21st Century Common Man, contd.

Rhea orders will open 2021-10-09 (this Saturday) at 12:00 CEST (noon). In case some unforseen disaster strikes again and I miss it, please come back the next Saturday.

UPDATE: Rhea orders closed.

UPDATE 2: All Rheas have been shipped, and I have a batch of Phoebes almost ready. I will open orders 2021-10-30 (Saturday) at 21:00 CEST (that’s 9pm) to make it a bit more USA friendly.

UPDATE 3: Phoebe orders closed.

60 thoughts on “21st Century Common Man, contd.

  1. Really wish you left pre-orders open for more than a few hours… Really hard for people in the US to place an order at 4:00AM. 😦

    • I’ll try to make the next Rhea batch USA-friendly. It’s always a night somewhere and I have only so many available right now.

      • Are you going to make more DOC BROWN ODEs? I’ve been waiting a very long time.

      • Yes, in January I think. I don’t want to ship any big batches in December, people order a lot of gifts abd stuff gets lost more often.
        Unless you want it for Xmas gift? I could sell you one of my backup units, it got some weird reaction to the cleaning process so the backside of the PCB looks like dirty (but it’s not). The front, with SD card slot, has no issues though.

    • Not to be a jerk but you do have an alarm clock right? I woke up in the middle of the night to purchase a GD-Emu. All you need is a couple of minutes to make the purchase then go back to bed. If you want it bad enough you’ll make it happen.

    • He makes it pretty easy by telling a date and time. If you’re subscribed you get an email so as long as you check it every few days it’s simple.
      Also pre order is open and close based on how many he has assembled. I think a few years ago he accidently left order window go behind what he had on hand and it was very difficult to fulfill

  2. I placed a preorder, but I haven’t received any confirmation email. Can you check to see if my preorder request went through?

  3. Hello, I reached out to you about Wizard on a previous post but it wouldn’t let me reply to you. I am interested in one of those extras you were saving if you still have one.

  4. when can i buy it? Is it possible to live by receiving an email? please contact me

  5. I’m not sure what happened today. I was sitting here at 3:00pm EDT with the intent of getting a Phoebe order in, but then I just saw the update that the orders are now closed. Was there an order form available on the main Phoebe order page for a bit and I just missed it? Was I supposed to send an email to some address?

    Is there some kind of waiting list in place so that I can order one in the future when Phoebes are available again?

    • You probably have a proxy server between you and this page, and it didn’t refresh. I always have a few duplicates on the list that I remove so I will just add you instead. What Phoebe type do you need?

      • Thank you for the reply!

        Based on the info on the site, I believe I have either a type 3 or type 4 Saturn. The drive looks very much like the type 3, but my Saturn’s power supply board looks exactly like the one in your type 4 picture. I thought all the types 2 through 4 took the same type of drive replacement: a Phoebe (rather than a Rhea). I would very much like to be on the list.

        Thanks again.

      • No white outline – that’s why I was thinking type-3. There is an outline on the board, I assume ground connection around the edges, but it is green like all the other trace covering for the rest of the board.

        Does the difference between type-3 or type-4 change the replacement hardware? Based on reading here at the website, I concluded they both take the same Phoebe. Is that correct?

      • Worst case scenario you’ll need to add/remove one solder jumper. I’ll put you in for a Type-3 then.

  6. Is the PCE ODE still happening? I’m still waiting for someone to do one that is of good quality and doesn’t try to include everything but the kitchen sink.

    • I too am super interested in a PCE ODE.
      I know there’s the Super SD System 3 (currently sold out), but I would love giving purpose to my actual Super CD briefcase system.

  7. Hello,

    My Saturn’s Rhea isn’t booting into the RMenu. The Saturn just boots into its bios Menu. The orange light on the Rhea board flashes once when I turn on the Saturn. Pressing the button the Rhea board does not do anything either.

    At first the Saturn intro would have no animation and just be static before booting into the Saturn menu. I changed the ribbon cable to the original stock ribbon cable. Then the Saturn boot intro played properly, but it still loaded into the Saturn menu instead of RMenu.

    I plugged in the two cables into the Rhea board (the ribbon cable and the small plug). I tried different configurations of the ribbon cable to determine if I had the wrong polarity. Only one of the configurations on the original stock ribbon cable was able to play the Saturn intro animation.

    I am confident I have the SD card properly setup. It is a SanDisk 8GB SDHC that was setup the GDMenu manager tool and the RMenu.exe. I have the RMenu.iso in the folder 1. I also have the Rhea.ini file in the directory as well.

    Can you help me determine what is the issue?

    Thank you

      • It says “Checking disc format” on the dash. Do you know what the issue is?

      • Okay I’ll double check the ribbon cable again later today when I get home from work and let you know. Hopefully it’s just simply the wrong polarity of the ribbon cable. The orange light blinks on the Rhea board when I turn on the Saturn, indicating that it’s getting power. Does it normally say “Checking disc format” if there is no disc drive or ODE plugged in with the ribbon cable at all? If that’s the case, then it’s likely the ribbon cable plugged in the wrong way.

      • I was able to fix the initial issue, I had the ribbon cable plugged in the wrong way on both the motherboard and ODE, but now the menu reads “Drive Empty”.

        The boot animation plays properly now. The “Drive Empty” displays with and without the SD card plugged in, which tells me either the ODE is not reading the SD card or it’s a software issue on the SD card.

        I followed the steps in setting up the SD card. I formatted my SanDisk 8GB SDHC with the SD Card Formatter program. I used the GDEMU Card Manager to set up the folders and games onto the SD Card. I put the RMenu.exe and BIN folder in the folder 01. I ran the RMenu.exe in folder 01, which then created the RMenu.iso in folder 01. I created a Rhea.ini configuration file in the directory of the SD card.

        Is there anything you think I messed up on or can try changing?

  8. I figured out the issue. It looks like one setting in the configuration ini file was preventing the Rhea from reading the SD card, specifically the high speed parameter. I edited the parameter to disabled, and it’s working properly now. Thank you for all your help, I appreciate it!

  9. I’m experiencing issues with my Rhea where some games aren’t loading. They just get stuck on a black screen after the Sega logo. I’ve tried different roms or builds of the games, but still no luck. What’s weird is that one game worked normally, but now it gets stuck on the black screen after the Sega logo even though I never changed the rom or made any changes. Does anyone know what causes this?

    • Never mind, I just figured it out. It was the damn configuration file again. It was causing me more issues than good, so I just deleted it. I do have one last minor issue though.

      I can’t seem to rename the name of the games. I renamed them in the notepad ini files when running the RMenu.exe, but the names are unchanged on the Rhea menu event though the ini file shows the changes I put. As a result, some names of the games are messed up on the Rhea menu. I can’t seem to figure out how to rename them.

      • Disregard again, I figured out the renaming issue. For future reference for others, when renaming the titles of the games after launching RMenu.exe, there’s an empty line after the last text (as if you press enter after the last text to start a new line). Don’t delete or backspace the empty line. That’s what caused my issue.

        Also, regarding my initial issue with some games being unable to load and stuck on a black screen due to the ini configuration file, it was specifically the open_time and detect_time parameters that caused the issues. I deleted those lines and kept the other settings in the configuration file, and everything works fine now.

  10. Sorry for the question. I was looking at the blog’s history, and during the search, I noticed that there was an attempt at an ODE for the Pc Engine briefcase. Does anyone know why the project was not continued? Thank you very much.

    • That prototype still exists, but became a personal project. Around the time I showed it, cloners finally cracked GDEMU and news about that broke out. A lot of people came here just to tell me it was somehow my fault, for not mass-producing it in China in the first place so that they could’ve gotten it cheap as dirt. I did not appreciate it.

      Way I see it, keeping the manufacturing entirely in EU helps our economy, even if the finished product costs more. A lot of people blame China for loss of jobs, but will happily buy from China if it costs a few $ less. Funnily enough it’s usually these people who give me most grief about the pricing.
      Second, I dislike that “we deserve it” attitude. I try my best to serve the community but it turns out it’s full of people who want to buy a cheap toy for amusement and discard it a few months later after they get bored / find a different toy to play with. This is not what I make. So I figured if people “deserve” it so much, why don’t they make an ODE on their own. Why should I invest my time into it only to be called names with everybody waiting for it to get cloned. I’m not doing it just for the money so I don’t have to release it.

      • Your Best Comment in years. I agree 100% which is why I have bought a card every single window since 2015 from you. I own and PLAY WITH everything you have made. In fact some of your projects have gotten me into systems I didn’t even know exist. The Towns is one of my Favorite machines in the last 3 years.

  11. hi, when it will be possible to order GDEMU again? I just discovered this fantastic item, but it is out of stock 😦

    • As long as it’s VA1 it will work, no matter what region your console is from. I have a few GDEMUs that had the SD card holder replaced because it was faulty, and just got them back. So once I test them I can sell you one.

      EDIT: It’s hard to say if HKT-3000 is VA1, it should be but JP consoles can be tricky. You can open it (see the GDEMU installation page) and see if the GD-ROM drive is stamped with “3.3V” – that’s a good sign of VA1 unless somebody swapped the drive. Also VA0 models are 5V and heat up more so the cooling fan has a small metal heatsink in front of it. In VA1 there’s just the fan, no heatsink.

  12. Hi Deunan,

    Firstly, keep up the great work! Thank you for all that you do.

    I’ve got a quick question about the “read_limit” parameter in GDEMU.ini. Do you have a recommended value for this parameter that will most closely resemble read speeds of an original GD-ROM drive? I believe the highest value that you allow (1250 KB/s) is probably the correct answer, as *I THINK* the Dreamcast read from the disc drive at roughly 1.8 MB/s. However, I wanted to ask for your expert opinion.

    This question arose because I noticed a game with mild texture flickering that didn’t occur when using an original disc, or when artificially slowing down the GDEMU with the “read_limit” option.

    Thank you in advance.

    • There isn’t one specific correct value, because read speed near the outside edge of the disc is greater than near the disc center. I could model it that way but in reality most games will tolerate any speeds, and the buggy ones seem to behave properly with the values close to the upper limit of what GD-ROM drive can do. So no need to limit it any further, unless someone spots a game that does need speeds lower than 1.2 MB/s. And even then perhaps a workaround for that one game would be a better idea.

      The upper limit for streaming is about 1.2 MB/s, you can pull data way faster via DMA from the internal buffer but only once it’s there. And the buffer on original GD-ROM drive is about 128k IIRC. It’s much smaller on GDEMU but then SD card streaming is way faster and it’s the random access time that limits me.

      • Thank you so much for the detailed answer, I appreciate it! After some testing, it appears that using a “read_limit” value of 1250 completely mitigates the texture flicker issue for this game. I also noticed that using the lowest possible value of “600” worked, as well (however no need to go that low).

        For those who are curious, the game in question is “Nakoruru: Anohito Kara no Okurimono (ナコルル 〜あのひとからのおくりもの〜)”, a Samurai Shodown visual novel spinoff for which I am currently developing a full English translation patch.

        Anyway, thanks again =)

      • I’m so sorry! I forgot to include the final question I had. If you’re able to take the time to answer it, then great! Otherwise, I know you’re a busy man, so I won’t cry 😂

        Regarding the “read_limit” option, your operations guide says:

        “The automatic setting will only affect games that need it. Default is auto.”

        If I use “1250” rather than “-1” (auto), am I breaking any of the hard-coded timings that are needed for certain games? So far I haven’t noticed any problems.

        As always, thank you.

      • Yes, you’d be overriding the hardcoded values with your manual setting but the auto limit is pretty close to 1250 anyway so it shouldn’t break anything. I’ll add the title you found to the automatic list.

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