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Database Client Software 2.0 Manual
» PCB Definition

Step 2: Finding the PCB used

You will notice another window pops up on the screen while on this page. If you have the PCB scan auto-loader setup properly, your PCB scan for this cart will already be displayed (or one of them at least, if you have dupes of this cart). If there is no image displayed, click in the window to bring up a file selection dialog and select the scan yourself.

If the DB has any prior knowledge of the current game, a search will be run for likely candidate PCBs. If this game is new to the system, enter the PCB into the search field and run a search manually. Results will be ordered by what the DB thinks is the most likely results at the top.

* Pressing ENTER in the search field will perform the search, set the focus to the results, and select the first item. If the first result happens to be the right one, hitting ENTER again will goto the next page.

With any luck, it will find a match. In that case, just select the PCB from the list and move on to the next step.

If not, you will have to enter this data yourself. First off, if this new board is just a revision of another known board (e.g. you found a NES-SLROM-07 and the DB knows of NES-SLROM-06), make things easy on yourself and select the PCB your basing off from the list first. This will preload the fields on the page with data on this PCB. Then you can just make the necessary changes as needed.

PCB Info Dialog
Company Names
Producer: The name of the company in charge of having the PCB produced. For NES- and HVC- prefixed boards, this would be Nintendo. For others, the producer is typically the same as the publisher.
Manufacturer: The name of the company that actually made the board. This is an optional field as this information is not always easily attained.
PCB Name: Most PCBs have a string printed on them that can uniquely ID them. Official boards begin with NES- or HVC-. 3rd-party and unlicensed boards can be just about anything, even just a string of numbers. Some don't even have one, and in those cases, you will need to make a unique one up. Made-up names should be enclosed in < > brackets.
Alias: Occasionally a PCB may have additional text that can also be used to ID it, you can enter that here as an alias.
PCB Class: A textual string that defines the general characteristics of the board. For official Nintendo PCBs, this is the same as the full name minus the numeric suffix. This is intended for emulators to use instead of a iNES #. In UNIF files, this will be the board name used.
iNES Mapper #: A number between 0 and 255 that defines the board behaviour.
If using a CopyNES, this will be auto-detected. If not, you have to define this yourself. If the PCB contains a couple small pads with the labels "H" and "V", one of them will be bridged with a blob of solder like figure #1 or with a trace like figure #2. Both example images have horizontal mirroring.
  • If H is bridged, then it's vertical mirroring.
  • If V is bridged, then it's horizontal mirroring.
  • If these pads aren't present, that usually indicates mapper-controlled mirroring. However some boards are hard-wired to H or V and don't have the selection pads.
Figure 1
Figure 2

PCB Slot Definitions

For each chip on the PCB, there must be a slot defined for it. The 4 components to the definition are as follows:

Slot Designation: This is the description of the spot for the chip as it is printed on the PCB. It should consist of 2 parts, the chip "#" and a description of what the chip does. Sometimes the # or the description (or both) are not present or are hidden beneath the chip. In such cases you should try to make up some logical designations of your own, using the following conventions:
  • Text that you make up should be enclosed in [ ] brackets.
  • If there is no ordering number, use [U1], [U2], etc. If there is another version of the PCB that has the numbers printed, use that as a reference. Otherwise label them in the following order as a guideline:
    • PRG-ROM(s)
    • CHR-ROM(s) or VRAM(s)
    • CIC
    • MMC(s)
    • WRAM(s)
  • If there is no description, just pick a simple and logical one. Look for other PCB's using the chip and check what they are using for a description.
  • Sometimes the PCB will have a misleading or completely wrong description printed. It's fairly common to see a CHR ROM sitting in a spot labeled as CHR RAM or vice-versa. However, this text is only used to identify the spot on the PCB, so enter the text as it is even when it's wrong.
  • If this is a Chip-On-Board type PCB, the first slot defined should be one with both the designation and function set to "PCB". Each blob also needs to have a slot defined. Sometimes the blobs have designations on the PCB like normal chips, if not, it may take some investigation to determine what the blob is for.
  • Note that on the profile pages, text that is contained in [ ] is represented by italicized text. So "U1 [PRG]" displays as "U1 PRG".
Chip Function: The basic function the chip performs. This definition is used to map the chip to other fields.
  • PRGx and CHRx maps the chip in the slot to the appropriate ROM data.
  • VRAMx and WRAMx allows the system to know what the SRAM chip in the slot is used for, and to calculate the total amount of each.
  • CIC is how it knows which chip is the CIC, or if an unlicensed cart, the chip used to disable it. If a default value is set, the value will be mapped to the "CIC" field in the hardware details or leave it blank to map the actual part #.
  • MMC covers any chip used for memory-mapping.
  • BATT is a chip used to control the power source to a RAM chip.
  • EEPROM is for EEPROM's, which some carts use as an alternative to a battery + SRAM
  • AUDIO is for a chip that produces external audio. Note that most chips with audio are also an MMC and should be labeled as such.
  • PCB is used only with epoxy-blob boards. Epoxy blobs don't have any text printed on them like normal chip packages do. Instead, such text is printed directly on the PCB.
Default Part: This is primarily used for MMC chips and is intended for emulator use so they don't have to differentiate between multiple part #'s when they all function the same. This especially applies to discrete logic parts as they are made by a large number of manufacturers, all with different part #'s. The value here will be mapped into the "Hardware" field in the hardware details section. If it is left blank, the actual part # will be used. Default values for epoxy parts should be enclosed in < > brackets. ROM's and RAM's do not use this field.
Chip Co-ordinates: These are set via the scan preview window and is discussed further on the PCB Scan Window page

Slot Manipulation

The 3 combo-boxes above the slot list from left to right are: Designation, Function, and Default. When the designation changes, it will look for appropriate values to enter into the other 2 fields. You should enter these in the same order as the # in the designation.

* Pressing the ENTER key in any of these 3 fields will add the values to the slot list below and reset the focus to the designation combobox.

To remove a slot from the list, select it and press the DELETE key.

To rearrange the list ordering, select the slot you want to move and use the PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys to move it up or down, respectively.

Before setting any chip coords, you should define all the slots first.

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