Progear no Arashi Conversion

Nice EPROM labels

I killed a Vampire Hunter CPS2 board!

Conversions are kind of a grey zone within the arcade world. They’re neither bootlegs nor originals and trading them is banned on many arcade forums. Instead of creating a copy from scratch you take an existing game and reprogram (usually by changing the chips) into another. While it is not considered ok by some this was done by the game manufacturers too.

Progear no Arashi and Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition are probably the most common conversions on Capcom’s CPS2 platform. Both are ridiculously expensive as originals and fairly easy to make conversions of.

After baking a few Naomi and MVS BIOS chips I wanted to try my luck with a Progear conversion. I picked a cheap Japanese Vampire Hunter as donor and got started.

Vampire Hunter CPS II B Board
Vampire Hunter CPS II B Board

The first thing I realized was that Vampire Hunter uses a PAL F type board which meant I would have to do the ugly patch, ending up with a cable across the board. If you can get hold of a PAL G board you won’t have to do this.

For the Progear conversion you will need:

  • ROM files (easily found all over the net)
  • 1 x 27C010 EPROM
  • 2 x 27C4096 EPROMs
  • 6 x M27C322 EPROMs
  • A programmer capable of programming the above IC’s
  • An EPROM eraser (if reusing IC’s)
  • About 30 cm wire (if donor board is a PAL F type)
  • Soldering/desoldering tools
  • A T-20 security torx (for opening the case)

The 27C010 and the 27C4096’s you can reuse if you have an EPROM eraser (if you don’t – get one). Though in my case the VH had 27C1001’s and I couldn’t any get them to work so I had to get a new 27C010. The M27C322’s are easily found on both eBay and AliExpress.

Erasing EPROM's
Erasing EPROM’s

Use a decent UV eraser for wiping the EPROM’s. Don’t build your own! You can find one cheap from eBay and messing around with UV light can make you go blind. I usually leave the EPROM’s for about an hour in the eraser for making sure that they’re blank.

Since CPS II boards are suicidal it’s also a good idea to remove the battery while converting and create a phoenixed board. For this you need phoenix version of the ROM files.

CPS II Battery and CC1 capacitor
CPS II Battery and CC1 capacitor

Desolder the battery from the board and short circuit the CC1 capacitor for draining the board completely from any residual charge and the remove all IC’s from the sockets.

Vampire Hunter PCB with IC's and battery removed
Vampire Hunter PCB with IC’s and battery removed

Now’s a good time to clean the board if it’s dirty. Wash it under lukewarm water using a mild detergent and a soft toothbrush. Rinse well and leave the board to dry for a couple of days. In case you have a hot air oven that can be set to a temperature of 35-40°C (85-105°F) you can speed up the drying process.

Next you need to set the jumpers correctly. There is a total of 28 jumpers on the board. Jumpers 1-6 above IC socket 1, 7-12 between sockets 2 and 12, 13-20 below socket 16 and 21-28 below socket 20. Depending on your donor board you might have to cut, solder and/or desolder the jumpers.

Jumpers
Jumpers

The jumper settings (from 1-28) are:

COOC CO OCOCOC COCOCOCO COCOCOCO (C = connected, O = open)

If you, like me, have a PAL F type board you’ll have to apply a patch cable from the BGS-B3F IC to pin C13 of the C1 connector across the board. Remove the BGS-B3C IC from the board and bend leg no 7 outwards so it no longer connects to the socket. Solder one end of the wire to the leg. Reinsert the IC and solder the other end of the cable to pin C13.

Patch cable
Patch cable

For programming the EPROM’s you’ll need a programmer with a 42 pin ZIF socket capable of handling the three chip types. I use a TOP-3000 universal programmer which can be found on eBay and other stores for about $150.

Once you’ve programmed the EPROM’s make sure to cover the windows on the chips. There are special metallic labels for this but normal electrical tape works just fine.

Insert the EPROM’s and take your game for a spin!

Testing the game
Testing the game

Case labels and manual can be found over at the ArcadeOtaku wiki. And for giving your board the last final touch print some nice looking EPROM labels.

Nice EPROM labels
Nice EPROM labels
Progear no Arashi CPII A and B boards
Progear no Arashi CPII A and B boards

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13 thoughts on “Progear no Arashi Conversion

  1. Just got my first EPROM burner and eraser, info for how to make CPS2 conversions is hard to find online, especially step by step instructions, thanks!

      1. Oh cool! I’ve been curious about the Willem programmers. Good prices, but I’ve never had the chance to test one. I’m interested in hearing your verdict when you’ve tried it out. I have a TOP-3000. It works fine, but as with all Chinese products the English support is so and so. Also the 64-bit drivers still suck so I have to keep an old 32-bit Win7 machine running just for the programmer 😦

      2. I’ve dumped and burned a few simple roms so far (NBA Jam roms, unfortunately you need a special security chip to upgrade NBA Jam to NBA Jam TE), the software is super easy to use and I have no problem with the burner at all, the English is fine. Unfortunately they don’t ship with an AC Adaptor, you supposedly can burn most roms just from USB but I made sure to get an AC Adaptor from goodwill, a Genesis model 1 AC adaptor works if you reverse the polarity of the connector but my only Genesis 1 AC adaptor was dead so I had to shop for one. I highly recommend it especially for the price!

      3. Nice! 😀

        Yup, powering the programmer from the USB works in many cases but you’ll need the AC adaptor for burning EPROMs that require higher voltages, like the 27C322’s for CPSII games.

      4. Hey man, got my first conversion working last night! Thanks a lot, your guide was helpful. Do you have the device #’s for the PAL chips, or other workarounds? I want to program my own PALs (and I even need a PAL chip fix for my Columns 2 board). Thanks!

  2. Nice work on the Progear conversion!! I am working on a 2X conversion right now and this certainly helped a lot, they’re very similar.

    For the PAL programming bit that Julian asked, maybe this could be helpful: http://www.jammarcade.net/pal-dumps/

    By the way, where did you get the 27c322 eproms, and did you use an AC adaptor for your programmer? I saw a couple of them on ebay but I’m not really too sure on buying them, fearing my GQ-4X won’t burn them (I’ve had many chips that they simply refuse to get burnt no matter what, of the 27c4096 kind).
    Thanks! 😀

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you liked it. I got the 322’s from a friend but I’d say eBay and AliExpress are you best sources for cheap IC’s.

      Yeap, you’ll need an AC adaptor for programming the bigger IC’s. The power from the USB is not enough to handle them.

  3. Thank you for this great article.

    I’m curious why you didn’t use the original EPROMs of the game. Isn’t it possible to rewrite them, too?

    1. I just recognized that in your article there is the information that you only have to buy the M27C322s. Does it mean that they are unrewritable?

      1. Yes, it means just that. The ROM’s are read only so you have to replace them with their EPROM counterparts. M27C322’s you can easily pick up from eBay.

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