I found this little console while lounging around a Walmart as I waited for a movie to start at the cinema. I should point out it was a Mexican Walmart, I’m not sure if the US ones would/could actually carry this little device since it has plenty of probably unlicensed ROMs lurking inside it’s crappy interior. Priced at 10 USD (120 MXN) who could resist!
After purchasing it, kids kept walking up to me and asked about the console, clearly excited about all the old-school games inside. They where aware it was not a PS3 or an XBOX 360, they didn’t care, it was true 8-bit love. I have to admit, that made me very happy.
I started by removing the easily accessible screws underneath the console.
Exposing what I pretty much expected, an extremely simple system held together with hot glue.
From this angle you can tell that the two single sided boards on each end are just breakout boards for the different connectors required by the system; with the exception of the L7805CV regulator and it’s accompanying decoupling capacitors.
The boards seem to have been screen printed, the traces also look a little oddly shaped. If you look closely, you can still see quite a lot of flux residue, dirty.
The other board doesn’t look any better sadly. Also, they went and soldered all the TH components and jumpers on the bottom side. Not really sure why…
The top side of the main board looks pretty much as you would expect, one big cartridge slot, what looks like a 21 Mhz crystal oscillator and a few capacitors.
The real action is on the bottom. It looks to be some sort of chip-on-board design, this little guy in the middle is why I took so long to post this tare down; I wanted to maybe try to dissolve the epoxy but I kept getting distracted by work. In the end I decided against it, since I don’t have a powerful enough microscope for it to really be worth busting out the acid.
The cartridge seems to be another breakout-like board for what looks to be a NAND flash. I’m going to try to get some data off the flash memory, I’ll post and update when and if I’m successful. :)
I’m going to put it back together and give it away to the first kid to walk up to me at the mall next week. :)