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Sketch

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Posts posted by Sketch

  1. Turns out I was only banned for a day.

     

    Anyway, I came back because I wanted to give my evaluation of the USB-GD as suggested by @ianinthefuture, now that I've installed it.

     

    I absolutely hate it and wished I'd gone with GDEMU.

     

    GDEMU allows you to force boot anything in 60hz, thus making it priceless:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/dreamcast/comments/9ruwq0/gdemu_pal_dreamcast_will_my_games_run_in_60hz/

     

    Turns out USB-GD does not allow this. Making it utterly worthless to me.

     

    Trying to run certain NTSC games on a PAL Dreamcast with USB-GD results in it forcibly booting itself into 50Hz - meaning a letterboxed screen and slowdown. Disgusting. The following games are all broken:

     

    * Armada (US)

    * Bomber Hehhe (JP)

    * Border Down (JP)

    * Daytona USA (US)

    * Grandia II (US)

    * Ikaruga (JP)

    * Psyvariar 2 (JP)

    * Sega Rally 2 (US)

    * Soul Calibur (US)

     

    USB-GD is therefore not fit for purpose.

     

    I don't want to pay extra for an NTSC console. If GDEMU can make a PAL console dance like a 60hz marionette then so should this! And I have zero intention of using VGA since my Sony Trinitorn CRT does not have a VGA input, it uses SCART.

     

    The one thing I wanted to do, to sit down and play some American and Japanese games, I can't do because they run like trash. I literally had to redownload Soul Calibur in PAL format to enjoy 60Hz gaming. Which was fine (if slightly insane - NTSC is 50hz only, and only PAL allows 60hz). But there's a long list of games which are NTSC exclusive yet run in 50Hz, or the PAL releases are 50Hz only. For example Grandia II - the NTSC version boots in 50Hz, and the PAL version has no 60Hz option, so is only 50Hz. How do I make Grandia II be normal?!

     

    If I'd gotten GDEMU then all of these games would, according to people on Reddit, run flawlessly in 60Hz on my CRT over RGB SCART. You could just force them to run in 60Hz.

     

    I'm now stuck with the choices of playing trash in 50Hz (yuck!), or buying a GDEMU clone, uninstalling USB-GD, and then reinstalling this new device. Or maybe just sell the Dreamcast. I am honestly shocked at how badly my memories have betrayed me with this. Everything I want to play is forced into 50Hz.

     

    (I've tried using GameShark, which allows forced booting into NTSC mode, but that results in 40% of the screen being chopped off.)

     

    I've asked on Dreamcast-Talk and seemingly no one has a solution. If you have USB-GD there is no way to make a PAL system play in 60Hz, unlike if you had a GDEMU. This is an overwhelming oversight for USB-GD. It might as well disable VMU usage or two player modes - 60Hz is more essential than having sound.

     

    If you want an ODE solution:

    Go with GDEMU. The forced 60Hz is worth the trouble of building an SD card directory every time you want to add a new game.

     

  2. 16 hours ago, klargon said:

    I wasn’t expecting owt for it. Just perpetuate the community spirit when you get the opportunity. It’s a fission, with a highly satisfying click. I guess the previous owner snapped the other handle off.

     

    That's very kind of you. Many thanks. :)

     

    However, I've been told I'm going to be banned from the forum, so I will have to decline.

     

    Thanks to all who helped with setting up my DC, modding it, recommending items, etc. I'll miss you guys. :hat:

     

    If anyone needs to contact me urgently, about items they sold to me, or something, message @strider who knows me on messenger.

  3. It is brilliant. I must admit, I've not even got the USB-GD yet, and I'm already massively enjoying getting back into the DC. Had a weird moment where I was about to start a new game and realised: oh wait, there's no need to download or update anything. That is how indoctrinated I've become with modern gaming. It's almost a muscle reflex to anticipate it.

  4. 3 hours ago, ianinthefuture said:

    eBay has lots of ML2032s going around, a lot with replacement quick-swap caddies included. They're very easy to fit - desolder and remove the old battery prongs, solder the new caddy in the same holes, slot the battery in. Stuff like this. Don't get an LIR2032 that some people recommend, they're the wrong voltage or something. The one you link is right.

     

    But if you don't want to replace the caddy, I think the original tabs can work on a new battery. I wouldn't be keen soldering something directly to a battery, but that might just be me.

     

    Always a bit nervous buying stuff like batteries off ebay, but for just over a fiver worth a go I suppose.

     

    I shall solder that when I come to redo the controller fuse. Cheers for the link! :)

     

    While here I thought I'd also share: EGG is not only a fun little weird RPG with lush hand-drawn graphics, the localisation is also unintentionally hilarious. I bought a lot of American mags back in the day, yet somehow missed this gem?

     

    EGG.jpg

  5. Any branded ML2032 battery should suffice, to replace the internal, right?

     

    I have the little caddies that fit CR2032, which I used for my Philips CDI, but the input pins are in strange places, and I don't feel like buying more. I can just solder the replacement bat to the little metal tabs, right?

     

    EDIT:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maxell-ML2032-2032-Rechargeable-Battery/dp/B00HE282EI/

     

    This is seemingly the only one. A loose thing without packaging?

  6. 20 hours ago, kempstar said:

    How can you make milk "wine"? Wont the milk just curdle and go sour and disgusting?

     

    According to the Scottish, no. (First time I've tried it!)

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaand

     

    You remove the curds first leaving only the whey. I basically used this recipe.

     

    Seems logical enough. Fruit wine doesn't go rotten and disgusting. I suppose you can ferment anything really. I draw the line at mince though.

  7. 2 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

    What rod is it? the official sega one ? 

     

    Yes. It flicks the lure out, but then reeling it in feels... sluggish? Not as precise as I remember? I seem to recall being able to turn it millimetre by millimetre, the Fission 3rd party rod, and it would smoothly bring the reel in. But this was back in 2000.

     

    Today I received the official Sega rod, which I have never used before, and it feels a little jerky, the reeling in? Not as smooth or precise, with the odd erratic movement.

     

    I've just ordered a cheap Fission rod off eBay to test actually. Depending on which I prefer I will sell the other, along with the game, since I will eventually have a USB-GD.

  8. I went and dl'd the demo of the ActionReplay disc, and that work. Man, i remember buying an issue of DC-UK magazine before I even had my Dreamcast, because everyone said the demo allowed you to play imports. I'm surprised the Utopia disc 1.2 doesn't work.

     

    Bass Fishing is still as fun as I remember it. I'm worried about the rod though. I know the official rod is silent while reeling (my 3rd party rod back in the day had nice clicks), but it feels a little unresponsive? Like I recall being able to reel very slow before, whereas here extremely slow reeling does nothing. Also sometimes the lure jerks around randomly, as if the mechanism inside might be dirty or not evenly balanced.

     

    Anyone have any experience opening their rod?

  9. Sega Bass Fishing with rod arrived from Japan, and I thought I could just use the Utopia boot disc to load it on my PAL system, but it crashes every time to a black screen of nothing.

     

    Does anyone have an easy solution to play this JP import on a UK system, that does not involve me buying or ordering something?

     

    Is Sega Bass Fishing one of those troublesome imports? Will Action-Replay work?

  10. 7 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

    Tested all, all working fine (as in loaded to game, tested for a minute or two)

     

    Many thanks Ian! :D

     

    That is one heck of a self-made mod-job. Best photo in the thread? Quite possibly.

     

    As mentioned, I got the Micro-SD since I can always put it in my camera if it fails here.

     

    I might invest in some AV cables for the RGB problem games.

  11. Looked for a topic on homebrewing your own wine, and found none. So here I am.

     

    I use CJ Berry's book on home-made wines.

     

    Recently bottles some rhubarb wine and honey mead. Nice, but not strong enough. Might get a better yeast next time, rather than the crap at Wilko.

     

    However, until then, I thought I'd take this little adventure off-road. So I'm making milk wine with rose petals.

     

    milk_wine.jpg

  12. My gun and HOTD2 arrived today. I forgot how much fun this is, and how accurate the shooting feels (maybe the game is compensating). I rinsed it back in the day, but now regret selling. Really good fun shooting the TV. Glad I went for RGB SCART onto CRT rather than the HDMI mod. They can't make them like this any more. I eagerly anticipate Confidential Mission (PAL, to use the gun), and Take The Bullet.

     

    50 minutes ago, acidbearboy said:

    Just trying to sort through my save files across various VMU’s Does anybody know what game this is from? The 9 block file with a face is KPRJ___.SYSand the 17 block file next to it is KPRJ___.VAR

     

    Ahh, the old save files with weird names problem. The Saturn was terrible for that. There's about 20 save files on my cartridge with zero explanation of what they could possibly be - especially since some have names unrelated to the game (one was called "drywall").

     

    The text on the icon looks like モキチー

    But with a little "chi", which makes no sense since it's not a real thing.

     

    I pm'd you a list of all save archives, might be possible to cross reference that list with file names?

     

    Speaking of saves and DLC, there's basically all of them archived online including, I think, in a pre-made self-booting CD file you can download and burn. Then use Dream Explorer to transfer the DLC from the disc to your VMU. Are we allowed to link to Dreamcast DLC archives?

     

    What a time to be a Dreamcast owner!

     

    9 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

    Happy to test any others just to be sure.

     

    This is my top 10 games I intend to play when my USB-GD arrives. Do they work? (I'm currently playing EGG off CDR - if it doesn't work, then I will finish it before installation.)

     

    Elemental Gimmick Gear

    Armada

    Industrial Spy: Operation Espionage

    The Ring

    Time Stalkers

    Godzilla Generations

    Maken X

    Seventh Cross

    Record of Lodoss War

    Sengoku Turb

     

    Also, these arrived! Are they the right brand, size, type, and style? The USB thing says 3.0, but it also says it's backwards compatible with 2.0 stuff.

     

    Dreamcast_stuff.jpg

  13. 14 hours ago, Sketch said:

     

    12 hours ago, Wiper said:

    There's a demo from a few months back, if anyone's interested:

     

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1203710/UnMetal/

     

    Wiper, unblock me so you can see my posts. Surely our shared love of System Shock is worth more than petty grievances?

     

    Anyway, the demo is great. Tight controls, very nice spritework, fun situational puzzles, and the humour works for me so far.

     

    As said, this is one of those styles of game you'd have expected there to be more of. We have so many Mario and Zelda and Final Fantasy rip-offs, but this? Not so much. Certainly not as much as you'd expect.

  14. I am very surprised that an NTSC forcibly loads as 50Hz on PAL. I was under the assumption that NTSC always loaded in 60Hz.

     

    Learn something new every day.

     

    Sorry about Coaster Works. I had the same trouble with Rent a Hero and Skies of Arcadia.

     

    RAH1 wouldn't display regardless of what boot disc or cables were used. It was weird.

     

    Skies of Arcade (NTSC-U) would only work through... AV cables? Or maybe I even played it through RF. I can't recall. But it didn't work through SCART back in the day. I suppose that was a small price to pay considering the PAL release was locked to 50Hz. These days I just play it on GameCube.

     

    14 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

    Those Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs you have are considered the gold standard but you might've been unluckily with a bad burning session (possible with any burning program in my experience) or dodgy disc (possible even in a batch of legit Taiyo Yuden). IMGburn itself is absolutely fine though sometimes I need to burn at higher speeds on my particular setup. Admittedly though I have no experience of burning Dreamcast CDis to disc - only bin/cue format dumps for other consoles. Those DC scene CDis are a world unto themselves.

     

    I am now convinced 100% it's due to Revive-DC. I found some of their old forum threads and they were bragging about re-arranging the data in their rips/uploads, so it's not spread out. I still can't understand how people praise them, when their uploads are non-functioning and therefore trash. This is what they said about one of their releases:

     

    Quote

    The last one didn't have a sort order on the files that had to be moved into the first data session. It's minor, and there's not a whole lot of data in there, but we want to be the best. So, that needed to be fixed. Now this has a perfect replica of the game's original GD-ROM sort order across the two data sessions.

     

    Yeah, and your moving the data around renders the game unloadable on retail PAL consoles. Amateurs. :rolleyes:

     

    Other games by them besides EGG are broken.

     

    So I've taken to painstakingly trying to find alternatives. Annoyingly, people on the internet seem to treat their garbage as the gold standard, and so download sites started deleting rips by other groups, and replacing them with Revive-DC rips. Meaning to find working rips requires trawling through outdated trojan infested malware sites hoping to find a legacy rip by someone else.

     

    I found one Reddit thread explaining that apparently Revive-DC left the scene and tried to delete their own work. All I can say is good riddance arseholes - I've got six Taiyo Yuden coasters here with your name on them. Come round for coffee sometime.

     

    The older rips by the old DC crew? Perfect. Works every time.

  15. I saw those cables, but they're no good for consumer CRTs, right? Would they work on a Sony Trinitron, or would it just be overkill? Or would it not work at all?

     

    Anyway, more DC problems.

     

    The one I got on eBay came with South Park Rally. That's all I own currently. I was playing it and the system runs fine. No crashing, no difficulty loading. It functions great. But the game sucks. And my USB-GD isn't set to arrive until the end of the month.

     

    So I thought... I'll break out my Taiyo Yuden CDRs which I've never used, and burn some games.

     

    I download and burn Elemental Gimmick Gear. From the Revive-DC Project - a self-booting CDI image. I used ImgBurn to burn it at 8x.

     

    The game boots to the Sega screen, showing the Revive logo, then crashes to the menu screen. I then burned a Utopia Disc, thinking this would fix it, but it refuses even to recognise the disc inside as being a Dreamcast game!

     

    What am I doing wrong here?

     

    * Is because the battery is dead and I need to keep resetting the time?

    * Is it the Taiyo Yuden CDRs? Are they bad? They were from the manufacturer before they stopped making them (slight blue surface, white on top), circa 2015.

    * Is it because E.G.G. is an American game and my DC is PAL?

    * Could it be a bad burn - is ImgBurn bad?

    * Are the CDIs of Revive-DC Project known to do this?

     

    I am currently digging out my ancient portable HDD containing all the Paradise files I hoarded before they shut down. Will report back the results. My gut tells me this is really just the result of some overzealous hacker doing weird things with the CDI file to make it self booting. Give me an old fashioned dirty Utopia boot any day.

     

    EDIT:

    I knew it. I fucking knew it! The Revive-DC CDI files are broken. Not worth the download even. My old Paradise file works great - same game, CDI format, burned the same way on the same media, and it boots flawlessly. There's no Revive-DC on the Sega logo splashcreen, but at least it actually functions!

     

    I really struggle to understand how this is even a thing. Do the hackers who make these CDI files not test them before upload? How do they even bodge a job like this? Before the Revive-DC project there were plenty of self-booting CDI files that worked. Now all of those are being swept aside for this new flavour, and it doesn't even work.

     

    I spent the last two days mass downloading new files from Revive-DC, thinking they were just the ticket. Now I need to delete the lot and find alternative sources in a format that actually, you know, works. FFS. I hate this hacker crap.

     

     

    EDIT 2:

    Just tried to burn Sega Rally 2 Champaionship, the NTSC USA version, which is supposed to be 60Hz, and yet it runs in 50Hz on my PAL system.

     

    Is this normal? Some kind of sick joke on the part of the devs?

     

    Or do the CDI files now floating around auto-detect your hardware and set NTSC games to run in 50Hz on PAL systems?

     

    How can I force it to run in 60Hz?

  16. And cleaning worked. I used the isopro to wipe the pad connectors and inside the DC connectors, and it works fine now. The disc boots up and plays fine too.

     

    Prior to the cleaning port 4 didn't work either. So I'm assuming it's entirely down to the filth.

     

    I'd like to thank @Ninja Doctor, @Down by Law, and @Ketchup for their speedy responses.

     

    Could this be corrosion, or just dirt?

     

    I know the 6 pins inside, when dirty, causes random resets. But this is the first time I've experienced dirty pads.

     

    EDIT:

    I feel this thread has nicely evolved into almost soap opera proportions. Is Sheila pregnant with Marko's baby? Will Tom ever have the courage to confront Delaney about the land deeds? Tune in next week, on Dreamcasts of Our Lives!

     

  17. 6 minutes ago, Ninja Doctor said:

    Check it’s continuity.

     

    I touched the base of the legs on the F1 fuse, hoping to get no sound, but there is definitely current passing through that fuse. Which confuses me, because I was certain it was that.

     

    Another problem perhaps? The pads?

     

    Maybe I should just return it and start again.

     

     

    Dreamcast.jpg

  18. 1 minute ago, strider said:

    That's bad luck. Why not just get one from CEX?

     

    :sealclap: Neither the local CEX nor the local retro store had one. And both would have been cheaper than this one. Do you mean literally order one online from CEX?

     

    1 minute ago, Ninja Doctor said:

    Open it up, it’s only four screws. On the controller board if something that looks like a resistor named F1. It’s the controller board fuse. Check it’s continuity. If you’re handy with a soldering iron do a poly fuse replacement. Most likely It’ll be fine after that. 

     

    YES! Good thinking. I have an electrical tester here - will do so and report back.

  19. Just now, Ketchup said:

    Ebay returns gives you free postage FYI. (Well the seller has to pay for it).

     

    True. He replied quickly offering to cover return postage.

     

    Now what though? I might explain the fuse replacement and ask if he's willing to let me know attempt it, or I can just send it back for a full refund.

     

    Could it be other problems?

     

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