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Dreamcast Dreamcast double memory mod is now possible! 32MB Ram!

Anthony817

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I mean, I guess my noob ass could try it, but problem is screwing up the heavily modified and kind of expensive system I already have. So, you can flash the one modified bios chip with the mod, and it will see the extra memory, and then when I switch back to default bios, it will work as normal not seeing the other memory correct?

I kind of want to do this, because if I do this I then have the ultimate Dreamcast with the 240mhz Overclock, double memory and GDEMU, sans the HDMI mod.
 

darcagn

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Ok, so I didn't know that existed.

Is it just a low temp solder that mixes with the original solder to decrease melting point?

If so, that's brilliant. Also, how didn't I think of it before?

Yep! It melts at a low enough temp and stays melted for several seconds so you have enough time do melt all sides of a chip. It's great for this kind of work!
Here's a video demonstration from the wonderful EEVblog:



I mean, I guess my noob ass could try it, but problem is screwing up the heavily modified and kind of expensive system I already have. So, you can flash the one modified bios chip with the mod, and it will see the extra memory, and then when I switch back to default bios, it will work as normal not seeing the other memory correct?

I kind of want to do this, because if I do this I then have the ultimate Dreamcast with the 240mhz Overclock, double memory and GDEMU, sans the HDMI mod.

No, unfortunately, when you switch back to the original BIOS, it won't work unless you move the two pins on each chip back to their normal configuration.
So you would have to wire the two pins on each chip up on a switch, too.

It would be really nice if someone could make a little PCB that has pads for the lifted pins on the RAM and the BIOS, and had all the switching logic so you could just wire up a 3-position switch for 1) stock BIOS at 16MB, 2) custom BIOS bank 1 at 16MB, 3) custom BIOS bank 2 at 32MB.

I have some other personal mod projects going on right now but if no one else does it I might try my hand at designing something. I've never designed any PCBs before so it would be new for me but if no one else does it I'll try my hand. I'm interested in this mod becoming more popular and seeing more homebrew or hacks that use it.
 

Anthony817

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If I am not mistaken, didn't DragonCity release easy solder free Bios mods that you just snap on the system? Guessing since you NEED to remove the original chips for this mod, something like that would be out of the question?

Ok looked it up, maybe not quite solder free, but looks more simple?

IMG_20200526_112903_1024x1024@2x.jpg


So do you mean something similar to this but for the memory mod?

I have some other personal mod projects going on right now but if no one else does it I might try my hand at designing something. I've never designed any PCBs before so it would be new for me but if no one else does it I'll try my hand. I'm interested in this mod becoming more popular and seeing more homebrew or hacks that use it.

Yeah, super interested in this for Half-Life modding and pushing the limits further of what is possible with larger levels and more detail. But also just getting the Windows CE games to play nice and smooth on the system would be a literal GODSEND!

It is crazy, 20 years later the community has fixed most of the shortcomings of the Dreamcast hardware, and if those Retro-Bit controllers ever get off the ground, we will almost have everything we always wanted on it.
 

speedyink

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It's the access to the tools that's uncommon. With the right tools, anything is relatively easy.

In that case, it's also easy to break stuff if you don't know how to use the hot air station.

But that's true for all sorts of mods. People just seemed to be talking down on this specific one, as if this particular mod is just too much for 99% of people who work on electronics.

I think this is a cool idea and I want it to flourish. The more people on board the further this can go. If we could see improvement on even just Windows CE games it would be amazing. Not to mention improving/fixing prototype games that clearly need more memory
 

darcagn

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If I am not mistaken, didn't DragonCity release easy solder free Bios mods that you just snap on the system? Guessing since you NEED to remove the original chips for this mod, something like that would be out of the question?

Ok looked it up, maybe not quite solder free, but looks more simple?

So do you mean something similar to this but for the memory mod?

I forgot who was trying to do the solder-free one, but I haven't seen it around anywhere anymore, I thought it was a bad idea when he was advertising them, I'm guessing they weren't reliable enough to be common.

On that DragonCity board, he put a solder bridge from the "New-BIOS" pad to the D501 pad, so it's permanently on the new BIOS, but you could wire up a switch to those three pads and toggle between New-BIOS and SEGA BIOS.

My board idea would be similar to that. You would bend the pins 21 and 22 on both chips back all the way, so they are easy to solder wires to. Which is how I did it when I upgraded my 32MB DC instead of tsowell's method. You would also then have to solder 2 more wires, from 2 vias on the mainboard. So six wires total. And then this board would have the switching logic on it so that you could just move a jumper or solder a basic 3-position switch up and properly change console modes.

Until someone can figure out another way to make the incompatible games work on 32MB mode, it's basically a necessity to do something like this, unless you do it to a spare Dreamcast you don't play games on regularly
 
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darcagn

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It is crazy, 20 years later the community has fixed most of the shortcomings of the Dreamcast hardware, and if those Retro-Bit controllers ever get off the ground, we will almost have everything we always wanted on it.

Haha, I'm kinda over those controllers, if you really wanna talk about where the community is taking things I'm looking forward to BlueRetro:
youtube-small.jpg


One device for any retro console, handles up to 8 player inputs, and you can use Bluetooth gamepads, keyboards, mice, PS3/PS4/XboxOne/SwitchPro controllers, all on Dreamcast (and other retro consoles). You access a webpage on its internal webserver to configure any kind of controller configuration you can possibly imagine, and yes it supports dual analog on Outrigger, Quake 3 Arena, and Unreal. Check out more discussion here: https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67400

The only thing that would be missing is the VMU screen. And I've already discussed with the author of ElysianVMU about exploring making a plug-in for this device to have the VMU screen output go to an LCD addon or something.
 

Anthony817

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Wow that is really damn awesome! And while I do think it is cool, I really hate tons of wires hanging looking like an octopus lost half of it's limbs hehe. I would still prefer a wireless dongle that can stay permanently plugged into the system. But that is just me hehe. I am also the kinda guy that instead of getting adapters for PSX controllers to play Bleemed games, I used this little monstrosity, which is surprisingly equipped with a pretty capable 8-Way D-Pad. Sure it is no Fighter pad or even Saturn controller, but it was pretty fun hehe.


D30fP7AWsAAEhX1


Tom from Dreamcast Junkyard's review is what convinced me to buy mine hehe. Sure it sucks there is no analog or rumble, and no VMU port, but hey, it is fun as hell for arcade games and that was why I got it, and Bleemed games too. :)

 

Arcadia

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Wow that is really damn awesome! And while I do think it is cool, I really hate tons of wires hanging looking like an octopus lost half of it's limbs hehe. I would still prefer a wireless dongle that can stay permanently plugged into the system. But that is just me hehe. I am also the kinda guy that instead of getting adapters for PSX controllers to play Bleemed games, I used this little monstrosity, which is surprisingly equipped with a pretty capable 8-Way D-Pad. Sure it is no Fighter pad or even Saturn controller, but it was pretty fun hehe.


D30fP7AWsAAEhX1


Tom from Dreamcast Junkyard's review is what convinced me to buy mine hehe. Sure it sucks there is no analog or rumble, and no VMU port, but hey, it is fun as hell for arcade games and that was why I got it, and Bleemed games too. :)


The lack of analog sticks doesn't really matter if all you're using it for is PSX games via Bleem, most games didn't use them. And the lack of VMU is something that can be fixed by having a second original controller plugged with a VMU. One question though, how did save files for PSX work with Bleem? As regular games for the DC?
 

Anthony817

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With Bleem only the 3 official retails save so far, but experiments were done with the hacked version that skipped disc check. None were found. However it would format one VMU as a PSX memory card, and you could only use it for those 3 Bleem games. It would show up as corrupted or something on the DC memory card management screen I believe? I only have had GDEMU now for the past years so I forget exactly how it was. Am still waiting for japanese_cake's version that will run on GDEMU. Still have my old formatted Bleem Saves on my memory card for when that happens so I can pick up my progress in GT2.

As for the lack of saving with this controller, games that do not support saving from controller port B, C or D are out of luck, namely my all time favorite Volgar the Viking which plays so much better with the controller, but lack of saves is a bummer. Wish the source was available to add it in.
 
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