Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

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NoAffinity

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Wondering, is it possible to flash a AR 4M Plus by directly programming one of the chips that is contained on the PCB via a programmer? I hard-wired in an AR 4M Plus, due to cart slot failing, and would like to flash it to Pseudo Saturn Kai...but swap trick is no longer an option and I'd like to avoid spending the money on a mod chip if possible.

Video of the hard-wired AR 4MP. It's not very elegant yet, but I'm excited it is working, and would be more excited if it contained PSK (hey, that's an old Schooly D song - considered by many to be the first gangsta rap song :p ).

 
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seal1

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oh man, I think you took the hard road with this.

why no more swaptrick ?
why do you had not flashed the AR to pskai before hard-wiring it ?
why not taking the pretty simple modchip road ?
why do you choose a AR w/o PAR/LPT-port for hard-wiring into the saturn ?

I would say to desolder the eeproms and programming inside a eeprom programmer should work.
Inside the bigger iso is a FW-folder with the pure pskai256.bin for the eeprom's.
You may need to split this into even/odd-files for two eeproms.
 
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oh man, I think you took the hard road with this.

why no more swaptrick ?
why do you had not flashed the AR to pskai before hard-wiring it ?
why not taking the pretty simple modchip road ?
why do you choose a AR w/o PAR/LPT-port for hard-wiring into the saturn ?

I would say to desolder the eeproms and programming inside a eeprom programmer should work.
Inside the bigger iso is a FW-folder with the pure pskai256.bin for the eeprom's.
You may need to split this into even/odd-files for two eeproms.
He's clearly a masochist that's why he hardwired it in etc. All joking aside tho, that takes some serious skill and patience lol
 

cafe-alpha

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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

https://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/120585sl1600.jpg

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! :)
I tried with isopropanol, same :/
If your Saturn can read audio CD but is having problems with data CD, then trying to adjust laser intensity of your Saturn CD unit may give some results.
This can be done with the orange potentiometer located at the rear side of lens.
http://ppcenter.webou.net/divers/20171110_cd_unit_potentiometer1.jpg
http://ppcenter.webou.net/divers/20171110_cd_unit_potentiometer2.jpg
Too weak, and it won't read correctly ; Too strong, and it may shorten life length of your CD unit (or not, I don't know if that's true or not), so please adjust reasonably.

Additionally, you probably may want to verify this tuning with an original game CD-ROM : it's better to solve problems separately, and very common games (Sega Rally, Nights, etc) cost few bucks :)
 

cafe-alpha

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Wondering, is it possible to flash a AR 4M Plus by directly programming one of the chips that is contained on the PCB via a programmer? I hard-wired in an AR 4M Plus, due to cart slot failing, and would like to flash it to Pseudo Saturn Kai...but swap trick is no longer an option and I'd like to avoid spending the money on a mod chip if possible.

Video of the hard-wired AR 4MP. It's not very elegant yet, but I'm excited it is working, and would be more excited if it contained PSK (hey, that's an old Schooly D song - considered by many to be the first gangsta rap song :p ).

Congratulations, you solved your Saturn's largest security hole :D
Simplest/cheapest solution is to borrow a modchip from a friend nearby. Next simplest (but no longer in the "cheapest" range) solution would be to install a Rhea/Phoebe ...

If you want to continue with the soldering solution, then installing a switch between your Saturn and cartridge's pin A47 (A-bus CS0) should (※) disable your cartridge : switch closed = cartridge inserted, switch open = cartridge not available, hence can do swap trick.
(※) I didn't verified this, so please try at your own risks !
I couldn't find a picture of Action Replay PCB's rear side (the side without ICs), so please post a picture of your cartridge's rear side if you want to be sure where it is located :)
 

NoAffinity

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Nice, great info! I was also pursuing how to disable the hard wired cart both as a matter of general functionality and as a matter of being able to do the swap trick. I desoldered all 5v lines except the ones at pins 0 (according to the numbering at the below link).

http://www.rockin-b.de/saturn/cartridgeport/SATURN-CartridgePort.htm

The cart still booted no problem and seemed to run fine. Desoldering those last two 5v lines disabled the cart, as one would expect but it is interesting that it can apparently run on only two 5v lines out of 8. But, I would much prefer to have all intended 5v lines wired and disable via a47 if that can work. Will report back as well as provide a pic of the back side.
 
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NoAffinity

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Oh and to seal1, my cart slot stopped working. Couldn't get the cart to read, couldn't flash it. Through some pretty extensive discovery during the whole process, I found that even when the cart wouldn' boot due to this or that wiring issue that was yet to be resolved, the extended memory 1mb/4mb cart portion was still functional. In hindsight this might have even worked with the failed cart slot and a modchip couldve gotten me to the same place. By the time I learned this, tho, I was too far down The road. The ultimate goal was to have all the PSK functionality while solving for the failed cart slot. Of course having it concealed somehow within the case is also part of the plan and there's a bit of space between front of case and cd drive, or under cd drive if modding the metal divider there.
 

NoAffinity

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cafe-alpha, I started a new thread so as not to hijack this one:

https://segaxtreme.net/threads/permanent-cart-slot-fix-hard-wiring.24243/

the picture of the solder side of the PCB is there. I desoldered the contact at the PCB that corresponds with A47, and it didn't seem to have any effect. Would appreciate additional input on the new thread. :)

:edit: I came across a PAL Saturn manual which showed pin A47 as A-bus CS0...not sure if it differs on the US Saturn (PAL Saturn manual linked at the new thread).
 
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NoAffinity

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Separate thread updated, and I'm happy to report that the hard-wired cart is flashed with Pseudo Saturn Kai Lite and the mod is complete. Thanks all for the help and thank you vbt for this great tool!
 

cafe-alpha

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SaturnTeam

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Thank you ! I updated the "table of contents" second post on first page :)
No problem! I'm glad I could help. It seemed like everyone who was posting tutorials was using a different model Saturn, which wasn't helping me. Keep up the great work, cafe-alpha!
 

seal1

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my cart slot stopped working. Couldn't get the cart to read, couldn't flash it.
I had also massive cart slot problems, but cleaning contacts (slot & cart) and like 20-50 or even more attempts to put the cart in the saturn did the job. but I picked up another saturn and no more of this stress.


@cafe-alpha

I'm currently unable to use the MemCart Feature of the your USB-DevCart + SGC (FAT version).
According to status line at the bottom, MemCart is configured, SD-Card type/name displayed, Selftest etc. looks good.
With Sega's mem manager or the Save data manager from the pskai-cd the additional memory/device does not show up.
copy/move is not selectable

update: now it works, the biggest error is in front of the computer (or saturn in this case) speaking of me the user ... I flashed only the pskai lite version, now with full version memcart-feature works as expected.


IMG_20171119_225305411_HDR.jpg IMG_20171119_221104577.jpg IMG_20171119_221239819.jpgIMG_20171120_241901470.jpg
 
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cafe-alpha

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I had also massive cart slot problems, but cleaning contacts (slot & cart) and like 20-50 or even more attempts to put the cart in the saturn did the job. but I picked up another saturn and no more of this stress.
I do confirm that it sometimes depends on Saturn itself : my main Saturn (on which I do dev stuff and I use to do firmware first install for each new cartridges) doesn't have connection problem. But another Saturn that I use from time to time for some tests is a bit picky in order to recognize a cartridge.

If you (or anybody else) have troubles in order to get a cartridge being recognized by Saturn, please try the "power off -> insert cartridge -> slightly lift cartridge by ~0.5 mm -> power on" manipulation. This isn't an almighty solution however.


@cafe-alpha

I'm currently unable to use the MemCart Feature of the your USB-DevCart + SGC (FAT version).
According to status line at the bottom, MemCart is configured, SD-Card type/name displayed, Selftest etc. looks good.
With Sega's mem manager or the Save data manager from the pskai-cd the additional memory/device does not show up.
copy/move is not selectable

update: now it works, the biggest error is in front of the computer (or saturn in this case) speaking of me the user ... I flashed only the pskai lite version, now with full version memcart-feature works as expected.
I noticed the problem this morning (without having time to reply at that moment), and you were faster to reply ^^
Pseudo Saturn Kai lite can access Gamer's Cartridge SD card, and I don't plan to remove this feature because it would be messy to do, and allows to reflash cartridge from SD card (with "Load Homebrew -> SDcard -> flasher.bin" manipulation), which is helpful after inadvertently flashing lite version of the firmware ;) (I sometimes mistake when flashing firmware too)

On the other hand, SD card memory cartridge code is located on another region of cartridge's ROM, outside of Action Replay 256 KB limit, hence available only in full version of the firmware.
 

NoAffinity

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I had tried every damn trick in the book....many many times, with this Saturn. I was tired of screwing with it, and getting marginal if any results. I figured the same time could be invested in a permanent fix. That's just me tho, :) but yes, I tried every trick - lift it out part way, wedge something behind the cart to prop it forward, wedge something in front of the cart to prop it back, every possible variation of those 3, clean the pins, clean the cart, rebend the pins....and on and on. :banghead: :blush:
 

gonschor7dleven

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Hi,

New member here. Was hoping you could help me sort out an issue I'm having with Panzer Dragoon Saga, the U.S. version. Basically, I get this message every time I start the game with the JHL 0.832 bootloader:

"The System Memory (Cartridge Memory) is not ready for use. Please clear all files using your Memory Manager. Go to the System Settings Screen by pressing the Reset Button while holding the L or R Button. From there, you can access your Memory Manager."

Here's a picture: https://imgur.com/a/AyzXc

My Action Replay Plus is flashed with Pseudo Saturn Kai Lite 6.074. I'm using a North American Saturn Model 1 (bought it on June 3rd, 1995!). Pseudo Saturn Lite is working great otherwise.

I found a reference on this very forum that PDS won't start with a cartridge in the slot, and found a patch that is supposed to get around it. The patch I used it antime's, found here: https://antime.kapsi.fi/sega/own.html

The problem is after I patch a disk image of the game with it, IMGburn won't burn it because it says something like "image over minutes."

I've tried methods with several different copies--Darkwater's from ISO Zone (which wouldn't load at all), the pre-patched copy I found in this YouTube video, and even a bin/cue I made from my own personal PDS N.A. copy (purchased on launch day in 1998). Nothing seems to work. My goal is to be able to have this game backed up rather than relaying on my N.A. copy, which is pristine.
 

cafe-alpha

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Hi, welcome in SegaXtreme !

New member here. Was hoping you could help me sort out an issue I'm having with Panzer Dragoon Saga, the U.S. version. Basically, I get this message every time I start the game with the JHL 0.832 bootloader:

"The System Memory (Cartridge Memory) is not ready for use. Please clear all files using your Memory Manager. Go to the System Settings Screen by pressing the Reset Button while holding the L or R Button. From there, you can access your Memory Manager."

Here's a picture:
My Action Replay Plus is flashed with Pseudo Saturn Kai Lite 6.074. I'm using a North American Saturn Model 1 (bought it on June 3rd, 1995!). Pseudo Saturn Lite is working great otherwise.
This is the first time I see such error message, so I may be wrong, but did you changed the CR2032 battery located at the rear side of your Saturn, near VCD cartridge slot ?
Because this battery keeps Saturn's internal backup memory, so maybe a depleted battery corrupted it.
After verifying about battery, and eventually replacing it, please go to Saturn memory manager (from multiplayer screen, top-middle icon), format internal backup memory, and give another try with the same Panzer Dragoon Saga disc which show you this error message.


I found a reference on this very forum that PDS won't start with a cartridge in the slot, and found a patch that is supposed to get around it. The patch I used it antime's, found here: https://antime.kapsi.fi/sega/own.html

The problem is after I patch a disk image of the game with it, IMGburn won't burn it because it says something like "image over minutes."

I've tried methods with several different copies--Darkwater's from ISO Zone (which wouldn't load at all), the pre-patched copy I found in this YouTube video, and even a bin/cue I made from my own personal PDS N.A. copy (purchased on launch day in 1998). Nothing seems to work. My goal is to be able to have this game backed up rather than relaying on my N.A. copy, which is pristine.
The non-official cartridge protection in Panzer Dragoon Saga consists in verifying that "Action Replay" or "X-Terminator" aren't indicated in cartridge ROM header. Antime's patch bypasses this check, but it is unnecessary when using Pseudo Saturn Kai, because Pseudo Saturn Kai ROM header doesn't indicates "Action Replay" nor "X-Terminator" :)

Please note however that it is needed to "pseudo-patch" each disc images before burning them. Patcher utility can be found here : http://ppcenter.webou.net/pskai/#download → pseudo_saturn_cdpatch_20160714.7z

Even if not image is not patched, any game loader (CWX or JHL) should be able to boot the game until title screen, and then if not patched (or using CWX loader) game should halt after screen prompting for player name.
Please inform me if formatting internal backup memory made this error screen disappearing or not :)
 

gonschor7dleven

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Hi, thanks for the quick response!

So, I fixed it...but the worst part is that I don't know how!

The first thing I tried was reflashing my AR to full Pseudo Saturn 0.832. Same problem, same warning message when firing up PDS. Then I flashed it back to Kai Lite 6.074. Same message. I must've burned 8 copies of PDS Disc 1. I threw in one of them that I swear I had tried before...and it worked! No memory warning message, just booted straight into the opening cutscene using JHL Loader 0.832.

I was pretty shocked that it worked. I don't know what I did to fix it. The only thing I could think of was that I had fired up Fighter's Megamix and saved to the internal memory, so maybe that re-initialized it somehow? No idea, I am not a developer. I'm just glad it's working.

And to narrow down the method for it working, I settled on ripping my own PDS discs using Imgburn, and patched each disc with your patcher. The discs work flawless. So yeah, it was a strange issue, I'm not quite sure what fixed it, but I'm glad it works and I can play PDS without having to wear out my original discs!

BTW, some folks have been getting an "image not found" error when using the patcher. I figured out that the bin/cue need to be in the same directory as the patcher. You may want to add a note on your site that this is the case...I know someone posted on reddit about this same issue, and this would help those who encounter it. Anyway--thanks for your work on Pseudo Saturn Kai, it works great!!
 
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