MemCard PRO Support?

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by dukejp » May 27th, 2021, 5:47 am

Regarding the issue of overheating, this comes from the pdf manual of the device

10. The MemCard PRO is hot! Will it damage my system?
The MemCard PRO has been tested extensively for safety,
wireless radiation and spurious radiation and was found to
be in line with FCC and Europe’s CE certification
requirements. The source of the heat on the MemCard PRO
is the Intel Max10 FPGA, which is designed to run hot. The
MemCard PRO reaches maximum temperatures of about
50-55°C in a 22°C room ambient temperature, while the
Thermal Junction (Tj) is at 125°C. This heat is expelled
externally from the console, therefore it cannot cause any
adverse effects to the main console.

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Matt » May 27th, 2021, 6:46 pm

22 C is perfect test conditions which is a poor method of testing a device. In Australia, we reach temperatures of 44+ degrees in a non-air conditioned room, so that means the overall operating temperature at their thermal junction may reach upwards of 169+ C which is INSANELY hot. Depending on their ABS alloy, the ABS plastic starts to break down and soften at 190 C so it's cutting things pretty close and all that heat cannot be good for the lifespan of the other components in the card in the long run. Hopefully they manufactured with their components thermal tolerance being in mind ;)

I also did speak with the MemCard Pro designer however and he is confident the temperature levels are safe. Just my two cents on the subject though :)

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Last_Colossus » May 27th, 2021, 7:14 pm

The thermal junction is just the hottest the chip can operate at right?, if it runs at 50-55c in a 22c room it would have a thermal delta of 28-33c so it should still only reach 72-77c in a 44c ambient environment? even if the 50-55c they reported is in fact the delta above 22c it should still only operate at 94-99c in a 44c environment which is 26c under its TJ Max.

At least that's how I think it works, I could be completely wrong though.

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » May 27th, 2021, 7:54 pm

The thing which the test won't cover is accelerated ageing caused by high temperatures. Even if you're in the clear with Tj in your test, you can't tell what will happen over a year or two of such a high temperature usage.

This is the reason why the fat PS3s worked OK for Sony during tests and passed the QA, but would break for people over a year or two of extended gameplay sessions. The temperature was within a theoretical norm, but the connection with the chips would eventually break due to the cycles of high heat and cooldown.
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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Matt » May 27th, 2021, 8:10 pm

Last_Colossus wrote: May 27th, 2021, 7:14 pm The thermal junction is just the hottest the chip can operate at right?, if it runs at 50-55c in a 22c room it would have a thermal delta of 28-33c so it should still only reach 72-77c in a 44c ambient environment? even if the 50-55c they reported is in fact the delta above 22c it should still only operate at 94-99c in a 44c environment which is 26c under its TJ Max.

At least that's how I think it works, I could be completely wrong though.
Thermal junction is the core temperature of the chip before any heat sinks and PCB dissipation. So if the chip is pumping out 125 C at the Tj then without adequate ventilation or heat dissipation via heat sinks or thermal conductivity though the PCB substrate, the ambient operating temperature can reach the Tj operating temperature under the worst case scenario. If the ambient air temperature is at 40 C, I believe the ambient air temperature will be added to the Tj threshold. Someone correct me if I'm wrong though. Definitely need a thermodynamics physicist here :roll:

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Last_Colossus » May 27th, 2021, 9:26 pm

Matt wrote: May 27th, 2021, 8:10 pm
Last_Colossus wrote: May 27th, 2021, 7:14 pm The thermal junction is just the hottest the chip can operate at right?, if it runs at 50-55c in a 22c room it would have a thermal delta of 28-33c so it should still only reach 72-77c in a 44c ambient environment? even if the 50-55c they reported is in fact the delta above 22c it should still only operate at 94-99c in a 44c environment which is 26c under its TJ Max.

At least that's how I think it works, I could be completely wrong though.
Thermal junction is the core temperature of the chip before any heat sinks and PCB dissipation. So if the chip is pumping out 125 C at the Tj then without adequate ventilation or heat dissipation via heat sinks or thermal conductivity though the PCB substrate, the ambient operating temperature can reach the Tj operating temperature under the worst case scenario. If the ambient air temperature is at 40 C, I believe the ambient air temperature will be added to the Tj threshold. Someone correct me if I'm wrong though. Definitely need a thermodynamics physicist here :roll:
Ah ok, lol yeah :lol: . I just took apart my Memcard Pro as I couldn't find any images of the internals anywhere and I didn't know what kind of heatsink it was using:

Image

Image

Image

(It uses 4x T5 Torx screws)

There's no heatsink or anything added to the ESP32 to help dissipate heat, it's just left bare, although it might be fairly normal to do this with ESP32's? (but maybe not in an enclosed case?)

There's some venting on the back of the shell:

Image

Image


But none on the front:

Image

Without probing it or using a thermal camera I can't really say how good or bad it is thermally :lol: , one thing that does concern me though is the official documentation for the ESP32-WROOM-32UE says it's maximum recommended operating temperature is 85c not 125c:

https://www.espressif.com/sites/default ... eet_en.pdf (Page 14)

Image

So yeah that is a bit concerning.

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Matt » May 27th, 2021, 11:34 pm

The FPGA is what apparently products the heat. I too thought it was the ESP32 until I was corrected.

It's nice it has some vents, but the venting design is somewhat poor because it's completely blocked by the controller plugged in underneath it. The developer of the MemCard Pro insists and told me that it was fine multiple times so I'll leave it at that (I don't want to start a flame-war and get involved) :P

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Last_Colossus » May 27th, 2021, 11:54 pm

Matt wrote: May 27th, 2021, 11:34 pm The FPGA is what apparently products the heat. I too thought it was the ESP32 until I was corrected.

It's nice it has some vents, but the venting design is somewhat poor because it's completely blocked by the controller plugged in underneath it. The developer of the MemCard Pro insists and told me that it was fine multiple times so I'll leave it at that (I don't want to start a flame-war and get involved) :P
Oh ok, lol. It should be fine then, I'll just keep backing my saves up every now and then to make sure :lol:

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by whitezombie » July 11th, 2021, 1:41 am

Just an FYI there has been a recall on the MemCard PRO. Apparently there is an OLED issue if you use two at the same time.

https://twitter.com/8bitmods/status/1413842940796014592

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Matt » July 11th, 2021, 2:12 pm

That recall is extremely misleading and somewhat confusing :?

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Drunk_Caterpillar » July 11th, 2021, 3:19 pm

It's an odd scenario and an odd bug. I still kinda wonder why people would need two in the same machine, but to each their own. Looks like 8BitMods is really pulling out all the stops to support their users though.

I just got mine btw! Pretty excited for the next PSIO firmware. Any chance you could give us an update on how things are progressing Matt?

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Matt » July 12th, 2021, 2:13 am

So what happens if I have a MemCard Pro and a regular Sony Memory Card in both slots. Will my MemCard Pro fail? There's other variations too that can be questioned, and that's what's misleading about the recall statement.

We're focused on the new USB logic at the moment. Once we're done with that, we'll focus on the other tasks to get the new update out :)

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Drunk_Caterpillar » July 12th, 2021, 8:20 am

Matt wrote: July 12th, 2021, 2:13 am So what happens if I have a MemCard Pro and a regular Sony Memory Card in both slots. Will my MemCard Pro fail? There's other variations too that can be questioned, and that's what's misleading about the recall statement.
Having talked to 8BitMods and read the Twitter thread, the scenario is:

- If you plan on using more than one MemCard Pro in the same PSX at the same time...
- And at least one of those MemCard Pros was manufactured in the batches that were sold before this warning...
- Those older MemCard Pros need to have their OLED screens replaced.

You *don't* need to replace the OLED if...

- You're only using one MemCard Pro in your PSX
- You own multiple PSXs and still only use one per machine
- You're using a MemCard Pro and a non-MemCard Pro (read: Sony or 3rd party Memory Card) in the same system at the same time.

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » July 12th, 2021, 11:55 am

Matt wrote: July 12th, 2021, 2:13 amWe're focused on the new USB logic at the moment. Once we're done with that, we'll focus on the other tasks to get the new update out :)
Game compatibility, please.
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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Matt » July 13th, 2021, 3:54 am

An improved USB protocol will assist with game compatibility because it means we'll finally be able to get logs from customers without us testing them all the time only to find that there is nothing wrong and it's from user error (no CU2 sheet, bad SD Card, etc).

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » July 13th, 2021, 7:39 am

Matt wrote: July 13th, 2021, 3:54 amAn improved USB protocol will assist with game compatibility because it means we'll finally be able to get logs from customers without us testing them all the time only to find that there is nothing wrong and it's from user error (no CU2 sheet, bad SD Card, etc).
Yes, that's the most annoying part of it all. Many reports are false, but then again, the confirmed bugs aren't getting anywhere since the last game fix in ~December 2020.
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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Magnitudeten » July 23rd, 2021, 4:27 pm

I just got my memcard pro as well.

I hate to be a nag, but is there any chance of pushing out a small update with just the memcard pro compatibility integrated? As this is functionality the xstation has basically had since it's launch.

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by Matt » July 23rd, 2021, 4:51 pm

The MemCard Pro team didn't make any libraries for their interface and I got some basic communication working, but we had to basically reverse engineer their Memory Card protocol and design a library ourselves in MIPS assembly. I stopped working on it for a while because I needed a second MemCard Pro to finish the job, but they couldn't send me one because they were out of stock. I'll contact them again and ask what's going on.

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by BahamutBBob » July 24th, 2021, 6:26 pm

Personally, I'm happy with the way the memcard pro works right now with my PSIO. Official support and memory card switching would be nice, but IMO is unnecessary.

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Re: MemCard PRO Support?

Post by endprodukt » July 30th, 2021, 8:23 pm

I was a bit confused to see it's not supported when PSIO states

"Supports automatic saved game data loading from the ‘MemCard Pro’."

Am I missing something here? Got the card today and was a bit disappointed to see it doesn't work easily.

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