Everything finished ? No, there is a side quest remaining
Among the couple of X-Terminator cartridges XRider owns, one X-Assist (pad and LCD unit used to search cheat codes) is missing.
One X-Assist available ? And another one missing ? No problem : let's reverse engineer the first one and DIY the second one
The X-Assist features two PCBs : one for connection interfacing and pad, and another one for LCD, as pictured below.
X-Assist pad/interfacing boardX-Assist LCD board
The LCD board is incredibly complex, but since it was manufactured as a whole and can still be purchased on auctions or second-hand market nowadays, there's no real interest to build it from scratch ! And I personally wouldn't try : that seems too much complex
So remaining is pad and interfacing board : fortunately it uses standard components and not any Gate Array Logic-ish components that would need to be reverse-engineered too. Simply speaking, it's like assembling LEGOs
Multi-meter, a LCD board, electronic breadboard, a bunch of wires, few electronic components ... is there something missing ? Yes ! A LOT of motivation !!
X-Assist DIY prototype, in all its glory
It's so beautiful it deserves another picture !
Let's try for real ! Of course, after verifying any eventual short-circuit with a multi-meter
No short-circuit ? It's then ready for the "first-lighting ceremony
" (火入れ式), as it is nicknamed in my neighboring ... I don't know if that's a common expression in Japan or anywhere else, but I like its naming anyway
No sparks ? No smoke ? That looks good
At first glance, that seems working ! Let's try cheat codes search feature in order to be 100% sure ...
Search unit not found ?!
Arg, it was too early to sing victory
X-Assist seems not being correctly detected by X-Terminator cartridge ...
Since text could be sent to the LCD, let's assume nearly everything is working correctly, and that a small detail is causing this trouble ... after some head-scratching, XRider found what's wrong : a Zener diode that initially looked useless was used to return some ACK to X-Terminator cartridge when looking for its connection !
The X-Assist screen after adding the Zener diode :
code search memory could be captured !
65535 candidate codes ?! I'm not sure if correct cheat code could be found this time, but at least the DIY X-Assist unit works correctly now