Reflashing or making reproduction N64 carts?

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by PixelButts, May 29, 2016.

  1. PixelButts

    PixelButts Site Soldier

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    As a disclaimer: This is not to try and enable piracy. I need to make this clear.

    There's a project I was looking into a couple weeks ago in regards to an N64 dev cart and possible ways to dump that cart and flash it to another.

    How easy is it to reflash carts to hold different roms for N64? If it's a dev cart, can it be flashed/written to a retail cart? What kinds of tools would be required here? Are there any reproduction shells or boards available for this?

    I took a couple searches and nothing really showed up, but a couple people have said it's not possible (not including dev carts). Any help would be greatly appreciated, as this is for a friend. I know everdrives are available, but those aren't what I'm wanting to have to use for such.
     
  2. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    You can't reflash a retail N64 cart for the very simple reason that it doesn't use flash ROM - it uses a masked ROM that has the pattern built into it in the factory. You can't even remove the mask ROM and replace it with a pin-compatible flash, because the N64 roms are custom and have internal addressing logic - and as far as I'm aware Macronix never made a compatible flash part.

    I guess you could build a board that goes in place of the mask ROM that has a standard flash chip and something like a CPLD programmed to emulate the address latch/counter that's in the original MX masked roms, but I haven't heard of anyone actually doing this.
     
  3. beepboop

    beepboop <B>Site Supporter 2013</B>

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    Development card ROM contents apparently use a different kind of header, as well. You may have some luck re-using the header from a retail game, though.
     
  4. kennypecheur

    kennypecheur Site Supporter 2016

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    You should try to contact Joe on this "Super Mario 64 prototype" thread, as he may help you a lot on this ! I sold him an empty card and he succeed in Flashing it.
     
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  5. sanni

    sanni Intrepid Member

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    There are n64 repro carts on aliexpress you could buy one and reverse engineer the circuit. Should be pretty easy and straight forward.
     
  6. gorgyrip

    gorgyrip Gutsy Member

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    A link would be nice. I can't find them on aliexpress.
     
  7. sanni

    sanni Intrepid Member

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    Darn, can't find them either, the search function is so bad at aliexpress sometimes I feel like they block certain search terms.

    Anyway here are the pictures I saved from aliexpress

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    From those pictures I can make out the following chips "74HC573", "74HC00" and "ST M59PW1282", just need the last one, it starts with 74HC and has 16 pins but I can't read it.
     
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  8. gorgyrip

    gorgyrip Gutsy Member

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    Wow! Thank you so much! You can re-flash those. In the last picture, it's an official CIC.
    Do you remember the price of those carts?
     
  9. sanni

    sanni Intrepid Member

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  10. gorgyrip

    gorgyrip Gutsy Member

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    Thank you. again.
     
  11. joe19

    joe19 Rapidly Rising Member

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    There have been others who have made these carts as well - I recall a guy on here asking for help about a Zelda repro he made (iirc he got it working, but just needed help getting the save features to work) - maybe ask him for help.

    Or, of course, you can take a quick peek at the N64 patent information. Everything you need to know to build a N64 ROM is right there. You pretty much just need a ROM chip that can operate in burst mode, and a little bit of interface logic.
     
  12. wilykat

    wilykat Site Supporter 2013

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    Wouldn't Everdrive N64 be a whole lot easier to trying to hack an existing N64 cart to make it flashable? Or is there a game that absolutely refuses to work on EDN64?
     
  13. rso

    rso Gone. See y'all elsewhere, maybe.

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    Mario no Photopi, due to special hardware - some kind of video input or cart slot afaik. Not sure about the "absolutely refuses", but some parts definitely won't work.

    But yeah, just using any game rom as the menu (replace ed64.v64 or whatever it's called) so the ed boots directly into it would be much easier. Then cover up the card slot and CIC switch, done. It'd cost significantly more than a single-purpose cart w/o an expensive FPGA though.
     
  14. PixelButts

    PixelButts Site Soldier

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    Thanks for the info guys. I think I know what route I'll be taking on this journey.

    Though it still does depend on a lot of factors, but at least it's a bit clearer on what's planned.
     
  15. LeHaM

    LeHaM Site Soldier

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    Here is the store that was selling them: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/604594

    Ok so the seller can still supply pcb's, I messaged him and he said 80USD for one PCB or about $40USD each for 5
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  16. yxkalle

    yxkalle Newly Registered

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    It's 2 x 74HC193

    Source: https://imgur.com/a/r4uOT

    You could pretty much trace out the whole schematic with those two pictures.
     
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  17. sanni

    sanni Intrepid Member

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    Thanks alot :)
     
  18. Knievil

    Knievil Newly Registered

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    Anyone ever get any Gerber's for these would especially be interested in the battery backed one in the system
     
  19. marvinsaint

    marvinsaint Newly Registered

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    Yes, i'm trying contact with this seller. I
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  20. yaogang

    yaogang Newly Registered

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    i am the seller and manufacturer of this repro n64 cart!!
    and anyone who want this cart, let me know!!
    my e-mail : 424767283@qq.com
    i am chinese manufacturer of repro games!!
    thanks!! IMG_0190.JPG IMG_0191.JPG
     

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