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Production Update

mainboard-final

Here’s your latest update about the ongoing mass production of the Retrode 2. As always, everything took a bit longer than I thought it would, but land is in sight.

Old status:
Electronics: Production finished, waiting for samples.
Cases: Expecting final tweak to injection tool, final run of samples, then mass production.
USB cables: Looking for supplier.

New status:
Electronics: Samples are here and tested. All is good, and they’re pretty darn beautiful (see picture on the right). Factory firmware installation planned next week, then wait for cases and final assembly.
Cases: Final samples (painted and printed) arrived, mass production finished, cases in transit to Germany (expected day of arrival: Dec 2) Update, Nov 14: The shipping company corrected the estimated time of arrival to Dec 19.
USB cables: Ordered. expected arrival: Nov 18.
Final assembly: 2-3 working days from arrival of cases.
Packaging and shipping: Within 5 working days of finished product. That would be around Dec 14 Dec 27. I repeat: land is in sight :)

I should add that I also have GBx/N64 and SMS plugins in the pipeline, but they will take a bit longer to finish. Will try to figure out a deal for pre-orderers.

Totally unrelated but still neat:
Meanwhile, here’s a firmware update for owners of the original Retrode. The upcoming plug-ins will be supported by your units as well. As always, feedback is highly appreciated, for I can only fix bugs that I know about. Download the file here, find the instructions here.

54 comments to Production Update

  • [...] 23. You can grab it from StoneAgeGamer in the US. Meanwhile, Retrode says it’s working on N64 and Sega Master System plug-ins for future release, though there’s no specific dates at [...]

  • [...] 23. You can grab it from StoneAgeGamer in the US. Meanwhile, Retrode says it’s working on N64 and Sega Master System plug-ins for future release, though there’s no specific dates at [...]

  • [...] 23. You can grab it from StoneAgeGamer in the US. Meanwhile, Retrode says it’s working on N64 and Sega Master System plug-ins for future release, though there’s no specific dates at [...]

  • Andrew

    I you build a N64/GBx plug-in with a shell with proper cutouts and printed label will it also have a 3.3V to 5V voltage converter build into the shell?

  • Andrew

    Do we get Plug-in adapters with the Retrode 2?

    • Andrew

      sorry “I should add that I also have GBx/N64 and SMS plugins in the pipeline, but they will take a bit longer to finish. Will try to figure out a deal for pre-orderers.”

  • Ness and Sonic

    So, it seems like the adapters will might in a proper shell with cutout’s and labels. I’m kind of curious what the design would look like.

    • No design yet. Would you like to contribute? I could prepare a drawing of the label outline then.

      • Ness and Sonic

        Maybe you should try having a contest on the design. It will give you a chance to see various designs and decide which one you like. Anyway, I know the American N64 games are wider than a Genesis cartridge. (11.5cm, which is slightly bigger than the American version of the top portion of Sonic & Knuckles.) As for the other regions, I’ve never really seen those versions of N64 games, so I have no clue about the size of them. As for Game Boy games, the American and Japanese ones (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the European ones were too) are just over 5.5cm wide. I measured my Game Boy Camera for that amount, and know the Japanese ones are the same size because I happened to have played the Japanese version of Pokemon TCG on an American Game Boy.

        Also, I have an E-reader for Game Boy Advance if you want measurements on that, I could try to give you that so you can have a hole cut out or make it thin enough so it can fit properly. Just let me know, and I’ll try to measure it.

        • Hi! I was talking about the label print design only, since everything else will be dictated by the shape of available connectors and the shell. The N64 plug will awkwardly poke out to the side like it used to for the initial version of the N64/GBx adapter; otherwise I’d have to split the design into two separate boards. Obviously, you cannot plug a larger cart into a smaller one, so it will have to sit outside and hope it doesn’t fall off.

          I have all sorts of GB carts here, so I can take whatever measurement I need. Thanks for your offer, though. Would you still like to do a print design? I somehow lack the nerves to do another contest atm.

  • A question about the new Retrode-Firmware v0.17: With the new firmware I can dump the SRAM of my GameBoy games, but I’ve found no way to use them in any emulator. I’ve tryed PC- & Console-Emulators (GB-, GBA- & GB/GBA-compatible), none of them could read the saves properly. I’ve even renamed the “.srm” to “.sav”. But the didn’t work ether way. Does anyone have an idea what I should do??

    • Hi,
      I tested the saves in VisualBoyAdvance. I would have to load them manually, though (Import -> Battery File).
      It could also be that your SRAM is not yet reading correctly if it’s a MBC3 or MBC5 game. I hope to find some time soon to describe the mod for the GB adapter.

  • Ness and Sonic

    Any idea why a Sega Genesis game would come up on the retrode without even a partial name and still play pretty well? MTV’s Beavis and Butt-head is like that.

  • Tom

    Hi. I have a question regarding retrode2 firmware: will it be updatable and more important, will you provide documentation (in a public or private way) for interested people to write their own firmware and programs to control retrode2 from usb. The reason I ask is because i want to dump some of my cartridges that have unusual hardware inside them to prevent copy and the only way to dump them is to manage cartridge signals in the exact same way the console would do or read/write unusual memory areas.

    Since you probably only support the “traditional” way of reading ROM, a specific firmware and dumping program would be necessary.

    I still have to find a commercial product offering such feature, though i understand programmers are generally not the aimed customer market for this kind of product…

    Greetings.

    • Hi Tom,

      Of course the firmware will be updatable, so you’re absolutely free to write your own. As a matter of fact, the Retrode 1 has been misused by some to jailbreak the PS3. In the past, I’ve provided copies of my firmware sources to people who expressed interest in implementing new features. I’d be more than happy to include their improvements and additions into the core firmware; however, more than a year later, I have yet to receive anything back from anyone of those people. If you can convince me of your technical skills, and if you’re willing to share your “unusual memory areas” and intricate cartridge signalling for everyone to enjoy, I can send you a copy.

      Cheers,
      Matthias

      • Tom

        I would be interested and have no problems to share my findings with you, for sure. My goal is to dump a few cartridges of my collection that remain undumped because they embed copy-protection hardware that make usual dump technique return useless or incomplete data. I don’t plan to release those dumps as this would be illegal but I have no problem letting other owners know how to dump their rare cartridges.

        Can you explain what is required to compile and flash my own firmware ? what kind of devkit ? hardware ?

        Beside you providing original firmware source code, will there be some kind of documentation to know how to drive Retrode 2 hardware from software/firmware ? As I said, my main idea would be to drive signals on the cartridge ports as the original console would do and I don’t know what is possible with the current design, since you most likely disconnected some of the pins or did not make them programmable through the retrode.

        What I would love to do is some kind of firmware with basic protocol that would accept connection then commands from a host program running on PC, such as SET_ADDRESS_BUS(), READ_DATA_BUS() but also READ_PIN(), ASSERT_PIN(), CLEAR_PIN(), WAIT_USEC() to mimic exact console behavior. Don’t know how much it seems feasible, maybe having the command sequence automated in firmware to return ROM data as the original firmware is easier as a first step.

        • I develop in AVR-GCC under AVRStudio 4.19, which are both freely available. The hardware is an AT90USB646, and for the firmware I started with one of LUFA’s example projects. So given the wiring (which I/O pin maps to which cartridge pin), you can of course start writing your own firmware without problems. Not all of the cartridge pins is connected to the controller, though; only the ones needed for basic ROM/SRAM/EEPROM access. Do you already have a rough idea which signals you are going to need?

          • Tom

            Thank you, that helps me a lot, i will try to get this stuff and practice a little until retrode2 is purchasable.

            As for the signals, i’m speaking of genesis cartridges here, based on what I have observed and read on other forums from more expert people than i am: what could be needed is /AS (for cart using their own address decoding), /VRES (for cartridge hardware that need to be reseted) and the 23 address pins (to access the whole 16MB range). Both write enable signals (upper and lower byte) could be used too, as well as /TIME (from what i’ve read, i think it can be used as a secondary chip select line). Please refer to official schematics (I got them on emudocs.org) for pin naming.

            Do you have a limit regarding the number of pins that can be controlled ?

  • Damien

    Lots of questions:

    Does this device manage J-carts (micro machines)? Can we use multitaps? I didn’t understand the 32X FAQ question, do we have to use a real 32X device or can we put the cartridge directly into the megadrive slot?

    Also have you considered being able to read Saturn cartridges? These are not games but memory carts and currently there is absolutely no device to dump/modify them. And for one game, King of Fighters 95, there is actually game data on it which makes it currently impossible to play via emulation.

  • F.

    Beautiful stuff! This will make an awesome late christmas present. :)

  • Jeremy B.

    I just stumbled onto this. What an amazing little device! Is this for real? How much?

  • FelixV

    are the atari and snes ports independent or do they share i/o lines?

  • hedwards

    Those definitely look pretty. Kind of makes me wish the case were clear.

    • FelixV

      They couldn’t make the cases perfectly clear due to the material used. There is an earlier post about it..

      • If more time were invested, it might actually be possible to tweak the mold such that it allows for PP (exists in transparent) as well. Mind you, though, that it would be rather likely to look like crap. A lot of internal structures would become visible, and those are laid out for the mechanics, not for the looks.

        Personally, I’ve grown to like the opaque case a lot. A nice and “green” alternative to the current material would be to use recycled ABS for future runs (also opaque).

  • Zarro

    This is so nice.
    I hope to have this one as a gift for myself.
    Also it’s really touching for me as a brazilian to see that our music can cross boundaries and be apreciated by people so far from here. Specially Bossa Nova deserves this. Thank you so much

    • Thank you for your kind words! Brazil with its insane import taxes and customs is an incredibly difficult market for me to understand, so I hope we can somehow get you a Retrode with minimum hassle. The music is indeed rather likeable, though :) A while ago, I spent hours watching a YouTube broadcast of Ivete Sangalo live at Rock in Rio. Plain wow. Though I have to confess, the recording used in the video I originally made to sell my Rhodes piano on eBay :)

  • Luke Johnson

    Yeah, that PCB is beautiful!

  • dadopson

    When can I order one of these and the plug in adapators?
    I cant wait to try this out, the money is burning a hole in my pocket.
    That first sample is beautiful.

  • BJ Wanlund

    Can’t wait!!! I’m gonna take a look-see at it at least.

    BJ

  • Muzer

    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    Can’t wait for my opportunity to pre-order one. I’m really excited now.