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Dreamcast Homemade Dreamcast Debug Unit

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I posted this on Assembler over 10 years ago. I wanted to repost it here since I still get messages and emails thanking me for this. I wanted to preserve it here. If that isn't allowed, please delete.

I wanted a way to read my GD-Rs without all the hassle of opening my dreamcast up and doing all that fun stuff every time I wanted to play a GD-R. Here I will show you how to make your very own "Homemade Dreamcast Debug Unit". Now this isn't going to be anything like a "real" debug unit, but you will get the idea. This is the swap trick integrated with some switches and handy work.

This mod disconnects the battery from the dreamcast and resets it. Also, it will disconnect power from the drive motor for safe removal of the disc.

You can see how the unit will operate after this mod is complete.

Link to video

Remove the controller board from the dreamcast
[IMG]


Unsolder on of the leg joints that holds the battery in place.
[IMG]


Now, solder a piece of wire to the leg and the board
[IMG]


Using a paperclip, cut it where it will fit on the drive henge where it is pulled down.

[IMG]


Trace the wires from the drive motor and cut the wires, and solder the wire to wire connected to the switch.
[IMG]


Drill two holes on your lid so we can mount the switches.
[IMG]


Your done, it should look something like this,

[IMG]


To use this mod, disconnect the power of the dreamcast, and press the switch that disconnect the battery power. Insert a retail game that is the same region of your dreamcast. Boot up your dreamcast when you get to the clock settings press the drive motor switch for a few seconds. The disc should be slowing down. At that point it should be safe to stop the disc. Insert your GD-R and press the select button the the screen. Your GD-R should now boot as normal.
 

Chaotic Mind

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I may borrow this as I help run a massive DC group and we are getting into hardware dev now. A debug unit might be useful for some of our plans.
 

DeChief

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Awesome mod dude!
 

Spaceman

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Stellar work, it's stuff like this that needs saving, to help keep these older consoles going for many more years of enjoyment. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us here. (y)
 

danhans42

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I remember doing this mod not long after the DC came out in the UK.. the forum I saw it on I cannot remember. The difference was that I used a dual switch, so it also cut the cd lid signal on the opposite. You could go into the menu and wait for a minute and the disc would stop. I used to use this to play the cheap imports that computer exchange used to sell.

I then sold the DC and returned a while later and everyone was doing the echelon thing and then selfbooting.

Cool guide
 

Wombat

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Nice modification you did there @fusion, this is definitely the next best thing for those not having acces to a System Disc 2.

I may borrow this as I help run a massive DC group and we are getting into hardware dev now. A debug unit might be useful for some of our plans.
Unless your group has a load of GD-recordable discs laying around that you want to play, performing this modification won't help you much. This is 'merely' a system that makes performing the swap-trick with a flick of a button. If you want to develop, BBA is the way to go. If you want to play or dump GD-R's the easy way, get a System Disc 2 and a BBA. And of course, if you can get your hands on an actual dev kit.... thats a whole other story ;)
 

Chaotic Mind

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I found one on auction that is listed as "parts" due to the owner not knowing how to use it. Currently at around $650 USD with 7 hours to go.

 
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