CAVE CV-1000 PCB serial number codes explained (with PCB production estimates)

Started by EOJ, October 15, 2018, 05:02:45 PM

EOJ

I've discovered that since Pink Sweets, all Cave serial numbers until SDOJ are not random numbers as some have thought, rather they follow a set format:

PREFIX (MP-, DSB-, AK-, etc) + BATCH NUMBER (One digit) + RUN NUMBER (Two digits) + 0 + PCB NUMBER (One digit)

BATCH numbers indicates TENS, RUN numbers indicate HUNDREDS, and PCB numbers indicate 0-9. Thus, combine them in the order RUN + BATCH + PCB to arrive at the production number for a particular PCB.

To take an example, the Serial number MP-20307 is broken down as PREFIX (MP-) + BATCH NUMBER (2) + RUN NUMBER (03) + 0 + PCB NUMBER (7), which indicates it is the 327th PCB produced.

BATCH NUMBERs and RUN NUMBERs begin at 0. PCB NUMBERs also begin at 0, except for the first PCB in the first BATCH/RUN, (e.g. there is 00001, but no 00000).

So we find the attested serial number sequences:

-00001
-00002
-00003

etc, up to 00009

Then it shifts to the next BATCH NUMBER, giving

-10000
-10001
-10002

Then, after reaching 10009, it switches to the next BATCH NUMBER:

-20000
-20001
-20002

etc.

After reaching 90009, it switches to the next RUN NUMBER (and the BATCH NUMBER returns to 0), thus we find:

-00100
-00101
-00102

etc.

Continuing up to 90109. Then we continue with 00200, 00201, 00202, etc, up to 90209, and the pattern repeats over again (if there were more RUNs produced).

RUN NUMBERS can go over 9, the highest I've seen is 18 (e.g. CA-51801), but from what I have seen the PCB number never goes above 9, and the number before it is always 0 (this is what we would expect from such a numbering system).

Another way to look at BATCH NUMBERs and PCB NUMBERs is that each contains a digit of the full PCB number in a RUN. So, with serial MP-00001, if we take out everything except the BATCH NUMBER and PCB NUMBER, we are left with 01, meaning it was the 1st PCB produced. And similarly with serial CA-90009, we are left with 99, meaning it was the 99th PCB produced. The serial MP-10000 (see my avatar!) indicates it was the 10th PCB produced. And so on. So, this shows the sequence of PCBs made in a RUN. This does not work well in certain cases, however, such as the serial AK-00100, as the BATCH + PCB is 00 (which does not indicate it is the 1st PCB made in its RUN, nor that it is the 100th PCB produced overall, even though both of these statements are true). This is why I separate BATCH and PCB numbers. As mentioned before, the first RUN has 99 PCBs, whereas subsequent RUNs consist of 100 PCBs each.

Have a look at all the PCB serial numbers recorded at https://cavedb.com/, and you will see this pattern very clearly.

For many games, we can estimate the total PCB run due to this serial number information. Let's take DSMBL and Akai Katana for examples. I have yet to find a DSMBL with a RUN NUMBER higher than 1 or an Akai Katana that has a RUN NUMBER over 2. The highest AK serial number I have seen is AK-70207 (the 277th PCB produced), whereas the highest DSMBL Serial number I have seen is DSB-90103 (the 193rd PCB produced). So we can estimate there were approximately 193-200 DSMBL PCBs made and 277-300 AK PCBs made (it is unclear if the final run of each game was partial or full, but it is most likely that each run was full).

-----
SDOJ has a slightly different system, consisting of the PREFIX (SDO-) + RUN NUMBER (0 or 1) + 0 + PCB NUMBER (three digits). Thus we find serials such as SDO-00173 and SDO-10173, but not SDO-20173.

Espgaluda 2, Mushihimetama and Ibara Kuro, which were released before PS, have a simple serial code of PREFIX-(0)000, with the last three digits indicating the PCB number (E-0018, E-0748, IB-073, etc). Ibara and Mushihimesama only have a four digit PCB number, from roughly 1400 up to 4000 (I am not aware of any over 4000 or any under 1400).

PART 2: LIST OF TOTAL PRODUCTION ESTIMATES OF EACH GAME BASED ON SERIAL NUMBER DATA

Here is a list of each SH3 (CV-1000) game and the current best estimate of its total production, based on serial number data, and categorized by rarity:

Super Rare (less than 10):
Mushihimesama Futari Red Label: 3 (only given to prize winners in a CAVE scoring contest)

Very Rare (less than 100)
:
Akai Katana Limited Ver: 40 ~ 50
Mushihimesama Cave Matsuri Ver 1.5: 50 (maybe higher?)
Mushihimesama Futari Ver 1.0: 50 ~ 100
Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Ver 1.0: 50 ~ 100

Rare (100 ~ 200):
Ibara Kuro Black Label: 100 ~ 150 (initial print was 100, but two small additional prints were made, probably totaling no more than 50 additional PCBs)
Mushihimesama Futari Black Label: 150
Mushihimesama Futari Black Label Another Ver: 200
Deathsmiles Mega Black Label: 200
Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label: 200

Somewhat Rare (300-350)
Akai Katana: 300
Dodonpachi Saidaioujou: 350 (currently available serial number data only supports 350 PCBs made: 250 in the first run and 100 in the second)

Somewhat Common (400 ~ 600):
Muchi Muchi Pork: 450 (serial number data indicates up to 500 were originally made, but 50 were unsold and used to print MFBL)
Mushihimetama: 500 (initial production; the extant number is certainly much lower. Some of these were unsold and converted to Ibara Kuro or Mushihimesama, and possibly other games)
Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Ver 1.5: 500 ~ 550 (700 ~ 750 were originally made, but 200 of these were unsold and later reprogrammed to Akai Katana)
Pink Sweets: 500-600 (initial production was about 700, but several of these were unsold and converted to other games such as Futari. The actual number of extant PS PCBs is unknown, but a reasonable estimate is around 500-600)

Common (700 ~ 800):
Deathsmiles: 700
Espgaluda 2: 800

Very Common (1000 ~ 1500):
Ibara: 1000 ~ 1500
Mushihimesama: 1000 ~ 1500
Mushihimesama Futari Ver 1.5: 1050 ~ 1150
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EOJ

Now, the exciting thing is we can use this information to estimate the total production numbers of other PCBs. For MMP (see here: https://cavedb.com/arcade-games/muchi-muchi-pork-pcb/), I cannot find a PCB with a RUN NUMBER over 3, which would indicate 4 runs were produced (99 + 3x100 =399 PCBs).

The highest Deathsmiles RUN NUMBER here (https://cavedb.com/arcade-games/deathsmiles-pcb/) is 6, indicating up to 7 runs were produced (99 + 6x100=699 PCBs).

For Daifukkatsu, the highest RUN NUMBER here (https://cavedb.com/arcade-games/dodonpachi-daifukkatsu-pcb/) is 5, but here I found one with a 7, indicating up to 8 runs were produced (99 + 7x100 =799 PCBs).

As more RUN NUMBERs are found, we can adjust the numbers upward.
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EOJ

In regard to Mushihimesama Futari Black Label ANOTHER VER (INTERNATIONAL VER), the serial numbers I have seen go up to MFBA-90109 (my PCB is MFBA-90009), indicating 200 PCBs were produced. This is consistent with Yaton saying he acquired ~200 of them back in 2013 or 2014.
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Limpan

Whoa. Great findings here EOJ. Thanks for sharing!

Monouchi

Some serious detective work there EOJ.
Really interesting info.

EOJ

Glad it is of interest to some of you.

Going into the CA- serials, which were only used in 2006-2007, we find RUN numbers up to 6 for Pink Sweets,

And then RUN numbers 7 and above (up to 18, so far) for Mushihimesama Futari:

So probably 700 PS PCBs and 1000+ Futari PCBs, at least initially. I have also seen Pink Sweets serials with a PS- prefix. Perhaps these were used briefly before the switch to CA-. It gets more complicated in this case, because groups of CA- serials were used for converted Ibara Kuro, Mushihimesama and Ibara PCBs. They were also used for some Futari BL PCBs (see the paragraph below). And where did the 200 PCBs for Futari BL AV come from? They were probably CA- serials that got returned or unsold or fixed, and were rebranded with new serials. But this would present large gaps in the CA- sequences we wouldn't find with other serials. I suspect at least a few hundred of the original PS PCBs were used for these other games, but (based on the serials) I have seen Futari PCBs used as well.

The original Japanese run of Futari BL is interesting. We can find MMB- serials at least up to 40006 (I previously owned MMB-00008, which I bought at launch). Since they made 150 of these, maybe the first 50 were MMB-, then the last 100 had CA- serials. The MMB- serials, as far as I can tell, were all converted from MMP PCBs with new serial labels attached.
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EOJ

I should probably list all the prefixes because not everyone is familiar with them:

AK- : Akai Katana
AKU- : Akai Katana Limited Ver
CA- : CAVE (used for several games, most notably Mushihimesama Futari 1.0/1.5/BL and Pink Sweets. Also found in small numbers: MMP, Mushihimesama, Ibara Kuro and Ibara)
DD- : Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu
DDB- : Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label
DS- : Deathsmiles
DSB- : Deathsmiles Mega Black Label
E- : Espgaluda 2
IB- : Ibara Kuro (also used for some Ibara PCBs)
M- : Mushihimetama (also used for some later Mushihimesama PCBs)
MFBA- : Mushimesama Futari Black Label AV
MHN- : Mushihimesama Cave Matsuri Ver 1.5
MB- : Metal Mahjong Moukari BanchÅ
MMB- : Mushihimesama Futari Black Label JP
MP- : Muchi Muchi Pork
PS- : Pink Sweets
SDO- : Dodonpachi Saidaioujou
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Monouchi

My Ibara just says: "No. 2000"

My only "CA" boards are Futari BL jp and Pink Sweets.

EOJ

Quote from: Monouchi on October 16, 2018, 03:09:34 AM
My Ibara just says: "No. 2000"

For Ibara, that sounds right (see the last sentence in the first post of this thread). However, I have also seen a few Ibara PCBs with IB- and CA- prefixes. These were obviously later conversions, for reasons unknown. Just a guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if in some cases an Ibara was sent in for repair, but it was easier or more cost-effective to just convert a CA- PCB than fix the problem(s) in the older Ibara PCB. Ditto for Mushihimesama.
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SuperPang

This is more complicated than some scoring systems
Nice work though. The numbers seem to add up.

waiwainl

Excellent work here! It inspired me to update cavedb.com with my PCB's

supabok

Really nice info and findings
With regard to CA- branded pcbs, I sold a MMP with the serial CA-00707 a while back.

EOJ

Ah, so they even converted some CA- serial PCBs into MMP. Thanks for the info!
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waiwainl

This is my Ibara PCB. There is no prefix for this. Just the number, like Monouchi.

Same for my Mushihimesama PCB

EOJ

The vast majority of Ibara and Mushihimesama PCBs have that type of serial number.
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EOJ

For DFK BL, it seems to have been the same total production as DSMBL and MFBL AV (~200 PCBs).

For SDOJ, Shou has stated it was 350 PCBs, but looking at cavedb.com, we find the serials SDO-00226 and SDO-10178. 226 + 178 = 404. Assuming 178 is not the last PCB in the second run, perhaps ~450 is a more accurate estimate, but I wouldn't be surprised if the total produced amounts to 500. Cave mentioned 500 being the magic number for profitability for their arcade games around the time SDOJ was released.

EDIT: The above paragraph is incorrect. See the posts below for further explanation.
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EOJ

Espgaluda 2 PCB serial E-0778, which is the highest I have seen:

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/m302524791

Right now it seems like 800 is the best approximation for this game's total production.
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kibo

Thanks for this work.

I collect a number from french user. Perhaps it's good for you.

http://forum.shmup.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=18201

EOJ

#18
EDIT: Data moved to the OP.
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Monouchi

Great info.
Very interesting to see the numbers, bit surprised that it wasnt more MMP boards.
The black label boards low numbers really make you think how little boards thats out there. No wonder the prices...

EOJ

Quote from: Monouchi on December 30, 2018, 02:55:49 AM
The black label boards low numbers really make you think how little boards thats out there. No wonder the prices...

Meanwhile, the most expensive game outside AK LE and Mushi Matsuri is SDOJ, but as you can see, it is far from rare. Most of the SDOJ PCBs are just still installed in arcades in Japan. Still, another one pops up for sale in PCB shops or YAJ pretty much every month.

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EOJ

#21
Quote from: kibo on December 17, 2018, 06:26:52 PM
Thanks for this work.

I collect a number from french user. Perhaps it's good for you.

http://forum.shmup.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=18201

Thanks for this. Two very important pieces of information stand out. First, I see a MMP serial of 30408, which is very helpful as it helps push the total up to 450.

Second, the user Cormano has a SDOJ with a serial of 10246 (this is listed erroneously in the first post of that thread as "12406"). As we know the first run went up to at least 226, adding 246 to this number pushes the total up to a whopping 472. Thus it is very likely the total was actually 500 produced (most likely two runs of 250).

EDIT: This is most likely wrong, see four posts below.
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Monouchi

More people should send in their numbers to Cave db.

It would also be interesting to know how many pcbs thats outside Japan.

SuperPang

Interesting stuff, and depressing to see how demand tanked over the years.

kibo

Great job! My pleasure to contribute with french numbers.

EOJ

I discovered this SDOJ PCB today:

Its serial is 10255! If the serials in the second run really did start at 10001, this would mean 255 for the second run, and 250 for the first (=505 total). However, I am getting skeptical, because I have yet to find a PCB from the second run under 10164 (see here, for example), and going over 10250 is odd to me, if there were really 500 made. I now think it is more likely the second run began at some number over 10150, and increased to (or over) 10255. Of course, more data will clarify this. Interestingly, if there were really only 100 PCBs in the second run, this would match with Shou's claim that 350 were made in total (which would consist of 250 in the first run and 100 in the second).

For the time being, I will mark the total production as 350, as the serial number data available to me does not support a higher production. If anyone finds a PCB from the second run under 10164 (or over 10255), please let me know and I will adjust the estimate upwards.
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EOJ

I got an Akai Katana PCB today and on the back it is stamped May 2008 followed by another stamp in August 2010. May 2008 means it was originally a DDPDFK PCB. So probably some unsold ones were reprogrammed into AK PCBs. But how many? Not all AK PCBs have the '08 date stamp (this one currently on sale at Tops doesn't have it, for example). Whatever number they turn out to be, we will need to eventually subtract it from the total production of DDPDFK, which appears to have been 800 initially.
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peg

Have you ever actually seen a Pink Sweets PCB with the "PS" prefix?  I have never seen one, where have you seen one with that prefix or have a picture?  I've seen evidence for all of them except for that one.

Quote from: EOJ on October 16, 2018, 03:00:56 AM
I should probably list all the prefixes because not everyone is familiar with them:

AK- : Akai Katana
AKU- : Akai Katana Limited Ver
CA- : CAVE (used for several games, most notably Mushihimesama Futari 1.0/1.5/BL and Pink Sweets. Also found in small numbers: MMP, Mushihimesama, Ibara Kuro and Ibara)
DD- : Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu
DDB- : Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label
DS- : Deathsmiles
DSB- : Deathsmiles Mega Black Label
E- : Espgaluda 2
IB- : Ibara Kuro (also used for some Ibara PCBs)
M- : Mushihimetama (also used for some later Mushihimesama and Ibara Kuro PCBs)
MFBA- : Mushimesama Futari Black Label AV
MHN- : Mushihimesama Cave Matsuri Ver 1.5
MMB- : Mushihimesama Futari Black Label JP
MP- : Muchi Muchi Pork
PS- : Pink Sweets
SDO- : Dodonpachi Saidaioujou

EOJ

I was sourcing myself from January 2011:

http://cave-stg.com/forum/index.php?topic=139.msg23019#msg23019

I am pretty sure I have also read of at least one other person having a PS- board, but I can't find the post now. I cannot find any pictures online of such a board with a PS- prefix, however.

It is possible it is a mistake, but my memory is too hazy now to know for sure. If someone out there has a PS- serial Pink Sweets, please raise your hand.
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