Retro-gaming fanatic Timothy Friez is upcycling outdated Nintendo Recreation Boy and Recreation Boy Coloration cartridges into flash carts, providing 2MB of storage and a battery-backed real-time clock — and has launched the PCB designs so that you can make your conversions, too.
“This cartridge was created by swapping out the masks ROM included with the OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] PCB and changing it with a flash adapter and AM29F016 flash reminiscence chip,” Friez explains of an off-the-shelf pre-assembled mannequin he has constructed on the market — whereas making the underlying adapter board design obtainable for anybody to make use of.
The flash cartridge Friez has produced affords 2MB of flash storage and 32kB of static RAM (SRAM) together with a real-time clock and battery back-up — utilized by some Recreation Boy and Recreation Boy Coloration video games to tie in-game time to real-world time. Reasonably than constructing the cartridges from scratch, although, Friez is upcycling authentic Nintendo PCBs by swapping the masks ROM for the flash reminiscence chip, soldering a brand new CR2032 battery into place, testing the crystal and remaining chips, and inserting the outcome into a reproduction cartridge housing.
A desoldered masks ROM and a few wiring turns authentic Recreation Boy cartridges into trendy flash carts, courtesy an open supply adapter. (📷: Timothy Friez)
“Every flash cartridge was absolutely examined utilizing a GBxCart RW v1.four Professional from InsideGadgets and a working GBC [Game Boy Color] console,” Friez writes. “Additionally has been examined with a Benn Venn Joey Jr. V2 and Joey Jr. V2++ readers. Flash carts could also be suitable with different cartridge reader/author techniques, however has not been absolutely examined.”
Friez is promoting fully-assembled cartridges by means of his Timville Tindie retailer at $36, whereas a three-pack of flash adapters for guide conversion could be bought for simply $2.50. Alternatively, Friez has launched KiCad challenge information and Gerbers for PLCC32, TSOP32, and TSOP40 flash chips on GitHub below the permissive Apache 2.zero license.