Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

Nintendo1983

New Member
Hello I'm new here and I'm having trouble flashing my action replay 1.94 with pseudo Saturn Kai. I have a model 2 Sega Saturn and can successfully boot the pseudo Saturn disc with the swap technique. I choose the pseudo Saturn Kai lite option and when it asks me to push abc to flash I do. After that it says it's erasing. But that's it, it gets stuck on the erasing bit eventually after about 5mins the disc stops spinning. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

privateye

New Member
Hello I'm new here and I'm having trouble flashing my action replay 1.94 with pseudo Saturn Kai. I have a model 2 Sega Saturn and can successfully boot the pseudo Saturn disc with the swap technique. I choose the pseudo Saturn Kai lite option and when it asks me to push abc to flash I do. After that it says it's erasing. But that's it, it gets stuck on the erasing bit eventually after about 5mins the disc stops spinning. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Are you using the firmware flasher that is integrated into the Save Data Manager? If so, please burn pskai_alternate_flasher.iso and give the standalone flasher a try. This can be found in the 7zip archive for Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.324.
 

Nintendo1983

New Member
Are you using the firmware flasher that is integrated into the Save Data Manager? If so, please burn pskai_alternate_flasher.iso and give the standalone flasher a try. This can be found in the 7zip archive for Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.324.
I have tried the stand alone flasher as well. The same problem seems to come up. My action replay is quite old so I don't know if that maybe a problem. I forgot to mention that I have a pal Sega Saturn I don't know if that makes a difference. Thank you for your reply.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
If alternate flasher doesn't works too, then I'm lacking of solutions for your problem, sorry.

But by the past I heard about cartridges with "AM29F010" chips (instead of usual SST29EE010 chips) could not be flashed correctly, so if your cartridge is using theses chips it may be concerned by this problem.
To check that, it is required to open the cartridge and to verify what's written on flash ROM chips. Flash ROM chips are usually placed on right side of the PCB.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
By the past, I could get pictures of the PCB of this kind of "ominous" ( :) ) cartridge and verify that its flash ROM size can't be larger than 32KB because A-Bus pins A15, A16 and A17 are not connected to anything on cartridge.
As a consequence, Pseudo Saturn Kai (which requires a 256KB cartridge boot ROM) can't fit on such cartridge. (BTW, this is the same situation with "Saturn Universal Game Adaptor" cartridge)

Additionally, I suspect this cartridge to use non-rewritable flash ROM chips, hence not allowing to upgrade firmware to something else.

PS : your trinitron TV is cool ! You're lucky to own one still functioning !
 

cafe-alpha

Member
It's not directly related to Pseudo Saturn Kai itself, but I had an inquiry about how to do when even after buying a couple of cartridges it's still not possible to play games requiring expansion RAM.
TL/DR : in that case (and especially when the cartridge is advertised as supporting 1M/4M expansion RAM), please claim for a replacement or a refund to the person who sold the cartridge.


Inquiry was about being able to play a couple of fighting games, and the user was honest enough to buy these games rather than downloading them.
To play import games requiring expansion RAM, the best solution is to use an Action Replay cartridge, or some equivalent.
The user bought an Action Replay cartridge, which didn't worked for both games, so he gave another try by purchasing a red Pseudo Saturn cartridge.
That second cartridge could play the first game, but second one was unplayable because of missing or glitching graphics.


Here is my reply, which indicates why expansion RAM support is a common problem, and why it is important to claim when a cartridge is defective.


Action Replay (and all their clones) cartridges are using technology contemporary to Saturn : choice of flash ROM, SDRAM and logic array chips didn't changed for more than twenty years.
As a these kind of chips are no longer produced, even if cartridges are sold as "new", their internals are made of counterfeit and/or second hand chips hence with questionable quality.

Additionally, cartridge cloners have the bad habit to sometimes reduce manufacturing costs by using chips from cheaper suppliers, or to try to gather several chips in a single one. Such kind of "cost-optimized" cartridges work fine in normal case but usually show problems for very specific games, and those requiring expansion RAM are the most sensitive to that.
As an example, one hardware revision of Action Replay developed around the beginning of 2010's uses one CPLD instead of two HCT157 gates and one PAL chip ... and doesn't works with some games requiring expansion RAM.


Long story short, if you bought these cartridges advertised as supporting expansion RAM, then please claim for a replacement cartridge or a refund to the sellers of these cartridges.

If I were you, I would claim a replacement of the Action Replay cartridge because it doesn't works at all, and also because Action Replay carts are usually (but not always) more reliable than red Pseudo Saturn cartridge regarding expansion RAM support.
After that, if the Action Replay cartridge works correctly then please ask a refund for your red Pseudo Saturn cartridge so that a part of your money can return back to you.
(It's important to claim to the manufacturer when the product is not as expected because without this kind of feedback, manufacturers would keep lowering the quality of their products)

I hope this helps. For being a Saturn enthusiast too, it's a pity to see these cartridge cloners not being able to do their jobs correctly even after more than twenty years.

Edit : receiving such kind of question is not uncommon, but it was the first time to read something like "I bought two carts, I still can't play and I can't afford another one. What should I do ?".
Hardware cloners trying to cut corners to make more and more profits is not a new thing, but it hurts to hear retro-gaming fans having a poor gaming experience because of cheap quality hardware sold expensively. So that I posted this message.
Once again, please claim when the hardware is defective; if you don't claim, quality will go worse by worse.
 
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