Jul 4th 2007: The Pengo Obsession Continues & Happy 4th of July
Well this should have been the June update (!)
So I got ahold of clone Pengo boardset that was missing the 25LS2519,
not exactly a common part to find, so it was time to build a
replacement. So, here's the quick project with schems and pcb
layout for anyone who wants to try making their own Pengo
IC74 / U74 replacement am25ls2519.
Note: This also works on an original Pengo boardset.
May 23rd 2007: Pengo Enhancement Pack
Ready at last.. all known bugs are squished like sno-bees
under an ice-block and all pre-orders have now shipped..
It's the Pengo
Enhancement Pack & High Score Saver
There's also still the free pengo high-score patch Pengo
high score save.
Apr 30th 2007: ZX-Spectrum Forever !
This probably should have been the march
update(!) April was the 25th anniversary of the awesome
old 8-bit computer the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum so what better time to
publish details of a for-fun project. My version of an
AT-keyboard interface to the zx-speccy, full source, schematics and
PCB layout provided. There are some more fun speccy projects I
should get around to documenting one day too....
Here is it Yet Another ZX-spectrum
AT Keyboard Interface....
Mar 2007: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado
March was spent driving across these states, not ALL
of the month, but some of it... and the Pikes Peak cog railway is
awesome Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Feb 28th 2007: Custom 54 Noise IC !
Now this is cool, the MAME folks have dumped the
intenal ROM from the Fujitsu micro-controller used to generate the noise sounds on
Galaga, Bosco and Xevious !
So apart from being a really excellent thing to do for the emulation of these
games, having the original ROM available helps me complete the long procrastinated replacement
for the 54xx.
My micro-controller implementation of the custom 54xx, Custom
54xx using an Atmel AVR
Jan 31st 2007: EAROMs, Score Savers & Encoders
A high score save project completed !! First one in
ages it seems and it's for a good game too (!)
Mr.Do's Castle high-score saver ! Patches and details for the 3
different versions of the game.
High Score Saver
for Mr. Do's Castle !
Updated the EAROM install guides Installing
the EAROM replacement on DigDug, Centipede and Millipede
Both V3 and V4 Encoders are in stock and shipping RGB
to video, s-video and component video encoders
Jan 1st 2007: What happened to 2006 ???
Will I manage an update a month this year ??
Dec 29th 2006: RGB Encoder Wiring Diagrams
Added a new page with the wiring diagrams and mounting templates for both the v3
and v4 encoders. Also the dimensions and wiring for the panel mount s-video and
phono connectors, along with how to hook up panel the mounts for the both the
RGB Encoder wiring
& mounting diagrams
Dec 14th 2006: Review of the V4 Component Video Encoder
Travis Brown at RetroBlast has completed a review of my component encoder. Get all the details at
RetroBlast RGB Encoder Review
Nov 16th 2006: Sync Cleaners
PCB's for the sync-cleaner boards arrived. Made a few
up for testing and all is working as expected. They'll help clean up
the video sync for games like Golden Tee 2K which can have real problems
with some TV's. It's designed to help with the
compatibility between games and TV. It work by taking the sometimes
whacky video sync from a gameboard and outputs a nice clean CMOS
level composite sync with 'standard' precise H + V sync width
This board also has the option of being able to take separate H + V
syncs input and output a composite sync, again with
standard sync width durations. This works really well with Q*Bert.
Pics of a sync cleaner. Video
Sep 5th 2006: Vectors Rule !! Custom 03xx completed..
First pics of my Random Scan, aka, XY vector monitor,
complete with fully custom wound yoke (!) Random
Scan XY Monitor conversion and a little yoke winding. I'm
now looking for a higher resolution tube, that one is 0.82mm dot pitch
and doesn't look 'great', drop me a line if you know about CRT tubes.
Decided to figure out another custom IC from the Atari/Midway/Namco
hardware. The 03xx ( CUS03) custom IC as I had no idea what the thing
did apart from it was something to do with the scroll function.
Results of a few hours analysis. Custom
IC 03 for Bosconian, Xevious and Pole Position.
Next up is the Atari AVG in a Xilinx XC95108, this is
a freeware project that I'll put all the details and
source/schematics. Expect that soon.... ish..
Aug 1st 2006: Cleaning up again....
Cleaning up the site again..
Need to add some project pages too after playing with old ZX-speccy stuff. Manic Miner is still a wickedly good game even after 20 odd years.
May 23rd 2006: All you ever wanted to know about the Namco CUS60 chip
This was the custom micro-controller used on Pacland,
Skykid, Rolling Thunder and on the later system 1 games. So after some
messing around with 6301's here's a new page dedicated to the CUS60,
63 and 64. Include schematics for a replacement board, code
patches and the source code.
an owners guide
Wow.. two updates in a month (!) Who knows I might
actually complete my ZX-speccy clone sometime in the next week as
May 8th 2006: Build Complete.. More parts available too...
Finished the build of the new v4.1 encoders, no functional changes from the previous version except the power LED has been moved to the bottom of the board
Also now have stock in for more of the gold plated panel mount phono
Panel Mount Phono Connectors
Available in Red, Green, Blue, Yellow and White.
I hope I've not missed replying to anyone who's enquired about encoders during this short interruption of normal service...
Nothing happened in March or April as far as I'm aware...
Feb 22nd 2006: Golden Tee Fore 2005 & Interesting sync's
Golden Tee Fore 2005 seems to be becoming ever more popular as the prices for the boardsets decline.
So I've been looking into the sync issues that affect some TV's when you run the boardsets with a video encoder.
As things just can't be simple, testing has found that some TV's have been fine, others have rolled vertically and some have just freaked out in very funky ways.
Under test at this very moment is a new sync-cleaner that should resolve the common problems. Except for TV's that just flat out reject anything other than a perfect 60Hz vertical sync.
It's a small 1" x 1.25" board which goes in-line with the encoder and the sync-output from the game.
It 'cleans up' the sync output from a game to the standard durations of the NTSC specification.
It's not restricted to Golden Tee but will also work with other games that can have problems with some TV's, for example Primal Rage.
Feb 2nd 2006: Not much just cleaning up
Busy building more component encoders, email for pricing and availablility ! More details on them over the next few days.
Wiring diagram and mounting templates to follow.
As a few folks have asked ALL models the v3 and v4 encoders are available without the phono and s-video connectors to aid in panel mounting.
Pics of a special project I didn't put up before
The worlds smallest encoder ?
A micro-NTSC encoder for the times when space is really at a premium, slated for a small production run if there is much interest. As much of a project in how small is too small to build (?!)
Jan 1st 2006: Happy New Year !!
Happy New Year !!
The RGB to component encoders are now available
(!) Also..gold plated Phono connectors in stock available in
red/green/blue & yellow. PLUS....
After several requests I'm adding a lower cost
component only version of the encoder. Click here to see
the new encoders .
Dec 5th 2005: First Pictures
One quick picture of next arcade product an RGB to video, s-video and component encoder.
Click here to see the first production
Pin headers for all outputs, RGB pass through and it'll also be available in component
video only form, if you don't need any of the other video outputs.
Oct 2005: Finished !!!!
Well.. I've finished a pretty big Oracle Apps implementation project which has absolutely nothing to do with Arcade stuff or games in general but has been taking up large parts of my life for the last 4 months or more..
But it's done, in production and working as well as Oracle apps 11.5.9 works in general. Now several thousand lines of customized code are done it's back to doing some updates to the site... oh.. and I got a CPS2 system.. hmmm.. not as much fun as the MVS
tho'.... and I really need to put the CUS60 stuff up.
Aug 6th 2005: What happened to June...
What happened to June? I think it evaporated. Now July seemed like I spent the whole
month on international flights and/or Jetlagged.. Time to get back to work on projects.
I finally picked up a Neo Geo MVS system, and I will say that Metal Slug is a LOT of fun. Yet another
May 30th 2005: Busy working on things...
Trying to keep my target of at least a monthly update
Finishing up a new page all about the Namco custom IC the 'CUS60'.
This is a modified Hitachi 6301 with a couple of new op-codes. The
HD6301 is basically a super Motorola MC6801. This micro-controller has
4k of internal ROM and was used as the sound chip on a few mid to late 80's games
like Skykid, Rolling Thunder and Metrocross. I'll be putting up
the base schematics for a replacement carrier PCB plus the source code
to make the replacement work just like an original CUS60.
Apr 6th 2005: Custom IC 51xx Install guide, a GAL for Atari
Rampart, Dig Dug Freeplay, Reactor Score saver !
The 51xx I/O controller replacement for Galaga,
Bosconian, Xevious, Digdug and Pole Position are now in stock and I've
added the installation guide for Galaga and Bosconian. This is the
large 42pin IC which handle control inputs, start buttons and coin
51xx Install Guide
Replacement GAL for Rampart ! Just finished a
replacement for custom IC location 8M on the Rampart board, this is a
24pin GAL20v8 that's programmed to be an address bus multiplexer. The
Atari part# is 136082-1004 .
Source code and JEDEC files for a GAL22v10 or GAL20v8 are here Rampart
136082 - 1004 Replacement GAL
Never actually added these patches to the arcade pages (!) A
Freeplay mode for Dig dug, includes instructions and source code and
the high-score saver for Gottlieb's Reactor which also includes
source. Visit The
Arcade and Save
Our High Scores for details
Mar 20th 2005: Xevious & Bosconian High Score Saver Kits
Two new high-score kits are available for Xevious and
These are plug in kits which fit into the main CPU socket of the
board. It adds an EEPROM for saving the scores and some additional
program code for performing the saves. The Xevious kit also adds a
Freeplay mode, both also have the feature of keeping the attract mode
playing even when the game is coined.l
Details can be found here Bosconian
High Score Saver Install Guide and here Xevious
High Score Saver Install Guide.
The RGB to NTSC video TV encoders are still available and in
RGB to NTSC Video Encoder - Click to view
Mar 13th 2005: Food Fight GAL Replacement
Replacement for the 82S153 / PLS153 programmable logic array
used on Food Fight. I've reversed the logic to allow for the use
of a standard GAL16v8, a much easier to find and program part. A new
page with source code and JEDEC's can be found here Foodfight PLS153 / 82S153 to GAL replacement
Finally some updates (!) More comming this week too....
Jan 1st 2005: It's a whole New Year !!
Happy new year to all !!
Finishing off testing of a Xevious high-score save kit ( finally for
those who've been asking ).
This one also adds in a Freeplay mode and retains the attract mode
when coined up. Testing is underway of a digdug high-score
saving kit that doesn't require the -29v write voltage for the EAROM,
so if you have a JAMMAtized DigDug it'll save the scores. This also
has the attract mode when the game is coined up
Also why do parts go End-of-Life when I build something with them
??? I'm having to recode the 51xx replacement as the part used
has gone EOL and I have to convert to the replacement.. bleah.. It all
takes up time....
Nov 18th 2004: Nebulous Bee color Correction
bootleg Galaga board Nebulous Bee has some funky color weightings,
resulting in some odd looking colors (!) Here's a simple fix to
correct the color weightings, this is similar to the Gallag color fix
for the pink text. Check the arcade projects page for details Arcade
Other Bits & Pieces
Sep 14th 2004: Updated Obsolete Datasheets page
Updated the obsolete datasheets pages with the two new scans. One for the AM2901 'B'
revision and a new scan of the AM2901 'A' revision. Follow this link for the archive Obsolete parts Datasheet archive
Jul 14th 2004: Video Encoders in stock & more custom IC's being built
More custom IC's are under construction. The Galaga sound replacement is under test and will be
available very soon ( or not )
Jun 12th 2004 : Hopping Mappy page added !
A new hardware hack page added, converting a Rolling Thunder to
the elusive "Hopping Mappy". Full story and pics of how to
do the conversion. I did this hack back last November, but
never got the page linked (!)
Follow the link for all the details Rolling
Thunder to Hopping Mappy Conversion
New LCD panel page, also added a link from the Arcade page on
how to convert a Gamevue playstation panel to run with raw RGB +
sync input. Really useful as a portable test screen for
gameboards. Follow the link for details LCD
panel fun !
Mar 15th 2004 : Two more custom IC replacements available !!
The first few boards are made up ! As this is the initial run they're not as fancy as the others.
No soldermask or silk screen, but they're fully functional and will be up for sale shortly.
For Galaga/Bosco/Dig Dug/Pole Pos etc.
It's the big 42pin IC
that counts counts, handles control inputs and flashed the start buttons.
Upclose and personal pic of the 5100.
Here's one in-place on a Xevious boardset
and Galaga Galaga replacements
For Galaga/Bosconian/Dig Dug/Pole Pos/Xevious. This is a 28pin interface chip between the system bus and the I/O bus.
See the galaga & xevious pics for one in-place on the board.
All the old news from years past is here !!