Comms Link / PAR problems

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dhau

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Hi, I spent the whole day (I was sick) f**king around with PC Comms link, DB-25 m2f cable, US v2 Saturn, two Gamesharks (with 1.7c and 1.9 firmware) and EMS 4in1 (2.01 rom).

- My Saturn works great with games, my PC Comms cart works fantastic with PSX and Caetla Gameshark v2 cart;

- Gamesharks communicate with Saturn version of Datel tools, I can browse and copy saves;

- Both gamesharks and PAR allow me to upload files to Saturn using both SSFEXE and SSLINK;

BUT! :eek:

No matter what I try, nothing runs! :damn: :damn: :damn:

Can anyone help me with this?

I still don't give up my efforts, because I already invested so much time and money in buying all the hardware and getting all the tools.

I need some one to guide me thought via IM (MSN or ICQ) or even better I can share my desktop and put a web cam to show my TV via NetMeeting.

My goal is to make fast recompilations of classic MSX games for Saturn and PSX. It's different from interpreting emulation (too slow) or dynarec (too complicated for prev-gen consoles).

Anyway, any help will be greatly appreciated. For now I'll settle with CD-RW trick, because I have two Saturns, and I plan to turn one into dedicated devunit.

Thanks in advance
 

vbt

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What doesn't work ? If you can see Saturn saves it means everything work perfeclty. You just have to find your commcard address, put it on ssfexe. Then upload a binary, you can try with SMS Plus binary.

If you upload the program too late, you have to push reset and the upload will start automatically.
 

dhau

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Hi VBT, thanks for quick reply!

I don't have problems uploading. But once upload is complete, nothing runs! :damn:

Yesterday, for few secconds I had a really strong urge to rip the saturn apart by banging it with my head and then kick TV with my fit until it's bits and pieces and then jump into window (I'm on the 9-th floor) :thumbs-up:
 

antime

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If the programs don't run maybe they don't work. What programs are you trying to run?
 

dhau

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Hi, I tried to run ClayFighters and saturn dev entries. Is there a known-good working program that runs with PAR and real Saturn?

Thanks
 

vbt

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again :)

SMS Plus binary.

I've uploaded it at least 10-20 times this afternoon :) I'm sure it works.

EDIT : I use 0600 4000 as start address
 

dhau

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Thanks! I'll check it out from home and update this message... Should I use standard upload address? $06004000 or somethink like this?

BTW: did anyone tried using IDA Pro to reverce-engine some on Saturn game logic?

Let's say Konami's MSX collection have some brilliand PSG and SCC chips emulation as well as real-time emulation speed. I think they used static recompilation :) I don't see any other way to fit so much in Saturn.

Thanks
 

antime

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Just to be clear, you're using the execute function and not just uploading? And you're running from the right address?

Charles MacDonald's demos definitely work, and get his programming tool while you're at it, it's tons better than the others.

Yes, IDA Pro works fine.
 

RockinB

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I had the same problem and still it does not work 100%.

After I bought a shorter parallel cable it got better. With the longer cable I could verify that an uploaded and then downloaded file differs from the original.

But to get games to execute makes still trouble: the bigger the file, the more unlikely it will run. Most of the time, I have to press the execute button again without reseting the saturn. If that does not work, reset saturn and upload again.................this process is anoying. I cannot figure out what makes it run well some days and what prevents it from running sometimes. That's why my saturn died because I adjusted the cartridge when Power was on. So don't do this. Even if it works 20 times, there will be the time when it doesn't.
 

dhau

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Shorter cable is a great idea. Any idea where can I buy a short male to felame pin-to-pin db25 cable?

As of upload problems: I'll give a try to minimalistic executable. If this will work, I think I will write my own sender tool, based on Charles Macdonald's source and documentation, which will do a CRC check for each data block (say each 128 bytes) and resend broken block. This will add some time penalty, but should resolve any bit flips.
 

Alexvrb

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If a short cable works better, then perhaps also a better insulated one as well? Although I don't know what kind of cables they sell for parallel these days... I just know that I like using good cables, after fixing my cable TV picture quality issues by upgrading to quad-shielded cables.
 

dhau

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Hi folks,

I finally managed to upload and execute the code to my Saturn.

First of all, it looks like my EMS Pro Action Replay with 2.01 firmware isn't compartible with EMS PAR 4in1 Plus. No matter what I tried, it just doesn't work. Even with control tools from www.hkems.com.

I managed to upload and run code via Gameshark (firmware 1.9). SSFEXE, SSFLINK and SATUTIL (by Charles MacDonnald) don't work with Gameshark. However TyRaNyD's Saturn Debugger 0.70 works great as long as it's used with Datel upload code. But with Gameshark the largest program I can upload is ~200KBytes. I think this is due to the fact that gameshark doesn't have any RAM for Capcom/SNK games.

I ordered two 4in1 Plus cards last night, so soon I'll get a standard Saturn homebrew setup, so things will get better.

Thanks to everyone for help!
 

dhau

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Folks, I've got EMS "4in1 plus" carts, and I still have problems with binaries over 100kb.

I think it's due to cable lenght/quality.

So here is my latest question:

What is the best source for short high-quality DB-25 male to DB-25 female cable?

Thanks
 

dhau

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Heh, just a tought. I think I can use a piece of IDE or SCSI cable with two DB-25 connectors (male and female) and some ferrite rings on them?

If it'll be like 3 feets long, I don't think it'll have less data coruption problems

Did anyone made custom cable?
 

vbt

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I use the cable of my old scanner :D it's much more reliable than the cable sold with the commcard.
 

AntiPasta

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I had no problems whatsoever with the cable that came with my comms-card (but I did have problems with the jumpers which were unmarked :rant )
 

dhau

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Cable or not, for some reasons I get better results with Gameshark then with brant new EMS 4in1Plus...

It could be due to firmware...

If you use EMS 4in1 Plus, please let me know what firmware you use?

I only tried 2.01 and 2.02. 2.01 seems to work a little better.
 
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