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 Post subject: SNES Game genie problem
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:26 am 
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I finally could get my hands on a Gamegenie for SNES.
Unfortunately, all the games I tried, except Super Mario World and Dragon Ball Z just gave me a black screen after entering the codes.

I 've looked around and seems I have a v1 gg, since it already have the traces on the code intro screen, the board says SNESV 1.0, it has 8 ICs and in the chip I suppose is the ROM it says GALOOB V5.8.
Is there anything I can do to make it work?

A ROM update maybe? Anyone knows the pinout?

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:52 pm 
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I took a look at the chip, seems to be using a standard 64KB EPROM pinout.
All the pins are connected to the respective address and data lines, except A15 that is plugged to BA16. (LoRom mapping?).
The /OE pin is connected to /RD and the /CE pin is connected to the PAL pin 2.

Looks like it's possible to piggyback a Flash ROM on it with the new bios and test.
I'll just need to find a way to pull the /CE pin out of the circuit and pull it high, connecting the test flash on the PAL IC.
I think I can leave the /OE pin as-is, since the chip will be disables I don't think I'll get any kind of conflict.

Has anyone reverse-enginereed this before?
I just don't want to go all the way to rev-eng it, just want to make it work. :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:04 am 
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There's some info in fullsnes.htm (including a link to Charles's page with more info).
Knowing your ROM's CRC32 would help to get an idea which of the different hardware versions you have.
And which & how many (non-working) games did you try?
And are you sure that you didn't do something like using unencrypted PAL Action Replay codes for NTSC games?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:38 am 
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I think a picture can help a little on identifying it:
Attachment:
20170304_125854.jpg
20170304_125854.jpg [ 635.88 KiB | Viewed 870 times ]

Just forgive my crappy cellphone pic.

The tests I've done are just plug the game and enter no codes.
They should at least boot, don't they?

Here is the list of tested games:

Super Mario World (US oficial) => Booted
Super Street Fighter 2 (US oficial) => Black Screen
Tiny Toon Adventures (JP oficial) => Black Screen
Donkey Kong Country 2 (US official) => Black Screen
Street Fighter 2 Turbo (JP pirate) => Black Screen
X-Men Mutant Apocalypse (US oficial) => Black Screen
Dragon Ball Z - Super Saiya Densetsu (Pirate with added SRAM/battery combo) => Booted
StarFox (US oficial) => locked on code screen
Megaman X (US oficial) => Black Screen
Super Turrican (Repro test) => Booted

Looks like only the 4mbit games are booting... :shock:
I looked at the board and the address lines are given continuty to the connector's end.
I'll take a look on the links, thanks for pointing.

Edit: I took a look at the links.
I only could see the genie.txt on the Wayback Machine.
This possibly explains why Google couldn't find it.
Tested the ASIC connections, all are fine.
I'm just out of ideas... :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:12 pm 
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This may be a dumb question, but have you cleaned both the cart slot and edge connector? I've had some NES Game Genies where one or both ends were really dirty.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:55 am 
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Ah, yes, Charles moved all his stuff to some new URL, that is... here: http://dreamjam.co.uk/emuviews/txt/genie.txt - going by that info, the game genie should be even having some (limited and probably unintended) support for HiRom games. And I can't find notes about problems with bigger or faster games, or games with SRAM. Though also no notes about support for such things.
Better make sure that there are any existing codes for your games at all; if the codes exist, then that should imply that the game can be used with the game genie hardware. I would assume that Game Genie is pretty old (and older than Action Replay PAR2/PAR3), and so, it might lack support for newer game carts.

Just for curiosity, if you have some snes-cart dumping tool around... what's your CRC32 for the ROM?

PS. You've plugged StarFox into that 46pin connector? Time to improve your continuity checks ; )


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:27 am 
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Yes, I've cleaned the edge connector with an eraser and the slot with a piece of paper.
Both were very dirty at the beginning, the paper even became dark gray.

Should I try another cleaning method?
A friend suggested sandpaper, but I don't think it's a good idea.
Maybe a toothbrush with alcohol?

I've read some incompatibilities issues from around the Web, but most of them just sound like urban legends, like the newer games purposelly not working and newer SNES board designs even disallowing the genie to boot.
Are these stories real?

@Nocash: I looked at some Gamegenie manual scans and they have codes for newer games, as DK2 and even Chrono Trigger.
I had made a SNES dumper some time ago with an old PC motherboard. I'll see if I can find it and make it work again, or, just remove the ROM and dump as I did with the others.
As to Starfox, I've built an over clock circuit inside this game, but after disassembling it looks like I removed it. :oops:
I'll sure try to add the missing slot pins as soon as I solve the black screen problem.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Ive cleaned up connectors before using a magic eraser and rubbing alcohol. Just be careful. I would not recommend doing more than a pass or two at a time with the eraser wet with the rubbing alcohol. Too many passes will result in the chips being worn down because of the magic eraser being similar to a very fine grade of sandpaper.

Also for a little peace of mind: Yes I have personally cleaned several NES/SNES/Sega connectors in this way and the only game that made it worse was Nightmare on Elm street which had issues to begin with. Also I have used these personally on my pinball machines to take off some scuff marks from the playfield without damaging the clear coat.


Attachments:
MagicEraserOriginal.jpg
MagicEraserOriginal.jpg [ 44.32 KiB | Viewed 768 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:28 pm 
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You shouldn't use anything abrasive as you'll wear off the gold plating. Use some (strong)solvent and toothbrush, or regular soft pencil eraser.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Well, I tried this one:
Attachment:
spray_limpa_contato_inflamavel_130g_waft--47047_440_001.jpg
spray_limpa_contato_inflamavel_130g_waft--47047_440_001.jpg [ 19.1 KiB | Viewed 737 times ]

I'm afraid to start overdoing it and cause more damage than fix. :|

@NYMike: I dont't remember to have seem this magic eraser around.
Maybe with another name...
What grade of sandpaper should I use?
I'm inclined to use a 10 000 grade. It seems almost like a regular paper.

@TMEE: That's the eraser I used. A very soft pencil eraser I use to correct my drawings on paper.
I really like the one I use, since the others tend to make holes on the paper after a couple of corrections (yes, since I'm a beginer on the art of electronics, I usually do a lot of mistakes on my drawings).


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:35 pm 
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I use only anhydrous alcohol and Q-tips, or cloth material. Never use sand-paper.

I used to have a pack of medical prep wipes that was almost 100% alcohol. They worked great.

EDIT. Interesting side note. I also used alcohol wipes, once, to clean road salt off a windshield when it got so cold that the windshield fluid froze. Alcohol freezes at a much lower temperature than water. Would have worked better if they weren't so damned small.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Fisher wrote:
@NYMike: I dont't remember to have seem this magic eraser around.
Maybe with another name...


Magic Eraser is a trade name, the material itself is melamine foam. It's extremely cheap to order the stuff from China through ebay ($5 worth is almost a lifetime supply). I have used it on cart connectors sometimes, if it's a really bad one, but I'd prefer not to. The stuff is amazing on scratch-resistant surfaces such as a polycarbonate overlay (arcade control panels, membrane keypads), refrigerator door, etc. I don't know what it's actual hardness is VS gold.

That contact cleaner should be fine, if it's for electronics, I doubt you could use too much of it. But if you've cleaned it and this GG has never worked, it's not sounding too hopeful. It was interesting to see that SNES GG has a replaceable ROM (only half of NES Game Genies do, I've been doing stuff with those).


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:02 pm 
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dougeff wrote:
I used to have a pack of medical prep wipes that was almost 100% alcohol.

I had some of these in the penultimate job I had. They're great!!
I just didn't remembered them.
Thanks for making me recall of it! :wink:

Memblers wrote:
I've been doing stuff with those

What nasty things have you done with the Game Genie?
I just got curious. :-)
Maybe the way to fix it would be to replace the ROM.

Memblers wrote:
this GG has never worked

Well, I wouldn't say it never worked.
In fact, my kids loved to play Super Mario World with the codes.
The Dragon Ball and Super Turrican also booted on it.
In fact, it seems to boot only older/512KB games, which seems very strange. :?
The kids are just crazy to play Donkey Kong 2 on it with codes... I feel gulty for not had fixed it yet :cry:
I tried both master codes that are on the GG book but no deal, just black screen.

I talked to the old owner and he said it worked perfectly, but it was kind of lost in his things for around 10+ years.
It doesn't have any traces of oxidation.
I'm just puzzled... it seemed to be something related to dirty on the connectors or bad contacts but not.
What about the incompatibilities histories?? Urban legends?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:08 pm 
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Fisher wrote:
In fact, my kids loved to play Super Mario World with the codes.
The Dragon Ball and Super Turrican also booted on it.
In fact, it seems to boot only older/512KB games, which seems very strange. :?
[...]
I'm just puzzled... it seemed to be something related to dirty on the connectors or bad contacts but not.
It sounds kinda like the higher address lines aren't being passed through, for whatever reason?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:40 pm 
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I just don't understand.
I made continuity tests and all passed.
Tested them on the 74LS30 too, fine.
Even put a disassembled cartridge and tested at the ROM pins and it's fine.

Maybe if I bridge the inputs to the outputs?
I'll try that tomorrow...
I could bridge all the B bus and if it works I can disconnect them one by one.
When it stops working I have my guilty!
What chances I have to fry the thing by doing these kind of tests?


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