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Identifying Game Boy Color cartridge by its PCB


Ulrizza

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Is there a way to determine the region (and the revision) of a GBC game by looking at its PCB?

Edit: Answered by @AdamW: It's clearly written on the ROM chip 😅
And since "AHYP" is a code specific to Europe, this game is a "CGB-AHYP-EUR-1"!
image.png.a90121f5b0fe02f9fe8090cd11f1d1fa.png

I just got Super Mario Deluxe without label, and I'd like to know it's ID.
It is "CGB-AHYE-USA"? "CGB-AHYE-USA-1"? "CGB-AHYE-EUR"? "CGB-AHYE-EUR1"? ...

There is the following info on the PCB, does someone knows what each info means?

  • MM1134A ▶ Linked to U4
  • CR1616 ▶ Battery type
  • DMG-A06-01 ▶ Board type
  • '00 ▶ Year of production
  • One dot near 12 ▶ Month of production: November

Pics:

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20210829_172938.thumb.jpg.3f955d3c0be512bd6da50b67a0353b55.jpg

20210829_172945.thumb.jpg.e1f1b2f4ae7157b7967a39305040f877.jpg

Edited by Ulrizza
Answered!
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I've never quite dug into this extensively, no reason to, but I think you're assumption on the back rectangles is 100% correct.  I have a SMBDX US cart, identical board to yours too, had to have been from the same batch even because mine has the same time stamp on the battery for Nov 2001, and on the reverse the rectangles show a Dec 01 date which would make sense procuring the batteries before machining them to the boards once the rest is assembled as that would be last.

Each board has a type, and they work for specific chipsets and with or without a battery.  So the 1616 could be the other on some boards if needing a more powerful battery (like Pokemon would use with the RTC clock sucking at it.)  But that's there so people know which battery to attach.

DMG-XXX-XX in the corner that's the board type.

 

But I did know the MM is a board type, decided to confirm it and I have.  This page should answer your questions:

https://b13rg.github.io/Gameboy-MBC-Analysis/

 

MM1134A goes with the U4 and U4 is the RAM protector  (U3 points to RAM, U2 to the mapper MBC5 in this case, and U1 is the game file itself storage ROM.)

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The code printed on the label is a print code for the label. It gets a -1 on the end if the label itself changes in some way. It does not necessarily correspond to any change to the internals of the cart, or the game code. You can have a game where the ROM was never changed but the label was, or a game where the ROM was changed but the label wasn't, or a game where both were changed but at different times.

You might be able to infer what label would have been on a given cart from the internals depending on the details, I guess. Assuming there was a -1 label, if you know when that change happened and the dates on the internals are after that date, it would presumably have had the -1 label.

As for the region, well, that's easy. There is no CGB-AHYE-EUR; for Europe, the game was CGB-AHYP-EUR (for Japan it was CGB-AHYJ-JPN). A shortened form of the code without the sales region but with the game code appears on the ROM chip in the picture (the biggest one): it's CGB-AHYP-1. So this is a European cart, and it's the second version (first revision) of the game code for Europe (revisions are region specific).

There are a few other date codes, BTW. '0051' on the ROM chip is 51st week of 2000, so between December 10 and December 16, 2000. 0042 on the second largest chip is 42nd week of 2000, so October 8 to October 14. The blobs in the rectangles on the back do indicate the month of PCB production, yes.

Edited by AdamW
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I am sometimes confused by the PCB production date diagram.

Here, there's a single hole on December (12), so does that mean the production date is december, or november?

If it's november, does it mean december has no holes at all?

Also, I've seen the opposite logic on some carts, i.e. all holes punched up to the production month. I always get confused.

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15 hours ago, Tyree_Cooper said:

I am sometimes confused by the PCB production date diagram.

Here, there's a single hole on December (12), so does that mean the production date is december, or november?

If it's november, does it mean december has no holes at all?

Also, I've seen the opposite logic on some carts, i.e. all holes punched up to the production month. I always get confused.

I found out how to read the month from this website, there is a lot of examples so it can be easily deduced.
So here are January (left) and December (right):
image.png.8eacf0e410a870a5dfb742da6a3860d4.png image.png.291214ba23fc6bf02a1467569b2f2ee2.png

To memorize it, I think of the holes as check-boxes, so the checked out month are the ones that count 🤓

On 8/31/2021 at 10:09 PM, AdamW said:

The code printed on the label is a print code for the label. It gets a -1 on the end if the label itself changes in some way. It does not necessarily correspond to any change to the internals of the cart, or the game code. You can have a game where the ROM was never changed but the label was, or a game where the ROM was changed but the label wasn't, or a game where both were changed but at different times.

You might be able to infer what label would have been on a given cart from the internals depending on the details, I guess. Assuming there was a -1 label, if you know when that change happened and the dates on the internals are after that date, it would presumably have had the -1 label.

As for the region, well, that's easy. There is no CGB-AHYE-EUR; for Europe, the game was CGB-AHYP-EUR (for Japan it was CGB-AHYJ-JPN). A shortened form of the code without the sales region but with the game code appears on the ROM chip in the picture (the biggest one): it's CGB-AHYP-1. So this is a European cart, and it's the second version (first revision) of the game code for Europe (revisions are region specific).

There are a few other date codes, BTW. '0051' on the ROM chip is 51st week of 2000, so between December 10 and December 16, 2000. 0042 on the second largest chip is 42nd week of 2000, so October 8 to October 14. The blobs in the rectangles on the back do indicate the month of PCB production, yes.

Thanks, that's a lot of things I didn't know!
Especially that GBC games can have different game code depending on the region!! I'm collecting mostly DMG games and don't recall games like that 🤔
And the game code was clearly written all along on the ROM chip, I feel so stupid no noticing it before 🤯🔫

On 8/29/2021 at 7:48 PM, Tanooki said:

Great reading, thanks for sharing 😊

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