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How to connect a PC-CD drive to Saturn

Discussion in 'Saturn' started by Devil Ken Masters, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Devil Ken Masters

    Devil Ken Masters New Member

    Well, probably on of the most stupid questions not counting the "how to emulate genesis with sega cd".

    Is there any way to connect a PC CD-ROM Drive to the saturn so I can read the games from the CD-ROM Drive instead the Saturn's drive?

    I haven't broke my drive, it's only a curiosity.
     
  2. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    If you're looking for a well-explained, tested method, no.

    There might be a way, but I wouldn't count on it being reasonably easy. It would most likely involve having to do one of the following:

    1) Reverse engineer the Saturn's mainboard<->CD interface, and program a microcontroller to bridge the interface to ATA/ATAPI.

    2) take the optical deck out of the PC drive, determine its pinout, and attach it to the appropriate points on the CD reader board on the Saturn. This might not even be possible without heavy modifications to the CD reader board, but I'm not familiar enough with its design to be certain.
     
  3. AntiPax

    AntiPax New Member

    i bet u could make an adapter from the cord connected to the back of the cd,to your saturn(take out the standard cord and link them)
     
  4. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    Actually, that's what my option 1 was. Saturn almost certainly doesn't use ATA/ATAPI (for one thing, the CD<->mainboard connector would need twice as many pins as it has), so you'd need something to translate the requests and format the returned data to what the Saturn's CD interface wants to see.
     
  5. Ratamahatta

    Ratamahatta Member

    Ex, if you think of it if it were possible, it would be a pretty cool saturn :)
     
  6. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    What would be really neat is to have an "industrial" Saturn in a 1U rackmount case, with seperate standard connectors for composite, S-Video, RGB, and color difference, plus heay-duty rocker switches for 50/60Hz and territory...

    Or maybe I'm just nuts :).
     
  7. Ratamahatta

    Ratamahatta Member

    That sounds cool too =) I'm getting bored with my saturn, so i'm gonna build a saturn / genesis combo unit.
     
  8. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    In case anyone's interested, here's what I've found out so far by examining a broken CD reader (marked ENR-007, also EMW10447 - 006E, probably a run/revision number) from a "Model 1" Saturn:

    - The CD reader control seems to be the responsibility of a standard Hitachi (surprise!) H8 microcontroller, which seems to be connected to a 16K x 8 SRAM. The H8's internal ROM may house custom stuff for reading the security code. The part number of the H8 MCU is HD6433712H; the part number of the SRAM is LH5116NA-10. The H8 is probably responsible for exchanging commands and data with the CD controller on the mainboard.

    - There is an 80-pin chip that doesn't have the part number silkscreened, but it is visible on the package. The part number is HD49236FS. This is almost certainly a Hitachi part, but I haven't found any information on it. It may be a semicustom part for Sega.

    - Another chip, "5F4 A12178" (again, no part number silkscreen). I haven't found any information on this one either, but from its positioning I would guess that it has something to do with controlling the motors.
     

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