EPROM to NES Mask ROM Adapter Board

Buy the EPROM to NES Mask ROM Extended Adapter Board on my store page!

These boards adapt 32-pin EPROMs (27C010, 27C020, 27C040, or 27C080) to fit in donor NES boards on the original Mask ROM pinout. This will save you a TON of time adding wires to your board, and comes with the added benefit of not having to remove the original EPROM from your donor board!

This adapter board is made specifically for Nintendo-produced boards with 32-pin sockets, and they DO fit on UNROM boards that have 28-pin sockets as well. You might have problems getting the adapter to fit on Konami-made or other third party boards, so please check before you start. It also won’t fit on boards like NROM or CNROM, which only have 28-pin sockets. But, if you’re making a game like that, that has 28-pin sockets, you don’t need to rewire anything anyway, so you can simply just take out the existing ROM chip and place your own 28-pin EPROM in.

How to Use the Boards

We’re going to put the adapter boards on the existing pins sticking out of the bottom of the board. We want the board to sit flat against the board as much as possible, to make sure it fits in the cartridge well, so we need to trim the pins on the other chips as close to the board as possible.

adapterstep1

After you trim the pins, you should be able to lay the adapters flat against the board. You might have noticed that there are some vias filled with solder. This can cause some problems if the exposed solder pads on our adapter board touch the solder on the board. It probably won’t happen, but better safe then sorry. If you’re careful you can avoid them by keeping the adapter a bit above the board, but to make it easy you can put some tape down on top of the pins and push the adapter down on top, creating a barrier between the board and the vias.

adapterstep2

adapterstep3

Note 1: If your board has a 32-pin socket, but only a 28-pin Mask ROM on it, you’ll have to add four wires to connect the unused donor cartridge sockets and the adapter board sockets. Just strip a wire back and heat up the existing solder, and push it through so that you can access it on the adapter board. After you’ve soldered the backside, add some solder to the topside and trim away the extra wire.

adapterstep4

Note 2: If you’re using a UNROM board, which only has a 28-pin Mask ROM on it, you can still use the adapter. Just make sure the adapter board pin 3 sits on ROM pin 1, and adapter board pin 30 sits on ROM pin 28. Check out the picture below (view from the backside) to see which pins to leave alone. You might have to trim off some of the plastic to get the board to fit in the cartridge again, but I haven’t had too much trouble fitting it in afterwards.

adapterstep4_5

Now, like the above picture suggests, you’ll want to solder the pads and make sure enough solder goes down into the hole to cover the pins. Also, on each adapter board you’re using, be sure to solder the top set of 5 pads on the back to the correct positions depending on if it’s a PRG or CHR ROM. Just add a solder bridge between the middle pad and the left or right depending on what kind of ROM it is. Note that if this is for a UNROM board, you must solder the PRG side as well as bridging the two extra solder pads.

adapterstep5

Finally, flip the board over, and cut pin 22 on both of the original ROMs. Make sure the pin doesn’t connect to the board anymore.

adapterstep6

Solder a wire from each pin 22, to pin 32. This will disable the original ROM by tying the /CE pin to 5V, without requiring you from taking it out of the socket.

adapterstep7

Now we can solder our own EPROMs into the sockets on our adapters.

adapterstep8

This board is very simple in nature, it just replaces the rewiring instructions for NES games. Check out the main tutorial for more information about the connections.

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