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New firmware version comes knocking - please beta test

Dear all,

After quite a while (like, half a year or so), here’s another update for your Retrode. The latest “stable” version remains the old v0.15u for now, but the beta is what should become the new v0.16a soon. The changes are mostly hidden under the surface (upward compatibility to future hardware*), so the update will only have the following three visible effects:

  • Activity LED is working again (it had been deactivated somewhere along the way, while searching for a bug)
  • SRAM protection: It should now be less risky to hot-swap cartridges. Before, the SRAM (battery-backed saves) would sometimes be lost
  • Config writing: Somehow, a few lines of bogus code must have made it into last version’s config writing routine, resulting in write accesses to the config file ALWAYS being unsuccessful. Fixed (i.e., back to SOMETIMES).

Anyway, due to the many invisible changes, it’s not entirely impossible that something is still broken. Therefore, I’d really appreciate if you could give it some testing and report any errors. Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Matthias

(*) about which I hope to post in a few weeks :)

Update: The firmware is still having some trouble recognizing the size of some GBA and N64 games, often causing them to be read incompletely. Unfortunately, I don’t see a true solution to this problem, but maybe a workaround would be an “overdump mode” where the ROM size is always assumed huge (say, 512 Mbit for N64). Most emulators should still eat those overdumped ROMs, although they will obviously take forever to load. What do you think about such an option?

Update 2: Try this one! The HWB button now doubles as overdump selector, cycling from auto-detect through three predefined ROM sizes. For instance, pressing it once will produce a 16MB file for N64 carts, another time, 32MB and finally, 64MB. (Refresh the directory to see the change in file size). A fourth button hit (or device reset) sets the Retrode back to auto-detection.

Update 3: Thanks to all the testers for their reports. Will try to fix the open issues (GB/GBc broken, FAT issue with GBA overdump) tonight.

Update 4: (April 16) New beta version available! Massive fix to GB/GBC. Also, added forceSystem/forceSize config parameters (see this page for documentation-in-progress). Faster response of overdump button, as well as config writing.

30 comments to New firmware version comes knocking – please beta test

  • Hey Matthias, I posted you some Satellaview details here a while ago. Check them out please!

    • Hi ChronoMoogle, Thank you for the hint. I will look into SatellaView at some point, but right now there are too many things out there that are much more urgent than this.

  • Please do a update to dump satellaview cartridges through a bs-x cart!
    There is still so much undumped data these days :/
    Ikari_01 says that this wouldn’t be a problem at all to built in.

  • andwhyisit

    Does that include GB/GBC overdump?
    By god I’ve been waiting for this.

  • Luke

    i just tried to dump ocarina of time with overdump on 32MB projec64 did not like the rom – something about in a permanent loop that will now exit.

    64MB dump has same problem as 8MB dump.

    Blew on cartridge -tried 32MB dump again. Wikipedia says the game is 32MB (256Mb) – but still no dice

    • No idea what’s going on there, sorry. Besides, there is (unfortunately) no such thing as 100% compatibility (not just with the Retrode).

    • Bryan

      I was able to dump OOT (region U, game version 1.0) just fine with the beta firmware and overdumping. Have you tried using GoodN64 to determine whether your dump matches one of the so-called known-good dumps?

      If GoodN64 thinks the dump is good, that means the Retrode is working fine and your emulator isn’t working.

  • GuidoJ

    What about USB High-Speed support? It would possibly shorten the loading times so that the cartridges could be overdumped generally. Is it something that could be added some day or would it challenge the Retrode’s basics too much?

    • High-Speed might bring some benefit for the more recent, huge cartridges (GBA/N64), but at an enormous cost (migration to different, more expensive (+$15) hardware). So, don’t expect High-Speed before hardware revision 8.0, when those chips are as cheap as anything :-) As to always overdumping, many emulators complain (checksum error) when the ROM is too large, that’s why I’ve bothered about size detection in the first place.

      • GuidoJ

        Couldn’t a data bank be implemented into the Retrode’s code which assigns the correct ROM sizes to the affected games’ headers? Of course, the Retrode community would contribute the required information. Wouldn’t we?

  • FelixV

    updated. will let you know if i run across anything odd

    as for overdump mode, if you make it a user configurable option
    eg: overdump = 1
    or something similar

  • I will test this out when I get some time :-D