Skeetendo

’Cause all games were better on the GBC

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#1 2012-02-17 19:09:49

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Making a Game Boy cart dumper

An interesting blog series on making a Game Boy cart reader.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time. Maybe I’ll eventually get around to duplicating this. It would be pretty useful.

#2 2012-02-17 22:48:56

stag019
Idea Killer
Registered: 2011-01-05
Post 139/630

Re: Making a Game Boy cart dumper

Resource 2: Reiner Ziegler

Additionally, as I understand it the N64 Adaptoid supports all N64 controller plugins. So if you already had an N64 controller and a Transfer Pak, all you would need to buy is an Adaptoid. However, you'd have to write the software yourself, but it should support reading ROM, and reading/writing saves. I tried to look at the source code to a N64 emulator plugin that supported the transfer pak, but never got very far...


You can try to hide yourself in this world of pretend; when the paper's crumpled up, it can't be perfect again.

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#3 2012-02-18 03:15:07

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Re: Making a Game Boy cart dumper

stag019 wrote:

Resource 2: Reiner Ziegler

This page also talks about creating flash carts, which is not covered by the link I posted.

stag019 wrote:

I tried to look at the source code to a N64 emulator plugin that supported the transfer pak, but never got very far...

NRAGE? I’ve looked at that too, but for a different reason… I’d like to create a Mupen64plus plugin that emulates the Transfer Pak. I didn’t really get beyond the starting line on that, though.

#4 2012-02-18 12:36:58

Tauwasser
Member
Registered: 2010-10-16
Post 256/452

Re: Making a Game Boy cart dumper

I built the GBCartFlasher v2.0u posted on Reiner Ziegler's page some time ago. Works like a charm :)

However, I noticed after ordering the PCBs (didn't feel confident enough to spend too much money on etching equipment), that there is a newer v3 (discrete parts) and v6 (SMD) of the PCB, see LaDecadence and this Spanish thread.

So if you go for it, you should probably use v3 or v6. Those also have the bonus of working with DMG/MGB/MGL/CGB connectors, unlike the v2.0u, which only works with a DMG connector.

I would personally advise you not to try to build the arduino one outlined in the blog post. It just seems like a mess and I doubt it works reliably, due to the fact that each cable in there seems to be a significantly different length... I personally never worked with an Arduino before, though while everybody always exudes its versatility and capability, we had to turn it down for two projects at uni, because it just didn't have the basic hardware we needed. The use of two external 8bit shift registers in the blog kind of attests to that...

cYa,

Tauwasser

Last edited by Tauwasser (2012-02-18 12:42:26)

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#5 2012-02-19 04:04:53

440/703

Re: Making a Game Boy cart dumper

Tauwasser wrote:

I built the GBCartFlasher v2.0u posted on Reiner Ziegler's page some time ago. Works like a charm :)

However, I noticed after ordering the PCBs (didn't feel confident enough to spend too much money on etching equipment), that there is a newer v3 (discrete parts) and v6 (SMD) of the PCB, see LaDecadence and this Spanish thread.

So if you go for it, you should probably use v3 or v6. Those also have the bonus of working with DMG/MGB/MGL/CGB connectors, unlike the v2.0u, which only works with a DMG connector.

Cool, thanks.

Tauwasser wrote:

It just seems like a mess and I doubt it works reliably, due to the fact that each cable in there seems to be a significantly different length...

So use ribbon cables? ;)

Tauwasser wrote:

I personally never worked with an Arduino before, though while everybody always exudes its versatility and capability, we had to turn it down for two projects at uni, because it just didn't have the basic hardware we needed.

The main proclaimed advantage of Arduino is that it’s easy for non‐programmers to use due to the libraries (though I think it’s mostly psychological, and that normal micros are not hard to program). If it keeps my non‐programmer friend from using Labview, well, I won’t complain.

Are there any microcontrollers you’re particularly fond of? All the ones I have lying around are irritatingly short on digital I/O pins…

#6 2012-02-19 17:12:53

Tauwasser
Member
Registered: 2010-10-16
Post 259/452

Re: Making a Game Boy cart dumper

IIMarckus wrote:

So use ribbon cables? ;)

Well, that would be an improvement. I personally find it to be a hassle when you want to have the resistors in place. Why not go for a lab card in the first place then?

IIMarckus wrote:

The main proclaimed advantage of Arduino is that it’s easy for non‐programmers to use due to the libraries (though I think it’s mostly psychological, and that normal micros are not hard to program). If it keeps my non‐programmer friend from using Labview, well, I won’t complain.

Well, I'm a programmer and I found the IDE to be ridiculously under-powered and also would have liked to have a more hardware feel to it. So when changing pins, I want to be sure to change from one configuration to the next in one clock cycle. The code for that pretty much leaves all of this up to the compiler to do this :/

IIMarckus wrote:

Are there any microcontrollers you’re particularly fond of? All the ones I have lying around are irritatingly short on digital I/O pins…

At uni I worked with the lpc21 series a lot. However, I think they only come in QFP packages, so it's obviously requiring more skills to use one in one of your projects. I hear STM35's are great, too. We use them at uni, but I haven't personally worked with them. Also, for IOs... Well, the ATmega used by the GB Cart Flasher has really many IOs in comparison to most anything else you see. I was quite fond of it, when I reverse-engineered the actual GB Cart Flasher code...

However, for home-grown hobbyist stuff, you would probably want to shell out for one of the Olimex Eval Kits. They usually come with plated-through lab card areas as well, so you can easily integrate headers or whatnot. We use them at uni as well, though I also have not personally worked with them, yet.

cYa,

Tauwasser

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