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Messages - Galron

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1
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 27, 2020, 03:39 AM »
I have a few questions about the Mega CD core.

1) Will bin+iso+wav and bin+iso+mp3 dumps work, or does it have to be a single bin+cue?
2) What is the naming convention for multi-disc games?

Pretty sure nothing can handle MP3 out there... Everything has to be wav based.

2
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 26, 2020, 07:26 PM »
On a side note, I asked about why they also include MD+, if Mode1 was 'good enough'...

They pointed out obviously their cart supports Mode1 standard, too (if people want to use it, obviously its needed to run Sega CD games in general), but MD+ is easier to develop for.... There wasn't alot of work out there on creating Mode1 game patches... While there is alot of MD+ patches out there.

3
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 26, 2020, 07:15 PM »
TerraOnion, says none of that was ever an issue with their cart, they made sure the power draw conversion was right from the get go.
It's still not about power draw, it's about logic level translation for the communication lines.
Even shitty Chinese pirate carts (hopefully) at least uses 3V voltage regulators to supply the 3V parts with, or else they would probably break down after some use.

My point is I showed them your posts, and they said it has none of those problems. TerraOnion are not using shitty  'chinese parts'... THey didn't say 'draw power'....



Quote
Some people are bringing up this feature on the 'pro'. Is this an issue on the MegaSD?

level translation for all lines


    A few years ago, some older Everdrives were criticized for having insufficient voltage translation between 3V and 5V parts (although the situation was probably not as bad as it was first given the impression of). The Mega Everdrive X7 is the last Everdrive still in production that seemingly doesn't have sufficient level translation for all control, data and address lines (the X5 and X3 do though). From pictures it looks like the Pro has this though, so the criticism will probably be history with the release of the Mega Everdrive Pro.

    it's about translation of logic levels (voltage) between parts. The SD card for example is a 3.3V part and is not tolerant to 5V which the MD is using, and the FPGA might also work on 3.3V only. So it's necessary to convert the communication between the 3.3V and 5V parts so that each part works with its expected logic level. Many pirate and bootleg carts from China (but not any official Everdrives) are skipping this part entirely and doesn't even have resistors to limit the the current, which means they are potentially dangerous to the hardware (although this varies a bit between different types of hardware). I have no idea if Terraonion's stuff are correctly built or not though.
    Soon someone might post a reassuring video from BennVenn (who is in the Flashcart business for the Game Boy) where he "proves" that all pirate carts are totally safe, but I'm quite sure that that statement simply is not the truth. This is a hot and infected topic with lots of business interests and probably personal feelings involved.


Quote
Todd
    Admin
 
Re: MegaSD vs Everdrive MD Pro....

22 Jun 2020, 19:51
No.

All of our devices since day one were engineered correctly.

4
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 25, 2020, 03:50 AM »
Although I don't know the details, I also think a MSU-1 variant for the MD is a strange invention when it already has CD hardware. If it really reduces the size of the patches and has more features it might be defensible though.


So I'm gonna assume this  probably isn't an issue for Terraonion, and Pro as far as things go. According to them they were very careful to keep the voltages within the margins of safety. It draws less then the Virtua Racing cart.
No it's not just about power draw, it's about translation of logic levels (voltage) between parts. The SD card for example is a 3.3V part and is not tolerant to 5V which the MD is using, and the FPGA might also work on 3.3V only. So it's necessary to convert the communication between the 3.3V and 5V parts so that each part works with its expected logic level. Many pirate and bootleg carts from China (but not any official Everdrives) are skipping this part entirely and doesn't even have resistors to limit the the current, which means they are potentially dangerous to the hardware (although this varies a bit between different types of hardware). I have no idea if Terraonion's stuff are correctly built or not though.
Soon someone might post a reassuring video from BennVenn (who is in the Flashcart business for the Game Boy) where he "proves" that all pirate carts are totally safe, but I'm quite sure that that statement simply is not the truth. This is a hot and infected topic with lots of business interests and probably personal feelings involved.

TerraOnion, says none of that was ever an issue with their cart, they made sure the power draw conversion was right from the get go.

5
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 23, 2020, 02:54 AM »
TerraOnion are saying that SMS menu, and save states are something that will be added in a future firmware update.

6
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 17, 2020, 04:19 AM »
Will you be using a system compatible with MD+ (CD Audo + patche cartridge games) as there are already many games out there using it? It woudl save alot of trouble if things were standardized.

Mega-ED supports MCD mode1 (regular cartridge game + mega-cd hardware) Not sure why TO did made another standard at all (MD+) , their statement was like "because md+ easy to use compared to mega-cd" In my option would be better to release mcd driver which make MCD using as simple as MD+ but this all still be compatible with original cd addons and existing emulators. As you say it would save lot of trouble if things were standardized, so another copy of MCD Mode1 have no sense

WHy not compatiblity for both?

7
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:58 PM »
Will you be using a system compatible with MD+ (CD Audo + patche cartridge games) as there are already many games out there using it? It woudl save alot of trouble if things were standardized.

8
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:56 PM »
I have made a hardware ( https://www.neto-games.com.br/hardware/sonic_delta_40Mb_hardware.php ) based on Sega Doc and it works. But if I can get it working in Everdrive is a great addition to, because is more easy writing to SD, than burning EPROMS when tests in real hardware is needed.

Hmm, interesting, didn't seen it before. Seems sega did never used both bank switching hardware and sram remap to upper area at same time, only one of two features been used in commercial games as far as i know. As example Beyond Oasis used only sram remap feature or Super Street Fighter used only rom banking feature. As for EverDrive i tried your hack while ago and it didn't worked because game wasn't recognized as SSF mapper, you should put "SEGA SSF" in rom header instead of SEGA MEGADRIVE. After this fix i can ran the game but without saves due the lack of eeprof in ssf mapper. I wonder if you can detect everdrive ssf mapper and use sram instead of eeprom for saves? It would provide compatibility for older carts like edmd or x5/x3 where is no way to implement eeprom extension.

Quote
RTC for save states logging

What is this exactly? How does it work, how is it an improvement?

It helps manage your save files. Using timestamp you can easily found most recent one for example. Save file timestamp shown right in in-game menu


Cool that timestamp thing is pretty cool idea.

I really haven't had a problem telling which save states are which on the MegaAD and there are only 8 of them, and I generally only use 1 or 2 of them at at ime anyways. But date system is cool...

Plus I assume if indie developer wanted to have  a game that used RTC, that woudl be available too?

9
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:53 PM »
Also another difference between how Terraonion and Krikkz does things, is that apparently MegaSD saves instantly and doesn't need a battery.  It just checks for a save and directly sends it to the microSD card and converts it.. I tmight not be 'constant' check to see if the saves exist, but might as well be... The situation though ends up with saves going to the microSD the moment you save, rather than it saving after you change to a different game. If I udnerstand things correctly.


10
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:38 PM »

Compatiablity on the MegaSD, I've tried most games on it. Particularly some problem ones (that don't work to well with consoles, emulators, and the like) with unlicensed game, some strange mappers/copyright protections such as Beggar Prince. THese all work just fine.
There is still some work to get some of the Mega/Sega CD games to work, or improve on them as some have some bugs IIRC, dound cuts out, or other graphical issues.

Is there any particular games which you can remember? I'd like to look closer on them using mega-ed.

As far as i can see most of modern MCD cores/emulators uses simplified Mega-CD implementation. During MCD research i did made small test tool for check real hardware behaviours, because sega docs isn't detailed enough for building accurate core. If you ran this tool on Mega-SD or with emulators you will see that almost all tests fails. Checking how it really works probably taked largest part of project time.

Link to the cd test tool for anyone who want to check it: https://github.com/krikzz/MEGA-PRO/tree/master/mcd-verificator

Do not forget to backup your saves before than run it.

Oh ya there is currently an issue with games with large size save files apparently on some systems. But that is something they are promising to fix in a later firmware update.... Shing FOrce CD is apparenlty one of these.


Thanks again for the reply. I am using regular SRAM ( which is more easy to handle at code ) not EEPROM. For test, If I cut some levels to down game size to up to 32Mb, I get the Everdrive working with SRAM. About SSF header this was done in older revisions of the Hack, but some emulators remaps banks 0 when I try to access SRAM.  Some emulators (Blastem to be more precise) devs only added support to this ROM hack, after I have assigned a custom serial number to game and removed the SSF header, and GPGX fails to run if SSF header is found.

I can force SSF mapper for your game, but carts with one time programmable fpga like x5 and x3 still not be able to support sram in way how you using it. May be you could include simple check to detect what type of mapper used and then use supported banck switching model?

Most of the fighting team games have copy protection on them. Some of the Piko stuff has copy protection on it too...

There are supposedly packs that Fighting Team sold that removed the copy protection issue. ANd some hackers have remove copy proteciton from some of the games (Fighting Team and Piko)..

Alternatively there are possibly stuff from the stoneagegamer that has the copy protection already removed, but I haven't tested those in emulators to check for sure.

Obviously there was also Pier Solar which had its own issues, but you have shown you have included that in your compatiblity.

Generally speaking there is no issues with any piko roms buyable thorugh Steam.

As for the CD games one of the fighting games I can't remember which has issues... ANd I think Shadowrun CD is said ot have issues... Of course some of this might have to do with MegaSG issues as well, but I don't have actual sega original hardware to test on. But I think there is a list of issues up on the internet somewhere, possibly through the terra onion forums.

Quote
A few years ago, some older Everdrives were criticized for having insufficient voltage translation between 3V and 5V parts (although the situation was probably not as bad as it was first given the impression of). The Mega Everdrive X7 is the last Everdrive still in production that seemingly doesn't have sufficient level translation for all control, data and address lines (the X5 and X3 do though). From pictures it looks like the Pro has this though, so the criticism will probably be history with the release of the Mega Everdrive Pro.

So I'm gonna assume this  probably isn't an issue for Terraonion, and Pro as far as things go. According to them they were very careful to keep the voltages within the margins of safety. It draws less then the Virtua Racing cart.


11
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 04:27 PM »
I know what a RTC is I was wondering how that helps with save logging...

Is it able to fix the sound issues, where sound cuts or glitched up after a reload of a save state on hardware (because under normal circumstances there is no way to save sound system directly)? Cause that would be rather impressive...

Quote
Me too, currently the only thing that stops me is that it seems to have problems with Japanese SMS and Mark III and will not work at all on SG-1000/SC-3000 (from what I can tell by googling). That and that there is no 44-pin version of it.

I forgot to mention one of the reasons I've wanted it was because I wanted to be able to do save states on SMS games. I'm also curious how the simulated YM chip on it sounds, as I use MegaSD, and hopefully its compatible with it.... With regular SMS you'd have to do some tweaking to the system, and add in the YM2413 FM sound module?

However, I've also read that the save states feature might not work too well on a MegaSG...

Quote
And it has level translation for all lines

What does this feature mean?

12
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 08:06 AM »
Quote
RTC for save states logging

What is this exactly? How does it work, how is it an improvement?

13
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:48 AM »
Krikzz was asked to compare his with the MegaSD and replied....

https://mobile.twitter.com/krikzz/status/1270858930239963141

Quote
If you want some unbiased conclusion then wait for reviews, if you interesting in my own point then next features at least: much faster loading, save states for sms, nes core, better price, DRM free updates, regular size, RTC for save states logging, USB for devs

I will admit the SMS save states are cool, though I get that on the Master ED X7.  There's still PLENTY of SegaCD or SMD specific questions to answer though on this.  Cart shell size means nothing to me, though I kinda like the SVP sized MegaSD shell. 

Takeaways from the video, well unlike most, I couldn't give one iota about NES emulation.  I mean come on, seriously?  It's a SEGA console, and who here doesn't have an NES?  Also, the menu, come on Krikzz!  Why are you using the same atrocious text-based menu in this thing?  Granted the MegaSD's can leave a lot to be desired but at least it's not just text.  Lower price is probably the biggest appeal to this.

Ya as an owner of Mega SD already, I've thought about just buying a Master ED X7 specifically for SMS games... and save states.

14
Mega EverDrive / Re: Mega ED Pro
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:46 AM »
Yes, the Everdrives have always been quite affordable compared to other quality flashcarts. I kind of agree with you on the NES, but I'm also not complaining. If it got a powerful FPGA it might as well be used for other things than the Mega CD.
I also prefer the black Mega Everdrive universal cartridge.

If the Pro will have everything the X7 has, it seems a much better deal than Mega SD. But I'm not sure about the compatibility for the X7. Anyone that knows what games aren't supported for it besides Virtua Racing?

Mega SD
Price: €232 (expensive and usually out of stock)
Region free: Yes (MD, Mega CD and games, electrically and physically)
Cartridge compatibility: Supports all mappers and save types for MD, 32X and SMS (so 100% compatibility, not sure I believe that)
Mega CD compatibility: (doesn't say)
ROM memory size: (doesn't say)
RAM memory size: (doesn't say)
Save states: 8 slots, MD cartridge games only
Cheats: MD cartridge games only
In-game-menu: MD cartridge and CD games
Other features: Mega CD RAM cart (per game), SMS FM Unit, MD+ support (MSU-1-like thing for MD)
Other note: Updating is a hassle and tied to the serial number of each cartridge.

Assuming the Pro is like X7:

Mega Everdrive Pro
Price: $199 (expensive for an Everdrive)
Region free: Yes (MD, Mega CD and games, electrically and physically)
Cartridge compatibility: SRAM and EEPROM saving and at least some mappers supported
Mega CD compatibility: (still unclear)
ROM memory size: up to 16MB
RAM memory size: up to 256kB
Save states: MD cartridge and SMS games (not sure about CD games)
Cheats: (not sure of details)
In-game-menu: MD cartridge, SMS cartridge and Mega CD games
Other features: Mega CD RAM cart (per game), SMS FM Unit, USB port, RTC, hassle-free updates, FPGA NES clone, SMS pause button, "Mega Key", supposedly "much faster loading" than Mega SD


Compatiablity on the MegaSD, I've tried most games on it. Particularly some problem ones (that don't work to well with consoles, emulators, and the like) with unlicensed game, some strange mappers/copyright protections such as Beggar Prince. THese all work just fine.

There is still some work to get some of the Mega/Sega CD games to work, or improve on them as some have some bugs IIRC, dound cuts out, or other graphical issues.

I use a Mega SG so I can't guerentee how things will work on original hardware or not.. But i've heard some problems I've encountered were most likely to thee Mega SG, and indeed many of those got fixed with later firmware.

I haven't hit any problem with any SMS game as far as I know...

15
EverDrive GBA / Re: Everdrive upgrade program?
« on: June 16, 2020, 03:19 AM »
Is this really an 'upgrade' though... more of a sidegrade... It's just the same features in a miniture case...

Whereas going form SD2SNES up to the SD2SNES Pro/FXPak Pro was a major jump.
AFAIK the FXPAK PRO doesn't currently have any additional features over the original SD2SNES, so its not really what I would consider a 'major jump'. Sure the hardware is improved and could theoretically support things like the Super Game Boy in future, but those extra features could be a long way off (Remember how many years it took for the SD2SNES to gain Super FX and SA-1 support) Based on the current features, the SD2SNES -> FX PAK PRO is more of what I would consider to be a sidegrade.

IMO flash carts that actually are major upgrades are things like:-
EverDrive GB -> EverDrive GB X7
EverDrive N8 -> EverDrive N8 PRO
Mega EverDrive X7 -> Mega EverDrive PRO.

Sidegrades are things like:-
Super EverDrive v2 -> Super EverDrive X5
EverDrive 64 v3 -> EverDrive 64 X7
EverDrive GBA X5 -> EverDrive GBA X5 Mini

Sure the newer carts are likely to receive support for much longer and could receive new features in future, so if you are buying your first flash cart you may as well buy the new versions. However if you already own one of these carts and are trying to decide if you should 'upgrade', then you can only really compare them based purely on the current feature set of each cart.

My point is from a hardware standpoint SD2SNES/FXPRO is a more powerful chipset, for room for improvement... If it isn't there yet, its just because it hasn't been made yet, but the room to upgrade is there... Stone Age did a trade in for SD2SNES to SD2SNES Pro/FX2, because the cost difference, and the future upgradeablity. THey continued to sell the older model as well at reduced price for anyone who didn't care to upgrade.

My point was that GBA X5 and GBA X5 mini are essentially the same hardware, just form factor changed a little. There is unlikely to be any 'major upgrades' in the future. Hence me calling it a 'sidegrade'.... Theoretically there is possiblity of an x7... but that would be the ony 'upgrade'...

As for Everdrive GB, its closest direct evolution was Everdrive GB X5 which was noticably faster/better memory, but didn't add any new features.... or the potential for new features.

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