Console Motherboard Revisions Wiki Idea

Started by Link83, December 19, 2008, 04:36:31 AM

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Link83

December 19, 2008, 04:36:31 AM Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 09:51:54 AM by Link83
Hi everyone,
As im sure many of you know, many consoles go through various revisions throughout production - mainly to reduce costs. However this leaves many people confused as to what mod works on what revision of any given console.

Take the PAL SNES for instance - I know of at least three revisions, and the last ones are much harder to perform the 50/60hz mod, and are impossible (at present) to disable the security chip.

So I was thinking what we could really do with is some sort of 'Motherboard Wiki' which has pictures/scans and some information about each revision - I have not seen anything like this online and I think many people would find it really useful.

I was thinking each console would have its own section, which could then be divided again into USA, Japanese and European models (with perhaps an 'Other' section for Brazillian/Hong Kong models etc) and then there would be a list of known revisions for that region (eg. the US N64 would have NUS-CPU-03, NUS-CPU-04, etc)

Then once you click on a specific revision you are shown pictures of the console with the 'hood popped off' but still intact, and them one of it disassembled into its various parts, and finally high resolution pictures/scans of the motherboard for that revision(unmodded if possible) and any other relevent parts (Such as controller port boards if they are separate from the mainboard, CD/DVD drive boards etc)

Of course, if all we can get is low quality pictures of the front and back of the motherboard then that would at least do as a 'placeholder' until clear pictures/scans come along.

It could also have a 'notes' section where you can add any pertinant inormation you have about the revision, such as country of origin, production date, serial number (If you dont mind giving it) and anything you noted about the revision (Missing video modes, revised chips, possible mods, etc)

I realise this is quite an undertaking, but I really think it would be worth it. There are alot of things that could be learned from studying specific revisions. It would also help people who want to study other regions consoles without purchasing one and the costly shipping that entails. The little variations between regions and revisions could really help new mods be discovered/realised.

I dont know how you would setup a Wiki like this, and I guess it could take up quite alot of space and server bandwidth - but I figured that if such a Wiki was to be made where better than gamesx  :) A place where console modders gather.

I know personally that I have many pictures of the PAL Nintendo consoles I have opened - purely for personal reference, and I would be glad to upload them to some sort of Wiki if there were one.

Anyway, I have waffled on long enough! I hope someone can see the benifits in my idea and decide to take up the challenge  ;D Please let me know what you all think.

NFG

The big problem I foresee here is the differences: how do you list the differences between revisions in a standardized fashion?  Would you try and make a comprehensive list of possible mods and the changes needed for each board?  A list of changed chips or circuits? 

It's a good idea, but the way it would work is not immediately obvious to me.

ken_cinder

Easy enough if a picture is available for revisions where it's obvious.
Otherwise someone needs to compile a list for each board revision.......also not really hard.

Quite a bit of this info is scattered on the web already, especially for newer systems.

Link83

December 19, 2008, 11:44:27 PM #3 Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 11:53:12 PM by Link83
Quote from: Lawrence on December 19, 2008, 08:03:00 AM
The big problem I foresee here is the differences: how do you list the differences between revisions in a standardized fashion?  Would you try and make a comprehensive list of possible mods and the changes needed for each board?  A list of changed chips or circuits? 

It's a good idea, but the way it would work is not immediately obvious to me.

Well I was thinking about this before I posted - I realise that there are minor/tiny variations inbetween 'proper' revisions - for instance the PAL SNES on the Revision 2 board used one of two different lockout chips, one can be disabled, the other cant.

Now in these instances you could either have a note mentioning the difference (if you know about it) Or add another set of pictures for that revision titled 'variant1' etc

You could list the mods available for it, but what I was thinking is that you could just say 'Standard 50/60hz mod works fine' and then put a link to the main gamesx tutorial for that mod.

You wouldnt have to list all the chips on the board, but you could if you wanted. I have seen similar such things done before such as this for the N64:-

http://www.chipworks.com.tw/resources/toybox/Nintendo_64_Game_Console-BPT.pdf

Of course the person uploading the pictures wouldnt have to list all the chips - it could be done be somebody else after they have been uploaded as long as the picture/scan is clear enough (Which im hoping they would be - as modern digital cameras/scanners are at the point where with good lighting even basic models are capable of great pictures/scans)

If anybody has datasheets for chips on the motherboards then perhaps they would be a good addition aswell.

The nearest thing I have seen to a 'revision database' before is a few pdf's I found on a German forum. heres a link to the thread for the N64 (pdf on post near the bottom):-

http://66.102.9.104/translate_c?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.project-casemod.de/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php%3Ftopic_id%3D831%26viewmode%3Dflat%26order%3DASC%26type%3D%26mode%3D0%26start%3D40&prev=/search%3Fq%3DSNSP-CPU-1CHIP-01%26hl%3Den&usg=ALkJrhgK1aVLnu8qsT7GlxPrHHFpaA1Ayw

Direct link to the pdf:-
http://www.project-casemod.de/modules/newbb/dl_attachment.php?attachid=1201708644&post_id=13111

As you can see its a very nice attempt, but they havent even included pictures of the rear of the boards, which I would consider just as important as the top.

If it helps heres is a picture of the sort of directory structure I was thinking off for the Wiki:-


Quote from: IJTF_Cinder on December 19, 2008, 08:30:09 AM
Quite a bit of this info is scattered on the web already, especially for newer systems.

And that I think is the main problem - some of the info is out there but its scattered. Theres no one source I can turn to and find exactly what im looking for - expecially for 'retro' systems.

As you say newer systems would be much easier - Xbox revisions are very well documented, and the same for the XBox 360, Wii etc (Of course they are mostly so well documented due to piracy reasons - Or in the case of the 360 due to so many needing repairs)

Tiido Priimägi

I can say there are 8 versions of MD1, 5 versions of MD2 and 3 versions of Genny3.
Mida sa loed ? Nagunii aru ei saa ;)

Shadow_Zero

November 17, 2016, 05:33:35 PM #5 Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 05:42:51 PM by Shadow_Zero
Wow, only now I come across this topic! I think it's a great idea! Too bad it didn't get any follow-up, but I understand it's quite an undertaking. But perhaps in the meantime some initiatives might have already gotten online...?
I know a few:
https://superfamicom.org/console-serial-database
http://nintendo64.wikia.com/wiki/Console_Serial_Number_Guide
https://www.wiidrives.com/

Anyone know of any others?

EDIT:
Actually I don't know how much the GamesX wiki was updated since then! http://www.gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php