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Guide: PCB, IC & Programmg Cartridges

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Estimated reading time: 5 min

Guide: PCB, IC & Programmg Cartridges


Many of the utilities listed with Windows only support can be run in Wine under Linux or Mac OS, and some may run using Mono.

Patchers / ROM utilities

  • Lunar IPS – Used to apply IPS patches (Windows)
  • Lunar Expand – Used to expand a ROM (Windows)
  • SFC/SNES ROM Utility – Used to swap bin a ROM and remove copier header (Windows, Linux via Wine)
  • StripSNES – Used to add or remove a copier header from a ROM (Windows, Linux)
  • Floating IPS – IPS and BPS patcher (Windows, Linux)
  • uCON64 – Swiss army knife of patching and programming carts (Windows, Linux)
  • IpsAndSum – Checksum recalculator for SNES (Windows)
  • Splits – A binary-safe file splitter (Windows)
  • HxD – Hex editor (Windows)



  • NESTopia (Windows, Linux)
  • FCEUX (Windows, Linux)
  • Higan (Windows, Linux)


  • SNES 9x (Windows, Linux)
  • ZSNES (Windows, Linux)
  • Higan (Windows, Linux)


  • Project 64


  • Kega Fusion (Windows, Linux)
  • GENS (Windows, Linux)


  • Kega Fusion (Windows, Linux)


  • Visual Boy Advance (Windows, Linux)
  • Higan (Windows, Linux)


  • DeSmuME (Windows, Linux)



Point Soldering

Drag Soldering

A good chisel tip is best for this method, as the long edge and extra mass of the tip will ensure chip pins and pads are heated properly when applying solder.

Tip Tinning

Keeping the tip of your soldering iron is tinned is very important, and not properly tinning the tip can result in an unusable tip.

Tinning best practices are to tin the tip every 15-20 minutes, and wipe the tip with a sponge.

Wire Tinning

Pin Swapping

Changing Tips



Nozzle Tinning

Changing Nozzles




Heat Transfer

See the Sublimation Heat Transfer section under Heat Press.

Water Slides



Heat Press

CAUTION: The heat press plate (the part lowered with the lever) gets very hot and should not be touched! Use a thick cloth or gloves when inserting or removing items from the heat press.


Sublimation Heat Transfer

Burning Chips

EPROM selection

See EPROMs in the section titled Ordering/Storage Guide for information on chip capacity.

ROM Splitting

Using Splits:

  • 2MB/16Mbit: splits <filename> 2097152

Chip Burners


Prog-Express is compatible with Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.

Software and drivers can be obtained from

Byte Swapping

Select Modify Data in a Hex-Editor

Open the file

Switch to Byte view (8-bit)

Select the contents of the ROM in the HEX editor (Ctrl+A)

Edit → Swap Data

Press OK

Program the chip with the data from the HEX editor


MaxLoader is compatible with Windows.

Software and drivers can be obtained from

Byte Swapping

Select Buffer → Edit Buffer (F6)

Choose the 16-bit byte swap option (upper-left corner)

Close the edit buffer dialog




Donor PCBs






Star Fox 2

Security Chip


Donor PCBs

Security Chip

Batronix Settings


Note: Genesis ROMs are 16-bit big-endian, so the ROMs will need to be byte swapped prior to burning to preserve endianness, as they’re stored little-endian for use with emulators.

Currently all of the Genesis donor PCBs we use only accept 42-pin EPROMs.  Be aware that some Genesis games use a 40-pin mask ROM, which limits them to smaller games.  We do not currently keep stock of 40-pin mask ROMs.

Donor PCBs

The Genesis has two relevant PCB types, single-ROM and multi-ROM, which come in both SRAM and non-SRAM varieties.

Using Single-ROM PCBs

In many cases the easiest way to identify which EPROMs are compatible is to use a multimeter:

  • 1MB – Pin 42 connects with A2 and/or A31 (VCC).
  • 1-2MB – Pin 32 connects with header pin A2 and/or A31 (VCC).
  • 1-4MB – Has a jumper wire above the chip. Right = 1-2MB, left = 4MB.
  • 4MB – Pin 32 connects with header pin B9.

You can also often tell if a pin connects to GND or VCC by the width of the trace connecting to it.  Wider traces usually mean GND/VCC.

Using Multi-ROM PCBs

Multi-ROM PCBs are usually used for 3-4MB games that require SRAM.  Since single-ROM PCBs wired for use with 4MB EPROM chips are rare, these boards are usually used for games that would otherwise use those PCBs

The ROM will need to be byte swapped, then split at 2MB prior to burning.  The first 2MB goes on the lower chip, which must be a 27C160, and the rest of the ROM goes on the upper chip.

SRAM identification

The SRAM chip is usually a 32-pin DIP, located just above the EPROM chip on the bottom of the board.  Some PCBs come with a 512B-1KB 8-pin DIP EEPROM; we currently don’t have a use for these, beyond use as a standard single-ROM PCB.

  • 8K save – SRAM chip has an 8 or 64 at the end of the part number.
  • 32K save – SRAM chip has a 256 or 257 at the end of the part number.


Game Gear Ports

Donor PCBs

32-pin DIP


Controller Assembly

Ordering/Storage Guide

Circuit Boards



Chip Package Capacity (KB) Capacity (Kbit) Capacity (Mbit)
Am27C256 DIP28 32 256 0.25
Am27C512 DIP28 64 512 0.5
Am27C010 DIP28 128 1024 1
Am27C020 DIP28 256 2048 2
Am27C040 DIP28 512 4096 4
M27C1001 DIP32 128 1024 1
M27C2001 DIP32 256 2048 2
M27C801 DIP32 1024 8192 8
M27C800 DIP42 1024 8192 8
M27C160 DIP42 2048 16384 16
M27C322 DIP42 4096 32768 32



We use microcontrollers for reproduction NES and SNES security chips.



Painting Guide

  • TODO (Hayli!)

Mouse Pad Guide


  1. Turn on the heat press. It should be set to 400°, 60 seconds.
  2. Check the Google Drive.
    • Make sure the images you need are there.
    • If not, save the images you will need to the drive file.
    • Leave Google Drive open in case you need to look up the mouse pad mock up. 
  3. Move to the computer connected to the sublimation printer and download the images you need from the drive (if they are not there already).
  4. Open Photoshop.
  5. Click:
    • File → Open
      • Zelda2.psd (mouse pad file)
      • Images needed for mouse pad(s) from the downloads folder.


  1. Go to image file tab.
  2. Click: 
    • Image → Image Rotaton → Flip Canvas Horizontal
    • Select → All
    • Edit → Cut or Copy
  3. Go to Zelda2.psd (Mousepad File)
  4. Click:
    • Edit → Paste
    • Edit → Transform → Rotate 90° CW
    • Edit → Free Transform
  5. Hold “Shift” and use the mouse to resize the cover image.
  6. Press “Enter” to confirm resize.
    • In the Layers, on the right, lower opacity to see the layer underneath.
  7. Click and drag image so that overlapping layer areas are the part of the image needed for the mouse pad.
  8. Choose “Select” tool on the left.
  9. Select just where new image and old overlap.
  10. Click: Edit → Cut
  11. On right in Layers delete layers 1 and 2.
  12. Click the little eyes next to the other layers to hide them.
  13. Click: 
    • Edit → Paste
    • File → Print

Print Settings

    Printer: SAWGRASS 400SG RPCS-R

    Color Handling: Photoshop Manages Colors

    Printer Profile: SG400 DyeTrans High Quality .icm

    Normal Printing

    Rendering Intent: Perceptual

    ☑ Black Point Compensation

    * Leave boxes under image unchecked.

  • Click Print
  • Close all tabs then close Photoshop. DO NOT SAVE ANY CHANGES!
  • Log out of Drive and close tab/window.
  • Turn off printer. Press and hold Power button until it says “shutting down”. 


On printer:

  • Menu ↓ until you see “maintenance”.
  • Enter
  • Menu ↓ to “head cleaning”
  • Enter 3 times. Wait for the printer to finish.
  • Escape twice.

Actual Pressing

  1. The heat pressshould be more than ready but make sure it is at 400°.
  2. Lay a sheet of paper across the center of the pad.
  3. Get another sheet of paper. 
  4. Lay one of your printed images on top, image side up. 
  5. On top of that, put a mouse pad, white side down, black side up.
  6. Make sure the pad is centered on the image.
  7. Next (and this will sound a bit complicated):
    • Pinch opposite sides of the mouse pad. (I like to use opposite corners.) You should also have the image and the extra paper pinched with it so they all remain together and straight.
    • As carefully as possible, flip the entire stack over, maintaining your hold.
    • Lay the small stack on top of your paper on the heat press pad, so that it is now mouse pad black side down, printed image with the image facing down, and the extra paper on top.
    • Keep this stack VERY straight! Letting ink get on the heat press pad can result in it transferring to other things later! This move will take a bit of practice to keep it straight!
  8. Lower the metal plate with the handle and press until it locks into place. Let it transfer.
  9. When the timer is done and the beep sounds, tug the handle up to release it and raise the plate.
  10. Set the top paper aside for reuse.
  11. Throw away the used transfer paper.
  12. Use a bit of fabric or a folded towel or something of the sort to move the mouse pad as it will be VERY hot and you don’t want to drop it.
  13. Repeat steps 4 – 12 until finished.
  14. Turn off and unplug the heat press.

Download Guide

The guide is available in PDF format and can be downloaded at the link below. Approximately 1MB

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