Frostbite

Happy New Year everybody.

I didn’t get to play FO4 at all except the last few days – my Corsair PSU died after only 8 months and the old/backup one didn’t have 8-pin plugs to power the Fury X. So I had to swap in older GPU as well while I waited for Corsair to get repaired. In the end I got a new one instead – and actually I like it better as it’s dead silent while the previous wasn’t. I mean it wasn’t very noisy but since it’s a semi-passive PSU – in otherwise pretty quiet PC – I could hear the buzzing in idle and it was mildly annoying.

I’ve started shipping ordered GDEMUs but I have a terrible case of running nose now and can’t really assemble more PCBs – so it’s going to be very slow at first. Plus after all those holidays my work place got busy again, so I have very little free time and motivation to do anything more.

Rhea orders will open soon but not Phoebe – there is an issue with some Type-4 Saturns that needs further investigation and quite possible another PCB revision. While it doesn’t seem to affect other models I don’t want to make more devices that I know are flawed. Again I blame Sega and the multitude of mainboard models they’ve gone through. And the funny thing is there isn’t a specific VA mobo that doesn’t work, it seems to be more subtle than that. I will know more once I get my hands on one of the affected consoles.

On PCE front it’s a bit more quiet but at least I have a better idea of what I want now. So far each first ODE prototype was having major issues (altohugh would work with some HW mods). For Saturn I actually started with a dev board but the MCU I had in there (old ARM7) was just not good enough, so I ended up making a replacement sub-PCB with much newer and faster MCU but not before I built a stand-alone V1 ODE. This time I need more I/O pins so I’ll have to use yet another different MCU but I’ll make a new dev board of sorts and a separate PCB for the PCE stuff. This way I can both make HW changes and reuse the dev board later for other purposes. Usually too many wires are bad idea as the first GDEMU showed but PCE is much slower, 8-bit synchronous bus so I expect way less problems. Almost 2 years after it was started but this project is finally getting done πŸ™‚

In related news I’ve also designed and ordered a new interface PCB for Saturn, so that I can finally run some more tests on the drive itself. Plus I bought that Bug! game and I have to say the original disc takes way, way more time to load the levels than ODE, which is probably why it hangs. Once I have the setup assembled I’ll try to compare drive and ODE data dumps side by side to see if it’s something I messed up or indeed a timing issue.

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31 thoughts on “Frostbite

  1. Thank you for your news and against thank you for your awesome work!
    Can’t wait to read more about the pce ode and I hope to be fast enough to buy one in the forts batch
    Happy new year!

  2. Deunan, you’re a blessing for us retrogamers, thanks for everything and have a GREAT and happy new year!

  3. “I have a terrible case of running nose now and can’t really assemble more PCBs”

    You assemble PCBs with your nose?
    Have you tried to apply to the Guiness World Records?
    With a skill like that you would surely become famous.

    Ba dum tsss

  4. Thanks for your efforts on PCE ODE!

    Glad to see that you are working on Bug! issue πŸ™‚

    Did you consider work on PSX ODE? I know that PSIO exists but I’m a big fan of your products πŸ™‚

    • Deunan’s method won’t work with ps1 because the cd controllers are all built into the motherboard, compared to Saturn, DC and Super CD. The same goes for PC Engine Duo, the device will almost certainly only be for seperate cd drives as the Duo integrates everything.

  5. Really looking forward to your continued work on PCE in 2016!

    Can you share which version of the console you are targeting? I would like to pick up the same version so I’ll be ready too. πŸ˜€

  6. Hi Brow your Project is amazing,
    I am from brazil do you sent this board for the worldwide?
    Very very thanks
    You really save scene retrogaming!

  7. Hi Brow your Project is amazing,
    I am from Brasil do you sent this board for the worldwide?

    Very thanks!
    You really save the scene retrogame!

  8. Can’t wait for gdemu preorders to open again! I hope hope hope I’ll catch it this time! Good luck with the cold man!

  9. First of all “Deunan”, all the best wishes for 2016 and beyond.
    πŸ™‚
    Good luck and good health.

    Still enjoying my GDEMU V.5.4 , with 5.13.0 firmware on my PAL Dreamcast.
    I had some issues with some 32 GB SDHC cards , formatted them to FAT32 / 64 Kb blocks.
    And updated GDMenu to version 0.5.1.
    Now it works flawless.

    Well almost ….

    I hate to bother you about a little bug I found in Pen Pen TriIcelon (NTSC).
    No matter what version or region , CDI , GDI , TOSEC , TruRip , USA or Japanese releases.
    I can not patch PAL GDI versions to work with VGA , it goes black screen / no signal on my TV.
    http://www.epforums.org/showthread.php?56169-Dreamcast-VGA-Compatability-list-amp-Guide

    The “problem” is , back ground music in this game is not working properly.
    A level is made up of several stages , in the first stage of a level there is no music.
    At crossing a stage line , the music reappears , and can disappear again , in the next stage ,
    or after hearing the announcer say , “we are rooting for you” or other comments.

    Every stage should have its own background music.
    Also in the demo levels there is no music, only in the end ,
    for a few seconds , after crossing a stage line.

    The GDI’s I use for GDEMU , function correct in NullDC , sorry I can not check my original disc version on my revived PAL Dreamcast , because the laserunit had its best time. πŸ˜‰

    I doubt it has something to do with region differences of hardware / region patched GDI’s.
    I hope this can be resolved with a firmware update.

    Anyway , thank you for this / these great product(s).
    I can enjoy my revived Dreamcast for years / decades to come.
    And thank you for implementing soft reset in your firmware.
    http://moneyexpertsteam.blogspot.nl/2014/02/how-to-soft-reset-sega-dreamcast-console.html
    reset_goto = 01 , works now , now it resets to GDMenu , which is in folder 01.
    πŸ™‚

    P.S. back to testing widescreen hacks on my Dreamcast.
    http://segascream.com/fans-make-shenmue-1-2-other-dreamcast-games-widescreen-hacks/
    https://segaretro.org/List_of_Dreamcast_widescreen_codes

    Anyway , keep going strong , go for it , we are rooting for you
    πŸ˜‰

      • Correct , in game the music does not start crossing the start line , it stays silenced until you cross the 2nd stage line , then again crossing from 2nd to 3rd stage the background music disappears again.

        In demo mode it is the same problem , some demo levels continue long enough for a stage crossing , sound papers a few seconds before end of demo level.

  10. First of all “Deunan”, all the best wishes for 2016 and beyond.
    πŸ™‚
    Good luck and good health.

    Still enjoying my GDEMU V.5.4 , with 5.13.0 firmware on my PAL Dreamcast.
    I had some issues with some 32 GB SDHC cards , formatted them to FAT32 / 64 Kb blocks.
    And updated GDMenu to version 0.5.1.
    Now it works flawless.

    Well almost ….

    I hate to bother you about a little bug I found in Pen Pen TriIcelon (NTSC).
    No matter what version or region , CDI , GDI , TOSEC , TruRip , USA or Japanese releases.
    I can not patch PAL GDI versions to work with VGA , it goes black screen / no signal on my TV.
    http://www.epforums.org/showthread.php?56169-Dreamcast-VGA-Compatability-list-amp-Guide

    The “problem” is , back ground music in this game is not working properly.
    A level is made up of several stages , in the first stage of a level there is no music.
    At crossing a stage line , the music reappears , and can disappear again , in the next stage ,
    or after hearing the announcer say , “we are rooting for you” or other comments.

    Every stage should have its own background music.
    Also in the demo levels there is no music, only in the end ,
    for a few seconds , after crossing a stage line.

    The GDI’s I use for GDEMU , function correct in NullDC , sorry I can not check my original disc version on my revived PAL Dreamcast , because the laserunit had its best time. πŸ˜‰

    I doubt it has something to do with region differences of hardware / region patched GDI’s.
    I hope this can be resolved with a firmware update.

    Anyway , thank you for this / these great product(s).
    I can enjoy my revived Dreamcast for years / decades to come.
    And thank you for implementing soft reset in your firmware.
    http://moneyexpertsteam.blogspot.nl/2014/02/how-to-soft-reset-sega-dreamcast-console.html
    reset_goto = 01 , works now , now it resets to GDMenu , which is in folder 01.
    πŸ™‚

    P.S. back to testing widescreen hacks on my Dreamcast.
    http://segascream.com/fans-make-shenmue-1-2-other-dreamcast-games-widescreen-hacks/
    https://segaretro.org/List_of_Dreamcast_widescreen_codes

    Go for it we are rooting for you πŸ˜‰

  11. Hi Brow your Project is amazing!
    Do you sent your board from the worldwide?
    I am from Brasil.
    Very thanks!

  12. Been reading up on your awesome product and wanted to order one, but pre-orders seem to be closed for now? When will you be accepting orders for the GDEMU again? πŸ™‚

    Thanks a lot!

  13. I cant wait for the PCE ODE to be ready!

    What are peoples thoughts on this comment on Engaget regarding the rasberry pi zero?

    guantamanera

    “I have a sega genesis but I do not have a cdrom unit. I am currently using a raspberypi to emulate just the cdrom part and it transfer cdrom data to the genesis. However my raspberry pi looks very ugly sticking out with all the wires. With this new pi I will be able to put everything internal in the genesis. I am now encouraged to do a similar project for my pc engine that does not have a cdrom, should be easy since I don’t have to emulate a CPU as you have to with the genesis the 68000.”

    If this could be done it sounds amazing. As far as I know, once D’s PCE ODE is complete the Sega CD is one of the only popular systems that does not have a drive replacement project underway so being able to do this is pretty massive. I just wish I knew how people even get the knowledge to attempt these things.

    • Older RPis didn’t have enough I/O to run drive emulation, plus there is still the issue of not having proper CDDA playback. It’s actually quite important part of the PCE – some games even have intro sequences fully voiced via CD audio.

  14. Hi there, I received a confirmation email that my unit will be ready at some point in January. Will I receive a further email when it is ready to ship and make payment then? I appreciate there might be delays but no problem πŸ™‚

    • You should get a notification from PayPal when I ask for payment, but just in case do check your account every now and then.

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