Author Topic: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?  (Read 7337 times)

Offline Bit

  • Baby Retrode
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
[Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« on: 22/Apr/2013 10:53:43 PM »
If I were to supply a console, would it be possible for someone to build me a Gamate adapter for the Retrode?
The Gamate is clone of an original Game boy and the games are on cards very similar to the master system cards, but have 38 pins. I have no idea what each pin does, nor do I believe there is any available source for a schematic.

If somebody thinks that they're up to the task, I can supply a Gamate console and needed funds.

Offline Matthias_H

  • Retrode Forum Techie
  • A Retrode Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
  • Karma: +21/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #1 on: 23/Apr/2013 08:37:55 PM »
Never heard of the thing; has it been emulated yet? I don't think it makes sense to build an adapter before you manage to dig out at least some basic technical info.
« Last Edit: 23/Apr/2013 08:39:34 PM by Matthias_H »
http://www.retrode.org

I no longer sell the Retrode. For sales inquiries, please contact our friends at DragonBox.

Offline Bit

  • Baby Retrode
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #2 on: 24/Apr/2013 12:48:43 AM »
Never heard of the thing; has it been emulated yet? I don't think it makes sense to build an adapter before you manage to dig out at least some basic technical info.

The console is completely un-emulated. I suppose it would take somebody willing to reverse engineer the pinout to build an adapter. The console and games are very rare, and I wish to preserve them before bit rot takes hold.

Offline Matthias_H

  • Retrode Forum Techie
  • A Retrode Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
  • Karma: +21/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #3 on: 24/Apr/2013 03:36:34 AM »
Can those cartridges be taken apart non-destructively? What does the mainboard look like; is it possible to follow the traces between CPU, RAM chips and cartridge slot?
http://www.retrode.org

I no longer sell the Retrode. For sales inquiries, please contact our friends at DragonBox.

Offline Bit

  • Baby Retrode
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #4 on: 25/Apr/2013 12:13:20 AM »
Can those cartridges be taken apart non-destructively? What does the mainboard look like; is it possible to follow the traces between CPU, RAM chips and cartridge slot?

The main board should be traceable, but the game cards are Chip-on-board/globtop types.

There are two revisions of the console:
Rev 1

Rev 2


Back of card PCB:

Offline Matthias_H

  • Retrode Forum Techie
  • A Retrode Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
  • Karma: +21/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #5 on: 25/Apr/2013 03:07:14 AM »
Tough one; I couldn't find any data on those CPUs. I guess one could figure out at least some of the address and data lines by tracing them from the on-mainboard ROM and RAM chips (standardized pinout) to the cartridge slots. That would at least give us 8 or 16K of memory space. The rest is then likely to require lucky guessing or even logic analyzer while the device is running.
http://www.retrode.org

I no longer sell the Retrode. For sales inquiries, please contact our friends at DragonBox.

Offline Bit

  • Baby Retrode
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #6 on: 25/Apr/2013 11:15:00 PM »
Tough one; I couldn't find any data on those CPUs. I guess one could figure out at least some of the address and data lines by tracing them from the on-mainboard ROM and RAM chips (standardized pinout) to the cartridge slots. That would at least give us 8 or 16K of memory space. The rest is then likely to require lucky guessing or even logic analyzer while the device is running.

You seem to understand a lot more about this process than I do. By any chance is this a task that you would consider?

The only vague technical info I could find was on Wikipedia:
CPU: UMC UA6588F (earlier revision); NCR 81489, 8 bits (BIT WS39323F) in a QFP-100 shell (later revision)
ROM: 2 KB (UM6116M-2L CMOS static RAM, pin compatible with ROM/EPROM chips)
RAM: 16 KB (2 x CXK5864M-15L chips) of static RAM
Media: ROM card, very similar to Hu-Card (PC-Engine), My Card (Sega SG-1000) and Sega Card (Sega Master System) 19x2 pins

Offline Matthias_H

  • Retrode Forum Techie
  • A Retrode Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
  • Karma: +21/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #7 on: 26/Apr/2013 02:57:10 AM »
You seem to understand a lot more about this process than I do. By any chance is this a task that you would consider?

'Fraid not... I've got quite a backlog of real-life tasks and won't be able to squeeze in any such extras in the foreseeable future...
http://www.retrode.org

I no longer sell the Retrode. For sales inquiries, please contact our friends at DragonBox.

Offline Bit

  • Baby Retrode
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #8 on: 26/Apr/2013 04:18:02 AM »
You seem to understand a lot more about this process than I do. By any chance is this a task that you would consider?

'Fraid not... I've got quite a backlog of real-life tasks and won't be able to squeeze in any such extras in the foreseeable future...

Thanks friend, I appreciate your knowledge and enthusiasm. Next time you are free and could use some extra funding, please let me know.
« Last Edit: 26/Apr/2013 04:54:54 AM by Bit »

Offline Bit

  • Baby Retrode
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #9 on: 30/Apr/2013 03:15:37 AM »
Mr Matthias_H, you seem like such an educated fellow. I know you said you were very busy and couldn't tackle reverse engineering this strange console to create a Retrode adapter, but by any chance would you consider attempting adding a single composite video RCA jack (or better such as S-VHS) to one of my consoles? I understand this would also require a lot of work as well, but figured that it couldn't hurt to ask.

If not, maybe you could put me in contact with someone that would give a custom "4 shade greyscale LCD to composite" mod a shot? Maybe someone has already done this for the original Game Boy?

Thanks friend.
« Last Edit: 30/Apr/2013 03:42:22 AM by Bit »

Offline Matthias_H

  • Retrode Forum Techie
  • A Retrode Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
  • Karma: +21/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #10 on: 30/Apr/2013 07:09:37 AM »
Sorry to disappoint. Being such an educated fellow, I've never seen the innards of a console that wasn't already broken (for connector extraction), nor do I know the slightest bit about analog video signals. But aren't there, like, zillions of other forums full of people who do exactly what you're looking for, on a daily basis? A good starting point might be http://forums.benheck.com/

EDIT: By the way, you'll have to expect to be billed professional rates for such jobs.
« Last Edit: 30/Apr/2013 07:12:17 AM by Matthias_H »
http://www.retrode.org

I no longer sell the Retrode. For sales inquiries, please contact our friends at DragonBox.

Offline Muzer

  • Sgt. Retrode
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Re: [Can someone build me a] Gamate Adapter?
« Reply #11 on: 30/Apr/2013 11:10:53 AM »
Not knowing much about this topic in general, I would hazard a guess that it won't be easy - unlike ordinary consoles, I doubt handhelds especially of this type would have anything that can easily be taken as or trivially transformed into a composite signal.