Official DCIO News and Development Thread

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zePeido
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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by zePeido » November 28th, 2018, 8:39 am

MateriaMind wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 5:35 am
Both these devices were designed with the 3.3V power in mind. They will not kill your console.
Thanks for shedding some light on this matter, I don't have enough knowledge and I've always been a bit worried about using these devices in my consoles. "Better safe than sorry" is what I usually tell myself.
USB-GDROM and GDEMU (also Phoebe and Rhea) use 3.3v for power, but doesn't the Dreamcast (and the Saturn) communicate with the original disc drive using other voltages? Do these devices convert the 3.3v into the 'correct' voltages in order to communicate with the consoles?

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by johnyept » November 28th, 2018, 9:11 am

zePeido wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 1:59 am
I'm using a USB-GDROM (http://3do-renovation.ru/USB-GDROM_Controller.htm), no problems so far.

Don't know which is better, the GDEMU or the USB-GDROM.
Thanks, didn't know that model. a USB port certainly gives more options, but the 100% compatibility it claims seems a bit high. In my opinion, the biggest downside of GDEMU is not having the sd card installed vertically for easy access.

zePeido wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 1:59 am
Also don't know if using a USB-GDROM or a GDEMU will slowly kill the console or not (https://db-electronics.ca/2017/07/05/th ... -consoles/).
I've been to that "flash warning" page before, I forgot all about it and coincidentally I just bought a Mega Everdrive X5 which is marked as good, instead of the X7 that costs over 60% more and is marked with a warning. I also have my sights on the SD2NES which is marked as pure gold, but since it's very expensive I'll go for other consoles first, like my PS1 which is crying for a PS-IO. I just hope I don't get disappointed with the compatibility rate on that one :/

offtopic: zePeido = tuga? :)

MateriaMind wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 5:35 am
There's no safety issue with GDEMU OR the USB GD-ROM. If you remove the 12V rail that fixes the "overheating" issue as it is anyways. I own both. That 12V rail was for the GDROM specifically and since it's removed it's a null issue. Both these devices were designed with the 3.3V power in mind. They will not kill your console.
It's weird how the original developers either didn't notice the overheating issue or simply discarded it. Anyway the 12v rail fix seems to be the solution but I did found a topic mentioning that a PAL console lost RGB signal after the 12v rail mod and regained it after undoing the mod. Coincidence or not, I'll put a pin on that until I actually have the console and a GDEMU clone in my hands...

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by KarlG » November 28th, 2018, 9:58 am

I did the 12V Fix mod on my PAL Dreamcast and the RGB Scart output stopped working, this is with the official cables. Only the Hanzo VGA box worked. I prefer using RGB Scart on a CRT so I can use a light gun etc

During my testing I did not notice any obvious difference in how warm the console felt. I was using the USB-GDROM and had the original black plastic and metal casing from the optical drive installed to maintain the original airflow design. Most people just drop the board in and leave a big hole in the top so the fan simply sucks air from the Optical drive opening and out through the fan bypassing the PSU and just letting it to boil.

I decided to just reconnect the 12V rail.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by johnyept » November 28th, 2018, 7:31 pm

KarlG wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 9:58 am
I did the 12V Fix mod on my PAL Dreamcast and the RGB Scart output stopped working, this is with the official cables. Only the Hanzo VGA box worked. I prefer using RGB Scart on a CRT so I can use a light gun etc

During my testing I did not notice any obvious difference in how warm the console felt. I was using the USB-GDROM and had the original black plastic and metal casing from the optical drive installed to maintain the original airflow design. Most people just drop the board in and leave a big hole in the top so the fan simply sucks air from the Optical drive opening and out through the fan bypassing the PSU and just letting it to boil.

I decided to just reconnect the 12V rail.
Thanks for the confirmation. I thought of using something like this:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/392170588578
It uses the original GD-ROM screws, holds the GDEMU in place, mimics the original GD-ROM design to help with the air flow, helps preventing accidentally dropping the SD card inside the console and has extra SD card placeholders. Even so, the original GDEMU design should have included something to fake some kind of load on the 12v rail.

EDIT: a basic tutorial for managing the games in the SD card, with mention of GDMenu and SD Card Maker for GDMenu.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by zePeido » November 29th, 2018, 5:07 am

You can place a resistor in the 12V rail (this works for the GDEMU and USB-GDROM), I believe it reduces the heat a little bit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVKN3pQ11wM

You can also buy a DreamPSU.
https://www.retropsu.com/store/product/dreampsu

Or build a PicoPSU.

johnyept wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 9:11 am
I've been to that "flash warning" page before, I forgot all about it and coincidentally I just bought a Mega Everdrive X5 which is marked as good, instead of the X7 that costs over 60% more and is marked with a warning. I also have my sights on the SD2NES which is marked as pure gold, but since it's very expensive I'll go for other consoles first, like my PS1 which is crying for a PS-IO. I just hope I don't get disappointed with the compatibility rate on that one :/

offtopic: zePeido = tuga? :)
I have bought a cheap chinese NES cart with most of the important games, I've stopped using it after reading the article (it was less than 15€, so no big damage to the wallet).
I was also considering buying a Neo Geo MVS cart, but fortunately I've read the article in time.

Offtopic: tuga :)

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by MateriaMind » November 29th, 2018, 7:44 am

zePeido wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 8:39 am
MateriaMind wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 5:35 am
Both these devices were designed with the 3.3V power in mind. They will not kill your console.
Thanks for shedding some light on this matter, I don't have enough knowledge and I've always been a bit worried about using these devices in my consoles. "Better safe than sorry" is what I usually tell myself.
USB-GDROM and GDEMU (also Phoebe and Rhea) use 3.3v for power, but doesn't the Dreamcast (and the Saturn) communicate with the original disc drive using other voltages? Do these devices convert the 3.3v into the 'correct' voltages in order to communicate with the consoles?
The drives operate at 3.3V. If you look at the GD-ROM drive before you remove it, you'll notice that it 3.3V is stamped on the GD-ROM metal housing right on top. VA1 and VA2 models (Dreamcast) used 3.3V. VA0 I believe used 5V.
"What is a man?!? A miserable little pile of secrets!"

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by johnyept » November 29th, 2018, 8:07 am

zePeido wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 5:07 am
You can place a resistor in the 12V rail (this works for the GDEMU and USB-GDROM), I believe it reduces the heat a little bit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVKN3pQ11wM

You can also buy a DreamPSU.
https://www.retropsu.com/store/product/dreampsu

Or build a PicoPSU.
I'll probably go for the cheapest option: resistor + ebay fake GD-ROM case to maintain original flow. I don't want to disable the 12v rail because I want to get the best quality from both analog (RGB) and digital (VGA) outputs, since I have an old CRT TV for older consoles (lightgun games and such) and a TFT monitor for HDMI/VGA consoles, so the Dreamcast can be connected to both :D

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by zePeido » November 29th, 2018, 11:00 pm

MateriaMind wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 7:44 am
The drives operate at 3.3V. If you look at the GD-ROM drive before you remove it, you'll notice that it 3.3V is stamped on the GD-ROM metal housing right on top. VA1 and VA2 models (Dreamcast) used 3.3V. VA0 I believe used 5V.
Thanks, I did not know that.
I've been searching more about this matter and I also found this:
https://gdemu.wordpress.com/details/dreamcast-details/
It says that GDEMU has an under-voltage protection. That is useful, that way a person can easily identify the problem and solve it before any damage is done. I wonder if USB-GDROM also has a similar protection...

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by TwinFami » December 23rd, 2018, 10:08 am

What advantages will this have(other than being more readily available) over the USB GD-ROM or the GDEMU? Asking as I've had experience with both and currently have a USB GD-ROM installed in my system.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Greg2600 » January 6th, 2019, 6:59 am

GDEMU (and RHEA/PHOEBE) production remain absurdly slow/low. Deunen's work was bootlegged in China specifically because he has refused any sort of 3rd party mass production, which still boggles the mind. The 3rd party menu was designed and is okay, but the originator I heard has gone AWOL. Frankly, using SD cards for a library like the DC is not ideal. Also, many of the ISO re-dumps I believe may not work as is. I have one, it's dormant. I got the USB-GDR from the ever bubbly Mnemo. The menu is horrid, but it works FAR easier for the layman. Especially using an old 2TB USB HDD. I'd STILL love to see DC-IO come to fruition, as frankly this team remains friendly to the community and not hiding under a rock. That said, it really HAS to have USB otherwise oooph, not good. The DIY DC alternatives all stink. You have to DIY plus are stuck with garbage OS like Dreamshell, that is near-impossible to get a game to work with.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by connrrr » January 15th, 2019, 1:31 am

I'm going to have to disagree with John McClane. An SD slot would be fine, and we will see 2TB SD cards eventually if that really is important to someone (the full DC romset is something closer to 500GB anyway).

Also: it sounds like, from an earlier comment, that SD might allow for the retention of the GD drive? That would be wicked if you could pull that off. Every once in a while it's nice to pop in the physical version of a game that's special to you, even when you've already got the ISO on tap.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Matt » January 15th, 2019, 4:31 pm

Yeah, Lexar just released a 1 TB SD Card.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » April 9th, 2019, 11:04 pm

Greg2600 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 6:59 am
GDEMU (and RHEA/PHOEBE) production remain absurdly slow/low. Deunen's work was bootlegged in China specifically because he has refused any sort of 3rd party mass production, which still boggles the mind.
I've talked with Deunen about RHEA/PHOEBE (we're from the same country) and he was so incredibly offensive and mendacious that I swore never to get anything from him. It boggles my mind that both him and Mnemo are acting like that and, basically hiding under a rock from the community, only putting out a hand to grab some cash "with no guarantees". The refusal to team up with third parties and start mass-production was full of crap, especially since they aren't exactly being Einstein here and this stuff can easily be copied.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Matt » April 9th, 2019, 11:48 pm

I've spoken with 'Deunan' before and I always though he was extremely polite and very helpful. He is quite a smart man and knows what he is doing when it comes to his work. I think he is probably under a lot of stress or he is pissed off that the Chinese stole his work. GDEMU was also hobby based and he did it for fun I believe, so when he gets heaps of emails asking why it isn't in stock and why the order hasn't shipped yet it's because (if I recall correctly) he assembles them by hand. Really takes a lot out of you actually.

As for 'Mnemo', I've heard poor business stories in relation with "Stone Age Gamer".
Source: http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2 ... gdrom.html

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » April 9th, 2019, 11:55 pm

Matt wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 11:48 pm
I've spoken with 'Deunan' before and I always though he was extremely polite and very helpful. He is quite a smart man and knows what he is doing when it comes to his work.
That's a mask, IMO. Perhaps you were speaking with him in a formal way about business, especially since you're from Australia. I've talked with him in a personal, low-key way, both of us using our first language, and he's nothing like you described. Smart man? He's not stupid, but his design is faulty due to heating issues and he keeps denying it all the time. He also did a C64 board recently and it's clear he had no idea what he was doing. He's a DIY man type of man, a tinkerer. He's not specialized in any field and that shows in the details of his work.
Matt wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 11:48 pm
GDEMU was also hobby based and he did it for fun I believe, so when he gets heaps of emails asking why it isn't in stock and why the order hasn't shipped yet it's because (if I recall correctly) he assembles them by hand. Really takes a lot out of you actually.
That's not the story I know. He made all the boards strictly as a source of cash and the main reason why he tries to stay low-key is to avoid tax issues here in Poland. That's basically why he loves PayPal so much.

As for Mnemo, he is the last person you want to do business with.
Last edited by Takehaniyasubiko on April 10th, 2019, 12:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Matt » April 10th, 2019, 12:01 am

I've spoken with 'Deunan' about programming and software design in regards to the Dreamcast, they were straight to the point questions however.

Hmm, that's strange. The GDEMU shouldn't have any heating issues. It's quite a simplistic PCB. Do you know what gets warm? Is it a voltage regulator??

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » April 10th, 2019, 12:06 am

Matt wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 12:01 am
Hmm, that's strange. The GDEMU shouldn't have any heating issues. It's quite a simplistic PCB. Do you know what gets warm? Is it a voltage regulator??
The 12V rail of the GD-ROM overheats the whole system, basically. It's partly because GDEMU breaks the airflow in the system when it replaces the GD-ROM drive, but there are also electrical issues with it. Deunan denies it has any negative effects on the system, but people who played extensively with his board know that's not the case. Everything gets dangerously hot in the DC, effectively shorting the life of all components, especially the electrolytic capacitors.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by zePeido » April 10th, 2019, 1:53 am

I've heard that the 12V rail overheats because it's not being used, and that the problem is completely solved by doing the following mod (adding a resistor):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVKN3pQ11wM

Also, because the GD-ROM is removed, airflow will not be the same. Something like a 3D printed tray (or maybe the external shell of the GD-ROM) should be used so that the airflow keeps going through the correct way.

I've not tried non of the above methods, so I cannot say if they are enough to keep the Dreamcast in normal temperatures or not.

EDIT: Isn't there a video out cable (SCART or VGA) that uses 12V? So if that video out cable is being used, there is no need to perform the resistor mod, right?

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » April 10th, 2019, 2:12 am

zePeido wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 1:53 am
I've heard that the 12V rail overheats because it's not being used, and that the problem is completely solved by doing the following mod (adding a resistor):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVKN3pQ11wM
That's nonsense because then all the heat focuses on the resistor, which can result in even more damage down the road. Even Deunan admitted it.
zePeido wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 1:53 am
Isn't there a video out cable (SCART or VGA) that uses 12V? So if that video out cable is being used, there is no need to perform the resistor mod, right?
That has nothing to do with it. The problem is that the GD-ROM drive itself isn't using the 12V rail anymore. Also, 12V in RGB cables is just for TVs to automatically enter into AV mode.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by KarlG » April 13th, 2019, 10:42 am

zePeido wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 1:53 am
EDIT: Isn't there a video out cable (SCART or VGA) that uses 12V? So if that video out cable is being used, there is no need to perform the resistor mod, right?
You need to leave the 12V connected for the official PAL SCART cable to function on a PAL console. VGA is fine without.

I haven't actually used a dreamcast with the normal disc so I do not have a reference for how hot these units normally get. I have left Crazy Taxi, GDEMU, 3D prinited tray, Noctua Fan and a 330 Ohm 5W resistor between 12v and ground. Running for 5 hours and I have not got the console anywhere near what I would consider hot or overheating. One day I will get crazy taxi on disc and I will compare both units side by side.

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