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Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Medium: 60% - 1 votes

Adding lock-out chip to a Famicom to NES adapter (import adapter mod)

Adding lock-out chip to a Famicom to NES adapter (import adapter mod)

If you have an 60 to 72 pins adapter to play Famicom (Japanese version of the Nintendo Entertainment system) cart on your NES (or a multicart/pirate NES cart) that doesn't work on some of the console (reset constantly), you might have one that used a CIC stun circuit. Pirate used these circuit to defeat the NES lockout chip (CIC) but Nintendo eventually made new board revision that would render those stun circuit ineffective. Of course, disabling the NES lockout chip would be the main solution to such issue but the following modification could be useful if you are not willing to modify your console or if you would like to have your adapter/bootleg cart work on any NES console. This mod will make your pirate 60 to 72 pin adapter work just as well as those elusive official adapter found hidden inside first generation Nintendo game like Gyromite. If you want to mod your adapter, you have two options. You can either use a real Nintendo lockout chip salvaged from a (hopefully broken) cart of the same region as your NES or you can use a multi-region CIC clone like the AVRCICZZ from Krikzz. You can usually get it in the download section of the Everdrive website but it seem that  the file is no longer available for now so you can download it here for now. I would advice going with a CIC clone because they are multi-region (work in NES from any region) and also because it would prevent destroying a NES cart to salvage the Nintendo CIC. Of course, unless you can find someone willing to flash the ATTINY13 (used by the AVRCICZZ), you'll need to have an AVR programmer but those are usually dirt cheap on ebay. You could even make your own which is even more fun. Weather you decide on using a CIC clone or an official Nintendo lockout chip, you'll need to disconnect the stun circuit from the cart edge connector. You can easily achieve this by cutting the trace above pin 34-35 and pin 70-71. It's quite possible that some of those pin are not connected to anything though. You will be soldering wire to those pins so try to leave enough trace to facilitate soldering. Once this is done, we will now be soldering our CIC chip in it's place. If you are using AVRCICZZ: Unless you find someone to supply you with a pre-programmed ATTINY13, you will need to flash it yourself with your favorite chip programmer. If you don't have one you can build one for cheap and use AVRdude. If you are using a universal programmer like the popular GQ-4X from MCUMall, it's possible that the programming software can't use .ELF file. In that case, you will have to use the .HEX file and manually set the fuse byte. AVRCIC require SUT_CKSEL to be set to ext clock + 0ms. It can sometime be confusing to set the proper fuses depending on the software you use but I found a pretty useful website that can help you figure it out. It's the Engbedded Atmel AVR® Fuse Calculator (not a typo, really Engbedded :) ) and it can help you figure out the proper fuse to set when in doubt. Here are the fuses settings for people using GQ-4X or other TrueUSB willem programmer. ATTINY13 NES Cart connector Pin #1 Not connected Pin #2 (/CLK) Pin #71 Pin #3 LED (optional) Pin #4 (GND) Pin #1 Pin #5 (Data-Output) Pin #35 Pin #6 (Data-Input) Pin #34 Pin #7 (/RESET) Pin #70 Pin #8 (VCC 5v) Pin #36   The LED is optional and is used to let the user know when the CIC is in region change mode. To change region you need to reset your NES around 3 time and then the LED should light up to indicate region change mode. Every subsequent reset will have the effect of switching between the different regions. Once the AVR detect that a correct region was selected, it will keep it in memory and the LED should turn off.   If you are using an official Nintendo lockout chip: NES Lockout Chip NES Cart connector Pin #1 (/Data-out) Pin #35 Pin #2 (/Data-In) Pin #34 Pin #6 (/CLK) Pin #71 Pin #7 (/Reset) Pin #70 Pin #8 (GND) Pin #1 Pin #16 (VCC 5v) Pin #6 Pin #11/12/13/14/15 (GND) Pin #1   It is probably not be mandatory to connect pin #11-15 to the ground. You should try to avoid soldering the wires directly to the edge connector if possible as it can create issue when you try to put back the shell (pressure on the wire/solder joint). If there is a via connected to the pin, solder your wire to it instead. But in some cases you won't really have a choice so use very thin wire and solder as far up as you can to avoid issue with the shell or your console cart slot. Here's an example of how it should look like once you're done. Ignore the extra wire in the middle (pin #56), this is an unrelated modification to allow the extra sound channel from Famicom cart to pass through the adapter. I also chose not to install the LED as I won't have much use for it.  CIC Clone:   Official Nintendo lockout chip:   There you have it, your adapter will now work just as well as the official adapter found hidden in Gyromite cart and let you play your Famicom cart on any Nintendo control deck.  Twitter (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));{lang: 'en-GB'}
If you have an 60 to 72 pins adapter to play Famicom (Japanese version of the Nintendo Entertainment system) cart on your NES (or a multicart/pirate NES cart) that doesn't work on some of the console (reset constantly), you might have one that used a CIC stun circuit. Pirate used these circuit to defeat the NES lockout chip (CIC) but Nintendo eventually made new board revision that would render those stun circuit ineffective. Of course, disabling the NES lockout chip would be the main solution to such issue but the following modification could be useful if you are not willing to modify your console or if you would like to have your adapter/bootleg cart work on any NES console. This mod will make your pirate 60 to 72 pin adapter work just as well as those elusive official adapter found hidden inside first generation Nintendo game like Gyromite. If you want to mod your adapter, you have two options. You can either use a real Nintendo lockout chip salvaged from a (hopefully broken) cart of the same region as your NES or you can use a multi-region CIC clone like the AVRCICZZ from Krikzz. You can usually get it in the download section of the Everdrive website but it seem that  the file is no longer available for now so you can download it here for now. I would advice going with a CIC clone because they are multi-region (work in NES from any region) and also because it would prevent destroying a NES cart to salvage the Nintendo CIC. Of course, unless you can find someone willing to flash the ATTINY13 (used by the AVRCICZZ), you'll need to have an AVR programmer but those are usually dirt cheap on ebay. You could even make your own which is even more fun. Weather you decide on using a CIC clone or an official Nintendo lockout chip, you'll need to disconnect the stun circuit from the cart edge connector. You can easily achieve this by cutting the trace above pin 34-35 and pin 70-71. It's quite possible that some of those pin are not connected to anything though. You will be soldering wire to those pins so try to leave enough trace to facilitate soldering. Once this is done, we will now be soldering our CIC chip in it's place. If you are using AVRCICZZ: Unless you find someone to supply you with a pre-programmed ATTINY13, you will need to flash it yourself with your favorite chip programmer. If you don't have one you can build one for cheap and use AVRdude. If you are using a universal programmer like the popular GQ-4X from MCUMall, it's possible that the programming software can't use .ELF file. In that case, you will have to use the .HEX file and manually set the fuse byte. AVRCIC require SUT_CKSEL to be set to ext clock + 0ms. It can sometime be confusing to set the proper fuses depending on the software you use but I found a pretty useful website that can help you figure it out. It's the Engbedded Atmel AVR® Fuse Calculator (not a typo, really Engbedded :) ) and it can help you figure out the proper fuse to set when in doubt. Here are the fuses settings for people using GQ-4X or other TrueUSB willem programmer. ATTINY13 NES Cart connector Pin #1 Not connected Pin #2 (/CLK) Pin #71 Pin #3 LED (optional) Pin #4 (GND) Pin #1 Pin #5 (Data-Output) Pin #35 Pin #6 (Data-Input) Pin #34 Pin #7 (/RESET) Pin #70 Pin #8 (VCC 5v) Pin #36   The LED is optional and is used to let the user know when the CIC is in region change mode. To change region you need to reset your NES around 3 time and then the LED should light up to indicate region change mode. Every subsequent reset will have the effect of switching between the different regions. Once the AVR detect that a correct region was selected, it will keep it in memory and the LED should turn off.   If you are using an official Nintendo lockout chip: NES Lockout Chip NES Cart connector Pin #1 (/Data-out) Pin #35 Pin #2 (/Data-In) Pin #34 Pin #6 (/CLK) Pin #71 Pin #7 (/Reset) Pin #70 Pin #8 (GND) Pin #1 Pin #16 (VCC 5v) Pin #6 Pin #11/12/13/14/15 (GND) Pin #1   It is probably not be mandatory to connect pin #11-15 to the ground. You should try to avoid soldering the wires directly to the edge connector if possible as it can create issue when you try to put back the shell (pressure on the wire/solder joint). If there is a via connected to the pin, solder your wire to it instead. But in some cases you won't really have a choice so use very thin wire and solder as far up as you can to avoid issue with the shell or your console cart slot. Here's an example of how it should look like once you're done. Ignore the extra wire in the middle (pin #56), this is an unrelated modification to allow the extra sound channel from Famicom cart to pass through the adapter. I also chose not to install the LED as I won't have much use for it.  CIC Clone:   Official Nintendo lockout chip:   There you have it, your adapter will now work just as well as the official adapter found hidden in Gyromite cart and let you play your Famicom cart on any Nintendo control deck.  Twitter (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));{lang: 'en-GB'}
60 out of 100 with 1 ratings

If you have an 60 to 72 pins adapter to play Famicom (Japanese version of the Nintendo Entertainment system) cart on your NES (or a multicart/pirate NES cart) that doesn't work on some of the console (reset constantly), you might have one that used a CIC stun circuit. Pirate used these circuit to defeat the NES lockout chip (CIC) but Nintendo eventually made new board revision that would render those stun circuit ineffective. Of course, disabling the NES lockout chip would be the main solution to such issue but the following modification could be useful if you are not willing to modify your console or if you would like to have your adapter/bootleg cart work on any NES console. This mod will make your pirate 60 to 72 pin adapter work just as well as those elusive official adapter found hidden inside first generation Nintendo game like Gyromite.

If you want to mod your adapter, you have two options. You can either use a real Nintendo lockout chip salvaged from a (hopefully broken) cart of the same region as your NES or you can use a multi-region CIC clone like the AVRCICZZ from Krikzz. You can usually get it in the download section of the Everdrive website but it seem that  the file is no longer available for now so you can download it here for now. I would advice going with a CIC clone because they are multi-region (work in NES from any region) and also because it would prevent destroying a NES cart to salvage the Nintendo CIC. Of course, unless you can find someone willing to flash the ATTINY13 (used by the AVRCICZZ), you'll need to have an AVR programmer but those are usually dirt cheap on ebay. You could even make your own which is even more fun.

Weather you decide on using a CIC clone or an official Nintendo lockout chip, you'll need to disconnect the stun circuit from the cart edge connector. You can easily achieve this by cutting the trace above pin 34-35 and pin 70-71. It's quite possible that some of those pin are not connected to anything though. You will be soldering wire to those pins so try to leave enough trace to facilitate soldering. Once this is done, we will now be soldering our CIC chip in it's place.

If you are using AVRCICZZ:

Unless you find someone to supply you with a pre-programmed ATTINY13, you will need to flash it yourself with your favorite chip programmer. If you don't have one you can build one for cheap and use AVRdude. If you are using a universal programmer like the popular GQ-4X from MCUMall, it's possible that the programming software can't use .ELF file. In that case, you will have to use the .HEX file and manually set the fuse byte. AVRCIC require SUT_CKSEL to be set to ext clock + 0ms. It can sometime be confusing to set the proper fuses depending on the software you use but I found a pretty useful website that can help you figure it out. It's the Engbedded Atmel AVR® Fuse Calculator (not a typo, really Engbedded :) ) and it can help you figure out the proper fuse to set when in doubt.

Here are the fuses settings for people using GQ-4X or other TrueUSB willem programmer.

ATTINY13 NES Cart connector
Pin #1 Not connected
Pin #2 (/CLK) Pin #71
Pin #3 LED (optional)
Pin #4 (GND) Pin #1
Pin #5 (Data-Output) Pin #35
Pin #6 (Data-Input) Pin #34
Pin #7 (/RESET) Pin #70
Pin #8 (VCC 5v) Pin #36

 AVRCICZZ Wiring

The LED is optional and is used to let the user know when the CIC is in region change mode. To change region you need to reset your NES around 3 time and then the LED should light up to indicate region change mode. Every subsequent reset will have the effect of switching between the different regions. Once the AVR detect that a correct region was selected, it will keep it in memory and the LED should turn off.

 

If you are using an official Nintendo lockout chip:

NES Lockout Chip NES Cart connector
Pin #1 (/Data-out) Pin #35
Pin #2 (/Data-In) Pin #34
Pin #6 (/CLK) Pin #71
Pin #7 (/Reset) Pin #70
Pin #8 (GND) Pin #1
Pin #16 (VCC 5v) Pin #6
Pin #11/12/13/14/15 (GND) Pin #1

 

CIC Wiring

It is probably not be mandatory to connect pin #11-15 to the ground.

You should try to avoid soldering the wires directly to the edge connector if possible as it can create issue when you try to put back the shell (pressure on the wire/solder joint). If there is a via connected to the pin, solder your wire to it instead. But in some cases you won't really have a choice so use very thin wire and solder as far up as you can to avoid issue with the shell or your console cart slot.

Here's an example of how it should look like once you're done. Ignore the extra wire in the middle (pin #56), this is an unrelated modification to allow the extra sound channel from Famicom cart to pass through the adapter. I also chose not to install the LED as I won't have much use for it.

 CIC Clone:

 AVRCICZZ Adapter FrontAVRCIC Adapter Back

Official Nintendo lockout chip:

Adapter CIC frontCIC Adapter Back

 

There you have it, your adapter will now work just as well as the official adapter found hidden in Gyromite cart and let you play your Famicom cart on any Nintendo control deck.

 

Comments  

#1 Aamp 2017-01-12 16:38
Hey, just wanted to say thank you!

A while back I purchased a game from a thrift store that wouldn't work properly at all and didn't know what to do with it until now. I recently acquired a lot of Famicom games with an adapter that could not be used to boot on my front loader NES. I could not have attempted this without your information but I cracked that adapter open and added the chip in from my broken NES game and now can play imports on my unmodified front loaders! So again, thank you :D

Just as a note, my adapter came with pinholes already in place to connect all the traces so it had its own spot on the board where the chip could be directly soldered to. Your pin diagrams and info on how to do this helped me know which way to orient it and essentially remove the stun circuit!
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