S-DD1 and SA1 Modding Tutorial (SO44 Mask ROM games)

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S-DD1 and SA1 Modding Tutorial (SO44 Mask ROM games)

Post by Corp Dwayne Hicks on Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:13 pm

This specific tutorial will be using Super Mario RPG for its example. The procedure is nearly identical for Star Ocean as well, other than the fact that Star Ocean has two Mask ROMs the second of which you leave alone.

Remove the 44pin SO style Mask ROM from the board, in the case of Star Ocean, only remove the first ROM. Be extremely careful as it is very easy to lift the traces from the board. I prefer using hot air to remove this style of IC. Once the Mask ROM is removed, apply your flux of choice to the pads.

Carefully bend pins 1, 23, and 33 up on the programmed 29L3211 Flash ROM which contains your game. These pins break easily, so do not bend them very much, just about 1mm or so to keep them from contacting the board. In the case of Star Ocean, it should only contain the first 32mbit (4mbytes) of your translated ROM.

This IC has a large enough pitch that it can be easily hand soldered without any special techniques. Be sure that pins 1,23, and 33 are not soldered down or otherwise contacting the board.

Using a 3.3v voltage regulator (I use a TO-92 package MCP1700-3302E, but any 3.3v regulator will work if properly wired), find a +5V and GND point to use for Vin and GND on the regulator and connect Vout to pins 1, 23, and 33 on the 29L3211.

If you use a TO-92 package, be sure to bend the regulator down enough to fit within the game shell. An SOT-23 or SOT-89 package would not run into this problem as it is very low profile to begin with.

Finally, test your game! This was a replacement of the Japanese ROM with the English Version.

I do also recommend potting the connections with hot glue. This will ensure that the wires do not come loose, or that pins 1, 23, or 33 inadvertently contact the pads on the board. Apply just enough to cover the individual connections, and do not push down on the connections during the process. We just want the connections protected against the occasional drop of a cartridge.
Corp Dwayne Hicks
Corp Dwayne Hicks

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