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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Inside the Taito Type X (Part 1)

The Taito Type X arcade board came out in 2004, and is essentially a custom PC running the Windows XP Embedded operating system. Using commodity PC hardware and software development tools meant significant cost savings in producing games. This however, did not mean crappy and bloated doujin style PC games coming into arcades, as Taito kept strict quality controls over was released on the platform.

I was expecting an older desktop sized computer, but was surprised to find the unit is the same size as a Naomi motherboard (although obviously a bit taller). The motherboard is a custom 865G type, with "Taito Type X Rev A1" silkscreened onto it, and comes with onboard dolby 5.1 optical sound support, although I don't know of any arcade cabinet that would actually use this. The base unit comes with a Celeron 2.5Ghz processor, 256M RAM, ATI Radeon 9600 SE (AGP) and proprietary JVS I/O card. Even though this may seem whimpy by today's consumer PC standards, its surprising how efficent XPE can be without all the extra bloat of unnecessary device drivers and services running. Raiden III and IV for example, play at a rock solid 60fps with increidble graphic detail and sound.





The proprietary JVS I/O card is the key to the entire system, as games will not run without it. It's not a PCI card, but rather a free floating adapter which connects to a COMM port on the motherboard. It also connects to the motherboard's control panel header (for power on/off and lights) as well as the onboard optical sound. The black square at the bottom of the card is actually a plastic panel covering a set of dip switches. On the Type X, the dip switches do nothing, but on the Type X2 they do things like change the game's output resolution.



Games are distributed as an IDE hard drive and USB security dongle, and are conveniently installed via a square opening in the top of the case (each game comes comes with its own top plate). The Type X can play on a standard 15khz jamma cabinet via a JVS->Jamma I/O converter, such as those used for the Naomi platform. The graphics card has two ports, one for 15khz lowres and one for 31khz hires monitors.

Here is the complete shooter collection for the Type X, consisting of: GigaWing Generations, Homura, Shikigami No Shiro III, Raiden III, and Raiden IV.

35 comments:

  1. Hello
    Thanks for the educative pictures.

    I have a problem whit my Type-X maybe you can help me to fix it.

    The Problem is whit King of fighter 98 UM game, and a Polaroid LCD Screen.

    The screen has a VGA port, i conect the PCB to the Screen using a DVI to VGA adapter, if i conect the Screen directly to the VGA port in the pcb, dont show anything

    Using the DVI adaptery, my problem is when i press any button, the monitor show the move later, has a little lag.

    The other thing, is where the service button is located? the service menu have any option for display settings?

    Many thanks for your help, if you have a little time, please write to my email.

    xorxevandyk[@]gmail.com

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi XorXe, there are two VGA ports, one is for 15khz and the other is for 31khz. If you are using the DVI-to-VGA adapter, then you are plugging into the correct 31khz port. The other port is not showing a picture because your LCD screen cannot display 15khz.

    As for the lag, it sounds like a problem with your LCD screen and not the resolution or motherboard. See here for more details http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Input_lag

    Also the Type X only supports 640x480 or 15khz standard resolution. You may be confusing with Type X2 which supports higher than 640x480.

    Sorry, and best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh to answer your second question, there is no service button on the motherboard, only a reset button. You will need to press the service button on your cabinet (or jamma input connect to JVS converter).

    There are not display options in the operator menu.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello

    may be somebody can help me. the problem with "King of Jurrasic" based on taito-x system. during loadin the game message "system error code: 203" is appears

    or may be you know were i can get some technical documentation

    big thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Grey, the manual I have only lists 4 error conditions, and none of them are code 203. So I can tell you what it is NOT. Its not related to coin switch, service switch, I/O adapter, or USB dongle. So that leaves probably something wrong with the hard disk. I would suggested taking the drive and powering it up inside a regular windows PC as an additional drive, and then run chkdsk on partition 1 and 2 of that drive. Best of luck!

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  6. Grey, I also noticed that "King of Jurrasic" is a card genre game, so the error could also be because something is wrong with the card reader, which is required to start the game.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you very much for the so quick answer. HD is ok. RAM, voltage and other stuff ok too.

    But your information is very useful. thank you very much again.

    P.S. sorry for my english. )

    ReplyDelete
  8. Arcade Fever, may I ask you to give me full list of error messages you have? because error 901 is appears now. )))

    VERY VERY BIG Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello i am wanting to you pick your brain about the taitox2 system and samurai spirits sen.

    Please contact me via email at yetterben@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Grey, the manual I have only lists the four error conditions I previously mentioned. The first three have no error code, and simply state: "Service Switch Error", "Coing Error", "I/O Error". The last one is the only code, and it "System Error Code: 900" which means the USB dongle is not inserted or not working. I don't have any other codes unfortunately. Again, I'd say check your card reader device, which is required for that game.

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  11. HI Arcade Fever. Now i know what errors 901 and 203 means. (may be it will be useful for somebody)

    Error code 203 - disk system access error;

    Error code 901 - security system error;

    And now i know how to generate
    these errors and another unknown error 202 ))).

    You was right about hard disk. some data was lost by unknown reason (but all tests
    were completed successfully)And now i trying to find working image of the HD.

    P.S. card reader is OK... seems so )))

    VBR, thanks for your help.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for coming back to post this useful information Grey!

    ReplyDelete
  13. x2 samurai spirits sen. game boots coins up i can hear the video and game play dongle light is blue =. Nothing on screen but flickering blue image. ideas? Video displays during boot just not actual game.

    ReplyDelete
  14. hey i have a battle gear 4 arcade machine using the taito type x motherboard. the game loads up to the point where it supposed to do the steering calibration but the screen just goes blank, any thoughts please? i think it is motherboard as i have swapped with another going unit

    ReplyDelete
  15. What kind of display do you have it hooked up to and what resolution is it running? Also are you using the original Type X JVS I/O board connected to your steering controls?

    I've never seen Battle Gear setup, so not sure what controls or resolution the game is supposed to boot into.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello

    may be somebody can help me. the problem with "The King of Fighters 1998 UM" based on taito-x system. In the middle of play comes this message : "JVS ERROR" After comes this message : "Restarting" .

    or may be you know were i can get some technical documentation

    Please. I need a quick response

    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, it sounds you may be having a problem with the JVS adapter you are using. If you can try a different one and the problem persists, then try replacing the cable. I use the Sega I/O Rev A and never seen this problem, although I do not play KOF 1998 UM, but other JVS games work fine. Hope this helps.

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    2. I had the same problem,check or disconnect the coin counter.

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  17. Hello, tell me whether it is possible to remove the Taito Type X error 901 as it can be resolved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Азат, I have never come across Error 901, but as Grey stated above it means "Security System Error". Could be either a problem with the decryption key in the USB dongle, or a problem when decrypting the hidden partition on the hard disk. Sorry I don't think I can help you any further than that.

      Delete
  18. Hi,

    Can you please check up what's the internal AC model/type? TIA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Borgo, unfortunately I sold my Type X motherboard a long time ago, so I don't know the exact power supply part number.

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  19. where you need to watch this memory. I can take pictures sistimnogo block from within. wherever they throw off. well it looks like on top of Kartika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can help Borgo with pictures of the power supply, that would be fantastic!

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    2. That would be quite helpful, as I am trying to locate one for my board which doesn't have one. -_-

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  20. tell me where to throw and tomorrow I will do wha should. if there is a better e-mail

    ReplyDelete
  21. You can send me the picture to braintrash at me dot com.
    TIA!

    ReplyDelete
  22. OK, got the answer : AcBel API2PC50.
    Thank you everyone! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Can someone tell me how to solve the "error 901"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I replied above, its a generic "security error" meaning either the USB dongle is bad or the hard disk image is bad. Personally I've never encountered this error.

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    2. "Error 901" comes out sitting down, or when its battery is removed. because I have two of these devices are already on. Delstvitelno "error 901" is the "Security System Error". Even flashing the BIOS, merged with working staff did not help. when entering into the BIOS and set the code of how to not possible. So I'm looking for who has solved this problem.

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  24. 901 is when the on board cr2032 battery has been removed or died. The game must be sent for repair, I've done 100s of battle gear 4s. Www.andygeezerservices.com

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  25. Can someone help me in solving battle gear 4. I need to reprogram the unit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately I have no experience with battle gear 4.

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