DIY Gamer's Cart (alternative parts?)

Hello, and nice to meet you all. o/

I recently learned about and fell in love with the Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager, and decided I should migrate to a Gamer's Cart so I don't have to perform the swap trick every time I install new games.

I'm still a beginner to electronics, but I thought trying to build the Gamer's Cart myself would be a great project. As such, I have a few questions:

1) The EEPROMs CPLDs listed on the PCBs seem to be sold out wherever I look -- EPM3032-44, EPM3032-64, etc... Are these interchangeable with other EEPROM chips, and if so, what are the rules on what other chips I can use? If anybody knows any alternatives off-hand... :biggrin:
2) I can't seem to find any detailed instructions on the flashing process. From what I can gather, all I need to do is install the latest Pseudo Saturn Kai onto the cart with my Saturn as if I were flashing an Action Replay, but is this understanding correct? Do I need any hardware programmers?

Thank you all for your time, and I apologize if this question has been asked elsewhere (I didn't want to intrude on the USB Dev Cart thread).
 
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EPM3032 looks like a part number for a CPLD rather than an EEPROM. Atmel 150x could be a substitute for Altera MAX CPLDs, if that's what you need.
 
Thanks for the help! I didn't know what CPLDs were so when I saw they had a memory type of 'EEPROM' I figured that's what the chips were ^^;

It looks like the pinouts of the Atmel 150x series/similar are at least slightly different, so I guess it's time to learn how to use KiCAD...

EDIT: it looks like there's a bunch of these EPM3032/EPM3064 chips on aliexpress anyway; worth a shot, or are these just going to be junk?
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
There are two firmwares needed to setup a Gamer's Cartridge :
(1) Pseudo Saturn Kai, on flash ROM chips
(2) CPLD firmware, on EPM30xx device

First one is freely available in Pseudo Saturn Kai installer. When flash ROM is blank, setup requirement is a modded Saturn (with an ODE or a modchip) or the ability to do swap trick in order to boot setup utility on CD-R.

Setup of second one requires Quartus software and a Blaster cable. Cheap blaster cables are available here and there but I shall recommend Terasic Blaster if you want to start development and debugging of programmable logic devices.
Bitstream file and sources of CPLD firmware are not available, which may look selfish for someone wanting to assemble a Gamer's Cartridge by oneself but that's the best solution I found to prevent the cartridge from being cloned in large quantities.

So if you want to play Dezaemon 2 user games with a Gamer's Cartridge, you can either :
- Write CPLD firmware from scratch. I won't help you in this task but shall congratulate you if you clear it :)

- Solder a pre-programmed CPLD and prepare the remaining (PCB, flash ROM etc) by yourself : please contact me if you're interested.

- Buy one cartridge : contact me too because I shall have one ready until the end of this month.



EDIT: it looks like there's a bunch of these EPM3032/EPM3064 chips on aliexpress anyway; worth a shot, or are these just going to be junk?

Chips there may be parts stocked but never used, or salvaged from scrap PCB so reliability is like gamble.
I still have a fair amount of these CPLDs bought from mouser back in 2018 so personally I'm OK in continuing with these devices, but if you plan to re-design the cartridge it would be a good idea to use alternate parts still manufactured nowadays.
 
Thanks for the reply!! I really appreciate all of the information.

I'll go ahead and send you an email a PM, since this really does seem like a lifesaver for Dezaemon 2. :)
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
PM sent :) I do confirm it's a game changer for Dezaemon 2 because it enables 10 user game slots (5 on cartridge and 5 others on emulated FDD) while other solutions are limited to 5 slots or less if game data is too large for the cartridge.
 
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