Running in the 90s

I’m still quite busy – I’ll spare you the details and instead offer a revised plan of action. It’s December now and I wish to avoid shipping anything I don’t have to until 2019, for three reasons:

  1. It’s a waste of time, it’s Xmas shopping spree already and post office queues are huge.
  2. Due to Xmas and Black Friday related online purchases delivery times are longer as all shipping channels tend to saturate until late January or so.
  3. All of that increases the chances of the packages getting damaged or lost in transit.

I will probably make exception for the current DocBrown orders, I have it all ready except I’m still considering bigger envelopes. The very first batch arrived intact though… Well, I’m going to make that decision in the next few days.

Now, just because I’m not shipping anything this month doesn’t mean I can’t take orders and prepare for January. In fact I’m already stockpiling devices for that very purpose. So next Saturday I will open orders for GDEMU, and then, on the Saturday after that, for Rhea. I have Phoebes too but seeing how I just ended shipping those I belive it’s time to give other devices a chance to sell. That being said, if the GDEMU or Rhea orders are small enough I might consider offering more Phoebes this year still. We’ll see.

In the meantime I amused myself modding Sega Master System console I found on sale for about 10$. As far as I can tell it was never worked on, and some plastic wear aside it’s in a good condition. Just what I like, a few scratches (which are non-issue to me) and a low price. I recapped it, removed the TV modulator and changed some parts around the video encoder to have it output RGB, audio and composite signals with correct impendance. I’m no pro modder but I think the end result is pretty nice:

Oh, and one last thing: While I’m reading all the emails I get, I have not responded to anything that’s not urgent and/or support related. That being said not all of us are native English speakers and sometimes we don’t get our point clearly across so if I didn’t reply but you do actually need my help, please email me again.

UPDATE: GDEMU orders are now open closed again. If you missed it don’t worry, there will be more late January (or so).

UPDATE 2: Rhea orders are now open closed.

215 thoughts on “Running in the 90s

  1. good job! can i order from this sid or other one? is the first time that i’ll try to order rhea!

    • Come here on Saturday about 11:00 CET and you should be able to order one via the Ordering page.

      • Great. I am swimming with my daughter at that time. I will find a solution 🙂 But I am happy that I am able to order the GDEMU soon. How many minutes do I have time until its “sold out”?

      • That is the question. See, sometimes I have orders open for hours, and sometimes I’m full in about 5 minutes. There’s no rule and it really makes planning ahead quite difficult for me.

  2. I missed out on Phoebe the last time around because I wasn’t aware of which version of Saturn I had when I was at the ordering page. I’m still kicking myself for that mistake. Now I know which version I need and am really hoping these come up for sale again. That would really make my year. 🙂

  3. I hope I’m still in the queue for docbrown though I have not receivef any paypal request 😦 yet.

    • No one has gotten a invoice yet, that I know of, from the orders he took back in May. So everyone is still patiently waiting. After this post, looks like may orders will be filled. I am very excited.

      • Great :). Just mentioning the ‘first batch’ in the post got me worried. That was probably a reference to the beta boards shipped out months ago, then.

    • Same here, i was like what i missed it already!

      But he usually sends a payment request. I did get a email i was on the list months ago when i was told to provide a photo of my marty. I am excited now and will be checking my email for that much anticipated paypal request.

      • Yep, I read the part “The very first batch arrived intact though” and was wondering what batch I was in or if I had missed the boat somehow…

        Been waiting patiently since May as well… I keep checking my emails twice a week just so I don’t miss anything…

  4. “I’m no pro modder” he says….

    Gdemu, you are no pro… You are a modding god.

    Gdemu, Rhea, Phoebe and docbrown make you a modification guru.

  5. I just saw the update on possible new orders and disassembled my Saturn to see I needed a Phoebe. Please offer the Phoebes for sale again too (or at least to me lol).

  6. I was one of the people who got the “message sent” when I ordered a Pheobe last time around but I guess the message never made it over to you. I took a picture of it on my screen with my phone at the time. If I send you the pic can I get in on the next round?

  7. It would really make my year being able to preorder a Phoebe also 😉 I also missed the last opportunity due to being broke, another opportunity would be great…

  8. I been waiting for ever to orders, but I’m always late. I will set my alarm clock 🙂

  9. I think I’m the 4th person here saying that I missed Phoebe last time. The time difference got me 😦 PLEASE offer up some more this month if you can 🙂 Thank you!!

    • No jailbars on CRTs and for SMS modern HD displays show a subtle, fine pattern that’s more like dithering so it’s not as annoying. Jailbars are caused by hi-freq noise (like clock ripple) in the analog signal. There can be many causes but people seem to always blame the video amp. In this particular case I think it’s the DAC in the video chip so there isn’t much that can be done other than add low-pass filter to the analog signal – and this will in turn somewhat reduce pixel sharpness. A “fix” that seems to work on current 6-bit LCD monitors might fail in future on 8+ bit OLEDs for the same reason.
      I have yet to test the OSSC filtering for SCART input, I wonder how good that one is.

      • The OSSC will definitely display the game with some jailbars since its taking the analog signals and doubling it as a digital signal. Much of it is due to the CXA1145p. Lemme know if you come across any issues.

      • I’ve just tested OSSC and while the LPF removes some noise, the 9MHz cutoff is too high to fully eliminate these jailbars. Though any lower would affect sharpness too much on modern pixel-perfect displays.
        Either way as I’ve said the effect is very faint, it’s more like vertical scanlines. It can be easily mistaken for a simple color dithering method. I don’t mind it.

  10. Hey everyone just wondering if anyone knows how to get Panzer Dragoon Saga to work with Phoebe? or is it now compatible?

    With out the action replay I get to the CD screen and with the action replay it tells me to remove cartridge.

    Please help or direct me a link

  11. Is it possible to complete the order process with an iOS mobile phone? (I will be not at home at the time when ordering starts)

  12. Just got my first Saturn yesterday. Was excited to see that there you were going to be taking orders on the Rhea in two weeks, but when I opened the Saturn, I saw I need a Phoebe 😦
    Hopefully those will be up soon as well.

  13. Thanks for the update. Looking forward to try and get one this round

  14. I got my phoebe in but my Sega Saturn is giving me the “reading disc format error” when I turn it on the logo screen will freeze, audio cuts out and goes straight to the menu saying “reading disc format”. Should I just buy another Saturn or can I save this one?

    Thanks y’all!!

    • Check your install. Make sure the Ribbon Cable into Phoebe is not upside-down. Check your revision too. Make sure the Jumper on Phoebe are proper to the Model 2 you have it installed in. Type 2, 3 or 4.

      • Thanks! I got it to the rmenu screen but it keeps saying “game unsuitable for this system”. Idk why. I’m using the correct formats.

      • You sure it’s the correct region? If not you have to enable region patching via INI file.

      • Your best bet is Windows 7 and creating .CDI files from the original disc in Discjuggler.

        Make sure you run the Rmenu app in folder one every time you add something new or make a image file change.

        IMG/CUE/SUB files work as well – but some will lock up.

      • I tried the auto_region in the ini file with different regions but still gives me the same message when trying to boot a game. I tried all of the different formatted images as well and made sure the images were the USA region.

        I’m going to keep trying. I know it has to be something simple.

        I appreciate the help D and Abe!

      • If you want to make sure it is not your INI file or your setup. USE THIS.

        This is a .CDI file I made of a demo disc.
        It is just a small incomplete demo that was released free.

        Put this in Folder 02
        Run the RMENU app so that R menu sees the new image.
        Pop in your saturn and it should work.

      • @abe

        I tried the demo of sonic extreme with rmenu and it worked perfectly. No ini file or anything just the menu and the demo game.

      • SO that means that your RMENU is just fine.
        Your Card Is Just Fine
        Your Phoebe is set to the right Type and Installed Properly.

        All the “Saturn Disc not supported” messages you are getting are not proper image backups.

        I suggest finding a new source for your backups if you are downloading.
        If you are ripping your own games. Do it as follows.
        Windows 7 PC (not windows 8/10).
        Download Discjuggler from website (trial is fine)
        Select Create Disc Image..
        GO to Advanced
        Check these boxes PQ, R-W, RAW Read, Scan Gaps (4 boxs total) Everything else unchecked.
        Create your XXXXX.Cdi (xxxx = game name)
        Put it into a folder 03,04,05,06 (you know how it works by now)
        Use RMENU App to update the table of contents.
        Pop SD into Saturn and enjoy!!

      • I’m checking off the boxes you suggest, mounting the bin file and keep getting the error “no seek complete” in discjuggler. The cdi file is made but still gives me the “cartridge unsuitable for this system”

        I even installed another version of discjuggler and am using windows 7. I have no idea why they aren’t working at this point.

        I’m using downloads that everyone else is using. Dark water, trurips etc…

        And my deamon tools is version 4.46

  15. “cartridge unsuitable for this system”

    is Different than “game unsuitable for this system”

    Which is also different from “THIS IS NOT A SATURN DISC”

    “THIS IS NOT A SATURN DISC” is a message that RMENU displays when you run the RMENU app in folder 01 to update the TOC for the menu program. Hence if you just add games in folders 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 ect… Then just run the SDCARD on the saturn, the Saturn will boot Rmenu but the games will not be there. When you run the RMENU app inside folder 01 on the PC it builds the menu for you. If you get the message “game unsuitable for this system”

    I am going to guess the .cdi I made you for the sonic demo worked (you had it in Folder 02 is my guess) and sounds like you ran the RMENU app software in folder 01 which updated the menu and allowed you to see it and launch it? So sounds like your doing the RMENU thing right. Sounds like a problem with something else.

    So First you have a PHOEBE.. So you need a INI file on the ROOT OF YOUR SD CARD.
    Make sure it is named : phoebe (All lower case letters or you can Capitalize the first letter) This is just my OCD.. I am sure all CAPS work too, but I am not into that. I know my INI file works as phoebe or Phoebe (DOUBLE CHECK YOUR SPELLING if spelled Pheobe or any other way it will not work) Lastly make sure the extension is .ini and not .txt or .txt.ini or ini.txt it has to be Phoebe.ini nothing else.

    NOW what kind of system are you using? Japanese? American (USA)? PAL (europe)?
    This is important. You need your system letter in the INI for auto region to match.
    I use a Japanese White saturn so my auto_region = J

    This is my INI file.

    auto_region = J
    reset_goto = 1
    open_time = 300
    detect_time = 150

    Change the J to what ever letter or number correspnds to your console.

    0 (or J): JAPAN, 1 (or T): TAIWAN and PHILIPINES, 2 (or U): USA and CANADA, 3 (or B): BRAZIL, 4 (or K): KOREA, 5 (or A): ASIA PAL area, 6 (or E): EUROPE, 7 (or L): LATIN AMERICA

    If your Auto_region is PROPER and your Phoebe.ini is properly spelled and named and on the ROOT (not in a folder) of your SD card. Any Game that Rmenu us showing as proper should work.

    So if you have

    01 – Rmenu
    02 – Sonic Xtreme Demo
    03 – Virtua Figher
    04 – This is not a Saturn Disc
    05 – Burning rangers
    06 – This is not a Saturn Disc
    07 – Panzer Dragoon

    Only 02,03,05,07 will work.

    You should not longer get a boot error back to the dashboard that says “cartridge unsuitable for this system” or “game unsuitable for this system”.

    If you are still getting this, the game could be Proper format and seen by Rmenu but corrupted.

    Hope this helps.

    • @abe

      I got it to work with nights into dreams but the region code is “JTU” same as that demo you sent me.

      All other region codes do not work.

      • @abe

        I finally figured it out. I have an American Sega Saturn shell but a Japanese board inside. No wonder the person on eBay said it was broken.

        CRAZY things happen lol

        Thanks for all of your help!!!

      • SO your ini file should look like this.

        auto_region = J
        reset_goto = 1
        open_time = 300
        detect_time = 150

        AND your ready to game!!!

  16. Lovely work on the SMS2. Would you mind sharing the guide for the mod? I’ve seen it done by wiring up a bit of veroboard, but the method used here looks far more tidy and neat.

    • You don’t need a veroboard if you already the components built in your Genesis 1 scart cable.
      Just tap into 21, 22, 23 on the CXA1145p chip for B, G, R respectively, Pin 11 for Sync out, Pin 15 on the VDP, and 5v and GND anywhere from the caps.

    • This will only work if you remove the TV modulator (I did as I have no use for it, even though it still works fine). With it gone you can reuse CXA1145 amplified outputs for all signals – which is nice because even though most cables are crap, the RGB and composite video should be 75 ohm matched and this chip has been built for that.

      Connect RGB to pins 23 (R), 22 (G) and 21 (B) of the CXA1145. There’s actually 3 holes near the chip you can use for that if you clean the factory solder. GND is the modulator shield and +5V is one of the 3 pins that went into it (the one with fat copper trace). The middle one is composite video, the other side is mono audio.

      To get correct signal on these pins you also need to:
      – remove R27, R28 and R29
      – replace R21 with 75 ohms (if necessary, it can already be that value but it can also be 2k)
      – put 10uF / 16V cap in place of R28 (plus side goes to pin 9 of the CXA1145)
      – preferably replace C38 to 220uF / 16V but it’s not critical, you won’t be actually using the composite video, just the sync in it

      And that’s it.



    I paid – Can not wait to get it!!!!

    • GDEMU – Noticed that Almanac package is not longer available for Download.
      Would love to get a head start on setting up my SDCARD before my DOC gets here.

      Would also be cool if someone made a tool that scanned every folder on the root of the card and created a title.txt inside of each folder and put the name of the folder in the text file.


      I have 5 games.

      Truxton II
      Raiden Triad
      Tiger Helli
      Bubble Bobble.

      The Program would create a Title.txt in each of those folder.
      and the title.txt would have the name of the folder in the txt file.
      ex: Truxton II

      Then after that is done, you can use BRC32 (rename folders.batch) to Change all the folder names to sequential Numbers (or you can do it manually)

      Truxton II = 02
      Splatterhouse = 03
      Raiden Triad = 04

      You get the idea…

      Would make compiling an SD card pretty easy..

      Neuroacid or Madsheep?? Ideas for Tools??

      • I didn’t delete Almanac, must’ve been removed by Sendspace. I will re-upload a bit more refined version soon.

        As for creating title.txt file, you can’t easily do that because there aren’t game headers you can pull the name from. I could match the image checksum but there’s no database for that, plus matching all of the image would be slow. Partial match on the other hand must be selected in such a way as to not cause hash collisions.

      • I wasn’t talking about creating a image.txt from the ISO files. But from the Folders they are in. I already have a collection of Marty Games in individual folders. Each folder is the name of the game. So if there was a program that would scan my root folder and create a image.txt inside each folder on the root and put the text of the folder name inside the txt the file you could automate the image.txt file process for people with big collections. Then they could copy their games to the SCcard and use the Batch file renamer to rename all the game folders to numbers for the ODE to read.

      • Before I forget, is there still going to be a Version of DOC BROWN that works with the FM TOWNS Computers? I have a CX20 FMT2 I want to put an ODE in if you are still doing them.

  18. I just bought the Doc Brown I might have to hound people on here because I have no idea how to get it up and running if I’m being honest.

    • Wait, did you buy the actual DOC Brown? or you mean FM towns MARTY ?

      I didn’t know payment requests are out now.

      • Payment Requests are slowly trickling out from the May orders (where people supplied pics of their serial numbers) .

        I got mine at 4am EST and I was up so I paid ASAP.

        I instantly posted here and asked a few questions.

        I want to get my card up and running ASAP before it gets here.

  19. its now CET 11:19, ist the preordering gdemu already sold out or delayed?

  20. Order Successfull placed…yehahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    • How? I’m at the ordering place and it still says permenantl closed. please help

  21. Got my GDEMU message in… if you want to bill me for a Phoebe too that’d be cool. Hehehe.

  22. Between placing the order and getting PayPal payment notification, how much time usually passes?

    • When he is ready. Could be 24 hrs could bee a few months. Likely, based on the post he wrote, my guess is first week of 2019.

      He said he didn’t want to ship anything except docbrown until the new year.

      My guess is invoices will start on or after Jan 1 2019.

  23. Is there a confirmation email we get or anything? It doesn’t look like it, so I hope it worked.

      • you can read above that today from 11 am the preorder should opened. but for now was open only for cdemu, i’m waiting for rhea but i don’t understand if is today or next saturday

      • “(…) and then, on the Saturday after that, for Rhea” – so, as the post says, Rhea is next week,

  24. Silly question, is the name field in order page the WordPress name or real name?

    • Doesn’t matter.

      As long as email and PayPal email are proper, that’s all he needs to bill you.

  25. Thanks, I’m good to go. Next step , waiting for Payment notification.

  26. My alarm didn’t go off for some reason and yet I somehow randomly woke up an hour late and it’s still open? Hallelujah! Order placed!

  27. And it’s closed. It’s been a pleasure staying up with you folks. I’m headed off to bed!

  28. What a joke. I miss it again by a few minutes. This guy really makes it difficult to support him.

    • It was open for a long time. I could have filled out the form dozens of times. If you missed it, have nobody to blame but yourself.

      • Yeah because I sit around for months waiting to hit refresh… Some of us have lives. It shouldn’t be this difficult to order a product.

      • Nice slick insult. We have lives too. Refreshing for a few minutes would not hurt. That’s why people got their orders in, and you didn’t. I waited patiently for months as well. And I did what made sense. Nevertheless, I can understand the frustration. But no need to gripe. The man clearly said when the order window would be. Set your alarm like I, and most others did, and send your request through. Simple as.

    • Hey, that’s your fault. The window was open nearly an hour! I was shocked that it was open that long. I thought it would be less than 5 minutes like the Phoebe. All I can say is good luck next time. Set your alarm, and keep REFRESHING!

    • I’m surprised you posted here at all! I personally would have been too embarrassed to admit that I had missed a one hour ordering window! It’s not like you had to do too much reading, the exact day and time was spelled out in the 3rd post from the top. Takes a special kinda guy to try and place their failure on someone else……..

      • You guys are sycophants. I can’t believe you endorse this business model.

      • You are welcome to either design your own or go by the one from the guy in the Ukraine. He’s model for selling these things is more than fair. He gives everybody the time that they’re going on sale as well as the day. I will admit I’ve been around for many years and things have not been so easy in the past, there used to be times I would sit up for 6 or 7 hours watching a page refresh just to get one. But now like many others here I just set an alarm for 5 minutes before the time he States and I just click the favorites button on my phone and it opens right to the page for ordering and I just keep swiping down to refresh until the orders open. My autofill pretty much fils it in in one press and I’m done.

        If you miss this order window, then it wasn’t because they sold out super fast, it was because you just did not get here on time. Look at some of the top selling products on the market, like the NES classic in the SNES classic. Both of those were near impossible to get and we’re sold on multiple websites and still sold out in a matter of seconds and no one complained about the business model. Yes this guy only sells his cards in one place, and yes sometimes they do sell out pretty quick, I think the fastest I’ve ever seen was 3 minutes. But lately, especially for the GD emu orders have been staying open longer and longer which means that either he is producing more boards or the number of people buying them is starting to fall off, but even with a one-hour window I would still say he is selling out of his entire stock.

  29. Do you report the fake GDEMUs in eBay? Does eBay remove the fake listings? They should at least pay you some royalties…

    • China is the wild west. Intellectual property rights are meaningless there. It’s sad.

      • Kosh you are a total TOOL.. Your reasoning is WRONG and makes no moral or logical sense.
        Sure You can create your own product to meet the demand for a product with a certain set of features, but you do not steal the work and duplicate someone else’s product exactly.

        If you don’t give your wife Tara the D*ck. and there is a demand for it, and I give her my D*ck. are you going to complain…? By your logic, if she don’t get enough c*ck I can smash that all day.

    • Unless you actually contact Vero on eBay and have the actual intellectual property rights to send them to show that your product is being cloned and sold, there isn’t much you can do about it. Add in the fact that there are people buying official ones hear from the developer and either reselling them or eventually selling them on eBay, which they have every right to do without being bothered.

      The problem comes in figuring out which ones are real and which ones are clones. Of course the people who are listing them stating that they cannot be updated, or stating that you should not do a firmware update are clearly selling the counterfeit ones so for them it would be pretty easy to get them removed.

      At this point the genie is out of the bottle and I do feel bad for the developer as he is totally getting screwed on his own product. But at least with him opening Windows and still selling the GD emu, it shows that there is still interest from people in buying an official card and it still puts money in his pocket. When it comes to the point where he cannot even sell through an entire order window is when the developer has either reach saturation or it has come to a point where the interest is lost in the product.

      I do actually have a question for the developer here. I have seen the clones as low as $65 shipped on eBay. And I know that you can use things like eBay bucks or even coupons to get a lower price. I have not bought a clone but I have gone through eBay and looked at all the different sellers and even added a few to my cart and then applied a coupon code to see what the lowest I could get them for was. When eBay was doing their 15% off the day before Black Friday I was able to find a seller on eBay who had more than 10 in stock actually he had more than 50 in stock because I put in 50 and it did not tell me to enter a lower quantity. With the 15% off the card was $57 shipped. Now here is where my question comes in. I am sure the developer is paying a good amount of money to have these cards made and I know he makes them by hand. Based on some of his post it sounds like there are people helping him and for that I am sure he compensates them. But could it be cheaper 2 by the clones and update them using your proprietary software to make them official? If so couldn’t you use the clones and turn them into official ones that are updatable and save yourself the hassle of building your own? Not looking to insult. It just seems like something that could be possible, since the genie is out of the bottle so to speak why not use the genie against them?

      Regardless I think that it really does suck for the developer to have to compete against his own product. Now I do understand how companies like coach that make handbags and luggage, and companies like Nike and other big names that get knock-offs, what they have to deal with.

      What I find interesting is that a single individual created the product it has taken the retro world by storm, so much so that even the people in China felt that it was a product worth mass-producing and reselling at a lower price. It just goes to show you how creative and Innovative the gdemu really was. And because of that I will always buy the official ODE from the developer here.

  30. Well, I missed GDEMU’s opportunity window this morning, really really for 10-15 minutes u___u …

    Last year’s during Saturnalia 2017 (Madrid, a Sega Saturn-based encounter) we had just a very small chance to see an original working Phoebe: I understand why the ordering policy works as it is. I wish that there could be a wait list in the future, perhaps only for the day where the orders are open.

    That’s just only a wish, thank you for reading: I will keep on looking for a GDEMU/Phoebe order in the future. If you happen to pass by, we’ll be running Saturnalia 2018 this December the 15th.

    Have a nice holiday, hope to catch the next train soon! ^__^

  31. Thank you for the continued support and development of this project and product.

Comments are closed.