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#1
Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/16 17:23
VB Gamer
Joined 2019/12/5
USA
18 Posts
I just wanted to share with the group what my current project is. As many of you know the majority of the games for the VB are fairly inexpensive. But Jack Bros, 3-D Tetris, and water world are crazy expensive. originally I was going to rechip some OE cartridges but the tsop type 2 memory chips are impossible to find. After talking to mellott, he made a few of his boards available to me. This allowed me to use a standard sop 44 flash ROM.

The programmer I built is based off of Sanni's open source work. It was designed as a universal cartridge reader and writer so with a little bit of tweaking I was able to flash the VB ROM without a problem. the only problem I had was flashing the chips in 16-bit mode, but once I switched over to 8-bit mode, the ROM installed properly.

The labels I made for my cartridges came from an unexpected source. Before Christmas I had bought an HP sprocket photo printer. It outputs a glossy color sticker back picture. This makes for an excellent reproduction label.

I still have a lot of work to do but I figured I would share what I have done so far.

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#2
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/17 5:16
VB Gamer
Joined 2019/10/13
47 Posts
Very cool and impressive work! Especially like how that label looks, from the photo it looks nearly like the original. Looking forward to seeing what you do with this!
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#3
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/17 5:51
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2016/12/15
USA
391 Posts
Long Time User (3 Years)
Nice job on the carts! Glad it all worked out.
Impressive on the programmer as well.
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#4
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/17 6:58
VB Gamer
Joined 2018/8/16
30 Posts
Long Time User (1 Year)
Very nice work! But on the other hand: I see there a danger for collectors who look for the originals from a collecting prospective. How is it possible to see the difference to original carts? I mean, the label looks really like the original on the picture. Even the quality-logo exists. This could also lead to people trying to fool others when these appear on eBay... 🤔 Maybe I am a bit sensitive, but this was in my mind.
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#5
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/17 13:14
VB Gamer
Joined 2019/12/5
USA
18 Posts
Quote:

Ethan.Snyder98 wrote:
Very cool and impressive work! Especially like how that label looks, from the photo it looks nearly like the original. Looking forward to seeing what you do with this!


Thanks. The label worked out better than I thought. Originally I was just going to print it with an inkjet, and cover it with packing tape for a glossy finish. But when I was cleaning up from Christmas, I was looking at a few pictures in my kid's room, and thought how nice they looked. And it was of those "Duh" moments that the Sprocket printer is the ideal tool. (They go on sale at best buy for $50)

As far as what to do with this... well... just play some games. It's not 100% original work, and Mellott is going to make some very nice flash carts.

Quote:

mellott124 wrote:
Nice job on the carts! Glad it all worked out.
Impressive on the programmer as well.


Thanks, your boards really helped. Right now, I'm waiting on a few SRAM chips. Once they show, I can build the 3D Tetris cart. I got lucky on the donors. The local used game shop had some Tennis carts, and sold them to me for $8 each. I got 4 from him.

The programmer still needs some work. I want to clean it up, and make it more manageable. FYI... my cart plug is a cart turned around, and I use "Ultra Fine Needles" to make the connections, They are sharp, and will insert to the target cart easy. They are 0.50mm and stiff. I tried to use stainless wire first, but it was too bendy.

The up side to this programmer, is something I asked you about with the one you built. This one is self contained. The USB cable is just for power in that picture. SO, once I Get it cleaned up... it will be battery powered, and fully standalone !! I will do a separate thread on it later... but it may be a while... work is picking up, and I will be traveling more.
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#6
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/17 15:08
VB Gamer
Joined 2019/12/5
USA
18 Posts
Quote:

BigDen wrote:
Very nice work! But on the other hand: I see there a danger for collectors who look for the originals from a collecting prospective. How is it possible to see the difference to original carts? I mean, the label looks really like the original on the picture. Even the quality-logo exists. This could also lead to people trying to fool others when these appear on eBay... 🤔 Maybe I am a bit sensitive, but this was in my mind.


Sure... I understand. There are already tons of repro carts for other systems on ebay, and it is getting harder, and harder to actually spot them. But in this case... the red boards are a dead giveaway... and it actually says "Reproduction" on the top right corner of the board. With that said... sure, someone else (over seas) may decide to make up some and pass them off as real. But it's going to take an investment to make the shells and end connectors for a VERY small market of people.

Oh... one last thing... yes, the board is a giveaway... but the vast majority of Nintendo games have a couple numbers physically stamped into the label. With the VB, it's middle right. Any good picture will show those.

But... as with any "Collecting"... you have to know what you are looking at, and if it's real or not.

Fyi... Here's VB, GBA, and Pokemon Mini carts, all with stamped numbers. The only games I've come across (with a good label) that don't have the numbers, were usually the "Pack-in" games.

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Edited by Dr Honda on 2020/1/17 15:26
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#7
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/17 16:04
VB Gamer
Joined 2018/8/16
30 Posts
Long Time User (1 Year)
Thank you very much Dr Honda for your response. I really appreciate it because Actually I was not aware about all differences between repro and original. Thanks!! 😊
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#8
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/18 14:21
VB Gamer
Joined 2019/12/5
USA
18 Posts
Just wanted to post a few pics of the programmer screen. Its a tiny OLED, but its very clear.

Sorry some of the pics are sideways. They are coming off my phone that way.

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#9
Re: Building some repro carts
Posted on: 1/19 3:47
VB Gamer
Joined 2019/12/5
USA
18 Posts
Ok... Got waterworld done, and oh my gosh is it a bad game! LoL. Why would anyone pay the $150 for this one!!! Anyway... Only need to build 3D teris and i will have the complete USA set. (All the rest are original) the label on this one isn't as nice. I couldn't find a good high res picture of it. Oh well... Not a big deal.

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