Discussion DreamCast R&D and Documenting

What are we?


  • Total voters
    22

fibbef

Wizardry V Completer
.
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
578
Likes
1,518
Portables
3
There are plenty of examples of people extending the VMU connections with IDE wire with no impedance problems, I will post my findings on this when I have experimented more.
Can confirm, although I used controller wire and only extended the VMU connection by about 2 inches. Still, that part of the DC doesn't seem to be too finicky.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
60
Likes
34
Location
Chile
There is an SD card GD-ROM replacement in existence. I can link when I'm not at work. But I think it's called GDEMU.
Yep, see my thread for pictures of it running.

There's two other similar SD projects (I know of).

There's also the USB GD-ROM.

As I said I will make a big table with the pro's and cons of all of them.
 

Herma

.
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
63
Likes
87
Location
Tokyo
Yep, see my thread for pictures of it running.

There's two other similar SD projects (I know of).

There's also the USB GD-ROM.

As I said I will make a big table with the pro's and cons of all of them.
Ah, I see you mentioned it before, now.
I was at work when I saw some stuff, wasn't able to read the full thread.

On another note, the LAN adapter and BBA have been cloned by some guy in Japan.LAN adapter was a CPLD interfacing an off-the-shelf chip. BBA was an FPGA interfacing a full on PCI NIC, both are on the G2 bus.

The page is mostly in Japanese. Not sure how good Google Translate does. If it's unreadable I can work on translating it some time.

http://jj1odm.qp.land.to/g2bus.php
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,112
Likes
2,143
Portables
4
So if I understand this right, there are several options to load games on media other than discs.
Without additional specialized hardware, you can soft mod using a different room to load games from an SD or an IDE hard drive, but it's slow as balls. The drive board itself can be removed by adding in a few parts.

Drive replacements are expensive, hard to come by, and somewhat large. They offer superior speeds and compatibility, and can use SD or USB.

Is this all correct?

The aftermarket drive replacement solutions all seem pretty large for what's actually on the board. I wonder how difficult it would be to clone and modify for portable use, or create our own alternative that's more effective for what we want to accomplish. Certainly outside my area, but just my thoughts.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
43
Likes
36
Location
Canada
Without additional specialized hardware, you can soft mod using a different room to load games from an SD or an IDE hard drive, but it's slow as balls. The drive board itself can be removed by adding in a few parts.
I can confirm this. SD cards are the slowest while IDE is faster.
I'm not sure if a faster drive or CF card will make much of a difference, I hope to test it a bit more someday.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
60
Likes
34
Location
Chile
Is this all correct
Basically, but there are also other SD loading projects (one at least which is open source)

The other important thing to consider is compatibility. The 'comercial' ODE's are 100%, the other solutions are not.

Other factors like disc-swapping and file type support also come into play.

I can confirm this. SD cards are the slowest while IDE is faster.
I'm not sure if a faster drive or CF card will make much of a difference, I hope to test it a bit more someday.
There's a comparison video on youtube (titled something like "gdemu vs IDE") and from what I can tell they're very similar: both much faster than disc drive loading.

Also very exciting for portablizing DC's: Alongside a real HDMI solution OzOnE and RDC were working on a mobo redesign recently and had posted some progress on assemblergames before it went down. (There was an image from eagle or another PCB design program of a teeny-tiny DC mobo)
Some good bits of the thread are still on the wayback machine.
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,112
Likes
2,143
Portables
4
Also very exciting for portablizing DC's: Alongside a real HDMI solution OzOnE and RDC were working on a mobo redesign recently and had posted some progress on assemblergames before it went down. (There was an image from eagle or another PCB design program of a teeny-tiny DC mobo)
Some good bits of the thread are still on the wayback machine.
Neat. Can't wait to see what people pull off. Its amazing how capible the portablizing scene has become.

BGA soldering would be a pain, but it might be worth it if there is significant size reduction.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
60
Likes
34
Location
Chile
The thread I mentioned with pics of a mobo redesign:
https://web.archive.org/web/2016070...eamcast-hdmi-adapter-coming-soon.56357/page-8

An open-source GDemu alternative:
http://mc.pp.se/dc/gdromemu.html
There's a github link on the page.
(It seems it still needs a lot of optimization/improvement to be a real alternative though)

There is also an open-source HDMI solution:
https://github.com/chriz2600/DreamcastHDMI
"Everybody with some soldering skills should be able to mod a Dreamcast to output HDMI (with digital sound) for under 30$" according to the creator.

For me the native VGA on the dreamcast is plenty good, but a cool thing nonetheless.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
161
Likes
112
Also I bought two Dreamcasts and experimented with removing some parts and it doesn't look like there is anything to remove. I tried to remove the sound processor before I knew it was the sound processor lol and it wouldn't boot to the game. Most of the surrounding ics are ram and you can't remove that obviously the most that can be trimmed is a little off the top and the ground planes. Most of this is know I just thought I would share in case. The dreamcast will 100% need a board redesign to get any smaller.


Also do you guys think that this would work for IDE loading with a CF card?
https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Compa...rd_wg=TfJ1c&psc=1&refRID=WYWEC7TTKAG4V8E7PD1Z
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,112
Likes
2,143
Portables
4
There aren't enough options :P
You gotta include one of the codenames for the console, Whitebelt or Dural sound cooler lmao
Got a clever name involving them? The White Belts isn't neither a cool name nor a dumb pun.
For the Wii we were Wiisearch and Development. But I just realized we totally could have been Revolutionaries.
 
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
58
Likes
155
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
161
Likes
112
Just whipped up this pretty nice av pinout if you have any suggestions let me know. I thought this would help people just getting into the Dreamcast and needed a place to start. I made it kinda similar to the Wii one for consistency and if you like it and want me to add the bitbuilt watermark I can

Audio Video Dreamcast.png
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,112
Likes
2,143
Portables
4
Good stuff @GarageFactory! This'll be quite useful! You should also consider mapping them to the pins on the other side, along with any other possible relocation points you can find. Of course, these solder pads are the easiest, but having other options is always nice.
 
Top