|N A M C O S Y S T E M 2 4 6 / 2 5 6 H A R D W A R E|
- There are 2 main versions of the Namco System 246 hardware, the newest one being smaller. The original System 246 contains a standard Sony PS2 main board (GH-006) and is bolted to a custom Namco I/O board containing some FPGAs and RAM, plus several connectors. The older hardware won't run the newer games. The newer System 246 comes in a smaller metal box and as a single custom PCB (there's no PS2 main board anymore but the same chips are present). Mostly likely the rest of it remains the same, capability-wise. System 256 is essentially the same thing but runs faster with smoother graphics and is also a single custom PCB. However the EE and GS have been merged into one chip probably to cut production costs and allow tighter integration of the components. S256 will actually run S246 and S256 games by changing a jumper which is clearly labelled on the PCB inside the unit.
Hitachi / LG
- DVD Drive: System 246 accesses the DVD drive all the time as the game plays, including in attract mode. Due to this the DVD drive will fail eventually. There are rumours spread by people who have no idea what they are talking about, that the DVD drives have special firmware and regular PC DVD drives won't work. Those rumours are totally incorrect and those people should do a little more 'independent research' before they blurt that crap all over the internet! Regular DVD drives do work in System 246 units but not all DVD drives are compatible. The most likely reason for a replacement DVD drive not working is nothing to do with custom firmware, it's more a case of getting a drive with a compatible chipset or at least compatible ATAPI command set. I have proven that other drives do work, so any drive that is marked as working below or most models from the working manufacturers should be fine (i.e. Hitachi / LG / Samsung / Sony / Toshiba)
Note in the table below that '(Factory Supplied)' means those drives were found in System 246 games. All others are regular PC drives.
These drives have been tested and are CONFIRMED.... (updated 3rd Dec. 2008)
H-L Data Storage LG GSA-4164B Super Multi DVD Drive (September 2005) - WORKING
H-L Data Storage LG GSA-4082B Super Multi DVD Drive (February 2004) - WORKING
H-L Data Storage LG GCC-4120B CD-RW/DVD-ROM Drive (April 2002) - WORKING
Lite-On IT Corp DVD-ROM/CD Re-Writable Drive LDW-451S (March 2004) - NOT WORKING
NEC DV-5800C DVD-ROM Drive (February 2004) - WORKING
Pioneer DVD-106S/2 Slot Load DVD-ROM Drive (May 2002) - NOT WORKING
Samsung SD-616 DVD-ROM Drive (December 2001) (Factory Supplied) - WORKING
Samsung SD-M1802 (Factory Supplied) - WORKING
Samsung SD-816 (Factory Supplied) - WORKING
Sony DW-U10A (May 2003) (Factory Supplied) - WORKING
Toshiba SD-M1612 DVD-ROM Drive (January 2003) (Factory Supplied) - WORKING
Toshiba SD-M1712 DVD-ROM Drive (November 2003) (Factory Supplied) - WORKING
- PCB pics (click link for larger pics)
PS2 top Other Side
System 246 main board Other Side
System 246 Rack(C) main board Other Side
Here are the DIP switch settings....
On - Test Mode
Off - Game Mode
Switch 2 (RGB output level, set ON if the picture is dark):
On - 0.7Vp-p (use for 31.5k monitor)
Off - 3.0Vp-p (use for 15k monitor)
Switch 3 (Monitor horizontal sync freq):
On - 31.5kHz
Off - 15.75kHz
Switch 4 (Video sync signal):
On - Separate
Off - Composite
Defaults are marked in BOLD
- I/O board Output power connects from the front white connector on the left to the System 246 main board power
connector. The main board can also
be powered with a JVS power supply using a 6 pin to JVS power adapter (note only 5V and 12V are used). A flat cable is used for additional controls
which plugs into the side of the System 246 unit. Sound is connected via the 2 RCA connectors (an AMP is also on the I/O board to output to the internal
cab speakers). Video is output directly from a VGA connector on the mainboard at either 15kHz or 31kHz (selectable via a DIP switch on the front of the
main System 246 unit) and is tied to the I/O board via a short black VGA to VGA cable. On some cabinets that have a VGA cable and JAMMA cable, the
video will not display if taken directly from the mainboard VGA connector (since the JAMMA must be used too for controls) so in that case use the small
black cable and output the video via the JAMMA connector on the I/O board. On the other side, the JAMMA connector plugs directly into the cabinet
and the small white connectors to the right are used for extra buttons.
- Dongle This contains a 64MBit 3.3V NAND flashROM (Fujitsu MBM30LV0064 or Toshiba TC58V64FT or
Samsung K9F6408 or Spansion S99-50148) and a Sony Magic Gate ASIC (CXD9600R). NAND flash ROMs are a very special type of chip. The datasheet for the ROM is widely available. It uses a serial protocol for it's data transfer, using only 8 I/O pins (I/O0 to I/O7), meaning they are multiplexed and require multiple passes to read out the data. NAND flash ROMs can't be read as a standard EPROM... at least not fully and correctly. As well as the 8M (8,388,608 bytes) x8-bit NAND flash memory storage area there's also a spare 256k (262,144 bytes) x8-bit used for bad block re-allocation. The chip is intelligent enough to know when a block is bad and can use the spare area for storage when a bad block is encountered. There can also be other valid data stored in this area too.
The technical details are thus....
The K9F6408X0C has addresses multiplexed into 8 I/O's. This scheme dramatically reduces pin counts and allows systems
upgrades to future densities by maintaining consistency in system board design. Command, address and data are all written through
I/O's by bringing WE to low while CE is low. Data is latched on the rising edge of WE. Command Latch Enable(CLE) and Address
Latch Enable(ALE) are used to multiplex command and address respectively, via the I/O pins. All commands require one bus cycle
except for Block Erase command which requires two cycles: one cycle for erase-setup and another for erase-execution after block
address loading. The 8Mbyte physical space requires 23 addresses, thereby requiring three cycles for byte-level addressing: column
address, low row address and high row address, in that order.
As well as protection functions, the dongle provides the
region code / language / title change. The dongle also changes some game features like it having more fighters / more released characters
in Tekken 4 or Soul Calibur or other things like that. The dongle may also set the allowed DVD drive type but this isn't confirmed yet.
The dongle is
actually the BOOT ROM, since without the cart plugged in the game does nothing and the DVD drive does not power up at all.
All dongles have
a unique Namco game code and revision number per game. For example in the game code 'TEF1 Ver.A', 1 = Japanese region, 2 and 3 = World region.
If the dongle is faulty or not present the game will not boot at all. You will not see an error, only a blank screen. Some games have more than 1 revision dongle. Any dongle for that game can be used. For example a dongle for Soul Calibur II can be used with Soul Calibur II Rev D and a dongle for Tekken 5.1 will work with Tekken 5. The region for a game can also be changed by simply swapping the dongle to a different one that is coded to a different region. For example to swap Time Crisis 3 (Japanese dongle TST1 Ver.A) to English, just use a dongle coded 'TST2 Ver.A'. The ROM can also be re-programmed to a different region, more on that below. Read on....
Around September 2009, one dongle dump was 'released' for one game. That dump had been hoarded for many many months (along with many other hoarded System 246 games) and it turned out to be bad. It's a 2.2Meg file which is of course completely wrong. The dongle dump should be 8M (8388608 bytes as documented in the datasheet) since the ROM is 64MBit, and there should be an additional 256k dump of the spare area. So although it might be 'dumped', it's actually a load of crap, not dumped properly and has been rejected. Bad dumps are fine as long as they are fixed, but when the amateur dumper can't admit that the dump is bad and refuses to cooperate with us (MAMEdev) then we have a serious problem. Meaning that old Guru had to fix this problem too like many other bad dumps done in the past by wannabe amateur dumpers who are clueless to technical details :-/
I am the only person properly tooled up to dump these strange NAND ROMs. And I am the only one ACTIVELY doing so. Period.
You can't dump these properly with a hacky Willem progrmmer and those dumps will be rejected by MAMEDev, so don't bother wasting our time submitting them. In any case, wiring up a surface mounted ROM manually with dozens of wires is a one-off thing. If you've done it more than once because your equipment is inferior then you seriously need to make an appointment to see your doctor and/or admit yourself to an asylum because you have a serious problem.
For those who are wondering, no, I didn't just figure this out. I have known for many years. It was just a matter of time before the hardware became available so I could justify spending my own money to obtain the required pieces.
If you have a Namco System 246/256 dongle and want it dumped for addition to MAME, you will need to send it to me in order that it is dumped correctly.
Since I am tooled up with professional equipment, the process is guaranteed and fast. Dumping the ROM inside the dongle takes around 5 minutes including
removing the ROM, reading it and putting it back. Of course if the DVD is not dumped we will need a copy or image of it too.
Just create a .BIN + .CUE (we need raw untouched binary dumps. sorry a ISO is unacceptable) and put it online somewhere or send me (or one of the other MAMEDevs) a DVD-R copy if you can't upload a multi-gigabyte DVD
image or send the original DVD/HDD to me to be dumped.
There is no alternative dumper for the dongles so if you want it dumped properly you must send it to me.
- Game Conversions: The game dongle is specific to the game and only works with that game. However some
work has been done to reverse-engineer the protection and it is now possible to convert the carts to work with any other game. The process is not
simple and requires a few hours. Having said that, if you have a dongle and want it converted to a different game, or you have a Japanese region
dongle and you want it converted to English it can be done. All you have to do is send your dongle to me and I will convert it for a small fee.
Contact me for the details.
- DVD Disc The game DVD discs are not region locked and are common to all regions. That is, the DVD will work with a Japanese or World dongle. To swap games, simply change the DVD disc and security cart and power on. To open the DVD drive with the power off you can either use a special tool (or a bit of stiff wire or a long pin or thin nail) to manually open the drive tray and swap the disc with the power off, or boot the system with the existing game then press the eject button to open the tray, swap the DVD then close the tray and power off. While the power is off swap the dongle for the new game then power on. Note! ALWAYS swap the dongle with the power OFF!
There is no secret formula, just swap and boot.
- For game/hardware compatibility, please check the verified compatibility table that I created at the top of MAME's
System 246 source code driver....
Either here or here
N A M C O S Y S T E M 2 4 6 / 2 5 6 G A M E S
|Namco Game Number
(on back of dongle)
|Dongle S/W Rev. Code
|Battle Gear 3 [Japan] (Taito, 2002) || M9005793A VER.2.04J || NM00010|| B3900065A || GOOD||20GB HDD |
|Battle Gear 3 [Export] (Taito, 2002) || B3900065?(B/C) || |
|Battle Gear 3 Tuned [Japan] (Taito, 2003) ||M9006066A VER.2.03J ||NM00015|| B3900074B || GOOD|| || |
|Battle Gear 3 Tuned [Export] (Taito, 2003) || B3900074C || GOOD|| GOOD||30GB HDD |
|Bloody Roar 3 (Namco / 8ing / Raizing, 2000) || BRT1-A || NM00002|| BRT1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD||Similar hardware to RRV + custom I/O board |
|Capcom Fighting Jam / Capcom Fighting Evolution (Capcom, 2004) || JAM1 DVD0 || NM00018|| JAM1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Cobra: The Arcade (Namco, 2004) || CBR1-HA || NM00021|| CBR1 Ver.B || GOOD|| GOOD||40GB HDD |
|Dragon Chronicles (Namco, 2002) || DCO31-TS CD0 || NM00020|| DC001 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Dragon Chronicles Legend of the Master Ark (Namco, 2002 || DGC11 CD0 || NM00014|| DGC11, Ver.A1 || || || |
|Druaga Online -The Story Of AON (Namco, 2004) || DOL160-1-ST-DVD0-H || NM00028|| DOL165-1-ST-I Ver1.65|| GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Gundam vs Gundam (Bandai / Capcom, 2008) || GVS1 DVD0B || NM00043|| GVS1, Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Gundam vs Gundam Next (Bandai / Capcom, 2009) || GNX100-1-NA-HDD0-A || NM00052|| GNX1001-NA-A || GOOD|| GOOD||80GB HDD |
|Fate / Unlimited Codes (Capcom / Type-Moon / Cavia / 8ing, 2008) || FUD-HDD0-A || NM00048|| FUD1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD||80GB HDD |
|Getchu Play! Tottoko Hamutaro (Banpresto, 2007) || || || || || || |
|Idol Master (Namco, 2004) || IDM1-HA || NM00022|| IDMS1 Ver.A || || || |
|Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix (Banpresto, 2006) || KN1-B || NM00029|| KN1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix 2 (Banpresto, 2007) || KN2 || NM00040|| KN2 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix 2 Tokumori (Banpresto, 2008) || || || || || || |
|Minna de Kitaeru Zenno Training (Namco, 2006) || ZNT100-1-NA-DVD0 || NM00036|| ZNT100-1-ST-A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Mobile Suit Z Gundam: A.E.U.G. vs. Titans (Capcom / Banpresto, 2003) || ZGA1 DVD0 || NM00013|| ZGA1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Mobile Suit Z Gundam: A.E.U.G. vs. Titans DX (Capcom / Banpresto, 2004) || ZDX1 DVD0 || NM00017|| ZDX1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Federation Vs. Z.A.F.T. (Banpresto, 2005) || SED1 DVD0 || NM00024|| SED1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Destiny Federation Vs. Z.A.F.T. II (Banpresto, 2006)|| GSD1 DVD0 || NM00034|| GSD1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Netchuu Pro Yakyuu 2002 (Namco, 2002) || NPY1 CD0B || NM00009|| NPY Ver.B || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Pride GP 2003 (Capcom, 2003) || PR21 DVD0 || NM00011|| PR21 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Quiz Mobile Suit Gundam: Tou. Senshi (Banpresto, 2006) || QG1 || NM00030|| QG1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Ridge Racer V Arcade Battle (Namco, 2001) || RRV1-A || NM00001|| RRV1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD||1st version of System 246 using stock PS2 COH-H30000 + Namco interface board + drive board + PIC16F84-based I/O board|
| RRV2 Ver.A || GOOD |
| RRV2 Ver.B || |
| RRV3 Ver.A || GOOD |
|Sengoku Basara X (Capcom / ARC System Works, 2007) || BAX1 DVD0 || NM00042|| BAX1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Smash Court Pro Tournament (Namco, 2001) || SCP1 CD0 || NM00006|| SCP1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Soul Calibur II (Namco, 2002) || SC21 DVD0 || NM00007|| SC21 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Soul Calibur II (Namco, 2002) || SC21 DVD0B || SC23 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD |
|Soul Calibur II Rev. D (Namco, 2002) || SC21 DVD0D || SC22 Ver.D || GOOD|| GOOD |
|Soul Calibur III Arcade Edition (Namco, 2005) || SC31001-NA-DVD0-A || NM00031|| SC31001-NA-A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
| SC31001-NA-DVD0-B || SC31001-NA-B || GOOD|| || |
|Sukusuku Inufuku 2 / The Dog Luck 2 (Hampster, 2007) || HM-IN2 || NM00037|| IN2 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Super Dragonball Z / Chou Dragonball Z (Banpresto, 2005) || DB1 || NM00027|| DB1 Ver.B || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 7 || TK71 DVD0 || NM00023|| TK71 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 8 || TK8100-1-NA-DVD0-A || NM00033|| TK81001-NA-A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 9 || TK9100-1-NA-DVD0-A || NM00038|| TK91001-NA-A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 10 || TK10100-1-NA-DVD0-A || NM00041|| TK101001-NA-A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 11 (Namco 2008) || T11100-1-NA-DVD0-A || NM00044|| T111001-NA-A || || || |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 12 (Namco 2008) || T12-HA || NM00051|| T121001-NA-A || || || |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 12 More (Namco 2008) || T12200-1-NA-HDD-A || NM00051|| T121001-NA-A || || || |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 13 (Namco 2009) || T1301-NA-HDD0-A1 || NM00056|| T1301-NA-A || || || |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 14 (Namco 2010) || T1301-NA-HDD0-A1 || NM00057|| T141001-NA-A || || || |
|Taiko no Tatsujin 14 More (Namco 2010) || T141002-NA-HDD0-A || NM00057|| T141002-NA-A || || || |
|Technic Beat (Arika, 2002) || TNB1 DVD0 || NM000??|| TNB1 Ver.A || || || |
|Tekken 4 (Namco, 2001) || TEF1 DVD0 || NM00004|| TEF1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
| TEF1 Ver.C || GOOD |
| TEF1 Ver.D || GOOD |
| TEF2 Ver.A || GOOD |
| TEF3 Ver.A || |
| TEF3 Ver.C || GOOD |
|Tekken 5 (Namco, 2004) || TE51 DVD0 || NM00019|| TE51 Ver.A || GOOD|| || |
| TE52 DVD0B || TE52 Ver.A || |
| TE52 DVD0B || TE52 Ver.B || GOOD |
| TE52 DVD0B || TE53 Ver.B || GOOD |
|Tekken 5.1 (Namco, 2005) || TE51 DVD0B || NM00019|| TE51 Ver.B || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection (Namco, 2005) || TED1 DVD0 || NM00026|| TED1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
| TED1 DVD0B || TED2 Ver.A || GOOD|| |
| TED1 DVD0B || TED3 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD |
|The Battle of Yu Yu Hakusho: Shitou! Ankoku Bujutsukai! (Banpresto, 2006) || YH1 || NM00035|| YH1 Ver.A || || || |
|Time Crisis 3 (Namco, 2002) || TST1 DVD0 || NM00012|| TST1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
| TST2 Ver.A || GOOD |
| TST3 Ver.A || GOOD |
|Time Crisis 4 (Namco, 2005) ||TSF1-HA || NM00032|| TSF1002-NA-A || GOOD|| GOOD||40GB HDD. Super System 256 |
| TSF1001-NA-A ||
|Vampire Night (Namco / Sega / WOW Entertainment, 2000) || VPN1 CD0 || NM00003|| VPN3 Ver.B || GOOD|| GOOD|| |
|Wangan Midnight [Japan] (Namco, 2001) || WMN1-A || NM00008|| WMN1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD||Upgrade for RRV on same hardware except with a RAM64 PCB inside. Base hardware is identical to RRV|
| WMN1 Ver.B || |
|Wangan Midnight [Export](Namco, 2001) ||WMN2-A || WMN2 Ver.A || || |
| WMN2 Ver.B || |
|Wangan Midnight R (Namco, 2002) || WMR1-A || NM00005|| WMR1 Ver.A || GOOD|| GOOD||Upgrade for RRV on same hardware except with a RAM64 PCB inside. Base hardware is identical to RRV|
|Zoids Infinity (Taito, 2004) || M9006212A Ver.2.02J || NM00016|| B3900076A || || || |
|Zoids Infinity Ex (Taito, 2005) || || NM00025|| B3900098B || || || |
|Zoids Infinity Ex Plus (Taito, 2006) || M9006907A Ver.2.10JPN|| NM00025|| B3900107A || || || |