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[Link Posting] How I had a bygone 72-pin connector remade just to play Duck Hunt
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Rich
2018-06-26 00:57:12 UTC
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<URL:http://www.keacher.com/1627/how-i-had-a-bygone-72-pin-connector-rem
ade-just-to-play-duck-hunt/>
I had been looking at component catalogs and distributor inventories for
so long that my eyes were throbbing. I was searching for a particular
circuit board connector, but it seemed there were none to be had. Not
here, not there, not anywhere in the world. They no longer existed.
I realized I was down to a single option: a custom manufacturing order.
I had never done that, and the prospect scared me.
Why bother? To play Duck Hunt, obviously.
The connector was - deep breath - a 72-pin straddle-mount female
card-edge type, somewhat similar the expansion-board connectors on a
computer motherboard. That alone would be, if not common, at least not
too obscure, but there was a catch: I needed a 2.50 mm pin pitch, not
the standard 2.54 mm pin pitch.
Thanks, Nintendo.
For reasons lost to history, Nintendo used that 2.50 mm pin pitch on
their Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game cartridges back in the
1980s. If there were just a few pins on a cartridge, the 40-micron
difference between 2.50 and 2.54 mm wouldn't really matter, but with so
many pins, two rows of 36, the summed error is enough to cause shorts
near the card ends.
...
Johann Klammer
2018-06-26 09:56:21 UTC
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Post by Rich
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<URL:http://www.keacher.com/1627/how-i-had-a-bygone-72-pin-connector-rem
ade-just-to-play-duck-hunt/>
I had been looking at component catalogs and distributor inventories for
so long that my eyes were throbbing. I was searching for a particular
circuit board connector, but it seemed there were none to be had. Not
here, not there, not anywhere in the world. They no longer existed.
I realized I was down to a single option: a custom manufacturing order.
I had never done that, and the prospect scared me.
Why bother? To play Duck Hunt, obviously.
The connector was - deep breath - a 72-pin straddle-mount female
card-edge type, somewhat similar the expansion-board connectors on a
computer motherboard. That alone would be, if not common, at least not
too obscure, but there was a catch: I needed a 2.50 mm pin pitch, not
the standard 2.54 mm pin pitch.
Thanks, Nintendo.
For reasons lost to history, Nintendo used that 2.50 mm pin pitch on
their Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game cartridges back in the
1980s. If there were just a few pins on a cartridge, the 40-micron
difference between 2.50 and 2.54 mm wouldn't really matter, but with so
many pins, two rows of 36, the summed error is enough to cause shorts
near the card ends.
...
Ha! I bet it was because of the metric system.
Johnny B Good
2018-06-26 11:55:56 UTC
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Post by Johann Klammer
Post by Rich
# ATTENTION: This post is a reference to a website. The poster of #
# this Usenet article is not the author of the referenced website. #
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Post by Johann Klammer
Post by Rich
<URL:http://www.keacher.com/1627/how-i-had-a-bygone-72-pin-connector-
rem
Post by Johann Klammer
Post by Rich
ade-just-to-play-duck-hunt/>
I had been looking at component catalogs and distributor inventories
for so long that my eyes were throbbing. I was searching for a
particular circuit board connector, but it seemed there were none to
be had. Not here, not there, not anywhere in the world. They no
longer existed.
I realized I was down to a single option: a custom manufacturing
order. I had never done that, and the prospect scared me.
Why bother? To play Duck Hunt, obviously.
The connector was - deep breath - a 72-pin straddle-mount female
card-edge type, somewhat similar the expansion-board connectors on a
computer motherboard. That alone would be, if not common, at least
not too obscure, but there was a catch: I needed a 2.50 mm pin pitch,
not the standard 2.54 mm pin pitch.
Thanks, Nintendo.
For reasons lost to history, Nintendo used that 2.50 mm pin pitch on
their Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game cartridges back in the
1980s. If there were just a few pins on a cartridge, the 40-micron
difference between 2.50 and 2.54 mm wouldn't really matter, but with
so many pins, two rows of 36, the summed error is enough to cause
shorts near the card ends.
...
Ha! I bet it was because of the metric system.
"You stupid boy!" :-)

Oh you of little cynicism, the 'metric system' was, at best, merely
Nintendo's scapegoat. The 'standard' was chosen, as it always is in such
cases, merely to keep the connector proprietary to Nintendo and Nintendo
alone. Why do you think there are *so* *many* standards to choose from in
this world?
--
Johnny B Good
Rich
2018-06-26 15:48:45 UTC
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Post by Rich
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Post by Johann Klammer
Post by Rich
# ATTENTION: This post is a reference to a website. The poster of #
# this Usenet article is not the author of the referenced website. #
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Post by Johann Klammer
Post by Rich
<URL:http://www.keacher.com/1627/how-i-had-a-bygone-72-pin-connector-
rem
Post by Johann Klammer
Post by Rich
ade-just-to-play-duck-hunt/>
I had been looking at component catalogs and distributor inventories
for so long that my eyes were throbbing. I was searching for a
particular circuit board connector, but it seemed there were none to
be had. Not here, not there, not anywhere in the world. They no
longer existed.
I realized I was down to a single option: a custom manufacturing
order. I had never done that, and the prospect scared me.
Why bother? To play Duck Hunt, obviously.
The connector was - deep breath - a 72-pin straddle-mount female
card-edge type, somewhat similar the expansion-board connectors on a
computer motherboard. That alone would be, if not common, at least
not too obscure, but there was a catch: I needed a 2.50 mm pin pitch,
not the standard 2.54 mm pin pitch.
Thanks, Nintendo.
For reasons lost to history, Nintendo used that 2.50 mm pin pitch on
their Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game cartridges back in the
1980s. If there were just a few pins on a cartridge, the 40-micron
difference between 2.50 and 2.54 mm wouldn't really matter, but with
so many pins, two rows of 36, the summed error is enough to cause
shorts near the card ends.
...
Ha! I bet it was because of the metric system.
"You stupid boy!" :-)
Oh you of little cynicism, the 'metric system' was, at best, merely
Nintendo's scapegoat. The 'standard' was chosen, as it always is in such
cases, merely to keep the connector proprietary to Nintendo and Nintendo
alone. Why do you think there are *so* *many* standards to choose from in
this world?
This was exactly my thought as well. The NES was well known for having
all kinds of what we now call DRM (but was simply called "copy
protection" back then) to prevent both cart copying as well as to
prevent third-party cart creation without Nintendo's blessing (and a
cut of the third parties profits).

Creating a close, but not quite compatible spacing connector also
complicates folks trying to attach the cartridge to a logic analyzer to
try to do analysis of the DRM and/or to dump the cart contents. Those
folks first have to find a compatible connector, and back in those days
reqesting a custom build run from China was likely all but impossible.
Johann Klammer
2018-07-03 12:34:39 UTC
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Post by Johnny B Good
"You stupid boy!" :-)
Oh you of little cynicism, the 'metric system' was, at best, merely
Nintendo's scapegoat. The 'standard' was chosen, as it always is in such
cases, merely to keep the connector proprietary to Nintendo and Nintendo
alone. Why do you think there are *so* *many* standards to choose from in
this world?
Yes, they do that. However 2.5mm/5mm grid spacing is frequently seen in certain parts
(xfrmrs,caps etc..). The small ones are solderable to perfboards but on larger things
the tolerance sums up...
Computer Nerd Kev
2018-06-28 23:15:24 UTC
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<URL:http://www.keacher.com/1627/how-i-had-a-bygone-72-pin-connector-rem
ade-just-to-play-duck-hunt/>
"How did international payments work? How did shipping work? Would I need a
broker? A fixer? A smuggler? I read horror stories about how payments to
mainland China banks were tricky, how shipment was its own beast, replete
with a sea of incoterms, and so on. Would I have to worry about customs?
How would I even find out?

Fortunately, the connector manufacturer was large enough to have
well-oiled solutions for such situations. I paid them via credit card
using PayPal, the destination apparently being an account at a bank in Hong
Kong. Then, for getting the parts back to me, they gave me a variety of EXW
options, including DHL and FedEx. I chose FedEx IE, which balanced cost
with speed."

The official Alibaba payments system is actually handled through Alibaba
itself, so you're paying Alibaba's escrow service and they handle any
issues such as sellers not shipping the order. They would prefer that
sellers didn't offer PayPal, but many get away with it. In the end
PayPal offers a similar "buyer protection" service, so they're both
fairly equivalent. I've used both and haven't had a problem.

For shipping it seems that all sellers offering small items like
these electronic connectors provide a shipping quote upon request.
To Australia, DHL shipping is incredibly fast, I've got things
within a couple of days after they were sent.


This is the thing he's making:
Modern Mallard - A simple kit for the NES video game Duck Hunt
that makes it compatible with modern TVs
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/metsasta/modern-mallard

Seems like a lot of trouble for just one NES game which, you know,
could have just been hacked (besides the light gun, that is). But
good luck to him anyway.
--
__ __
#_ < |\| |< _#
RS Wood
2018-07-06 16:17:23 UTC
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On Tue, 26 Jun 2018 00:57:12 +0000 (UTC)
I realized I was down to a single option: a custom manufacturing order.
I had never done that, and the prospect scared me.
Why bother? To play Duck Hunt, obviously.
What I love about all these stories is that the project arises out of a
very specific nerd itch - to do something not unreasonable, that
hardware and policies now make impossible unless you do something very
clever.

"Nerd necessity" is the mother of invention.

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