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Thread: Got questions on Flashcarts, Softmods, RGB, etc.?

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    Default Got questions on Flashcarts, Softmods, RGB, etc.?

    So I have to be honest, I'm not much of a "modern gamer." I like to stick to the classics, and lately most of my interest has been on the hacking/homebrew end. In particular hardware, and more specifically, mods. I love the modding scene which has hit nearly every classic system with flash carts, multi-carts, ODE drive replacements, etc., which allow you to play the entire library of a game system on original hardware. Similarly, many homebrewers and retailers have come about to give gamers a shot at displaying in RGB or Component or even HDMI video. I guess my question is, does anyone here feel like talking about any of those? Have any questions? I'm pretty well versed in what's going on, and there's a lot of discussion on other forums. I'm just trying to think of something I can participate in on this forum. Otherwise, I don't really have much to dive into.

    My favorite blog to follow is RetroRGB https://www.retrorgb.com/ where Bob covers basically everything in this realm. My favorite shop to buy from is Stone Age Gamer www.stoneagegamer.com

    Here's a few of the active and cutting edge projects that have just come out or will soon:

    HD Retrovision - I simply cannot say enough about these cables! https://www.hdretrovision.com/purchase They are flawless, and with adapters they can work on so many classic systems, converting and outputting component video. I have the SNES and Genesis ones, plus the adapters for the Saturn, PS1, etc. I even bought an adapter on AtariAge to use them on the Jaguar! A Dreamcast cable is finally coming Q2 2020. Then they will move into the HDMI realm.

    Insurrection Industries - They are makers of great RGB SCART cables as well as the Gamecube HDMI and Component cable replacements. https://insurrectionindustries.com/shop/

    OSSC Pro - I don't know when this will come out, but the next step in the fantastic open source scan converter is close in hand. The OSSC can be found for about $150, and it takes RGB Scart, VGA, and component input, while upscaling to HDMI. The results are great, with little lag, and has become the de facto standard since the Framemeister was discontinued. The Pro will do all that and more, plus it will input HDMI and have the option to installed daughter boards that could input Composite/S-Video.
    Pro https://videogameperfection.com/2020...pro-is-coming/
    Original discounted https://videogameperfection.com/prod...can-converter/

    Retrotink 2/Pro - Mike Chi has new products lined up. https://www.retrotink.com/blog/we-re...h-new-products The Retrotink is an affordable way to convert SD sources into HD output.

    Retro Modding - Are you looking to replace hand held LCD screens? Or just buying one made to order? This website has a ton of options for the various Game Boy lines plus more. https://www.retromodding.com

    Console 5 - They've got many LCD options and kits as well. https://console5.com/store/kits/lcd-kits.html

    GC Loader - This is a drive replacement for the Gamecube, but it sports amazing compatibility and speed. The next batches Thursday 10AM EST will also be solderless! Price around $90
    Dan’s (US-Based) Store: https://shop.dansprojects.com/gc-loader-pnp.html
    EU-Based Pre-orders: https://gc-loader.com/

    SP2SD2 - If you want something cheap, for about $15 you can get a small reader that inserts into the SD2 serial port on the bottom of most Gamecubes. Along with Action Replay, this is a better way to use a SDHC or SDXC memory card, as that program doesn't read them as is. For both devices you can use SWISS https://github.com/emukidid/swiss-gc/releases to load games, it's excellent.

    Jaguar, Lynx, Neo Geo Pocket Color Game Drives - The Saint aka RetroHQ UK https://retrohq.co.uk/ has been the first to tackle the Lynx and NGPC with full menu-driven flashes, while also hitting up the Atari Jaguar. He recently paused production so that he could focus on establishing 3rd party outsourced production and distribution. I'd expect his products to be available again in a few months. His renamed Game Drives are top notch!

    Krikzz SD2SNES Pro, Everdrive N8 Pro, Mega Everdrive Pro - The Everdrive master at https://krikzz.com/store/ has recently upgraded his offerings on several systems. The SD2SNES Pro came about because the chips were out of production, but the new version should allow for fuller save states. ALL SNES special chips are now working on both the Pro and the former. Due to SD copyright, the name changed to the FX Pak Pro. The Nintendo NES N8 also has gone Pro, sporting more hardware that could possibly allow for additional mapper support. Lastly, the Megadrive will also have a Pro coming, so that Krikzz can match what the Mega SD has done, by supporting the Sega CD and more.

    Terra Onion Mega SD, SS3, NeoSD - Terra Onion have easily the most expensive options out there at https://shop.terraonion.com/en/. Their Neo Geo devices are big money, with the new NeoSD Pro capable of running Neo CD games as well. The MegaSD is a great device, and supports Genesis, SegaCD, Master System, etc. The SS3 aka Super SD System 3 runs every PC Engine/TurboGrafx card and CD game!

    Furrtek Neo Geo SD Loader - French designer http://furrtek.free.fr/sdloader/ has developed an easy to install loader for the Neo CD system, that does not cost an arm and a leg. He also had a way to tap the AV from the Virtual Boy, which is being sold here https://mobiusstriptechnologies.com/...t/virtual-tap/

    PSIO and DCIO - The PSIO team https://ps-io.com/ has had their Playstation device available for quite some time. It does require a small PCB to be soldered into the mainboard, but the team is really good about updating firmware and they are finally getting a handle on CUE/BIN CD audio synching. They continue to develop for the Dreamcast as well, though it's in prototype stage.

    Kevin Mellott HyperFlash32 - Kevin's Virtual Boy cart is single load via PC USB and available here http://www.mellottsvrpage.com/index.php/hyperflash32/. He was working on a true multi-cart but stopped, however he says it's still on the docket.

    USB Controllers 3DO Dreamcast - http://3do-renovation.ru/How_to_buy.htm The notoriously cantankerous MNEMO makes them. They both work flawlessly though installation is not plug n play completely. He says his Dreamcast device only has a stock of 85 remaining.

    Saturn Fenrir - A new Saturn drive replacement is here https://www.fenrir-ode.fr/, and working on the 20-pin model with the 21 being worked on. Unlike the infamous Rhea or Phoebe devices, that are impossible to get from the developer, this one should be produced at a fair rate and price.

    Saturn Satiator - This device from Prof Abrasive https://www.patreon.com/prof_abrasive has been in development for YEARS, but it's finally in BETA. It will be mass produced and shall be PnP using the VCD slot.

    Harmony Atari 2600 - The industry standard is still available from batari and Atari Age. https://harmony.atariage.com/Site/Harmony.html

    Atarimax for Colecovision, Atari 5200 - The SD carts are still the only ones for those systems and work great! https://atarimax.com/

    LTO FLash - The Intellivision cart is out of print, but keep checking here because he's supposed to do some more. https://atariage.com/forums/topic/22...e-information/

    AtGames Atari Flashback - Here's a great thread on AA (https://atariage.com/forums/topic/29...oxart-from-sd/) for modding the Atari Flashback 9 and X (eventually) with roms and artwork.

    AtGames Arcade Legends - Similar thread for adding games and artwork to the Legends device (https://atariage.com/forums/topic/28...es-to-sd-card/)
    Last edited by Greg2600; 02-10-2020 at 11:23 PM.
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    I've been thinking about getting a Virtual Boy flashcart someday. Considering the small size of the library, it'd be nice to have access to the games that are so expensive I'll probably never get the real deal and unreleased stuff like Bound High. I'm still hoping a finished proto of Dragon Hopper will surface someday. And maybe I'd look into homebrews, I dunno, but generally I only have interest in official releases. The VB community is understandably small, though, and I don't think the flashcarts are up to the level of those for other systems. From what I understand, the earlier ones only allow one game to be loaded to the flashcart at a time, and I believe the most recent version allows for multiple games to be stored but you still have to use a PC to point to whichever game you want to be loaded up when you pop it in your system because there's no in-game GUI. And they're super expensive, and I believe they destroy actual VB games for their production, which is a practice I've never been fond of, no matter how common the donor may be.

    Hardware-wise, I'm pretty content with how most systems are out of the box. I only mess with them to make repairs.

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    Flashcarts are pretty much all I use anymore, they conserve space and are economically sensible while upholding the functionality of obsolete hardware without resorting to emulation and FPGA devices.

    I do all my own modifications. Recently finished a total capacitor replacement on a PC Engine CD-ROM setup and gave it RGB output with a custom 3D printed side panel:

    https://imgur.com/a/ZqxyXh2

    Make my own scart cables, hack RGB scart into abandoned CRT consumer sets...

    I suppose the pertinent question is do YOU undertake any tech/mod work, Greg2600?

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    I like the idea of playing original hardware on like vintage displays. Getting there with the best quality image as most of us know involves RGB modding, and while i have a PVM and did one or two minor mods to restore or otherwise get better image quality on a few systems by the time i had them done and was getting into it life happened. No relation what so ever to what was happening bnut my relationship just started to just take a dump and its pretty bad.
    I still want to play my games but between the stress of work and the relationship i just dont have the motivation to go that route any more so its been sidelined.

    But not all is lost because of things like the Analogue line and PC emulation coming along pretty well. I've shifted my focus a bit till things get fixed or i split and start a new life.

    Right now i am looking at emulation only because i am trying to build a small pc for my entertainment center at the moment with my spare R5 2600 and a 1650 super once the price comes down a little on that. I wont emulate 2d systems but probably DC/PS2 and newer only because it seems that those emulators are better at utilizing many different little encoding and rendering tricks than the older 3d based things.
    I havent found a PSX emulator i like yet. Plus some of the games i like take a long time and save states would be nice.

    ODEs are interesting, i wish some one would do one for the PSX like they did the dreamcast one, PSIO is cool and all but the whole drive replacement is what i want. PSX is one i RGB "modded". i use the term loosely because i had to get it to sync on green using PS2 component cables (i made a thread about this a while ago) and it took some time but the results are good.

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    Last year i got my replacements for flash carts.Bought a "everdrive X5 for the genesis and a SD2SNES" for my super famicom,both flash carts have worked for me so well at this point.Though i haven't look into hacks etc so far for any game at this point.I still need a flash cart for my famicom av with the pro everdrive N8 out now maybe some time this year i'll buy one.For mods i don't have the skills often i'll have others i know that will do the mods for me.

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    What's the opinion on those Dreamcast GD-emu boards?

    What about the 3DO replacement one? Better yet, how is 3DO emulation in general on PC?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bratwurst View Post
    Flashcarts are pretty much all I use anymore, they conserve space and are economically sensible while upholding the functionality of obsolete hardware without resorting to emulation and FPGA devices.

    I do all my own modifications. Recently finished a total capacitor replacement on a PC Engine CD-ROM setup and gave it RGB output with a custom 3D printed side panel:

    https://imgur.com/a/ZqxyXh2

    Make my own scart cables, hack RGB scart into abandoned CRT consumer sets...

    I suppose the pertinent question is do YOU undertake any tech/mod work, Greg2600?
    You forgot to tell them that you are, in fact, a wizard, a magus of the ancient world with millennia of expertise in the material arts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Az View Post
    What's the opinion on those Dreamcast GD-emu boards?
    I bought a clone version and it's been working great. I originally had issues where it would only boot into a game around half the time, but after I swapped my SD card out for a better one, it's been perfect.

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    I wish there was better communication regarding the technical limitations that prevent certain functionality. Every flashcart seems to have something it doesn't do but the reason behind it isn't always clear. For example, the PSIO requires soldering in a separate switchboard. The MegaSD's Sega CD support doesn't work if a real Sega CD unit is connected. The upcoming Saturn Satiator doesn't include Video CD support. The question that isn't always answered clearly though is if these limits are forced by the quirks of the console's architecture (as in there is no possible workaround at all) or just a limit based on the way this particular device works. That distinction is often left ambiguous.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 02-04-2020 at 05:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jperryss View Post
    I bought a clone version and it's been working great.
    Thanks for the info. So the compatibility hit and miss like with those SD card adapters that go in the back port?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Az View Post
    Thanks for the info. So the compatibility hit and miss like with those SD card adapters that go in the back port?
    If I remember right, 4GB cards and cards over 32GB are not officially supported. Some will work: My friend is using a 128GB with no issues. I use three 32GB cards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Az View Post
    What's the opinion on those Dreamcast GD-emu boards?

    What about the 3DO replacement one? Better yet, how is 3DO emulation in general on PC?
    Emulation is probably not very advanced, I haven't checked. I have the USB one for the 3DO, it works fine. The same Russian guy makes the USB one for the Dreamcast, a competitor to the GD EMU fellow. His is expensive, but he fills the orders pretty quickly.
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    So nice to know there's interest here! I have updated the top post of the thread basically with my full knowledge base of what's happening in the Flash Cart, RGB Upscaling, etc. world!
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    By the way i forgot to link this CGQ has a review up for the recent pro everdrive N8.Hmm for what it can do i really need to buy one asap.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z9XNylczNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tron 2.0 View Post
    By the way i forgot to link this CGQ has a review up for the recent pro everdrive N8.Hmm for what it can do i really need to buy one asap.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z9XNylczNY
    He's very good, and I met him, nice guy too! They won't sell out, Krikzz will be pumping them out nonstop.
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    I just got back into N64 gaming and I'm heavily considering the Everdrive 64. I cannot believe the Mod community that's cranking out a bunch mods that work on real hardware!

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    If your gonna play it, buy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    He's very good, and I met him, nice guy too! They won't sell out, Krikzz will be pumping them out nonstop.
    I'm sure i'm not too worry about the pro evderdrive n8 selling out quick.I never got around to buying the original so i may go with a pro instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tron 2.0 View Post
    By the way i forgot to link this CGQ has a review up for the recent pro everdrive N8.Hmm for what it can do i really need to buy one asap.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z9XNylczNY
    Watching that video.. think its funny how he doesnt notice the difference in music between the 2 castlevanias

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    Quote Originally Posted by bb_hood View Post
    Watching that video.. think its funny how he doesnt notice the difference in music between the 2 castlevanias
    Japanese castlevania 3 of course runs on a custom mapper for that extra sound channel.So even i can hear difference and i have a copy of the game as well.U.S,CV3 music is so muted while JPN sounds more crisp and clear to me.
    Last edited by Tron 2.0; 02-13-2020 at 11:35 PM.

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