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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:01 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Australia
Hi everyone,

I'm BennVenn from over at http://www.bennvenn.com. I'm a hobbiest that enjoys programming/hacking/developing hardware for the old consoles. One of my more mature products is the range of BennVenn Flash carts and cart writers. My carts are available in 64M, 128M and 256M with 128K, 256K and 512K SRAM respectively.

The carts are a basic MBC5 style cartridge with an advanced ROM swapping system. Each cart is divided into 2mbyte blocks, each block gets its own 32K save. This means 4 individual saves on the 64M, 8 on the 128 and 16 on the 256. This does not mean the cart will only hold 4, 8 or 16 ROMS. It just means SRAM allocation is available for the block the ROM resides in. You can fill the entire Flash with as many ROMs that can fit, each selected on booting with my custom boot menu (up to 100ROM's per cart)

To get the ROM's on there, and to manage SRAM I have available my Reader/Writers. These are a USB interface that you can use to Flash new ROM's, upload or download the Save files as well as dump any Gameboy cartridge's ROM and RAM - Including GB camera.

These carts are very good on battery power. They use 3.3v Flash, SRAM and logic with no CPLD/FPGA so current consumption is many times lower than the current flash cart options. Current measurements show they consume less than an original GB cart.

There is much more to say about my carts though I'll just point you to a site that has a very good manual describing how the whole setup works, and to purchase if it is right for you!

I also have GBA carts available that can flash with the same hardware (with different firmware)

Prices are very competitive, and includes your very own Cart Dumper!

http://www.ninstrument.com/?page_id=1758

Discussions here: http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/15877 ... ble-in-us/

And here : http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/15601 ... cartridge/

Ben


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:59 pm
Posts: 19
I love these!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:42 am 
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Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Posts: 916
Location: Sweden
Two questions:

1)
From this discussion: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=12224#p139032
Sik wrote:
this is one thing that annoys me from the Everdrive flashcarts, since they have a firmware they initialize the hardware before the game starts, so if you have an initialization bug in your game you will not be able to catch it using them.

Is it possible to only write one game without the menu so that it works like a real GB cart?

2)
Is it compatible with the Nintendo 64 GB Pak adapter?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:01 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Australia
Yes, you can write one game without the bootloader and it will act like an ordinary MBC5 cart with 32K ram and 8mbytes ROM. There is one thing to look out for though, Register $7002 controls bank write switching and a write to this address from your rom will cause the cart to crash. I haven't come across a commercial rom that writes to this register but it is something to remember.

As for the 64 Pak adaptor, I believe it just uses the Save ram from the cart in which case yes it is compatible. The carts are identical to most GB MBC5 cart from the Gameboy's perspective. Unless the 64 does a write test on a hidden register, I'd say yes it will work

And as for the initialisation bug, the GB is hard reset after selecting the ROM from the Menu. This means all the registers are in a known state from a standard GB boot. There will of course be data left in VRAM, but I can add a VRAM Clear routine to wipe all RAM to a random/00 state - if that is something you would want


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Posts: 916
Location: Sweden
BennVenn wrote:
As for the 64 Pak adaptor, I believe it just uses the Save ram from the cart in which case yes it is compatible. The carts are identical to most GB MBC5 cart from the Gameboy's perspective. Unless the 64 does a write test on a hidden register, I'd say yes it will work
I believe it has access to the whole cart. Apparently when you play Pokemon on a Pokemon Stadium cart it plays the ROM via emulation.

Anyway it seems to be a cool alternative to the unstable EMS GB/GBC USB 64M Smart Card. Assuming it can play MBC1-5 games without weird glitches like the EMS cart has.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:01 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Australia
I wonder if it would be worth testing what bytes stadium checks before emulating... could be a cool patch.

It is a MBC5 mapper so it would have all the same quirks as trying to play on a MBC1 cart. Rom's still need to be patched to correct the bank 0/1 issues. Which is more or less covered with the success of the EMS/64M carts.

What these carts have over the EMS is the ability to store multiple roms, and have individual SRAM allotments to each ROM. You can get all the pokemon series on the one cart, each with its own SRAM and no conflicting read/writes to the saves (unless you want that :-) for example.


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