Worklog Noah's GameBoy "Flash carts"

pikpol

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Yep!

I'm writing new software for both programmers but only the newer one will have GBA compatibility.
But the newer one will then also be around $50? Otherwise I'll just buy the current flasher.
Thanks for the explanation BTW :)
 

Noah

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But the newer one will then also be around $50? Otherwise I'll just buy the current flasher.
Thanks for the explanation BTW :)
Nope. The reason the current flasher is $20 is because it uses a $4 FTDI IC, plus the microcontroller which is usually $2-$4, not to mention the cart slots themselves or the other miscellaneous components needed.

The newer microcontroller I'm using can be directly interfaced through USB which means no more FTDI which means a cheaper BOM which (hopefully depending on final cost of parts) means the same price or even lower. I'll need a way to switch voltages since GBA and GB/C carts operate on two different voltages, but I'd venture a guess and say it really shouldn't cost that much for those parts.

I'd estimate the cost of the new one to be within a $5 range of the current flasher or not change price at all.
 

pikpol

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Nope. The reason the current flasher is $20 is because it uses a $4 FTDI IC, plus the microcontroller which is usually $2-$4, not to mention the cart slots themselves or the other miscellaneous components needed.

The newer microcontroller I'm using can be directly interfaced through USB which means no more FTDI which means a cheaper BOM which (hopefully depending on final cost of parts) means the same price or even lower. I'll need a way to switch voltages since GBA and GB/C carts operate on two different voltages, but I'd venture a guess and say it really shouldn't cost that much for those parts.

I'd estimate the cost of the new one to be within a $5 range of the current flasher or not change price at all.
Then I'll probably wait a bit. Still need to learn some stuff and develop my game further. Just got stuck with bank switching, so if anyone knows something about bank switching with gbdk, please PM me :P

Can't wait until your new flasher is finished now :)
Ooh by the way, did you use the source code of BennVenn's flasher? If not, maybe you can get some info for your flasher in regards of other types of carts, like the Nintendo Power flashcart
 

Jonas

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Yep!

I'm writing new software for both programmers but only the newer one will have GBA compatibility.
Will it be open source ? (firmware) Because i have already two programmer.
-One i made, gb support only (with an atmega8515l)
-Another one from inside gadgets with gb (and gba but for save dumping only) (atmega8515l too)

Inside gadgets did add a dpdt switch to switch from 5v to 3.3v
Here is the link : https://www.insidegadgets.com/projects/gbxcart-rw/ (delete it if i'm not allowed to post links)

Ooh by the way, did you use the source code of BennVenn's flasher?
Isn't open source and isn't the same code too.


@Noah Is your current gb programmer open source ? If yes where can i find the schematics, software etc... ?

Cheers
 
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pikpol

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Isn't open source and isn't the same code too.
I didn't know, I thought it was. At least the hardware protocol is :p

Just realized that I have two bootleg GBA games :P
When I found out my Pokemon Ruby was fake, we bought another one, which was a totally different game.
@Noah Could you perhaps give us a rough indication of when you can have the new flasher ready? Don't want to push you though.
 
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Jonas

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With all this talk of the flashers supporting GBA carts, is there any chance of BitBuilt-branded GBA flash carts?
That's entirely possible. He can buy bootlegs games and remake the label or making his own cartridge but this will be quite hard.

Bootlegs can be found on ebay or aliexpress for around 3$
 

Noah

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That's entirely possible. He can buy bootlegs games and remake the label or making his own cartridge but this will be quite hard.

Bootlegs can be found on ebay or aliexpress for around 3$
I have a design in the works already, I actually started it way back when I was working on the GBC carts.

I'd rather release my own design than just buy and resell bootleg games for a couple of reasons.

For one, I can source my parts from trusted distributors so that I know they're authentic and won't die a year or two into use. Also, all of the carts I make could be equipped with RTC since GBA games use nonvolatile RAM out of the box.

No patching games and no cheap components. There'd probably only be one model of the cart too. These are all hypotheticals of course and nothing is concrete, but that's the direction I'd like to go in.
 

Jonas

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I'm writing new software for both programmers but only the newer one will have GBA compatibility.
Will it be open source ? (firmware) Because i have already two programmer.


And your current programmer where can i find the schematics ?

Thanks


Update :
Well i've soldered the FM16W08 on a mbc5 cart (game chip is a am29f080)
So i've flashed the cartridge
zelda dx : Save works, no glitches
kirby's block balls : Save works, no glitches
Wario land super mario land 3 : Save works, glitches like before, invisible character, impossible to play.

So that's strange that Wario land super mario land 3 doesn't work with a fram chip.
Could you try if this game works on your flash cart noah ?
Ty
 
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Can't wait for mine to get here. My old DMG has been collecting dust for too long...

@Noah , I'm not sure if any of my messages have reached you, and I'm sure you're very busy. I was just hoping you could tell me how things are coming along maybe? I know you told me you thought it would ship back in June, but I haven't heard anything since...
 

Acronell

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I have a slightly crazy idea, partially fueled by an OCD tendency I have.

Would it be possible to have a half size PCB design, specifically for GB/GBC, but GBA cart sized?

The OCD part is out of the tendency to be primarily playing on a GBA SP.

I would definitely throw 300$ into production, not including buying a few
 

pikpol

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@Noah How is the new flasher going?:) I saw that you managed to restock the flash carts and flasher. Unfortunately I don't have any money to buy something. Not even the 1mb flashcart. The moment I have 20 bucks I'll order one!
And then I can hopefully buy your new version flasher :)
 
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Can anyone tell me if I can pull the CE pin high by lifting it and connecting it to the VCC pin with a resistor?
 
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My mistake, the appropriate thing to do is connect the Vdd pin to the CE pin with a 10K resistor. This will correct the graphical glitches when using the FRAM mod with an MBC3 cartridge (and allow MBC5 carts to work with Pokemon Stadium).

Also, the CE pin can be left unlifted.
 

Noah

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Buh... But why...?
The FRAM chips I use in the GB carts need to have the CE line pulled high to enable write IIRC. It's easiest to use a 10K resistor and connect one leg to the voltage line (top right) and the other leg to the CE line.
 
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Yes, I'm glad you got it right. There's so much misinformation out there...

Also, did you edit the pcb design to use a surface mount resistor or do you solder one in after mounting the chip?
 
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