Xmas 2016

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

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mario64
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Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Wed May 13, 2020 2:14 pm

Hello,

I am attempting to dump my RetroUSB Xmas 2016 cartridge as the copy available for download from their site is corrupt and I'd like to have it on my Everdrive. All I have at my disposal is a Jailbroken NT Mini which has CopyNES Mini. I've tried several different plugins (all of the Uxxx ones) but none produce a working ROM. Is it possible to dump this cartridge using the NT Mini? Are there other plugins I could/should try?

Thanks in advance.
Mario64

NewRisingSun
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by NewRisingSun » Wed May 13, 2020 6:18 pm

"UNROM 512" does not produce a working ROM? You should be able to run the game in Mesen after dumping as UNROM and then changing the mapper number to 30 and setting the battery flag.

mario64
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Wed May 13, 2020 6:46 pm

NewRisingSun wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 6:18 pm
"UNROM 512" does not produce a working ROM? You should be able to run the game in Mesen after dumping as UNROM and then changing the mapper number to 30 and setting the battery flag.
UNROM 512 isn’t one of the available plugins in CopyNES Mini. I’m not sure how these work. Can I download it and use it on the Mini?

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rainwarrior
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by rainwarrior » Wed May 13, 2020 8:35 pm

Just to answer the a question that was asked privately, there is a UNROM 512 plugin in my fork of USB CopyNES, but I don't know anything about the "CopyNES Mini". It might just work with this client with no problems, but if it has different protocols then it might be totally incompatible.

I don't know any reason why it wouldn't be compatible with the older clients like this, or at least pre-existing plugins, but ultimately that hardware is exceedingly rare so I'm not likely to get many chances to gather experience about it.

From the message, I think OP tried to transplant the plugin from one client to another, and something didn't work, but I dunno exactly what steps were taken to do that. However I'd also need to know more about the CopyNES Mini to even make use of a more detailed report, so, no need at the moment anyway. I'd recommend just trying the USBCopyNESBlue client directly (linked above) before trying to move things between clients.

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rainwarrior
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by rainwarrior » Wed May 13, 2020 8:47 pm

Out of curiosity I compared a few plugin binaries from the CopyNES Mini jailbreak ZIP to some from USBCopyNESBlue. The ones I looked at were byte-identical, except the mapper number was placed at $7F in the CopyNES Mini plugins, whereas the older plugins just always have a 0 (padding) in that byte.

So... at least in theory, the plugins should be cross-compatible? Maybe the mapper number will come up as 0 if you don't change it, but otherwise it seems equipped to run the same code anyway. (In the old CopyNES clients, the mapper number is supplied externally with the MAPPERS.DAT file, so I guess this was a way to incorporate that info more directly.)

There's no documentation or source code at all, though, so good luck. If you want support for CopyNES Mini you might need to ask the source.

mario64
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Wed May 13, 2020 8:51 pm

Thank you very much for the help. I’ll try again tomorrow. Kevtris is the author of CopyNES Mini and since moving to Analogue he rarely posts and never responds to PM. Sadly no chance of getting help from him.
If I’m not mistaken UNROM512 would be correct for all of the Xmas carts except 2017 which is a multicart

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rainwarrior
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by rainwarrior » Wed May 13, 2020 9:26 pm

Though one thing I would ask is whether you tried U5ROM.BIN? If you tried UNROM512.BIN it wouldn't have done anything because it's a flasher plugin, not a dumper plugin. U5ROM.BIN is the one that actually dumps the cart.

As mentioned above, if the dump works, you will need to manually change the mapper number. (Either change byte $7F to 30 in the plugin BIN, or use a header editor like the one built into Mesen or FCEUX to change the mapper of the NES after loading it.)

mario64
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Thu May 14, 2020 6:16 am

rainwarrior wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 9:26 pm
Though one thing I would ask is whether you tried U5ROM.BIN? If you tried UNROM512.BIN it wouldn't have done anything because it's a flasher plugin, not a dumper plugin. U5ROM.BIN is the one that actually dumps the cart.

As mentioned above, if the dump works, you will need to manually change the mapper number. (Either change byte $7F to 30 in the plugin BIN, or use a header editor like the one built into Mesen or FCEUX to change the mapper of the NES after loading it.)
I tried them both just now. UNROM512 gives an immediate read timeout and fails. U5ROM hangs at 201/700

mario64
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Thu May 14, 2020 12:05 pm

Anyone have experience with Sanni cart readers? Supposedly they can dump NES carts including those with mapper 30

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rainwarrior
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by rainwarrior » Thu May 14, 2020 1:51 pm

One more possibility, try the first version of U5ROM.BIN.

https://github.com/bbbradsmith/usbcopyn ... /U5ROM.BIN

It was a bit simpler than the second/current version of that plugin which was updated to detect a bunch of stuff and use iNES 2 headers. Maybe something in the second version was made incompatible in CopyNES Mini.

U5ROM.BIN:

mario64
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Thu May 14, 2020 8:49 pm

rainwarrior wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 1:51 pm
One more possibility, try the first version of U5ROM.BIN.

https://github.com/bbbradsmith/usbcopyn ... /U5ROM.BIN

It was a bit simpler than the second/current version of that plugin which was updated to detect a bunch of stuff and use iNES 2 headers. Maybe something in the second version was made incompatible in CopyNES Mini.

U5ROM.BIN:
Thank you so much. The first version does run to completion but unfortunately the ROM still doesn't work, even after setting the mapper via Header Editor. One thing I am noticing is that none of the Uxxx plugins are producing a 128k ROM as they should be (matching the official rom size).

U5ROM.BIN produces a 513KB rom
UNROM.BIN produces a 65KB rom
UOROM.BIN produces a 257KB rom

Could this be the source of the problem?

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rainwarrior
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by rainwarrior » Thu May 14, 2020 11:05 pm

mario64 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 8:49 pm
I am noticing is that none of the Uxxx plugins are producing a 128k ROM as they should be (matching the official rom size).

U5ROM.BIN produces a 513KB rom
UNROM.BIN produces a 65KB rom
UOROM.BIN produces a 257KB rom

Could this be the source of the problem?
I dunno what you mean by "official ROM size", but the UNROM512 board should always have a 512k ROM in it, as far as I know? It could have duplicated banks, but I haven't heard of any variation in ROM size. You could take a photo of the PCB if you'd like someone to verify (all you need to do is check the part number of the PRG EPROM).

The original UNROM plugin did compare banks to prevent overdumping 64k as 128k. If the first 2 banks are identical it should give 64k rather than 128k. The UOROM plugin I think always does 256k no matter what, though there's apparently no source code for it.

So... the file sizes look normal to me?

Other than setting the mapper to 30, not sure what else would prevent it from running. You might want an iNES 2 header to specify 32k CHR-RAM? I don't think any RetroUSB releases used anything but horizontal or vertical mirroring, but the mapper has been used with 1-screen and 4-screen as well, so you could try those... but if any of those things are the case it'd be likely you see something onscreen when you run it, just garbled, since it should be a visual effect only. If nothing at all happens, I dunno what I could suggest without having the ROM.

You could check the dump with a hex editor to make sure the dump doesn't look weird, but it'd be hard to tell you what to look for if you're not already familiar with this.

mario64
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Fri May 15, 2020 7:12 am

rainwarrior wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 11:05 pm
mario64 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 8:49 pm
I am noticing is that none of the Uxxx plugins are producing a 128k ROM as they should be (matching the official rom size).

U5ROM.BIN produces a 513KB rom
UNROM.BIN produces a 65KB rom
UOROM.BIN produces a 257KB rom

Could this be the source of the problem?
I dunno what you mean by "official ROM size", but the UNROM512 board should always have a 512k ROM in it, as far as I know? It could have duplicated banks, but I haven't heard of any variation in ROM size. You could take a photo of the PCB if you'd like someone to verify (all you need to do is check the part number of the PRG EPROM).

The original UNROM plugin did compare banks to prevent overdumping 64k as 128k. If the first 2 banks are identical it should give 64k rather than 128k. The UOROM plugin I think always does 256k no matter what, though there's apparently no source code for it.

So... the file sizes look normal to me?

Other than setting the mapper to 30, not sure what else would prevent it from running. You might want an iNES 2 header to specify 32k CHR-RAM? I don't think any RetroUSB releases used anything but horizontal or vertical mirroring, but the mapper has been used with 1-screen and 4-screen as well, so you could try those... but if any of those things are the case it'd be likely you see something onscreen when you run it, just garbled, since it should be a visual effect only. If nothing at all happens, I dunno what I could suggest without having the ROM.

You could check the dump with a hex editor to make sure the dump doesn't look weird, but it'd be hard to tell you what to look for if you're not already familiar with this.
Thanks again. I’ll try this today. RetroUSB has Roms for each of the Xmas carts available for free download on their web site. The reason I’m attempting to dump 2016 is that the official rom is corrupt (garbled graphics). The dev has been contacted by many people about this but refuses to fix it. So I figured I would dump it myself. The official release is 128k

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rainwarrior
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by rainwarrior » Fri May 15, 2020 11:57 am

mario64 wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 7:12 am
Thanks again. I’ll try this today. RetroUSB has Roms for each of the Xmas carts available for free download on their web site. The reason I’m attempting to dump 2016 is that the official rom is corrupt (garbled graphics). The dev has been contacted by many people about this but refuses to fix it. So I figured I would dump it myself. The official release is 128k
Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know the ROM was up for download. (Link is here.)

Quickly looking at that ROM with a binary image viewer I wrote, it's clear that the ROM just has the wrong graphics in it:
xmas16demo.nes.png
You could use the same tool to see if your dump has correct graphics in it. (Use Preset > NES CHR 8px 16w)

If you're dumping the graphics but somehow missing the later part of the ROM maybe it could be salvaged by transplanting them into the downloadable one.

mario64
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Re: Xmas 2016

Post by mario64 » Fri May 15, 2020 12:29 pm

rainwarrior wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 11:57 am
mario64 wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 7:12 am
Thanks again. I’ll try this today. RetroUSB has Roms for each of the Xmas carts available for free download on their web site. The reason I’m attempting to dump 2016 is that the official rom is corrupt (garbled graphics). The dev has been contacted by many people about this but refuses to fix it. So I figured I would dump it myself. The official release is 128k
Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know the ROM was up for download. (Link is here.)

Quickly looking at that ROM with a binary image viewer I wrote, it's clear that the ROM just has the wrong graphics in it:
xmas16demo.nes.png

You could use the same tool to see if your dump has correct graphics in it. (Use Preset > NES CHR 8px 16w)

If you're dumping the graphics but somehow missing the later part of the ROM maybe it could be salvaged by transplanting them into the downloadable one.
Good info. I checked my dumps and none of them have any discernible graphics in them. What I see is basically the upper right hand corner of your picture over and over. It's just sections of that repeating

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