I recently purchased a CMVS (MV-1FS) with Uni-BIOS 3.2 and a 161 in 1 multi-cart. I had a hell of a time getting the cart to work with my console, so I've documented what I've learned to spare others the frustration I went though.
There are several issues concerning older Neo-Geo MVS hardware and the multi-carts that I learned about in my attempts to get a multi-cart working with my console.
(1) INCOMPATIBILITY WITH OLDEST MVS VERSIONS- Several sources report that the 150-in-1 and 160-in-1 mulitcarts cause the softdips to be corrupt on the two oldest variants of the Neo Geo MVS: the MV-1 and the MV-1T. These are distinguished by their long, exposed circuit boards and the presence of the memory slot (lacking in all other versions of the MVS).
MV-1 (MVH MV1-1) - NOT COMPATIBLE
MV-1T version 1 (MVH-MV1T) - NOT COMPATIBLE
MV-1T version 2 (MVH-MV1FT ) - NOT COMPATIBILE
* Note that there are two versions of the MV-1T. One is like the MV-1 and has the memory slot and will be marked MVH-MV1T. The other looks like the MV-1F, with no memory slot and will be marked MVH-MV1FT. However, the MV1FT is NOT an MV-1F as it has a different PCB with different ICs arranged in different positions on the board. It is an older design than the MV-1F/MV-1FS.
* There are conflicting reports of the 161-in-1 working on the MV-1F/MV-1FS. There are several Youtube videos of users with the MV-1F using the 161 in 1 and other 1xx in 1 carts with no problems at all. However, there are also some users that have found NO multi-carts work in their MV-1F motherboards. There seems to be a lurking variable here that has not been identified.
MV-1F / MV-1FS - SOMETIMES COMPATIBLE
* Several owners of the MV-1C and MV-1FZ have reported being able to use the 161-in-1. So, if you purchase a multi-cart and it is not working with those models, you almost certainly have a defective cart.
MV-1C - COMPATIBLE
* The 138-in-1 (with a dip-switch modification to bypass the daughter board) does work with the MV-1F. This cart may also work with the MV-1 motherboard, but I have no way of confirming it at this time.
(2) CORRUPT ROM DUMPS:
As some of the games are actually bad dumps, this may cause an owner to think the cartridge is defective, when it is just the ROM.
* Aero Fighters 3 - Playable, but bad dump. Sometimes bullets freeze on screen.
* Garou - Appears to be a prototype. AES mode has complete endings, MVS is missing the endings. Kim Jae Hoon's Special move in arcade mode crashes the game (not sure about AES mode).
* Last Blade 2 - randomly resets (doesn't always happen; intermittent)
* Metal Slug X - randomly resets (doesn't always happen; intermittent)
* Pulstar - Said to be missing sound effects.
* Samurai Shodown 1 - Playable, but bad dump. Kyoshiro's sprite is corrupt. Many people seem to not be noticing it, but it is easy enough to verify.
* Samurai Shodown 2 - Said to have some missing sound effects.
* Samurai Shodown 5 Special - Said to have a corrupt character due to a corrupt C-ROM chip.
* Sengoku 1 - Corrupt high scores in attract mode. Possibly corrupt graphics later in the game.
You should not be using a cheap wall wort AC adapter with a Neo Geo MVS. The voltage is too high and the amperage is not consistent. You cannot trust that a generic eBay AC adapter is supplying the correct voltage or amperage. Above 5.2 volts (load) will eventually damage the MVS. Cheap power supplies often cannot truly match their advertised amperage.
You should instead be using a Jamma power supply with an adjustable 5 volt rail (set to exactly 5 volts on load). As the older Neo-Geo motherboards are made on an older manufacturing process and have more electrical components, they need more amperage to run safely than the later and more consolidated models, like the MV-1C. Multi-carts measurably use more power than ordinary carts.
If you are using a wall wort for your CMVS, you are likely to see green error messages randomly popping up on multi-carts, though you likely won't see such messages with normal Neo Geo carts.
If you have a CMVS you do not need to unsolder the jack for the AC adapter. You can solder two wires to a plug fitting the jack and connect that to the Jamma power supply. Be careful to check for polarity.
(4) DIRTY CARTRIDGE CONTACTS:
The contacts on these carts may come in an unclean state due to conditions they were stored in at the factory. I had to spend two hours cleaning the contacts with silver polish, 91% alcohol, and a pink eraser. Cleaning with an eraser alone was not enough as was actual rust and corrosion the eraser could not seem to remove.
Using silver polish for cartridge contacts and cartridge connectors is a last resort only. In this case it was the only way to get the green and yellow muck off of the contacts. With an eraser it would just not come off. But you do need to REMOVE any trace of the silver polish afterword. You should also not use Brasso as it leaves behind some kind of goo that can muck up your console.
After using the polish to remove the rust/corrosion, you must rub the sheen of the silver polish off with large eraser as this is actually a protective chemical film that will prevent the pins from making electrical contact. Be careful not to rub too hard or you could damage the contacts.
(5) CONNECTOR IS TOO WIDE:
The cart connector may need to be filed off at the sides (just where the connector is) to prevent damage to your CMVS connector and to stop the PCBs in your 161 in 1 cart from flexing.
The Universe BIOS 3.0 and later should work fine with multi-carts. However, the older 2.3 BIOS will cause games to crash upon being loaded, but you can just hit C to move through the error code and reset the specific game and play it.
(7) POOR BUILD QUALITY:
The multi-carts are assembled out of random, recycled integrated circuits that are soldered by hand in random factories in Asia. As a result of this shorts circuits, cut traces, solder joints, and accidental solder bridges are sometimes found on these cartridges.
The larger multi-carts, like the 150 in 1 and the 161 in 1 actually have three PCBs and an awful lot of internal circuitry. As the real estate of a cheap product increases, so too does the likelihood of a defect.
Some multi-carts have PCBs that are too thin compared to normal Neo Geo carts. Consequently, the Neo Geo connector will have trouble making contact with the cartridge.
The cartridges are internally 3.3 volts, while the Neo Geo MVS is 5 volts. A set of diodes haphazardly negotiates this difference. This is why these cartridges are so sensitive to voltage issues.
*Here is an example of how poor the build quality is. I purchased a 161-in-1 cart. Going by the menu, games 1 through 60 were prone to crashing to an error message. Games 60 through 161 worked perfectly. I examined the PCB and found that of the three P-ROM chips on the first PCB, one had burned traces. Apparently the first 60 games depended on assets stored on that P-ROM, which would cause them to crash. The other games used the P-ROMs labelled P2 and P3 and never crashed.
Logically, I know it was not simply a case of the cart corrupting the softdips because the bootlegs of King of Fighters 97 (161-King of Fighters 97 CR) and King of Fighters 2002 (158-King of Fighters 2002 Ice Blue) listed at the end of the menu worked perfectly and never crashed, while the non-hack versions of King of Fighters 97 (11) and King of Fighters 2002 (28) always crashed. Although these games used the same C-ROM and V-ROM assetts, they apparently didn't use the same P-ROM assets.
(8) DEFECTIVE CARTS:
These cartridges are cheaply made and the quality control is questionable. I recently purchased one from eBay that did turn out to be defective.
From all of the forums I have visited (Assembler, KLOV, Sega 16, etc.), the cartridges that I have read having the highest frequency of defects are the 161 in 1 and the physically identical 150 in 1 (just has a few new games programmed into it). These are designed like crap. I'm not saying they are all defective, but there is risk involved that may not be acceptable for a $60 to $100 purchase.
In my opinion the cartridges with the smaller number of games are less likely to fail because there are less components at risk of failing.
Special thanks to GadgetUK164 for his insights and advice!
Edited by Majestic_Lizard on 11. January 2015 17:33
I have one MVS MVH-MV1FT motherboard using unibios and I can confirm 161-in-1 multi-cartridge works fine, despite the information stated in this post. I think Xian Xi is right: most of the problems with these cartridges come from the poor components and the lack of quality checks.
Edited by jsianes on 09. March 2017 16:04
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