Author Topic: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?  (Read 217 times)

Offline buffi

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What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« on: July 30, 2020, 08:05:19 AM »
It's been known that CV1K games can be converted to other games (Not CV1000-B to CV1000-D though), at least as long as
http://cave-stg.com/forum/index.php?topic=1718.0
has been around (since that was converted from a Mushi or similar).

Anyone who has ever dumped a CV1K pcb should also be aware of conversions being possible (and how to do them).

That said... the general consensus seems to be that people believe conversions to be hard/impossible (which is not the case).

What are peoples thoughts on this?

There is the argument that if how to do conversions become public knowledge, that people might start passing off cheap games as expensive games.
I think this is an understandable argument, but the main issue here is that anyone who has the skills and tools needed to do this should be able to figure out how to do it very easily. This means that if people believe that it is impossible to do, it makes it much easier to pass of a converted board as real which is problematic.

Do people in general feel like it would be good for the information to be public or not?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 10:19:14 AM by buffi »

Offline SuperPang

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 01:25:51 PM »
Dumping games for preservation is essential. Conversions I have mixed feelings on.

When conversions for CPS2 and the like came along, we had a blanket ban on selling or even discussing them on AO because the whole thing was a minefield. The rules have been relaxed over the years due to popular demand so that people can still sell them or talk about them so long as they're not looking to churn them out for profit. Thankfully, Arcade Projects has come along which has made life easier.

Of course, as a collector, I get accused of making such rules to protect my investment, which isn't true. I can totally understand that not everyone can afford a legit Progear, and so converting a cheaper game is appealing. Hell, you can play the whole CPS2 library form one sacrificed board now.

The reason we put rules in place at AO was to a) avoid the legal issues with people bootlegging newer games, b) to stop people being sold a lemon, and above all c) to preserve original hardware.

CPS2 or MVS games were released in their thousands. Many would argue that the games being converted won't be missed. CV1000 is very different, with titles being released in their hundreds. It's also a more complex and risky process and you're dealing with far more expensive sacrificial PCBs. It's probably a lot harder to spot a CV1000 conversion as well, so someone will inevitably get scammed.

I wouldn't be upset if Akai Katana Limited Version found its way into MAME. The more people who can play these games the better. Would I be the one to dump it? Hell no. Far too risky and it would be a shame to see other games sacrificed for it. Some would no doubt be botched beyond repair.

I wouldn't personally be bothered if CV1000 conversions devalued my collection. If I was in it for the money I'd have cashed my chips in by now. I was very fortunate to buy my games when I did because I couldn't afford to at todays prices. Those who have paid the big bucks more recently might have a different opinion.

At the end of the day, conversions might not have a dramatic effect on the price of the real deal anyway. Collectable videogames of all types seem to be going up and up, despite new bootlegging methods.

Do people in general feel like it would be good for the information to be public or not?

That’s a tough one. One the one hand it encourages people to do it, on the other it increases awareness that it’s possible. Are there many out there yet? I’m sure there would be more if you could convert a Mushitama to SDOJ for example.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 02:38:49 PM by SuperPang »

Offline buffi

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 04:24:41 PM »
CPS2 or MVS games were released in their thousands. Many would argue that the games being converted won't be missed. CV1000 is very different, with titles being released in their hundreds. It's also a more complex and risky process and you're dealing with far more expensive sacrificial PCBs. It's probably a lot harder to spot a CV1000 conversion as well, so someone will inevitably get scammed.

Absolutely. Converting a CV1000 game has some risk involved, but for people who know what they're doing, it's not too bad. Scams can definitely be a problem, which is why I'm even bringing this up :)

Scams could in fact already be a thing. If I could figure out how to convert these games, a LOT of people could (and probably have already).

It's arguable if the game is truly sacrificed, since converting them back to the original roms is the same procedure as the conversion, so any converted games can be restored to the original later if needed.

I wouldn't personally be bothered if CV1000 conversions devalued my collection. If I was in it for the money I'd have cashed my chips in by now. I was very fortunate to buy my games when I did because I couldn't afford to at todays prices. Those who have paid the big bucks more recently might have a different opinion.

Yeah, I am definitely also a collector and have 10 or so CV1K pcbs.
I think the current prices are pretty insane, and wouldn't mind if they went down a bit. I would 100% lose "value" in it, but I'm keeping my games around to play them so it doesn't impact me in practice.

At the end of the day, conversions might not have a dramatic effect on the price of the real deal anyway. Collectable videogames of all types seem to be going up and up, despite new bootlegging methods.

I think this is also highly likely to be true.

That’s a tough one. One the one hand it encourages people to do it, on the other it increases awareness that it’s possible. Are there many out there yet? I’m sure there would be more if you could convert a Mushitama to SDOJ for example.

That particular example wont work since you can't convert a mushitama to SDOJ, since that is a CV1000-D game (that also isn't dumped I guess, but that's less relevant).
In terms of how many conversions / fake are out there already, noone knows I guess. I haven't seen much indications that there's a lot of them floating around but who knows.

Offline EOJ

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 05:54:02 PM »
To do a convincing conversion, in most cases you would also need to change the CAVE serial number label (and date stamps on the back). That's not so easy to do in a convincing manner.

The ones that would be the easiest and would require no change of serial number labels would be Futari 1.5 > 1.0 (or BL) or Ibara Kuro, and DFK 1.5 > 1.0. Also Mushitama > Mushisama (M- serials), but there's almost no point in doing that one when profit is taken into consideration, due to the similar price of Tama and Sama boards today.

Most Ibara Kuros were made from converted Mushitamas, but they all got IB- serial number labels (date stamps on the back indicate they were originally Tama boards). However, at the end (2008 or so), CAVE were making extra Kuros 'on order', and there are at least two confirmed cases of them not even putting serial number labels on these PCBs. Although we know these exist and were made by CAVE, how do we tell a genuine one from a bootleg made today with the serial label removed? That's one potential problem in relation to Kuro bootlegs. Personally, I wouldn't buy a Kuro without a genuine serial label on it, so that's one way to avoid the problem.

Ultimately, any aftermarket conversions would, in most cases, be fairly easy to spot. And no CV-1000 PCB is cheap nowadays, even Tama. Bootleggers tend not to deal with pricey source material. CV-1000 PCBs are also not that common in the market, and bootleggers tend not to deal with rare source material.

For the CV-1000D boards, there's almost no point in converting them, outside of DFK 1.5, but even that goes for around $2000 nowadays. Why bother with such an expensive board? Unless you were converting to 1.0 you'd also have to make a new serial label (and date stamp) that looked convincing.

CV1000 conversions are also comparatively difficult. You need special, expensive equipment and good skills.

In sum, I'm not worried about these being widespread or hard to spot.
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Offline peg

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 12:13:45 AM »
Does anyone even have a real example of this actually happening in practice?  I've seen that Pink Sweets suicide club before but that is literally the only example I've ever seen of a non-Cave made "conversion".

It seems like a waste of time and money considering all the up front costs and risks involved in order to even pump out 1 conversion.  And these things were made in such small numbers that even finding "cheap" CV-1000 boards to convert is very hard.  The cheapest one is Mushihime-Tama, which also happens to be pretty rare so good lucking finding a bunch of them.   I also expect the prices of them to continue to climb, with several being undervalued (like Espgaluda II mentioned in the other thread).

Bootleggers aren't going to waste their time with this stuff, too much risk and too little margin.  The only ones I could see legit happening would be the ultra rare boards like Mushi Matsuri or AK Limited but those aren't even dumped, at least not publically.  Even with those they had special packaging that I doubt anyone just throws out, so it would be obvious that a bare PCB of either of those was very likely a conversion.

Offline EOJ

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 12:24:42 AM »
I don't know of any clear examples of this happening either, peg.

On the topic of CV-1000 conversions, or conversions in general, I am not a proponent, due to 1)there being a rather strong whiff of illegality, 2) the result being an artificial alteration of the number of each extant CAVE game and 3) a high risk to tarnish the market with copies that, inevitably, will be sold by unscrupulous sellers and bought by someone who doesn't know how to spot a conversion. However, if they are clearly labeled as a conversion and sold at no profit, I won't stand up and complain about the sellers. Unfortunately one or the other of those things almost never occurs in the shadowy realm of the bootleg business.

Personally I do not support conversions, which is why I have not, and will not, buy any of the CAVE PGM conversions (or any other conversion). But this is a personal choice, and I do not judge others negatively for deciding to purchase conversions.

My philosophy is, if you want to play the arcade games for free, there is MAME (though, truth be told, I don't personally support this either, at least for games that are still active IPs that CAVE can generate revenue from in the form of ports that are still for sale in physical or digital form -- if you have already bought the port, then I don't see the problem with playing the arcade version's ROM in MAME). If you want to make, or commission, a conversion of your own CAVE PCB to another CAVE game for your own personal enjoyment, that's fine. That's your choice. But where I do draw a line is when people try to sell them later for even $1 of profit. I don't think that's right.
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Offline peg

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 12:47:48 AM »
Also, I believe I have one of the "later run" Ibara Kuro boards mentioned.  It has a "CA-" serial number instead of "IB-" and appears to be a converted mushi-tama (says that on the small chip on the front).  It also has a numbered sticker with an orange border on the back, possibly indicating a repair?  I think my pick sweets (edit: nope, must be a different one) also has one of these orange bordered stickers as well, not sure what that means.

Anyway, I believe this is a legit Cave conversion though, not some bootleg.

Offline EOJ

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 12:52:15 AM »
Also, I believe I have one of the "later run" Ibara Kuro boards mentioned.  It has a "CA-" serial number instead of "IB-" and appears to be a converted mushi-tama (says that on the small chip on the front).  It also has a numbered sticker with an orange border on the back, possibly indicating a repair?  I think my pick sweets also has one of these orange bordered stickers as well, not sure what that means.

Anyway, I believe this is a legit Cave conversion though, not some bootleg.

The numbered sticker on the back with the orange border means it was sold by Tops. They put that on all the PCBs they sell.

I bought a Kuro in 2006 that had a CA- serial. Fresh brand new kit straight from CAVE. Yours shouldn't be a converted Tama, though, as those all had M- serials, and when converted to Kuro they added new IB- serials (not CA-). But maybe CAVE used extra Tama chips when converting some CA- PCBs to Kuro? Seems a bit fishy, though. What's the date stamp on the back?
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Offline peg

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 01:02:11 AM »
So that sticker means it was from TOPS?  Must be where the previous owner bought it because I've never purchased anything from them.  Do they add them after selling, because I don't see the stickers on the ones they have for sale now.

Anyway, I was looking at TOPS and look at this: https://www.tops-game.jp/upload/save_image/PCB/000_BHN/CAVE-0003_BHN1.jpg

The Ibara Kuro has a white sticker over that small chip, probably because it says mushi tama underneath lol.

Offline EOJ

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 01:07:58 AM »
So that sticker means it was from TOPS?  Must be where the previous owner bought it because I've never purchased anything from them.  Do they add them after selling, because I don't see the stickers on the ones they have for sale now.

Anyway, I was looking at TOPS and look at this: https://www.tops-game.jp/upload/save_image/PCB/000_BHN/CAVE-0003_BHN1.jpg

The Ibara Kuro has a white sticker over that small chip, probably because it says mushi tama underneath lol.

Yep, Tops. They add it after you buy it so it doesn't show in the pics on their site. I've bought lots of games from them over the years. Every single one with that same orange sticker.

As for the pic, yes, that is an IB- serial and as I stated earlier those were all converted from Tamas (the date stamp on the back of them proves this!). The problem is no Tama had a CA- serial, so we should not find a Tama sticker on a CA- serial. Then again, with CAVE's record of sending Kuros with no serial number sticker, they may have just frankenstein'd many of the last batch of Kuros with whatever parts they had laying around. Due to this, nearly 15 years later this creates the problem of discerning between a real and a conversion Kuro.
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Offline peg

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 01:28:49 AM »
The serial on mine is CA-71805 (1875), which is actually the highest serial number I've ever seen on a "CA-" board, and I have cataloged A LOT of them.  That would normally indicate a futari board I guess, but it has that mushi-tama chip on it too.  No date stamp on the back at all.

I wonder if they just threw this thing together from leftover parts or something.  Either that or I guess it could be some hardcore stealth bootleg.  I kind of doubt it because it came as part of a full kit with the ibara black label sticker on the box and all the real art.  It was also apparently sold by TOPS at one point. 

Another thing of note is there is a small green circular sticker on one of the chips on the front as well, not sure what that is for, maybe to indicate the chip tested good?

Offline buffi

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 03:56:35 AM »
Ultimately, any aftermarket conversions would, in most cases, be fairly easy to spot. And no CV-1000 PCB is cheap nowadays, even Tama. Bootleggers tend not to deal with pricey source material. CV-1000 PCBs are also not that common in the market, and bootleggers tend not to deal with rare source material.

For the CV-1000D boards, there's almost no point in converting them, outside of DFK 1.5, but even that goes for around $2000 nowadays. Why bother with such an expensive board? Unless you were converting to 1.0 you'd also have to make a new serial label (and date stamp) that looked convincing.

CV1000 conversions are also comparatively difficult. You need special, expensive equipment and good skills.

In sum, I'm not worried about these being widespread or hard to spot.

Yeah, I don't really know how hard it would be to replicate the serial labels.
Conversions that have the same serial is definitely the biggest risk.

One interesting thought experiment here is... how "legit" is an official upgraded 1.0->1.5 futari board that is later unofficially downgraded to 1.0?
(btw, I own both original legit futari 1.0 and 1.5 pcbs :D )

Does anyone even have a real example of this actually happening in practice?  I've seen that Pink Sweets suicide club before but that is literally the only example I've ever seen of a non-Cave made "conversion".

I made my own PSSC conversion similar to that one. Same procedure would work with other games.
Pic here:


I am strongly against converting PCB's and passing them off as real (and even just selling them at all seems problematic), but someone converting PCBs for themself to play I don't really have issues with. Especially since the procedure is 100% reversible to the original roms.

As mentioned though, this is not something that can be done without pretty good skills in SMD soldering + good tools (I would not want to attempt this without a stereo inspection microscope as an example)

Offline SuperPang

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 08:17:35 AM »
I made my own PSSC conversion similar to that one. Same procedure would work with other games.

Nice. Can you tell by looking at the solder that the board has been converted?

Offline buffi

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2020, 09:00:15 AM »
I made my own PSSC conversion similar to that one. Same procedure would work with other games.

Nice. Can you tell by looking at the solder that the board has been converted?

On close inspection, definitely. I didn't really care about trying to make it look unmodified (https://i.imgur.com/bTgywBv.jpg)

Looking at it in closeup, I should go ahead and clean it up a bit more to get rid of some flux residue.


Offline EOJ

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2020, 11:40:46 PM »
That's pretty cool!  :righton: Converting your own CV1000 PCB to a ROM hack is quite a different matter than converting one CAVE game to another.


One interesting thought experiment here is... how "legit" is an official upgraded 1.0->1.5 futari board that is later unofficially downgraded to 1.0?


All conversions (of CAVE ROM > CAVE ROM) not done by CAVE should be judged the same.
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Offline buffi

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2020, 06:19:29 AM »
That's pretty cool!  :righton: Converting your own CV1000 PCB to a ROM hack is quite a different matter than converting one CAVE game to another.

Yeah, no other way to play this on PCB...

Offline DarthBoMan

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2020, 07:45:03 AM »
This is quite easy for me. If the conversion is marked so that anyone would see that it is a conversion, I wouldn't mind. However the prices on even the cheaper boards have gone up a lot lately. So it probably wouldn't be a thing.

I am even positive towards a CV1000 multi board (if that would be a thing) so that many more get the chance to play these awesome games.
Yes, my originals might drop in price, but I really don't care about that. I have almost all the games I want, and I didn't buy them to make money, just to play them as they were ment to be played. Even if the value would drop to zero, I wouldn't mind.

Offline buffi

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2020, 01:07:35 PM »
A multi would be awesome, but a LOT harder to install than the other big multis.
The solder points for the rom chips are very tiny pitched compared to anything in the current arcade multis, so it would be hard to sell many of them like for the other ones. Almost anyone can install a CPS2 multi. Cv1k multi would require a lot more soldering knowledge + specific tools.

Think its pretty unlikely to happen.

Offline DarthBoMan

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2020, 05:15:54 PM »
So, you're telling me there's a chance?  =D

Offline SuperPang

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Re: What are peoples thoughts on CV1000 conversions?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2020, 07:26:40 AM »
Anything's possible. Wouldn't surprise me if someone reverse engineers the whole hardware someday and manufactures a CV1000 multi board. Might be worth the expense in this case.