Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
General Discussion / Re: Finally: New Plugins in stock
« Last post by Wannado on 27/Jul/2017 10:05:43 PM »
Well, if it was only the PCB layout, I'd probably have done it myself long ago. But there are a few issues with the prototype design that I wanted to solve before creating the production PCB:
  • The prototype connects NES signals CPU R/W, PRG /CE, PPU /R and CPU M2 (cartridge) to MD signals VA20 .. VA17 (Retrode). The Retrode can change all of those signals at once. IIRC, connecting M2 to VA17 also had the reason to minimize the total wire length of the M2 connection in the prototype.

    The problem here is that CPU M2 is high active. The current initial state of the Retrode has VA20 .. VA17 all high, which could cause a NES cartridge to enable outputs of an SRAM chip, if present (connected to the lower data byte MD pins). Initializing VA17 to low might not be ideal either, because that would enable something on SMS cartridges (/MC-F). So, VA17 wasn't the best choice for M2.

    The Retrode 1 has gamepad signals on VA20 .. VA17. They are also connected on the N64 plug-in.

  • In the prototype, NES signal PPU /W is pulled high, not connected to any MD signal. But there's a game which uses CHR RAM for savegames, and PPU /W would be required for writing to that CHR RAM. So I wanted to add a connection for PPU /W. It might also be useful for detecting whether a game has CHR ROM or CHR RAM.

  • I considered connecting the NES signal CIRAM A10 to the GND pin A32 of the MD connector, which the Retrode uses for cartridge detection. This might allow the Retrode to quickly and easily detect that the connected cartridge is a NES game, and which mode of "nametable mirroring/arrangement" it uses (an information for the .nes file header). But I can't say for sure that it would work with all NES games. E. g., some mapper might block the signal until initialized.

  • I considered reordering some of the address and data lines to make routing easier (more parallel, less crossing wires). The firmware would have to reorder the address and data bits accordingly.

  • I never measured the power consumption of the Retrode with a NES cartridge inserted.

Nevertheless, having a professional designer create the new PCB layout seems like the only realistic way to get it done soon. So, go ahead. Maybe the designer can prepare the PCB for later modding with respect to the above mentioned issues. Or maybe someone else with good knowledge of the NES and Retrode has suggestions how to address those issues.

I'll try and help as much as I can. I'll send you a PM with additional information.

See the files attached to my original post about the prototype. The relevant schematic is "retrode-sega-to-nes-without-ics-v2a.sch". The "... pin assignments.txt" file contains roughly the same information. The lbr files will be required for making the PCB (brd file), too.
The files "nes-and-sega-to-pads-v3a.*" describe the prototype PCB and are quite useless for the new design.
2
General Discussion / Re: Works on Wii U
« Last post by Retrode64 on 27/Jul/2017 12:28:39 AM »
Thank you.
3
General Discussion / Works on Wii U
« Last post by newbie2 on 23/Jul/2017 11:03:07 PM »
For those that have a Wii U and have set up homebrew, retrode does work with the fat32 verison of mocha + retroarch!
4
General Discussion / Re: SNES Enhanced Cart Support (BETA)
« Last post by newbie2 on 23/Jul/2017 11:00:46 PM »
Would love to buy one of the Enhanced Cart Adapters should you ever decide to sell them!
5
General Discussion / Re: SNES Enhanced Cart Support (BETA)
« Last post by skaman on 22/Jul/2017 07:28:25 AM »
I knew when I posted that I haven't made any changes to the BETA firmware that something would come up and force changes.

I'm working on a couple bugfixes. 

I forgot about shifting the mapping for large LoROMs > 24Mbits so I've had to work on that.  If you use the normal LoROM mapping starting in Bank 0x00, then you lose data at the end of the ROM due to running into the WRAM space.  For these large ROMs, you start reading the ROM from Bank 0x80.  This should fix FE Thracia 776.

I'm working to add support for the 1024Kb SRAM.  I picked up a couple of SA-1 carts with 1024Kb SRAM (Daisenryaku Expert WW2 and Kakinoki Shougi).  The SRAM read code changes that I had previously implemented only worked up to 512Kb.  The variables used by the base SRAM code lose the higher bits so I have to work around the problem.

Since I was back writing code, I went ahead and added the JRA PAT/SPAT4 Flash save reads.  The Flash saves are 1024Kb so a similar fix as the 1024Kb SRAM except that the mapping is different.  The save data is pretty much useless like the carts themselves but I added it for completeness.
6
General Discussion / Re: SNES Enhanced Cart Support (BETA)
« Last post by ssokolow on 19/Jul/2017 08:36:07 PM »
No worries.  There's no modifications needed on the Retrode.  I'm using the adapter on a Dragonbox Retrode with only the center 46 pin connector.  I sent a prototype adapter to one of the beta testers and hope to confirm compatibility with the other Retrode hardware versions.

...

Thanks. That's a huge relief for me.

If these go into production, I'll definitely be getting one. If not, I'll find the cheapest possible way to hack one together that I feel I can trust and then hope they do go into production eventually so I can buy a proper one.

(I'd glady offer to beta-test if I had the means, but all of my childhood SNES stuff except a Spindizzy Worlds manual, Mario Paint manual, and Super Mario RPG strategy guide got thrown out after a basement flood and I've been putting off buying any carts which I can't dump and verify before the "not as described" return period is over.)
7
General Discussion / Re: SNES Enhanced Cart Support (BETA)
« Last post by skaman on 19/Jul/2017 08:02:46 AM »
I've sent you a PM with the link to the current BETA.  Anyone that is interested in BETA testing should send me a PM.

The current BETA firmware has been tested on both Retrode versions 1 and 2.  All of the features that I set out to implement have been added to the firmware.  The last few BETA versions were strictly bugfixes.  I haven't made any changes to the firmware for a couple of weeks.

I debated releasing the current BETA but I held off while I explored the SA-1 SRAM writes.  Another minor reason that I held off on releasing the firmware is that I recently acquired a JRA PAT cart with its unique Flash save mapping.  I should be receiving some of the other JRA PAT variants along with a SPAT4 cart so I'm contemplating adding support to read the flash data.  I'm not sure if it's worth the effort as the JRA PAT carts are pretty useless.
8
General Discussion / Re: SNES Enhanced Cart Support (BETA)
« Last post by Sfm15 on 19/Jul/2017 12:19:45 AM »
How do I sign up to be a beta tester?
9
General Discussion / Re: SNES Enhanced Cart Support (BETA)
« Last post by skaman on 17/Jul/2017 07:16:54 PM »
No worries.  There's no modifications needed on the Retrode.  I'm using the adapter on a Dragonbox Retrode with only the center 46 pin connector.  I sent a prototype adapter to one of the beta testers and hope to confirm compatibility with the other Retrode hardware versions.

The Enhanced Cart Adapter PCB could be modified to remove the extra pins on the lower half.  I left the full length connector on the bottom because the cart adapter can also be used with the Arduino based cart reader and potentially other devices.  Most of my code development was done on the Arduino based cart reader.

For the extra pins, there's only 2 pins that we need to connect:  Pin 1 Master CLK and Pin 33 REFRESH.  Master CLK is connected to the 21.47727MHz clock (or substitute 20MHz).  REFRESH is connected to GND to enable proper SA-1 reads.

One other extra pin is notable, Pin 2 EXPAND is used for the BS-X cart.  The cart adapter doesn't do anything with Pin 2 since I had no way to control it.  Without Pin 2 we don't have proper Memory Pak control using the BS-X cart but the beta firmware works around this to allow Memory Pak reading on the BS-X cart.  The lack of EXPAND would only be significant if I decided to add the Memory Pak write code to the firmware.
10
General Discussion / Re: SNES Enhanced Cart Support (BETA)
« Last post by ssokolow on 17/Jul/2017 01:13:58 AM »
I just realized a potential problem after looking at those photos.

My Retrode is from a batch manufactured based on the principle of "We've given up on supporting the SA-1, so we'll cut costs and only populate a connector for the central span of pins" and it doesn't have the two wings populated.

I'd been assuming that, given how long it's been since the original batches with the full connector ran out, you'd be ensuring that everything could be done without the wings. However, seeing them passed through on that photo, when I don't remember the adapter being compatible with anything but the Retrode, makes me worried.

Do those pins have to be connected for a successful dump or is passing them through just playing it safe? Can an SA-1 be coaxed into allowing ROM access with those pins left floating as long as there's a successful CIC sync?

If they have to be connected, I don't know what I'll wind up doing. I really don't trust myself to take a soldering iron to something I paid so much money for. (I've only ever soldered one device... a $3 PS2-USB adapter where one of the USB lines broke free of the PCB's solder pads.)
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10