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  • My Dreamcast project

    Hi all

    I thought I'd share with you a project that I have been messing around with over the last year (very slowly between new house chores!) I got myself a nice condition Dreamcast (Japanese VA1) and have been tarting it up a bit, its still ongoing but I have enough Pr0n to start an interesting thread I think

    Here's the DC with one of my fave Games for it, Shutoku Battle 2 (which I kept from when I used to have a DC back in the day).




    Its very clean!




    How it looks inside.




    I changed the 110V PSU for an original UK 220V one first.




    Hmm.. Dead battery...




    That's better! And can be changed in the future much easier




    Now to make a dual BIOS (the Dev kit "3D BIOS" for multiregion goodness) I got this pre programmed.




    Needs to solder over the original BIOS. Here I have lifted the enable pin.




    Straighten all the pins, then bend them over again to give a little more length.






    All lined up ready.




    All the relevant bits soldered in place (mod details at www.mmmonkey.co.uk) with a switch attached to select original JP or Dev BIOS.




    Normal BIOS






    Dev Multi Region BIOS







    (The Dev BIOS looks nice and fancy and 3D.... But I actually prefer the original simple BIOS animation and sound, but It lets me play any region so can't be fussy!)


    I got an SD card reader!




    Activated by booting Dreamshell OS










    Booting a game from SD card








    But it looks dumb and pink.....




    It needs hacking inside the DC!!




    Wiring up to the Serial port internally




    I have a DC that needs some caps taking off the bottom to make the SD reader more stable over a longer cable connection. (C605, 606 and 607)




    It was still a little glitchy so put thicker wires in... you can also see the start of my VGA mod tapping from the RGB port Its currently hanging out the side of the DC and is working steady. It needs locating at some point. I plan to put it above the Modem and cut a small slot.




    Here's my Over Clock mod. I want to run at stock 200MHz and Overclock to 240MHz. Some DC's can go up to 270MHz. Mine isn't one of those unfortunately. But playing games like sega Rally 2 at 240MHz are much nicer than stock so its good enough for me

    Tapping +5V from PSU.




    Wired in the switch and Oscillator (more details at www.mmmonkey.co.uk)




    Reset Switch wired in. Sounds daft, but I miss having a reset button on the DC, I know you can soft reset games with the Joypad, but when dealing with Dreamshell a physical reset button is nice.




    Then I found that its now possible via the newest Dreamshell (RC2) to install a HDD!! you can wait for the "official" GD adapter to come out, or do what I did and follow the pinouts here: -http://www.dc-swat.ru/blog/hardware/874.html

    I gave it a crack!








    I tried it first with CF card connected to a 2.5" IDE adapter. (You can also see my rough positioning for SD card slot, and funky toothbrush for holding the lid button down)




    Here's a vid of it running Beats of Rage Golden Axe adaption off CF

    https://plus.google.com/photos/10692...66019169011552

    But I found the DC is really picky with CF cards, so none of my higher capacity cards worked. Best I had was my trusty old 512MB Sandisk, but alas, this cannot hold a single Full Retail game. So I found an old 60GB IDE drive and loaded it with some games to test...

    https://plus.google.com/photos/10692...66019169011552

    Not sure if it was the images I chose or the Dreamshell softwares current beta state, but only 60% of the games I tried loaded. I will be getting some more validated images to test soon (TOSEC ISO) which I hope will help. Also I hope some updates to Dreamshell will improve compatibility. But for now its GREAT! and saves on stress to the GD drive and noise!



    Roughly drawn out pin out for IDE 44 to DC GDRom. You can connect all GND wires together and solder to one wire going to pin A8, same for +5V. Don't try and solder all the wires directly to the board. I actually got away with only soldering pin 2 to A8 and Pin 41 to A3 then the drives internals connected up where needed. Not all drives may support this though, beep test your drive and see if all GND and +5V lines are connected internally. Its also important to set the HDD as SLAVE otherwise it wont boot, just sit at the DC swirl forever. If you get a CF adapter, make sure you have ability to set as slave with jumpers. See next picture for GD pins onboard...





    Hope these rough images help


    VGA time!



    Wired in a 15 Pin VGA connector and stereo Jack




    Small Circuit taken from http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/dreamcast-internal-vga-mod/ But I modified mine a bit so it doesn't need a switch. The VGA plug itself switches the DC to VGA mode via 2 Grounding pins that create the circuit when its plugged in.




    Roughly wired up. I've made small header pin connections to make dismantling possible in the future.




    two pin connector is the grounding points. With no VGA connector these pins stay open cct. but when the VGA plug is inserted (And as long as all ground points on the monitor are shorted together) It will automatically set VGA mode. Unplug it and its back to RGB.




    Lets plug it all in and give it a try..




    Works! Looks absolutely smashing compared to the old CRT. Dreamcast is an old school console that looks more awesome via VGA than RGB SCART.




    All that mess has to be squeezed in somehow!




    Video of it running in VGA

    https://plus.google.com/photos/+LesR...66019169011552

    Thanks for looking and Stay Tuned!
    Last edited by Phipscube; 4 September 2014, 18:00. Reason: spelling
    A1200D Project: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=8107
    Neo Geo AES: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=15819
    PC Engine GT (Game Tank): - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=19999
    PC Engine: -http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?p=355890
    Dreamcast: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php...290#post634290

  • #2
    I'm a DC fan since i got mine back in the days. I think this is awesome!

    Comment


    • #3
      Very cool!
      Consoles: WonderMega|FM Towns Marty II|PS3|PS2|PS1|DC|Saturn|MD|MCD|SMS1|SMS2|SG1000 II|Wii|GC|N64|Snes|NES|PCE|360|Xbox|GX4000| HH: 3DS|AGS-101|AGS-001|GBA|GB Micro|GG|PSP|NeoGeo Pocket Colour|PocketStation| Computers: A1200 + 8GB + 1230 + 32MB|A1200 + 4GB + 8MB|C64G|C64C|ST|800XE|6128+|6128|664|464|Einstein|ZX81|Spectrum +2|Electron|Model B|Master 128|

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      • #4
        As always buddy, those are some choice mods. I will definitely be having a go with my DC with all of these. Thanks for sharing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Much awesomeness this thread contains .. a subscription it needs

          Comment


          • #6
            Excellent work!

            Comment


            • #7
              Super work, got to be one of the tidiest mods i've ever seen. What next? Multi reigon mod perhaps?

              Comment


              • #8
                beautiful work as always my friend
                Official Amiga Walker





                Comment


                • #9
                  Oustanding work, as always, Phips

                  Personally I would have left the VGA/RGB switch, to avoid having to swap cables, when you want to play games that do not work with one or the other.

                  Originally posted by tokyoracer View Post
                  Super work, got to be one of the tidiest mods i've ever seen. What next? Multi reigon mod perhaps?
                  Why, when it's region free?
                  Last edited by slk486; 3 September 2014, 10:38.
                  ^^^ IMHO... Always IMHO ^^^

                  r0jaws is my hero
                  Keropi is my supreme being

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the kind words guys, Its got a bit of work left yet. I have been messing around trying to get an mSATA SSD to work via an IDE to mSATA adapter but up to now i've had no luck. Dreamshell freezes when trying to boot from them. So its the same problem as with CF cards, very picky. I'm hoping that at some point Dreamshell is updated and can accomodate Flash/SSD drives then i'd like to install the mSATA adapter underneath the mainboard with a small trap door to access the mSATA SSD and allow future upgrades/removal for file transfers etc.

                    Otherwise my other two options are a real 2.5" IDE Drive (max is around 320GB which is quite ok) or I have seen it working with an IDE to SATA adapter and a real SATA HDD. But fitting the HDD into the case will be a challenge! It would probably have to have a big hole cut into the bottom and higher feet added to the DC. Not my preferred solution really. So I'm holding on to see what happens with Dreamshell as i'm quite sure its a software issue. The mSATA SSD and CF drives get detected, but as I load from IDE it stalls randomly. I read on DC-Swat (roughly through Google translate) that the guy doing the ATA driver is limited to HDD's he can test with so that might be the issue. I could keep buying different mSATA drives until I find one that works, but its a big time and money waste.

                    I want to replace the fan with a quieter one at some point. I have tried one with a sense wire but the DC didn't like it. And as all DC owners know, if the DC doesn't detect that pulse, it wont boot as it thinks the fan isn't working! I may have to make a circuit to trick the DC into thinking the fan is connected then just find a simple 2 wire fan. I've seen a diagram somewhere to do this with a timer IC.

                    I also want to make the GD drive a bit quieter, i've seen somewhere how one can use a special lube on the gears

                    Other than that, I've done all the bits I want. Its just a mater of fitting it all in!

                    slk486... good point! Never thought of that. I was just trying to avoid cutting more holes in the back. If it comes to it I will just wire a toggle switch to the two wires instead Thanks for pointing that out!
                    A1200D Project: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=8107
                    Neo Geo AES: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=15819
                    PC Engine GT (Game Tank): - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=19999
                    PC Engine: -http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?p=355890
                    Dreamcast: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php...290#post634290

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oops.. the last video showing it all runing wasn't linking properly, I sorted it now
                      A1200D Project: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=8107
                      Neo Geo AES: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=15819
                      PC Engine GT (Game Tank): - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=19999
                      PC Engine: -http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?p=355890
                      Dreamcast: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php...290#post634290

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Btw, no SSKT for you this time either?
                        ^^^ IMHO... Always IMHO ^^^

                        r0jaws is my hero
                        Keropi is my supreme being

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, i'm coming! Looking forward to it as well. Not sure if the DC will be coming along. Might bring my PC Engine and GT.

                          Sent from my Sony Xperia Z
                          A1200D Project: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=8107
                          Neo Geo AES: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=15819
                          PC Engine GT (Game Tank): - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=19999
                          PC Engine: -http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?p=355890
                          Dreamcast: - http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php...290#post634290

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Excellent! Must've missed your signup
                            ^^^ IMHO... Always IMHO ^^^

                            r0jaws is my hero
                            Keropi is my supreme being

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              wonderful job!
                              my jaws started dropping looking to this thread!
                              hey never tried an SD card reader solution (for my back-ups ) does it worth?
                              Currently @home: Atari 520 STFM/STE/ST+ 1040STFM/STF 64XE, Amiga 500/600/1200, Amstrad 6128/6128+/GX4000, Commodore 64c, ZX48/48+, Master System I/II/III, Megadrive I/II, SNES, NES, N64, CDi 450, Turbografx16, Dreamcast, Gamecube, XBOX/XBOX360, PS/PS2/PS3 and more...
                              Visit: www.retroshowcase.com

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