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.

18 thoughts on “Drop-in board for NES ROM chip makes cartridge reprogrammable

  1. 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.

    1. 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

    1. A lot more expensive. Most designs like that use a CPLD as the memory mapper, which is awesome. But adds complexity and cost.

      There are the SNES PowerPak, sd2snes and Super Everdrive projects that do what you ask!

      1. What exactly is going wrong with the mac code? I haven’t’ had an opportunity to look at it yet, but if you could let me know what the issue is I might be able to work on it a little bit.

  2. 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?

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