Who Can Test On Hardware?

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Quickman, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Quickman

    Quickman

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    omg porjcet
    We all know that it's a big help to know that your hack runs correctly on real hardware - it rules out the possibility of accidentally relying on an emulator quirk like leniency when it comes to data on odd address boundaries.

    However, being able to test on hardware requires a non-trivial degree of expense - you not only have to buy the Megadrive (and possibly peripherals) but also you need to buy the flashcart and possibly additional hardware to use it with, which is a fairly considerable expense (the cheapest one available is Tototek's MD-PRO 32M, which is $60; it costs more for convenient features like programming via USB or SD card). As such, only some of us are able to do this, and it can be difficult to find us.

    My intent is that people who are able to test on hardware can post here with what they can test and anything to bear in mind when contacting them. <b>This is not a topic to request testing on hardware; that's better done via PM.</b>

    <b>HARDWARE</b><ul><li>Sega Mega Drive - model 1 VA6</li><li>Sega MegaCD - model 1</li><li>Sega Mega Drive 32X</li></ul>
    <b>THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND</b><ul><li>All of my hardware is hardwired to 50Hz/English; I haven't modified any of my hardware for 50Hz/60Hz or English/Japanese and don't intend to - I like my system pristine, not bristling with switches - so if your code is region-locked, then you'll have to either modify your code or ask someone else.</li><li>The 32X was a piece of shit on release day and is a piece of shit now - you don't realise because emulators are very good at making it seem oh-so-simple. Mine is extremely temperamental and a massive pain in the arse to set up and get working, so chances are if you're trying to code for the 32X I'll be very grumpy from wrestling with this thing. I don't normally keep it connected, though I'll try and change that when I modify the cable for stereo sound.</li><li>I'm using a composite cable connected to a high-quality Dazzle DVC100 capture card so I can use the console with my computer rather than the television, so I can take screenshots of the whole screen including overscan for you if you want. This is what you'll be getting if you do.<div align='center'><img src="http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/2148/sonic1k.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div></li></ul>
     
  2. Andlabs

    Andlabs

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    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    I can test on 60hz US Genesis 2/32X/Sega CD if my MD Pro would work with my older computer downstairs. I still have to test it.
     
  3. sasuke

    sasuke

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    I have an NTSC 60Hz Genesis 2 (VA1?), with a Sega CD 2 and a 32X. :specialed:

    The only flashcart I have so far is the Megacart, so it can only play ROMS 3MBytes and under and cannot save.

    Edit: I also have one of these Dazzle things, but I haven't installed it on my computer and don't know where it is.

    Edit2: I also have an Everdrive now, so I can test save games and 4MByte games now.
     
  4. Mad Echidna

    Mad Echidna

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    I have a Genesis 2 and Sega CD 2. I don't have a flash cart but I can test Sega CD isos.
     
  5. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester

    My predecessors have nothing on me. Tech Member
    I have a Megadrive 1 50htz and I might be getting a flash cart soon for free (That's what you get in return for helping multiple people out =P). I'll let you all know if I'm able to test in a few weeks time..
     
  6. Oerg866

    Oerg866

    Tech Members Tech Member
    I have:

    * 2x Mega Drive (EUR) Model 1 (1x with, 1x w/o TMSS)

    The model without TMSS is equipped with a 50/60Hz switch as well as master oscs taken from both US and EUR machines. That means, it's always in color <3. It is run with a tototek flashcart which is directly connected to my main computer, due to asrock making parallel ports on modern mainboards =P

    I capture using a Conexant BT878-based capture card. These things are old, but still kick ass in terms of features. I scored this card from ebay for 1 EUR and it's working great.

    As software I use DScaler 4 on Windows and tvtime on linux. Note that I can't capture on linux since avidemux seems to do...absolutely nothing.

    * 1x Mega Drive II (JAP) with horrible quality and running at an RF frequency that's out of this world (S 42!?!?).

    cheers :P
     
  7. EnterTheHatrix

    EnterTheHatrix

    Member Member
    We should really look in to building our own flash carts.

    I ripped apart Sonic 3 yesterday and I was surprised at the lack of battery. About 90% of the stuff in there were off the shelf chips, so we just need to find a suitable alternative to that last chip (The SEGA ROM) and we could in theory program our own cartridges with memory.
     
  8. Alan

    Alan

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    MegaDrive 2 VA1 PAL; Using my flash cart that also has SRAM up to the full addressing space. So can take advantage of hacks that are using that space for extra variables.

    But please defer any requests for around a week, quite busy with uni stuff at the moment.

    I have been saying for a while now that I would like to make a flash cart and dumper quite cheap for community members to buy, I just need to find out who would be interested and how much you would be willing to pay so can see if I can get something made.
     
  9. TmEE

    TmEE

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    T-04YBSC-A !
    I've got my own flashcart (barebones flashcart with no extra features, basically what an original ROM cart is, except rewritable), I also got a MegaCart and a NeoMyth.

    I have VA1, VA2, VA3, VA4, VA6 and VA7 MD1s, VA0, VA1, VA3, VA4 MD2s, X'eye, Wondermega, CDX and MultiMega in my possession right now.

    I'm always open to real HW tests :)
     
  10. Alan

    Alan

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    > I have VA1, VA2, VA3, VA4, VA6 and VA7 MD1s, VA0, VA1, VA3, VA4 MD2s, X'eye, Wondermega, CDX and MultiMega in my possession right now.

    I have a weird feeling in my body... What is it? Oh its envy :ohdear:
     
  11. Maxd

    Maxd

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    <!--quoteo(post=427539:date=Mar 18 2010, 06:38 AM:name=Alan)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Alan @ Mar 18 2010, 06:38 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=427539"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->MegaDrive 2 VA1 PAL; Using my flash cart that also has SRAM up to the full addressing space. So can take advantage of hacks that are using that space for extra variables.

    But please defer any requests for around a week, quite busy with uni stuff at the moment.

    I have been saying for a while now that I would like to make a flash cart and dumper quite cheap for community members to buy, I just need to find out who would be interested and how much you would be willing to pay so can see if I can get something made.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I think you and TmEE need to collab on this, but I would pay $80-$100 for something that can load ROMS from an SD card to my Nomad, so I can play some hacks on hardware. I do not have a functioning computer other than my laptop, and neither has a parallel port, which has kept me back from buying a commercial cart.
     
  12. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy

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    Doom 32X
    Tiido wins any contest over hardware. :D

    I have a US Model 2 Genesis + Model 2 CD + 32X, a US CDX + 32X, and a Nomad that was modded by Tiido for 50/60 Hz switchable. I have the Neo Myth flash cart, an MD-Pro 64, and an Everdrive-MD on order.

    <!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->The 32X was a piece of shit on release day and is a piece of shit now - you don't realise because emulators are very good at making it seem oh-so-simple. Mine is extremely temperamental and a massive pain in the arse to set up and get working, so chances are if you're trying to code for the 32X I'll be very grumpy from wrestling with this thing. I don't normally keep it connected, though I'll try and change that when I modify the cable for stereo sound.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    SOME can be temperamental, but most work without a problem. I've got two - one I bought on release day, and a second I got years later for $20 - and neither has given me any trouble at all. The only "problem" you tend to read about the 32X is finding those Model 1 adapters, or thoughts on if those metal plates are really needed. If yours is temperamental, sorry, must be a pain. But don't go saying they're ALL that way just because yours is.
     
  13. Leonard the Genie

    Leonard the Genie

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    I have a Megadrive 2 with a Mega CD 2. I can only test Mega CD games, though.
     
  14. Alan

    Alan

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    <!--quoteo(post=427630:date=Mar 18 2010, 03:52 PM:name=Maxd)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Maxd @ Mar 18 2010, 03:52 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=427630"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I think you and TmEE need to collab on this, but I would pay $80-$100 for something that can load ROMS from an SD card to my Nomad, so I can play some hacks on hardware. I do not have a functioning computer other than my laptop, and neither has a parallel port, which has kept me back from buying a commercial cart.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    But I assume you have USB ports? It doesn't cost much for a USB to UART so thats not really a worry. However, if you want to use SD card then the Everdrive-MD that Chilly said about is very fairly priced. <a href="http://www.krikzz.com/" target="_blank">http://www.krikzz.com/</a>
     
  15. TmEE

    TmEE

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    T-04YBSC-A !
    I forgot to mention that I got some Nomads around too, and MCD2 and 32X ^^

    And the Everdrive-MD is pretty sweet from what I've heard about it, and got a nice price too. Only problem is that you need to use soething like Western Union to get one for yourself as PayPal does not work in Ukraine (or whereever the maker lived, I forgot).
     
  16. Overlord

    Overlord

    ...did we just switch realities? Moderator
    * 60Hz Nomad
    * 50Hz MD1, MD2, MCD1, MCD2, 32X
    * Flashcard that can take ROMs up to 3MB/24MBit in size (but not a byte more)

    However I'm not in a position to easily deploy ROMs due to various OS shenanigans so if I'm doing testing I'll need a sizable amount of notice and leniency =P
     
  17. mdawgmike

    mdawgmike

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    I've got some gear and am also willing to test whatever someone wants to throw at me. I have the North American (NTSC) hardware as that's where I reside:

    <!--coloro:#F5DEB3--><span style="color:#F5DEB3"><!--/coloro--><b>Genesis, Model 2 w/ composite video and stereo audio output utilized
    Sega CD, Model 2

    MegaCart -- roms up to 32Mb
    Neo Myth MD -- roms up to 40Mb
    </b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->(yes, I have two flash carts...as I have differing uses for them)

    You can either send me a PM here, or a message on Steam. I'm usually on weeknights.
    <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/id/mdawgmike" target="_blank">http://steamcommunity.com/id/mdawgmike</a>
     
  18. snkenjoi

    snkenjoi

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    UK MD1 modded to 60Hz.

    I also have a Flashcart that supports 24MBit ROMs.

    However, I know it can support 32MBit if not for the firmware, so I've been trying to work out how the firmware interacts with the mapper. I have a full disassembly of the firmware with some notes, I've just not worked it totally out yet. (It's a tototek cart)

    I actually asked tototek for the source code to the firmware, I don't think they appreciated me saying that if they didn't give it to me I'll disassemble it anyway :)
     
  19. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy

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    Doom 32X
    <!--quoteo(post=428323:date=Mar 19 2010, 12:54 PM:name=snkenjoi)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (snkenjoi @ Mar 19 2010, 12:54 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=428323"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I actually asked tototek for the source code to the firmware, I don't think they appreciated me saying that if they didn't give it to me I'll disassemble it anyway :)<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Which is what I did to figure out how the TotoTek cart works (disassemble the menu, not ask for code). :)

    The code is pretty simple. You shouldn't have any trouble with a disassembly.
     
  20. EnterTheHatrix

    EnterTheHatrix

    Member Member
    <!--quoteo(post=428333:date=Mar 19 2010, 07:23 PM:name=Chilly Willy)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Chilly Willy @ Mar 19 2010, 07:23 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=428333"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=428323:date=Mar 19 2010, 12:54 PM:name=snkenjoi)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (snkenjoi @ Mar 19 2010, 12:54 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=428323"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I actually asked tototek for the source code to the firmware, I don't think they appreciated me saying that if they didn't give it to me I'll disassemble it anyway :)<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Which is what I did to figure out how the TotoTek cart works (disassemble the menu, not ask for code). :)

    The code is pretty simple. You shouldn't have any trouble with a disassembly.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    If you've disassembled the code on a TotoTek cart, can we look at the possibility of cloning the flash cart?