Simple Windows Batch File Scheduled Backups

Here are a few Windows batch scripts that I wrote to use for scheduled backups. Each is only a few lines long, and does everything that most people will ever need, including zipped, encrypted, and simple folder backups. To use them, simply edit the paths, save the contents to a batch file (.bat extension), and use the Scheduled Task Manager to run the script at an interval of your choice.

To run regular folder backups, simply replace all instances of PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_FOLDER with the path to your backup folder. For example, if your folder backups are saved to a folder called Backup in your D: drive, then replace PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_FOLDER with D:\Backup. Lastly, change PATH_TO_FOLDER_YOU_WANT_TO_BACK_UP to the path of the folder you want to back up. For example, if you want to back up the folder Work on the root of your C: drive, replace PATH_TO_FOLDER_YOU_WANT_TO_BACK_UP with C:\Work.

To run zipped backups, you’ll need this file: zip.exe. Simply place it in a folder (I put it along with the batch files in a folder under Application Data), and change LOCATION_OF_ZIP.EXE to the path of the folder it’s in. For example, if zip.exe is saved in the root of your drive, replace LOCATION_OF_ZIP.EXE with C:\. Next, replace PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_ZIP_FILE with the full path (including file name) of your backup file. For example, if your backup file is called backup.exe and it’s saved in the root of your D: drive, replace PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_ZIP_FILE with D:\backup.zip. Finally, change PATH_TO_FOLDER_YOU_WANT_TO_BACK_UP to the path of the folder you want to back up. For example, if you want to back up the folder Work on the root of your C: drive, replace PATH_TO_FOLDER_YOU_WANT_TO_BACK_UP with C:\Work. To set a password, replace PASSWORD with a password of your choice. If you don’t want one, simply remove the word PASSWORD and the -P before it.

Regular Folder Backups:

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verify on
rmdir /s /q "PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_FOLDER"
mkdir "PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_FOLDER"
xcopy /a /e /c /f /h /k "PATH_TO_FOLDER_YOU_WANT_TO_BACK_UP" "PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_FOLDER"

Zipped Backups:

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DEL /F /Q "PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_ZIP_FILE"
CHDIR "LOCATION_OF_ZIP.EXE"
zip.exe -r -q -S -J -9 -P PASSWORD "PATH_TO_YOUR_BACKUP_ZIP_FILE" "PATH_TO_FOLDER_YOU_WANT_TO_BACK_UP"

Apple Time Capsule Power Supply Replacement Mod

After having repaired my Apple Time Capsule’s power supply twice due to heat-damaged bulging capacitors, I went ahead with a mod that I had been thinking about attempting for quite some time. The mod replaced the built-in power supply with a simple ATX Molex connector, allowing the Time Capsule to run without it’s hottest component, on a standard DC Molex connector, like those found on any common computer power supply.

To complete this mod, I first removed the bottom rubber cover from the Time Capsule, exposing the screws below. This should probably be done with either a hair dryer or a heat gun to avoid damaging or tearing the rubber. After exposing the screws, I removed them; as well as the metal cover protecting the logic board.

Bottom cover with rubber pad removed.

Bottom cover with rubber pad removed

Next, I disconnected and removed the power supply. Pictured below, it was a small, black, plastic-wrapped module that according to the label, was rated for 30W.

Removed power supply.

Removed power supply

To confirm that it was in fact the power supply that was causing problems, I removed the cover and measured the voltages with a PSU testing tool (meh, easier than a multimeter). While connecting the tester, I also noticed that the 6.3v caps were all bulging (a classic sign of damaged capacitors). The tester confirmed this, showing an incorrect output voltage on the 5v line, which would explain why the Time Capsule wouldn’t turn on.

Bulging caps.

Bulging caps

Failed 5V Test.

Failed 5V Test

With this confirmed, I began work on the mod. I found a Molex extension cable and stripped the ends; soldering them to the matching connection lines which I cut from the old power supply. If you look closely, the 5V, 12V, and GND lines are all labelled on the power supply board. GND was connected to the black line, +5V to the red line, and +12V to the yellow line on the Molex connector. After soldering, I covered the exposed parts of the wire with electrical tape.

Labelled voltages on the PSU board

Labelled voltages on the PSU board

Cut connectors from the PSU

Cut connectors from the PSU

Stripped Molex extension cable

Stripped Molex extension cable

Soldered and connected power lines

Soldered and connected power lines

With all the lines connected, I then tied them together with Kapton (heat resistant) tape, and closed the Time Capsule back up. Note that although it doesn’t show in the picture, I did connect the fan again before putting it back together.

Tied power lines

Tied power lines

Finished product. Almost as good as new!

Finished product. Almost as good as new!

Finished product. Almost as good as new!

Finished product. Almost as good as new!

Identifying Fake Nintendo DS (NDS) Games

In addition to the fake GBA games I went over in my last post, I’ve also ended up with a number of counterfeit Nintendo DS games as well. In this post, I’ll go over how to spot a fake Nintendo DS game, both from the inside and out.

Fake.

Fake.

As with fake GBA games, fake DS games can come in all titles, both sealed and unsealed. Some tell-tale signs of a fake DS game from the outside are an incorrect case (North American titles should come in black, white, or blue cases, while European titles should come in clear cases), a missing black production number on the rear of the cartridge, incorrect cover art (As with GBA games, anything with an ESRB RP logo can safely be considered fake), a poor quality,  low resolution, or incorrectly regioned manual, or missing text on the game board itself. If a North American game has a CE symbol and no ESRB rating, chances are it’s also fake.

When disassembled, a fake DS game becomes quite identifiable. A fake game will be missing the usual MX-labelled chips, will not have the Nintendo logo on the board, may have “glob-top” (black plastic blob) circuits, and will have an incorrect ID number on the silkscreen (the white printing on the board – every title should have a different ID number).

Front view - Right is real.

Front view – Right is real.

Rear view - Right is real.

Rear view – Right is real.

As with the GBA fakes, should you accidentally find yourself having purchased a fake cartridge on eBay, open a buyer protection case right away. If you can prove the cartridge is counterfeit, you’ll be refunded and be required to destroy the cartridges rather than sending them back.

Identifying Fake Game Boy Advance (GBA) Games

Since I’ve started purchasing large lots of games on eBay, I’ve acquired a number of Game Boy Advance games of dubious origin (All of which were covered by PayPal’s Buyer Protection on counterfeit items). In this post, I’ll go over how to identify counterfeit GBA games, and what steps you can take to avoid getting scammed.

Only one of these is real.

Only one of these is real. (middle)

Looking at the exterior of a counterfeit cartridge, there are four tell-tale signs of a fake cartridge; the label, the plastic, the visible portion of the board, and the writing on the back of the cartridge. On a fake cartridge, most, but not all labels will be thicker than the originals. They’ll also usually be printed in a lower resolution than the originals. Most original cartridges also have a small number imprinted in the corner of the label which fakes will not have, however, some originals are missing this too; so it can’t be relied on, on it’s own. If it’s a Pokemon game, the label may not be printed on the shiny foil. Sometimes, the label will just be wrong. For example, in the photo above, one of the fake FireRed cartridges has the word FireRed written with a space in the middle. I’ve also seen labels that use incorrect artwork and even some that have RP (Rating Pending) as the ESRB symbol instead of the correct rating. Both of the cartridges below are fake.

Incorrect artwork. Notice the lack of the ESRB rating.

Incorrect artwork. Notice the lack of the ESRB rating.

RP ESRB Rating

RP ESRB Rating

When looking at the plastic casing of a fake cartridge, it will usually seem to be slightly larger than an original cartridge, and you may find it somewhat difficult to insert into a Game Boy. Most, but not all fakes will also have a small rectangular opening at the bottom, as shown below.

Top - Real, Bottom - Fake

Top – Real, Bottom – Fake

On the visible portion of the board, most but not all fakes will also be missing the “(c) Nintendo” on the silkscreen (the white writing on the board). On the rear of the cartridge, many fakes may also have typos or incorrect model numbers on the text, or may not be using Nintendo’s tri-wing security screws.

All fake

All fake.

Bottom right - real.

Bottom right – real.

When you open up a fake cartridge, however, it becomes clear that a cartridge is fake pretty quickly. Nintendo cartridge boards will never have “glob top” (black blobs of plastic) circuits on the board, and almost all Nintendo ROM chips are labelled “MX”. If your cartridge is missing at least one chip labelled MX, it’s almost definitely a fake. For GBA Pokemon games, only Ruby and Sapphire use batteries, so if you have another Pokemon game with a battery, again, it’s almost definitely a fake. Here is a comparison between fake and real cartridge boards:

Front. Bottom left is real.

Front. Bottom left is real.

Rear. Bottom left is real.

Rear. Bottom left is real.

Fakes come in all titles, not just popular ones. Here are some fake titles that I’ve come across:

All fake.

All fake.

All fake.

All fake.

All fake.

All fake.

All fake.

All fake.

If you accidentally find yourself having purchased a fake cartridge on eBay, open a buyer protection case right away. If you can prove the cartridge is counterfeit, you’ll be refunded and be required to destroy the cartridges rather than sending them back.

Security Screw Identification Chart

I’ve found this chart to be very helpful when looking to purchase screwdriver bits to open proprietary hardware held together with security screws. This should cover some of the most common bits, including those used in Nintendo and Sega consoles and games.

Security Bit Chart

Security Bit Chart

Dumping 27C301 EPROMs (Or, How To Build A 27C301 to 27C010 Adapter)

I recently purchased several EPROM prototypes for the original Game Boy. After finding that some of the cartridges had differences from the final versions of the game, I attempted to dump them for preservation purposes before they fell victim to “bit rot“, but was thwarted by an EPROM type incompatible with my shitty Willem programmer. That is, the Toshiba TC571001 and Hitachi 27C301; 1Mbit non-JEDEC compliant EPROMs with the same 2 pins swapped on the pinout. Looking at the pinout, they would actually save some time rewiring with MMC3 NES reproductions.

The shitty programmer

The shitty programmer

To dump them, I created a small adapter out of 2 chip slots that I had lying around.

The Slots

The Slots

To create the adapter, I simply wired two jumpers between the slots as shown in the diagram below; from pin 24 to pin 2 and vice versa.

27C301 to 27C010

27C301 to 27C010

Worked like a charm with the 27C010/1001 settings on the programmer while dumping.

The finished adapter

The finished adapter

Coney Island Boxer Restoration Project – Finishing Touches

In this post, I’ll go over the last minor fixes that I made to get the Boxer looking good as new. First off, were the lightbulbs; both the halogens on the top and LED indicators on the inside. As for the indicators, replacing them was as simple as twisting out each old bulb and replacing it with a new one. The halogens, however, were missing the clip to hold them in place. I purchased new bulbs from a local lighting store, asked about the clip, and was given a full-sized one to try. After some bending with a pair of pliers, I was able to get it to fit the socket, and it worked like a charm to hold the bulbs in place.

The newly-installed bulbs

The newly-installed bulbs

The newly-installed halogens

The newly-installed halogens

Testing the bulbs

Testing the bulbs

Next was the coin mechanism door. It took around 10 minutes to rivet the whole thing in place, with 5mm short rivets purchased from Home Depot.

My riveting job

My riveting job

To finish it off, I removed the film from the front glass (it had never been removed when installed) and polished the whole machine with an automotive buffer pad and polish. Looks good as new now.

Front View

Front View

Side View

Side View

Other Side View

Other Side View

As you can see, I'm not very good at this...

As you can see, I’m not very good at this…

All in, I’ve probably spent around $300 total. I’ve included all of the resources that I’ve collected while completing this project below:

Coney Island Boxer Restoration Project – Installing The Electromagnet

As it turns out, the designers of this machine were crafty in choosing parts. After receiving the electromagnet in the mail, I did some research on it’s part number and manufacturer, only to find that it’s actually a starter solenoid for a number of Fiat-like vehicles built in the 80s, most notably, the Lada. From the Bulgarian manufacturer, Elprom Elhovo‘s, website, I discovered that the solenoid (model VES or ВЕС in Russian) was a compatible starter solenoid for the following vehicles:

  • LADA : 2101 – 2107, 2121
  • FIAT : 124, 125; 127 Berlina, Special – X 1/9; 128 Berlina, 3P, Familiare, Coupe, Special, Rally; 124 Berlina, Familiare, Special
  • AUTOBIANCHI : A 112, E, Arbath, A 111Primila
  • MURAT : 124 – 131
  • OYAK RENAULT : R12
  • ANADOL : SL, SV
  • SKODA : 1202 – 1203
  • OM : B10

That said, it can be found for around $30 from various Fiat and Lada part suppliers, or even cheaper if you live in the EU. I even found a listing for the exact same part on a Bulgarian version of Craigslist for around $16.

The solenoid I received

The solenoid I received

The $16 solenoid on Bulgarian Craigslist

The $16 solenoid on Bulgarian Craigslist. Note that the text on the packaging directly translates to what’s on the English version.

It’s somewhat annoying that I paid $120 for a $30 part, however, exorbitant prices seem to be the norm with parts purchased from amusement distributors.

That aside, installing the solenoid was a breeze. The black wire was connected to the matching connector on the top, and the grey wire was connected to the body of the solenoid. To fit the hammer on the solenoid, I had to cut the centre piece off the solenoid with a hacksaw, and use a lock nut and bolt to hold the hammer and solenoid together. The solenoid was then screwed into the boxer loosely, as it made a loud buzzing noise and would not close when tightly secured. See below for pictures from the installation process:

The solenoid connectors

The solenoid connectors

Where the solenoid screws in on the Boxer

Where the solenoid screws in on the Boxer

How the solenoid was wired

How the solenoid was wired

The newly-installed solenoid

The newly-installed solenoid. If you do hear a buzzing noise, then try loosening the solenoid a little.

Another view of the newly-installed solenoid. Notice how the hammer and solenoid are connected.

Another view of the newly-installed solenoid. Notice how the hammer and solenoid are connected.

I also received the punchball and pad, and installed them as shown below:

Punchball install

Punchball install

Retracted punchball

Retracted punchball

With these new parts installed, the boxer now works perfectly. In my next and final post on the boxer, I’ll go over the finishing touches and include links to some of the resources that I collected while completing this project.

What’s Missing:

  • 1 Top Halogen Light Bulb
  • Punchball
  • Solenoid/Electromagnet
  • Coin Acceptor
  • Some Screws + Nuts

What’s Needs Fixing:

  • Plastic Display Holder – It looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it…
  • Buttons – All of them are mismatched, and one’s sticky.
  • Foam Hand Guard
  • Many of the Mini Lightbulbs for the Strength Indicator are burned out
  • Display Board – Wires… Everywhere!
  • Cabinet needs some buffing/TLC
  • Coin/Mech door on the back needs a lock + screws

Coney Island Boxer Restoration Project – Installing The Coin Acceptor

The Coney Island Boxer is designed to work with an expensive Alberici mechanism, that uses somewhat proprietary signalling. In this post, I’ll go over how I got around that and was able to install an inexpensive generic multi-coin acceptor in it’s place. As I also received the new buttons in the mail, I’ll install those as well.

Chowhe Coin Mech

Chowhe CH-923 Coin Mechanism

The Chowhe CH-923 is an inexpensive ($25) programmable coin acceptor that can be used with up to 3 different coins at once. For those of you following my blog, you’ll notice that this is a similar acceptor to the one I used in my Arduino/MAME Coin Acceptor Project. Coins are differentiated with different pulse sequences on the coin signal line. For example, if you insert a quarter, the mechanism will output one pulse, but if you insert a loonie ($1 coin here in Canada), the mechanism will output four pulses. To program it, I followed the manual as before, to support quarters, loonies, and toonies. I’ve included a picture of the manual below for more detailed programming instructions:

CH-923 Manual

CH-923 Manual

Once programmed, I needed to remove the yellow solenoid on the side, so that it would fit in the coin mechanism cutout on the front of the boxer. As the acceptor was shorter than the cutout, I used a couple pieces of plastic sheeting on the top and bottom to cover the openings, and sealed them to the acceptor with a glue gun and screws.

Front View of the Coin Acceptor

Front view of the newly-installed coin acceptor

Once installed into the cutout, I reattached the solenoid on the inside, and connected the interface pins to the motherboard.

Inside view of the newly-installed acceptor

Inside view of the newly-installed acceptor

Motherboard Wiring Diagram

Motherboard Wiring Diagram

Boxer Interface Board

Boxer Interface Board

In order from left to right on the interface board, the wires were connected as follows:

  1. Red/+12v
  2. Black/GND
  3. White/Signal
  4. Gray/Enable Electromagnetic Counter

Once connected, I used the coin mechanism test option in the test menu to confirm that it was working correctly.

Next was the buttons. The old buttons were odd shapes and sizes, and didn’t exactly match; so I replaced them with three of the same red 43mm pushbuttons with built-in LEDs, which went for $1.50/ea on eBay. As the holes were bigger than the screw on the back, I had to improvise, using a few large caps to hold the buttons in place. I believe the blue one came from a Kernels popcorn seasoning shaker.

Inside view of the buttons

Inside view of the buttons

Front view of the buttons

Front view of the buttons

While replacing the Start button on the top, I discovered why the machine always released the ball on startup – the microswitch was connected on the NC (normally closed) line instead of the NO (normally open) line, which meant it closed the button circuit and started the game as soon as the machine was turned on.

Bird's eye view while changing the start button

Bird’s eye view while changing the start button

I finished off the day by ordering a punchball and pad off of eBay and the new solenoid from Coney Island Arcade for $120 plus shipping, as I couldn’t find one that would fit on my own.

What’s Missing:

  • 1 Top Halogen Light Bulb
  • Punchball
  • Solenoid/Electromagnet
  • Coin Acceptor
  • Some Screws + Nuts

What’s Needs Fixing:

  • Plastic Display Holder – It looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it…
  • Buttons – All of them are mismatched, and one’s sticky.
  • Foam Hand Guard
  • Many of the Mini Lightbulbs for the Strength Indicator are burned out
  • Display Board – Wires… Everywhere!
  • Cabinet needs some buffing/TLC
  • Coin/Mech door on the back needs a lock + screws

Coney Island Boxer Restoration Project – It Works!

I plugged in the boxer for the first time to test it today and received some good news. It works! I also cleaned out the inside, ran the tests, and did a few minor touchups to the display holder to make it usable. Here are some pictures:

The back of the machine.

The back of the machine.

I did some research, and from the stickers + labels on this unit, it seems to be designed by a company called Pigallegame, manufactured by a company called Pitt-BT (no website), parts supplied by a company called Novo-Parts (and they don’t even carry all of the parts), and licensed by Coney Island Arcade. It was made in Hungary in 2006. 3 of the 4 companies are based in Hungary and have poor english language support on their websites. I contacted each of the companies for support, and only Coney Island Arcade responded. I’ll be ordering the electromagnet/solenoid from them ($120 shipped to NY) if I can’t get one of my own to work. Coney Island’s website was down during the duration of this project.

The board diagram + testing options.

The board diagram + testing options.

Notice the broken english everywhere. Also, the wiring diagram for the coin selector is inaccurate and dangerous to follow, as it will destroy your coin acceptor. I’ll write a post later on about getting a generic (the machine is supposed to be used with an Alberici mechanism, which is really expensive) coin mechanism to work with the machine.

The display holder prior to installing the newly-fixed display.

The display holder prior to installing the newly-fixed display.

The display holder was a mess. Notice the broken plastic all over the place.

The CPU board. Notice the coin counter on the upper-right corner.

The CPU board. Notice the coin counter on the upper-right corner.

Here’s the CPU board. The coin counter says around 77000 coins have been inserted over the lifetime of the board. The little board above the CPU board is a power tap and the coin mechanism connection board.

Another shot of the CPU board.

Another shot of the CPU board.

The display board, installed.

The display board, installed.

I used the wing nuts that I had purchased the other day from Home Depot to install the display board. It fits nicely using only the screw holes on the cabinet itself, so I won’t have to replace the display holder which was quoted at $110 by Coney Island Arcade to replace.

The speaker and top of the inside of the machine.

The speaker and top of the inside of the machine.

The transformer + coin mech slot. The manual and a parts list was also included, in very broken english. I'll try and post pictures of both later on.

The transformer + coin mech slot.

Here you can see the transformer, coin mechanism slot, all the broken pieces of the display holder, the manual and a parts list. The manual was in very broken english. I’ll try and post pictures of both later on.

A shot of all the electronics boards.

A shot of all the electronics boards.

The newly-installed display holder from the front.

The newly-installed display from the front.

Moment of truth. Will it work? I sure hope so.

Moment of truth. Will it work? I sure hope so.

It works! I'm guessing this 6.27 is the software version currently loaded on the CPU board.

It works! I’m guessing this 6.27 is the software version currently loaded on the CPU board.

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

E. 1 Error.

E. 1 Error.

So, I turn the machine on, wait a few seconds, and this error pops up. What could it be? As it turns out, the machine tests out the solenoid at each startup, and uses the optical sensor to ensure that it’s working. If you manually release the arm during startup, the machine won’t detect a problem, and will work just fine.

I also ran all the tests available in the testing and options menus (activated by flipping the 2 DIP switches on the main CPU board to on). The light test showed me that all but 3 of the strength indicator lights were burned out, and the sound test showed me that the person who recorded the english phrases wasn’t a native english speaker – this makes for some hilarious insults if you score low on your punch. Difficulty can be adjusted along with the volume.

What’s Missing:

  • 1 Top Halogen Light Bulb
  • Punchball
  • Solenoid/Electromagnet
  • Coin Acceptor
  • Some Screws + Nuts

What’s Needs Fixing:

  • Plastic Display Holder – It looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it…
  • Buttons – All of them are mismatched, and one’s sticky.
  • Foam Hand Guard
  • Many of the Mini Lightbulbs for the Strength Indicator are burned out
  • Display Board – Wires… Everywhere!
  • Cabinet needs some buffing/TLC
  • Coin/Mech door on the back needs a lock + screws