Sad story (how to lose your money, time and valuable devices)

  • I was curious about the Mercury brick. http://www.thedodgegarage.com/3dfx/q3d_mercu…bottom_full.jpg
    I have two non-functional green 200sbi cards and the whole system consisting of 4 black cards and all the other stuff. So i had the intention to figure out how to run it as a brick. Found some data, had a conversation with mr. Tregemba (i guess you know who he is and you saw his video) and found that i should try to clone 05 version of CPLD from a green card in order to replace 04 version of CPLD on a black card. Also googled for some service which advertises themself as a chip crackers http://www.ic-crack.com in particular. I thought that it's not a big issue to dump the data from that old XC9572 CPLD as some magic special equipment exists. Btw they charge considerable amount of money for such services ($1.7k), so i thought that is a fair amount for such a work. Had some emails with them and they said that the succes rate is almost 100%.

    Ok, i desoldered two (one for destroy, the other one for testing, i thought that will help them to make their job better) XC9572 chips from my green 200sbi cards and sent to http://www.ic-crack.com, the address is:

    Room 3020, XINMAO BLDG,

    MinFeng Road;

    LONGHUA District;

    SHENZHEN City;

    China

    Postal Code: 518 131

    Phone: 134 8076 0051

    Attn: Crystal

    The complete parcel track is here: https://t.17track.net/ru#nums=RR158393666RU

    I made two payments in $1.3k in total as i remember and in a while i got the jed file and 4 programmed CPLDs and the story begins. The jed file has this header:

    DD XC9572XL_Q64*

    DM XILINX*

    QP64*

    QF046656*

    You may clearly see the XC9572XL device in QFP64 package with 46656 fuses. XC9572 (which populated on 200sbi cards) is incompatible with the XL version, has a different amount of fuses (41472) and different package thus different IO pins amount. That is complete nonsense and everyone who has enough competence with CPLSs will say that. And, as you may presume, all 4 chips they sent to me were non-functional. Each chip has reset input and it has low state, so the whole 200sbi card is in reset after the CPLD chip is soldered.


    I make them aware of such chips' behaviour and wrong jed file. All they said is that they don't understand why i can't program my XC9572 with their jed file, where i see that the jed file is wrong and such bullshit. Regarding the programmed chips i made some reversing of 200sbi card and sent them the pinout of XC9572 to help to see that the reset can't be low constantly: https://www.modlabs.net/uploads/gallery/blogs/1026.jpg

    See pin 36 for reset for example. Also it has CLK_IN (38) and CLK_OUT (14) pins and i made a test device with a clock generator and shot a video with an oscilloscope with the correct CPLD chip to make them see how clk in and clk out pins should work. Both these pins are in constant low state too in the chips they sent to me. I was very patient with my tries to explain obvious things.

    But that was absolutely pointless, they just do not understand what is reset and clock signals and what is low and high state in electronic devices. May include some screens from emails, that is ridiculous. It's obvious now why they behave in such a way.

    Sure, no refunds.

    So far i can't do anything about that case and considering my money and time is lost, moreover 2 green 200sbi cards are dismantled with no purpose. So i announce https://www.ic-crack.com/ company as scammers.

    P.S. Here's the file i got from them: http://zxc64.com/tmp/XC9572-15PC44-Anthony.jed
    It's the plain text, you may open it with the Notepad and see the wrong device in it.

    Edited 4 times, last by Anthony (July 6, 2022 at 8:48 PM).

  • I know this sounds presumptous, especially as I don't understand half of what you just said, not being an electronics engineer but just a system administrator and software backporter, but... it's in Shenzen. You ever been there? I have. It's the city of fakes. The city of fraud. Don't trust anyone or anything from Shenzen in China, ever again. Don't push tons of cash into anyone selling products or services there.

    It's okay to buy 5-50€ chips from Shenzen. But no more than that. I personally bought some entirely fake electronics there just for fun, and that was 10 years ago. Shit was entirely crazy there, like batshit crazy! It's bound to have gotten worse, probably much worse. To me, it's the very materialization of corrupt Chinese capitalism, projected on the world of modern technology.

    Please, if you can, avoid it entirely in the future for high-price-per-unit projects. This would be my advice to anyone. I think it pays off to pay somebody in the west thrice as much, just because you wouldn't up like you did this time around...

    I mean, you might get lucky there as well sometimes, not saying it doesn't ever happen, but the risks are just too high in my opinion!

    Sad to have heard your story, just wanted to add my own 2¢...

    1-6000-banner-88x31-jpg

    Stolzer Besitzer eines 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP Prototypen:

    • 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP HiNT Rev.A-3700

    [//wp.xin.at] - No RISC, no fun!

    QotY: Girls Love, BEST Love; 2018 - Lo and behold, for it is the third Coming; The third great Year of Yuri, citric as it may be! Edit: 2019 wasn't too bad either... Edit: 2020... holy crap, we're on a roll here~♡! Edit: 2024, finally last year's dry spell is over!

    Quote Bier.jpg@IRC 2020: "Je schlimmer der Fetisch, desto besser!"

  • Mh yeah, I understand. Also, I respect your will to take such risks! I sure as hell wouldn't be willing to, being much more conservative. Probably a cultural thing. Must say, I've learned a lot about progressive risk proclivity and conservative risk aversion in regards to different cultures all over the world (central Europe, USA, India, China) in the past half-or-so year.

    But paying up 4-digit amounts of $/€ for a project realized in Shenzen? Damn... That's... really really really risky.

    But then again, your situation is way different from mine. While a lot is falling apart around here right now, we at least still can make dealings with most of the world, so it's bound to be much harder for you to make a living... :(

    1-6000-banner-88x31-jpg

    Stolzer Besitzer eines 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP Prototypen:

    • 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP HiNT Rev.A-3700

    [//wp.xin.at] - No RISC, no fun!

    QotY: Girls Love, BEST Love; 2018 - Lo and behold, for it is the third Coming; The third great Year of Yuri, citric as it may be! Edit: 2019 wasn't too bad either... Edit: 2020... holy crap, we're on a roll here~♡! Edit: 2024, finally last year's dry spell is over!

    Quote Bier.jpg@IRC 2020: "Je schlimmer der Fetisch, desto besser!"

  • i'm understand what you mean and share your opinion. i'm not complaining, just want to make people know about that kind of a legal scam. and have a secret hope in finding someone who'll be interested in reversing that system.

  • Actually, thank you for that! Any scam exposed is a scam other people can avoid!

    About reversing the system: It's a pipe dream. Just like me dreaming about software developers backporting all kinds of shit to olden operating systems. Yet, when does that ever happen? Only in 1 out of a million cases, 'cause there's no money to make, and that's all anyone ever cares about, naturally. ;)

    1-6000-banner-88x31-jpg

    Stolzer Besitzer eines 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP Prototypen:

    • 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP HiNT Rev.A-3700

    [//wp.xin.at] - No RISC, no fun!

    QotY: Girls Love, BEST Love; 2018 - Lo and behold, for it is the third Coming; The third great Year of Yuri, citric as it may be! Edit: 2019 wasn't too bad either... Edit: 2020... holy crap, we're on a roll here~♡! Edit: 2024, finally last year's dry spell is over!

    Quote Bier.jpg@IRC 2020: "Je schlimmer der Fetisch, desto besser!"

  • Anthony do you know the little brick?

    https://hardforum.b-cdn.net/data/attachmen…317_2lngxg2.jpg

    Maybe it would be more important to find how they did it. And the Driver stack. Maybe we can use 4 PCI v5 5500 then ....

    hope you get the thing from them working...

  • Many things from China don't seem to be reliable sadly, now with that crap of them trying to invade Taiwan I don't see much good coming from China's end.

    I am sorry you had to go through many rough moments Anthony, it would of been nice if you got what you, deserved your cards & coin over the countless lies & excuses people that thrown on you instead.

    Edited once, last by Gold Leader (July 15, 2022 at 4:47 PM).

  • well, that was a risk and i've lost that time. maybe i'll win somewhere else.

    just an interesting setup, these bricks, i have an intention to unravel how they function.

  • the latest update is: after i've sent them a letter with a link to that thread and a promise that i'll make some other posts in all available places to me with bad feedback, i got refunded 2/3 of the sum with an argument, they did a try and some expenses they had.

    frankly, i have no idea what exactly they did and what their efforts were.

    thus the good thing is: they're admit their incompetence and i got partial refund. the bad thing is: i lost some money and the worst thing i lost 2 valuable cpld chips from

    two mine q3d cards.

    just trying to be objective.

    maybe i have to risk it one more time. just have to find another one green card with a proper cpld chip.

  • Outch sorry to hear man, that won't be easy though as finding an other of them green Q3D cards that have the cpid chip.
    either way they should still return to what is yours

  • in the most cases chinese suppliers are good if you know the peculiarities. for example, aliexpress is not the right place to buy ic components as there's a lot of fakes and refs, although at a low price. also some kind of national habits may have taken place.

    i have another story with my usual supplier. we had quite a lot of deals in the past years and i have no beef about the quality of the components. prices are good too. this february i've made an order of 12pcs of some ic parts, quite expensive, about $70 each. but she (the representative i have a deal with) declared them with the wrong quantity, but with the same sum. our customs stopped the parcel because of the inconsistency in the actual quatitie and the declared.

    i notify her about that and we agreed that the parcel will be returned and they'll resend it with a proper declaration. eventually the parcel was returned but their customs stopped it as well (i guess because of the obvious inconsistency of quantity). and the circus began. at the beginning they avoided any talks about refund or resend. then i received a proposal for a partial refund. i said: not acceptable and i'll apply to the support team (we made a deal via alibaba). no effect, then i asked: why lose a good customer as i was? eventually they agreed to send the ic chips once again and i've got them recently.

    and applying to the buyer protection on alibaba is another kind of show. i provided all the invoices and customs notify scans about that parcel but they said: customs clearance is on your side according to the deal. i answered: look, there's a wrong declaration, i can't do anything with customs since it's declared wrong. they said: it's your business. and all the buyer protections passed away.

    the conclusion is: you have to risk it to get the bisquit.

  • Yeaps that's pretty much it :)

    I bought this Air Austral B787-89L model from JC Wings in China for 152 Eur incl shipping and got no extra custom tax costs for it, also how the seller shipped it is pretty damn amazing:

    The box was packed firmly in a bigger box with lots of air bags and soft foam beans and inside the box nothing wrong either the seller neatly secured the model so it would not move a millimeter, just very carefully packed from a Chinese Seller from Beijing, from ebay :)

    Here the model it's self :)

    Here the final display

    As models & Computer hardware goes I bought tons of it from China and never ran in to any issues, but like Anthony said it depends from who you buy, with ebay & paypal you have buyers protection which is also handy with such things.

    or you have contacts there that can get you the good you seek :)

  • well, the ic parts is a quite different area. but again in the vast majority of cases there's no issues to get something from this country.

    your model looks gorgeous.

  • well, the ic parts is a quite different area. but again in the vast majority of cases there's no issues to get something from this country.

    your model looks gorgeous.

    Hey thanks it's my favored Dreamliner and the B787 was also used to help develop the B747-8 :) it was bought for those two reasons :)
    JC Wings & Gemini Jets 200 are pretty much the best out there, when it comes to precision details & accuracy.