Author Topic: FRAM or better N64 memory card.  (Read 8383 times)

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Offline lvl3

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FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« on: August 11, 2017, 11:31 AM »
Why has nobody made a better memory card for N64? I mean, I know the FRAM mod exists http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nintendo-N64-FRAM-Permanent-Save-Mod-Controller-Pak-Pack-Memory-Card-No-Battery/122619779248 But that's like $42 for a basic 32KB (as in 1/1000th of 32 Megabytes) memory card. They have memory cards with blocks in the thousands, why has noone FRAMed one of those... or better yet, how hard would it be to create a memory card that uses modern day storage, such as microSD. I mean, a single gigabyte is over 3,600,000 pages, and a gig microsd costs 4 bucks. I mean maybe it's rocket science hard... but it seems way less complicated than a Everdrive 64, and would prob sell for half the price.

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 04:20 PM »
The N64 seems to be hard coded to only support memory cards that have 32kb of storage space, made up of 123 pages and 16 save slots. I've not seen or heard of any memory cards that support more than this, and if it was possible, then surely some manufacturer would have made one.

There are larger capacity controller paks, of course, but these don't increase the number of pages or save slots as such, instead they have multiple banks, each one of which is made up of the usual 32kb/123 pages/16 save slots, so that for example a 128kb controller pak doesn't have 492 page and 64 save slots accessible all at once, instead it has a switch for you to select which bank to use. In effect this means that the controller pak is really four controller paks in one, each 'seperate' controller pak having the same storage capacity as a normal controller pak, which has the result that if the controller pak is nearly full, say:


Bank 1   119 pages used 4 pages free
Bank 2   122 pages used 1 pages free
Bank 3   111 pages used 12 pages free
Bank 4   121 pages used 2 pages free

then even though there are 19 (4 + 1 + 12 +2) empty pages, you can't use them to save a save game that takes say 15 pages, as the free space is divided over the four memory banks. The largest save you could make in the above situation is 12 pages.

On the plus side though, if you have a game that will only make one game save per controller pak then you can create two, three, or even four of these game saves, as the N64 sees each bank of storage as one individual controller pak.

The Everdrive 64 does allow you to copy entire controller paks to the SD Card (and back again, of course), so even if you only have one controller pak then you can in effect have hundreds, provided you are happy copying the contents of the controller pak to the SD card when you've finished playing a game that you've created a save game from, and that you'll copy that game's controller pak saves back to the controller pak whenever you want to play the game.

Note that at the moment you can't copy single saves to/from the SD card, you can only copy the entire controller pak (of course if your controller pak has more than one bank, then you can only copy whichever bank is currently selected by you via the controller pak's switch).

Offline MockyLock

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 08:20 AM »

Offline FeverDrive

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 09:49 PM »
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Offline lvl3

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 08:01 AM »
Nyko made a memory card that has 3936 pages and 100s of save slots called the Nyko 32x. Something like that would work. But also, an fram mod to that would be cool as well.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 08:06 AM by lvl3 »

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 04:59 PM »
Nyko made a memory card that has 3936 pages and 100s of save slots called the Nyko 32x. Something like that would work. But also, an fram mod to that would be cool as well.

Judging by the photo (if this is the one - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nyko-32X-3936-Blocks-of-Memory-Card-Pak-for-Nintendo-64-N64-System-Console-NEW/162587928977) it's made up of thirty-two seperate banks, each of which is the usual capacity,
of 123 pages and 16 save slots, so it still adheres to the same standard of other controller paks, just with many more switchable banks.

Still, it's very impressive, and should be more than enough for any N64 fan. Unfortunately, it's almost certainly battery powered, like most N64 contoller paks, as EEPROM was more expensive back then.

Offline jonesalmighty

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2018, 08:01 PM »
I might have to do an fram mod like this... I am fed up with my corrupted memorypak at the moment... what would also be cool is if I can fit an official memorypak with fram mod inside a rumblepak with a switch so I don't have to keep swapping!
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth...

Offline jonesalmighty

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 10:38 PM »
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth...

Offline Mord.Fustang

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2018, 04:47 AM »
There's also this Gamecube adapter for the N64 which has a Memory Card built in with no battery.

https://www.raphnet-tech.com/products/gc_to_n64_adapter_v3_with_builtin_controller_pak/index.php

Offline roadkill2

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2018, 12:54 PM »
Just get an Official N64 Controller Pak from Nintendo and replace the battery. They're very reliable once you replace the 20 year old battery inside. Format it afterwards and you're good to go.
EverDrive N8 / Mega EverDrive X5 / SD2SNES rev. H / EverDrive 64 v2.5 / EverDrive GB X5 Rev. B

Offline pcfreak324

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2018, 03:20 PM »
When you have an ED64, it doesn't matter if the Controller Pak's battery is empty or not. Once the N64 is turned on, the Controller Pak draws its power from the controller port. You can then load the latest save file from the ED64's SD card to the Controller Pak and start playing your game. When you have finished playing, you press reset to return to the menu so that you can dump the contents of the Controller Pak back to the SD card. Once you turn off the console, the save on the Controller Pak gets corrupted because of the empty battery. The next time you play, you need to load the backup from the ED64's SD card.

Offline Necron 44

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 08:44 PM »
When you have an ED64, it doesn't matter if the Controller Pak's battery is empty or not. Once the N64 is turned on, the Controller Pak draws its power from the controller port. You can then load the latest save file from the ED64's SD card to the Controller Pak and start playing your game. When you have finished playing, you press reset to return to the menu so that you can dump the contents of the Controller Pak back to the SD card. Once you turn off the console, the save on the Controller Pak gets corrupted because of the empty battery. The next time you play, you need to load the backup from the ED64's SD card.

When you reset the system, does that not temporarily cut off the power supplied from the controller port to the Controller Pak?  If it does cut power, then you would lose the save data before getting back to the ED64 menu if the Controller Pak battery is dead.

I'm wondering because I had Controller Pak saves working for awhile, but recently tried to go back to those games (Tony Hawk 1 and Gauntlet Legends) and it keeps saying the Controller Pak is damaged/corrupted and offers to repair.  The repair always says it's successful so I'm assuming there's nothing wrong with the Controller Pak.  I've tried copying the save data from the CPAK folder in the ED64 menu to the Controller Pak and then loading the game but it just keeps giving that error.  Any ideas?

If resetting the system does temporarily cut power, then I have to assume the battery in the Controller Pak needs to be replaced (even though when I bought it on eBay it said the pak and battery were in like-new condition).  If resetting does not cut power, then I'm not sure what the issue is.

I may have forgotten to reset after the last time I played those games and just turned the system off.. I don't remember.  Could that corrupt the data?  Or if the battery in the Controller Pak is dead then it would lose the data and when I chose to copy data from the Pak to the SD card the next time I turned on the N64 it would create a corrupted save data file on the CD card?

Last question, I though I read that on the ED64 v3 (which I have) that you didn't have to reset the system to save any new Controller Pak save data.  I'm guessing you still do need to reset?  Or maybe in my case I just need to be resetting because me Controller Pak battery is dead?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Offline pcfreak324

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 09:19 PM »
Necron 44, the described behaviour indicates that your controller pak's battery is empty.

I believe that a short reset does not cut power or at least not long enough to make you loose your save even with an empty battery.

You're mixing something up with ED64's functionalities. On the ED64 v3 you don't have to reset your console for your ordinary cartridge saves. Buy you still need to return to the ED64 menu if you want to backup your controller pak saves to the sd card. If the battery of your controller pak is empty, this is the only way to permanently save games that rely on the controller pak. In these cases you need to reset, even on an ED64 v3.

Offline Necron 44

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 09:55 PM »
pcfreak324, thanks for the response!  This is what I suspected.  I'll test starting those games over ( :( ) and creating new save data, resetting, copying from CPak to File, then turning system off, turning back on, copying from File to CPak, and seeing it if works.

Offline Necron 44

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Re: FRAM or better N64 memory card.
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2018, 07:40 PM »
Well, copying the save data from File to CPak worked and my previous save games were there.  I'm not sure what was happening yesterday when it wasn't working.