Discussion of game backup, reproduction, burning, and ripping. Covers ROM backup, cartridge reproduction, optical disc ripping, burning, and storage. Focus on archival purposes and not deceptive selling.
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Ziggy587
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by Ziggy587 Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:11 am

nightrnr wrote:I don't know, PS1 systems are common enough I would cringe too much of someone just cut the traces (but not recommending that at all).
I know I would do more damage trying to remove the whole chip though.

Lifting the pin on my Neo Geo CD SD Loader install was pretty simple.

Eventually, I do need to learn that skill of chip removal (I've watched videos and I lack the tools, setup, luck, and sorcery to master it). But how else am I going to transplant my Dragons Revenge (Genesis) into my Menacer PCB (the only way to save that cart)?



I had thought about cutting the traces, but that might be harder. I haven't looked at it yet, but it depends on how the traces are laid out. If there are traces next to neighboring pins, it will be extremely hard to cut just the trace you want without damaging neighboring traces. Although IIRC, there are like 4 pins in a row that you have to lift. I suppose if the traces are all bunched up at the pins, you don't have to cut them there, you could follow them back and cut them at an easier location. But now we're talking about replacing doing something annoying with doing something else that's annoying.

It depends on the specifics, but I feel like I would cringe less at someone cutting traces than lifting pins. Those pins are so incredibly fragile and it is so easy to break one. And if you do break a pin, it is reparable, but the repair isn't easy. You can grind away the IC housing to reveal the pins inside and attach wires to them, but it's such a delicate procedure (example). I get that the thinking is that this mod is reversible with lifting the pins, because if you uninstall the ODE you can just solder the pins back down to the pads. But if you cut the traces, you can just solder bodge wires to replace those traces, so it's still reversible that way.

edit: Wrong video. The above linked video repairs broken pins, but there was enough of the pin still sticking out of the package to solder to. There are other videos on YouTube though of grinding down the housing to reveal the bonding wires inside, then soldering onto them.

I've done a few mods where I had to lift pins on similar packages. I did a few successfully, but I once broke a pin from lifting it. Lifting it isn't so bad, but once you solder a wire to it now you have some weight on it and leverage to move it around. I didn't break the pin from lifting it, it broke after I soldered the wire. And I was being as careful as I could, this pin was just especially fragile. I was able to grind into the housing to expose the pin inside, which wasn't a fun task at all. After that experience, I now cringe at lifting pins.

A few bodge wires really doesn't bother me. Sometimes cutting traces could be annoying though, especially if the board has multiple layers. I have a PAL SNES that I converted into NTSC, but the multi AV output still has 12v on the pin that should have CSync. I resolved that the easiest way to change that pin was to cut the trace to it, but that trace isn't visible on the outside layers. Very annoying.

As for removing the package, it can be easy. I actually don't (yet) have a hot air station. But there's something called ChipQuik that's very easy to use. Basically, you flux the pins and flood them with this alloy, which mixes with the solder that's already on there. The alloy has a much lower molting point, and stays molting for a decent amount of time. So when you flood the pins with this stuff you can get it molting long enough to get the chip off the board. It then cleans off as easy as solder. In fact, I always collect it back into a pile and then reuse it. So one package of this stuff can last a while. Here a demonstration of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kyaz4Zrd78

I guess I'll open the PS1 and take a look at it, then decide how I want to do it.
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My Sale Thread - I am selling around three quarters of my video game collection as well as some other odds and ends!

I want to buy Universal Game Cases, if you have any spares please PM me! I'm looking to only deal with members that have good BST feedback on this forum.
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Ziggy587
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by Ziggy587 Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:45 pm

My Fenrir came in the mail today! First impressions are that it's awesome!

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The installation is super easy (no soldering required) but I did have one minor issue. It's suppose to fit around two of the 4 mounting posts that were intended for the CD drive. But it didn't fit on the posts that are in my Saturn. The holes in the Fenrir PCB aren't large enough to fit around the posts. I've seen videos of it fitting on smoothly, so I guess my revision Saturn just has uncommon posts maybe. It's a very minor thing. I kind of just snug it down and it's fine. Still, now I'm glad I didn't spring of the 3D printed enclosure for it, this issues might have conflicted with it.

There are no traces around these mounted holes, at least there doesn't appear to be with a quick inspection. If I really wanted to, I could ream the holes out larger so they fit on my posts. I probably would have if I had a reamer on hand. But again, it was such a minor thing and it really doesn't matter.

The only annoying thing about the setup is that the SD card needs to be formatted to FAT32, which you can't do in Windows without a formatting app. Luckily I have Linux on a laptop so I just formatted the card on there. edit: On 8bitmods.com it states that Fenrir supports FAT32 or exFAT. Perhaps they added exFAT support with a firmware update, but forgot to update all the website pages?

You drop two system files on the root of the SD card, then put game images in unique folders (one image per folder). The only draw back is that each game image folder has to be on the root of the card, so you can't create a folder structure to organize better. Perhaps we will get this with a future update.

I'm going to nitpick here for a second, but I don't believe the access LED works. As stupid as it is, I was kind of disappointed. The optical drive in my model 1 Saturn never worked ever since I had it. My working Saturn was a model 2. So I was kind of looking forward to seeing that activity light, in a geeky way. Well, I guess for all I know maybe the LED on my Saturn is broken. As I said, I never had it with a working drive. So, if it doesn't work on account of the Fenrir, I hope it is implemented in a future firmware update.

OK, with all this crap that doesn't matter out of the way, so far using it has been excellent. As you normally do when you get such a device, I booted up a bunch of games for 5 minutes each and they were all working perfectly.
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My Sale Thread - I am selling around three quarters of my video game collection as well as some other odds and ends!

I want to buy Universal Game Cases, if you have any spares please PM me! I'm looking to only deal with members that have good BST feedback on this forum.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by bmoc Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:44 pm

Nice Ziggy! If I had a compatible model Saturn, I might have gotten a Fenrir myself.

It should be my turn to order a Satiator very soon. Units 1-49 have started shipping. I'm #57 so I should get mine in the next round. I got my SD card Friday and rediscovered the joy of trying to format large drives with FAT32 in Windows 10. Two formatting utilities later, I finally found something that worked. Then I remembered that I had my work MacBook at home and could have done it natively there. Sigh.
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Ziggy587
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by Ziggy587 Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:41 pm

I have a model 2 Saturn with a mod chip, and have had a model 1 with a dead optical drive for a while. So the Fenrir was perfect for me.

Be sure to post your thoughts about the Satiator when you get it, I'd love to hear. I've been very interested to see how it will perform.
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My Sale Thread - I am selling around three quarters of my video game collection as well as some other odds and ends!

I want to buy Universal Game Cases, if you have any spares please PM me! I'm looking to only deal with members that have good BST feedback on this forum.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by fastbilly1 Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:08 pm

That is awesome Ziggy. I remember trying to get Model 1 Saturns chipped was a huge pain, this drop in replacement seems perfect.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by Anapan Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:10 am

nightrnr wrote:Eventually, I do need to learn that skill of chip removal (I've watched videos and I lack the tools, setup, luck, and sorcery to master it). But how else am I going to transplant my Dragons Revenge (Genesis) into my Menacer PCB (the only way to save that cart)?


If you only have a soldering iron and solder wick, the addition of ChipQuik and a cheap desoldering pump actually make everything on a single board PCB easy and clean. I used it a few times before realizing I needed a vacuum pump. Multi-layer power boards cannot be tackled that easily.
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Ziggy587
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by Ziggy587 Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:32 am

Yeah, ChipQuick is great but it's really not for through hole stuff. I've actually been putting off installing the NESRGB kit that I bought because of this. You have to remove the PPU, which has those plated through holes. Desolder braid isn't going to help. All I have is a desoldering iron, which works great on through hole pads, but not so well on plated through holes. You really need the vacuum for that, especially on those damn ground pins!
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My Sale Thread - I am selling around three quarters of my video game collection as well as some other odds and ends!

I want to buy Universal Game Cases, if you have any spares please PM me! I'm looking to only deal with members that have good BST feedback on this forum.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by bmoc Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:38 am

I just ordered my Satiator! Shipping was reasonable at around $10 for UPS Ground. I'm so excited to finally get my hands on this thing. Here is the website but it is pretty barebones at the moment. Ignore the $9999.99 placeholder price. Patrons get a custom coupon code that drops the price to their discount level. Once the Satiator is available to the public, the price will be updated.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by Anapan Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:33 am

Ordered mine a few days ago too. There was a $0 shipping option selected by default. Granted, I donated more than the device costs in support of the long development, but I think the store software failed. Have yet to hear anything except an automated invoice...
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bmoc
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] Flash Carts, ODE, and more!

by bmoc Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:08 am

On Thursday, my order moved to "processing". I can only assume they are still working out the kinks of the online store. I'm hoping it ships sometime next week.

For those not following the Patreon, there was some good news regarding Action Replay carts recently. If flashed with Pseudo Kai, you can hold XYZ at startup to bypass the Action Replay boot menu and enter the Satiator. That will allow you to still use the RAM cart functionality.
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