Saturn X-Terminator v3.

Discussion in 'Sega Saturn Programming and Development' started by cvgs, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. cvgs

    cvgs Member

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    hi.
    looking for a firmware for this device, inside 29C010A two pieces and they are empty.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  2. DewIt

    DewIt Active Member

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    I have a version 2 I can't get working. Although it could be something I'm doing wrong. Instructions are in Japanese. I wonder if any of these came in English? The box that it came in has English on the outside of the box.
     
  3. cvgs

    cvgs Member

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    well, you can dump the firmware?
     
  4. DewIt

    DewIt Active Member

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    No. It wouldn't probably work anyway since yours is a version 3 and mine is a 2. The cartridges are totally different. I don't have the lcd screen or control pad. The circuit board is totally different as well. There is another user that has a version 3.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  5. Madroms

    Madroms Robust Member

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    The XT2 was released in Japan by Gametech (red box) and in Europe/USA by UFO Company (box with XT written in green), but with gametech manual. The manual is always in japanese but some the box of the 2nd version is in english and some other languages.
    The XT2 is just a universal adapter + memory backup.
    The XT3 is like an action replay but more powerful (and you can search your own codes!). Multiple revisions were made (5 or more), each time with codes for different games or new features added.

    I also have 1 or 2 XT3 that don't work. I opened them but I didn't find what was wrong with them.

    So XT2 and XT3 are completely different hardware/software.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  6. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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    x
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  7. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    I can dump them and do have all the required adapters, desoldering, soldering and experience to do it.

    But also need someone to send me a working one.
     
  8. DewIt

    DewIt Active Member

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    I have the green one. What do you mean by universal adaptor?
     
  9. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

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    I would imagine a region defeat cartridge
     
  10. DewIt

    DewIt Active Member

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    What is the cartridge slot on the top for?
     
  11. DewIt

    DewIt Active Member

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    How about a non-working one? I'm not really out anything except what it cost me. wanna give it a try?
     
  12. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    I can dump it if you like, at least the files are public for others with issues.
     
  13. A Murder of Crows

    A Murder of Crows Spirited Member

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    I know this is a bit of a necro, but it was my first hit for Saturn X-Terminator.

    I'm looking for any and all information about this device, including later firmware and manuals. I have a Version 3 (has lcd breakout) but it calls itself a version 2 on the sticker. Firmware v3.01.

    Thank you all.
     
  14. AtariBorn

    AtariBorn Active Member

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    I have the dumps from version 3.10J from the MAME dumps but it took forever to get it working in Yabause.

    For some reason, the dump that Porchy uploaded were missing a header and Yabause ignored it and booted to the CD player. I merged the two ROMs and byte-swapped them and compared them to all the Action Replay Plus, Gameshark, Memory Card Plus ROMs available and the one thing they had in common was the header was identical. So I copied the header to the new ROM I merged and bam!

    [​IMG]

    I have one working X-Terminator v3.52J and one non working unit as well. I've tried flashing the non working one with the Pseudo Saturn Action Replay Flasher and it recognizes the flash device but not the chipset so I cannot flash anything through the Saturn itself but with an ADP-005 or ADP-062 PLCC adapter, I could flash the chips myself but I need to make sure I split the files properly, the first time, as I don't want to have to redo anything involving de-soldering surface mount.

    It would be a lot easier if we could get X-Terminator 3 support for the AR Flasher so I could use the file I know works and let the flasher do all the work. If I could get the broken one flashed to work with the 3.10J ROM, I could see about dumping my 3.52 ROM. Maybe I could dump my working unit's firmware and get it out there.

    I've also thought about making an HTML version of a translated manual, using actual screenshots of the XT3 in action. Just follow the links as you tap buttons on the Saturn and get a rough translation of what's on your screen. Most of the menu items are pretty easy to figure out. Not to mention, any Japanese to English translation app can identify the words (for the most part) on the menu screens, using a smart phone camera. The hard part would be figuring out the LCD assistant as it's all in Japanese.

    Anyway, I hope this helps. Let me know if you want the raw dumps, the merged ROM or whatever.

    AtariBorn
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
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  15. cafealpha2

    cafealpha2 Site Supporter 2015

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    Can you let me know the vendor/device IDs displayed by the flasher utility ?
    And how far X-Terminator ROMs have been dumped so far ? That would be great if all known ROM variations could be preserved :)
     
  16. A Murder of Crows

    A Murder of Crows Spirited Member

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    I'd love to see the dumps released. I'd also REALLY love to see a translated manual that doesn't require a mobile app to utilize.

    I'd also like to dump my rom if it is possible.

    thanks for your work!
     
  17. AtariBorn

    AtariBorn Active Member

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    Non Woking Unit:
    According to Cyber Warrior X's "Sega Saturn Cartridge Flash ROM Diagnostics Tool:

    Vendor ID: 0000001F
    Device ID: 000000D5

    According to Pseudo Saturn Kai Flasher V6.037:
    Vendor ID: $F1F
    Device ID: $FD5

    Working Unit:
    According to Cyber Warrior X's "Sega Saturn Cartridge Flash ROM Diagnostics Tool:

    Vendor ID: 00001F1F
    Device ID: 0000D5D5

    According to Pseudo Saturn Kai Flasher V6.037:
    Vendor ID: 1F1F
    Device ID: D5D5

    I'm not sure how many variants have been dumped. I searched forever only to find the version 3.10J ROM from the misc MAME ROM dumps, in hopes to get my non-working unit working again. I planned on finding a translated ROM and using my non-working X3 to experiment with but these things are rare as hens' teeth and there seems to be no information online about them.

    Here is everything I have, as far as the ROMs go:

    An interesting note:
    When I tested the IDs on my working X3, the ID showed up in green and looked ready to flash, whereas the dead X3 shows up in orange.

    There's no way I'm gonna try flashing it with another firmware but, from its ID compared to the non-working one, it looks like my non-working X3 is corrupted.

    Too bad I couldn't hot swap these suckers out between initiating the flash and actually flashing as it might resurrect the dead one, if I had my X3 firmware on the disc.

    Another update:

    After thinking about my hot swap comment before, I realized there is a paused moment between beginning the flash process and confirming with "A+B+C". So I gave it a shot.

    I fired up the Pseudo Saturn Flasher with my working X-Terminator 2 cartridge in my Saturn, started the disc and selected a 256Kb ROM image and told the program to flash my cart. When the confirmation screen came up, I swapped my good X3 with my bad one and noticed the ID colors go from green to yellow but retained their ID value and dropped the "Names" (Atmel A29C010) on the right side, replacing them with "Unknown". I hit A+B+C and the program attempted to erase the dead X3 and after reaching 100%, returned the following message:

    [​IMG]

    I'm assuming I have an issue at the hardware level and I'm not surprised.

    I bought my dead cart "used and not working" from Yahoo Japan, knowing it had issues and I think I know what the majority of those issues come from, maybe. These carts have a distinct feature of a cart slot on top. Not a parallel port like an Action Replay or Gameshark, but an actual cartridge port. Several misinformed websites claim that this is a cartridge pass-through and allow you to retain standard cartridge usability with the X-Terminator. This is untrue, in fact, it has a cartridge slot that lines up perfectly with a Sega Genesis cart.

    So you probably know where I'm going with this...people are assuming they can play Genesis/Megadrive games on their Saturn. Maybe not so much in Japan because they can read the Japanese manual, but anyone that wouldn't be able to read the manual might assume the slot is for backwards compatibility.

    I've seen several of these things on Japanese auction sites, usually broken or insanely expensive. And funny enough, all the dead ones I've seen have no box or documentation with them. This could just be a coincidence but I think that's why there are so many dead X-Terminator 3 cartridges out there.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2016
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  18. cafealpha2

    cafealpha2 Site Supporter 2015

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    That's normal behavior from flasher utility : 1F1F/D5D5 are IDs from supported flash chip ... but that's doesn't 100% means it can flash your X-Terminator with success, so please keep it as-is.


    Please don't swap cartridges, because Saturn cartridge port wasn't designed for that : it may brick your cartridge, your Saturn, or both.
    (may doesn't means will, but there's a small risk)
    For that reason, I added the A+B+C "at your own risk" thing on the flasher :)



    Lower half of your flash chips IDs is as expected : 5F1F/5FD5 -> 1F/D5 = AT29C010. That doesn't mean that flash chip for lower half of data is working correctly, but just means it is not broken ^^
    Upper half of flash chips IDs is inconsistent : that may be due to poor soldering of the flash chip (~20% probable), or broken flash chip (~80% probable).
    Do you want to fix this cartridge, or keep it as-is ? Replacing one flash chip may rescue your cartridge ... or finish to break it.
    If you want to fix this cartridge, please post front and rear pictures of its PCB.


    I didn't know about the genesis slot :)
    Genesis and Saturn have very different hardware architecture, so playing Genesis game on Saturn would require to put nearly all Genesis circuitry on cartridge side ^^; (Saturn cartridge features video output interface, so doing all the genesis job on cartridge side, and using Saturn for video/audio output to TV should be technically possible I think)

    If you have pictures or scans of manuals, and if it's not so lengthy, I can translate to English.
    (My first language isn't Japanese either English, so proofreading by English native people will be required)
     
  19. AtariBorn

    AtariBorn Active Member

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    Attached Files:

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  20. cafealpha2

    cafealpha2 Site Supporter 2015

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    "You had my curiosity, now you have my attention" :)

    First, about flash memory : cartridge bus upper byte is routed to flash chip on right side of front PCB = the one closest to connector for remote controller.
    So if you want to try to fix your cartridge, please unsolder and replace this flash chip with a similar one. It is no longer manufactured, but can be found on ebay, or Chinese sites, or can be directly cannibalized from Action Replay cartridge.
    Disclaimer : I'm not responsible of any damage caused to your Saturn, your X-Terminator, or anything else !
    Please keep me informed if you try to fix it :)

    Thank you very much for the manuals ! It's funny that there isn't a single word about that genesis-like connector ^^
    It seems to be routed to Saturn cartridge's address and data buses, so maybe that was used for debug purpose, or maybe additional "sold separately" cartridge that would plug on X-Terminator ?
    It would be interesting to verify if data and address pin assignment on that connector matches with Genesis pin assignment.

    According to the manual, 1MB RAM expansion feature is also available, so that was a powerful cartridge in Saturn times :)
     

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