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If you can get a higher resolution picture I think vectorizing it would be doable for someone with good Illustrator skills for example, just a lot of work.

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After reading MADrigal's tips, I figured out that with Contra, pressing and holding Sound and then pressing and holding Off lights up all the segments for quite a while. I modified one of the cases to let me remove the plastic window, scanned the LCD, then swapped in the Top Gun and TMNT LCDs and scanned those. I replaced the background with white paper to help make the segments more visible, but there are shadows and moire patterns. I think they are good enough to vectorize, though.

http://www.seanriddle.com/tglcd2.jpg
http://www.seanriddle.com/tmntlcd2.jpg
http://www.seanriddle.com/contralcd2.jpg

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Rik- nice! Sounds like a lot less work than I just went through!

For Garfield, you may just need to tighten the two screws that are top center of the PCB- they squeeze the zebra connector tightly between the LCD and the PCB. If that doesn't do it, then you can unscrew 6 screws and pull off the zebra connector and clean it, the PCB and the LCD pads with alcohol.

If you do take it apart, please scan the PCB and I can check if the test pin is easily reachable, and we can document the LCD and button connections. I scan both sides of the PCB and then flip the component side horizontally and load the pics as 2 layers in GIMP. Then I add another layer and color traces to help follow them around.

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I didn't find bit errors in TMNT rom. The game hits unemulated/undocumented opcodes*. I'll need to wait for more games before being able to emulate that.

*: opcode $01 especially, I assume it's a double byte opcode, or prefix to more opcodes

temp artwork: http://tsk-tsk.net/net/temp/ktmnt.zip

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Opcode $01, huh? That was an SM510 opcode, but I don't see it in any SM511 manuals. I'm trying to find some SM511 source code to see if we can get any hints.

I played around with taking pics of the LCDs. I don't have any lighting equipment, so I'm getting shadows of the segments because I have to angle the lens slightly to avoid the glare of the flash.

http://www.seanriddle.com/tglcd3.jpg
http://www.seanriddle.com/tmntlcd3.jpg

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ssj Offline
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Those look pretty good to me (both the scans and pics), automatic vectorizing might not work, but definitely good enough for someone to manually do it in Illustrator.

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Friendly reminder that we really need help with 'artwork', to get these games representable to the users.

Here are some nice VFD games that are likely working in MAME already if it were not for artwork data. I'm posting the links to kevtris's site with useful images. If someone is interested, please post about it here.
- http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/Handhelds/VFD%20Games/Bandai%20Zaxxon/
- http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/Handhelds/VFD%20Games/Bandai%20Pengo/
- http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/Handhelds/VFD%20Games/Bandai%20Burgertime/
- http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/Handhelds/VFD%20Games/Bandai%20Ultra%20Man/
- http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/Handhelds/VFD%20Games/Gakken%20Jungler/

Rik & kevtris laugh let's keep emulating VFD games. Even without external artwork available they are valuable additions to MAME.

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And now for a less friendly post! smile

ICEknight you with your blunt criticism last year were indirectly the cause for removing a cog in the VFD handhelds emulation treadmill. Is there something you can think of to reverse this?

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I think whatever kevtris was doing to create his layouts it was working reasonably well, might not be perfect, but unless someone actually is willing to put the time to redraw everything in vectorial format they are probably as good as it gets.

And more than enough to render the games playable.

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Originally Posted By hap
I didn't find bit errors in TMNT rom. The game hits unemulated/undocumented opcodes*. I'll need to wait for more games before being able to emulate that.

*: opcode $01 especially, I assume it's a double byte opcode, or prefix to more opcodes


I will have the Contra info finished in a few days, then you can check that code to see if it also uses opcode 01.

If that's not helpful, we could try to RE the instruction PLAs, and compare Top Gun and TMNT. I haven't found any info about them in the Sharp docs, but with our experience with the TMS stuff, we might figure it out.

Maybe they had already written the code for SM510, then wanted to used the melody hardware in the SM511, so Sharp modified the instruction PLA of an SM511 to use SM510 opcodes?

I haven't had any luck tracking down any more TP0320/TP0456/TP0458 info than the 2 patents listed on Datamath.

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