Debug for NeoCD

NeoTurfMasta

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Will this debug bios work in both CDZ and front/top loaders?

No idea. I can guess you'd at least loose the eject feature on the front loader. I can throw the bios in a front loader just to see what happens.
 

NeoTurfMasta

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CDZ ready for bios. I burned a regular CDZ bios to a 27c400 chip and it's pin for pin. I'll throw it in the front loader and see what happens.
 

smkdan

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need some sleep pretty bad so this will be short. Will answer PMs tomorrow and thanks alot to those that donated already. I have something to show for it,sort of.

2.PNG

http://smkdan.eludevisibility.org/ngcd/neocd.bin

If this could be tested on a CDZ or whatever is available that would be great. I'm actually expecting this to fail because I did not patch checksum code at all, if it exists here like it does on AES/MVS it will be a problem. It did not come up in emulation so I am blind to it at the moment. Will be fixed if it is encountered (exact wording of the error message will help in locating it). If it flat out does not work at all, specific info on what happens leading to crash will help. There are a bunch of things to iron out so I have a few ideas if it doesn't work.

debug DIP info is commonly lost after setting it, but activating developer mode seems to bring it back usually. In slug 2 it's just pressing start twice to bring up the huge developer menu. Region appears to work fine.
 

Murray

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Oh man this is cool. I hardly touch my NGCD at all but it would be really nice to be able to change the region without fooling with the switch on the back.

There's some money coming your way when I get paid tomorrow.
 

Xian Xi

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Donation sent. I strongly suggest anyone who plans to have this in their system make a donation.
 

NeoTurfMasta

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If this could be tested on a CDZ or whatever is available that would be great. I'm actually expecting this to fail because I did not patch checksum code at all, if it exists here like it does on AES/MVS it will be a problem. It did not come up in emulation so I am blind to it at the moment. Will be fixed if it is encountered (exact wording of the error message will help in locating it). If it flat out does not work at all, specific info on what happens leading to crash will help. There are a bunch of things to iron out so I have a few ideas if it doesn't work.

Just tried it and nothing happens. Screen stays black and no drive activity.
 

smkdan

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Alright, hoping you have some patience for this because I have a decent list of ideas of why that happens but it should be handled with one thing at a time. I fixed something that would've definitely ruined everything on the real machine, not sure if that's 100% of the problem but it's definitely part of it. It fixed a crash in emulator when accessing BIOS area so this might work.

http://smkdan.eludevisibility.org/ngcd/NEOCD.BIN

same URL, make sure modified dates are different.

Just making sure, this is the CD player you get on your system,right?

3.png


Also, wondering what would happen if this were run on a top loader..If the stock CDZ BIOS works on top loader, I don't see why this wouldn't.
 

NeoTurfMasta

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Just making sure, this is the CD player you get on your system,right?

3.png


Also, wondering what would happen if this were run on a top loader..If the stock CDZ BIOS works on top loader, I don't see why this wouldn't.


Yep thats the correct player screen for the CDZ and i have plenty of patience for your work. I wont be able to test the update till tomorrow (another 12 hours for me). But I'll give it a shot first thing in the morning. I dont have a Top Loader that I can swap the bios on, but I will definitely try it on the spare front loader I have tomorrow as well.

I also plan on populating the empty dram slots on the cdz just to see. Though I probably wont start that for a while. Anyone able to write something that would return the available memory on the system?
 

Xian Xi

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I gotta find my top loader so I can see what eprom I need to use.
 

NeoTurfMasta

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Updated bios loads the regular NeoCD boot screen and begins to load the game. Once the 'Now Loading' screen is finished system resets. For the hell of it, I threw the Front Loader bios on the CDZ. It actually booted up, read the disc as audio, but didnt load the game. Then I put the CDZ bios in the Front Loader and it booted, but didnt read the disc at all. I think this is from the FL not have a lid switch, so it may work on a regular Top Loader.
 

smkdan

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Razoola said:
Nice, good to see someone else having a go at such things. The beauty about the NeoGeo CD is the fact that one can patch the game code directly (as its in RAM) meaning far more accurate cheats with less side effects.

Soft patching files as they load is a neat bonus. All files get loaded by BIOS by all games so I can watch what file is being loaded and softpatch immediately after. Ofcourse I'll have the PAR style patches too for whatever will work fine with that.

Any chance you have a doc on the soft dip layout? If not, I'll just figure it out on some MVS game in MAME. I just want a simple menu that lets you adjust those settings and optionally save them to the NVRAM. I think developers wouldn't consider stripping soft dip out of the CD releases, wouldn't make any sense.

For extra RAM in empty sockets, a test program can attempt to write to areas that were previously empty and see what happens when trying to read it back. Not sure how the hardware is set up for taking extra RAM though.

Also, some more ROMs for you NTM, it might help if I uploaded sets at a time to test a few different things.
-neocdregular is the same thing as before but ironed out a bit with a few changes, if it still resets, try the below ones.
-neoregdump should display a few numbers on screen. If this doesn't work, I have to pick apart the boot process.
-neonocnt has disabled input, removes a few variables from the problem

If it still doesn't work, I have to write test ROMs to expose the fault. Eventually, it'll be found and I can get to actual features.

SNKorSWM said:
Donation sent. Good luck there.

thanks. Aslong as NeoTurfMasta wants to test ROMs I'll be willing to get this thing going.
 

NeoTurfMasta

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For extra RAM in empty sockets, a test program can attempt to write to areas that were previously empty and see what happens when trying to read it back. Not sure how the hardware is set up for taking extra RAM though.

Yesterday I fully populated my CDZ with the compatible ram. First I was having some graphical issues, but they went away after I found some loose pins. So whenever you want to try that too. I have enough ram to upgrade 7 more CDZs if this works out. There are 12 empty slots for these chips.

Also, some more ROMs for you NTM, it might help if I uploaded sets at a time to test a few different things.
-neocdregular is the same thing as before but ironed out a bit with a few changes, if it still resets, try the below ones.
-neoregdump should display a few numbers on screen. If this doesn't work, I have to pick apart the boot process.
-neonocnt has disabled input, removes a few variables from the problem

I'll see if I can get to these this weekend. thanks for your continued work!

thanks. Aslong as NeoTurfMasta wants to test ROMs I'll be willing to get this thing going.

I'm 100% on board! I will also have a special surprise for everyone in the next few days, I'll post it in the News Forum.
 

Kunio

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Someone made a tutorial in the past on how to convert MVS rom files to make them run on a NGCD systems. All data had to be loaded in one go, which meant that anything bigger than 56 Mbit needed to be left out.

If it's possible to populate the empty ram slots in a CDZ, wouldn't it be possible to create working CD convertions that go beyond the original 56 Mbit, putting the new limit at whatever we can achieve with more RAM?

Original releases will need a lot of rework to see any change, but it sure would be cool to load a full match in KOF 95-99 as opposed to taking a pee to kill time every time the annoying load screens that appear as soon as someone is knocked out.
 

SNKNostalgia

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Yesterday I fully populated my CDZ with the compatible ram. First I was having some graphical issues, but they went away after I found some loose pins. So whenever you want to try that too. I have enough ram to upgrade 7 more CDZs if this works out. There are 12 empty slots for these chips.

Wow, pretty damn cool. How much ram could the system hold with the extra 12 slots? Also, doesn't the CDZ have some sort of extra memory that helps with some of the short loads?
 

Razoola

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Any chance you have a doc on the soft dip layout? If not, I'll just figure it out on some MVS game in MAME. I just want a simple menu that lets you adjust those settings and optionally save them to the NVRAM. I think developers wouldn't consider stripping soft dip out of the CD releases, wouldn't make any sense.

I don't think the CD system has a backupRAM type system like the MVS, I could be wrong though because its ages since I looked at it. I can't remember the softDIP layout off the top of my head but its very basic from what I remember, the routines are probably already in the bios also. You need to get region changing working first though on real hardware.
 

Xian Xi

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From what I remember the Neo CD toploader has a backup ram section on the main board.

Edit: Here's an old pic I took:

ngcdbu.jpg
 
Last edited:

NeoTurfMasta

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From what I remember the Neo CD toploader has a backup ram section on the main board.

Edit: Here's an old pic I took:

I always thought that was for game saves.

Tonight I'll be testing the new files and give a status report. Does anyone have the Front Loader bios? I don't know if I have seen it posted anywhere. I can post if anyone wants it.
 
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It is for game saves and I think it is rigged like the memcard since you even use the same bios manager like in the home system.
 

smkdan

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The backup RAM is treated as 64kbit 8bit memory card. It appears to have identical interface to cart systems, it even checks to see if the 'card' is inserted before doing any work with it. All the notes I have on the cart memcard will work fine here. I can save anything I want there, I just give it a fake/nonexistant NGH identifier so other games don't touch it.

Kunio said:
If it's possible to populate the empty ram slots in a CDZ, wouldn't it be possible to create working CD convertions that go beyond the original 56 Mbit, putting the new limit at whatever we can achieve with more RAM?

Yes but it needs to be known what types of memory those RAMs populated. What is the size of each chip you installed NTM? Just curious how many megabits your CDZ has now.

I sort of see how it moves memory around different RAM types. 68000 sees a 1MB bank of any bank of any region at a time and can freely read/write to it. Tests for that come after the new BIOS works on real CDZ properly.

Also, doesn't the CDZ have some sort of extra memory that helps with some of the short loads?

Finding this out as I wait for ROM test results. I already have some of the file loading function picked apart.

Also, are there any clean hi-res overhead shots of the main PCBs for these? Front/top loader would be nice in particular since I am assuming that the oldest model would be the least consolidated/easiest to identify individual components. Anything would be cool though.

and thanks alot systmdfect
 
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