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.Continue reading Pippin Atmark AppleJack Controller
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.Continue reading Pippin Atmark PA-82001-S Monitoring Unit
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:Continue reading Terraonion MegaSD Cartridge
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.Continue reading Philips CDI605T Disassembly and Repair
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:Continue reading First Steps in OS-9 on Philips CDI605T
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.Continue reading TAB Quizard on Philips CD-i
The PC Engine flash cart by Neo Team was first released in 2006, ten years before the Turbo EverDrive was born. In 2009, they added a save feature and released it as the new version V1.1 or ‘128+SAVE’. There is no unique name of this cart because there were usually expressions like ‘power’, ‘super’ or ‘ultra’ added to the name. I bought this cart in 2011 but didn’t use it very often. It just wasn’t as compatible as it claimed to be. With the advent of 64-bit Windows 8, driver troubles limited the usability even further. And I never got the save feature to work. The whole package was sitting on my shelf until last year when I took it out again to compare it with the Super SD System 3.Continue reading NEO Power PC-E 128M+SAVE Flash Cart Repair
SD Gundam: Gundam Wars (SDガンダム GUNDAM WARS) is the third game for the Bandai Datach. I bought it about four years ago and finally managed to sort and scan all the cards for the use in MAME.
This time, I also scanned the artwork, manual and a special card that wasn’t part of the original set. I’ll try to complete the previously released sets in the future as well:
Ultraman Club: Spokon Fight!!
Dragon Ball Z: Gekitō Tenkaichi Budokai