Dubbing Boy

The Dubbing Boy is a copying device for the Famicom Disk System.

It works on a very simple principle: Feed the read data from one disk system directly into the write data of another disk system. It basically works like an analogue audio cassette dubber with no data processing what so ever.

The downside to this method is that the critical timing data on the copied disks will get more and more out of alignment over subsequent copies due to the imperfection of the disk mechanisms themselves.

Dubbing Boy PCB with vectorised traces
Vector highlighting the traces on the Dubbing Boy PCB
Download Inkscape SVG

The font used in the logo is Motter Tektura Cyrilic, coincidentally the same font as the old Reebok logo uses.

Dubbing Boy reproduction logo
Download SVG

Interestingly, there is an unpopulated connected to the center right top of the board, with an exposed pad labelled “OPTION”. By cutting the OPTION pad, you’ll be disconnecting the read drive from the write drive. This could be used to chain multiple Dubbing Boy units together and allow you to make multiple copies of a disk in one go. The original intent of the OPTION pad and the accompanying pin header is, however, unknown.

Pin #Description
1+5V VCC
4/READY signal from/to the read unit
5/WRITE_DATA of the write unit (if in COPY mode and the OPTION pad has been cut)
6READ_DATA from the read unit

Note that pin 3 on the pin header is unknown; I cannot tell where it connects just by looking at the PCB pictures. If you have an original Dubbing Boy in your possession, it’d be great if you could buzz it out and tell me where it connects.

OPTION pad with an unpopulated pin header next to it. Could possibly be used to chain dubbing boys together to write multiple disks at once.

I’m currently working on making a Dubbing Boy reproduction, so that it’ll be more easily available.

Here is a work in progress schematic:

Dubbing Boy reproduction schematic