NAMCO SYSTEM 21 HARDWARE
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|The very first hardware based polygon system, origonally called the 'Polygonizer' system, it later became known as System 21.
This system comprises 4 PCB's that slot into a backplane, which are housed in a metal crate.
At the moment it seems like there are 3 revisions of the hardware, Winning Run was a mass produced prototype for the System, the early games used 5 x TMS320C20 and later moved to 4 x TMS320C25...
Uses the Namco NB1 sprite system for the 2D graphics.
Board 1 : DSP Board - 1st PCB. (Uppermost)
DSP Type 1 : 4 x TMS320C25 connected x 4 x Namco Custom chip 67 (68 pin PLCC) (Cybersled)
DSP Type 2 : 5 x TMS320C20 (Starblade)
RAM: HM62832 x 2, M5M5189 x 4, ISSI IS61C68 x 16
4 x Namco Custom 327 (24 pin NDIP), each one located next to a chip 67.
4 x Namco Custom chip 342 (160 pin PQFP), there are 3 leds (red/green/yellow) connected to each 342 chip. (12 leds total)
2 x Namco Custom 197 (28 pin NDIP)
Namco Custom chip 317 IDC (180 pin PQFP)
Namco Custom chip 195 (160 pin PQFP)
Board 2 : Unknown Board - 2nd PCB (no roms)
RAM: HM62256 x 10, 84256 x 4, CY7C128 x 5, M5M5178 x 4
L7A0565 316 (111) x 1 (100 PIN PQFP)
150 (64 PIN PQFP)
167 (128 PIN PQFP)
L7A0564 x 2 (100 PIN PQFP)
157 x 16 (24 PIN NDIP)
Board 3 : CPU Board - 3rd PCB (looks very similar to Namco System 2 CPU PCB)
CPU: MC68000P12 x 2 @ 12 MHz (16-bit)
Sound CPU: MC68B09EP (3 MHz)
Sound Chips: C140 24-channel PCM (Sound Effects), YM2151 (Music), YM3012 (?)
XTAL: 3.579545 MHz
OSC: 49.152 MHz
RAM: MB8464 x 2, MCM2018 x 2, HM65256 x 4, HM62256 x 2
Sharp PC900 - Opto-isolator
Sharp PC910 - Opto-isolator
MB87077-SK x 2 (24 pin NDIP, located in sound section)
LB1760 (16 pin DIP, located next to SYS87B-2B)
CY7C132 (48 PIN DIP)
148 x 2 (64 pin PQFP)
C68 (64 pin PQFP)
139 (64 pin PQFP)
137 (28 pin NDIP)
149 (28 pin NDIP, near C68)
Board 4 : 4th PCB (bottom-most)
OSC: 38.76922 MHz
There is a 6 wire plug joining this PCB with the CPU PCB. It appears to be video cable (RGB, Sync etc..)
JP7 INTERLACE = SHORTED (Other setting is NON-INTERLACE)
JP8 68000 = SHORTED (Other setting is 68020)
Namco Custom Chips:
C355 (160 pin PQFP)
187 (120 pin PQFP)
138 (64 pin PQFP)
165 (28 pin NDIP)
MCU : HD63705 (2 MHz)
PCB Pictures : CPU board - Video board
Notes : Known for having more graphics chips than any other System in the universe, and also the hardware matured over the years as it was developed, Drivers Eyes was considerably different to Cyber Sled at the end of System 21's life.
Emulators : MAME (Partial)
|Flyers : Normal Flyer - US Flyer
|Cabinets : Montage
|Notes : Had a big concave screen that made it seem a lot larger than it actually was, It's a shiny dark plexy-glass molded 1.10m diam. concave mirror which reflects the inverted image of a 25 inch 15kHz monitor just above the players head. The result is an enlarged 'lens' effect, like surround vision cinema.|
Then we have the sound:
4 channels 'real' surround sound (2 front, 2 back). The laser canons sound from the rear speakers and the lasers 'swooshes' to the front speakers, nice to hear actually. The balance between front and rear is adjustable.
The first american version has the 'electric motor with a off-balanced weight' positioned beneath the seat. The second american version and the european version had the motor placed inside the seats back. As the seat module was placed above the base structure and supported by 3 rubber cylinders, the rumble effect was quite noticable when getting hit by enemy lasers and when dying.
There were 3 versions of the Starblade cabinet that I know of, 2 american and a european. The european was more durable and heavier than the first american. It also had the lights in the back portion and different plastic decoration. The second american was like the european but had no back lights and was somewhat simpler.
|Magazine reviews : SU Nov '91 - C+VG Apr '92|
Starblade : Operation Blue Planet (2002)