Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

Hello, I'm new here.
I wanted to buy a Saturn Gamer's Cartridge, but they are not on sale! The main purpose is to play from an SD card without burning discs.
I've used Action Replay with PSKai firmware before, so I'm a little familiar with it.
Then I found the SD MemCart project on the website(cafe-alpha様、thank you so much for what you do) and thought - why not try to build it myself? I know how to solder a little, but I don't know how to make PCBs. Can someone tell me which company makes prototypes and delivers to Japan? What parameters should I specify for the board? What kind of file should I export from KiCAD?

Sorry for my English, it's not my native language.
 

Ponut

Gear Supporter
The main purpose is to play from an SD card without burning discs.

Commercial games will not work this way from the cartridge slot. You would want an optical drive emulator (ODE).
I am not sure if you understood that or not. Just checking the language barrier.
 
Commercial games will not work this way from the cartridge slot. You would want an optical drive emulator (ODE).

Thanks for the reply. I know about ODE, but I would like not to hardmode the console.
Maybe I really don't understand something, but the website says:
Gamer's Cartridge main features :

- Play import games (*1).
- Play CD-R backup copy of your games. (*2)
- Memory cartridge on SD card. (*2)
- Dump Saturn internal backup memory to SD card.
- Play small homebrew programs from SD card.

(*1) Bypass game region protection, so some games optimized for NTSC may not work well on PAL systems, and vice-versa.
(*2) Direct (in-game) save access, with relatively good game compatibility. Please check Pseudo Saturn Kai compatibility list for details.

So, I can not run images of games from the SD card using this cartridge?

**reread it again**
I think I got it. I can't run game images from a cartridge, I can only run copies of games from recorded discs.
Excuse me for my stupidity.
 
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Ponut

Gear Supporter
Thanks for the reply. I know about ODE, but I would like not to hardmode the console.
Maybe I really don't understand something, but the website says:


So, I can not run images of games from the SD card using this cartridge?

**reread it again**
I think I got it. I can't run game images from a cartridge, I can only run copies of games from recorded discs.
Excuse me for my stupidity.
It's okay, second-languages can be very challenging.

If you do not want to hardware-modify the console, the Satiator is for you. It is an ODE that simply plugs in the rear accessory port.
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
Thanks for the reply. I know about ODE, but I would like not to hardmode the console.
Maybe I really don't understand something, but the website says:


So, I can not run images of games from the SD card using this cartridge?

**reread it again**
I think I got it. I can't run game images from a cartridge, I can only run copies of games from recorded discs.
Excuse me for my stupidity.

Thank you for the feedback. I updated my homepage with a warning that it's not an ODE, and added links to several places where to buy ODEs.
 
I re-burnt Die Hard Trilogy still hangs locks up after first screen ={ Japanese one the same

Is this title one I should source Darkwater for, but now I can't see em
 
I re-burnt Die Hard Trilogy still hangs locks up after first screen ={ Japanese one the same
Die Hard Trilogy is a problematic game that refuses to work with some cartridges, regardless of what firmware is installed (e.g. Action Replay stock firmware, Pseudo Saturn Kai).

Is this title one I should source Darkwater for, but now I can't see em
That won't fix the issue, see above.
 
I had a problem with the Action Replay 4M Plus. The 4M expansion didn't work.
Because of this problem I converted it to PSKAI. "pskai_release_20210315" (despite not properly recognizing the firmware.)
Then Flashed it back to Action Replay 4M Plus and yup still broken....
There is much talk about the cart in this thread and I couldn't find the fix here but I did find it on another page so I will share it.
Apparently many of them were made wrong and this single wire hardware mod fixed the problem.
The cart now works as it should as a 4M device.
 
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cafe-alpha

Established Member
I had a problem with the Action Replay 4M Plus. The 4M expansion didn't work.
Because of this problem I converted it to PSKAI. "pskai_release_20210315" (despite not properly recognizing the firmware.)
Then Flashed it back to Action Replay 4M Plus and yup still broken....
There is much talk about the cart in this thread and I couldn't find the fix here but I did find it on another page so I will share it.
Apparently many of them were made wrong and this single wire hardware mod fixed the problem.
The cart now works as it should as a 4M device.

Thank you for the information ! I didn't know that the details of this mod were still available on internet ... until now I was giving links to archive.org ^^;
I added your post to Pseudo Saturn Kai help index so that users with similar problem shall find troubleshooting easily in the future.
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
Good news : Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.437 was released yesterday !

Here are some links about this release :
- On reddit : - On non-dev section of the forum : Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.437 released
- On patreon : https://www.patreon.com/posts/pseudo-saturn-04-50628738

Main feature of this release is the addition of access to Fenrir in Save Data Manager. This means that it's now possible to copy save records between Fenrir SD card and the backup memory device of your choice.
Also, it features a "Save Repack utility" that allows to inject save data files into Save Data Manager utility, and consequently removes the need of any hardware mod to import saves from emulator or dowloaded here and there from internet.

Next goal for Pseudo Saturn Kai is to add support for Satiator ODE. To achieve this, contribution on patreon would be appreciated.
 
Bug report: the game "Tenchi o Kurau II - Sekiheki no Tatakai" running on my Fenrir ODE (20-pin version, 4/23/2021 firmware) using Fenrir Loader Kai (v6.437) on my North American VA1 Saturn Model 1, the game completely fails to play redbook audio (instead silence is heard). When launching the same game through the Fenrir's native interface either via the BIOS or the fast load option, the music plays properly.

Fenrir Loader support is really cool, I've been appreciating it a lot. :)
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
If the problem can be reproduced by @privateye (a.k.a. Pseudo Saturn Kai Beta Testing Task Force :) ) let's see what can be done to fix it.

BTW, because of the support for 21 pins model of Fenrir, it's very likely that game loading sequence in Pseudo Saturn Kai will change a bit in next release, so maybe the problem will naturally fix at that moment.

Fenrir Loader support is really cool, I've been appreciating it a lot. :)

Thank you ! As main goal of Pseudo Saturn Kai is to make more and more people enjoying to play on Saturn, kind messages like yours are appreciated :)
 
Redbook audio plays fine for me in "Tenchi o Kurau II" with both CWX and JHL loaders. Here's my setup:
  • Fenrir ODE (20-pin, firmware 2021/04/23)
  • NTSC-J Saturn (Model 1, VA0.5)
  • Fenrir Loader Kai v6.437
  • SD card formatted to exFAT using SD Memory Card Formatter
  • Redump image for "Tenchi o Kurau II"
If you're not already using it, I suggest trying the Redump image for this game. The fact that it works for you in the vanilla loader but not Fenrir Loader Kai may suggest that your existing image is fine, but it doesn't hurt to try. If possible, I also suggest trying a different SD card and formatting it with SD Memory Card Formatter: SD Memory Card Formatter | SD Association
 
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Redbook audio plays fine for me in "Tenchi o Kurau II" with both CWX and JHL loaders. Here's my setup:
  • Fenrir ODE (20-pin, firmware 2021/04/23)
  • NTSC-J Saturn (Model 1, VA0.5)
  • Fenrir Loader Kai v6.437
  • SD card formatted to exFAT using SD Memory Card Formatter
  • Redump image for "Tenchi o Kurau II"
If you're not already using it, I suggest trying the Redump image for this game. The fact that it works for you in the vanilla loader but not Fenrir Loader Kai may suggest that your existing image is fine, but it doesn't hurt to try. If possible, I also suggest trying a different SD card and formatting it with SD Memory Card Formatter: SD Memory Card Formatter | SD Association
My image is the Redump one, I'm using a FAT32 imaged card because I set it up prior to the Fenrir having support for exFAT. Early on (I had one of the earliest Fenrirs) I had issues with CD audio that other consoles weren't having that both needed specific firmware fixes for the VA1 boards, so I know there can be a difference there? Also my power supply was shot and needed heavy repairs (and was causing heavy noise on the CD drive cables, but that was unrelated to the other set of issues and is also fixed now (by replacing the power supply entirely).
 
Huh, just had another similar issue where "Soukyuu Gurentai - Otokuyou (Japan)" (Redump) fails to run entirely with the jhl hack failing and Pseudo Saturn Kai then crashing (there's a prompt to reboot or go to the Multiplayer, but hitting Reboot just crashed for me), and the same image runs fine from the default loader.

EDIT: Currently setting up an SD card with a new exFAT setup to match yours. All my cards are higher-speed SanDisks, for the record.
 
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Okay, so with an exFAT card setup it actually breaks Pseudo Saturn Kai more. The JHL Loader now fails to work entirely with more games including "Tenchi o Kurau II", and PSKai doesn't even boot entirely properly - it kicks you to the BIOS with no boot animation where you then have to hit the button to launch the disc before it runs. (CWX Loader works fully for "Tenchi o Kurau II", though.)

The official Fenrir loader is unaffected.

I'm going to uninstall PS Kai for the moment (until the next update) unless you need me to bug test some more specific stuff - this is breaking in too many wild and unpredictable ways on my Saturn at the moment. If it makes anyone feel any better, my Saturn is dubious and possibly cursed - I got it for the purpose of removing the CD drive for the Fenrir (sold as with a broken CD drive, no cables, no controllers, and scuffed up for a cheap deal) only to find out the CD drive wasn't broken, the previous owner had opened it up, unplugged the CD drive, and then plugged the flex cable in backwards, on top of the thing needing a full capacitor replacement and power supply replacement to work properly. Neither I nor the modder I hired to recap it have any idea why they opened it up, there's no mod chip installed or anything.
 
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I have a question about my Pseudo Saturn Kai, I bought a card with a memory card and RAM expansion selector.Can I change the selector with a game turned on? For example, a game needs 4MB of RAM, I turn on the console with the cartridge in 4MB mode and when I need to save the game in the game, can I change the selector?

Sorry if I'm asking any nonsense, today was my first day with Saturn, Satiator and Pseudo Saturn Kai. Too many new things at the same time. :afraid:
 
@gourdcaptain : You mentioned that you got one of the earliest Fenrirs; did it come with a new flex cable and, if so, are you using it? If I remember correctly, the earliest Fenrirs did not come with a flex cable and using the original one can cause problems. When I first installed my 20-pin Fenrir, I was using the original flex cable and would sometimes experience audio issues. Once I installed the new flex cable those issues went away, so I definitely recommend installing a new flex cable as another troubleshooting step (if you haven't already).

@SuperPad : In games requiring 1MB/4MB expansion RAM, it's only possible to save to internal memory. Therefore, changing the selector mid-game brings nothing special, and I wouldn't recommend doing that anyway (that's akin to hotswapping carts which the Saturn is not designed for).
 
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@gourdcaptain You mentioned that you got one of the earliest Fenrirs; did it come with a new flex cable and, if so, are you using it? If I remember correctly, the earliest Fenrirs did not come with a flex cable and using the original one can cause problems. When I first installed my 20-pin Fenrir, I was using the original flex cable and would sometimes experience audio issues. Once I installed the new flex cable those issues went away, so I definitely recommend installing a new flex cable as another troubleshooting step (if you haven't already).

@SuperPad In games requiring 1MB/4MB expansion RAM, it's only possible to save to internal memory. Therefore, changing the selector mid-game brings nothing special, and I wouldn't recommend doing that anyway.
It didn't come with a new flex cable, but I did buy one separately from the Digikey link provided by 8bitmods and install it as part of the troubleshooting in the "get the Fenrir to boot at all and start reliably" phase of the issues (which was fixed between that and a firmware update.)

It doesn't have audio issues at all after the mass recap and power supply replacement a modder did to it - currently it's got a SaturnPSU-I board installed (a DC barrel jack power supply setup, used due to the issues with sourcing a compatible good official nternal power supply for any price less than the console is worth, especially this one) and a Triad power supply powering it.
 
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