Philips CDI660 Mono IV NVRAM and 60 Hz Modification

The CDI660/00 is one of the last professional CD-i players by Philips. The mainboard, Mono IV, is also used in various consumer players. So far, there are no tutorials for 60 Hz modification. When this topic came up in the community on The world of CD-i, I looked it up in the CDI220/80 service manual (also Mono IV, with plenty of remarks for other player models) and attempted the modification myself. It has been on my to-do list for quite some years now.
First, we need full access to mainboard. Remove the marked screw of the DVC plastic holder.

CDI660 inside
CDI660 inside
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Pippin Atmark Floppy Adapter

A floppy disk drive for to the Pippin Atmark is nothing new. In fact, an expansion dock called Pippin Atmark Floppy Unit was released back in the days. These units are incredibly rare and I was never able to get ahold of one of them. Apart from an Apple floppy disk drive with 20-pin ribbon cable, these units contained no additional hardware but a simple X-PCI adapter board. It didn’t take long until Japanese enthusiasts tried to replicate these adapters. When I recently rediscovered my Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S, I also looked around for additional hardware. I found this article about an adapter board that had been finally replicated two years ago. This board can still be ordered from OSH Park.

Pippin Atmark Floppy Adapter
Pippin Atmark Floppy Adapter
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Capcom CPS2 Digital AV and I/O Interfaces

After finishing the repairs on my CPS2 in April, I had already some more additions in mind:

I had already ordered the digital AV interface kit from VideoGamePerfection.com in the beginning of the year and was only waiting for the I/O interface to get started. Last month, it finally arrived. Also on the picture: a home-made kick harness and a RG174 coaxial cable.

Capcom CPS2 digital AV and I/O interfaces
Capcom CPS2 digital AV and I/O interfaces
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Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S External SCSI and ROM Dump

Earlier this month, I wrote about my Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit. Initially, I didn’t plan to do any modifications to this special Pippin model. But then Keith Kaisershot told me that it is possible to feed a long SCSI cable over the metal lips of the case without doing any permanent modification. He also asked me to verify the checksum of the ROM. In this article, I will add external SCSI to my Pippin and also dump the ROM.

Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S external SCSI
Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S external SCSI
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Pippin Atmark AppleJack Controller

Pippin consoles are based on Apple Macintosh PowerPCs. It is only natural that they use serial Apple Desktop Bus devices. There is a major difference though: the proprietary child proof AppleJack (P-ADB) connector. I never bothered to find an adapter dongle and was stuck with a Pippin Atmark AppleJack controller that wasn’t able to reliably register trackball movements anymore. Unfortunately, the ball is held in place by a plastic ring with two tiny holes. There’s probably a tool to open it up which I don’t possess. I decided to open up the whole controller from the back to clean it and also to take pictures. Note the nice red rubber cap that came with my controller.

Bandai Pippin Atmark AppleJack controller
Bandai Pippin Atmark AppleJack controller
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Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit

Back in 2010, I was aiming to own every game console system that used optical media, the Apple Pippin was one of them. I was lucky to obtain a lot of Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001 consoles from Japan for a reasonable price. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that one of them was different: It had the model number PA-82001-S, a pre-release ROM and several areas shielded with copper foil tape. No one has documented this model yet on the various Pippin websites. The only trace that I can find on the internet is my unit and another one that has been offered on Yahoo auctions earlier this year. Forum members of Assemblergames assume that this is an FCC model for evaluation / EMC accreditation.

I will call it “Monitoring Unit” because it came with an AP2735-01 KINKA non-E pre-release/monitoring ROM. On this Pippin FANDOM page, it says: “A WORM version of the same [Golden Master] ROM was manufactured in small quantities for market testing of ‘Monitoring’ units.” On the same page and also here it is mentioned that only 500 of these ROMs were released.

Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit
Apple/Bandai Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit
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Terraonion MegaSD Cartridge

This has just arrived yesterday: The Terraonion MegaSD Cartridge. The makers are known for quality products like the NeoSD and the Super SD System 3. Their recent move of the office from Spain to Andorra has stirred some controversy and caused over-the-top reactions from some buyers. I didn’t experience any trouble and my cartridge arrived safely within a few days. This is what I got:

Terraonion MegaSD box
Terraonion MegaSD box
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Philips CDI605T Disassembly and Repair

My Philips CDI605T/20 needed repairs before I can fully use it. Some of them was mandatory for operation (TimeKeeper), some of them to make it easier on the ears (fan, optical disc drive tray). I already had experience with a Mini MMC chassis on the very similar consumer player CDI220/00 and knew what awaited me inside (its service manual helped a bit). It is actually possible to perform these repairs without taking the entire case apart (see shortcuts). I took special precautions and made photos of each and every step to be able to put everything back together in the end.

I began with removing the case and the bezels of the extension cards on the rear. Make sure to slide out the lower card first, otherwise its metal plate will grind on the solder side of the upper card.

Philips CDI605T extension cards 22ER9132 (Ethernet, SCSI, 4 MB RAM) and 22ER9424 (DVC R2.1, 1 MB RAM)
Philips CDI605T extension cards 22ER9132 (Ethernet, SCSI, 4 MB RAM) and 22ER9424 (DVC R2.1, 1 MB RAM)
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First Steps in OS-9 on Philips CDI605T

The Philips CDI605T/20 is the last professional CD-i player with authoring / development capabilities. As every other CD-i player, it runs on CD-RTOS v1.1, a real-time operating system based on Microware OS-9/68K v2.4. Additionally, it features extended memory, an internal OS-9 shell, a floppy disk drive, SCSI, ethernet, RS-232C and printer ports. When compared to its predecessor CDI605/00, it was upgraded with a tray loading mechanism, a built-in DVC and a newer system ROM v1.3. Even though this player is perfectly fine for playing the whole range of consumer CD-i titles, I got it mainly for experimenting with the titles and the operating system. On the first start, it performed a CRC check and displayed the software version:

CDI605T CRC check
CDI605T CRC check
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TAB Quizard on Philips CD-i

Quizard was a series of quiz games published by TAB-Austria in the ’90s. What makes it special is the fact that it is one of the very few arcade games based on Philips CD-i hardware. The protection of Quizard 1.x and 2.x has been figured out quite a while ago and since then it is emulated in MAME. Quizard 3.x and 4.x, however, refused to run – until now. A first step was done when Team Europe dumped a protection MCU a couple of years ago. Very soon, they will release an MCU board that will turn almost every CD-i player into a Quizard arcade machine. I received a sample last week and just finished assembling and testing it.

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