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Recreating the Nintendo Play Station

My attempt at making a functionally equivalent replica of the one of a kind Nintendo Play Station.

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Using parts scavenged from old electronics and information found on the internet, I believe that I can fabricate a functioning replica of the Nintendo Play Station.

The decoder chip in the console is labeled "CXD1800Q". It was probably purpose built for the console or is a proprietary part. A datasheet for the part can't be found. However, based on a test menu and research from a user in the nesdev forum, it was discovered that the "CXD1196AR" decoder chip is 95% the same chip except for one register being left out or undocumented. A datasheet is available for this part and it can be scavenged from Sony Data-Discman units. I have found one of these chips in a Data-Discman DD10EX unit that was damaged.

The CD-ROM drive itself uses a "CXD2500BQ" Digital signal processor and a KSL-360-ADM drive unit. The drive unit can be purchased online but in order for it to have the necessary controller board it needs to be scavenged from certain Sony boomboxes. Here are some models that have the right drive unit:

CFD-250

CFD-260

CFD-703

CFD-757

CFD-767

These drive units all use the same DSP chip that the console uses. The service manual for all of these boomboxes have the schematics for the drive unit.

The BIOS cartridge is nothing more than a bunch of memory chips connected to the SNES bus so figuring out how to map them properly shouldn't be too hard.

Here are some links with more info:

https://problemkaputt.de/fullsnes.htm#snescartcdromdrive

https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=13907&sid=02085971bf1922a198dedffe09e67f76

https://byuu.net/compact-discs/structure/

https://tcrf.net/Super_Disc_Boot_ROM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-ROM

https://www.repairfaq.org/sam/cdfaq.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc_Digital_Audio#Technical_specifications

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constant_linear_velocity

https://uotechnology.edu.iq/dep-laserandoptoelec-eng/laboratory/4/laser%20application/exp3.pdf

http://www.osta.org/technology/cdqa.htm

http://www.cdfs.com/cdfs-info-stored.html

http://problemkaputt.de/psx-spx.htm#cdromdiskformat

  • 1 × CXD1196AR CD-ROM Decoder IC (Equivalent to CXD1800Q) (Found in Sony Data-Discman units)
  • 1 × KSL-360-ADM CD-ROM Drive and DSP Board (Pulled from Sony Boombox)
  • 1 × Atmega328PU (Arduino UNO) Mechacon Controller (Because its what I have laying around)
  • 1 × CXD2500AQ/BQ CDROM DSP
  • 1 × SNES For Games!

  • Second Log: Research Gathered So Far.

    Colton11/09/2020 at 04:22 0 comments

    From reading the DSP datasheet (CXD2500BQ) and other documents I have roughly figured out the way a CD is read. First the laser is focused onto the CD and then the table of contents is read. Using the table of contents, the CD reader can then seek to the track on the disc using the absolute timecode. A seeking operation starts by repeatedly jumping tracks while keeping an eye on the timecode. A track in this context is not an audio track, but the tracks between the center and the outer rim of the disc of which there are 22188 on a standard 12 cm CD. When the laser is close enough to the desired timecode, the track adjustment is made to focus it onto the desired track. If it landed a little bit before the desired track the output is muted until the disc rotates to the desired area and the correct data is read. I have not yet figured out exactly how to operate the DSP but I am now closer to figuring it out.

    As for the CDROM decoder (CXD1196AR), I plan on connecting it to a SNES when I can obtain one. It should be as easy as connecting the 8 data pins, read write strobes, address select pin and interrupt pin directly to the expansion port pins. The polarity of the interrupt pin on the decoder is selectable according to the signal on another pin so if need be I can set it accordingly. Then I can burn the BIOS file onto a cartridge and run the self check. If my wiring is sound, the SNES doesn't check anything else and my decoder chip isn't dead then the CDROM Decoder test should pass.

  • First Log: Game Plan

    Colton11/06/2020 at 05:50 0 comments

    For the time that I've been obsessing over the SNES SuperDisc, I have learned a lot about the console. Thanks to efforts to emulate the console I know the communication protocols used to communicate to the CD-ROM, I know the memory map of the cartridge and the I/O ports used on the expansion bus and a lot of other info. In fact, I know pretty much all there is to know about the console. The only thing I don't know is how the "Mechacon Controller" commands the actual CD-ROM drive to do things. This project is to document my efforts to reverse engineer the communication protocol between the DSP IC and the "Mechacon Controller" and then build out the rest of the console from there. Since all of the other parts are known and in my possession it should almost be as simple as exposing the decoder IC and whatever "Mechacon Controller" I come up with to the right I/O ports on the expansion bus and then creating my own boot cartridge with the BIOS rom that was dumped for the console a while ago. I will post all of the sources that I have pulled information from in the details of this project.

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