Master ED on Jap SMS and gender adaptor at smspower = NO GAMES WORK

Discussion in 'Everdrive Master System - Master Everdrive' started by phoenixdownita, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    I have a SMS Japan + the adaptor sold at http://www.smspower.org/Shop/GenderAdapter

    I just received my MasterED and I plugged it in on the back of the GenderAdapter, it starts up fine showing OS v4 so I decide to flash it with OS v5 ... it works good.

    So far so good but then when I try to load any game (any game at all) I can only seen the countdown for the flashing up to 0, then the screen goes black and nothing else happens.
    I tries power off then on the SMS and the MasterED menu appears again. I can go to start game but same thing, just black screen.

    I tried to downgrade OS to v4 but nothing happens. The OS flash utility scren tells me "(Left) No (Right) yes" but it will not let me chose right, so I cannot downgrade to see if the incompatibility is with v5.

    Any help greatly appreciated, the fact that the MasterED menu shows up and that I was able to flash OS v5 sounds promising, now I need the game to work.
     
  2. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    OK I did some tinkering and got nothing. I resoldered every PIN on the adapter and tested continuity for each and every pin at the connector level, and everything checked out OK.

    Then I booted MasterED in reserve OS mode (by pressing 1+2+right and turn on). I wanted to try OSv4 just to see if it was an incompat at the OS level. So while in reserve OS mode which happened to be OSv4 I tried a game, as with OSv5 nothing happened. I booted again in reserve OS and flashed OSv4 (just to get rid of my OS v5) and tried again -> no luck. Then while in OSv4 I flashed OS v5 and again no luck. Actually it got a little worse.
    Now it seems I cannot get back to reserve OS mode. If I press 1+2+right and then turn on it simply goes into OSv5.

    Have I flashed over the reserve OS? What I wanted to try was OSv1 and OSv2 to see if something there works.

    My theory is that MasterED is not compat in software to run games from the expansion slot maybe because after flashing the game it reinitializes the hardware, in particular I suspect something to do with port $3E (http://www.smspower.org/Development/Port3E).

    I don't know anything about MasterED routines so this is just a theory and only Krikzz can confirm/deny but for the sake of speculation if indeed it resets the hardware after flashing right before letting the game take over then it may mess up with the expansion slot active/inactive status.

    So now I need help from Krikzz about 2 things:

    1) how do I get back to reserveOS so I can try OSv1 and OSv2 or in general be able to reflash an older firmware?
    2) can you double check if the init routines that you use before staring a game do touch port $3E, if so how hard would it be to have an experimental firmware to try if letting them set as they are works (or maybe just keeping bit6/bit7 states before and after)

    I suspect that even on US SMS the adapter may have issue if the problem is an init routine mess up. It should be easy to test but I do not have an US SMS to try the adapter on, given the expansion slot has the exact same pin out as the cartridge slot but simply swapped (what's in front on the cartridge connector is on the bottom part of the expansion slot and what's on the back of the cartridge connector is on the top of the expansion slot, that is a "simple" top/bottom front/back swap) it should be easy for Krikzz if he has time to try and whip up the adapter himself.

    (I will have an original US cartridge game coming in a few days [the donor card for MasterED] so I can use that to rule out completely the converter but the fact that MasterED itself boots and lets me navigate the SD directories, flash the OS, see the info etc...etc... means that the adapter seems to work on direct boot)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  3. KRIKzz

    KRIKzz Well Known Member

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    1) i not understand what you mean and why you want to use reserve OS, reserve os need only in case if main os was damaged by some reasons. You can install any os from main os, but os downgrade is a bad idea. Trying to install os, when your system does not work properly, is a damn bad idea, you may kill main and reserve os forever.
    2) game start routine perform some initializations via port 0x3E
     
  4. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    1) I received the cart and it was OSv4. I put it in and it looked like it was working. The menu was there, the SD was listing everything. So before trying anything I upgraded to OSv5 and it worked. The cart rebooted in v5. So at this point I had no way of knowing if it was malfunctioning at all. I simply flashed OS before trying a game and it worked (I think).
    Then I tried a game and it didn't work ... just black screen. I thought it could be v5 so I tried to go back to v4 but the flash option "press right" does nothing. It seems like you can only flash newer firmware.
    Then I tried Repair OS (1+2+right) and it booted in Reserve OS marked as OS v4. I though that by flashing OS v4 from Reserve OS it would delete OS v5 and replace it with v4 and apparently it did. I rebooted in OS v4 (no Reserve word anywhere on screen). I tried a game and still it wouldn't work so I decided to flash v5 just to have the latest.
    At that point I thought to try v1 or v2 to see if it would work but I couldn't go back to Reserve OS. If press 1+2+Right I go to OS v5 (no Reserve word anywhere on screen) and if I try from v5 to flash v2 the "press right to flash" does nothing (like when I tried v5 -> v4).

    I don't know exactly what can be wrong and if I lost the Reserve OS for ever, this is why I ask if there's a way to fix ReserveOS.

    Also I talked to Bock on smspower forum and he says he has old MasterED that works with converter on Jap SMS and he will tell me what OS version he has, it is possible that the game init routine is different there but I don't know.

    2) if you touch port 0x3E in game init I think you have to pay attention to preserve bit 7 and bit 6 (maybe also bit 5). For normal cartridge slot what you do work because it is default start device anyway but for expansion slot bit 7/6 are different. I think when you initialize you may need to preserve what is there (like the real hardware would do with a real game).
    Do you think it would be possible to create a custom OS v6 where you preserve same value of the port 0x3E specific bits so if it sets expansion slot before game init it still set to expansion port after the game init routine?
    (I think that when MasterED works from cartridge slot, if you read port 3E bit 7 = 1, bit 6 = 0, bit 5 = 1, instead from expansion slot I think it is bit 7 = 0, bit 6 = 1, bit 5 = 1, if you normally init port 3E with 101xxxxx (x = the other bits that you need to set) for expansion slot it should be 011xxxxx .
    In turn it would be easy to simply read bit 7,6 and 5 then OR the result with 000xxxxx (x = the other bits that you need to set) so that it preserves whatever those 3 bits are.
    Does it make sense? I do not know enough of SMS to say for sure, you know more, but maybe this would fix the converter thing and it would explain why it works to boot MasterED but not for games. MasterED is booted from SMS, but game is booted from MasterED after init, maybe those bit changed are the problem.
     
  5. axearmor

    axearmor Member

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    I also have the same issue with my japanese master system + everdrive.
    Works fine with euro master system.

    Original Game + Gender Adapter + Master System Jap = Works
    Everdrive + Gender Adapter + Master System Jap = semi works, only OS then black screen while loading ANY game
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  6. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    Can you try on EUR SMS to connect MasterED thru Gender Adapter and see if it works?

    All SMS (not SMS II) should have expansion port so if you still have both (JAP SMS and EUR SMS) it will be nice to try on the EUR SMS as an experiment.
    I will receive and US SMS in a few days and I will try myself on that one to confirm, but for a quick check do you think you can try your EUR?

    Boch just said on SMSpower (http://www.smspower.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=73547#73547) that he helped KRIKzz already to fix MasterED OS v2 because it had some issues on JAP SMS, he's not sure but he thinks he had OS v3 (which is no more available) when he was able to use MasterED on JAP SMS and Gender Adapter. Maybe v4 and v5 changed something that broke JAP SMS thru Gender Adapter.

    It is also possible that there is more than 1 revision of JAP SMS but for now if MasterED does not work from expansion slot of US and/or EUR SMS then we know the problem is probably around the game init routine.

    Last resort would be to find ChipEnable lines on JAP SMS board and invert cartdridge with expansion slot (literally cross the 2 wires) so that when the SMS thinks it is the cartridge it the slot instead and viceversa. I really hope to avoid to have to do that (if it is even possible).
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  7. axearmor

    axearmor Member

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    I only have an SMS II euro system so not possible. I will try to get a cheap SMS I euro.

    I'm a bit sad because I bought a japanese master system for FM-Sound & native rgb output. Only missing Everdrive compatibility, so actually I only play my original carts.
     
  8. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    I received the MasterED donor Card, it's the dreaded "Great Basketball" US version.
    Anyway the game connected to the back of the JAP SMS with the adapter works just fine.

    Now I have to apologize to KRIKzz for the "disappearing" ReserveOS and NOT being able to downgrade : I got the Reserve OS back and I verified that I can downgrade OS v5 to whatever I want. The problem for me was ...... well almost embarrassing .... my joypad stopped going right :( it worked until the second before .... oh well. Sorry for that.

    Still the MasterED does not start any games on JAP SMS with gender adapter, I tried also OS v2 and with that one MasterED doesn't even boot into OS, just black screen which I guess it's what the new versions of OS fixed as Bock reported, so now I'm back with OS v5 (I used the perfectly working Reserve OSv4 to get back in business from the attempt with OS v2).

    As soon as I have the US SMS in my hands I will test with the gender adapter on that one.

    Again big apologies to KRIKzz for my thinking the ReserveOS was broken and that downgrade was broken .... my fault, nothing broken just me stupid.
    Hopefully we can get this thing working for all the people that would like to use MasterED on JapSMS with the gender adapter if KRIKzz has some time to try and take a look.

    To add an observation, it's kind of interesting that once the OS is flashed MasterED is capable of starting it (OSv2 appears right after flashing, but if I turn off then on [JAP SMS has no reset] it's just black screen, but game don't get that far). Maybe init routine is different for those 2 cases, maybe the way to "reset" after flash in the 2 cases is different, I don't know enough, just pointing this out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  9. KRIKzz

    KRIKzz Well Known Member

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    I removed 0x3e and 0xc000 initialization, you may try it http://krikzz.com/pub/ex/os-jap-tst.sms
    But i not tested it, so it is yours risk.
    without this things some games may stop work, so would be better if you will use cart slot instead of expansion port
     
  10. axearmor

    axearmor Member

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    thx for the update, I will try this week end.
    The problem is that it's impossible to find a Master System to Mark III Converter, sold out everywhere, so we have no other choice that using pal/us master system or gender adapter + master system jpn.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  11. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    VICTORY ..... it works.

    I don't know if taking out completely 0x3E and 0xC000 init is correct but for a test it was what I would have done and so far it works.
    I only tried 2 JAP games and they work. I will try some more and update.

    Thank you KRIKzz as axearmor said it is hard to find a cartridge adapter made by TTK.
    At smspower.org they have some list of games with troubles working from Expansion slot but for the rest I can now try more games and see how the new OS works..

    Again thank you KRIKzz, you're the man. I have some more time today to play around with it and I will update with my findings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  12. axearmor

    axearmor Member

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    It works also for me ! Thanks a lot. I played 10 games without any issue.
    This is a great news for jpn master system + gender adapter.
     
  13. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    I managed to try some more titles. Around 20 mixed between Jap, US, EUR and 2 or 3 for SG1000, the only one with problems for now is JAP Final Bubble Bobble.
    I also tried the SMS Loader and it works (just can't do anything useful with it because if I set to expansion it loops back obviously and cart would be already booted if present so .... ).
    Finally I tried an US SMS BIOS and it seems to boot but then I hear the music from the JAP SMS BIOS .... so it almost works but I don't think MasterED can do BIOS replacement anyway.

    So far it seems a very promising fix, we need to make sure that it doesn't break normal MasterED from US SMS cartridge slot .... once I receive the US SMS I'll try to fix the cartridge slot there and test from both sides.

    BTW, if it all works out KRIKzz should be able to sell both the MasterED and the adapter (as an option, like he does for shell, USB etc..) for people with JAP SMS or maybe build his own adapter directly from cartridge slot like the TTK. If TTK "used" KRIKzz design for ED64 then it is only fair he can use theirs ;-)

    A big thank you to KRIKzz for whipping up a quick fix for us to test.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  14. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    Some more games tested, I'd say another 20 or so.
    I pick randomly and found out the following not working:
    OutRun (UE) -> no boot [but Outrun 3d and Outrun Europa work]
    Bubble Bobble (UE) -> like Final Bubble Bobble (J) (maybe this is one of those games that need 0xC000 correctly init)
    Rastan -> this it is known not to work from expansion slot so it's all good just mentioned it
    New Zealand Story -> this one works but there's some messy graphics and lots of flickering ... it may be a PAL vs NTSC thing though
    MicroMachines -> no boot

    I managed to start PhantasyStar both U and J and the J version with FM is much much better.
    Also Space Harrier 3D works and more.

    I'd say so far only 1 evey 10 or so seems to be having issues and I am not so sure it has to do with MasterED, will check again on US SMS from cartridge. But for Outrun I already know it works on MegaED over Genesis (same exact SD) so rom is good.

    I'm done testing for now, I'll add more when I have more to say.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  15. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    I did some more testing and I did find a few more games that do not work, I will not list them here until I have my US SMS to reattempt the tests.
    I don't want to have KRIKzz do any other fix until I figure out what works there and doesn't work. The number so far is not that high almost all Japanese only releases do work. I did find a few US/world releases that lock or have bizarre graphics on screen, again I will only publish if they have the same issue on US SMS (after all it could be the ROM).

    For JAP only releases I am pleased to announce that all the games that use paddle controller do load, then of course as I have no paddle controller I can't get to past the demo but that is beside the point.

    On the bright side I also tried all the sg1000 games I could find and they actually all work, the markIII palette (which is different than a real sg1000) makes some of them not so playable like Galaga in which you can't see your own shoots, as they are black on black or something very very dark on black but that is no fault of Everdrive or GenderAdapter or combo.
    The sc3000 basic works (only Basic II level A as it doesn't have actual extra RAM on the cart) but as I have no keyboard it doesn't really matter.

    Anyway with what I tried the ratio is still around 1 lock out every 10 or so games (unfortunately Sagaia locks up) .... but then again we don't really know what it is supposed to work from expansion slot to start with.
     
  16. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    Finally got my US SMS and I managed to fix the cartridge slot (just needed to reflux and resolder 90% of the pins, nothing major really).

    Found something interesting:
    there were 2 games that didn't work properly on JAP SMS from expansion slot (weird screen) but do work on US SMS from expansion slot so I guess those 2 are JAP incompat.

    I found other 2 games that do not work from expansion slot, it doesn't matter US or JAP, but they do work from US cartridge slot ... guess they are not compatible with expansion slot itself or need more careful init of port 3Eh and/or RAM C000h.

    Finally I noticed that in the US SMS the difference between cartridge slot and expansion slot is really just 1 single line, I suspect it to be a sort of select or CE/OE of sort. If that is the case and I can find amn analog on the JAP SMS it should be easy to put a cross switch and have a mod on the JAP SMS that swaps the cartridge slot and the expansion slot .... that would allow a much higher compat rate as the system would thing cartridge is expansion and expansion is cartridge.

    Anyway, just thought to update as I am having fun ;-) so far I have not yet encountered a title that fails on OS v6 (JAP test) which is a good thing, on US SMS .... the failures on JAP SMS for now are all explainable as incompat games or incompat with expansion .... if I get myself to switch the cartridge with the expansion select line I will document if it worked and how it is done (for a permanent modification I suspect a single wire and a single trace cut is all that is needed).
     
  17. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    Tinkered a little more and discovered that the SMS wiring difference between US Cart and US Exp is one single line (/CE).

    Started to search for the same differences on JAP SMS and found that B10 of JAP Cart is /CE. Decided to mod my JAP SMS to merge Cart and Exp slots /CE signal and now even more games work (Rastan, Outrun and some more that locked on Exp slot alone).

    Basically the mod makes the Exp slot register as the Cart so games can now assume they are running from Cart.
    You can read more at http://www.smspower.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=73717#73717

    I don't know if the titles that didn't work from Exp where due to incompat or to MasterED init bugs, os-jap-tst works a lot better than v5 from Exp and I have not found games that do not work on a US SMS from Cart slot .... I actually found games that do work from Cart but not from Exp on US SMS so the problem for those is not US vs JAP but Cart vs Exp.

    Anyway just wanted to update the thread that you can use MasterED on a JAP SMS using GenderAdapter with os-jap-tst (when KRIKzz has more time to test he will make offical release), for better compatibility you can mod JAP SMS so Exp slot is same as Cart this way a few more important games work. Compatibility is not 100% because of games. Some games only work on EUR SMS2 I heard, and some games check region and don't work on JAP SMS. You get the picture.

    Enjoy your MasterED on JAP SMS.
     
  18. KRIKzz

    KRIKzz Well Known Member

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    I did not work over sms a lot of time, but if my memory is correct, it works in this way:
    bios check if cart connected to cart port, if not connected, then trying to find cart on exp port. After that bios init 0x3E and cpy init information to 0xC000 (ram). Game should read 0xc000 and use this information if game code wants to do something with 0x3e, otherwise game may unplug itself from cpu bus. I guess that some games may not use information from 0xc000 during own initialization, they may use constant initialization which is always swich bus to cart slot, just because developers was assured that game will be connected to cart slot
     
  19. phoenixdownita

    phoenixdownita Spirited Member

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    I think the sequence is:
    BIOS boot, copy itself to RAM disables BIOS ROM, then thru port 0x3E sets cart then card then exp in that order (bit 7/6/5).
    Whatever works (cart/card/exp) is stored in 0xC000 so game can probe and check.
    The BIOS loader in fact allow setting which one to do directly wthout the cycling.

    Probably as you say some programmers may have assumed always run from cart. I guess even MasterED before os-jap-tst somehow was doing that when init games, it is the simplest things to do, now it is better, thanks a lot KRIKzz your quick fix helped a lot.

    The funny part is that I wanted to buy a JAP SMS to have FM and 3D but now I bought this used US SMS which came with 3D dongle, and I know I can buy FM add on from viletim at smspower.org for say 70US$ .... it seems US SMS better compatibility than JAP SMS .... I only spent like 28US$ for the US SMS with 3D donglwe because the owner did notknow how to repair the cartridge slot .... anyway again a lot of thanks to KRIKzz !!!!
     
  20. Lum

    Lum Officer at Arms

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    Not quite. That we know about, no form of adapter in the world to play JAP original carts using a US SMS has ever been successfully constructed.
     

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