redumping is part of what I do. If things need to be redumps all you have to do is find them (the hard part) and then buy them and send them to someone who is capable of dumping them. CAPS0ff is concentrating on decapping only.

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  4. yeah, the Bally Midway games just have undumped PALs, those aren't used for emulation but could help with people repairing boards.

    getting an exact dump of protected PALs isn't always possible, but instead a PAL cracker created by Charles MacDonald is often used to figure out a functional equivalent, although there are still cases that it can't handle.

    Regardless of where you are in the world there are plenty of people on The Dumping Union with Charles' tools that can handle such tasks, so you have a good chance of finding somebody local, but it really is off-topic for a blog that concentrates on the decapping and readout of MCUs.

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  5. My wishlist:
    Fujitsu MB86233 DSP chips from Sega Model 1 boards
    Namco C68 from Namco System 2 boards
    Any other Namco chips that were used on System 2 boards (not sure which of the Namco chips on the list were used on which hardware systems)

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  6. #101 - uPD78324 TBSOP01 - Kaneko's "ToyBox" MCU 78000 series

    This would perfect many Kaneko games. Known games to use the ToyBox include: Gals Panic 3, Jackie Chan, Bonk's Adventure, Great 1000 Mile Rally, Blood Warrior. So the one chip would help several games. Same technique would then work on #100 PISCES getting the currently non working Gals Panic 2 series working. Then on to #99 which is close but a uPD78322 instead.

    #105 - Custom ROM graphics - More to means to allow for Guru's unshipped #275.
    #275 - Cross Shooter's graphics custom. There is NO KNOWN dump of the graphics, not even a bootleg copy. So a classic will never be playable without it.

    All the Taito C-Chips... start with Operation Wolf - Easy to come by and cheap if first attempts damage the chip.

    The Model 1 & Model 2 DSP chips to perfect the 3D world environment.


    Except for the custom graphics rom package for Cross Shooter, all of the above has some sort of simulation with varying degrees of accuracy. The decapps will fix issues many people might not even know exist. Or will further the 3D efforts for the Model 1/2 games.

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    Replies
    1. There are actually no known issues in MAME due to the ToyBox simulation, so having it emulated would be cleaning up the code only (although it would require a brand new CPU core before that happens)

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  7. I'd love to see the Sega model 2 customs decapped.

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  8. These aren't in the secured lists, but would be nice to finally see the NEC µPD7755C/µPD7756C ROMs (ADPCM speech chip used in certain Famicom and MSX games by Jaleco and Sony) and the Mitsubishi M50805 ROM (used in a Famicom game). AFAIK, these chips are undumpable and only "preserved" as a series of .wav samples.

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    Replies
    1. Just noticed #97 and #98, so these were used in arcades as well :) But it seems each game had its own unique set of samples, judging by the available .wavs from Famicom and MSX games.

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  10. Do you guys know if Atari Slapstics need to be dumped and emulated as well? Because AFAIK, MAME uses slapstic simulations done by Aaron Giles a long time ago (which are great imo) and not the actual slapstic dumps...

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    Replies
    1. the Slapstics aren't going to be MCUs, they'll be custom made logic devices, the 'simulation' could well be proper emulation already (on a MAME level)

      there will be other cases where things aren't MCUs at all, typically if a game gets an instant response from a device it's going to be custom logic, if there's some kind of wait loop and comms semaphores it's more likely to be an MCU. Not a hard and fast rule of course, but also one reason I doubt several of the chips are MCUs (including the Seibu stuff)

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  11. Taking this - http://arcade.vastheman.com/decap/ (oudated I think)

    my personal top priority:
    Bonze Adventure MCU
    Ghox - hd647180.021
    Air Raid/Cross Shooter GFX roms

    other (some of this games probably don't need dumps so badly as simulation of protection is good enough):
    Mighty Guy 1412M2 MCU
    Volfied, Operation Wolf MCUs
    XII Stag - upd78081
    Psycho Nics Oscar id8751h
    Chelnov, Karnov - i8751
    Battle Chopper - bchopper_i8751
    Image Fight - imgfight_i8751h
    Legend of Hero Tonma - loht_i8751
    Ninja Spirit - nin_c-pr.1c
    megasys1 mcus
    Kiki Kakai - a85-01.g8
    PGM remaining protection chips
    Onna Sansirou - a52-17.54c
    Rumba Lumber - a23-11.mc68705p5s
    1943 - bm.7k
    alpha68k MCUs (Sky Soldier, Time Soldiers)
    Guardian - a68_14.6a
    Wywern F-0 - a39_mcu
    Air Buster - i80c51
    Bionic Commando MCU - c8751h-88
    Finalizer - d8749hd
    Raiga, Wild Fang - a-6v
    zn driver - 78081g503.ic655

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  12. It's an odd request, but I'd like to see the 8088 and 8086 microcode decapped, delayered and dumped... A bunch of things about this CPU is a mystery...

    Oh yeah, also... Sky Destroyer/Cycle Maabou MCUs? :)

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