Famicom World

Family Computer => Famicom / Disk System => Topic started by: arfink on August 10, 2010, 01:39:11 pm

Title: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 10, 2010, 01:39:11 pm
I am new to this forum, so be sure and tell me if I'm doing something naughty by posting this. I read the rules and it looks like probably not, but just in case. ;)

I and a friend are developing a reprogrammable USB-enabled flash cartridge for the NES, and our design would work on the Famicom as well. The only problem is, we have no idea if there would be significant interest in a Famicom version of our design.

The cartridge, currently known as the Munchausen Cart, is an MMC1 flash cartridge which can support up to 6 NROM games with a selection menu or 1 MMC1 game that uses 8kb CHR RAM, up to 256kb PRG, and it also provide 8kb of battery backed SRAM if the game needs it. The design is fairly simple. The cart contains bootstrap code which can detect the presence of a pre-loaded game and run it, or can load a new game to the cartridge via the 2nd player controller port, which connects to USB with a special cable. On the Famicom this cable would attach to the expansion port.

The intended cost for this cartridge and cable together is currently around $40 to $50. Right now we are building prototypes and honing the code, and I hope to have some production or at least pre-production units made up by the end of August. Does this kind of thing sound interesting to any of you? If not pre-made cartridges, would a DIY tutorial or kits be of interest?

Also, if you want a boatload of tech details etc, you can look at this thread here:
http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/2004/blargg-bootstrap-usb-cartridge-coming-soon/
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: i heart yuna on August 11, 2010, 03:19:52 pm
I don't know about anyone else,but I think a Famicom flash cart would be amazing.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: nintendodork on August 11, 2010, 03:33:41 pm
Yeah.  I figured RetroUSB would've already taken care of that but I guess not.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 11, 2010, 06:08:34 pm
Quote from: i heart yuna on August 11, 2010, 03:19:52 pm
I don't know about anyone else,but I think a Famicom flash cart would be amazing.

Thanks for the feedback.

Quote from: nintendodork on August 11, 2010, 03:33:41 pm
Yeah.  I figured RetroUSB would've already taken care of that but I guess not.

Well, if the PowerPak was adapted to Famicom it would be a gigantic cart, which is why I think they didn't do a Famicom version. My design will be smaller primarily because it can't do eveything the PowerPak can do.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: satoshi_matrix on August 11, 2010, 08:15:46 pm
I don't mean to discourage you, but with the Powerpak on the market already, I don't see how an MMC1 only flashcart could even hope to be competitive.

Even if you were to sell the Flashcart at half the price of the PowerPak (that would be around $68) the cost of manufacturing would likely make your even price somewhere around there if not higher.

That said, what I would be interested in in something that does everything the Powerpak does but be 60 pin for the Famicom. As you expressed, the interest in this kind of device is very limited and you'd likely not be able to do it.

Bummer man.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 12, 2010, 09:52:35 am
Quote from: satoshi_matrix on August 11, 2010, 08:15:46 pm
I don't mean to discourage you, but with the Powerpak on the market already, I don't see how an MMC1 only flashcart could even hope to be competitive.

Even if you were to sell the Flashcart at half the price of the PowerPak (that would be around $68) the cost of manufacturing would likely make your even price somewhere around there if not higher.

That said, what I would be interested in in something that does everything the Powerpak does but be 60 pin for the Famicom. As you expressed, the interest in this kind of device is very limited and you'd likely not be able to do it.

Bummer man.


Interestingly enough, I had thought that myself. However, I am finding there is a very high amount of interest for this device in the homebrew community and chiptune community. My device should support two very popular trackers for the NES as well as running NSF files, and there is an abundance of VJ-oriented software that will run on my cartridge as well. A number of developers are actually designing their programs to be able to run on this. Now, for the average gamer who just wants to pop his whole Famicom ROM collection onto one device this won't be very useful for that, but as a very cheap development cartridge I think the design will be successful. Competing with the PowerPak was never something I was prepared to do with this, but simply to provide something that the code makers, tinkerers, and their users can make use of.

Also, one other thing that the developers like about my design is that since the NES is essentially made into a configurable UART with the cartridge and USB cable hooked up it is possible to quickly change code without removing the cart or even powering the system down. In fact, changing code located in RAM is possible even while the NES is executing code. While this could conceivably be done on the PowerPak, it's not really designed with that in mind.

In order to keep costs down I am planning to be making these myself. They will not need to be professionally manufactured because the design is quite strikingly simple. I find that a $40 price tag will probably be pretty accurate when all is said and done. So, since I'm making them myself and to order I don't have to really worry about competing with the PowerPak at all.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: satoshi_matrix on August 12, 2010, 12:01:09 pm
I see. Again I wish you luck.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: michaelthegreat on August 16, 2010, 06:58:43 pm
Sounds cool, but I don't think you'll get tons of famicom interest. Most famicom collectors have lots of multicarts with tons of nrom games already... And for those who own famicoms, definately having the carts is part of the experieince. Not many of the must-have games will play off your cart either. So I hope it works well for the nes community, but I'm not sure if the famicom community will get you  many sales.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 17, 2010, 06:56:04 am
Eh well, not a huge deal then. I haven't exactly tooled up for Famicom, since I'm doing these on a per-order basis and the procedure is essentially identical for NES and Famicom. I'll probably make one for myself and call it a day, unless somebody else suddenly becomes interested.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: satoshi_matrix on August 17, 2010, 08:52:16 am
Despite all that I've said, I may perhaps be interested. Will this cart only play MMC1 games? No UNROM or similar?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on August 17, 2010, 02:40:25 pm
Can you explain its ability to modify RAM in a bit more detail?  Sounds like it'd be a lot more useful as a development tool than the PowerPak is.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 19, 2010, 10:35:21 am
Sorry to take so long to reply.

First to Satoishi, the cart will support MMC1 with CHR RAM and also NROM. UNROM, CNROM, AOROM, etc. might be a future possibility, but I am not really sure if I can make them work with the current design. At the moment the cart also supports multiple ROMs, so you can have 1 MMC1 game and 2 NROM games, or 6 NROM games, menu selectable.

As for RAM modification and such, it's really entirely up to the creativity of the coder. The bootloader is capable of putting the data you send into the Flash and from there into any RAM bank. The serial cable could also be utilized by your custom software for other purposes as well. Some developers have been interested in my design for things like live NSF playback, for example.

If you want to get more information and more technical details than you probably need, please check this thread (it's on another forum, I know) http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/2004/blargg-bootstrap-usb-cartridge-ntrq-and-lightwall-demos/

On page 7 you'll find some of the latest info. I'll hopefully post more here soon when I have the time, but that forum is the place that gets the most updates the most frequently.

Just ask if you have more questions!
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on August 19, 2010, 09:40:57 pm
Quote from: arfink on August 19, 2010, 10:35:21 am
As for RAM modification and such, it's really entirely up to the creativity of the coder. The bootloader is capable of putting the data you send into the Flash and from there into any RAM bank. The serial cable could also be utilized by your custom software for other purposes as well. Some developers have been interested in my design for things like live NSF playback, for example.


Sounds good.  Definitely interested in getting one once they're ready.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 25, 2010, 02:30:41 pm
If you'd like to see the current state of the prototype stage, please view this little video I made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM-ayjjLYdA
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 30, 2010, 12:20:53 pm
OK, it's about time I put some good info down for people, and lots of pics:

NES label design by Pixls
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_KBfTELyhMGU/THguZ5nRd3I/AAAAAAAAAfc/llsyPLU-Roc/s400/NES%20label%20thumb.png)

Famicom label design by Pixls
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_KBfTELyhMGU/THguZ8oFVuI/AAAAAAAAAfg/NEGhuTyUd1Y/s400/famicom%20label%20thumb.png)

Current state of prototype PCB (back)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_KBfTELyhMGU/TGyPC7ImZBI/AAAAAAAAAdc/MfBJDP32MjQ/s400/NEC%20rev%201%20back.JPG)

Current state of prototype PCB (front)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_KBfTELyhMGU/TGyPDDlyAJI/AAAAAAAAAdg/D6jX37ozPWo/s400/NEC%20rev%201%20front.JPG)

Beta software game select menu
(http://blargg.parodius.com/munchausen/menu.jpg)

Beta software recovery mode
(http://blargg.parodius.com/munchausen/repair.jpg)

The cartridges will retail for $50. The probable release time for the beta hardware is estimated at 2-3 weeks. Public orders will be accepted for an official production run approx 1 to 2 weeks after the beta testing period.

Current specs on the cartridges:

-NES and Famicom carts will be available
-512kb Flash chip
-USB programmable
-PC side software available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX
-Supports MMC1 with CHR RAM and battery backup and NROM
-Supports multiple games on one cartridge
-Has recovery mode to restore cartridge in case of accidental Flash corruption (bricking)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on August 30, 2010, 03:41:53 pm
Looking good, man!  One suggestion, though:  Famicom cartridges are called "cassettes" (カセット) by Japanese, so it may be more accurate to use that on the Famicom label instead of "cartridge" (カートリッジ) (even if the English text still says "cartridge").
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on August 31, 2010, 10:53:26 am
I'd be well interested.  Interested enough to buy 2, perhaps 2 famicoms and 1 NES.  But the price would have to reflect the abilities of the cart.

I still long for the day a flashcart appears that can load pure ROM data from an SD or whatever, without having to worry about what the cart type is.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on August 31, 2010, 03:36:18 pm
Quote from: UglyJoe on August 30, 2010, 03:41:53 pm
Looking good, man!  One suggestion, though:  Famicom cartridges are called "cassettes" (カセット) by Japanese, so it may be more accurate to use that on the Famicom label instead of "cartridge" (カートリッジ) (even if the English text still says "cartridge").


Thanks for the suggestion.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: an-cat-max on September 03, 2010, 04:04:00 am
I think this looks like a nice cheap alternative-ish version of the powerpak and i'll be picking one up for sure :)

I'll still collect carts of course but this would be nice to have too!
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on September 04, 2010, 09:58:05 am
I got a new video of the updated firmware. It shouldn't be too long now before the beta rolls out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1rB2BZTg3o
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: MS-DOS4 on September 04, 2010, 10:28:15 am
Looking very nice.  :)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on October 12, 2010, 05:31:14 pm
I just thought you all might like to know I got the famicom version of the cartridge working, though at the moment I am without the 15-pin cable needed for the famicom side of the thing, so I have stuck the PCB into a gyromite adapter for testing inside an NES.

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_KBfTELyhMGU/TKv11heegEI/AAAAAAAAAig/EICN18dZtwo/s400/DSCF1052.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_KBfTELyhMGU/TKv12LLiFQI/AAAAAAAAAik/vW1oxI2MetQ/s400/DSCF1054.JPG)

Also, a picture of what the beta carts look like, more or less. Disregard the misaligned label, the printers got it wrong. :P Next batch will be correct.

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_KBfTELyhMGU/TKvFC0IskiI/AAAAAAAAAiY/BZnLAB1sa4E/s400/DSCF1046.JPG)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on October 13, 2010, 08:55:20 pm
After seeing what you have made, I really want one. Will they work well on a NES-101 Toploader and AV Famicom?

I was completely turned off by the price tag of RetroUSB's flashcart but $50 is highly affordable.

I hope you get these made.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on October 16, 2010, 02:32:26 pm
Assuming I can get the cable issue sorted out for the Famicom version then it'll work on all Famicoms. Right now I have to program the cartridge inside of an NES then move it to the famicom to play because I can't get a source for Famicom EXT port cables.

As for Toploader NES, I have no idea why not. It's got the same controller ports and 72 pin slot, so yeah it'll work.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on October 17, 2010, 10:28:38 am
Quote from: arfink on October 16, 2010, 02:32:26 pmAs for Toploader NES, I have no idea why not. It's got the same controller ports and 72 pin slot, so yeah it'll work.


Awesome, well if the Famicom cable is never developed properly I can use my Famicom cart with a pin converter and run the uploads through my NES Toploader (or just get the NES cart version instead of Famicom).

Guess what everyone, Super Mario Bros: All Night Nippon is the correct format to run on the Munchausen Flash Cart!

http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt
List of All NES/Famicom Games and the Mappers they use.

Thank you Artfink for developing such a wonderful device.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on October 17, 2010, 02:19:37 pm
Quote from: The Uninvited Gremlin on October 17, 2010, 10:28:38 am
Guess what everyone, Super Mario Bros: All Night Nippon is the correct format to run on the Munchausen Flash Cart!


It's an FDS game, though, not a cart.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: ericj on October 17, 2010, 04:49:28 pm
Quote from: The Uninvited Gremlin on October 17, 2010, 04:41:14 pm
Well, you are likely right but even if it is a hacking; its as close to playing the real game on my Famicom as I will ever get and thats okay by me.


Do you have a disk system?

http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=4444.msg84372#msg84372   ;)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on October 18, 2010, 10:18:40 am
Please PM me when they're available, I'll buy two off the bat :) 1 NES, 1 Famicom

What would really make this a must-buy for folks is if it can do more than MMC1 and NROM

I'm no techie, but can it play chiptunes?  I'll get it just for hacks though, that's enough for me.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on November 06, 2010, 06:39:45 pm
OK, thanks for your patience guys. We hit a couple snags with the Famicom version because of some unexpected cabling issues, but I think we have a way to fix that. The first batch of beta carts is going to be shipped out fairly soon, but those are NES only carts and they have already been claimed as part of the beta run. Using the information we get back from beta testers we will then tweak the software and I can begin building these. I suspect that demand is going to be fairly high, and I'll need to do more than one batch. Also, as of right now, I have not officially accepted any preorders nor officially reserved any cartridges for anyone but the beta program participants and a few select others. Don't worry though, I will make enough to satisfy at least initial demand, and almost certainly more.

The famicom prototype cartridge has been done for a while, but I had to program it inside of an NES, but the new cable is nearly done. When it's working nicely I'll make up a video demoing it.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on November 07, 2010, 06:32:22 am
I wish I had been one of those beta testers, they are so lucky; but knowing it's in testing phases increases my excitement for the eventual release of the Munchausen. :)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: botulismo on November 09, 2010, 05:05:48 pm
The Uninvited Gremlin made me aware of this. I'm looking forward to it. I'll definitely be interested in a famicom version. I'll also do a review for my blog, as this is one of my areas of interest. :D I'm assuming aside from any internal differences, the NES version and the famicom version operate differently?

It'll be nice to have one dedicated for the famicom rather than have to use an adapter with a PowerPak, which is what I was about to buy instead.

I've been looking for a list of games that use MMC + UNROM. So far, the best I could find is http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt (http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt), but it would nice to just see what one could play with it, rather than seeing every single game.

Anyway, great work, and I'll be paying attention.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on November 09, 2010, 07:40:20 pm
Quote from: botulismo on November 09, 2010, 05:05:48 pm
I've been looking for a list of games that use MMC + UNROM. So far, the best I could find is http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt (http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt), but it would nice to just see what one could play with it, rather than seeing every single game.


Here's the tuxnes list sorted by mapper.  Keep in mind that the list is incomplete.  Also keep in mind that I'm not affiliated with the Munchausen cart, so this is in no way an official list of "games that work with the cart."

http://ximwix.net/storage/tuxnes.html (http://ximwix.net/storage/tuxnes.html)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: botulismo on November 09, 2010, 08:49:52 pm
Quote from: UglyJoe on November 09, 2010, 07:40:20 pm
Quote from: botulismo on November 09, 2010, 05:05:48 pm
I've been looking for a list of games that use MMC + UNROM. So far, the best I could find is http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt (http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt), but it would nice to just see what one could play with it, rather than seeing every single game.


Here's the tuxnes list sorted by mapper.  Keep in mind that the list is incomplete.  Also keep in mind that I'm not affiliated with the Munchausen cart, so this is in no way an official list of "games that work with the cart."

http://ximwix.net/storage/tuxnes.html (http://ximwix.net/storage/tuxnes.html)


I understand completely, and I'm sure there will be some bugs even within the supported mappers. Still, this is a great list and it gives me a far easier time getting a firm grasp on what the cartridge should theoretically be able to play. Thanks!


I sort of like the idea of a budget cartridge that's compatible with a good chunk, but not all, of the cartridges. Some people on the thread seem to think that there isn't a market for something like this because of the PowerPak. People forget that the PowerPak is far out of the price range of a lot of people, and that's basically the only other contender in the market. Even if you suggested the PowerPak Lite, it together with the programmer is $108! $50 looks and sounds more realistic especially for the average person who just wants to use it occasionally.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on November 10, 2010, 11:14:16 am
Well, if you want to know exactly what will run on the cartridge, here is a list:

MMC1 games that will work: (MMC1 mapper chip, 8kb CHR RAM, up to 8kb SRAM, up to 256kb PRG ROM)
http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?ines_op=%3D%60%40%60&ines=1&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=8&wram_op=%3C%3D%60%40%60&wram=8&field=2&order=asc (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?ines_op=%3D%60%40%60&ines=1&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=8&wram_op=%3C%3D%60%40%60&wram=8&field=2&order=asc)

Just keep in mind that if it uses CHR RAM and it's MMC1 it will likely work. So far none I have tried didn't work. If you have a specific request you'd like me to try on the beta carts, let me know and I'll try it out.

NROM games that will work:

NES games:
http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=nes-nrom&field=2&order=asc (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=nes-nrom&field=2&order=asc)

Famicom games:
http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=hvc-nrom&field=2&order=asc (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=hvc-nrom&field=2&order=asc)

Keep in mind this NROM list is probably incomplete as well, as it wouldn't include any NROM pirates, etc.

As far as compatibility goes, I haven't even got close to testing all those on the beta carts, but nothing has failed so far. Seeing as it's a real MMC1 in there I highly doubt there will be issues with the games on the list. As for NROM games, there are no compatibility issues at runtime, though occasionally there are some slight glitches if you start pressing the reset button really fast like a madman. :)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on November 10, 2010, 11:18:07 am
Thats a very nice list of compatibility, nobody should ever complain about this Flashcart, with a list that large.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on November 10, 2010, 11:20:38 am
Just make sure you look again, I had to edit that post because my initial NROM list accidentally included all mappers which included "NROM" in the name, including UNROM, CNROM etc. and those aren't actually supposed to be on there.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on November 10, 2010, 11:24:38 am
Even with the correction, 323 games is a substantial amount supported; I could definitely enjoy going through the lists. ;D
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: botulismo on November 10, 2010, 03:32:42 pm
Quote from: arfink on November 10, 2010, 11:14:16 am

Just keep in mind that if it uses CHR RAM and it's MMC1 it will likely work. So far none I have tried didn't work. If you have a specific request you'd like me to try on the beta carts, let me know and I'll try it out.



The list was a big help, first of all. Thanks for that! I suppose I'll go ahead and ask for two for compatibility check. Two games: Ultima: Warriors of Destiny + Maniac Mansion. Both of them the US versions.

Also, I'm not really sure how the hardware works, but since there's nothing confusing like on the PC Engine where all the pins on Japanese region games are the opposite of Turbografx 16 games, that region does not matter? I experienced some issues with a PC Engien flash cartridge I own where that was relevant, though thankfully I have a PC Engine modified with a switch that lets me go between Japan and US.

I'm assuming that a US ROM would play on a Famicom version of the cartridge on a Famicom, or that a Japanese ROM would play on a NES version of the cartridge. I never experienced any issue with my PowerPak, though I can't say I know how that works either.

ADDED 11/12/10: Also, arfink, I was wondering if you had a webpage for this? I was thinking of making a news post on my blog about this cartridge and if you had a page, I'd like to link to it. If not, I can use the two threads for source links instead.

Thanks again!


Quote from: The Uninvited Gremlin on November 10, 2010, 11:24:38 am
Even with the correction, 323 games is a substantial amount supported; I could definitely enjoy going through the lists. ;D


It is a good amount of games. Enough to provide plenty of enjoyment. I'm surprised how many RPGs are included on the list. The only genre that the list seems to lack that I'd like to see is shooters, though if I'm missing something on that list, feel free to point it out.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: botulismo on November 28, 2010, 09:00:48 pm
Did Arfink die? Anyone have any news on this cartridge? :o
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on December 05, 2010, 10:15:27 pm
It's still in beta testing phases, should get an update soon.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on January 08, 2011, 12:29:10 am
Yes, I died!

Lol, no, I just got a real job and things slowed down a bit while Blargg and I took a break for the holidays. Never fear, beta is near. I am finishing the last of the hardware units to send to beta testers.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: botulismo on January 08, 2011, 02:19:31 am
Hooray! I've been looking forward to this greatly.  ;D
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on January 09, 2011, 01:07:21 pm
I have been dying to have my hands on a Munchausen ever since you arrived here for the first time ARFink.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: ATARI7800 on January 09, 2011, 06:21:55 pm
looks cool  :)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: satoshi_matrix on January 10, 2011, 01:58:46 am
what's with all the talk of death in this thread? ;D
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: arfink on January 31, 2011, 11:55:34 am
Yes indeed, the project has been going slow. I just haven't had a ton of time to work on it. Hopefully that will change this week. Stay tuned.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on February 01, 2011, 09:33:53 pm
I have been dying for a Munchausen for so many months, it feels like almost a year. :(
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: tonev on February 08, 2012, 04:23:56 pm
So the project is now DEAD?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on February 08, 2012, 04:29:34 pm
Don't go declaring projects that aren't yours dead.  It's been a year without news, but hobby projects tend to have long, announced lapses in development.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on February 09, 2012, 02:17:31 am
I subscribed to the topic and was hoping for some real news - instead there is just hurt :(
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: petik1 on February 09, 2012, 03:36:30 am
Quote from: UglyJoe on February 08, 2012, 04:29:34 pm
Don't go declaring projects that aren't yours dead.  It's been a year without news, but hobby projects tend to have long, announced lapses in development.


He was just asking.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on February 09, 2012, 06:40:05 am
I don't think it's a scam.  Sounds like arfink has some "real life" issues.  It also seems that blargg (the coder) has disappeared from the Internet, which I'm sure is a huge problem for the project.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: petik1 on February 09, 2012, 12:46:21 pm
On a similar note, has anyone been keeping up with the Atari 7800XM? It missed it's released date by over a year, and still isn't ready.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: tonev on June 22, 2012, 02:40:00 pm
here is more info on this
Spoiler
To the people of chipmusic.org, 8bc, and everyone else,

I am writing to you in regards to the Munchausen project, which I am afraid has become somewhat of a debacle by now. Because of circumstances outside of my control I do not believe I will be able to continue the project from this point in any kind of meaningful way. I am not much of a programmer, and much of Blargg's work is completely inscrutable to me, and since I lost contact with him I have been unable to really continue the project.

Besides that, some of the information and documentation I had been compiling was lost with a hard drive head crash around a month ago. I still have the working Linux driver software in both source code and compiled form and the working prototypes, but the original hex files for the AT Flash chip are lost. I would just need to read out the data from the chips in the working prototypes to recover that. The wiring diagrams would need to be reconstructed from the prototypes as well.

Unfortunately I really do not feel I have the time or the comptence to achieve this on any kind of timetable. I sincerely apologize for my lack of communication in this matter, and I intend to issue full refunds to everyone who so generously contributed to the project. I cannot in good conscience continue to think that I will be able to complete this project. Nick Meynard has already received his refund as of this writing. I have noted that some of the original contributers have changed their paypal info, so I would ask that people seeking refunds please contact me at my new email address, arfink (at) sdf.org

If there is anyone in the community who feels that they would like to adopt this project and do it proper justice, I will send you not only all the relevant data I have, but the actual prototypes and components themselves. I have learned I simply cannot promise anything in regards to this project due to my present circumstances, and I know how much all of you were looking forward to seeing this completed. A thousand apologies.

Finally, I wish to once again thank everyone who was involved with this project. Despite this unhappy outcome, I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and for the friendship and encouragement I received from all of you. I only wish I had an adequate way of repaying it.

Sincerely,

Anthony Fink (arfink)
[close]


Maybe some people here at FW can contact him ?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: tonev on June 23, 2012, 12:09:51 am
Well he does have the linux version compiled and the source code so there is no problem at all. It depends on the language that is written in but it can be ported to windows and probably mac
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 23, 2012, 07:14:36 am
How does it go through usb
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: famifan on June 23, 2012, 09:39:29 am
Quote
Besides that, some of the information and documentation I had been compiling was lost with a hard drive head crash around a month ago. I still have the working Linux driver software in both source code and compiled form and the working prototypes, but the original hex files for the AT Flash chip are lost. I would just need to read out the data from the chips in the working prototypes to recover that. The wiring diagrams would need to be reconstructed from the prototypes as well.


anyone awake and show him bitbucket/github/another code storage.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 27, 2012, 08:30:08 pm
from the june 6 post i thought this was dead. is it?
http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/2004/blargg-bootstrap-usb-cartridge-famicom-prototype-beta-1-built/page/24/
is what im referring to
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 28, 2012, 10:12:38 am
oh i would love to have one
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on June 28, 2012, 12:34:29 pm
Seconded, I just wish there was a Powerpak shaped like a famicom cart to be honest.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: lobdale on June 28, 2012, 02:38:46 pm
Quote from: L___E___T on June 28, 2012, 12:34:29 pm
Seconded, I just wish there was a Powerpak shaped like a famicom cart to be honest.


Yeah seriously, that's the only thing holding me back from getting one.  Don't really want a giant NES cart stuck into an adapter towering over my Famicom.  Even if it was a double-sized Famicom cart like a Moero Pro game or something it'd be fine really, but I would like a way to play translated games without resorting to emulators or making a repro for every one.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 28, 2012, 04:56:38 pm
I really want a Famicom flash cart, even if it's NROM and MMC1 based that is still like 20 games; many hacks and new games.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 29, 2012, 03:46:45 am
He's decided to give the only NES cart made to a chiptunes member Kitsch, but I wonder if he will send 80sFreak the Famicom proto.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 29, 2012, 07:17:09 am
Well I think the easiest way for serial communication is an arduino
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 04:11:07 pm
QuoteYou guys gave money to a guy named A.R. FINK for a project named after the condition where you fake illness to get attention?

Are you new?

I saw this on Chiptunes, and thought I'd post it here.

ARFink
A Real Fink - Defined - To withhold promised support or participation.
Munchausen Syndrome - Defined - Someone with a deep need for attention pretends to be sick or gets sick or injured on purpose. People with Munchausen syndrome may make up symptoms, push for risky operations, or try to rig laboratory test results to try to win sympathy and concern.

Wow, this is now quite laughable.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 04:25:15 pm
we have a deep need for this cart. its almost sickening
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 04:27:54 pm
YoshiFan501, we do definitely need it available in our community. All great systems have flash carts, Famicom needs one also.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 04:45:18 pm
80sFREAK, we should call it the "FamiFlash - NROM/MMC1 Cassette"; "FamiFlash" would be larger font with "NROM/MMC1 Cassette" centered perfectly in a smaller font under "FamiFlash."

I would definitely be on the preorder list, but can we expand the carts to hold 4 NROM and 2 MMC1 games somehow? That would make the cart perfection.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 04:59:14 pm
I am not so sure actually but on another note I have a board for HAL Hole-In-One Professional MMC1A board would that make a good donor?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 05:07:30 pm
id love to help in any way. i can use my arduino as an isp programmer if needed
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 05:10:51 pm
Quote from: 80sFREAK on June 30, 2012, 05:05:55 pm
This? (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/profile.php?id=3942) Possible, but you will need more modifications, since this cart have ROM for CHR


Yes, it has a dead battery but I am thinking we should install a housing that allows you to just pop a new battery in also make the shells easily able to be opened for battery changing down the road.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 05:11:34 pm
i know a place that sells button cell breakout boards for easy replacement

Post Merge: June 30, 2012, 05:15:18 pm

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10730
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10495
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8863
battery pieces.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 05:15:34 pm
Awesome, I can now see that we have the opportunity ahead of us as a community.
I volunteer to print off the labels, plastic cover then and cut them out., I could also design them but I think we all know whom should develop the label design for us.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 05:17:03 pm
i think the cover should be the famicomworld cart IMO
(http://famicomworld.com/images/cart.png)

Post Merge: June 30, 2012, 05:20:15 pm

http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/92 and here is some sockets for chips like the MMC1
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 05:21:16 pm
Hmmm... Not a bad idea at all. :)
I also think we should now form a thread for the project; 80sFreak, that is up to you because this was all your idea.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 05:25:04 pm
Famicom ROM system
Famicom Flash System
FamiSD (if SD cards)
ComFlash

are my ideas
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 05:26:03 pm
The third posting link looks like it may fit, .89 each if you buy 10+.
I am now quite jazzed up on this again, I hope these carts get developed as they would be the best!

How hard would it be to use a SD card?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 05:28:19 pm
they have sd card boards and micro if interested.
http://www.sparkfun.com/search/results?term=sd&what=products
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 05:30:12 pm
ok. sd out re programmable chip in.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 05:32:12 pm
True, we should keep it priced for basically anyone's budget. Brilliant on the possibility of MMC3/NROM, that would be killer also.

Yes, SD card definitely out.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 05:33:23 pm
something you might like
http://www.callanbrown.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62:advanced-mmc3-nes-reproduction-tutorial&catid=36:home-console-projects&Itemid=61
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 05:52:05 pm
http://callanbrown.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69:nes-custom-multicart-super-mario-all-stars&catid=36:home-console-projects&Itemid=61
This is an exceptional project design. Also if you make the carts NROM/MMC3 they could have SMB2J installed and that would be fantastic!
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 07:33:56 pm
This project is mega awesome, but what I was saying is a pirate of smb2j is like $40 so this cart would be a big money saver and absolutely fantastic.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on June 30, 2012, 08:03:37 pm
People would need the cable otherwise they are stuck with the same games forever. But I was thinking we jump the price to $65 to insure that all the treatments are given to the carts. People could print off the labels themselves and attach them.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on June 30, 2012, 09:06:03 pm
we going serial or usb for cable
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 01, 2012, 05:56:50 am
Could we wire up a usb transfer cord directly to the cartridge itself with one of those adapters that has a tether that is windable.
Is this a possibility?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 01, 2012, 06:52:25 am
Good as I find that this would be less costly then buying the expansion port adapters, I like the idea of cheapening the costs of the FamiFlash.

Actually, we should install a usb port on the cart itself where you can plug a cord into it yourself thus lowering the price even more.

Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 01, 2012, 07:50:43 am
Quote from: 80sFREAK on July 01, 2012, 07:49:14 am
hold on. more modifications - higher price. you probably not common with hardware and how it working

Famicom expansion cords cost $20, there is no way its more expensive to add a port mod.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 01, 2012, 08:18:09 am
See with a NES the controller ports can be $2 (as there are super cheap clone controllers for harvesting) while the Famicom expansion port plug can be $20+ each that's what I am trying to tell you. This project needs are cheaper method or it may become dead in the water.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 01, 2012, 08:47:17 am
There is a possible cheaper method, just removing the metal covers and sanding down the back piece on a computers 15pin female plug; I found this method on some forum once.

We might be able to do this??

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Pcs-PC-Mount-Plug-DB-15-Pin-Male-to-Female-Socket-/140780910964?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c7323974
5 of them for $4.50
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 01, 2012, 09:06:09 am
Quote from: 80sFREAK on July 01, 2012, 09:02:03 am
Close enough. There is another lot of 10 for 7.30
By the way, who gonna make cables?


I guess If I had a good schematic, I might be able to make them.
I am okay with a soldering iron.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 05, 2012, 07:19:30 am
So are we going back to my idea of just doing a direct of flash instead of using the system link?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on July 05, 2012, 09:40:17 am
we should move to a new topic from this one
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: famifan on July 05, 2012, 10:34:35 am
Quote from: 80sFREAK on July 04, 2012, 02:38:35 pm
Just thought about socket-in-the-cart - possible to mount transistor based RS-232->TTL convertor into cart, right on the socket pins and round hole is much easy and fast to make to compare with square/rectangle one. Standart stereo jack/socket will do the job - TX/RX/GND, but 3 extra chips('138 - decodersomething for decoder, '175('174) - transmitter, '257 or whatever with tri-stable output )

why not using a dedicated RS-232->TTL logical level converter IC?  only 1 extra chip with a couple of capacitors.
e.g. max232
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on July 05, 2012, 10:39:30 am
Quote from: YoshiFan501 on July 05, 2012, 09:40:17 am
we should move to a new topic from this one

I recommended that a long time ago but nothing came of it and since its 80sFREAK's idea I am waiting on him to form the topic.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: famifan on July 06, 2012, 12:17:15 am
Quote from: 80sFREAK on July 05, 2012, 04:20:13 pm
2 famifan so how many extra chips in total?

i'm not sure if i completely guess your idea, but only 1 extra chip requires + 5 capacitors.
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/max232.pdf

there is the converter IC that has capacitors built-in (sorry, i dunno the part numbers exactly) and i don't know how much it will cost. Maybe 1 chip + 5 caps will cost less then it.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on August 13, 2012, 03:49:52 am
When you say not cost-effective, what kind of price are we talking?  I know flashcarts are expensive, but there's good demand.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 14, 2012, 04:11:48 pm
go that route
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: famifan on August 14, 2012, 11:21:58 pm
Quote from: 80sFREAK on August 14, 2012, 05:37:01 pm
Anyway, i have to track some 5v flash memory in DIP or SOIC->DIP adaptors and some other stuff.

ehm...
also, you can use 3.3V low voltage flash chip in TSOP with low drop output 3.3V voltage regulator.  ::)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Duke.Togo on August 15, 2012, 08:39:34 pm
Quote from: 80sFREAK on August 14, 2012, 05:37:01 pm
Time to vote for shell color. black, red, white, blue, green(teal), yellow, silver, gold.


Go for the gold.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on August 16, 2012, 04:23:38 am
No!   White, WHITE!    Gold will be cheap plastic gold, famicom white is easier to get exactly right than finding the exact red necessary. :redcart:

:help: WHITE!    :bub:
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 16, 2012, 01:45:52 pm
famicom white with a pulse logo!
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: manuel on August 17, 2012, 12:07:30 am
Quote from: L___E___T on August 16, 2012, 04:23:38 am
No!   White, WHITE!    Gold will be cheap plastic gold, famicom white is easier to get exactly right than finding the exact red necessary. :redcart:

:help: WHITE!    :bub:


I second that!
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 22, 2012, 03:51:21 pm
well what's the biggest size of a NES rom we've ever seen
taken from nesdev

QuoteWhat is the biggest NES game ever made?
The largest single NES game that I know of is Dragonquest 4 / Dragon Warrior 4. It has 1 megabyte of program ROM. Also, the Japanese game Metal Slader Glory has 512K of PRG and 512K of CHR ROM, making it also a full megabyte. Several pirate/unlicenced Famicom games are also pretty large.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 22, 2012, 07:36:37 pm
id go 1mb just to be safe
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 23, 2012, 05:53:30 am
so 1mb it is! now for wiring the rx and tx
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: NintendoKing on August 24, 2012, 04:59:20 pm
That's quite the interesting development forward.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 24, 2012, 07:44:37 pm
Yea we really want this  :redcart:
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Lum on August 25, 2012, 03:12:51 pm
Good first step. Small set of users to further confirm its reliability and all that. ;D

Unavoidable a "casual user edition" will be more expensive, with involving hardware and software interface to load games from local storage.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 25, 2012, 04:15:15 pm
Ill be a beta tester for the production. If needed I'll send in my famicom
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 26, 2012, 08:09:33 am
looks very nice! now how would we interface it with the pc
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Duke.Togo on August 26, 2012, 08:23:59 am
Looking good! I'm eager to see how this keeps progressing.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 27, 2012, 11:31:17 am
How would we mod the famicom for the audio jack
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Duke.Togo on August 27, 2012, 04:34:02 pm
Quote from: YoshiFan501 on August 26, 2012, 08:09:33 am
looks very nice! now how would we interface it with the pc


I'm not clear on this myself. I'm interested but I maybe I just don't completely understand.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 27, 2012, 04:39:05 pm
same. that and the 3.5 mm hack is confusing me.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 27, 2012, 05:06:59 pm
you love cpld free projects. but i still dont get the 3.5 mm jack.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 27, 2012, 05:17:54 pm
yea i got a lot of questions as to how this would work by transferring the data through the 15 pin. and as to how the 3.5 mm jack is connected.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Duke.Togo on August 27, 2012, 06:29:25 pm
Will you be selling a premade EXP to COM port cable also? I'm just not a soldering wizard, and would prefer something that looks nice by someone who is experienced.

Very cool way to do this I think.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 28, 2012, 09:38:06 am
I would love to see a video of this in action

Post Merge: August 28, 2012, 07:52:37 pm

i'd fork 60 dollars in an instant for this, providing i knew how to make a ext to com cable or knew if the 3.5 mm jack was on the cart or the system
or something like this?
http://slack.net/~ant/old/nes-code/serial/spec.html (http://slack.net/~ant/old/nes-code/serial/spec.html)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 30, 2012, 09:33:08 am
Sadly all the ttl cables I find are 3.3 or 5
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on August 30, 2012, 08:10:45 pm
Well I will need to find out how to make one

Post Merge: September 01, 2012, 03:35:04 pm

id pay an extra 15 bucks for a premade cable
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on September 03, 2012, 02:08:17 pm
though i guess an arduino would work as the ttl converter
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on September 03, 2012, 05:55:39 pm
ok. software for pc im guessing.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: P on September 04, 2012, 03:42:38 am
Modifying the header from the computer side would be the most simple but it would be cool if one could rename it inside the bootloader as well. It's more work that way though.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: YoshiFan501 on September 07, 2012, 07:06:27 pm
damnit
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Duke.Togo on September 07, 2012, 09:13:21 pm
Sucks. I hope you can get this back up and on track again relatively soon.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on March 25, 2013, 11:43:37 am
Count me in.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: manuel on April 02, 2013, 06:21:35 am
Nobody else?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: UglyJoe on April 02, 2013, 06:42:33 am
For $45, sure, count me in. :coin:
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Jedi Master Baiter on April 02, 2013, 09:38:29 am
Wait, are you still counting me? I need several, one for each expansion chip. ;D This may or may not include 5b. :-\
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Tricky on April 02, 2013, 11:11:47 am
Do you have a finalized list of features and support? Pleasantly surprised to see you selling them for so cheap, but even then, already bought an Everdrive, so I'd be buying one more because I think it's really cool than any great need. So I guess put me down for a 'maybe'?
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Jedi Master Baiter on April 02, 2013, 05:13:31 pm
Oh I see. (http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr343/JediQuestMaster/hmph.gif) I hope I can recover this all in profits. :-\

But is it feasible to use an FDS sound chip? :) By that I mean taking one from a broken FDS & soldering it onto a cart? (http://www.websitegoodies.com/smilies/happy0196.gif)

Edit: Oh wait, never mind. :(

Quote from: 80sFREAK on February 06, 2013, 01:52:22 am
FDS sound is big question mark. I don't think it's possible without jumping over the head. Or either cart have to be built around original FDS RAM adaptor and tracker should be rebuilt for FDS. Theoretically it's possible to make FDS sound on discrete chips, but i'm affraid about size of the board.


In that case, I think I'll need 5 different carts (assuming you can get ahold of a Namco N163 chip). (http://www.websitegoodies.com/smilies/confused0083.gif)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Jedi Master Baiter on April 02, 2013, 08:42:04 pm
You can do that?! :o But won't it make the board really, really big? ???

Either way, I'll take it! I'll take twelve. :P
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: keropi on April 02, 2013, 11:36:38 pm
count me in too!!!!!  :mario: :mario: :mario:
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on April 03, 2013, 04:40:25 am
Yeah I'd be definitely be down for one of these, just to support tbh.
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: Tricky on July 27, 2013, 05:54:25 pm
Ahh, suck to hear. Lot of work put into it! That "something else" maybe sounds interesting, though  :)
Title: Re: Flash cart development
Post by: L___E___T on July 28, 2013, 05:51:28 am
Yes, let us know what else you have in mind :). I'll support.