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Thread: Just picked up a "junk" Japanese AES. Power specs? Other questions too...

  1. #1
    Kuroko's Training Dummy
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    Just picked up a "junk" Japanese AES. Power specs? Other questions too...

    I'm a tinkerer who generally prefers to buy broken and repair myself rather than pay full price for stuff.

    I just picked up my first AES from Japan and was about to tear into it when I realized that the original rubber feet had never been touched and the rest looks immaculate. The feet are kinda spongy and I know I would damage them if I removed them unnecessarily. I figure I'd better hold off on that until at least getting a Japanese AES game to test in it, especially after the "junk" white Sega Saturn and black Sega Virtua Gun I recently bought for 780 and 50 Yen both ended up working perfectly.

    It seems to be a newer model that takes the 5W 9v POW3 power supply. I think that's about 2A and I definitely have a few 9v PSUs around that can handle it. Unfortunately the wiki does not tell me the polarity. I know that most Japanese consoles of the era were center-negative. Is that the case here as well?

    Being "junk" it didn't come with AV cables or a joystick either but I have created functional joysticks using the Neo-Geo X Gold replicas and an extension cable. For the AV, can I get by with a Genesis model 1 AV cable? If so, I still won't have a game to test. I seem to recall hearing that I should get a blue screen if I boot without a game cartridge and any other color indicates a fault. Is this correct?

    I can tell by peeking in the cartridge slot that the original Japanese BIOS hasn't been touched and the cart connector looks like new except for the Japanese pubic hair I found inside. Wish I were joking! If what I can't see inside looks as good as what I can see everywhere else then I expect it to look like new everywhere else inside.

    The listing described that it doesn't power on but I've heard of several people buying junk/defective/not-working AES consoles and finding that it's not true for them... they boot up with some other problem. Can't test this until I get those adapter specs and but I'm curious to see if history repeats itself.
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  2. #2
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    If you don't want to take apart your AES, there's a two step program you can use.

    Step 1: Test with a 5v 3a PSU (probably center negative polarity, hard to find I know)
    Step 2: If the above fails or results in a dim garbled screen, test with a 9v 1a PSU (SMS, Genesis, FC and SFC are good examples)

    Don't try it the other way, a 9v PSU into a 5v AES system will likely damage it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyMachineGun View Post
    If you don't want to take apart your AES, there's a two step program you can use.

    Step 1: Test with a 5v 3a PSU (probably center negative polarity, hard to find I know)
    Step 2: If the above fails or results in a dim garbled screen, test with a 9v 1a PSU (SMS, Genesis, FC and SFC are good examples)

    Don't try it the other way, a 9v PSU into a 5v AES system will likely damage it.
    Thanks. I can actually see the motherboard designation through the cartridge slot: 3-6. Is that enough to know what PSU to use? I thought the "POW3" designation already pointed to 9v but I figure it's better to be safe than sorry.

    Edit: Ordered what I need to reverse the polarity on my current 5.5x2.1mm DC5v 3A solution. It's actually a microUSB adapter intended for Arduinos and Raspberry Pi and such with a barrel adapter pigtail. I've got other pigtails for JST connectors and such so it's a pretty flexible solution.
    Last edited by CZroe; 09-06-2017 at 12:47 AM.
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

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    The board revision means nothing, people have found various Neo board revisions that had both 9v and 5v configurations.

    www.jamma-nation-x.com has a picture guide for the Neo Geo PRO-POW specifications.

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    The Genesis AV cable will be difficult to fit, but might be okay just for testing.

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    I do see ebay listings for about 12.00 third party power supplies, I can't comment on the quality but assuming HeavyMahineGun had the right order to test the console with you're not out too much money if it doesn't work. Is there a sticker on the bottom of the unit?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyMachineGun View Post
    The board revision means nothing, people have found various Neo board revisions that had both 9v and 5v configurations.

    www.jamma-nation-x.com has a picture guide for the Neo Geo PRO-POW specifications.
    Yeah. I've looked and it says that mine should be PRO-POW3 10/11v if the sticker is to be trusted (...which it isn't). Unless the feet were replaced with new ones I don't think the board or shell has ever been swapped. There's no sign that anyone has ever opened it so chances are that the sticker is right but, like you say, we shouldn't take chances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Alec View Post
    The Genesis AV cable will be difficult to fit, but might be okay just for testing.
    I saw that the cables were being sold as MD-Gen model 1/Neo AES cables so I already tried mine and they fit effortlessly. Looks like the pinout is compatible, at least for composite/mono.

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonmasterDan View Post
    I do see ebay listings for about 12.00 third party power supplies, I can't comment on the quality but assuming HeavyMahineGun had the right order to test the console with you're not out too much money if it doesn't work. Is there a sticker on the bottom of the unit?
    The 5v 3A PSU I got from Microcenter was about the same price and looks identical except for the microUSB end. I felt like I overpaid for it at the time but got it specifically to use with this adapter:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Micro-USB-Fe...72.m2749.l2649

    I got these in the mail today and quickly used them to reverse the polarity:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-Male-F...72.m2749.l2649

    I knew it would be useful for other things:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IEuwdcjmig

    When I tested in that video I hadn't revisited the thread to know that this is the expected behavior when I need a 9V+ PSU. I have since tested with a Genesis model 1 plug and it I did get the blue screen. So far, so good. Thanks for the guidance, guys!

    Now I'm waiting on an actual AES game to try. Ordered the cheapest one I could find to test: JPN Fatal Fury Special (Garou Densetsu) for $33 shipped. Can't wait for it to get here! If that works I'm going to try and get Darksoft's AES flashcart instead (was asking for MVS).

    You guys are awesome. Thanks again!
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    I saw that the cables were being sold as MD-Gen model 1/Neo AES cables so I already tried mine and they fit effortlessly. Looks like the pinout is compatible, at least for composite/mono.
    They're almost a match. Same pin configuration, but a slightly different connector shape. Maybe the one you bought is designed to fit both.

  9. #9
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    ​"Almost?" All I can tell you it that it fits perfectly.

    ...

    Oh, who am I kidding? I'm much too wordy for that.

    The Neo-Geo uses very standard C-shaped (270-degree) 8-pin DIN connectors and the Model 1 Genesis/MegaDrive and Master System use the standard U-shaped (262-degree) 8-pin . The 180-degree 5-pin DIN AV cables are designed to fit both perfectly, since only pins 6 and 7 vary positions between the two when fully populated and the AV cables don't use those. For there to be any fitment issue at all with this pin out the Sega AV cables would need to have vestigial pins making it a 7 or 8 pin 262-degree cable, which doesn't appear to be the case (thankfully).

    Confirmed that they're definitely original Sega AV cables for the Model 1 Genesis/MegaDrive and Master System.

    More: https://imgur.com/a/Qz0PD
    They match the new old stock cables perfectly. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they also match SNK's original AV cables, since there is a good chance that they both picked the same off-the-shelf parts supplier for that (hence, identical pinouts).

    As for similar 262-degree and 270-degree DIN connectors sometimes fitting when they shouldn't... unfortunately, I'm well aware after a bad experience recently.

    This reminds me: The Atari 8-bit computers' 180-degree 5-pin DIN AV "Monitor" port and Commodore 64's 262-degree 8-pin DIN Monitor port will each work with each other's 180-degree 5-pin DIN composite AV "Monitor" cables. Heck, all five (A8, C=, M1, MS, NG) will technically fit each other's AV cables perfectly but compatibility is still split between the two groups by pinout.

    Back to my "experience:"
    I recently got a good deal on a C64 lot. When connecting it for the first time (with a C64 Saver, no less), my brother plugged a 262-degree 8-pin C64 POWER cable into the C64's 270-degree Monitor port while I was plugging the other end of the power into the wall. Long story short: The world lost another SID chip.
    Last edited by CZroe; 09-14-2017 at 10:23 PM.
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  10. #10
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    Well, it works...



    ...kinda.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH3g0NXNnZE


    The seller said it didn't power on but it clearly does. Some non-sprite graphics show vertical bars (corrupt graphics) on alternating columns of pixels. The game was sold as "tested" and fully working but that can obviously be incorrect as well.

    Refering to NeoGeoDev, I think I have an S ROM data line issue:
    https://wiki.neogeodev.org/index.php...glitches#S_ROM

    I guess I'll be diving in the next day off I get, though I'd love to find an Atlanta area member with a known-good AES cart to test (might save me a lot of trouble).
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  11. #11
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    Before you tear into your AES innards, clean the cart's edge connector and the console's slots throughly with a good contact cleaner like DeOxIt. Very good odds that your graphic glitches are caused by a dirty connection.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShootTheCore View Post
    Before you tear into your AES innards, clean the cart's edge connector and the console's slots throughly with a good contact cleaner like DeOxIt. Very good odds that your graphic glitches are caused by a dirty connection.
    As wordy as I was, I still failed to mention that I used a fresh/clean 1up Card with PUREtronics 99.9% "electronics cleaning grade" isopropyl (dispenser on the left in the video) and that the contacts looked great in the cart and the console. Anyway, the connection was rock solid even when wiggled/tweaked during operation.

    So, instead of waiting for a day off, I just stayed up several hours longer to work on it. *yawn* I took apart the cart and confirmed wiring for all the S ROM FIXD data lines which ended up being a HUGE pain due to glue on the posts that just wouldn't let go. Everything checked out so I put it back together and dove into the console itself. Bye bye, pristine foam rubber feet.

    Going in proved to be necessary. I traced the S ROM FIXD data lines from CN4 to the NEO-B1 and... surprise, surprise:

    Full res - https://i.imgur.com/CM9Qf3a.jpg
    Corrosion on pins 131, 132, and 133.

    I cleaned off the corrosion with my fiberglass pen and more isopropyl and they still looked terrible. Amazingly, all three of those corroded pins passed continuity testing... but 134 (FIXD3 from CN4 pin 7B) didn't. Pin 134 wasn't corroded but the trace was under the same corrosion blob as the other three. Upon close inspection you could even see the break in the trace. I fluxed and reflowed all four pins, jumpered pin 134 with some pretinned wire (love this stuff), rechecked continuity on each, and checked for shorts. All good, so I fired up the console and the the graphical corruption was completely gone.

    Full res - https://i.imgur.com/5PHA55W.jpg


    Full res - https://i.imgur.com/sbDG44T.jpg

    Unfortunately, it's now turning itself off after a few minutes, which I don't think it was doing before (I left it looping). Of course, I suspect capacitors even though they don't look bad. The main capacitor (2200uf 6.3v) looks like it may have gotten tweaked during my last continuity/short check, but it was lifted pretty high off the board so the legs should allow for that. The only other 2200uf cap I had on-hand was a 25v one salvaged from an NES-001 but it had clear signs of having leaked itself. Even so, I tried it and the system wouldn't boot with a game (still gave the blue screen without one). I switched back and now I'm waiting on proper caps.

    I attempted to make a repair video during my downtime at work using the footage and pictures already on my phone and I noticed a strange flash/pulse on the boot up and region notice screens. I just got back and can't seem to replicate it. I wanted to try a 10 or 11v AC adapter but the closest I could find was an 11.5v Atari PSU from my 5200 but it was putting out over 15v, 13v under load, so I wasn't going to risk it. I did try a 12v switching PSU and it still reboots/shuts down. I say "shutdown" because it will stay off for a while but eventually boot again if I leave it long enough whereas cycling the power will sometimes boot back up immediately. Even when it does boot again, it takes my TV notably longer to sync (SNK/NEO jingle is almost finished playing before I hear it).

    The video so far:
    https://youtu.be/crWz2mxnEPs

    Don't know what that could be but hopefully it'll be solved by whatever fixes the shutdown/reset issue. Not so sure it's capacitors anymore. While I wait for good caps I'm going to check continuity on a bunch of other stuff from NEO-B1 since I know it is the "gatekeeper" that resets the CPU when there is an issue.
    Last edited by CZroe; 10-02-2017 at 11:54 AM.
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    Now I'm waiting on an actual AES game to try. Ordered the cheapest one I could find to test: JPN Fatal Fury Special (Garou Densetsu) for $33 shipped. Can't wait for it to get here! If that works I'm going to try and get Darksoft's AES flashcart instead (was asking for MVS).

    You guys are awesome. Thanks again!
    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    As wordy as I was, I still failed to mention that I used a fresh/clean 1up Card with PUREtronics 99.9% "electronics cleaning grade" isopropyl and that the contacts looked great in the cart and the console. Anyway, the connection was rock solid even when wiggled/tweaked during operation.

    So, instead of waiting for a day off, I just stayed up several hours longer to work on it. *yawn* I took apart the cart and confirmed wiring for all the S ROM FIXD data lines which ended up being a HUGE pain due to glue on the posts that just wouldn't let go. Everything checked out so I put it back together and dove into the console itself. Bye bye, pristine foam rubber feet.

    Going in proved to be necessary. It traced the S ROM FIXD data lines from CN4 to the NEO-B1 and... surprise, surprise:

    Full res - https://i.imgur.com/CM9Qf3a.jpg
    Corrosion on pins 131, 132, and 133.

    I cleaned off the corrosion with my fiberglass pen and more isopropyl and they still looked terrible. Amazingly, all three of those corroded pins passed continuity testing... but 134 (FIXD3) didn't. Pin 134 wasn't corroded but the trace was under the same corrosion blob as the other three. Upon close inspection you could even see the break in the trace. I fluxed and reflowed all four pins, jumpered pin 134 with some pretinned wire (love this stuff), rechecked continuity on each, and checked for shorts. All good, so I fired up the console and the the graphical corruption was completely gone.

    Full res - https://i.imgur.com/5PHA55W.jpg


    Full res - https://i.imgur.com/sbDG44T.jpg

    Unfortunately, it's also turning itself off every few minutes, which I don't think it was doing before (I left it looping). Of course, I suspected capacitors even though they don't look bad. The main capacitor (2200uf 6,3v) looks like it may have gotten tweaked during my last continuity/short check, but it was lifted pretty high off the board so the legs should allow for that. The only other 2200uf cap I had on-hand was a 25v one salvaged from an NES-001 but it had clear signs of having leaked itself. Even so, I tried it and the system wouldn't boot with a game (still gave the blue screen without one). I switched back and now I'm waiting on proper caps.

    I attempted to make a repair video during my downtime at work using the footage and pictures already on my phone but I noticed a strange flash/pulse on the boot up and region notice screens. I just got back and can't seem to replicate it. I wanted to try a 10 or 11v AC adapter but the closest I could find was an 11.5v Atari PSU from my 5200 or 800 XL but it was outputting 13v under load (over 15v prior) so I wasn't going to risk it. I did take a risk and tried a 12v switching PSU and it still reboots/shuts down. The reason I say reboot/shutdown is because it will stay off for a while but eventually boot again if I leave it long enough whereas cycling the power will boot back up immediately. Even when it does boot again, it takes my TV notably longer to sync (SNK/NEO jingle is almost finished playing before I hear it).

    The video so far:
    https://youtu.be/crWz2mxnEPs

    Don't know what that could be but hopefully it'll be solved by whatever fixes the shutdown/reset issue. Not so sure it's capacitors anymore. While I wait for good caps I'm going to check continuity on a bunch of other stuff from NEO-B1 since I know it is the "gatekeeper" that resets the CPU when there is an issue.
    Sounds like you are close to getting then AES running.

    I bet you get it running before you get your Darksoft AES cart.

  14. #14
    Kuroko's Training Dummy
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    Looks like it's fixed!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn4lyZHsSTE

    Sorry to retread so much ground we've already covered in this thread but there's a lot of new content in the finished video. Thanks, guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by sr20det510 View Post
    Sounds like you are close to getting then AES running.

    I bet you get it running before you get your Darksoft AES cart.
    Thanks for the words of encouragement!
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    Looks like it's fixed!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn4lyZHsSTE

    Sorry to retread so much ground we've already covered in this thread but there's a lot of new content in the finished video. Thanks, guys!


    Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    LoL, I was hoping you realize that darksoft cart is probably not coming out any time soon

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sr20det510 View Post
    LoL, I was hoping you realize that darksoft cart is probably not coming out any time soon
    Eh, I've waited this long. *shrug* At least he has a history of delivering.
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    Eh, I've waited this long. *shrug* At least he has a history of delivering.
    What's wrong with the Neosd?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAZ_HOE! View Post
    What's wrong with the Neosd?
    Nothing. It's just not what I've grown to expect in a modern hardware. For that kind of money I'll make sure to buy the one I really want (if I don't ultimately intend to get both).

    In the 90s I was spoiled by RAM-based CD-ROM backup units for SNES and N64 and it's always felt like a huge step backwards to go back to flashing chips with limited write-cycles and long waits. It's why I sold my Super Everdrive and got an SD2SNES even though it was ~$200 and I only paid $1.43 for my ED. Granted, the DARKSOFT Neo Multi has some flash or EEPROM too but it operates much more like a RAM cart from the user perspective.

    I may eventually get both but there's no way I'm buying that one first when I already know it doesn't fit my expectations as closely as the other. I doubt the DARKSOFT Neo Multi will support running a Neo Diagnostics ROM diagnostics cart and it seems like the NeoSD might, but I'm not spending $400 on that when I can do it for $2 with a EPROM programmer. I'm cheap enough that I deliberately buy broken stuff to fix, remember? If I'm going to splurge on one of these, it's going to be the one I really want.
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  19. #19

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    Nice work! You know what you're doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    Nothing. It's just not what I've grown to expect in a modern hardware. For that kind of money I'll make sure to buy the one I really want (if I don't ultimately intend to get both).

    In the 90s I was spoiled by RAM-based CD-ROM backup units for SNES and N64 and it's always felt like a huge step backwards to go back to flashing chips with limited write-cycles and long waits. It's why I sold my Super Everdrive and got an SD2SNES even though it was ~$200 and I only paid $1.43 for my ED. Granted, the DARKSOFT Neo Multi has some flash or EEPROM too but it operates much more like a RAM cart from the user perspective.

    I may eventually get both but there's no way I'm buying that one first when I already know it doesn't fit my expectations as closely as the other. I doubt the DARKSOFT Neo Multi will support running a Neo Diagnostics ROM diagnostics cart and it seems like the NeoSD might, but I'm not spending $400 on that when I can do it for $2 with a EPROM programmer. I'm cheap enough that I deliberately buy broken stuff to fix, remember? If I'm going to splurge on one of these, it's going to be the one I really want.
    Too much nerd talk for me. I only care that it runs the original roms as it would the real cart. Limited Write Cycles, yes it's limited but isn't it like 30k. I could almost guarantee your not going to flash a game 30k times in the next 10-15 years, maybe more. Also, doesn't the DS multi have wait times as well. Last I heard, it has to flash every time on startup. Am I wrong?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Alec View Post
    Nice work! You know what you're doing.
    Thanks, but I'm really just stumbling through the amazing resources I'm finding in the Neo community. NeoGeoDev was instrumental!

    Quote Originally Posted by RAZ_HOE! View Post
    Too much nerd talk for me. I only care that it runs the original roms as it would the real cart. Limited Write Cycles, yes it's limited but isn't it like 30k. I could almost guarantee your not going to flash a game 30k times in the next 10-15 years, maybe more. Also, doesn't the DS multi have wait times as well. Last I heard, it has to flash every time on startup. Am I wrong?
    TL;DR:
    Your "only" concern is satisfied by both, but I have another. My technological preference was established long before I was aware of either product and happens to be the fundamental difference between the two.

    The full response, staying true to my sig (hey, you asked for it ):
    30k would be the mean (average) cycles before failure of an individual chip, which means it could happen sooner or later with any particular chip. Real-world use in a composite device with several chips will be limited by the shortest life of a critical chip, therefore, the composite device's MTBF is significantly lower (one failing early is almost guaranteed).

    I acknowledged that the Darksoft Neo Multi also uses flash (significantly less). Still, the smaller number of total flash devices improves chances of reaching the MTBF for the set as a whole. The bulk is handled with RAM which is why it loads so much faster. Write cycles are a secondary concern to indiscriminate load times for me anyway.

    That said, I am impressed by NeoSD's load times. Even so, my mind will be saying "this shouldn't be necessary!" the entire time I sit there waiting simply because I know the cost and capacities required and experienced it being done the right way decades ago. NeoSD and Super Everdrive feel like a step backwards for me because, in that way, they are. How lucky am I that there is another product that is so much closer to my expectations? I'd be silly not to go for that one.

    Preloading at boot has nothing to do with the underlying technology difference. Heck, it's a bonus feature that I'll probably disable if I can. Why should I wait for it to load games I'm not going to play before I turn the power off? I can see the utility for cabinet owners that leave it on but it should operate even more like SD2SNES for an AES or consolized MVS user.

    NeoSD vs Darksoft Neo Multi actually have a lot in common with Super Everdrive vs. SD2SNES. I'm very familiar with the fundamental differences between a Super Everdrive and an SD2SNES (no, I'm not talking about special chip support), and that's the same fundamental difference between these. That difference is greatly exacerbated when we handle huge NeoGeo ROMs the same way. If I wasn't satisfied with the Super Everdrive vs the SD2SNES and it boiled down to the very thing that differentiates NeoSD and Darksoft Neo Multi, then I will be even less satisfied with the NeoSD.

    Don't get me wrong... if the Darksoft Neo Multi weren't on the horizon and the NeoSD were the only option I would happily buy and use it. Even then, however, I would still feel that it is a step backwards even from obsolete RAM-based devices like Super Wildcard DX2 with CD-ROM or Bung Doctor V64. It would slightly annoy me just like it did with the Super Everdrive (there was literally NO reason to use flash/EEPROMs there!). Most people LOVE their Super Everdrives and are entirely OK with the wait times. I sometimes wish I weren't spoiled so long ago (ignorance is bliss?).
    -El Duderino (not into the whole "brevity" thing)

  22. #22
    Blame madman
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    This dude is certainly on the spectrum. Enjoy your darksoft multi!

    [wyo] 9:37 pm: i am fully aware FL sucks. it's a shitty low budget california

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