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| | |-+  Modify PAL-N Famiclone for NTSC or PAL?
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Author Topic: Modify PAL-N Famiclone for NTSC or PAL?  (Read 995 times)
xdaniel
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« on: April 28, 2012, 12:55:38 AM »

Hello there, new guy here with a bit of a FC-related problem...

I recently got this nice "old-style" not NOAC-based "Family Game" Famiclone. Looks pretty much identical to an actual Famicom, besides the controllers, it's got composite AV out, it even came still with its box (not the manual, tho) - it's an "Exciting Entertainment System" as the box puts it! ...the only problem with it: it's PAL-N. And my TV doesn't PAL-N signals it seems, as all I get is a black-and-white image when using composite, and a B/W image with a kind of moving rainbow pattern across it when using RF. PAL signals are no problem for the TV, seeing how I'm based in Europe, and NTSC signals aren't either, as my other NTSC consoles (ex. US N64, Japanese SFC and Saturn) work perfectly fine, no matter if composite and/or RGB where applicable.

So, well, I'm wondering if there's a way to turn the machine into a regular NTSC or PAL system, preferably NTSC considering all the strings attached to old consoles and PAL (slower speed and the like)? I personally don't know too much about electronics, but I do know that ex. the PPU chips are different between PAL and NTSC NESes, so I'm guessing that might need to be replaced? Well, if that's a PAL PPU in there anyway, I'm not sure...

Finally, some pictures of the thing - the system itself and the box (if you're curious), and two shots of the board. Would be great if you've got any advice for me! Smiley





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133MHz
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 01:03:45 AM »

Replace 21.492 MHz crystal with 26.601712 MHz Wink
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 01:26:32 AM »

Replace 21.492 MHz crystal with 26.601712 MHz Wink
What about sound?

2 xdaniel so you want to keep it PAL or want to change to NTSC? Second choice require replace chipset.
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133MHz
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 01:38:33 AM »

PAL-N uses the PAL chipset so it should be correct. Apparently the only difference between PAL-B and PAL-N discrete Famiclones is the state of some normally unused PPU pins, but I can't confirm it since my only PAL-N clone is a NoAC.
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xdaniel
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 01:54:03 AM »

So the crystal replacement to 26.60... MHz would make the system PAL-B, while replacing the CPU and PPU with NTSC chips would make it standard NTSC? Basically, I'd like to play normal, Japanese Famicom games on this with full speed, without glitches and in color. For that, it would need to be changed to an NTSC system as the original FC is NTSC, right?
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 02:24:30 AM »

Yes, replace the whole chipset (CPU+PPU+XTAL)
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 03:22:00 AM »

Indeed, but since the chips are soldered to the board it's going to be quite a bit more difficult. Clone system circuit boards are very fragile so exercise extreme caution when removing original chips, and I suggest installing sockets instead of soldering the new chips in.
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 04:48:52 AM »

First he have to remove old chips Roll Eyes
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 05:39:57 AM »

And not trash the board in the process! That's my point. Those boards are very fragile.
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 09:02:05 AM »

Any chance for photo of bottom side PCB? Just would like to compare ground layout. Cheers
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pirate
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 07:17:35 PM »

I want one of that consoles. I think that hardware clones from early 90's,late 90's Famiclones all NOAC.
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xdaniel
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 08:23:07 PM »

Hrm, if those boards really are that fragile, I'm not sure if I want to try this... it's been years since I last soldered something, and even then I only did it one or two times  Embarrassed  But no matter what, certainly thanks for all the info Smiley

Also, 80sFREAK: I already put it back together, but I think I can open it up again and get you a photo tomorrow or so.
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2012, 10:04:56 PM »

Thank you fo that. It's about "jail bar" story. But if chipset done with different technology there might be lees or no "jail bars" at all.
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