Netlink ROM dumps


Gear Supporter
I dumped my netlink ROMs, leaving them here for anyone wishing to dig deeper.

First one is MX27C1000, 128Kx8 EEPROM connected to L39 MCU. Surprisinly it contains a lot of strings from different x86 motherboard BIOSes, this is either Rockwell being lazy, or chip being used elsewhere and not completely erased before manufacturing. There is something modem-related at 0x3D00-0x7F00, but i couldn't disasm it as a 6502 code (which L39 CPU is presumably compatible with). There are strings at the beginning, so execution starts at a non-zero address, if starts at all.

Second is NM24C02, 2Kbit (256 byte) serial EEPROM, connected to L39 as well. It contains some kind of a configuration, 8 byte header, 2 almost exact 36-byte sequences (1 byte is different), and some magic sequence at the end of the ROM. Maybe there is a execution start address for the 1st ROM somewhere.


    70.9 KB · Views: 13
Last edited:
Nice! Sadly even though I have a netlink and most of the games that support it, I think I've only ever used it once or twice back in the day. By that point the Saturn was very much considered dead, so finding other people to play with was pretty tough. I'm glad people are interested in this again!

There's been some discussion about what to do with online play on the Saturn lately. I was inspired by the recent discussion on the Shiro show - I've been looking for inexpensive modules that could convert the Saturn's serial connection either to USB or even Wifi.. there's a lot of scope though, and the Saturn's com port uses a non-standard SPI signal. Basically that there's no master/slave select pin - but I'm thinking that can be ignored, since most of these modules can be flashed with custom firmware and obviously any software hacks would be custom anyway.


Gear Supporter
Yes, recent Shiro show started another wave of "new netlink" (or should i say "Novalink"? ) talks. There are many opinions and visions, i have mine as well, but i suppose it's a bit off-topic here. In a few words, serial ports can provide speed up to 2.2 MBit/s (that's the channel speed, actual throughput will be smaller), and a simple serial-to-wifi bridge can be done with something like ESP32.


Established Member
The point of that portion of the show was to find out where time should be invested. As Jameson pointed out, an inexpensive bridge/dongle could be made for the serial port, but the problem with going this route is it is an additional expense that perhaps many will not purchase.

Then you have the other crowd that thinks the Netlink will be an easier adoption since the hardware already exists. The problem with that route is we have no idea on the number of people actually capable of setting it up in tandum with a dream pi and/or a VOIP.


Established Member
Personally I'd like to just see Netlink be usable for doing webapp stuff with it. So for example using Dreampi or even Dial up internet to get online, and then have utilities for doing things like uploading and downloading Save Game data to a database without the hassle of using the Planetweb email method. As that method really is limited in it's usage these days.