Problems with my mod and/or ram cartridge

solidus667

New Member
Hi!

I recently installed a mod chip that I got from gamegizmo.com. When installing it, I was a little sloppy with the solder (first time solderer here) and spilled some, bridging a few pins (10,11,12) on the chip I was to solder to (pin 14 I believe). To recover from the mess, I heated up the spilled solder and quickly whiped it up with a towel! I know, it's pathetic. Then, I noticed my wire to my power supply was not long enough. So I used a twist-tie. You know, those things that hold cords in a bundle for you? Heh. Anyway, I used the twist tie to extend the wire, and then found out my power supply was not labeled, so I jammed it in the second-from-top hole, like in the picture that is on so many sites.

Miraculously, backups work! Does this mean that I successfully cleaned up my solder mess? Kind of a "either it works or it doesn't" situation? Or could the mess cause damage later? I am afraid to open this thing up again since it works.

What about my twist-tie wire extension? It seems to work, but could it cause a problem? Could there be "intermittent" problems or is it once again a "it works or it doesn't" scenario?

Anyway, I also have this action replay cart. When I put it in, it seems to work, because 8000+ blocks are available, and imports will play!

However, when I try to load Street Fighter Alpha, it gives me a message in Japanese, but it contains the characters "RAM" in english. Could it be telling me I need a ram cartridge, which is what my ram cart is supposed to be doing? Could it be the case that my ram cartridge will allow me to run imports or backups, but not those which are BOTH an import AND a backup?

I have plenty of backups, and plenty of normal games. All of them work flawlessly! It's a miracle. Seriously. I am stupider than a monkey but somehow made this work.

But still, I would like to know what is up with Street Fighter Alpha, complaining to me in Japanese about RAM. Is the ram cart linked above insufficient?

Thanks in advance for helping me solve the problem :D
 

IBarracudaI

New Member
humm

Street Fighter Alpha??? I presume you are referring to Street Fighter Zero 3....

Well... about the mod installation... if you can assure no short-circuit will occur on that chip's pins you soldered, I think it's safe to say that it will work...

About the AR I think that's one of the firsts... thus it doesn't have 1/4 MB extra RAM... only allows imports and extra backup ram memory... ???
 

solidus667

New Member
The release notes claim that it is Street Fighter Alpha, but this may be another name for Street Fighter Zero 3? I am not sure about the chronology and nomenclature of this series. I know that the names can vary between the US and Japan.

My cart was supposedly a 4-in-1, which is how the seller advertised it, but I was hoping that by the picture someone here would be able to confirm or deny it was such.

In any event, here are the release notes if you are interested. If posting such information is prohibited, pardon me. The sticky rules post in this forum does not appear to outlaw it. :D

General Information

---------------------------

Program title.............. Street Fighter Alpha

Program type............... Sega Saturn

4 Meg Ram Cart Needed...... Unsure

Disc/Image/File Information

---------------------------

Number of discs............ 1

CD format (mode)........... BIN/CUE

Image creation application. CDRWin version 3.9A

Archive format............. RAR

# of archive parts......... 27

Part size (bytes).......... 26 x 15MB (15,734,265 bytes) and 1 x 3.84MB

(4,028,761 bytes)

Total Archive size (bytes). 393MB (413,119,651 bytes)

Image size (bytes)......... 580MB (608,622,336 bytes)

Image filename............. Street_fighter_alpha.bin

Cue size................... 3.18KB (3,263 bytes)

# of parity files.......... 4

Parity size (bytes)........ 3 x 15MB (15,736,953 bytes) and 1 x 2.62KB

(2,688 bytes)

Burn tested................ No

Posting Information

---------------------------

Posting info............... Posting to alt.binaries.cd.image.sega-saturn

Repost info................ I have no intention at this time to repost,

however, I will fill any necessary files such

as if one of the PARs doesn't make it through

or if too many RARs are missing. Feel free to

repost it yourselves if you so see fit.
 

printf

New Member
Here are some short answers (sorry, I'm tired!) that maybe solve your problems right away.

- Street Fighter Alpha (Zero in Japan) doesn't require extra RAM.

- Your cart is missing the RAM features, it's simply a import converter and game saves backup device. The save blocks reported by the software are not directly accessible to a Saturn game.

- Only Sega produced/licensed "backup RAM carts" can extend your save RAM, the cart you got won't do so.

- Your Saturn's own save RAM may be full... if this is the case, games report they can't save any game data. If you are able to play the game after seeing the message in Japanese, this means you're playing without saving, and that the message itself didn't mean you need more RAM. Try deleting or moving out some of the game saves in your Saturn's RAM.

printf
 

solidus667

New Member
Thanks, printf, for printing


I appreciate the fact that you replied even though you are tired.

If you find some time (and some rest) maybe you can help me make this work.

1) Intersting if Street Fighter Alpha doesnt require ram, I wonder why it would complain about it. Maybe it's saying in japenese: "Hey Chris, I appreciate you inserting a RAM cartridge, but I, Street Fighter Alpha, do not require any RAM." But then, wouldn't I get to play after that? It just freezes on that screen and seems to ignore input.

2) Damn, that could certainly be the case. Does this mean I don't actually have a 4-in-1 cart? Did you see the pic? Were you able to identify it?

3) If this is the case, I guess I need a different cart

4) No, I wiped ALL the ram clean. I was smart enough to try this one (barely).

-Chris
 

IBarracudaI

New Member
how many audio tracks does that "street fighter alpha" has??

If it has only 1 audiotrack (2 tracks if you count the datatrack) it's street fighter Zero 3 (JAP) and it DOES REQUIRE 4MB of extra RAM, if it has plenty of audio tracks (more than 30 I think...) it is Street Fighter Alpha (1) and DOES NOT REQUIRE any extra RAM...

About that cart I have can assure you it isn't a 4in1 !!!
 

solidus667

New Member
It has 50 tracks! I guess that means it's Street Fighter Alpha.

Then what the hell could it be saying about RAM?

Maybe it's saying "Hey Chris, your Saturn is a wussy car. You should buy a Dodge RAM. If you had a dodge RAM you wouldn't be such a douchebag."

If anyone in here can read Japanese I'd be happy to snap a photo of the screen.

Thanks very much for your comments.

I just won this thing:

Action Replay 13-in-1. The seller insists it adds 32 megs for saving games, 4 megs of ram (accessible to games like Vampire Savoiur), and it plays imports so I guess I wont have to use satconv.

So if this guy isn't bullshitting me, I should have everything I need when I get my hands on this bitch.

Thanks once again for all who helped me work out this problem. When I get this new cart, I will update this thread with my findings!

-Chris
 

printf

New Member
Originally posted by solidus667@Jan. 15 2003, 6:49 pm

It has 50 tracks! I guess that means it's Street Fighter Alpha.

...

I just won this thing:

Action Replay 13-in-1.

The seller insists it adds 32 megs for saving games, 4 megs of ram (accessible to games like Vampire Savoiur), and it plays imports so I guess I wont have to use satconv.
I really don't know about all the tracks on SFA, haven't played it in years. (Do I hear Master Akumamatata protesting "No wonder you're not healthy!" ?
) There is another way to find out, however.

Hey, you just won a kind of cool looking AR/Gameshark knockoff. 13-in-1? Nah, with conservative counting, it might be a 5-in-1, but that's ok. If you'd list all the features in detail and add "washes your sox" to that list, maybe then it's a 13-in-1. There was a thread some time ago and I think ExCyber or maybe mal compiled a hilarious list of would-be features for a 13-in-1. As long as it has all the RAM and is compatible from the start, your Saturn will be ok.

I wonder if it really has 32MBit of backup space on its pcb. If you have a digital camera and some webspace, maybe you could give us some nice photos of this item. It doesn't look like it got a comms link port, but i guess you don't need it anyway.

About Satconv and the StreetFighterAlpha game. If you really want to know which one it is, grab CDRWin or Satconv. In CDRWin, use sector viewer, look at sector 0 of the CD. You'll be able to figure it out from there. AFAIK, satconv displays game information on startup. Happy playing. Shoryuken!

printf
 

Trenton net

New Member
A while ago CC posted a breif discription of what the Chinese says, in terms of all 13 functions. Its actualy quite compatible.
 

solidus667

New Member
Yea, I'm sure the whole "13-in-1" thing is bullshit, for the most part. What I am mainly concerned about is having a cart that will allow me to play imports, 4mb ram games, and that's it. I really don't even need any extra saving space, because I don't have the attention span to support playing a game all the way through, and if I did, it'd be in a single sitting


I do have a web server with plenty of space, and enough bandwidth for a forums post, so I'll surely take some pics for you when I get it.
 
many early 4in1 cards had a design flaw that prevented the 4mb feature from working. There are guides on how to mod your 4-in-1 so that it works (I've done mine and a friends), I believe the site was www.icedragon.com or something like that
 

Alexvrb

Member
The naming system is bad and it makes things confusing. However, standard 4-in-1 carts don't have a "problem" with the RAM expansion, they simply do not HAVE the RAM. A cart with the 1/4MB expansion is referred to often as a 5-in-1 cart, or if its a PAR, it's official name is a PAR 4-in-1 Plus ("plus" referring to the same thing as the "5" in 5-in-1, meaning the extra 4MB memory).

The problem rabbit is referring to isn't a problem with your 4-in-1, because as I've said if it is just a 4-in-1, it doesn't HAVE the 4MB expansion. However, there is a problem on SOME (older) 5-in-1 or PAR 4-in-1 Plus carts that prevents some games from working with the cart (Vampire Saviour for one). So he is right, there is a problem with some of the carts that have the RAM, like the cart you say you are purchasing. So if you ever encounter trouble with certain games you can indeed perform the mod. http://www.icedragon.com/mod/4-n-1.html is the exact page.
 

Kasreyn

New Member
Am i correct if i suspect that the 4MB ICs are sometimes missing from the "X in 1" carts? When i bought my saturn a white cartridge without label came with it. It has the action replay program in it with cheats and you can transfer your gamesaves to it. The actual pcb of my cartridge looks like this:



Is it just me, or do I see empty slots? Is that were my 4MB of ram is supposed to be? :cry:

This is where I first read "13 in 1", who would come up with something so ridiculous. :)

When i try to boot up X-Men vs Street Fighter which is a known 4MB game, i get this:



I assume that is some generic message warning me about not having a 4MB cartridge. Anyone care to translate the text?
 

ExCyber

Staff member
Kasreyn said:
Am i correct if i suspect that the 4MB ICs are sometimes missing from the "X in 1" carts? When i bought my saturn a white cartridge without label came with it. It has the action replay program in it with cheats and you can transfer your gamesaves to it.
It does indeed look like you have a "13-in-1" without the RAM or its associated support chips. The manufacturer probably just uses the same PCB for different models to save money and/or have more flexibility in production. I do think it's interesting/strange that they chose to use the Am29F010, which is a large-sectored flash memory... what's more, one of the chips is an Am29F010A and the other is an Am29F010B. Just when I think I've seen every weird AR quirk out there, the world throws another one at me... :sconf:
 

Kasreyn

New Member
Thanks for clearing that up ExCyber.

A bit of research and it's looking even more ridiculous. Those flash ICs can hold a maximum of 128KB (1Megabit) each. How they manage to come up with "32M" is beyond me. It's great for backing up gamesaves though :clap:, 256KB is plenty. The internal battery has already died once. But why arn't these types of ICs inside my saturn instead ? Perhaps the same reason they used those specific ICs, saving cost by using whatever was in stock... :biglaugh:

So I guess I'll have to place an order at racketboy after all...

http://www.racketboy.com/store/ramcart.htm

I don't think it has any flash memory? But it has the RAM.
 
Top