Console

Switch madness

Thanks to Target for being on the ball with their pre-orders. I received mine on launch day (3/3/17) at 1:00PM and had plenty of time to get familiar with it. I only picked up Zelda: Breath of the Wild since I figured that would hold me over until more titles get launched.

So far I am super impressed with the hardware. It feels “expensive”,sturdy and durable. Feels more like an adult console and not “Fisher Price” like the Wii U gamepad.

ED64 (Newer Version)

I was first looking into Everdrive flash carts but the price of the things really blur my vision. I decided to look at some clones and knock offs first. I saw on Amazon a company selling a ED64Plus which is a clone of the older Everdrive-64. There was a version of this ED64 that had a pass-through port on the top to piggyback a N64 cartridge. This was to use to get around the CIC chip by using the CIC chip from the original N64 cart you piggybacked. These newer version without the pass-through can play N64 ROMs straight from the SD card and does not need an external CIC IC.

There is a really great write up on the older version over at NESWORLD.

On with the pics:

Here is the package

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Front of the cart

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Gut shot 1

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Gut shot 2

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Back of cart

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Menu system with custom background and games added. Everything is looking good.

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Impression:

Overall I am very happy with it and glad I went this route for the N64. We will see what the long term use is like but as for now, its a winner.

Dreamcast HDD mod

When I first heard I could add a IDE hard drive to the Sega Dreamcast, I thought it would be amazing to have access to all the games with out needing to change a disc. The mod is pretty straight forward but can be intimidating if your not comfortable soldering small pads.

What can you do with this mod?

You can use a boot CD with DreamShell loaded on it that will spin up and detect your ATA HDD. Keep in mind that not all games work with DreamShell. Its not a 100% solution to playing all Dreamcast games, but for what it does do, it does it well.

Images supported (ISO / CSO / CDI / GDI)

Dreamshell works best with optimized GDI images. Google around for some tutorials for this as it is a little more in depth than I want to go in this post.

On to the mod:

I went with the 40 Pin ATA cable since it is what I had on hand. This is a non ultra ATA cable and is easy to strip and soldier. You can also use the 44 Pin ATA cable for use with 2.5″ IDE hdds. You can actually supply the power for the HDD with that. If I was to do this all over again, I would go with the 44 pin cable and a 2.5″ HDD or a SD adapter.

I took apart the Dreamcast and removed the motherboard. I then printed out the wire pinout guide for reference. Someone online said to use a sharpie and mark every 10th wire to help keep your count correct. It is easy to be overwhelmed with 40 small wires. I then stripped the 40 pin IDE cable to individual wires about 4 inches back  and stripped and tinned each wire. I also hit all the pads on the Dreamcast with a bit of new soldier.

I stared soldering with the bottom row and worked my way from left to right and up. When I finished a row I then used a hot glue gun to hold the wires in place to the board and to keep them out of the way. It looks crazy but if you take your time its not that bad.

When done I then assembled the Dreamcast and hooked up the IDE HDD and used an external power source for the drive. I booted the Dreamshell CD and did a quick HDD test and it all looks good so far. I tossed a couple games on it to test and it seems like its good to go.

Next I will most likely install a SD to IDE 44 pin adapter.

What else can be done?

You can piggy back a new BIOS chip flashed with a custom bios that will let you boot Dreamcast from the HDD.
A SD/Compact Flash to IDE adapter can be used also

Final Thoughts:

I think this is a great option if you want to have a few of the supported games on SD/CF or IDE and have the soldering skills. If you want a better game compatibility, I would go with a Dreamcast ODE / CD emulator. The GDEMU is the best option as of writing this. Supports SD card and CDI images.

2016 Clean Up

I have been so busy with other hobbies that my retro/current gen consoles have taken a back seat. I really wanted to get a good inventory of my collection as of today and start thinning down my doubles/triples of some things. This week I have started pulling out all my modded consoles and did any needed updates on the software etc. Here is a quick list of what I have been working on:

Nintendo Wii – This has not been powered on for about 2 years. I decided to update the softmod to the latest. I started by updating to 4.3U, BootMii and Homebrew Channel. I installed a 64gb SD and configured the newest version of WiiFlow.

Sony Playstation 2 – This is a softmoded PS2 and needs a bit of updating. Looks like Free McBoot was updated this month (Free MC Boot v1.95). Updated and tested with Open PS2 Loader v0.9.3 and had no issues. I used a IDE to SATA converter and installed a 1TB HDD. I moved all my ISO’s from my old 250GB to the 1TB.

Sony Playstation 3 – Installed CFW 4.78 and Multiman 4.78 and ran a few tests without issues. I upgraded the external 2TB HDD to a 4TB HDD and added a bunch more games.

 

Console to JAMMA testing

This has been on my list of “things to do” for some time. I wanted a EASY way to hook up various consoles to my Sega Astro City cab and play vertical shooters. Many of the console based vertical shooters have a screen rotate option in the settings menus which makes the arcade experience ever more real at home.

Hardware I used:

  • JAMMA fingerboard
  • Ultracade Universal Video Converter
  • Akishop PS360+ multi-console PCB

This is my test setup, once I verify it working (which I did) I will make a more permanent solution. I am working on a wire harness to really clean this up.

I used to have just a Sega Dreamcast in my cabinet but now I can use many others due to the PS360+ console compatibility.

RGH Xbox 360 Dash update Notes

Here are some quick notes from my dashboard update on my RGH Xbox 360

I am upgrading to dashboard 17489 which is the latest as of today.

Software needed:

  • Simple 360 NAND Flasher
  • xeBuild GUI

Lets do it:

  • Fist put the Simple 360 NAND Flasher on a USB key and run it on your Xbox from XEXMenu.
  • Backup your existing NAND (It will make a file called flashdmp.bin).
  • Open the flashdmp.bin in xeBuild GUI.
  • Make sure to have your CPU Key handy.
  • Make sure the latest dashboard is selected (17489) as of today.
  • Create update NAND (updflash.bin).
  • Copy updflash.bin to USB in the Simple 360 NAND Flasher folder.
  • Use USB in Xbox and run Simple 360 NAND Flasher again.
  • This time it will ask if you want to update the NAND since it detected the updflash.bin file.
  • System will reboot on its own. Check and make sure the dashboard updated.

 

 

Xbox 360 Shooters that will tate

  • Bullet Soul Infinite Burst
  • DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu Black Label
  • Dodonpachi Saidaioujou
  • Eschatos
  • ESPGaluda II Black Label
  • DoDonPachi Resurrection Deluxe Edition
  • Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi Extra
  • Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta
  • Muchi Muchi Pork! & Pink Sweets: Ibara Sorekara
  • Mushihimesama Futari Ver. 1.5
  • Mushihimesama HD
  • Raiden IV
  • Raiden Fighters Aces
  • Shikigami No Shiro Episode 3
  • Under Defeat HD

Adding more as I find them.

What version of XBOX Do I Have?

There are 8 main versions of Xbox.
The xbox v1.0 , v1.1, v1.2, v1.3, v1.4, v1.5, v1.6 and v1.6b.

It’s possible to have an idea of the version you have based on the serial# … but these checks are not (yet) 100% accurate.
If you want to really know what version you have you will have to open your xbox. If you want to put a modchip or flash TSOP in your xbox later you will have to open it anyway.

The Serial Number is located on a sticker on the back of the xbox underneath the MFG DATE.

Serial Number: XXXXXXX 20XXX = v1.0
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 21XXX = v1.0
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 23XXX = v1.0
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 24XXX = v1.1
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 25XXX = v1.1
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 30XXX = v1.2
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 31XXX = v1.3
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 32XXX = v1.3
Serial Number: XXXXXXX 33XXX = v1.4 or v1.5

 

What version of PlayStation 2 Do I have?

The version 1, 2 and 3 PlayStation2 all have 10 screws on the bottom of the unit.

SCPH30001 v1 = Serial# begins U1
SCPH30001 v2 = Serial# begins U0
SCPH30001 v3 = Serial# begins U1 Date 1A
SCPH30001 v3 = Serial# begins U2 Date 0D

The version 4, 5, 6 and 7 PlayStation 2 all have 8 screws on the bottom of the unit. The 4 and 5 also have the electrical warning stamped on the bottom of the PlayStation 2 case.

SCPH 30001 v4 = Serial# begins with U0
SCPH 30001 v4 = Serial# begins with U1
SCPH 30001 v4 = Serial# begins with U2
SCPH 30001 v4 = Serial# begins with U3
SCPH 30001 v4 = Serial# begins with U4
SCPH 30001 v4 = Serial# begins with U5
SCPH 35001 v4 = GT3 Edition

There are 3 different motherboards for the SCPH 30001R – Version 4, 5 and 6

SCPH 30001R v5 or v6 Motherboard
SCPH 39001 v7
SCPH 50001 v9
SCPH 50010 v10
SCPH 50004 v11

The version 12 PlayStation 2 is the new slimline PSTwo model with the following model numbers:

SCPH 70011 CB v12
SCPH 70012 CB v12
SCPH 70002 CB v12
SCPH 70003 CB v12
SCPH 70004 CB v12
SCPH 70000 CB v12