Sega Saturn Region Free BIOS

Discussion in 'Sega Saturn Programming and Development' started by Serantes, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    Yes, check the group purchase forum and put your name down.
     
  2. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  3. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    After a bit of digging I think Yamaichi IC179Z-44600 is the socket to get. Going to contact them to see how much they cost.
     
  4. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    Those look really handy.

    Let me know if you get a price, I will try and source some too.
     
  5. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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  6. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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  7. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    I got a quote back from Franchise of Yamaichi.

    £9 each + £15 shipping + 3% credit card charge.
     
  8. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    Bad_Ad84 there are 4 programmers on that page. besides the plastic case is there any difference between them, besides the price? Also do you need to buy a socket to fit Dreamcast/Saturn bios chips in there?

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  9. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    GQ-4X is the one im talking about.

    For dreamcast/saturn chips you need ADP-019
     
  10. rosewood

    rosewood Rapidly Rising Member

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    Tried to install the chip today in my Skeleton Saturn (HST-3220) and failed miserably.
    The Saturn has already some mods installed inside: Modchip V2 from consolegoods.co.uk, the switchless multinorm mod by seb, A/V out mod for EUR SCART cables and finally an EUR Model2 PSU to supply the needed 9V for the A/V out mod and to make a step-down converter obsolete.

    Well, removing the old bios chip was easy and soldering in the new programmed chip by Bad_Ad84 was easy too. Even though it's a bit larger, it fits perfect on the solder pads of the old chip. Then I connected pins 43+44 and pin 2 to the next 5V and Ground pads as instructed in this thread/page 3.

    Now for the bad part:
    When powering up the Saturn the TV gets a signal but the picture is black. No Sound. After a while the TV says "no signal". When switching through all possible combinations of the multinorm mod the TV again gets a signal for a short while and then again no signal. Picture always black and no sound. Strange thing is, when a Saturn CD is in the drive it sounds like a normal startup, the laser is moving and seeking like it should do.

    Thankfully I didn't get rid off the original bios chip and was able to straighten the legs and to solder it in again, looks like a mess now but it works again as it did before the operation.
    I'm going to leave it now the way it is, but I will try it again on other Saturn models.

    Now, what went wrong here?
    Why wasn't my Saturn outputting A/V, but was behaving normally otherwise?
    Is there a way to have it installed on top of the old bios chip (similar to the Dreamcast bios) and let seb's mod do the switching between them?
     
  11. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I'd wager a guess that something could be done here using /CE. But you don't want to leave either chip floating.

    Possible the switchless mod might have done something less than pleasing. If you removed it without putting down a correct set of jumpers I could imagine the system not having fun with that one.

    Given the old chip still works it could easily be a problem with your soldering or the chip itself. User error is the more likely of the two but I'd have to see pictures of your install job to really be able to say.
     
  12. DarthCloud

    DarthCloud Fiery Member

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    Since the chip size mitmatch it would be harder but it's possible. Build you chip select switch identical to the DC bios mod. (same switch and pullup resitor)

    Are you sure the bios is flash correctly?

    Did you byte swap the file before programming?

    Did you mirrored the bios on bold half of the switch?

    If the bios is not mirrored on both half, might worth trying to put A18 (pin 2) to Vcc (+5v).
     
  13. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    The chips were preprogrammed by me.

    Bios flashed correctly, passed verification.

    Yes, the file was byte swapped before programming.

    Yes, I copied the file into both halfs of the chip.

    All was done as per your instructions in post #71


    I really dislike selling something I cant actually test myself (still waiting on buying a saturn). But your instructions were quite clear, so hopefully its nothing to do with the programming of the chips.

    If it ends up being a programming issue, I will reflash any chips - but it really shouldnt be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  14. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    I was able to drop down an 27C160 (I programmed the BIOS four times into the chip) straight on a VA1 SATURN. I programmed an Hi Saturn BIOS on the EPROM for curiosity sake... :lol:

    Everything (games) worked fine but I suppose that due to the board having an different CD-ROM drive hardware than what the BIOS is intended to run with, the MPEG card does crash the system.

    The right flash chip for the Saturn BIOS is the 29F160. While the 29F016 works for the Dreamcast and is mostly pin compatible (in it's SOP and DIP packages) with a 29F160 operating in 8 bit mode, it won't work on the Saturn because it's a 8 bit only chip and the Saturn reads it's BOOT ROM in 16 bit.

    Keep in mind that anything smaller than a 29F160 will use a pinout similar to the 27C4096 EPROM and that is incompatible with the 512KB SEGA MASK ROMs.
     
  15. DarthCloud

    DarthCloud Fiery Member

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    False, 29F800 does come in SOP44 package with same pinout as the BIOS ROM.

    Check my previous post...
    http://www.assemblergames.com/forums/showpost.php?p=510028&postcount=54
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  16. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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    x
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  17. rosewood

    rosewood Rapidly Rising Member

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    Well, I had the switchless mod set to JAP/60Hz and changed it only when the new bios didn't show anything. With the old bios chip soldered in it worked instantly.

    Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures during the whole operation, but I can assure that the new bios chip was soldered right. Each leg was checked for shorts twice, and I also checked the traces from the solder pads to the next hole in the PCB and the +5V and Gnd pads.
     
  18. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    I have asked other people who bought chips to confirm if it works for them.

    Based on looking at the file I swapped then saved (to avoid having to remember to swap it before programming) + DarthClouds instructions - Im pretty certain the chips are programmed how they should be.

    But, if other people have issues too - then I will reprogram them, but that shouldnt be the problem.
     
  19. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    Soon as I receive mine and install one I'll be sure to take pictures.
     
  20. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    False ? All I did was state that 29F016 won't work because it's 8 bit... :shrug:

    I didn't even mention 29F800 which is 16 bit. To be honest I didn't even think of it either .... :rolleyes:
     

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