Categories

Plug-in adapters

The plug-in adapters introduced on this page allow the Retrode to interface with other video game cartridges. Please find below pinouts, schematics and board layouts for a number of plug-ins. All of these files are released into the public domain, so feel free to take them and build whatever FrankenMAME machine you want. All files can be opened in the freeware edition of Eagle.Note that this is strictly bonus material with no official support whatsoever. Neither Retrode UG nor Matthias Hullin personally can be held liable for anything you do with this information.
These adapters are made for use in the Retrode only. We promise they will NOT work in any other device. In order to prevent possible damage (and disappointment), please don’t even think of trying it.

Plug-ins available for pre-order!

Effective immediately, you can pre-order plug-in adapters for N64, the Game Boys, and SMS over on our commercial sister site, retrode.com! Please find more information there.

List of plug-ins…

Here we list plug-ins developed either by the Retrode makers or users around the globe.

Atari 2600

Close-up on adapter
The 2600 adapter
snes-2600
Schematic
snes-2600-brd
Board layout

This adapter allows for the insertion of Atari 2600 cartridges in the Retrode’s SNES slot. Do not even think of using this with other devices than the Retrode. There is zero chance for it to work (what is a SNES CPU supposed to do with Atari code anyway), but certainly some chance to break stuff.

The interface is really simple, since the Atari 2600 cart only has 13 address and 8 data lines, VCC and GND, and that’s it. 2600′er cartridges do not contain a header (game title, etc.), so the filename will be generic.

Note: The circuit board thickness must be 1.2mm, and you want some nicer finish (gold?) for the contact pads. 1.6mm PCBs will wear out your SNES slot.

Eagle files

N64 / GBx

n64
The N64/GBx adapter
N64adapter
Board layout

Here’s the PCB layout of a combined plug-in for GBx and N64 games which plugs into the SEGA port (both carts facing outwards). Since N64 and GBA run at 3.3V instead of the Retrode’s 5V, there is a slight risk of cart damage without an additional voltage converter (though I’ve yet to fry my first GBA or N64 cartridge, and I always use 5V).

The plug-in requires two special parts (the  GBA and N64 connectors), and a resistor >5K up to 47K or so. I’ve got a bunch of these parts (as well as PCBs) in stock, so if you’re interested, please organize with your fellow Retrodians and we can discuss the possibility of a group order.

Eagle files

Pico

Here’s how to connect Sega Pico cartridges to the Megadrive port. Wiring courtesy of [crazy2001] from the arcadezentrum.com forums.

PICO - Megadrive        | Description
------------------------------------
01   -  A16             | A17
02   -  A14             | A16
03   -  A12             | A15
04   -  A10             | A14
05   -  A08             | A13
06   -  A06             | A12
07   -  A04             | A11
08   -  B05             | A10
09   -  B04             | A9
10   -  B08             | A20
11   -  B09             | A21
12   -  B07             | A19
13   -  B06             | A18
14   -  A03             | A8
15   -  A05             | A7
16   -  A07             | A6
17   -  A09             | A5
18   -  A11             | A4
19   -  A13             | A3
20   -  A15             | A2
21   -  A17             | A1
22   -  B17             | CE (CAS0)
23   -  A01             | GND
24   -  A18             | GND
25   -  B16             | OE(IC11#8*)
26   -  A20             | D0
27   -  A21             | D8
28   -  A23             | D1
29   -  A24             | D9
30   -  A26             | D2
31   -  A27             | D10
32   -  A29             | D3
33   -  A30             | D11
34   -  A31             | VCC
35   -  A28             | D4
36   -  B25             | D12
37   -  A25             | D5
38   -  B24             | D13
39   -  A22             | D6
40   -  B23             | D14
41   -  A19             | D7
42   -  B22             | D15
43   -  A32             | GND
44   -  A32             | GND
45   -  B19             | CLK
46   -  A02             | VCC
47   -  Not Connected   | SRAM(IC17#7*)
48   -  Not Connected   | LWR
49   -  Not Connected   | MRES
50   -  A02             | VCC

Turbografx-16

Here’s how to connect TG16 carts to the SNES port. Wiring courtesy of [AaronE] from consoleclassix.com

SNES  - TG16                                SNES  - TG16
===============================             ===============================
PIN5  - PIN18                               PIN36 - PIN18
PIN6  - PIN27                               PIN37 - PIN6
PIN7  - PIN25                               PIN38 - PIN30
PIN8  - PIN28                               PIN39 - PIN31
PIN9  - PIN29                               PIN40 - PIN5
PIN10 - PIN7                                PIN41 - PIN4
PIN11 - PIN8                                PIN42 - PIN32
PIN12 - PIN9                                PIN43 - PIN3
PIN13 - PIN10                               PIN44 - PIN33
PIN14 - PIN11                               PIN45 - PIN24
PIN15 - PIN12                               PIN46 - No Connect
PIN16 - PIN13                               PIN47 - No Connect
PIN17 - PIN14                               PIN48 - No Connect
PIN18 - No Connect                          PIN49 - PIN26
PIN19 - PIN23                               PIN50 - PIN19
PIN20 - PIN22                               PIN51 - PIN17
PIN21 - PIN21                               PIN52 - PIN16
PIN22 - PIN20                               PIN53 - PIN15
PIN23 - No Connect                          PIN54 - No Connect
PIN24 - No Connect                          PIN55 - No Connect
PIN25 - No Connect                          PIN56 - No Connect
PIN26 - No Connect                          PIN57 - No Connect
PIN27 - PIN38/PIN34 Vcc (pull /WR to Vcc.)  PIN58 - PIN38/PIN34 Vcc

Virtual Boy

[JonY] managed to hook up his Retrode to his Virtual Boy cartridges. All it takes is a donor Sega cartridge and a solution made from a 2.5″ hard disk connector and the somewhat thinner pins from a PCMCIA/Cardbus connector. Eventually, he made a few cutouts in the cartridge case and put it all back in. Nice! Here is his pinout:

--------------------------------         ---------------------------------------
Sega Edge    Signal      VB Edge         Sega Edge       Signal          VB Edge
--------------------------------         ---------------------------------------
A1           gnd         1, 2            B1              N/A             -
A2           +5v         54              B2              N/A             -
A3           a8          15              B3              N/A             -
A4           a11         22              B4              a9              18
A5           a7          17              B5              a10             20
A6           a12         24              B6              a18             13
A7           a6          19              B7              a19             11
A8           a13         26              B8              a20             16
A9           a5          21              B9              a21             -
A10          a14         28              B10             a22             -
A11          a4          23              B11             a23             -
A12          a15         30              B12             N/A             -
A13          a3          25              B13             N/A             -
A14          a16         32              B14             N/A             -
A15          a2          27              B15             N/A             -
A16          a17         34              B16     /C_OE (Output Enable)   35
A17          a1          29              B17     /C_CE (Chip Enable)     31
A18          gnd         33              B18             N/A             -
A19          d7          38              B19             N/A             -
A20          d0          39              B20             N/A             -
A21          d8          37              B21             N/A             -
A22          d6          42              B22             d15             40
A23          d1          43              B23             d14             44
A24          d9          41              B24             d13             48
A25          d5          46              B25             d12             52
A26          d2          47              B26             N/A             -
A27          d10         45              B27             N/A             -
A28          d4          50              B28     /LDSW (not used)        -
A29          d3          51              B29     /UDSW (not used)        -
A30          d11         49              B30             N/A             -
A31          +5v         36, 53          B31             N/A             -
A32          gnd         59, 60          B32     /CART_IN (not used)     -

V.Smile

V.Smile Plugin Wiring courtesy of [crazy2001] from the arcadezentrum.com forums.

V.SMILE - Megadrive        | Description
------------------------------------
  A01   -  not connected   | -
  A02   -  A01             | GND
  A03   -  B09             | A21
  A04   -  A14             | A16
  A05   -  A10             | A14
  A06   -  A06             | A12
  A07   -  B05             | A10
  A08   -  B07             | A19
  A09   -  A03             | A08
  A10   -  A07             | A06
  ------------             |
  A12   -  A11             | A04
  A13   -  A15             | A02
  A14   -  A17             | A01
  A15   -  B22             | D15
  A16   -  B24             | D13
  A17   -  B25             | D12
  A18   -  A30             | D11
  A19   -  A22             | D06
  A20   -  A25             | D05
  A21   -  A28             | D04
  A22   -  A29             | D03
  A23   -  A32             | GND
  A24   -  not connected   | NC2
  A25   -  not connected   | RW

  B01   -  B17             | CS1
  B02   -  B10             | A22
  B03   -  B08             | A20
  B04   -  A12             | A15
  B05   -  A08             | A13
  B06   -  A04             | A11
  B07   -  B04             | A09
  B08   -  B06             | A18
  B09   -  A05             | A07
  B10   -  A09             | A05
  ------------             |
  B12   -  A13             | A03
  B13   -  A16             | A17
  B14   -  B23             | D14
  B15   -  A21             | D08
  B16   -  A24             | D09
  B17   -  A27             | D10
  B18   -  A19             | D07
  B19   -  A20             | D00
  B20   -  A23             | D01
  B21   -  A26             | D02
  B22   -  not connected   | CS2
  B23   -  not connected   | Sense
  B24   -  not connected   | NC1
  B25   -  A31 / A02       | VCC

crazy2001 Notes:
To get consistent reads on some games, you have to pull-up or pull-down all datalines, so I just wired 10k resistors to each dataline (D00 – D15) and built a little switch into the cartridge, so I can switch between pull-up (conntected to VCC) or pull-down (connected to GND). This way, all games are readable. If you don’t get good reads while the datalines are pulled-up, try it again with the datalines pulled-down and it should work.

Materials:
- one Megadrive-Cartrige (case and pcb)
- about 45 wires (between 5 and 10 cm in length)
- one 50 pin connector (get from a V.Smile -> most consoles will set you back around 5 – 10 USD, a dead one even cheaper!)
- NOTE: a Megadrive/Genesis connector fits perfectly.
- 16pcs 10K resistors
- a soldering iron

It takes about 1-2 hours to wire everything together, and material-costs are about 10-15USD; It just depends on how cheap you get the connector for.

This adapter works with all V.Smile cartridges (V.Smile, V.Smile Motion and V.Smile Baby)