Author Topic: Please consider an accessory to plug ED64 into the N64DD Connector  (Read 3900 times)

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Offline fraser

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I'll start by saying thanks for the N64DD support!

I would really like to play with the N64DD games that have accessory hardware such as the capture cartridge and the modem. I'm wondering if an adapter to plug the Everdrive 64 into the bottom of the console could be made as simply as the NES to Famicom adapter from what I know it's almost straight through.  If anybody can confirm it would work and Krikzz doesn't want to make/support it, I know my way around Eagle pretty well so I may give it a try.

I know the modem has little value for most people, but on my list of N64 purchases is a Keyboard so I can sniff and analyze the protocol that goes over the wire (see weblink in profile). The modem w/Randnet DD cartridge are the only combination that I know of that supports the keyboard.

Does the modem have a ROM? Can it be merged with the Randnet Cart? I'm assuming no, but if somebody knows that would be helpful.

Thanks for considering my idea.

Offline saturnu

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the modem is pretty useless. 'cause it stopped working like any other modem beside the fax support on ip based telephone lines.
you would have to buy an old telephone system to get any use out of it. ^^

the capture card uses some analog signals on the cartridge connector, that you can grab at the bottom, too.

for the keyboard you don't have to "sniff on wires" you can just dump and compare the pif ram. i'm pretty sure it's working like a joypad or a mempak/transferpak/vru.

btw. the randnet disk has no cartridge conversion by now, so i don't know what you are going to do with the ed64 at the bottom and the modem on the top. ^^

Offline fraser

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Thanks for your feedback.
This is partly me having fun hacking and justifying my purchase of a Logic Analyzer by learning and documenting the Nintendo Joybus protocol. The N64 & Gamecube have so many cool accessories I decided I wanted to document them all so they could be implemented by myself or other electronic hobbyists.

I agree the modem itself is pretty useless, the only use I have for it, is to avoid any error messages in using the Randnet Disk. I've seen Youtube videos where the keyboard is used to type essentially nonsense into a textbox of the Randnet Disk, typing text into that box is all I'm going for. I don't have a physical phone line in my house so it was never going to get that far.

Yes the keyboard will be very similar to the mempak/transferpak/vru, the difference is that the official API documentation mentions and explains all of those devices in great detail. The keyboard is not mentioned.

You mention dumping the PIF RAM, I'm not clear if you are doing that in an emulator or on hardware? If it's hardware what are you using to dump the RAM? If it's an emulator is there any way it could be convinced it's talking to an N64 keyboard? Also I would still need a software combination to put something into the PIF RAM right?

My inclusion of the Capture card was for completeness and to suggest that the potential market would be larger than weirdos like me who want to play with the modem.

Your last point is correct and pretty much a deal breaker for me, also one I had overlooked. :(
For others reading this and aren't clear on what it means:
1. The N64 Cartridge and N64 Disk Drive are connected with the exact same pins.
2. The N64 Cartridge is accessed similar to internal memory, set an address then read.
3. The N64 DD is sent special instructions, I believe the API set is referred to as "Leon".
4. In order for an N64 DD game to work on the Everdrive, the ROM needs to be modified by replacing the "Leon" instructions with equivalent memory access commands.
While possible this would be time consuming and require skills that I don't currently have.

So to do what I want it looks like I'm going to have to buy an actual N64DD.
Thank you saturnu for clarifying this for me.

Off to play the N64 DD games that I can... :)

Offline saturnu

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hm the modem rom is at least dumped, so it might be possible to ddconvert the randnet disk and use mess to monitor the register writes by the cpu to the modem.

there are a few n64 to usb converters for pc emulators but they aren't transparent and just emulating hid devices with a microcontroller.
..beside one that can handle the mempak.

the keyboard communicates with the PIF, not with the game, so you should be able to do some Reverse Engineering on it without the randnet disk at all.
using libdragon to dump the PIF-RAM is a good idea.
https://github.com/DragonMinded/libdragon/blob/master/src/controller.c#L239

using a logic analyzer seems to be a bit inconvenient for your research projects. ^^

at the end you can try to modify a usb adapter source to use the n64 keyboard on the pc. :D
http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/gcn64_usb_adapter_gen3/index.php

Offline Cybertronic

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Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I happen to own a 64DD and all the hardware accessories: Keyboard, Mouse, Modem, Capture Card.

If you still need the PIF ram dumped let me know. I had actually planned on building a dial server in a virtual Machine running Windows 2000 Server.

My plan was to have the server pretend to be 03-3568-5050
Which is the number it dials. I would then analyze the traffic being sent and hopefully get the web browser and email working again just for kicks.

Btw.. You may find this information useful...

Console Protocols: Randnet Keyboard
https://sites.google.com/site/consoleprotocols/home/techinfo/nintendo-joy-bus-documentation/n64-specific/randnet-keyboard?authuser=0
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 10:27 PM by Cybertronic »