Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

privateye

New Member
ram support hasn't been implemented as to why or if it can be that's a question for cafe_alpha, until then that's a little mod i came up with.
actually in your case this maybe worth trying anyway, if a part of the SST is corrupt or not working correctly then perhaps that mod which switches between the high and low address areas may actually be what you need to get this working, at the very least it maybe worth a try.
Not true, Pseudo Saturn Kai is fully functional with 1MB/4MB expansion RAM. In fact, PSK does not touch expansion RAM at all.
 

megatron-uk

New Member
Had a quick browse of Ebay last night; SST29EE010's were reasonably cheap so I've got a pair of them on the way, along with a pair of DIP32 sockets to replace the weird DIP to PLCC boards that are soldered on my AR+.

Also going to try that second Saturn - I've not had the current one fully hooked up; just the video straight to the display until now and everything seemed fine. I tried it last night with the scart cable into my AV setup (gscartsw -> ossc -> hdmi switch and hdmi audio extractor) and was getting no sound at all... I'm now thinking that there's possibly several things screwy with that console.
 

RazorX

New Member
Not true, Pseudo Saturn Kai is fully functional with 1MB/4MB expansion RAM. In fact, PSK does not touch expansion RAM at all.
sorry let me be more specific, ram functionality on a action replay with pseudo saturn kai lite flashed to it no longer works as a ram cartridge.
maybe i'm remembering wrong and my cartridge is just messed up lol that's possible but i guess cafe_alpha can say if it does or not.
 

privateye

New Member
sorry let me be more specific, ram functionality on a action replay with pseudo saturn kai lite flashed to it no longer works as a ram cartridge.
maybe i'm remembering wrong and my cartridge is just messed up lol that's possible but i guess cafe_alpha can say if it does or not.
Expansion RAM on Action Replay still works after it is flashed with Pseudo Saturn Kai. Like I said, PSK does not touch expansion RAM at all so it doesn't interfere with it in any way.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
sorry let me be more specific, ram functionality on a action replay with pseudo saturn kai lite flashed to it no longer works as a ram cartridge.

maybe i'm remembering wrong and my cartridge is just messed up lol that's possible but i guess cafe_alpha can say if it does or not.
I do confirm that Pseudo Saturn Kai doesn't interfers with expansion RAM. This misunderstanding is usually caused by a confusion between "expansion RAM" and "save data memory" :
- "Expansion RAM", or "1MB/4MB RAM" is to make some few games working, whose list is available here : List of Sega Saturn games that require an external cartridge - Satakore.com
- "Save data memory", or "cartridge backup memory" is where to store game save data = race ghost data, or high scores, or collected items etc.

@privateye knows enough Pseudo Saturn Kai to answer such kind of question without the need of "approved by cafe-alpha" seal of quality :D
In fact, because I forget about details right after fixing bug(s), @privateye is certainly more knowledgeable than me about Pseudo Saturn Kai !


@megatron-uk : good luck in repairing your Action Replay ! I got the same hardware revision as yours, bought around 2005 IIRC, and last time I used it (around March IIRC), it was still working :)
If ROM can't be repaired, please give a try with a game requiring expansion RAM (list available above) : if expansion RAM is recognized, then that's still a valuable cartridge IMHO.

And yes, before trying to repair, giving a try on another Saturn ... in fact this makes me remembering that I had a similar problem a while (well, almost a decade) ago.
At that time, I had an Action Replay apparently bricked with flash ROM bytes at even address not written correctly, and the problem was fixed by using another Saturn to flash the cartridge. After that I could verify that the problem was caused by one specific Saturn, which except the fact it can't write to flash ROM is playing games correctly.
Here is the thread about this problem : Is there someone to save my ARP ?
And how the flash ROM contents looks like : http://ppcenter.free.fr/divers/ARP_RIP.png (<- taken by using eXstand device between cartridge and parallel port on PC ... good old times ...)
 

TheRealAnubis

New Member
Good morning,

Thank you for the reply. At this point, I'm not sure what to think. My non working cart flashed after I installed the phantom mod, and it's been working fine ever since. Even with Vampire Savior. Maybe I just didn't have the cart seated fully when I did the first upgrade, and it didn't fully take.
It was working fine with other games that I tried, including games that need 4M. But Vampire Savior just threw it a loop somehow. I've since tried that exact burn and it works fine. I think maybe I have a grouchy Saturn. Thanks for all the info, and for your work! I'm really enjoying trying so many crazy games!
I do have one more question, though - once my Saturn is hard modded to read burns (which it is now) is there any reason not to just plug the cart in fully, start up the console, then flash it to Pseudo Saturn Kai Lite? The Action Replay screen comes up, I don't select anything, just play the 'game', then flash the cart with the flasher.

Thanks again!
 

cafe-alpha

Member
At this point, I'm not sure what to think. My non working cart flashed after I installed the phantom mod, and it's been working fine ever since. Even with Vampire Savior. Maybe I just didn't have the cart seated fully when I did the first upgrade, and it didn't fully take.

It was working fine with other games that I tried, including games that need 4M. But Vampire Savior just threw it a loop somehow. I've since tried that exact burn and it works fine. I think maybe I have a grouchy Saturn. Thanks for all the info, and for your work! I'm really enjoying trying so many crazy games!
Thank you for the feedback ! The problem with your Action Replay carts is a bit mysterious to me too, so let's conclude that your Saturn was grouchy at that time. Please enjoy playing Saturn games :)

I do have one more question, though - once my Saturn is hard modded to read burns (which it is now) is there any reason not to just plug the cart in fully, start up the console, then flash it to Pseudo Saturn Kai Lite? The Action Replay screen comes up, I don't select anything, just play the 'game', then flash the cart with the flasher.
I confirm you're right : if a modchip is installed, then just booting the flasher utility straight from Action Replay menu is enough to flash the cartridge.
Tutorials here and there on internet indicate to use disc swap method, but that's required only in the case Saturn copy protection is enabled.
 

megatron-uk

New Member
Well I received my SST29EE010 chips and sockets yesterday and spent a few hours desoldering the original chips and fitting the new ones.

Two issues:

1. These were absolutely horrible to remove...
img_1404.jpg

2. I've almost certainly got a couple of broken traces or vias on the board now...
img_1402.jpg

The PLCC to DIP carriers were truly awful to remove; I tried both typical desolder-braid to remove the surface/visible solder and a recently bought desolder gun (one of the common 'Duratool' branded ones). The desolder gun worked reasonably well, but the carriers left a load of wire fragments in the through holes, which neither the desolder braid or gun could remove (they weren't just surface soldered, but had a single tiny little wire on each solder pad going through to the other side. With no other choice, I had to get out a miniature drill bit (0.65mm) and drill the rubbish out.

I have almost certainly lost connectivity on a couple of through holes as I just cannot get the new EEPROMs to be recognised.

The long and the short of it: I consider myself reasonably competent for through-hole soldering, but I'm counting this as a lost cause. I've just bought another AR 4M+ Comms cart instead and will see if that will flash any better than mine.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
That's regrettable about your cartridge, but please keep it preciously in the case you need replacement parts for your second cartridge : as you already may know, contents of the GAL chip are not reverse-engineered, and Saturn-compatible DRAM chips are quite a rarity nowadays.
I hope the last setup step of your Action Replay cartridge will go well. In advance, I wish you happy playing !

PS : as you indicated of using USB Data Link, future version of Pseudo Saturn Kai will have comms link support added back (I initially wanted to remove this feature to save space in ROM), so please let me know if you want to test it :)
 

megatron-uk

New Member
The replacement AR 4M+ (with comms!) arrived in the post today - took a couple of attempts to get the positioning right (still had the flickering bytes in a couple of positions, but after 3 or 4 wiggles got it to be rock solid).

It reported as an Atmel 29EE010 and erased, flashed and verified perfectly the first time.

I'll test the memory expansion part of my old cart at some point, but this new one appears to work perfectly. I can only assume that my initial flashing issues stem from either the quality of the PCB (it is quite literally atrocious), or a failing EPROM. Happily I now have a working solution and get start dropping my games onto the SD card again using my replacement menu builder tool.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
Thank you for the feedback, and I wish you happy playing :)

At some moment, Action Replay hard their PCB being reworked to cut some costs, and this caused expansion RAM problems, so let's hope everything is fine regarding it.
IIRC, the moment expansion RAM had issue happened when comms port was physically removed from PCB, so your cart with comms port shall be fine.


Extra details for people eventually having such kind of problem : it concerns "SA19-5" PCB revision : cartou53.jpg - Click to see more photos on ServImg
cartou53.jpg
(Photo credits : papybrossard82 on darius-saturn forums)
The usual method to test without having to open the cartridge is to start a fight between Terry Bogard et Kim Kaphman in first edition of Real Boot Fatal Fury. If Kim Kaphman is displayed correctly then expansion RAM shall not be concerned by this problem.
 

megatron-uk

New Member
Back with my results from testing - I'm getting some weird behaviour from various combinations of Pseudo Saturn Kai, Rmenu Kai and RMENU with my SD card structure and menu file.

I have 186 games on the SD card, in folders numbered 001 to 186. A single ISO (RMENU.ISO) is in ./001/ as expected. It has a LIST.INI file built from the directories on the card and either the 0.BIN from RMENU or Rmenu Kai (tried both).

I find the following:

(AR cart inserted, with Pseudo Saturn Kai)
  1. With the RMENU provided 0.bin, it boots to a "Cannot authenticate to optical drive or ODE" screen from Pseudo Saturn Kai on the cart
  2. With the Rmenu Kai provided 0.bin, it boots to a "Cannot authenticate to optical drive or ODE" screen from Pseudo Saturn Kai on the cart
With the AR cart removed it always boots to the CD Player screen with "No disc".

The bizarre behaviour is if I rename the ./001/ directory to ./01/ and do nothing else:
  1. With the RMENU provided 0.bin, it boots to an error message from RMENU "cannot find menu file"
  2. With Rmenu Kai provided 0.bin, Rmenu Kai loads and shows the games from the menu. None of them (well, I've been through the first dozen or so) all start to load and then cycle back to the menu before the game looks to start.
With the cart back in, it still complains about not being able to authenticate to the drive.

Now, I will state that the LIST.INI file is being written by my replacement for RMENU.EXE, so I could well be doing something spectacularly wrong, but the fact that I get the message about not being able to load the menu file (even if it is wrong/pointing to wrong files or has errors in), or even boot RMENU.ISO from ./001/ seems to be something more fundamental.

Any ideas?
 

Attachments

megatron-uk

New Member
Here's the three different outputs from RMENU, Rmenu Kai and Pseudo Saturn if I have RMENU.ISO in ./01/

img_1446.jpgimg_1447.jpgimg_1444.jpg
RMENU and Rmenu Kai are without the cart in. None of the games I've tested so far from direct booting of Rmenu Kai load, so it's booting itself (same as RMENU), and loading LIST.INI from the CD filesystem (though RMENU doesnt appear to be able to do so), but none of the menu entries appear to boot.
 

megatron-uk

New Member
Argh! It was the flippin' numbering! 01-99, 100-999. Damn it!

Everything seems to be working fine now, with LIST.INI and the directory numbers now matching the 2-digit and 3-digit scheme.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
Congratulations for fixing the problem by yourself :)
Rhea and Phoebe are a bit picky regarding folder naming rules, but after complying with that, they shall work like a charm.
 
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