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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Well, i think it's already known that 3v memories are nocive to retro consoles.
I was curious about the new release of "Turma da Mônica na terra dos Monstros" by Tec Toy here in Brazil last year.
So, I found a disassembly on a video here.
Also, I've found this picture:
Attachment:
Monica_na_Terra_dos_Monstros PCB P.png
Monica_na_Terra_dos_Monstros PCB P.png [ 1.16 MiB | Viewed 1710 times ]

A higher resolution is avaliable at Tec Toy's site.
This leads me to confirm that Tec Toy isn't using level shifters, since there's no level shifter on the front nor the back of the PCB.
Is it correct?

Would this be harmful to the old MegaDrives around or the technology used back in the day would allow it?
In other words, is Tec Toy just not preocupated with consoles frying or it's all bullshit in this case?
Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:41 pm 
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This will absolutely be harmful, there's not even current limiters used. It is probably gonna work well enough on their modern clones which are most probably using 3.3V based IO but a real MD will suffer and the flash chip will get hot quickly.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:09 pm 
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Well, that sucks. What's up with people trying to make a quick buck nowadays at the cost of damaging old hardware that isn't manufactured anymore?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:11 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
Well, that sucks. What's up with people trying to make a quick buck nowadays at the cost of damaging old hardware that isn't manufactured anymore?

Considering what I see people doing with NES systems and peripherals -- permanent hardware modifications that could have been avoided entirely had better choices been made (recent example; another photo, see general Twitter Images feed for further details) -- I'm of the opinion the generations who *did not* grow up with said systems really do not care about "trashing the hardware". I've seen it happening to NES/FC, SNES/SFC, and Genesis/MD for some time now.

What's equally bizarre is how many of these same people claim to have deep love for the systems they're destroying. Even controllers getting trashed irks me at this point. TMR has talked several times on stream how it's becoming more and more difficult to find good replacement rubber contact pads in NES controllers (i.e. originals, as some of the third-party replacements are of a different rubber compound and don't feel right). People who attend conventions or do TAS competitions care a lot about this type of thing, and rightfully so -- and now that I own several fake Sony PS2 controllers, I completely understand their point.

Not to self-back-pat, but I do have a bit of pride in saying nearly all of my consoles and peripherals are unmodified (barring my front-loader NES which has the BlinkingLightWin, but that can be reverted easily as I kept the original cart connector/hardware). I opted to buy an AVS rather than get a NES RGB mod (for either my front-loader or top-loader) for that exact reason. I didn't have my original Sony PlayStation chip-modded for the same reason (it's first-gen so the swap trick works, though the laser probably needs some realignment by now). I do however own a slim Sony PS2 that's chip modded, but I didn't get around to buying one of those until... 2009? 2010?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:13 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
What's equally bizarre is how many of these same people claim to have deep love for the systems they're destroying.

That's the part that bothers me: stores that claim to be helping keep old consoles alive by releasing new games and such, but are in fact selling cartridges that might actually KILL your console.

Your example of the "8-player NES" and other similar things that individuals do to their own consoles don't bother me as much, because people are only damaging their property, and people should be free to do whatever they want with the stuff they paid for, even if we don't agree and would never do the same to the items in our collections. But selling badly engineered hardware to the general public while claiming to be "breathing life" into old consoles? Collectors are INADVERTENTLY damaging their precious hardware because of these assholes that are trying to make money off of the cheapest possible cartridges, that's low.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:40 am 
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I confess I was very happy with Tec Toy offering "reprints" of this old game and waiting for more.
But now... I'm just disappointed!
Seems it's just a "quick buck" as Tokumaro pointed out, having not much difference from the cheap Aliexpress' repros.

Also I agree with Koitsu in the part that the beloved consoles and acessories should be left on it's original state, only doing maintenance job.
It has the side effect of putting some simple things in the rarity spot, wich is very bad!
It also breaks my heart to see retro stuff destroyed or badly modded and most of the time there are other options to allow the mods to be done without permanently destroying it, but if it's the person's private property, I think it's fine.

Again about the 3.3v flash, (not wanting to sound as a broken record) I saw a guy selling a Chrono Trigger repro and asked about the level shifters.
Here is the (somewhat) translated response:

"if you put this, this protection, nothing's going to be altered.
There are people using repro games with this flash for about 10 years and never got trouble.
This is bullshit. Maybe this is applicable in complex circuits, not where there's only 1 flash and nothing more.
You'll only spend money doing another board - really, you don't even need the regulator, you can put it straight.
I have stories of guys using it for 2 years without regulator the same board, or even with only 2 diodes.
Some electronic theories are applicable in complex circuits only, not on simple circuits wich uses the flash's read pattern and nothing more.
The burn option on a thing like a router doesn't apply in this case. The burn tolerancy would be 3.3 volts.
"

There are also some more arguments trying to justify the lack of level shifters.
But even not having much experience nor knowledge about this subject these make no sense to me...
I don't want to talk much more about this there, since these guys seems to be very inflexible about this subject.

Really, is there anyone developing spare retro console parts with FPGAs?
I think they'll be needed here pretty soon!!
Sorry about the big post, but I think that sharing the link wouldn't help much here, since they are in portuguese.

Edit: Apparently, Tec Toy is losing money with it's new MegaDrive.
The (somewhat) translated text from the interview with Stefano Arnhold, Tec Toy's president (linked from epicplay above):
"(...) we're losing a few hundred thousand dollars with the Mega Drive. But okay. It's not the end of the world and we still exist, right?"
Looks like the situation is a little worse than i tought. :-(


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:05 am 
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One revision of the Pier Solar homebrew cartridge uses current limiting resistors, the other not only does not use the resistors but also encases its flash and its Altera Max II EPM240T100C5N in epoxy. The 2016 Tec-Toy Genesis "official" re-release is just some GOAC just like the unofficial clones. Sega uses atgames for their Genesis Classic mini. The Mega EverDrive v2/X7 has only two level translator chips when it needs three. It can be tough to be a Genesis fan when you get constantly served second-rate products from anyone who makes products for it today.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:42 am 
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I agree with you, but I have to add that this problem is unfortunatelly not exclusive to MegaDrive.
I saw some NES cartridges being sold by homebrewers wich fall the same category.
Also the "professional reproduction maker" I cited a while back in this thread also sells stuff without any kind of protection.
I suppose that if someone searches other retros scenes around would also find similar problems.
The problem is that many people think it's OK since consoles aren't dying for now, just as if you smoke cigarretes for a couple of years and claim that cigarretes don't cause cancer, even if specialists say just the opposite!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:18 am 
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Other consoles do have their questionable modern products, but they at least have some high quality (if not perfect) products without an obvious flaw or issue for concern. The NES flash carts have proper level shifters (EverDrive N8) or do not require them (NES PowerPak). Even the SMS has the new Master EverDrive X7 with proper level shifters and the EverDrive-GG should be getting a refresh at some point in the near future.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:10 am 
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My main problem is that the good quality products need to be imported, wich in my country is a confusing and expensive practice.
The local production leaves a lot to be desired, but is way cheaper.
I just gave up buying from these local guys and am slowly building my own repros.
This way I think I'll be able to enjoy my retro consoles for at least 30+ years. :-)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:45 am 
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My purchases from Krikzz were the best importing experiences I've ever had. Shipping was dirty cheap and there were no taxes whatsoever. Everything I bought from Krikzz's store arrived directly to me, and it didn't take too long either. Keep in mind that my last purchase from him was about 3 years ago though, so it's possible that things have changed since then.

The NES PowerPak and the Atari Harmony were much more troublesome... There was nothing funny about how much I paid in taxes for the PowerPak... For the harmony I even had to use a reshipping service because the guy stopped shipping to Brazil, it all turned out really expensive in the end.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:57 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
Your example of the "8-player NES" and other similar things that individuals do to their own consoles don't bother me as much, because people are only damaging their property, and people should be free to do whatever they want with the stuff they paid for, even if we don't agree and would never do the same to the items in our collections.


People are allowed to do whatever they want with their property, but that doesn't mean what they're doing isn't shitty and it's well within your/our rights to be irritated at them doing it. This is an argument that is brought up frequently and I think is pretty weak.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:45 pm 
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My point is that if something isn't yours, you won't be using it anyway. What people do to THEIR stuff has literally ZERO impact on YOUR life. I do understand the feeling, since I too am bothered by stuff like this to some degree, but I don't think we should be.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:02 pm 
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I think the idea is that if the behavior of destroying vintage electronics becomes widespread, it will become more difficult to find replacements for devices once they actually die.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:39 pm 
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Stuff that belongs to someone else is already not available anyway, what happens to it shouldn't matter.

Are you saying that if people weren't doing these crazy/destructive projects they wouldn't be buying this hardware, meaning there'd be more of it available for traditional use?


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