Getting Parallel Port on GameShark 3.3 to Work

Discussion in 'Nintendo Game Development' started by MasterOfPuppets, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Site Supporter 2013

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    So I have a Gameshark 3.3 that is missing the number countdown in the little window. I was told that due to this being missing is what's causing the parallel port on the back not to work, if this is true or not I don't know. Is there something I can do (solder, etc.) to get the parallel port working again? It also needs to be reflashed, another reason I need the parallel port to work. Thanks!
     
  2. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I've had the countdown timer fail on GameSharks before with 0 obvious reason as to why as well as no negative effects beyond the loss of a countdown. Whoever said it was because of the parallel port either is full of crap or should be prodded for more information.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  3. kholdfuzion

    kholdfuzion I kill consoles

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    Fun fact, if you take a 3.3 without a parallel port and move its microcontroller to a regular 3.3 it works. So I've started remaking the good board (parallel one) in eagle to move my useless non parallel 3.3 chips to and be able to use a parallel interface. If there is interest I will release the brd and sch when I'm done.

    Eventually I might even look into adding usb instead of parallel to my design.

    As for reflashing, you can easily desodler the flash roms and use a willems or similar with right plcc adapter. If you try to use a 3.3 lpt to piggyback flash, you will flash the FW without lpt access to the GS, so that method is not advised.

    If you want either desolder or buy 2 29f010 (of at least speed 120? maybe 150) and pm me for shipping info, I'll program em, test, and ship back, no charge
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  4. Teancum

    Teancum Intrepid Member

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    Wow would be really cool to have a USB interface on the gameshark. Also may be cool to build one from scratch. (eagle is a pcb layout program right?) Since gamesharks are notorious for failing.
     
  5. link83

    link83 Enthusiastic Member

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    It is completely true and affects the last produced GameShark 3.3's, I even mentioned it at the bottom of my post here:-
    http://www.assemblergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=479319#post479319

    You might want to read this thread:-
    http://www.kodewerx.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7189&start=0
    and take a look at these two pictures
    GameShark 3.3 "REF1329" Full:-
    [​IMG]
    GameShark 3.3 "REF1329" Crippled:-
    [​IMG]

    Theres also an even later GameShark 3.3 PCB revision "REF1451" which uses a different ASIC and removes all SMT traces/footprints for the missing parts.

    Basically Interact (Or Datel) cheaped out when making the very last GameShark 3.3 models and left off any 'unnecessary' SMT parts :DOH: The externally obvious missing part is the numerical display - although the missing display is not the reason why the LPT port doesnt work. Quite why Interact/Datel continued placing LPT ports on PCB's that couldnt even use them seems to be a mystery.

    You could of course replace all the missing parts on the "REF1329" boards if you have adequate soldering knowledge/experience ;-)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  6. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Site Supporter 2013

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    Thanks to everyone for the responses and thanks to kholdfuzion for the offer, but after reading link83's post I found out I'm screwed because I own a REF1451. Looks like I'll be buying a 3.2 on eBay (unless for some reason I should get a proper 3.3).
     
  7. link83

    link83 Enthusiastic Member

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    Interesting, any chance of a picture of both sides of the "REF1451" PCB?

    I would recommend buying a 3.2, at least that way you know your going to get a board with all the SMT components, and you can always upgrade to the 3.3 firmware through the LPT port.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  8. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Site Supporter 2013

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    Here they are, significantly more crippled then the REF1329.

    Also, is there any kind of changelog for the updates? Is it worth updating 3.2 to 3.3?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. link83

    link83 Enthusiastic Member

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    Thanks for the pics :)

    I havent seen any changelog, but the best source of information I have found about N64 GameShark's/Action Replay's is here:-
    http://doc.kodewerx.org/hacking_n64.html

    I hope that helps, and good luck finding a 3.2 :nod: (btw, A 3.1 GameShark Pro should be just as good as 3.2 if you can update the firmware, since apparently they also have LPT ports)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  10. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Site Supporter 2013

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    Thanks for the info, and no problem about the pics!
     
  11. kholdfuzion

    kholdfuzion I kill consoles

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    Every 3.2 I've encountered I have been able to piggy back flash with a second 3.2 or a 3.3 with parallel to 3.3. Speaking of, I have a few unreleased GS roms I dumped that I need to upload. Gotta find which backup hdd they are on first tho.
     
  12. Teancum

    Teancum Intrepid Member

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    Thanks for that info. I originally figured that since I had a parallel port on it I was safe. You wouldn't think they would still put it on if it wasn't going to work, but thanks to the info and pictures you've posted I know that my gameshark has all the parts necessary to work with the parallel port.

    Also a noob question for kholdfusion. I'm just starting my journey on learning electronics and am curious how you would go about changing a gameshark to USB. The reason I ask is because I have other devices I would like to do that with as well. I'm sure that's years off for me and I don't expect a step by step noob tutorial for conversion but would love to know which direction to study.
     
  13. Annoying_one

    Annoying_one Peppy Member

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    kholdfuzion

    please do post the files when your done
     
  14. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I see what you're saying. That by removing the components necessary to have a countdown timer they removed the ability for the parallel port connection to work.

    However I still have had the countdown timer fail on me and still had the parallel port work, which was what I was trying to say but I guess I didn't come out right. :shrug:

    Does look pretty easy to pop on the requisite chips and timer portion though.

    The thread linked over at benheck.com seems to confirm my experiences from the late 90s quite well. I didn't exactly have electronic expertise to take it apart and figure things out but it basically nailed what I had thought it to be on the head. Shame I've tossed so many over the years that probably could've been revived.
     
  15. link83

    link83 Enthusiastic Member

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    Sorry, I guess I misunderstood what you were saying :redface:

    Please note though that the components needed for the coundown timer are completely separate to the components needed to make the parallel port work - they just left off all the parts that were not actually needed to make the GameShark work.
     
  16. Vandurol

    Vandurol Member

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    MasterofPuppets, I have that exact same gameshark, you are SOL. The parallel port doesn't even have any connections to anything. It is literally decorative. That is why I bought a 3.2, because it is guaranteed to work (unless its <3.1 cart with 3.2 firmware).

    You need to see if it has the LED countdown, Sticker on the back saying its firmware, and if the cart is glittery. I bet your 3.3 is a matt black with no glitter like mine.

    Sorry.
     
  17. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Site Supporter 2013

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    You're right, it is. I'm planning on getting a 3.2 on eBay soon.

    EDIT: Also, when I get this new one, is there something I should avoid doing to break it? Is there something that "bricks" Gamesharks really easily?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  18. Vandurol

    Vandurol Member

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    Piggyback it with other Gamesharks, turning on too many cheats, or deleting too many cheats.

    Avoid these.

    I use my 3.2 GS constantly with programs and homebrews, so don't worry about LPT damage. (Just make sure you set all pins to low when trying to use the gameshark again.)

    Make sure you clean the contacts of anything you get on eBay. It may not work right away. (the LED countdown will be stuck on a number, mine was on 7, just clean it thoroughly with electrical contact cleaners).

    And trying to use a GS is tricky. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I found it best to put in a game without the GS, press the reset button, wait for the game to reload, then shut it off and try to use it with gameshark. Trial and error....
     
  19. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    You forgot "looking at it funny" and "failing to build it an alter for which daily offerings are made for it".

    I never figured out why but for some reason when one uses Zelda: OoT with a GameShark (at the time I was using a 3.2) and the official Nintendo Expansion Pak the game would randomly freeze. Take out the Expansion Pak and it would NEVER freeze. Of course I used this particular configuration purely for searching for memory values to create new codes.

    However it would freeze regardless of what I was doing that day so long as the Expansion Pak was installed. I could have refrained from using the search functions for a week and it'd freeze at random or I could use them all day for a day and see nothing. Damn things are bipolar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  20. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Site Supporter 2013

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    Has anyone tired a parallel to USB cable with one of these? I'd rather use it with my desktop then my old Windows 98 laptop, especially if I’m going to be dumping my carts.
     

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