You may remember that in my last post I said I was interested in the NOR flashrom inside the Coolbaby NES game console. Well, I've been obsessing with it lately, so let me review the progress from the past two weeks.
My original idea was to read the IC in situ, I soldered up a ton of breakout pins and was able to dump the contents while the system was running.
Unfortunately, the CPU made it difficult to read the flash rom while the system was powered off. Probably some pull-downs or whatever that caused problems for me, so I removed everything and started from scratch. I even tested the console one last time to make sure everyting was working before I started ripping it apart.
I bought a TSOP56-to-dip adapter, and decided it was time to desolder the flash rom to dump it. I tried to protect most of the board with kapton tape and aluminium foil, and fired up the hot air station.
It went surprisingly well, and a few minutes later the chip was cleaned up and secured in the ZIF TSOP56 adapter.
I decided to use a STM32F4 Discovery board for reading the data. It has lots of nice I/O pins, it's fast, it has native USB and much more.
So, here it is all wired up - not pretty but it works. My apologies if you have OCD and like colour coded wires, I just used what was at hand.
The next step was to write a UART-over-USB for the ARM processor. Then, interface the pins to the flash rom and try to implement the protocol for reading the contents. Once that's in place, I wrote a client on the PC side that receives the data and saves it as a binary file.
Yada yada yada, long story short: success! I present to you a sample from the file. Here you can see part of the adventures games lists:
Next up is figuring out how the games are arranged and how the menus work.