Thursday, August 30, 2018

Operation Wolf c-chip c-omplete!

Our quest to acquire the Operation Wolf c-chip EPROM content was the most exciting. Since they are relatively common we used a few Operation Wolf c-chips for some early dump attempts. For example, we milled just above the EPROM, cut the wires, and tried to patch in. However, this was deemed too risky with the time and equipment we were willing to put into it.

Next, we explored a badly damaged Bonze Adventure c-chip:

We were able to patch onto the busted EPROM pads and verify the chip was still alive. This inspired us repackage an Operation Wolf die:

This gave us more room to work and resulted in a partial dump. For example, we got this string:


However, the setup was flaky and we decided it would be better to try something else than improve this method.

We analyzed the c-chip further and came up with a plan to replace the ASIC with external EPROM hookups:

This successfully dumped various c-chips. However, we used all of our Operation Wolf chips during initial testing, and needed another. So someone donated this c-chip:

We soldered it up:

...but it didn't resemble the original Operation Wolf dump! The ROM was much shorter and lacked the "By_TAITO_Copration" (sic) string. We checked our archives and discovered it matched the existing Superman dump! This board was in unknown condition and we suspect someone (unsuccessfully) swapped parts trying to fix one. With the sticker worn off we didn't have a way to verify contents without doing our extraction procedure.

Fortunately our donor had another chip, this time with an intact sticker:

Soldered up:

And got a good dump!

This makes a total of 7 c-chips wired up:

for a total of 6 EPROM dumps.

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