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Kabuki/CPS 1/1.5 (Dash) Board Desuicide



Hi guys,

Last night I successfully resurrected a board using the Arcade Hacker method here: http://arcadehacker.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/project-update.html


I thought I would make a thread and post some photos of my own success so I can help others perform this mod, alternatively I am more than happy to do it for others and I have the equipment ready to go. This method does require quite a bit of patience as you will probably need to make multiple attempts (especially on the Kabuki CPU)


DISCLAIMER: I accept no responsibility if you break something or if this method does not work, I am simply documenting my experiences and offering my help. Batteries can potentially leak and cause damage to your boards and it is your responsibility to check them periodically


I prefer my boards to be completely original where possible - I chose to perform this method as the Europe decrypted ROMs for Warriors of Fate do not work on the original boards and the US version is substituted instead. My board is originally a Europe region board and I am choosing to keep it that way by performing this desuicide method. Your mileage may vary.


How to identify which type of board you have:


The Dead Battery Society has a list of all known games with suicide batteries and you can find out which type you have here: http://www.arcadecollecting.com/dead/


How to tell which method you need to perform:


Pre CPS (Kabuki) - Kabuki CPU Desuicide only

CPS1 - C Board Desuicide only

CPS1.5 (Dash) Board (comes in a grey case) - Kabuki and C board, if you have a black screen the Kabuki has died, if you have coloured blocks on the screen, this is C board only. If the C board has suicided on one of these boards, typically the Kabuki has long since died. I would recommend replacing both batteries at the same time, the C board battery replacement will last much longer than the Kabuki replacement.


You will need:


- Laptop or computer with available USB port

- USB cable with enough length to allow reasonable movement of the Arduino while connected (30cm?)

- 1x Arduino UNO or compatible clone - I used: https://www.jaycar.com.au/duinotech-classic-uno/p/XC4410

- 1x 16x2 LCD Screen w/ Controller - I used: https://www.jaycar.com.au/arduino-compatible-2-x-16-lcd-controller-module/p/XC4454

- 7x header pins for LCD screen w/ controller if not already installed

- 1 or 2x replacement batteries depending on board being resurrected

- 1x CR2032 with solder tabs for C board

- 1x 1/2AA Lithium 3.6V with axial leads - I used: https://www.jaycar.com.au/lithium-axial-1-2aa-3-6v/p/SB1771 for Q Sound board

- Arduino IDE available from http://www.arduino.cc

- .ino sketch file from http://arcadehacker.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/project-update.html

- 8x IC test clip/grabbers - I used these: https://www.jaycar.com.au/red-test-clip-ez-hook-40mm/p/HM3036

- 16x Jumper leads (I double them up so I get a longer length for the Kabuki desuicide process)


Method for C board desuicide:


- Replace CR2032 battery


- Download the Arduino IDE and upload the .ino sketch into the Arduino unit, disconnect the unit from the PC and if there are not already a set of header pins on the top right of the LCD board, they will need to be installed.


- Connect jumper wires to C board as per Arcade Hacker guide: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ArcadeHacker/ArcadeHacker_CPS1/master/Programmer%20Connections.png


- You will need to tap 5v using one of the IC pin grabbers from one of the logic pins on the board as well as ground as the Arduino does not have enough power by itself to flash the C board IC and power the LCD screen via the USB port - this means that the board will also need to be powered during the procedure


Here is a photo of my setup with everything connected:


File 22-10-17, 17 29 44.jpg


Once all connectors are in place, connect the PCB to power and turn on the power supply to the board. After this, power up the Arduino with the correct sketch installed and scroll through to the game you are desuiciding. Select the game and the screen will tell you when it has completed the process, at this stage turn off the power to the game board first, then disconnect the USB to the Arduino before removing any wires from the C board. If everything has now gone correctly, you can now connect your C board back onto the main board and the game will boot. If you get a black screen however, we move onto desuiciding the Kabuki CPU


Method for Kabuki CPU desuicide - this assumes you have already removed the board from the case and seperated it from the ROM and C boards


Note: Kabuki suicide will give you a BLACK screen - if you have a blank screen, this is possibly another fault


- Replace 1/2 AA 3.6v Lithium battery


- Download Arduino IDE and load Kabuki CPU sketch - https://github.com/ArcadeHacker/ArcadeHacker_Kabuki


- Connect Kabuki CPU to Arduino following instructions here: https://github.com/ArcadeHacker/ArcadeHacker_Kabuki/blob/master/kabuki-instructions.pdf


- The Arduino will flash the Kabuki CPU but DO NOT DISCONNECT the Kabuki from the Arduino just yet, the screen will tell you to reinsert Kabuki, you need to reinstall the CPU while remaining connected to the Arduino as this supplies it the power to keep the encryption keys until the battery takes over when you reinsert it back onto the board. This step is very difficult and you need to be patient while reinstalling the CPU


Here is a picture of my setup when I flashed my Kabuki CPU - note the longer doubled up jumper cables I used to give me the room to move the CPU back to the socket:


File 22-10-17, 17 30 45.jpg


Alternatively you can use an IC clip, but these are very expensive and can be hard to find in a 40 pin size so grabbers are the best option. This method may take several tries before you get the unit installed and don't lose the keys on the way. It took me approximately 3 hours of trial and error before I got both sets of keys loaded and booted the board to get this:


File 22-10-17, 17 31 29.jpeg


I then completed a full playthrough of the game to confirm it was completely desuicided (I got the bad ending this time :():


File 22-10-17, 17 31 51.jpg




Additional information:


Common issues you might have may include


- Arduino not responding when trying to upload sketch: This happens when you already have the Kabuki connected to the Arduino. You need to disconnect Pin 0 (right most pin on the header) as this is the RECV pin for the Arduino :)


- Arduino resets when it gets to "Programming Kabuki" or freezes on "Programming Kabuki": This happens when either the pins are shorting onto each other or are not connected properly. Reseat your pins and you should be ok


- Arduino comes up with a bunch of garbage information (bunch of question marks and underscores) when you are programming CPS1 C board and freezes: This is a problem with the newer versions of the Arduino IDE as at 1.8.4 - this may get corrected at another time but the workaround at this time is to use an older version of the IDE. I used version 1.6.4 and this worked correctly

Edited by xodaraP
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Yep, I did one a couple of weeks ago, had a few issues with the the kabuki, not sure why it failed the first couple of times, possibly because I was using a long USB cable (3 meters). Once I built it up closer to the PC it seemed to work.
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