Second Party Boards

During the NES era, many of the "second party" publishers decided to try and cut costs a tad by buying the lockout chips and mappers from Nintendo, then making their own circuit boards. The kick of course was it didn't save very much money due the costs Nintendo charged. As far as I know, they had to buy the cases from Nintendo, since they do not look any different from the stock case except the mould plate was changed on some carts to say "Acclaim" or whatever on the back of the carts.

What I find interesting about almost all of these, is the companies skimped EVERYWHERE they could. The tops of the boards do not have a solder mask, and the bottoms only have the mask right over the routes and copper areas. This couldn't have saved them more than a couple cents a board. All Nintendo-made boards have a full soldermask on the top and bottom.

The Konami boards are just total shit. They used a double sided PCB, then used a conductive glue silk screened into the holes to make the contact between the sides of the board! Talk about cheap-ass.

The Boards:

SN1-ROM - Max. 256K PRG, 8K CHR RAM, batt-backed 8K WRAM, MMC1.
Acclaim 55741 - Max. 256K PRG, 256K CHR. Weird MMC3 clone.
Acclaim 51555 - Max. 512K PRG, 256K CHR. MMC3.

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