The Snow Queen

Sorry everyone still waiting for their GDEMU, the delay I wrote about earlier got even worse now. I’m doing what I can to catch up but short of a small miracle most of the orders that were supposed to ship by now will be some 3 weeks late. I understand you aren’t happy with this, trust me, neither am I.

On the plus side so far every GDEMU got safely to its destination, though some took a rather scenic route. That’s out of my hands though – I did say that December is not a good time to be shipping stuff. Now you know why.

Some of you are waiting for Rhea sales to start and I feel I should explain few things first:

  • The 20-pin model is already out there, I think enough people have tested it without having any serious issues to call it stable. I might start selling that soon. For now I have some 20 PCBs left (since I ordered more just in case), but not the parts to assemble them, but I can have those in few days if there is enough interest.
  • The 21-pin model is not ready yet and there is already a problem. I couldn’t find a connector and a cable with 21 pins. Keep in mind I need a stable source of parts, preferably cheap, not an ebay listing with a couple of items. The popular and available ones are 20 and 22 pins and I think the best option would be to go with 22 pin, it’s possible to insert a 21-pin cable into it properly without too much trouble (so the original Saturn cable can be reused). I can also include a spare 22-pin cable which would require some cutting on one end but would allow people with damaged original to use Rhea at all.
  • Right now it seems that full support for all 21-pin drive models might require some final configuration via jumpers. If so I’m probably going to opt for solder jumpers since it’s usually one-time deal for given console, and can be changed still (just not frequently). I will probably offer to pre-configure the Rhea if you can show me your drive photos, but I can also leave that to the buyer. And before you ask, auto-detection seems unlikely.
  • The power connector, and the fact that there were several kinds of it, is another problem, so v3 models will require soldering 1 or 2 wires until I can think of something else. This makes Rhea install more difficult but it’s not that hard really. Much easier than doing the region switch mod for example. I am thinking of some sort of pin header though, if I can find one that fits the plug on Saturn side.
  • Fitting two FFC connectors on Rhea is not easy, layout is different and some signals are present only on one of those. It would be difficult to place them in such a way that the cable would not have to be bent quite a lot. That and some minor other problems made me rethink the whole “universal” Rhea idea and the end result is: it’s not coming anytime soon, if at all. So if you’re waiting for one you’d better be very patient.
  • Seems like various versions of Saturn have a bit different height at which the metal PCB cover is. That makes it difficult to ship Rhea with correct support pegs. I could maybe ask for photos in advance, or ship both sizes (it affects the price but not much). Well, assuming there are only two that can fit all units.

UPDATE: If only VA0 Saturns have the metal cover at different height then it’s not much of an issue. You can tell VA0 apart from other models quite easily, it has the PSU attached to the upper cover. I should be able to find a support that fits later models, in fact I already have my eyes on a good candidate. Please check your exact Saturn model before you order Rhea.

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