Spent probably 15 hours the last 2 days, 10 of which have been today, researching on how to make my own NES and SNES conversions. The information seems to be scattered around, with the only real help sifting through forum posts finding links to obscure websites. If I get the responses I hope for, I would like to write a whole FAQ after I get a few repros under my belt, that explains everything from A-Z. Here is what I gather up to this point about making a repro, in order.
1. Find a NES or SNES rom that has never been released in the states. Splice the rom using either cajoNES or SNEStool, depending on whether the rom is NES or SNES.
2. Gather all the tools I need.
A. One 15-25 watt soldering iron (preferebly with a temp gauge)
C. Electric Tape
E. Small plastic coated stranded wire (28 gauge) (IDE wire is ideal)
F. A dremel with thin diamond cutting wheel or flush cutters. (for cutting off roms from PCB)
G. If need a "CR2032" Battery, if save data is needed.
H. 1 reverse torque game bit for opening cartridges.
I. One de-soldering pump
J. One EPROM Programmer, with a wall adaptor for power, USB compatable. (this is overwhelming)
K. Necessary rom chips. (this is confusing as well)
L. EPROM eraser
3. Find a donor cart by going to here...
Can also lookup all NES carts and PCB types.
4. Open game, clean it, then de-solder, or cut away necessary roms with dremel or cutters.
5. Format rom chip to make sure it's good to use. Burn new rom to chips using programmer. Place new rom chips with new game image where they need to go, and re-wire from the bottom of the PCB using mappers, and replace battery if needed. I know a lot more goes into this, but that's basically it. Find out where everything needs to be jumped and solder it all together.
6. Play game.
Now here is where my troubles begin. I have a few friendly people who have recommended programmers to me. All I want to do is make NES and SNES reproductions for myself, and update my universe bios chip for my Neo Geo.
Overwhelming issues that are giving me a headache.
First, What is a cheap, but not cheaply made programmer that is user firendly and USB based with a option to use a power supply?
Secondly, how do I determine what chips I need to burn the rom files to? And is there a FAQ or good book somewhere that can teach me what all the numbers on a rom chip mean, how much data they hold, exc.. This is my main problem. I have no idea what chips I need to be buying?
Third, SNEStool, and cajoNES do not seem to work on my windows 7 laptop. What are the alternatives? Preferebly windows 7 compatable version.
Forth, is there a guide somewhere that can teach me how to determine what need to be jumped when I am soldering on a new chip? I found these...
I really think if I could get this whole mapping down I could do one of these pretty easily. From what I gather mapping is determining where I need to solder new wires (if needed), when placing a new rom on the PCB of my donor cart, after removing the original chip (game rom), also called a mask rom.
I know that's a lot of stuff. But I assume a lot of people have been interested in this and gave up, because it's all to overwhelming. But in reality it seems really simple just confusing with all the information scattered around the internet. If someone would be kind enough to PM me and let me call them and have a chat that would be ideal. Hopefully this post gets some other members who had the desire to do this in the past the motivation they need to get started and get a real FAQ written that isn't just how to do it, but Why you need to do the things you do, and the science behind it.
Thanks for your time if you made it this far!