Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

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cafe-alpha

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Hi guys I just bout a Pseudo Saturn with Kai 6.037 on it. Whenever I put the cartdridge in the system loses controller function. If the controller is plugged in while startup no inputs on the controller will not work. If no AR cart is installed the system uses the controller properly. I tried to plug in after system start and the controller is going haywire. If anyone can help or point in the right direction.

My system is a white Saturn.
I have tried 3 different controllers. 1 sega arcade stick for SS. 1 Model 1 USA and a ST PROPAD and none input when started up and go crazy if plugged in while system is already in game.
That's the first time I had such report :/
By "going haywire", do you mean that it looks like all/many buttons are pushed (selection in menus is scrolling, etc) without even touching the pad ?

If you have a spare Saturn, it would be interesting to see if the problem reproduces (or not) with it, because I have to admit I don't even have any idea if the problem comes from your Saturn, or your Action Replay cart.
 

SupremeJ

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Yes. Originally no inputs from the controller work. So I started with No cart and the controller works. After that I powered down and restarted the system with the cart in. Nothing again. So I restarted with just the cart and no controllers. After I plugged in the system is just acting like all buttons are being pressed.

I have tried 3 different controllers they all do the same thing.
 

SupremeJ

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I will test with a new saturn tomorrow. Maybe the cartridge slot is damaged.
 

SupremeJ

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Went and bought a new Saturn and the cart is working properly. I believe it is the cart slot on the Jap Saturn.
 

cafe-alpha

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Went and bought a new Saturn and the cart is working properly. I believe it is the cart slot on the Jap Saturn.
Wow, thank you for testing, and reporting about it !
It's probably caused by a pin curved in Saturn's cartridge slot. That will probably be a mess to repair however.
 

darknezz19

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Does the full 1MB version kai's save data manager support writing saves from internal to external flash?

If I were to replace the 128k x 8 flash chips on an action replay with 512k x 8 chips and wire up A18 & A17 to the proper Saturn cart connector pins would it work?
 
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cafe-alpha

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Does the full 1MB version kai's save data manager support writing saves from internal to external flash?
No, because in-game save memory cartridge works on SD card (= Gamer's Cartridge) only.
Using flash memory chips as a read/write media may corrupt flash memory, so I don't plan to use flash ROM in order to store save data.

If I were to replace the 128k x 8 flash chips on an action replay with 512k x 8 chips and wire up A18 & A17 to the proper Saturn cart connector pins would it work?
This will you able to use full version of Pseudo Saturn Kai (which requires 1MB of flash ROM), but it will show error message on startup because SD card interface is not found.
It's possible to skip that error message screen (with X+Y+Z buttons), but that won't make save memory cartridge support on flash ROM however.

If you want to add support for save memory cartridge on flash ROM, please note that it's actually a bit trickier than doing it on SD card, because in-game support leaves only flash ROM where to execute backup library handler, and since flash ROM can't be read correctly when it is written, SH-2 would crash if it writes to ROM while executing code from it. A countermeasure would be to put ROM write code on stack memory, but since this location varies from a game to another, this would require to write this routine in assembly, and care about making it location independent.
 

antime

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A countermeasure would be to put ROM write code on stack memory, but since this location varies from a game to another, this would require to write this routine in assembly, and care about making it location independent.
Are you already using all the memory the game allocates for the backup library (16K code, 8K data)?
 

cafe-alpha

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Are you already using all the memory the game allocates for the backup library (16K code, 8K data)?
There are still some room left : around 3KB remaining for code memory, and around 800 bytes for data memory.
I initially though to put the only flash ROM access routine in RAM, which should fit in less than 100 bytes, so didn't though to use theses "large" code/data memory buffers, but your solution would be simpler to implement than mine :)
 

cafe-alpha

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Let's share some mails exchange regarding how to burn CD-Rs for use with Pseudo Saturn Kai, in the hope it will help other people experiencing same problem :)

Basically, if your Saturn is playing copied games slowly, or not playing them at all, then please keep in mind that :
- There's no correlation between price of CD-Rs and their reliability.
- Burning CD-Rs at recommended "AUTO" speed is usually better than burning at minimum speed allowed.
- That's just my own experience, so I can't guarantee it will solve the CD-R problem(s) on your Saturn.


Initial Question said:
I have one HST-3200 jap model 1 (yes, the grey one). I have followed your guide to flash the action replay cartrige and finally got it with the alternative PSkai.iso
After that i tried with two backups, "Shin Shinobi Den" and "Silhouette Mirage" (both of them without patch).
The first one load but very very slow. Reach the intro scene but then the screen kept black and the second game nothing, didn't load, and i saw in your compatibility list that this game works perfectly. (i used verbatim cd burnt at x10, is it the minimum of my "burner")
I am wondering there ir a problem with the hardware and because of that load very slowly.

My answer said:
Do you confirm that original games play smoothly ? If so, it's likely to be an affinity problem between CD-R and your Saturn.
Please try the following :
1. Burn at recommended (default) speed, indicated as "AUTO" or sometimes "MAX" in CD-R burn utility.
(Recent CD-ROM drives aren't designed to burn at slow speed, so it's sometimes better to burn at default one)
2. If (1) doesn't works, please try with other CD-R brand. Cheap brands sometimes work better than most expensive ones.
3. If (2) doesn't works, please try with another game.
4. If (3) doesn't works, please try to adjust laser intensity of your Saturn CD block, which can be done with the orange potentiometer located at the rear side of lens.
(This requires a screw driver in order to open your Saturn and tune the potentiometer)
If I don't mistake, HST-3200 is the very first model with messy internals which requires to remove screws around power connector in order to open the Saturn.
4. If (4) doesn't works, please let me know, but I fear that I don't have any additional idea in order to fix your Saturn.

Note : I personally burn "Magnetic Labs" (quite cheap) CD-Rs with ImgBurn on Windows 7 with CDROM drive embedded in my old laptop (2010 middle-range model), and it usually works ... or sometimes not, but next CD-R is always OK.

Feedback said:
I have had few time to experiment with my Japanese Saturn. I have followed your advices and burnt CD with “AUTO” speed (10x approx.) and Saturn read all I gave to her. It seems a self-service restaurant, “All you can eat”, hahahhaa. Ok ok, take it apart. I have try with many and different games, as well as various regions. The last game I tried yesterday was Sonic Jam and works properly.
 

itsstillthinking

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just want to say iv been loving the project! been following it for years, keep up the good work! I just got a quick question (did do some research before hand and could not get a clear answer) so does Pseudo Kai support saving games to the newly flashed cart or does it just support managing game saves (aka with Kai on the cart you can only save to the internal memory) Iv got a modded Saturn ect and have enjoyed it for years but iv been thinking of picking up another Saturn and was thinking of giving this a whirl. Thanks again for all the great work!
 

cafe-alpha

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just want to say iv been loving the project! been following it for years, keep up the good work! I just got a quick question (did do some research before hand and could not get a clear answer) so does Pseudo Kai support saving games to the newly flashed cart or does it just support managing game saves (aka with Kai on the cart you can only save to the internal memory) Iv got a modded Saturn ect and have enjoyed it for years but iv been thinking of picking up another Saturn and was thinking of giving this a whirl. Thanks again for all the great work!
This is not available, and I won't add it : using cartridge flash memory for data storage is a bad idea that may brick your Action Replay cartridge.
When using Pseudo Saturn Kai on Action Replay, only Saturn internal backup memory is available, which is enough for the majority of Saturn games.

> or does it just support managing game saves (aka with Kai on the cart you can only save to the internal memory)

This is right : it will save only to internal backup memory.

psk even boots unreleased games :)
I heard this game requires some kind of dev cart in order to run, so with the proper cartridge there's probably more to see than loading screen :)
(Erf, I didn't know it was on ebay ... 3500$ oO )
 

itsstillthinking

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Thank you very much, i have the second revision of the memory card plus so i can just stick to that for saving games and just use the action replay for psk. Just as a heads up to anyone who wants to back save games easy with the Netlink email feature back up and running is really easy to send yourself emals of all your saves and keep them if you need to get a new battery in the Saturn
 

vazek

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Hi guys, i just bought a cartridge with pseudo saturn kai lite v6.036b already installed, but i can't manage to make it work... I have tried about every file format (mainly cue/iso/wav with TOC confirmed) in every writing speed, on different verbatim cd-r, and on different cd writer! (3) but it freeze right after i choose 0.831 or 0.832... :'( The disc spins for maybe 2 sec



Tried to burn the last version of ssk to upgrade but same. My saturn reads audio cd but i don't have an original game to try... Could it be the laser?

Getting desperate! Thanks for any idea/input! :)
 
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Hi guys, i just bought a cartridge with pseudo saturn kai lite v6.036b already installed, but i can't manage to make it work... I have tried about every file format (mainly cue/iso/wav with TOC confirmed) in every writing speed, on different verbatim cd-r, and on different cd writer! (3) but it freeze right after i choose 0.831 or 0.832... :'( The disc spins for maybe 2 sec



Tried to burn the last version of ssk to upgrade but same. My saturn reads audio cd but i don't have an original game to try... Could it be the laser?

Getting desperate! Thanks for any idea/input! :)
It's likely the laser. Try cleaning it with a q-top and a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol and see if that helps
 
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