Crazy Taxi High Roller Proto

Oct 16th, 2010

Sometimes you find interesting stuff, or sometimes interesting stuff finds you.. The latter applies here. Customer sent in a Crazy Taxi High Roller PCB set for repair, low and behold I was presented with a silver (production disc – same as on the Outrun 2 Beta).

Means I had to digout all my dreamcast dumping equipment – also ment I had to recreate a Windows 98 computer (I used a Ford Racing PCB for that – the PCB has to be good for something – Installing Windows 98 on a newer computer is a bit tricky)

Around 3 hours later I had archieved the disc.

As you can see there is a few differences – I’ve not powered this up, but looks like you can continue, also the company is down as Sega.

The released version is down as Hit Maker co ltd.

If there is any noticable differences I will do a video, but most likely it is just a earlier version like the OR2 Beta (which also allowed you to continue, as well as supporting other views).

Also there Chihiro was a really early version, with some of the earliest firmware I’ve seen, makes me wonder if HOTD3 with those funky cartoon graphics exists in the wild – probably not, but would be neat if it did.

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Fast and the furious – fun and games

Sep 17th, 2010

One of the fun aspects of my job is playing.. Let’s take a look at Raw Thrills F&F.

This is how the game usually looks (click on the photo for larger version).

But naturally the game supports different resolutions – although this is undocumented feature (there is other options – including the ability to be full auto pilot – simply start the game and the car will be driven automatically!)

This is it in 1600×1200

This could be useful to increase the resolution as a lot of companies are fitting LCD units instead of CRT, the game can be smoothed over with either 8,4 or 2 FSAA.

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Yellow Mellow

Sep 14th, 2010

Somebody asked me yonks ago what a Yellow Outrun 2 Twin would look like, well now I can answer that!

My mates over at Sonica Services, have recently had a Outrun 2 twin that needed a total refurbishment.

Anyway this was a mess, busted plastic sides, rusty base etc.. This is almost the finshed results, looking pretty good if I say so myself.







I work closely with Sonica, so anyone with a machine, and want it looking like new, they know where to come..

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PC based arcade boards.

Sep 8th, 2010

Well this week I got some ancient Battle Gear 4’s in for repair, so this gave me perfect chance to work on my universal Windows XP test suite. I’ve built a custom Windows XP HDD which I can simply put inside a TypeX/Lindbergh/Ford/Sega Rally 3 (and Raw Thrills/GlobalVR) and such and it will load up (all drivers are in there), this means I can run all sorts of benchmarking/stability tests.

The advantages of my test suites is that this is full blown XP (non-embedded crap), meaning I can play with video drivers etc. For example on the BG4, I changed the video card and memory, and now it can run TypeX2 games (BG4 is the original TypeX)

The big problem I find with PC based products is that (the companies that supply the PCBs for repair), will generally have an attempt to fix them, normally cloning the HDD (or attempting to) – this can often make my life extremely difficult as I generally get products without a working HDD at all.

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The Andy Geezer Interview..

Aug 28th, 2010

[interviewer]
Hi, can you tell me something about yourself?

[AG]

Erm, kinda.

I am Andrew Lewis (Andy Geezer seems to be a more common name for me on the internet), I was born in a field in August 19th, 1976, in a Cambridge, United Kingdom.

I am haply married with children – my pimping days are over.. LOL

[interviewer]
So your step dad owned Clacton Pier (http://the-pier.co.uk/clacton-pier)??

[AG]
LOL, I don’t know where that story came from, but is mildly amusing.

We moved to Clacton in 1989, till then I never had seen an arcade machine (I owned an Electron at home, which frankly was hardly state of the art – although it did have awesome conversions of Pac-Man and Defender).

At the time the arcade industry in the UK was a big business, in Clacton there was a whole street full of amusement arcades – this was like a drug to me!!

So many exciting game with awesome visuals/sounds, even if I was too small to play some of them 100% (Operation Wolf I had to stand on a box!)

I spent a lot of “ahem” my school time down the amusements, several games that I played a lot of back then was Flying Shark, R-Type, Hot Rod, Aliens.

[interviewer]
So when did you get into Arcade collecting??

[AG]
In 1996, I bought from a local lad a Jamma Supergun, with a copy of Mortal Kombat – this was a good solution for me to begin with.

I soon got copies of Turtles and Aliens Jamma PCBs (which where quite cheap at the time – in fact Turtles is about the same price now as it was then, around £50).

I also swapped a Sega Saturn for a NeoGeo CD system – it introduced me the King of Fighters series, I already enjoyed the arcade versions of Fatal Fury, however the load time crippled me (minutes – not seconds)!

In 1998 when I finished college at got my first job, with the first pay check I bought a Elecrocoin cabinet (pre-fitted with a Jamma conversion loom, Neo-1Slot and Fatal Fury Special).

Picture of AG first cabinet – A woody!

The cabinet has now come from one of the companies I supply parts/repairs to, Stephen Huntley at Swallow Amusements (http://www.coin.demon.co.uk/)

I soon bought KOF cartridges from MHP (now Videotronics http://www.videotronicsuk.com), also another regular customer of mine (I also did his website in 2001, although he recently changed it for a different one).

[interviewer]
You where a game programmer right??

[AG]
Yes, I was an 80’s bedroom coder, working on BBC/Electron, BBC Basic and 8086. Didn’t really create anything spectacular on that system though.

Obviously in the mid 90’s I got into PC/C/8086 and developed all sorts of programs, the typical Mod player, parallax scrolling engines/sprites blitter/lookup tables etc.

Did the typical pacman/invader type clones in college, originally planned to join an in-house development team, in the end I did Microsoft solution route, did that till I quit my mainstream job in 2008.

[interviewer]
I heard you went down the MAME route??

[AG]
Yes, indeed this is true. I was well known the BOYAC arcade forum in the late 90’s.

I soon started developing my own version of MAME, originally called Opti-MAME, a spinner/trackball version to allow games like Guerrilla Wars etc to use the Happ optical spinning joystick, then I went further an developed another serial Mouse driver (to use a different interrupt), so it was possible to have two Serial trackballs (allowing 4 optical axis), meaning two player marble madness with trackballs was possible.

I was in frequent talks with Brain Lewis (no relation) about arcade monitor support, he was working on his own front-end and had his own basic arcade monitor support.

At the same time, I can’t remember now, but I got in contact with a Japanese guy (Saka, the guy behind VsyncMAME), we talked a lot about clock rates, video cards and such. This lead to me developing MonArc and MonArc+, a TSR program for creating video modes suitable for arcade monitors (with exact screen resolutions and dot clocks), meaning games would be a lot closer.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andrew.lewis5/arcade/monarc.htm

This was great as other emulators like RAINE could also work on arcade monitors also. At this time Andy Warne also developed the I-PAC. It was all going great.. We had the video sorted, we had the controls sorted.. But in 2000 (while I was working on an automated video/game profile launcher – this tool would automatically pre-set the exact video clock for the game being launched), my HDD crashed – I lost all my work, source, e-mails (it was a big/painful lesson!).

[interviewer]
So, you where getting more into game PCBs?

[AG]
Yes this is true, according to my ancient website on 22/11/2000 I had

8-Man
Kof94
Kof95
Fatal Fury Special
Fatal Fury 3
Pulstar
NeoGeo 1 Slot MV-1F
Fatal Fury Wild Amibition
Marvel VS Capcom
Slam Masters
Dead or Alive
Virtua Striker
Virtua Fighter 3
Aliens
Golden Axe
Shinobi
Primal Rage
Surf Planet
Killer Instinct 2
Police Trainer
R-Type

As people will see, it wasn’t ALL SEGA back then!! In fact there is some right stinkers in there!!

However those with a keen eye will see some Model 2/3 goodness, this would pave the way for the next few years!

[interviewer]
Ah, SEGA.. So how many Sega games you owned??

[AG]
A lot, I can’t even remember the entire list.

I’d guess 150 or so, been privileged to play/own a lot of Sega goodness at home

Outrun 1,2,SP, Daytona USA 1 and 2, Sega Rally 1,2,3, Virtua Cop 1,2,3, Virtua Figher 2,3,4,5. All the key Sega releases from the 90’s to present day.

[interviewer]
So what was your favourite system??

[AG]
Tough one, probably Model 3 on tech specification – those games pushed the hardware to the limits.

You take a game like Sega Rally 2 or Daytona USA 2 – there is so much going on, so many little spot effects and little details.

There is no way a Naomi/Dreamcast could do 1-1 of a Sega Model 3 game.. People reckon the DC/Naomi is more powerful. I say Bah, there has been no driving game on Naomi that has had superior graphics than a Model 3 racer.

The Naomi is like a bread-n-butter system, it’s like the Neo Geo – it has some nice titles and also some stinkers.

Hikaru is interesting – it was the most expensive CG board from Sega with a retail price of £3500/$7000 just for the main board! The games on that system are impressive, and go for silly money in Japan. The board is has the reputation of being one of the hardest boards to ship without killing it!! (It has some large heat sinks which can pull the BGA chips of the circuit board while in shipping).

Sad to say, the dedicated CG board is a thing of the past – the introduction of PC based arcade systems has just lead to piracy.

[interviewer]
Piracy – I heard you are responsible for net booting.

[AG]
Yes I believe people blame me for this – although I have no reasons why they point the finger.

True I did do a youtube video about a year ago or so, this was merely to demonstrate it, I knew about this technique for a while before then.

Sega released WCCF (A football game), here in 2004/2005, the game was interesting in the fact it didn’t come with cartridge software or GD-ROM software. Instead it had a network dimm boards (NO SCSI connectors), and a PC. The PC was just a Windows XP.

WCCF Server (XP based PC)

The game would run some command line tools to upload the .bin to a number of clients (all with a pre-defined IP addresses).

Naturally I took a copy of these tools (to support Sega hardware you must know the system inside and out).

When the DEC/ENC tools came out and the keychip dumpers where invented. I could decrypt and recrypt GD-ROM dumps and upload them.

Once the PIC chip was decapped – and made public via MAME and other sources, people could create there own 00 DES key with the GD-ROM lock flag enabled to upload decrypted games (like Makaron uses).

I guess it is the nature of the beast, when you have platforms like MAME you get a lot of free stuff and people will always exploit it freeness and make money from it.

People will always make money from selling net boot keychip and dumps, I personally hate the ethics behind this – but it isn’t my business.

Also people will understand this is a fudged method, not all games will work, and some will require DMA patches.

What is interesting is the 3.17 CD-R dimm patch has never been made public, this has existed for 3 odd years, this would have certainly killed the market, so I am guessing some people have some ethics.

[interviewer]
Will you release your GD-ROM dumps/cartridge dumps/other dumps?

[AG]
No, I don’t see why I should give anyone a free meal.

There is no written law that says I must share my knowledge, and the more lame e-mails and such I recieve the more I will keep to myself.

I go out of my way to help people, but return I get insults, and general bullshit. I’ll put some of it down to pure jealousy.

I do have a loyal home user base from all over the world, and I thank them for there support and loyalty.

[interviewer]
So things are bad?

[AG]
Not really, just the small minority that spoil it for everyone, you get this will all socieities though.

[interviewer]
So you hate Craig/Giz10p?

[AG]
Actually this is another miss-conception, I’ve known Craig since 2002, we’ve had a lot of talks and such. We are still helping each other today.

I believe I never affect Craig business what-so-ever, I believe he’ll tell you in the last 2 years he has been busier than ever.

[interviewer]
Mr Sporty, who is he?

[AG]
Someone that had a brief interest in Naomi hardware, and has since gone back to his day job.

I believe he did decap a PIC from Sports Jam, and never made it public. He never shared his information out to my knowledge. I don’t know anyone that got anything from him.

[interviewer]
So, SEGASHED when did it happen?

[AG]
I actually can’t remember, I think it was the end of 2007.

[interview]
So changing the name??

[AG]
Groan – yeah well the original name of SEGASHED was a bit dumb.. I actually liked the logo concept (which was done by a good friend Uncle T in Sweden), and probably wore my heart on my shirt a bit too much.

Was I forced to change the name, Yes. Do I understand why, Yes.. Do other websites get away with using the SEGA name, Yes. But that isn’t my concern.

Well it didn’t affect my business in anyway, if anything I got more trade companies supporting me (a lot of trade companies are unhappy with the way they are being forced to spend x-amount of money).

[interviewer]
So what’s next?

[AG]
I’ll be looking into supporting the RingEdge (Let’s go Island) and the new PC hardware (The Grid), and continuing to support the Lindbergh.

I’ll be selling the compact flash solution – although there is no demand on the home market – people will say, why pay £200 odd for something we can download and net boot for free. This is there choice, nobody is forced to buy anything from me.

I am also working with a number of companies on refurbishments, game conversions and such.

I am also looking into doing other things – non-arcade related.

[interviewer]
Thank you for you time.

[AG]
No problems!

On a personal note – I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me in the last 12 years!

Andy Geezer’s is like marmite – You’ll either love him or hate him..

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More Virtua Fighter 5

Aug 13th, 2010

Virtua Fighter Rev C

Anyone who has attempted to run this version (providing they have the correct security chip, which is like rocking horse sh!t) will be presented with this screen.

which basically translates to the following :-

It is not possible to start on this network, a vague error, but this is to-do with how your network settings are on your Lindbergh.

Go into Test menu, Network settings and change DHCP from Disable to Enable, and exit.

You’ll now be presented with the following :-

Basically this is waiting for a DHCP server to allocate the client an IP address within the network, there is several ways around it, but basically you can use a Laptop with either a patch/crossover cable, and using a DHCP server.

This is the screen you’ll be presented with now as it tries to connect to the ALL.NET network and the internal VF5 network (which I assume would be another Lindbergh running VF5 in server mode), after a long time (when the counter reaches 0, and another time reaches 0) the game will proceed.

Well changes include support for card readers, online play, knockout trials, score trials, different costumes etc, the game is full Japanese regardless of region. The game feels right in Japanese though..

The more exciting aspect means hopefully the same can be done with Virtua Fighter 5 R, although obviously getting the game will be nigh on impossible due to the fact it is rental equipment.

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Virtua Fighter 5 – At long last…

Aug 11th, 2010

Well out of nowhere landed some Virtua Fighter 5’s, and I can now confirm the following:

Virtua Fighter 5 Revision B (2007-05-31 01:21:03) which comes witth the keychip 253-5508-0438 is the ONLY worldwide release version of Virtua Fighter 5.

This version is standalone only and will work on any Yellow Lindbergh from anywhere in the world and doesn’t support card readers, Sega ALL.NET or Terminal.

Also the keychip is not valid for the Japanese releases.

There are a lot Japanese revisions, and in Japan it is possible to have one VF5 server with 30 client machines with one or more TV and Terminal stations, it is in theory possible to get these to work outside of Japan using 2 or more Lindberghs, DHCP etc.

Above pictures is one of those Lindbergh project cabs I bought from Sega, finished off nicely with Lindbergh running VF5.

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Demodded..

Jul 31st, 2010

I’ve decided to be asked to be de-moderated from a number of forums I frequent.

Naturally I will still visit those places, but in a diminished capacity, I’ve had great times on forums, but sadly many other commitments means I can not give those places the time and attention they deserve.

Also rumour mill has suggested I give better deals/secret stuff to “forum members” on those sites, and to avoid anymore ideal gossip, it is best if I go alone as an inpartial independent.

This will leave me more time to concentrate on other projects, and such…

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Making a VF4 Evolution cartridge!

Jul 18th, 2010

A crazy easter egg, or did Sega make to many VF4 Evolution cartridges?! Anyway thumbs up for recycling, and it let’s face it VF4 Evo is a pretty cool game!

Simply take a Credit controller rom board from a Shootout Pool Prize or Club Kart Prize (the rom board is the top board in the large metal cage – located on the shelf of the Naomi cab).

Remove the old eprom program rom, and install a Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution eprom and power on (obviously VF4 Evo is Naomi 2, so you’ll need a Naomi 2 mobo).

Tips for spoting VF4 Evo, the ACTEL security chip. =]

All mask roms 100%, this is the rom test results once VF4 Evolution program rom fitted.

Anyone who owns this board, and would like to convert it to VF4 Evolution, I can provide dump of the prog rom or pre-programmed eprom.

Special Thanks to D Knute for pointing this out, I will be more vigilante – I need new glasses anyways!

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40″ Plasma – A monster of a test rig monitor?!

Jun 25th, 2010

Okay, so I recieved a 40″ (4:3!) Plasma from a contact in Germany, what is nice is it supports 15K, 25K and 31.5K without the use of a scan converter, so the picture is perfect colourwise, naturally the geometery is also perfect!

I’ve always been a fan of Plasma’s over LCD, because of the no-lag issue and better colour, Plasma is also my choice for watching high-defination material (being a proud of owner of Kuro 50″ Plasma).

Now I need to find a nice Deluxe cabinet that is worthy of a refurbishment?? Scud Race DX? Daytona 2 DX?? Hmmm..

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