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Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12843
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Author:  tadashibashi [ Wed May 27, 2015 1:19 am ]
Post subject:  Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

I recently got my hands on a Gimmick cartridge in hopes that it would work with my TNS-HFC5 and TNS-HFX4. Unfortunately, all that happens is that when I turn it on, the chip's noise starts playing, crescendoing, regardless of what nsf is playing. During nsf's with actual 5B expansion music nothing changes, and there aren't any square waves or tones. Is this a lost cause? If it is, is there some other possible way to have a 5B chip play back audio?

Author:  rainwarrior [ Wed May 27, 2015 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

If the sound plays correctly during Gimmick! then it's perfectly possible to use the expansion audio by other means. I've played tunes through my Gimmick! cart by hotswapping or using the CopyNES.

Does the TNS-HFC5 or TNS-HFX4 actually support the 5B? I can't read Japanese very well, but the website description seems to suggest that they do not support the 5B cartridge directly, but instead offer an option for an equivalent chip on the TNS board?

Author:  Jedi QuestMaster [ Wed May 27, 2015 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

It works for ImATrackMan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWbLw8swfcI

Author:  jsr [ Wed May 27, 2015 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

I can verify that the HFX4 board doesn't support the Gimmick cart. You'll have to get the YMZ294 chip or add wires from that socket to the cart.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Wed May 27, 2015 1:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
It works for ImATrackMan

I talked to him about it. He's not using a Gimmick! cart. He's just got an equivalent chip that fits into the TNS board.

Author:  Jedi QuestMaster [ Wed May 27, 2015 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

rainwarrior wrote:
Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
It works for ImATrackMan

I talked to him about it. He's not using a Gimmick! cart. He's just got an equivalent chip that fits into the TNS board.

Good to know!

Does a Gimmick! cart work with any of the TNS boards? :?

Author:  tadashibashi [ Wed May 27, 2015 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

@rainwarrior
Thanks for the reply. What is hotswapping and CopyNES? I'm completely inadequate when it comes to hardware or software admittedly I'm just a middleware-using musician so I appreciate all you guys are doing.

Edit: My Japanese is very subpar, but I agree that the website and directions seems to indicate that the YMZ249 is the only compatible 5B hardware it was designed for...

@jsr
Is it possible then to do it with something like this? applesource These directions say that this schematic renders the cartridge compatible with the TNS-HFC3. I definitely wouldn't want to tamper with the actual Gimmick cart, maybe I can try my luck at finding a 5B in some cheaper Sunsoft cartridge...

Author:  lidnariq [ Wed May 27, 2015 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

tadashibashi wrote:
These directions say that this schematic renders the cartridge compatible with the TNS-HFC3.
I'm about 90% certain that they're only describing how to modify a PCB {that happens to contain a 5B but is not Gimmick!} to connect the 5B's audio output to the cartridge edge... unless removing the ROMs is all that is necessary to make it work with the HFC series...

Author:  rainwarrior [ Wed May 27, 2015 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

Hotswapping is writing a program that copies itself to RAM and runs from there, running it on my Famicom, yanking out the cartridge (i.e. powerpak), then jamming in Gimmick. The program will still be running (usually) and I can then get it do stuff with Gimmick in place.

CopyNES is an NES modification that lets you attach it to a PC and control it from there. You can use that to play NSFs through your NES via computer control, rather than running them from a cartridge. If you put Gimmick in, you can use its sound hardware.

Author:  tadashibashi [ Wed May 27, 2015 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

rainwarrior wrote:
Hotswapping is writing a program that copies itself to RAM and runs from there, running it on my Famicom, yanking out the cartridge (i.e. powerpak), then jamming in Gimmick. The program will still be running (usually) and I can then get it do stuff with Gimmick in place.

CopyNES is an NES modification that lets you attach it to a PC and control it from there. You can use that to play NSFs through your NES via computer control, rather than running them from a cartridge. If you put Gimmick in, you can use its sound hardware.


Thanks for the info rainwarrior. CopyNES sounds like a very powerful tool, though it's a bit outside of my range of money, time, and skill at the moment (I'd have to buy everything but the Gimmick cart, and I'd probably feel obligated to spend a ton of time messing with and learning about the other functionality.)

Also, have you by chance looked at that schematic from the link I posted? Do you think that will work if I somehow find another Sunsoft 5b? Do you know how rare it is to find in Batman/Gremlins2?

PS: One more question, have you beaten Gimmick? haha it's so tough

Author:  rainwarrior [ Wed May 27, 2015 11:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

I'm not the best person to ask about the schematic; I'm pretty slow with electrical engineering stuff. I'm sure there are a lot of other people on this board who could evaluate it more quickly and accurately than I can.

I don't know how often 5B were used in other carts besides Gimmick. I've heard of a 5B appearing in Gremlins once before, and this article is the second one I've seen (and also a Batman). I have no idea if this is like 50% or 10% or what, but I think you're more likely to find 5A or FME-7 in them.

I've beaten Gimmick many times! I even took a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZX6DYe3ffU

Author:  lidnariq [ Wed May 27, 2015 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

The pictures and schematic on the applesorce link are definitely only adding the audio path to the GRM-E301 PCB.

It's possible there's some other detail in the Japanese text, but I'd be surprised.

Author:  jsr [ Thu May 28, 2015 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

tadashibashi wrote:
Is it possible then to do it with something like this? applesource These directions say that this schematic renders the cartridge compatible with the TNS-HFC3. I definitely wouldn't want to tamper with the actual Gimmick cart, maybe I can try my luck at finding a 5B in some cheaper Sunsoft cartridge...

That schematic seems to add audio to 5B carts which didn't already utilize audio, as mentioned. The problem with the HFX board is that register writes aren't routed to the cart connectors, only the YMZ socket.

YMZ294 are available from ebay and aren't expensive, that's the easiest way to get 5B expansion audio working.

Author:  tadashibashi [ Thu May 28, 2015 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

jsr wrote:
tadashibashi wrote:
Is it possible then to do it with something like this? applesource These directions say that this schematic renders the cartridge compatible with the TNS-HFC3. I definitely wouldn't want to tamper with the actual Gimmick cart, maybe I can try my luck at finding a 5B in some cheaper Sunsoft cartridge...

That schematic seems to add audio to 5B carts which didn't already utilize audio, as mentioned. The problem with the HFX board is that register writes aren't routed to the cart connectors, only the YMZ socket.

YMZ294 are available from ebay and aren't expensive, that's the easiest way to get 5B expansion audio working.


Hmm, I see, I just ordered one.

Is there no way to arrange a connection between the YMZ socket and the Gimmick cartridge pins? I feel like since I have an actual 5B I should exhaustively find a way to use it. How accurate is the YMZ294 in emulating the actual 5B btw?

Author:  lidnariq [ Thu May 28, 2015 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hardware Recordings with S5B Chip

The sunsoft 5B includes something that is identical to a YMZ284/294. (Rainwarrior has exhaustively tested)

This isn't the fetid pile of incorrectness that is the VRC7 vs the YM2413 as on the HFX4.

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