Fixeight - PCB Region change

PCB problems and fixes
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sergiopolog
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Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by sergiopolog » March 10th, 2018, 12:43 pm

Hi forum!

I recently adquired an original Fixeight PCB and looking for info on internet about it, I find out that region on this game is stored in EEPROM that is used to store configuration and other data, too.

It means that code roms, graphic roms and sound roms are the same for all regions and depending of what region is saved in EEPROM, code run in one region mode or another.

Actually, looking at mame source, it says the following about this game:

Code: Select all

fixeight - The same program is used for all regions, and the region can be changed just by swapping
               EEPROMs. However, the V25 code also recognizes a secret input that rewrites the EEPROM to
               use any one of the 14 recognized regional licenses, using the state of the player 1 and
               player 2 button inputs held in conjunction with it as a 4-bit binary code:
               Region                      Button input
               ------------------------    ------------------------------------
               Korea, Taito license        No buttons
               Korea                       P1 button 1
               Hong Kong, Taito license    P1 button 2
               Hong Kong                   P1 buttons 1 & 2
               Taiwan, Taito license       P2 button 1
               Taiwan                      P1 button 1 + P2 button 1
               SE Asia, Taito license      P1 button 2 + P2 button 1
               Southeast Asia              P1 buttons 1 & 2 + P2 button 1
               Europe, Taito license       P2 button 2
               Europe                      P1 button 1 + P2 button 2
               USA, Taito license          P1 button 2 + P2 button 2
               USA                         P1 buttons 1 & 2 + P2 button 2
               (Invalid)                   P2 buttons 1 & 2
               (Invalid)                   P1 button 1 + P2 buttons 1 & 2
               Japan                       P1 button 2 + P2 buttons 1 & 2
               Japan, Taito license        P1 buttons 1 & 2 + P2 buttons 1 & 2

My question is: Can I change the region simply by doing that combination of buttons in my PCB?

Yes, of course, I've already tried it, but unsucessfully, and I couldn't change region.

In that explanation doesn't detailed when, or how the buttons need to be held, so I think I'm doing it wrong.

Some of you guys tried that before?

Thanks!

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nem
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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by nem » March 10th, 2018, 1:12 pm

"a secret input that rewrites the EEPROM [...] using the state of the player 1 and player 2 button inputs held in conjunction with it"

You also need the 'secret input'. What it is I have no idea.

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by caius » March 10th, 2018, 10:56 pm

You have to program the 93C45 EEPROM with correct code (doing byteswap perhaps).You can find code in each MAME ROM set.

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by sergiopolog » March 10th, 2018, 11:58 pm

Thank you guys for your responses!

Yes, I think that the only way (known until now) to change region is reburn EEPROM with new region data.

I just wondered if there is a way to do it without desoldering any board components.

Out of curiosity, I tried to make that change of region by software in MAME, that is detailed in driver: toaplan2 mentioned above, and it works!
I configured in MAME the input called "Region Reset" linked to a key of my PC keyboard (it only appears in lastest versions of mame):

Code: Select all

	PORT_BIT( 0x0080, IP_ACTIVE_HIGH, IPT_MEMORY_RESET ) PORT_NAME("Region Reset")
and then, just when MAME start loading game from rom parent of the game (fixeight.zip) that is the European version, and right after go away the window info, I pressed that "Region Reset" input previously configured, and P1 button 2 + P2 buttons 1 & 2 at the same time. Code of game itself recognized it and change region of game to Japan!

I wish I could know what is that "Region Reset" input to perform this test with my real PCB!!! :awe:

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by parodius » March 11th, 2018, 10:04 am

According to the source code, it seems to be mapped to the 8th pin on the 3P connector, which is located to the right of the Jamma edge.
http://ikotsu.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/fi ... -1992.html

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by sergiopolog » March 11th, 2018, 10:41 am

I've already tested that connector for player 3, and there are no pin for button 3 as shown in manual:

Image

http://www.gamesdatabase.org/Media/SYST ... ,_Ltd..pdf

Pin 8 is ground, and pin 9 is not connected (I already tested continuity with ground and it's open).

I don't understand completely mame source code but I believe that this input signal could be managed in some way in real PCB, right?

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by parodius » March 11th, 2018, 12:30 pm

Oh well not as simple then eh, still might be useful to track where the 3P inputs are going

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by suicider » April 21st, 2018, 12:36 pm

Interesting thread. I played around a bit with button combinations when starting the PCB but no luck.
However I'd guess button 3 is involved in some way as buttons 1&2 are used for setting the code.
After all the button is recocognized by the game when pushing it on the region screen right at the beginning (although it is not used in the game).

Can you post the source code of MAME or do you mean the code from the toaplan2.ccp?
I'm fairly certain there is a way to activate the region change on the PCB too.
We'd just need the code then ;)

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by sergiopolog » April 22nd, 2018, 10:12 pm

suicider wrote:Interesting thread. I played around a bit with button combinations when starting the PCB but no luck.
However I'd guess button 3 is involved in some way as buttons 1&2 are used for setting the code.
After all the button is recocognized by the game when pushing it on the region screen right at the beginning (although it is not used in the game).

Can you post the source code of MAME or do you mean the code from the toaplan2.ccp?
I'm fairly certain there is a way to activate the region change on the PCB too.
We'd just need the code then ;)
Yeah it's quite interesting for me too, and I open this thread because of that :D

I mean the code from toaplan2.cpp : https://github.com/mamedev/mame/blob/ma ... aplan2.cpp

I started to investigate this topic from changes introduced in this commit: https://github.com/mamedev/mame/commit/ ... af22e2c900

In that commit you can see that map of inputs was modified to include this line at 2094 (apart of other changes):

Code: Select all

2094 +	PORT_BIT( 0x0080, IP_ACTIVE_HIGH, IPT_MEMORY_RESET ) PORT_NAME("Region Reset")
With those changes a new input can be mapped in the TAB menu inside game:
Image

and using this input in conjunction with a valid combination of P1 and P2 inputs, you can change the region of game in MAME as I detailed in my previous posts.

if you can trace back that address: 0x0080 inside address map "IN3" (line above is defined inside "IN3"):

Code: Select all

AM_RANGE(0x00004, 0x00004) AM_READ_PORT("IN3")
maybe you can figure out which is the real combination of buttons that we need to use in real PCB.

I hope you could bring good news about this! ;)


PD: What I haven't understood is what you refer when saying: "After all the button is recocognized by the game when pushing it on the region screen right at the beginning (although it is not used in the game)."

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by suicider » April 24th, 2018, 4:57 am

Well, I'm just as clueless as you are concerning the code ;) What we do know is (in case there is such a code) it has to be entered when firing up the PCB. At least that's what I read from how you did activate it in MAME. Was there any text or anything else announcing the change in region in MAME?
sergiopolog wrote:PS: What I haven't understood is what you refer when saying: "After all the button is recocognized by the game when pushing it on the region screen right at the beginning (although it is not used in the game)."
As Button 1 and 2 are already used for changing the region I would imagine the initiation of the code uses button 3. Something like 'Press UP and P1 button 3 when starting the PCB'.
I'm not sure if Player 3 plays any role in that code. Judging from the buttons used to change the region (P1&P2 buttons 1+2) I would say no. But who knows.

Anyways, I'll play around a bit with the button combinations later on and maybe we can find out code. But I can't promise anything of course.

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by AstroX » April 24th, 2018, 7:11 am

i think it will not be a simple combination.
it could be a combination not possible to do with a panel,
otherwise you can do it in an arcade.

something like this:
p3 - up+down+service - on power up

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Re: Fixeight - PCB Region change

Post by sergiopolog » April 26th, 2018, 11:13 pm

suicider wrote:Well, I'm just as clueless as you are concerning the code ;) What we do know is (in case there is such a code) it has to be entered when firing up the PCB. At least that's what I read from how you did activate it in MAME. Was there any text or anything else announcing the change in region in MAME?
sergiopolog wrote:PS: What I haven't understood is what you refer when saying: "After all the button is recocognized by the game when pushing it on the region screen right at the beginning (although it is not used in the game)."
As Button 1 and 2 are already used for changing the region I would imagine the initiation of the code uses button 3. Something like 'Press UP and P1 button 3 when starting the PCB'.
I'm not sure if Player 3 plays any role in that code. Judging from the buttons used to change the region (P1&P2 buttons 1+2) I would say no. But who knows.

Anyways, I'll play around a bit with the button combinations later on and maybe we can find out code. But I can't promise anything of course.
About text announcing the change in region in MAME, you can see it in the legal advisory text screen just after boot and before the tittle screen:

Image

in this case the region is set as "Europe" but could be one of those ones I put in my first post.

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