Retron 5

Discuss hardware-related topics, such as development cartridges, CopyNES, PowerPak, EPROMs, or whatever.

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oRBIT2002
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Retron 5

Post by oRBIT2002 » Tue May 20, 2014 1:06 am

What do you think of this gadget?
http://www.retron5.com/

It obviously uses real cartridges but uses emulators to play them. A review I read mentions a "loading time" before a game starts, which probably means the device is "dumping" the cart to memory and then using an emulator to play it.
Perhaps this can become a nice dumping-kit if someone hacks it. :)

tepples
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Re: Retron 5

Post by tepples » Tue May 20, 2014 6:38 am

If it completely dumps the game before it starts, expect support for new homebrew mappers and newly discovered East Asian mappers to be very incomplete, and expect support for the PowerPak to be nil.

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rainwarrior
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Re: Retron 5

Post by rainwarrior » Tue May 20, 2014 6:46 am

Does it come with documentation for writing your own dumpers? Also, what emulators does it use? Does it come with any or are you supposed to provide your own, or does its software let you choose your own?

Yes, reverse engineering it and writing new software for it would make both of these not an issue, but I'm curious about how it comes out of the box.

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thefox
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Re: Retron 5

Post by thefox » Tue May 20, 2014 8:06 am

rainwarrior wrote:Does it come with documentation for writing your own dumpers? Also, what emulators does it use? Does it come with any or are you supposed to provide your own, or does its software let you choose your own?

Yes, reverse engineering it and writing new software for it would make both of these not an issue, but I'm curious about how it comes out of the box.
It is marketed as a console, not as a dumper or an emulator, or a platform to run emulators in. So I expect the answer to every one of your questions to be "no".

If it is upgradeable via Internet (which would seem like a sensical thing to do), one would expect it to eventually support homebrew titles as well (if there's enough demand from the users).
Download STREEMERZ for NES from fauxgame.com! — Some other stuff I've done: fo.aspekt.fi

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tokumaru
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Re: Retron 5

Post by tokumaru » Tue May 20, 2014 8:25 am

I wouldn't buy something like this unless it was dirty cheap, which I'm pretty sure is not the case. If I wanted to play emulators I could simply use my PC.

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Movax12
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Re: Retron 5

Post by Movax12 » Tue May 20, 2014 9:11 am

tokumaru wrote:... to play emulators I could simply use my PC.
Does your PC have a cartridge slot for NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, and Game Boy Advance?

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Re: Retron 5

Post by 3gengames » Tue May 20, 2014 9:36 am

No, but at the same time a barely functional port that you can put a cart in to is just placebo. I can lay my cart on top of my PC case when playing if I want to, it's basically the same thing.

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Re: Retron 5

Post by tepples » Tue May 20, 2014 9:48 am

A cartridge slot might be enough of a placebo to placate a judge. In the U.S. and other countries with a copyright exception to the same effect as 17 USC 117(a)(1), emulating on a device with a cartridge slot is more clearly legal than emulating dumps downloaded from the Internet. This statute authorizes the making of necessary ephemeral copies of a computer program in the process of running it, so long as these copies are not distributed to a third party.

I'm just waiting to see how they word the warranty, so that I can see to what extent I can demand repair, replacement, or refund if my carts that work in my NES don't work in this product. The big test case I plan to use is STREEMERZ: Action 53 Function 16 Volume One, which uses a roughly MMC1-class homebrew mapper and supports the Zapper and Super NES Mouse. It's a commercially sold (though low volume) cart, so they won't be able to fall back on a "not intended for use with developer accessories" clause the way they might with an EverDrive or PowerPak.

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oRBIT2002
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Re: Retron 5

Post by oRBIT2002 » Tue May 20, 2014 12:12 pm

I guess it's more or less a useless device for homebrew-authors (since we can still run our stuff on emulators on our computers), however I guess things might start to get interesting if people hack this thing for use as a dumper-device (it even comes with an SD-port, for use with save-files normally). I think I read somewhere that it's running on Android bw.

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tokumaru
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Re: Retron 5

Post by tokumaru » Tue May 20, 2014 1:30 pm

Movax12 wrote:Does your PC have a cartridge slot for NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, and Game Boy Advance?
I could dump some of these carts if I really wanted to, but why would I go through the trouble when every cart I own (and many many more) have already be dumped by other people and can be obtained in seconds? Whether my dumps come from my own carts or from someone else's is a technicality that doesn't affect the outcome. The only difference is whether I have to pay for an extra device, which I'd rather not.
I can lay my cart on top of my PC case when playing if I want to, it's basically the same thing.
This.

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Movax12
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Re: Retron 5

Post by Movax12 » Tue May 20, 2014 2:36 pm

I don't disagree with the basic principle of what you are saying tokumaru. I have an original xbox loaded with emulators that does everything and much more than any retron thing. Very unlikey I would ever purchase one unless it was extremely inexpensive.
But if one is opposed to downloading dumps of games, for whatever reason, there is a difference. Maybe if you build/purchase the dumping hardware, connect to your PC and lock down the emulators to only play via that device then it is the same thing.

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Re: Retron 5

Post by tepples » Tue May 20, 2014 3:44 pm

Movax12 wrote:Does your PC have a cartridge slot for NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, and Game Boy Advance?
My old PC had a parallel port to which I could connect a Game Boy Advance through an Xboo or MBV2 cable and serial boot into a dumping app. As for the rest that's a matter of buying a Kazzo and a Retrode.

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chromableedstudios
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Re: Retron 5

Post by chromableedstudios » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:33 am

Just picked one up yesterday from the local store, thought I'd share my results so far

Out of the box I am running:
retron app v 1.0(build 1223)
system v0.2.0
harware revision 1.0

First the good I guess:

Picture looks great, I tried to hook up a yobo to my relatively large 1080p tv before and it almost ruined the game experience it was so jumpy and noisey(don't get me wrong, I think the yobo is pretty decent for what it is and looks better on other tvs I have)

Plays a devil world reproduction I made with 27c256 nicely and at 50hz so the occasional glitch and music from yobo play are fixed

Plays most of the pirate carts from back in the day that I threw at it(provided the cart edge was clean) tetris, afterburner(which doesn't play on my yobo), ultimate stuntman, wally bear and the no gang, the couple wisdom tree ones I have

And now the bad:

@tepples

STREEMERZ: Action 53 Function 16 Volume One is a no-go out of the box at least (I'm hesitant to upgrade yet in-case they patched any cool bugs that might be exploited on the system)

Also not working for me:
Nomolos
Game genie(I guess maybe I should have expected that, but I use it often on consoles like this that are hard to get a cart in and out of)
Zelda outlands

I only own a couple gameboy/color games but I couldn't get either zelda or donkey kong country to play(now I'm not sure if it only supports GBA and the early internet stuff was wrong, or if they are claiming support via the super game boy or something or what?) Edit: it does say gameboy right on their homepage, maybe my cart is dirty or the gb slot it is not working? it just doesn't detect a cart
Edit: I guess even though the carts were clean enough for a normal gb they needed super cleaning for retron, both are working successfully now, bust out your iso alcohol and q-tips new retron owners! also, hold the power button for a really long time if you think your unit is doa

and worst of all....

It doesn't seem to work at all with my Nrom-128-04 28c256 flash cart that I have been working with for development... big disappointment since it is literally a nintendo board(makes me suspect they are doing something funny with a hash for mapper detection or something?)

the sad part about the "bad" section is that ALL of these games play on the $15 yobo
Last edited by chromableedstudios on Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Retron 5

Post by tepples » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:50 am

chromableedstudios wrote:Plays most of the pirate carts from back in the day that I threw at it(provided the cart edge was clean) tetris, afterburner(which doesn't play on my yobo)
Tetris I'll grant because Elorg was making things complicated at the time. But are you referring to authentic copies of Tengen's After Burner and the Wisdom Tree games as "pirate"?
now I'm not sure if it only supports GBA and the early internet stuff was wrong, or if they are claiming support via the super game boy or something or what?)
Super Game Boy is a coprocessor. Do any coprocessor games work in the Super NES slot? Besides, Super Game Boy won't run Game Boy Color-only (clear cartridge) games.
STREEMERZ: Action 53 Function 16 Volume One is a no-go out of the box at least [though it does] play on the $15 yobo
Thanks for the confirmation that "normal" NES clones support INL's Action 53 boards. This gets my hopes up a little for volume 2.

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thefox
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Re: Retron 5

Post by thefox » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:08 am

chromableedstudios wrote:It doesn't seem to work at all with my Nrom-128-04 28c256 flash cart that I have been working with for development... big disappointment since it is literally a nintendo board(makes me suspect they are doing something funny with a hash for mapper detection or something?)
Using development carts on Retron 5 is pointless anyways, you may as well use an emulator on PC.
Download STREEMERZ for NES from fauxgame.com! — Some other stuff I've done: fo.aspekt.fi

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