BS-X RAM Cartridge

Discussion in 'Nintendo Game Development' started by Stan64, May 3, 2010.

  1. Stan64

    Stan64 Newly Registered

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    So, I bought a Satellaview and a a BS-X.

    The RAM pak came empty though. =(

    Is there any way to flash dumps of games onto the cart?

    Trying to get some friends to hunt down some games on real cartridges but they are kinda rare, almost non existant.

    It's also hard to find any useful information on the web about this. Except from all the standard information.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  2. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    How much you paid for it ? (no, you don't need to answer this one if you don't want to lol)
    Do you have enough knowledge to take it apart and attempt to figure out how it works ? Would you be interested in doing such a work ?

    How about making that into an hobby ? And once you figure out how it work you could share with the community... :)

    If I had an kit such as yours I would at least try to investigate how it works. And maybe make an cartridge writter for it...

    With Internet as resource nowadays It only depends on willpower.

    I'd love to be of help if there's anything I can help with.
     
  3. Stan64

    Stan64 Newly Registered

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    The whole package was around $400 with customs and everything.

    The BS-X cartridge can start up and you can walk around in town, no buildings work though because it can't find the network-stream from St.Giga.

    However, you can open up your own house and play and manage games on your RAM-cartridge.

    I poked around and found a cartridge with one game in Japan for $60.

    I'm fairly confident with electronics, I have opened up most consoles and done some internal work in them. However, I'm can't figure stuff out, I only work with diagrams and need to be told what to do. I have no education for that sort of thing either.

    I would love howerver to get help and try stuff with help from others, I could even sponsor a RAM-cartridge if I get another one.

    I would like to find someone who have prior knowledge though. That's why I'm here!

    EDIT: You don't really need the Satellaview, just the BS-X Cartridge and the RAM Cartridge.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  4. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    Indeed, the Satelaview hardware is just a sort of modem equipment.

    I've seen pictures of the BS-X cartridge and it seems to be fairly simple, containing an 64KB PSEUDO-SRAM memory, 32KB of battery backed SRAM, the ROM (SHVC-ZBSJ) and a custom chip which is apparently made by Sharp, the MCC-BSC.

    The first point of analysis would be track down all the cartridge connections and see which address lines the MCC-BSC chip uses and from that, along with a dump of the rom trace the memory map for the software.

    After that, analysis of how the smaller cartridge is built and reverse engineering of the software to figure how to set it up for write and read is required. From that point such carts would be possible to be duplicated or you could buy a few erased/blanks and have them programmed on the PC.

    Too bad this would be a long work of reverse engineering. I know that some popular titles were "hacked" to be played on emulators so studying how they were changed would perhaps help on your idea. :thumbsup:
     
  5. MatthewCallis

    MatthewCallis Robust Member

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    There's no easy way to flash games back onto a memory pack currently, nor would it be a good thing if it were.

    Just because nothing shows up in the memory pack doesn't mean it's blank, it could very well just have run out its play limit. Many games limit the number of times the cart can boot, and once they're exhausted it will no longer show up. I have a lot of the memory packs, and most of them show as empty, but many still have data that can be dumped on them. If you want it dumped, let me know.

    Should people start wanting to put Dynami Tracers or what ever other expensive games on them hacked and start selling them, will likely start buying carts and just erasing what's on them for a quick buck without dumping them.
     
  6. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    From a collector standpoint, indeed reusing carts is a bad idea, hence why I mentioned that he could make "new" carts for his own use.

    Now, if anyone has knowledge to duplicate rare things and use it to change carts and then sell them on ebay or similar sites, it's a problem of character. I was posting solely about the technical challenges involved.

    Not the ethics related to it. :)

    While I'm not the kind of person who would make fakes and sell on Ebay, I would not bother analyzing stuff like these BS-X software and reflashing them for my own leisure. Like maybe reseting these boot timers on carts with expiration counts. That would be an interesting research.
     
  7. Stan64

    Stan64 Newly Registered

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    Yeah, I thought about how it would crash the used market, and that is a bad thing. However it's a bad thing that you eventually won't be able to play certain games anymore as well.

    I would like to see a list which games could be played without a St.Giga connection and which games that had limits and which ones that don't have a limit.

    I just want to play some games on original hardware. I have no problem buying them. It's just so hard to get hold of the games.

    MatthewCallis, what would I benefit if the cartridge was dumped? Let's dump it anyway, maybe it helps someone that want to get all the games! What should I do?
     
  8. MatthewCallis

    MatthewCallis Robust Member

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    You will be able to play almost every single game without a connection, just missing streaming audio or other things of that nature.

    Your benefit would be having the ability to play the game on real hardware. I'll PM you.
     
  9. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator

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    I would say this is digital preservation and not unethical.

    Can you go into how you're dumping the information?
     
  10. Dr.Wily

    Dr.Wily Peppy Member

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    I am interested too. My purpose is to show up a running Satellaview to the public in a Museum. I also have the complete hardware but no game in the flash cart.
     
  11. karsten

    karsten Member of The Cult Of Kefka Staff Member

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    might provide a cheap way for homebrewers to load their game too
     
  12. Trenton_net

    Trenton_net AKA SUPERCOM32

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    Does the code executed from the ROM Flash cart need to be written/coded in any special particular way to accommodate the Satellaview? Or is it the same as any other SNES ROM?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  13. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    I wonder why nobody ever published a picture of how the flashcard looks like inside. :shrug:
     
  14. MatthewCallis

    MatthewCallis Robust Member

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    It's a special cart made by everybody's favorite SNES worshiping coder. Something about copying the carts data during boot, it's not fool proof and can take a few attempts to get some packs to read.

    All you need for that is the base cart, so they can wonder around the town. Having a memory pack doesn't activate anything else outside of being able to go to your house and play the game, sadly.

    NOOOOOOOOO, at least let the undumped list get down some, then do what you will.

    I can post bigger scans if you need them, but not if you're going to do evil things!

    http://superfamicom.org/blog/2010/04/internals-of-a-bs-x-cartridge/
     
  15. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    The worst thing I would try to do is clone the Sharp chip with TTL logic, mod an cartridge into a BS-X card and add enough flash to simulate an game pack. Then I would attempt to make them work with it for my own leisure, learning and joy ... :rolleyes:

    No, I would not try to make sell-able "cartridges" out of them if it's what you're worried about.

    I would make one for my own use and that's all about it.
     
  16. MottZilla

    MottZilla Guardian of the Forum

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    Cheap? The BS-X cartridge that has the pack slot isn't cheap, and I doubt any programmable pack mod would be cheap. Compare that to any of the flash carts available and you have a much better product than anything you'd hack out of the BS-X.

    Writing BS-X packs is only interesting for collectors/fans and pirates.
     
  17. Stan64

    Stan64 Newly Registered

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    I doubt pirates, they will probably just play it on an emulator or a non confusing flash cart.

    I really want someone to reverse enginner and make a Satellaview network that is working again. But that seams like a dreamy goal. It's a lot of work.

    But quite few people here is interested. And if you really do a network you could modify the names on the games you send out so the original cartridges still out there wont loose value!
     
  18. MottZilla

    MottZilla Guardian of the Forum

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    Not pirates that want to play games, pirates that want to build bootlegs and charge alot of money for it.
     
  19. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    From what I saw on the picture, it looks like relatively simple to circumvent mechanism. If that flashrom chip is a custom part, at most we can expect the write mechanism to be custom, which an quick reverse engineering of the write routines on the BS-X bios would reverse.

    And no pirates would copy these games to sell on any way besides attempt to re-write existing cartridges. It's best perhaps keep the information on how to enable writes on the carts private if that's what you're worried about ... :)

    How about "etnical bootlegs" ? Like normal carts modified to run the BS-X games ?
     
  20. MottZilla

    MottZilla Guardian of the Forum

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    If people want to build/hack standard cartridges to put BS-X ROMs on them that's fine with me. Though it's a shame if they destroy a bunch of cartridges to do it. Particularly if they do it for insane profits. It'd be nice if since there is a Super CIC Clone if someone develops a SNES reproduction/homebrew board and cartridge case.
     

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