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Feature Requests
What would you like to see in future NGPC developments? Is there a feature you'd like to see me add to the flash cart? How about a new function for the software? What future product should I create?

I don't know how much I'll reply to this thread. I more want to keep a log of your input on what users want, so discuss amongst yourselves. Just keep in mind that I'm already behind on building and assembling the current units. Smile
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Load games from a sd card?
This is on the software side, but I'd like to see a multi-rom option in some form. While using this with commercial images might [or rather will] cause issues with the save data, it would be nice to have this option for the homebrew stuff, which is usually relatively small, and it's a pain to flash every single little thing separately, even though there's not that much of it around.

Also, and this is something I have already discussed with Flavor, I'd like to see a save fix for Cotton, which at this point doesn't save correctly on the Flashmasta, stating the memory is corrupt or something of the sort.

Oh, and I too would like to see Micro SD card support in the future, but that requires a whole new design and isn't really a feature. Still, would be nice to see such a device, someday.
Well looking at the Limited edition compact Link master I think if possibly going back to this style as an option.

The reason is currently people would like a multi cart but that's not available right now but an easy way to upload games to the cart would be a good solution.

Now I don't know how the game is uploaded to the cart but depending on how it's done you could have an Android app that will upload the games from the phone to the cart when you are on the go. Almost all of the newer phones have USB Host support now and if there was a small linker like the Limited edition ones and a phone that supports USB Host then you have your own portable power house (If your taking your NGPC out/away from the house you will also be taking your mobile as well most likely)

That might be a cool option to make it available away from the PC
I would love to have such cart solution, where I do not need to remove the cart from NGPC during flashing.. kind of ultimate development thing Big Grin Even better would be some RAM based thing where I could poke and peek the cart while running my software on NGPC...
..more coffee..
I really like having this log of ideas here. I just wanted to chime in, so you guys know I'm reading along. I don't want to get into what ideas I like or whatever. That's not the point. However, I will mention that one of the reasons I haven't put a lot of effort into the MultiROM thing is that I have been thinking about the MicroSD idea. The MicroSD would, of course, incorporate the MultiROM idea.

Thanks guys! Keep the ideas flowing!
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Cotton has been mentioned as having a save-game issue. It was also brought to my attention that Crush Roller may also exhibit this drawback.

These are both 8mbit games that save their data to the 0x0F8000 region.
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I'd really like to be able to erase/rewrite the original carts. Has any progress been made on this?

I read that SNK recalled a load of unsold carts to rewrite them and sell them as new in other regions. If thats true then surely there must be a way to unprotect the carts without cutting tracks to isolate the reset pin? If it works on the various chip manufacturers SNK used, it must be a pretty generic method?

Could this be a candidate - described here for the MX29LV081 flash chips,
(page 17 'Chip Unprotect', and page 37 'Chip Unprotect Timings')

Mat! Welcome! You've done your homework. Unfortunately, I don't believe this report about SNK planning to rewrite the carts. I could be wrong, though. It's conceivable, but I don't think it's what happened (so I question the assertion).

From that doc you referenced...
RESET = VID (Note 1)
Note : 1. All protected sectors are temporary unprotected. VID=11.5V~12.5V

So, I think this reset pin needs 12V applied, but that reset pin is wired direct to VCC on all the official carts (if I recall correctly).

It may be possible that a chip could be removed from a NGPC cart PCB, placed on another PCB, reprogrammed (with this 12V method), and then replaced back on the original cart. That's conceivable, but I don't think it solves the problem you'd like solved.
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Hey, thanks Smile
You're probably right. Maybe they didn't intend to rewrite the flash, but used it over mask roms to save the costs of the extra parts they would need for save game features..

As well as the temporary unprotect method, which uses 12V on the reset pin, there is another method which switches all blocks to unprotected permanantly... It says (page 17):

The MX29LV081 also features the chip unprotect mode,
so that all sectors are unprotected after chip unprotect is
completed to incorporate any changes in the code. It is
recommended to protect all sectors before activating
chip unprotect mode.
To activate this mode, the programming equipment must
force VID on control pin OE and address pin A9. The CE
pins must be set at VIL. Pins A6 must be set to VIH.
Refer to chip unprotect algorithm and waveform for the
chip unprotect algorithm. The unprotection mechanism
begins on the falling edge of the WE pulse and is
terminated on the rising edge.
It is also possible to determine if the chip is unprotected
in the system by writing the Read Silicon ID command.
Performing a read operation with A1=VIH, it will produce
00H at data outputs(Q0-Q7) for an unprotected sector.
It is noted that all sectors are unprotected after the chip
unprotect algorithm is completed.

I looked at the NGPC pin out, and it looks like it would work without physically modifying the cart... if the chips used by SNK have this feature.

I have no idea why the temporary unprotect method killed Crush Roller, but I have no experience with this kind of thing. The only thing I can think of is that maybe the chip doesn't like the reset pin to be floating, and it needs to go from VCC or GND to 12V and back again, or that the voltage of the 12V supply was higher than the 12.5V maximum limit when no load was attached to it Huh

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