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Plug-in adapters available for pre-order

February 2012 plug-in prototypes (final N64 version will have different print and two controller connectors)

February 2012 plug-in prototypes (final N64 version will have different print and two controller connectors)

Finally, some news on the plug-in front! We’ve found a supplier for cartridge shells, and we’ve got some estimates from people who can equip them with the proper cutouts. The electronic side had been finalized a while ago, so we can now go ahead and push production forward.

There will be three types of plug-in adapters, compatible to all generations of the Retrode (Golden Edition and the current, black, Retrode 2): for N64 (including two game controller ports), the Game Boys and Master System. Please find the technical details over at retrode.com, where they can also be pre-ordered. Estimated (pessimistic) date of availability: Dec 31, 2012. Pre-orders will be served first.

26 comments to Plug-in adapters available for pre-order

  • I now, after long cogitation, ordered also the N64- and the GB/GBA-Adapters, cause the benefits convince me to to so. :-)
    A question related to N64 dumping: How can I improve the detection of my cartridges?
    I tried to dump several games and the gave me the right size but GoodN64 didn’t recognize them and they refuse to load in any emulator.
    And a much bigger problem I have with “Kirby 64″ which only dumps 8 MB instead of 32 MB (forcing size and set autodetection delay to “30″ doesn’t helped) and “GoodN64″ said: „NOT in Nintendo 64 Format“.
    The Retrode also gives out 3 different names for the ROM, which were “Kirb6.NK4X.n64″, “Kirby6.NK4X.n64″ & “Kisby6.NK4X.n64″

    • I now dumped “Kirby 64″ again with my Retrode 1 (FW v0.17c) instead of the Retrode 2 (FW v0.18b alpha) and know it works, almost, fine.
      The autodetection of the cartridge size works fine but the extension is dumped wrong. Instead of “.n64″ it is “.a26″. If you change the file extension to “.n64″ and run “GoodN64″ the ROM is “perfect” (Kirby 64 – The Crystal Shards (E) [!].n64).
      I think the new Firmware (v0.18b alpha) breaks the autodetection of some, not all, N64 cartridges.
      Is there any possibility to combine the improvements of Atari-2600-dumping in Muzers Firmware-Update with the “old” N64 cartridge size detection in Firmware v0.17c?
      For Me it is not a big deal to use both Retrode’s, now that I know WHAT I have to do, but for people who have only the Retrode 1 OR 2 it can be a problem.

      • Muzer modified some of the cartridge timings; not sure if he also touched N64 along the way. The misread letters sound pretty much like a speed issue to me… it happens on all systems when you read the bus faster than the ROM outputs data. By the time the plug-ins are out, we plan to have a definitive firmware out, merging his improvements with the old stability.

        • Muzer

          Pretty sure I didn’t touch anything that goes anywhere near the N64 stuff. I’ll have a look at the SVN log when I’m on the right computer, though…

      • Muzer

        OK, I’m going to say WTF on this. My question is, how on earth is it getting a .a26 extension when the N64 adaptor goes in the Mega Drive slot???? They should be completely unrelated! I haven’t changed ANY Mega Drive stuff intentionally at least! Unless something’s gone massively corrupt somehow in that firmware version… you have a PM.

        • This almost sounds like a config corruption that happened over a firmware update. One would have to see the config file.

        • I think you didn’t read the “Kirby example” thoroughly. The problem with the “.a26″-Extension lies in the v0.17c-Firmware, not in your v0.18b_alpha-Firmware.
          In the v0.18b_alpha-Firmware it didn’t dump the cartridge “right” at all.
          It produces an “Under-Dump” that’s not even in the N64-Format (related to what GoodN64 says).
          The Overdump-Function of the Retrode also didn’t help. Even if I get the right size, it’s still not in the N64-Format.

          • That’s exactly what I mean: if the old firmware produces the right file format with the wrong extension, it’s likely a config problem. For everything else, you’ll have to send me a dump because my crystal ball is in repair :-)

            • A config problem? Anything a reset of the “Retrode.cfg”-File could fix?
              Or lies that problem deeper (inside the source code for the Retrode-Firmware for example)?
              If you need any dumps, let me know. Send me a message on the forums (same username as in the comments section).
              I can also send you a list of the N64 games I own, so you can pick one to send.
              I also found out (with the help of Muzer and another user on another forum) that some dumps I made couldn’t be in the “GoodTools”-Set because they are to new (my N64 Turok 1 – German PAL-Version for example).
              Also some of the “GoodTools” are pretty outdated (N64) or incomplete (A2600/PAL-Games).

              • Just have a look in your cfg file under v0.17c, and see if there’s something like

                [n64RomExt] a26

                • That hint helped a lot :-D
                  For whatever reason the config file is totally messed up. Now it has at all places the extension “-D–” and the [forceSize] is set to 1978, the [forceMapper] to 186.
                  I now reset (multiple times!) the config file (by deleting every line except the first two).
                  But the problem remains (kinda). Now it messes up anything randomly after the “[sramReadonly]“-line (wrong extensions, no extension, to high numbers in “mapper” & “size”).
                  Even if I don’t reset the config file, it messes up randomly every time I connect the Retrode to my PC.
                  By the way, I’m on Windows 7 64Bit (but have also access to Windows XP 32Bit & Ubuntu 12.04 64Bit), if that’s anyway related to my problem.

  • Muzer

    Interestingly, the poll despite allowing you to select multiple options will only accept one. Hmm…

  • Finally! :-D
    I ordered the Master System Plugin right away, can’t wait for it to arrive (but still have patience, as always).
    My question: Is there any benefit of buying the GB/GBA and N64-Plugin “again” (because I have the Plugins from the first batch (the combined without the plastic shell))?

    • Depends on your needs. N64 now has controller ports and additional wires that might one day enable reading savegames. The GB now has cartridge autodetection (replacing manual button presses) and additional wires that might be required for GB savegames and somewhat more exotic mappers.

  • Craig

    I would love to buy a N64 plug-in, but the lack of 4 controller ports is saddening. I understand that there might not be much room to fit, but I will wait out on pre-ordering it until 4 ports are added =(. Even if it was $5-10, I wouldn’t mind! Atleast I would be able to play with friends (if that were to ever happen)

    • We have no plans to add 4 ports since it would only benefit most users marginally, but increase the cost for everybody. Since especially in the case of the N64, controller ports are so easy to retrofit (3 wires and that’s it), we may provide the option in a future firmware update, if there’s enough demand for it.

  • Brian

    Matthias,
    Amazing work as always! Super excited for these to arrive!

  • Ed Powell

    Still would love a TG16 adapter, but I’ll definitely take what I can get! ;P Much thanks for making these readily available for those of us who didn’t even know where to start making our own! :D

  • They look great Matthias. Is the N64 one functionally the same as the previous version (aside from the controller sockets)?

    Any plans of offering a bundle of all three?

    • The N64 slot is now fully wired, allowing Muzer to implement all those fancy save technologies at some point :) With the controller ports, even Controller Pak data shouldn’t be too hard to support. I haven’t done a lot of research yet, but it seems that flash/EEPROM saves won’t be possible with the limited wiring of the old plug-in.

  • Peter C

    These look great, and have been greatly anticipated. I just placed my pre-order. Thanks for all your hard work to let me play my old games once more.

    PC

  • Klaus

    Why isn’t it possible to buy these adapters without the Megadrive-Cartridge-Shell? just the blank PCB with the sockets wired. would be maybe way cheaper!

    • There’s a minimum order quantity for shells, so it’s either all with or without shells. A recent poll on our homepage showed that the vast majority of people prefers the shelled version.

  • Felix

    Those are some sweet looking plugin adapters.

    How long is the pre-order window open for?