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Saturn Saturn Satiator Progress Thread

Greg2600

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Since AG was the first spot that user jhl aka Professor Abrasive began detailing his flash/SD card Saturn device (and his work on the full dump of the CD block).... I figured let's keep the progress reports going here.

AG Thread: https://assemblergames.com/threads/saturn-optical-drive-emulator.62274/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/prof_abrasive

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/prof_abrasive

Test system and Beta PCB's
"These have arrived, still empaneled, and the soldering quality looks great. The next step will be to put them all through the test system."

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"The test system is driven by a Raspberry Pi with a monitor and keyboard attached. It's made so that any part of it is easy to replace. This is critical in a factory environment, where time is $$$, and doubly so when the factory is on the other side of the planet from me."

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3D-printed Shell design
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Anthony817

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Did he ever say what the estimated retail price was going to be for this? Not been keeping up much with Saturn stuff lately sicne I sold my last one in like 2015 or so.
 

Plavix

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I hope it’s coming shortly. Feel like it’s been forever
 
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Greg2600

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He hasn't said much on the price, but I would imagine it's $150 USD give or take. I wish I could say it's coming soon, but doesn't seem like it. He's still working on the production test/QC system for mass production, and the final shell/labeling solution. I believe his next update will detail that system plus beta results (I hope). Many wondered about being a Patreon supporter and getting first dibs, and while that is true, the reality is that once this is publicly available, the production quantity should be enough that you will get one without having to wait X more months (again I hope).
 

8bitplus

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I'd love to see it at this price range, but I think it will start at $£e250+, or even more. He's put a huge amount of work into this device and he deserves whatever he can get back for each one if you ask me.
Most of these devices now are very expensive, gone are the days of Everdrive prices.
 

Greg2600

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I'd love to see it at this price range, but I think it will start at $£e250+, or even more. He's put a huge amount of work into this device and he deserves whatever he can get back for each one if you ask me.
Most of these devices now are very expensive, gone are the days of Everdrive prices.
Except that his stated goal from day one was affordability and ease of use. This guy is incredibly meticulous, he's not going to let costs run away. If it's more than 150 GBP I'll be stunned.
 

Virtua Hunter

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I hope the price range will be the same as the Everdrive x3 - x5.
 

Druid II

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Note to all the people who backed him on Patreon: check your spam folders.

An email update was sent out to backers, but Gmail puts it into spam folders by default.
 

Greg2600

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Note to all the people who backed him on Patreon: check your spam folders.

An email update was sent out to backers, but Gmail puts it into spam folders by default.

Anything good?
 

Druid II

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It's only asking the proper addresses of everyone, so there won't be any issues whenever the betas are shipped.
 

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So no news about price/dates ?
 

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So no news about price/dates ?

I caved about a couple of years or so back and finally shelled out the money for a rhea, but I'll be all over this when it drops regardless. I have multiple saturns, so more ODE-like solutions are always a perk. In fact, I have a spare saturn that's perfectly functional save the dead laser inside.
 

Greg2600

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His last few updates are for Patreon contributors only. I am not one of them, so I'll pull the wording from RetroRGB. It seems his work on the testing rig has gone on forever. Yes, it's critical for mass production, but good grief.


According to this update, he’s been spending the past three months developing manufacturing test hardware which will guarantee the factory can fully test all Satiators before shipping; Something crucially important that many small companies often skip.

Just four days after the previous update, Professor Abrasive has posted once more, this time confirming that large SD cards are compatible. He’s attempting to implement exFAT support to make formatting easier, but even if that won’t be possible you can still use a FAT32 formatting tool to allow compatibility with pretty much every card on the market right now; Professor Abrasive confirmed his 1TB card even worked! For more information on SD formatting, please see this page:
 

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Considering how long this has already been in development, I don't really see any reason to spend time on exFAT support as the easily available free formatter from the SD Association (https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter) runs on Windows and Mac and can format SD cards up to 2TB as FAT32. Especially since the only real benefit exFAT support has is supporting files larger than 4GB, which doesn't make any difference for Saturn disc images...

I don't actually have a Saturn yet, but I do have Saturn controllers I use use for other stuff as well as a Saturn VirtualOn Twin-Stick, so I've been waiting for this to come out to finally pick one up since emulation for Saturn is so spotty and I want to experience the games correctly on a real console. Guess I'll keep waiting. Have plenty to do on other consoles in the meantime anyway.

EDIT: Actually just tried out the latest 5.x version for macOS and it looks like it auto-formats to exFAT, but the older 2.x version is easy to find (at least the one I use on Windows for FAT32 formatting), so the point still stands.
 
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smtlk

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Considering how long this has already been in development, I don't really see any reason to spend time on exFAT support as the easily available free formatter from the SD Association (https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter) runs on Windows and Mac and can format SD cards up to 2TB as FAT32. Especially since the only real benefit exFAT support has is supporting files larger than 4GB, which doesn't make any difference for Saturn disc images...

I don't actually have a Saturn yet, but I do have Saturn controllers I use use for other stuff as well as a Saturn VirtualOn Twin-Stick, so I've been waiting for this to come out to finally pick one up since emulation for Saturn is so spotty and I want to experience the games correctly on a real console. Guess I'll keep waiting. Have plenty to do on other consoles in the meantime anyway.

EDIT: Actually just tried out the latest 5.x version for macOS and it looks like it auto-formats to exFAT, but the older 2.x version is easy to find (at least the one I use on Windows for FAT32 formatting), so the point still stands.

Problem with things like Patreon is that the longer you can keep the carrot dangling in front of people's noses without actually giving it to them the longer your Patreon income is sustained, if he were to release now then he'd quickly start losing that steady stream of revenue and move to a much less profitable one-time purchase revenue model.
 
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Druid II

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Problem with things like Patreon is that the longer you can keep the carrot dangling in front of people's noses without actually giving it to them the longer your Patreon income is sustained, if he were to release now then he'd quickly start losing that steady stream of revenue and move to a much less profitable one-time purchase revenue model.
He had the patreon donations closed for over a year minimum. He is not dangling the carrot, he is trying to push the product out, which requires building a testing rig, finding a manufacturer, testing any prototypes, finding that the manufacturer sucks and starting over with another one, etc. That is not even mentioning the capital this requires even for a limited small supply run, plus doing the software side in the mean time, while also caring for his own family/children.
 

8bitplus

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I agree with Druid. He wants it to be right first time (if possible) and has been very transparent with each stage of the development. He always gives details on the issues causing holdups. Like the recent case parts that were warped and no good.
The problem with doing projects like this in your free time is that time is rarely free, and often not yours. I know that well enough these days.
 

Greg2600

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My fear is that he'll finally get something together for sale, will get thousands of pre-orders and melt down!
 

Greg2600

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So good news, after a lousy update last week pertaining to badly warped cases/shells that were unusable, the Prof has just done a Patreon update he is on track to start shipping beta units at the end of this month.

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