New Menacer hardware?

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bobthebuilder
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New Menacer hardware?

Post by bobthebuilder » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:38 pm

I figure if anybody could help me It would be on this forum, so here goes...

I recently learned about the plug n play Menacer. My understanding is that in Japan it was released by Sega, but in the US it was released by Radica. I read online that internally the "Genesis/video" component is on a separate board from the light-gun. So does anybody know if this could be rewired to have a controller plug? I would love to use this as a replacement to the original Sega Menacer, as it has a more traditional shape and no separate IR sensor.

I ordered one online and can post pictures of its internals.

P.S. The AtGames genesis does not work with the Konami Justifier or the Sega mouse, so that suggest to me that the genesis on a chip found on the plug n play menacer might be a better than the one used by Atgames :P.

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KanedaFr
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Re: New Menacer hardware?

Post by KanedaFr » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:12 am

so it didn't need the receiver ?
it could be interesting to see
1/ how they made this justifier/menacer combo
2/ if they made change on the game to support it

for internals, I found this
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom61/389 ... otostream/

but if you could share chip id, etc... it would be more useful !

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KanedaFr
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Re: New Menacer hardware?

Post by KanedaFr » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:34 am

On wikipedia, you could read
"Retro Gamer wrote that Radica's gun is based on the Sega Saturn light gun's design and not the Menacer's"
I wonder if it's only the design or if they went up to convert the SS light gun like we talked about 1 year ago:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2030&p=26930
Last edited by KanedaFr on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: made a mistake between design and hardware design

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MrTamk1s
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Re: New Menacer hardware?

Post by MrTamk1s » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:58 am

bobthebuilder wrote:I figure if anybody could help me It would be on this forum, so here goes...
So does anybody know if this could be rewired to have a controller plug? I would love to use this as a replacement to the original Sega Menacer, as it has a more traditional shape and no separate IR sensor.

P.S. The AtGames genesis does not work with the Konami Justifier or the Sega mouse, so that suggest to me that the genesis on a chip found on the plug n play menacer might be a better than the one used by Atgames :P.
I used to have a Sega Radica v1 (with Sonic 1 and other games), and yeah, the Radica GOACs are far better than the emulation for AtGames, (They can be modded to have a cartridge port and play other Genesis cartridges too!)

KanedaFr wrote:so it didn't need the receiver ?
it could be interesting to see
1/ how they made this justifier/menacer combo

for internals, I found this
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom61/389 ... otostream/
but if you could share chip id, etc... it would be more useful !
I found online a picture of the internals for a Sega Radica v1. Cross-comparing this with the "Radica Menacer", visually, it appears:

*Board near muzzle is the Menacer hardware module. Was the IR sensor moved here instead?
*Boards near trigger are obviously the reload/shoot buttons
*Board near back is just the power/reset button
*Board with the AC jack in the magazine holder is obviously the GOAC board
*On both GOAC boards is a chip with a sticker with some Oriental script on it. Both have 22 pins per side of the chip, which according to Devster's research page on the Sega Radica, is the ROM chip with the game. Assuming the game on the Radica Menacer is the Menacer 6-game cartridge (it appears to be so on the packaging in the photo album), it should be ~3MB large. Devster was able to dump the Radica v1 ROM, so this ROM should also be dumpable via his Mask ROM pinout table. With the special hardware (and whatever changes Radica made to the menus), odds are it would be a new revision to the Menacer 6-game ROM

In terms of hardware, the key to modding the Radica Menacer to plug into a Genesis 9-pin DSUB would be in figuring out whatever protocol (Saturn control protocol?) is being used on that ribbon cable connecting the Menacer board to the GOAC board, determining the pin out of each wire, and rewiring appropriately to a 9-pin DSUB probably.
Apocalypse from Saturn=Genny? thread wrote: Although wiring (of Saturn peripherals to the Genesis) is doable pretty easily, you still need to add some logic (either hardware or software) if you want to achieve what you want to do :
KanedaFR wrote: 2/ if they made change on the game to support it
Since there is a glob microcontroller chip on the Menacer board, there is probably extra glue logic hardware being used if the Radica Menacer is indeed a Saturn peripheral, and also special code to poll it properly perhaps. Only real way to know if the game code was modified and how is to dump the Radica Menacer ROM, compare it to a clean Menacer 6-pak ROM, and if changes exist, disassemble the changed code blocks.


Sounds like this would make for a fun hardware-based homebrew project :). Let us know when the Radica Menacer arrives and post some close-up pictures of each board module. (YouTube video too if possible; I've never owned one, so don't know what changes were made to the game.)
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TmEE co.(TM)
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Re: New Menacer hardware?

Post by TmEE co.(TM) » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:19 pm

I doubt there is anything Saturn specific there besides the plastic.

Menacer is really simple, there's two way communication between IR sensor and gun to get button and sensor state, and it is 100% in analog domain, nothing intelligent about it and it can be completely cut out the equation. What is left is couple bits for buttons and one for sensor. I'm pretty sure the sensor is connected to TH line so it can create an interrupt, rest should be relatively straighforward. I have a schematic of the menacer somewhere, I'll dig it out ~
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KanedaFr
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Re: New Menacer hardware?

Post by KanedaFr » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:13 pm

Can't wait for your schema of the Menacer ;)
the thing to note here is you don't need the 2 part (receiver/gun) so it's something different, more like the justifier

i won't be surprised to find a justifier-ready version of the 6-menacer here

bobthebuilder
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Re: New Menacer hardware?

Post by bobthebuilder » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:24 am

I got it. I haven't had time to study it closely (Just got back from work). I tested it on my CRT TV and the games work exactly as I remember. Unfortunately it has glue covering where the ribbon cable connects to the board with the GOAC, so I need to remove this in order to see the pinouts better. I quickly snapped some pictures with my phone and uploaded them to imgur. See the link below.
http://imgur.com/a/l09rt

Edit: Came home early today from work, so I had more time to look at my purchase. Looks like this may work (Just as long as none of the game's code has been altered). The controller pinouts appear to be the same as with other Radica boards (Thank you MrTamk1s for posting the link to devster's page). I bid on a cheap genesis controller on Ebay, so I should be able to test this out real soon. :D

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MrTamk1s
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Re: New Menacer hardware?

Post by MrTamk1s » Sun May 21, 2017 9:54 am

Not to necrobump a year-old post, but any news bob on the internals of how this Menacer GOAC works?
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