Drop-in board for NES ROM chip makes cartridge reprogrammable

Here’s the guts from [Dext0rb's] Super Nintendo cartridge. It’s easy to pick out the dark-colored board which lets him reflash SNES ROMs via USB. We’ve seen this done a number of times, but this is a much cleaner option than hacks that just add a dead-bug-style memory chip.

The board he designed has a double-row of pin headers sized to fit the footprint vacated by the original ROM chip. The board has a mini-USB connector which can be accessed through a hole he cut in the side of the cartridge enclosure. This is in the right place so that you cannot plug it in when it’s being used in the SNES (which would cause damage). The ATmega32u4 chip handles USB connectivity and programs the 32 megabit flash chip which stores the ROM. He’s posted a few articles on the blog portion of his site which you’ll find interesting. We suggest starting with this hardware teaser.

Comments

  1. Gort says:

    This is the coolest SNES hack. IT’S LIKE I PLAY MARIO, BUT THEN LATER TONIGHT, I PLAY ….Ganbare Goemon 2: Kiteretsu Shougun Magginesu.

  2. mostlymac says:

    On the topic of the actual hack, this board is very slick and appears quite functional. If I still had a working SNES, I would definitely try to build one.

    However, I have to point out that the title of the article says “Drop-in board for NES ROM…” when it should say SNES.

  3. FartFac3 says:

    wait does anyone know a pcb manufacturer that would make a set of 15 of these for me? for cheap of course

    • dext3r says:

      ITead studio. It was $32 USD shipped for the options I picked (thinner PCB, black soldermask, etc) for 8 boards. They ended up sending me 12 or so. That’s about as cheap as you’re going to get :D

  4. cknopp says:

    How expensive an option to add microSD and a default room as a menu?

  5. cknopp says:

    Hawt! I have the cycloDS chip, so was looking for another one!

  6. tyco says:

    So, I thought of doing this myself to try to get a translated version of Seiken Densetsu 3 working on my system. Went through and figured out that making my own flash-DIP adapter would be nearly as expensive as buying the PowerPak… so I just bought the PowerPak to save myself the work. Turns out that although that game wasn’t on their “incompatible” list, I can’t get it to work. Not even the untranslated version.
    To the original builder of this: have you tried this particular rom (translated or untranslated) in this device?

  7. Alex Rossie says:

    Spectacular device. Well done!

  8. Dwjp90 says:

    This is awesome, I know this guy in real life. he told me a week or two ago that he had finished it and its on hackaday, small world.

  9. Rob K says:

    Why was the MAD-1 address decoder removed? the SRAM would not be usable without it.

  10. Sqelch says:

    Wonder if it’ll work on a super fx cart

  11. Will Simpson says:

    Ah this is so awesome, anyone have one I could purchase via paypal (dex3ter?)
    william@infinite-views.com

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