USB dev cart project

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cafe-alpha

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Anyone ready to test next release candidate ? Testers are welcome :)
Please PM me if you're ready for testing. Requirements are a couple of CD-R, some free time, and to follow my instructions.

(Note : that's a "release candidate" version, so not public until tested enough. Publishing pictures or videos from this version is OK, but please don't leak executable/flasher/etc files)


What's new in this version : basically, not a lot of major features (sorry !), but fix of a critical bug affecting Gamer's Cartridge, and addition of some "minor, but that I wanted to add someday" features.


Features for Gamer's Cartridge users :
Indirect Dump. Dump cartridge (boot cartridge, or official memory cartridge, or any other cartridge) by compressing data to dump to internal backup memory, and extracting it to SD card when Gamer's Cartridge is inserted. Because of small size of internal backup memory, it may be required to repeat the "insert memory cartridge -> Indirect Dump -> Turn off Saturn -> Insert Gamer's Cartridge -> Indirect Dump -> Turn off Saturn" cycle several times.
Requires some motivation and free time on user side (It took me 45 minutes in order to dump my good old very first official memory cartridge), but I didn't had to unsolder cartridge memory chips in order to dump it, which is the most important for me :)
Note : if you are the lucky owner of Saturn FDD, then floppy disc is used instead of internal backup memory, and dump is significantly faster.
One application of this feature was to dump ROMs from legacy cartridges : X-Terminator, Satellite, ST Key and "8MEG memory cartridge". Theses ROMs will be available for flashing (at your own risks) for curious people wanting to test theses cartridges.
Special thanks to A Murder Of Crows and AtariBorn who dumped their cartridges ... and reported many bugs from early versions of Indirect Dump feature ^^;

Save Data corruption bugfix. This corruption problem concerns saves on Saturn internal memory, with save data size making save sector allocation table finishing exactly at the end of a sector. Very few games are concerned, and the only example I could find so far is Albert Odyssey.
I found this problem when testing Indirect Dump, and didn't received any feedback from users about it, so let's hope it didn't corrupted saves elsewhere than here :)

Autodump. Automatically dump new saves from internal backup memory to SD card. With this feature, you won't have to say anymore "I lost all my saves because of that $%QTY@!#% CR2032 battery" :)

Virtual FDD. Simulate Saturn Floppy Disc Drive behavior, with save data stored on SD card. Worked fine with Dezaemon 2 (can now handle 10 saves at once : 5 saves from cartridge, and 5 other saves on FDD :banana: ), but didn't tested for other games supporting FDD, so any feedback is welcome.


Features for Action Replay and Gamer's Cartridge users :
Proper support of FDD in Save Data Manager. It supports now both two partitions of Saturn floppy discs for all common operations such as copy, move, delete, import, dump, etc.
Special thanks to Dezaemon DB for big assistance in beta testing :)

Soft Reset Patch. Change the "A+B+C+Start key combo" soft reset from "exit to multiplayer screen" to system reset. This idea is not from me, but from neuroacid (rmenu developer).

More saves to import from Save Data Manager. The most noticeable addition is saves from Urawaza Dataro cartridge, containing quality saves for Japanese games. Special thanks to @Madroms for dumping the cartridge :)

Other. Fixed many bugs. Added other bugs (the usual routine :D )



Before being asked "where are the cheat codes ?", please let me reply :)
Cheat codes support is still under development. Menu in order to select game and its cheat codes is 90% done, but the bit of code in order to apply codes is still TBD. I didn't touched this feature for around half a year mostly because of lack of free time, motivation, and being busy in developing other features. I plan to finish this for "next-next release" however.

There are many things scheduled for "next-next release" : I initially planned to release everything at once, but had to make this intermediary release in order to fix the save data corruption bug on Gamer's Cartridge.


PS : Special thanks to Stac for beta testing :3 All the features above wouldn't exist without his help !!!


Edit : oops, it seems I misunderstood this topic with the Pseudo Saturn Kai's one :D Please answer here for any question regarding USB dev cart.

Re-edit : Version 6.074 is available here. Except the soft reset patch feature, there are no new things for USB dev cart, so if you're happy with previous version such as 6.037 or old "blinking screen" firmware, you probably may prefer to keep your cartridge as-is :)
 
Last edited:

jae686

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Hi all,

Just posting that I've been working on a case for cafe-alpha's USB dev cart. This was specifically made for version 3.2 of the USB Dev Cart but it also works for revision 2f and probably other revisions. Here's some pictures:










I will be posting on thingiverse at some point.

Enjoys. ^_^
My cart could really use the case!
 

cafe-alpha

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My cart could really use the case!
Yes : this case was designed for rev 2f (your cartridge's PCB revision) and rev 3.3 PCBs.
Rather than getting only a case, please make some great game or application for Saturn so that I will reward you with a new cartridge + PCB + label ;)
 

cafe-alpha

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Wow, is that a Saturn 2017 Con announcement? :D
Absolutely not : I don't like deadlines (there are enough deadlines at work, so I don't need additional ones at hobby), and to wait for results from contest judges.
If you really want me to open a contest, no problem, but deadline will be set to "when it's done", there won't be any official judge nor development theme, and prizes will be distributed according to everyone's good mood :D
 

cafe-alpha

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Happy birthday USB dev cart ! The project became open source 5 years (+ one month) ago :)


I decided to stop manufacturing of USB dev cart, and my last two carts will be available on my homepage at the end of this month.

After that, the solutions to get USB connectivity with your Saturn are as described below :
- Assemble USB dev cart by yourself
URL : http://antime.kapsi.fi/sega/usbcart/usbcart.html or https://github.com/andersm/usbcart
- Use Action Replay cartridge and USB Data Link. Connectivity is available as USB or Bluetooth.
URL : http://www.gamingenterprisesinc.com/DataLink/
- Support Satisfier project, and request USB connectivity to be supported
URL : https://www.patreon.com/prof_abrasive


In addition, I stop development of SatLink (USB dev cart transfer tool for Windows platform), and consequently won't longer answer USB dev cart feature requests or inquiries regarding it.
- Latest executable and sources can be found here : http://ppcenter.webou.net/satcart/#download

The solutions to get new features on USB dev cart related software are as described below :
- Modify SatLink by yourself
- If you don't need windows GUI, make your own tool from from ftx sources
URL : http://antime.kapsi.fi/sega/usbcart/usbcart.html or https://github.com/andersm/usbcart
- Find somebody OK for being kickstarted or patreoned or gofunded whatever regarding development of such software.
 

plee1024

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Happy birthday USB dev cart ! The project became open source 5 years (+ one month) ago :)


I decided to stop manufacturing of USB dev cart, and my last two carts will be available on my homepage at the end of this month.

After that, the solutions to get USB connectivity with your Saturn are as described below :
- Assemble USB dev cart by yourself
URL : http://antime.kapsi.fi/sega/usbcart/usbcart.html or https://github.com/andersm/usbcart
- Use Action Replay cartridge and USB Data Link. Connectivity is available as USB or Bluetooth.
URL : http://www.gamingenterprisesinc.com/DataLink/
- Support Satisfier project, and request USB connectivity to be supported
URL : https://www.patreon.com/prof_abrasive


In addition, I stop development of SatLink (USB dev cart transfer tool for Windows platform), and consequently won't longer answer USB dev cart feature requests or inquiries regarding it.
- Latest executable and sources can be found here : http://ppcenter.webou.net/satcart/#download

The solutions to get new features on USB dev cart related software are as described below :
- Modify SatLink by yourself
- If you don't need windows GUI, make your own tool from from ftx sources
URL : http://antime.kapsi.fi/sega/usbcart/usbcart.html or https://github.com/andersm/usbcart
- Find somebody OK for being kickstarted or patreoned or gofunded whatever regarding development of such software.
Sorry to hear about the USB cart but the Satisfier does seem very interesting...
 

SaturnTeam

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*Satiator. I just wanted to clarify the name, since I'm a financial backer of the device. On that note, most news sites said that the creator cracked the cd "permissions"/"security check". That's not the case. However, the device is a great workaround to using the CD drive.
 

vbt

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*Satiator. I just wanted to clarify the name, since I'm a financial backer of the device. On that note, most news sites said that the creator cracked the cd "permissions"/"security check". That's not the case. However, the device is a great workaround to using the CD drive.
Satiator is on pause, let's hope to get some news soon maybe it deserves its own topic.
 

mrkotfw

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Is there any tips on getting the USB dev cart to have a high detection rate?

I reboot the Saturn constantly, and about every 10 or so hard reboots, I get sent to the CD player screen. I reposition the cartridge and keep cycling through until I get a connection. Then it happens again.

Any tips?
 

cafe-alpha

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Is there any tips on getting the USB dev cart to have a high detection rate?

I reboot the Saturn constantly, and about every 10 or so hard reboots, I get sent to the CD player screen. I reposition the cartridge and keep cycling through until I get a connection. Then it happens again.

Any tips?

Does it happens even without moving cartridge between two reboots ?!

I don't have super original tips for this problem : adjusting the cartridge position in its slot (= completely inserting it and lifting by around 0.5 mm) and then not touching it is an almighty solution. Cleaning the cartridge edge connector with a q-tip and alcohol may also help.
 

mrkotfw

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Does it happens even without moving cartridge between two reboots ?!

I don't have super original tips for this problem : adjusting the cartridge position in its slot (= completely inserting it and lifting by around 0.5 mm) and then not touching it is an almighty solution. Cleaning the cartridge edge connector with a q-tip and alcohol may also help.
Yes, it happens without touch the cartridge. I do exactly that where I lift it by a tiny bit.


I'll try cleaning the edge connector and report back. Thanks.
 

cafe-alpha

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Yes, it happens without touch the cartridge. I do exactly that where I lift it by a tiny bit.


I'll try cleaning the edge connector and report back. Thanks.
(bump)
Any news ? If this didn't improved after cleaning, would it be possible to try on another Saturn ? Because I would like to know which part (Saturn or cartridge) get degraded after repeated use.
 

mrkotfw

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(bump)
Any news ? If this didn't improved after cleaning, would it be possible to try on another Saturn ? Because I would like to know which part (Saturn or cartridge) get degraded after repeated use.
I cleaned with no rubbing alcohol, it and it happens less often now. I haven't tried it another Saturn yet.
 

cafe-alpha

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I cleaned with no rubbing alcohol, it and it happens less often now. I haven't tried it another Saturn yet.
Thank you for the feedback ! I'm relieved the situation is a bit better now.

I didn't had to challenge with alcohol and q-tip on my own dev cart, so it seems you are a very dedicated Saturn developer to use it so far :)
 

razor85

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How are you lovely people? I know cafe-alpha don't sell the USB dev cart's anymore (or do you?). I was wondering if you guys / gals could help get a PCB print (I have soldering experience, but never did a PCB) from antime files (there is a link to seeed studios but I have no idea on the parameters). Thanks!

Just started homebrew'ing with mrkotfw and I want to test stuff by myself instead of bothering him :)

EDIT: Oops, looks like I can just submit the mfg directory zipped as a Gerger file. Is that it? Do I need something else?
 

antime

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You still need to specify the board parameters, but the Seeed Fusion defaults are fine. You can check the parameters from there if you use another manufacturer.
 
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