Topic: I dun got me a Q*bert!  (Read 1399 times)

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Offline Womble

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I dun got me a Q*bert!
« on: February 06, 2010, 12:27:44 PM »
A mate brought round a load of boards that didnae work for a rom dump and MAME compare to ID them, he scampered away happy taking his newly ID'd Tiger Heli with him, the rest were scrap including a Q*Bert board that sadly had once had a score backup battery on board that has leaked everywhere and corroded a fair few tracks to dust. He wasnt interested in it in the slightest to my surprise and donated it to my scrap bin. Spent the last couple of hours making up the wiring harness to fire it up, was expecting a gibbering twitching mess due to the damage, but the damn thing works! Well it works so far as it boots, runs the attract mode, and passes its self tests.  :D

Very old school hardware this, an 8086 CPU, 16 kilobit (ie 2KB) eproms and some very vintage RAM chips. Bright white they are, with a gold die and gold pins, never seen any like that in the flesh before. Sadly they are right by the battery damage and the fumes had wrecked the printing on 2 of them, the print just rubbed off, thankfully its still ok on one of them.

Am quite chuffed, the game drives me insane on MAME, I am awful at it, can rarely get to level 2.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 12:31:45 PM by Womble »
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Offline resident paul

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Re: I dun got me a Q*bert!
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 01:01:37 PM »
Nice one :) I wouldn't mind seeing some photos of the working Q-bert.

Offline rewind

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Re: I dun got me a Q*bert!
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010, 01:25:53 PM »
me too for photos please!

I so want an arcade cabinet...  :(
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Offline Womble

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Re: I dun got me a Q*bert!
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2010, 11:58:06 PM »
Rokay - will eventually put up a repair log as the sound system doesnt work, havent fitted the control lines to my harness yet so I cant confirm if it plays or not, but... here she is....



Its probably a bootleg, although it could have been a licensed board, its looks rather well made for a bootleg, but the pinout is not the original Qbert and the original is slightly harder to JAMMAify as you need to build a circuit to take the separate horizontal and vertical sync to make composite sync, thankfully this board already outputs csync.



One 8086 CPU, rarely seen in arcadia, probably coz it was so expensive, the majority of early boards are Z80 based.



Very old RAM chips, 64 x 9 bit capacity, that's bit not even kb!! You can see where the battery used to be in the top right corner, lots of corrosion, lots of tracks rotten through, the SRAM is probably the sound RAM and there is almost certainly a whole world of rotten tracks under the top chip. Hopefully the chip itself is OK.



© 1979 AMD!! Tho this board is almost certainly from 1982 or early 1983 - which makes it older than my wife!!

So a basic harness was made for it, comprising 5V, -5V, Ground and the 4 video signals and power applied, I was expecting the worst, what I wasn't expecting was this...



I need to ground a pin on the edge connector to put the game into game mode, but when I did the colours were all wrong, the background was orange, Qbert was blue etc etc. Went back to the test mode and fired up the colour test..



Turns out the pinout online for the 44 pin Qbert is wrong when it comes to the RGB channels so a quick swap around fixed that, regrounded the "run" pin and...





 :D

Would love to build a replica orange cab for this game, I have the screen, not sure its something I would ever get round to doing tho.
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Offline Panther

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Re: I dun got me a Q*bert!
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 11:50:02 AM »
That's wicked, I love Q*bert, never quite understood what he/she was supposed to be though  ;D

Offline Womble

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Re: I dun got me a Q*bert!
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 10:32:06 PM »
From what I read online  he game was dreamt up by one of the designers while he was at school, doodling in a school book. The character was just something he had drawn.

This boad is certainly a bootleg as its missing the SC01 speech chip, there are places for it and the associated chippery but its not present. The game was supposed to have speech but the programmer couldnt get the speech to sound right, "bonus points" always came out as "bogus points" so they opted to give the chip gibberish data to have Q*Bert talk rubbish. Odd too that the MAME impementation of the game doesnt include these noises tho, cant find anywhere that would tell me what its supposed to sound like, other than there is an aaaaaaaagh sound when he falls off the map.
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Offline Gaztee

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Re: I dun got me a Q*bert!
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2010, 12:25:45 AM »
I am soooo jealous - thats a brilliant find, even if it is a bootleg!! ;D
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Offline WW2GURU

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Re: I dun got me a Q*bert!
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 12:00:12 AM »
A slim chance you'll see this but this is the only place I've found that has a picture of this board. Could you tell me the values of the 2 large resistor bars by the 44 pin connector. Someone removed mine before I owned it. Can't go into game mode :(
Thanks in advance

Rokay - will eventually put up a repair log as the sound system doesnt work, havent fitted the control lines to my harness yet so I cant confirm if it plays or not, but... here she is....



Its probably a bootleg, although it could have been a licensed board, its looks rather well made for a bootleg, but the pinout is not the original Qbert and the original is slightly harder to JAMMAify as you need to build a circuit to take the separate horizontal and vertical sync to make composite sync, thankfully this board already outputs csync.



One 8086 CPU, rarely seen in arcadia, probably coz it was so expensive, the majority of early boards are Z80 based.



Very old RAM chips, 64 x 9 bit capacity, that's bit not even kb!! You can see where the battery used to be in the top right corner, lots of corrosion, lots of tracks rotten through, the SRAM is probably the sound RAM and there is almost certainly a whole world of rotten tracks under the top chip. Hopefully the chip itself is OK.



© 1979 AMD!! Tho this board is almost certainly from 1982 or early 1983 - which makes it older than my wife!!

So a basic harness was made for it, comprising 5V, -5V, Ground and the 4 video signals and power applied, I was expecting the worst, what I wasn't expecting was this...



I need to ground a pin on the edge connector to put the game into game mode, but when I did the colours were all wrong, the background was orange, Qbert was blue etc etc. Went back to the test mode and fired up the colour test..



Turns out the pinout online for the 44 pin Qbert is wrong when it comes to the RGB channels so a quick swap around fixed that, regrounded the "run" pin and...





 :D

Would love to build a replica orange cab for this game, I have the screen, not sure its something I would ever get round to doing tho.