Friday, June 8, 2018

Raiden DX custom Audio IC: HB-45A reproduction

I recently had a chance to test HB-45A’ reproduction chip built by Caius on the KLOV and Arcade-Projects forums.  He also posts regularly on, check out his repairs and custom chip post!  His works are excellent.

Since he didn't have a working Raiden DX to test this custom on, I offered to test it for him, in hopes that I can have working audio for many more years to come. These Seibu boards are notorious for Audio failures due to these custom IC's failing.

First I de-soldered the old IC, using my new Hakko FR-300. Wonderful tool, made this step of the process go very quickly. I had to de-solder 20 pins which took about 5 mins using the FR-300, which would have normally taken me over an hour with my old soldapullt sucker! It's a hellava lot cleaner and less prone to burning pads/traces!
(de-soldered clean!)

I then installed a new machined socket for the Custom to plug into.

Finally, Caius' HB-45A reproduction was inserted into the socket, and I proceeded to do some testing.

I haven't been able to hear any differences in quality between the old and new chips. Comparing the music at the beginning and end sound identical. The effects also sound the same.  There might be a slight variance if you were to analyze the signals, but that would be the same deal even if you compared to different boards with the original Audio IC's.

Big thanks goes out to Caius and his work on this. It's a beautiful replacement and I hope that the audio will keep working for many, many years to come!

Bonus: Here's a shot of my control panel with matching ship colours!

CPS1 "Dash" & Kick Harness Upgrade

Had a couple projects I needed to finish recently.  This time its more hardware related.

I picked up an old Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting (aka Turbo) for a good price, but noticed that this board had a 10mhz oscillating crystal.
(B-21 chip on the C-board, great for conversions!)

BITD the Hyper Fighting version was sold as conversion kits, and was recommended to be installed on the Championship Edition board-set. But CE boards were usually equipped with 12 mhz crystals, hence making them "Dash" versions.

(10mhz oscillating crystal)

I was recommended this crystal (link here) to install on my board, and after de-soldering the old 10mhz Crystal and solding the new one, everything turned out great. Though the new crystal didn’t make much of a difference in the game’s performance, it’s peace of mind having the A-board that Capcom recommends and gives opportunity to convert this to other 12mhz games in the future.
(12mhz crystal installed!)

Afterwards, I wanted to do a Kick Harness adapter to go from the old CPS1 harness, to the CPS2 kick harness. I decided this because most of my kick harness set-up revolves around using CPS2, so it made sense to only support one type of harness.   I could have just got a cable adapter, but I felt it would be cleaner and less parts to handle if I put the CPS2 adapter onto the board itself.
(CPS1 to CPS2 Kick Harness installed)

(Close-up of CPS2 kick harness header)

(How it connects to my Supergun)

I am very happy to how it turned out, and am looking forward to converting this to a multi-CPS1 board whenever those kits are available. For now, I can enjoy a bit of Hyper Fighting!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Long overdue update

Boy, life has definitely changed since my last update. So, I'm a dad now. My daughter was born last year a bit after my last post. Fatherhood is great, our little one is awesome, but it has impacted my free time these days to do projects on the side. But, things are coming to a regularity now that I can actually start jumping back onto art and gaming projects in the next few months. I'm going to try to update this more often.

Since I don't like posting without showing anything, I do have some gaming related art I did for last Inktober:

Top Left - Centipede (ink)
Top Right - Final Fantasy VII  (ink and white marker)
Bottom Left - Boxer (ink)
Bottom Right - Galaga (ink + watercolor)