Neo Geo X Adapter

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
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Dec 26, 2012
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I was wondering if anyone had contacts with a facility (or access to equipment) that could manufacture microSD to SD card adapters. Especially anyone that might have contacts directly with a manufacturer in China that already does it.

I'd like to see if we can get some adapters designed with the data pins swapped for use in the Neo Geo X. Obviously sales would be pretty low. Still, I imagine that there would still be a profit at charging say... $10 for an adapter? Sold exclusively through neo-geo.com perhaps??

I imagine we'd need:
  • A 3D printer or mold for the shell.
  • A unique design for the metal pins.
  • The pins could be cutout (pressed?) from a thin sheet of aluminum but they would need to be bent so they can cross over (three dimensionally).
  • We'd also need another mold for the resin that holds all the pins in place.
  • Last, assembly.

If it helps, I'd be willing to put together a design in Sketchup. Usually those machines use a custom format though.

Does anyone else have interest in buying such an adapter?
 

cabear

Twinkle Star Sprite
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i would think the demand isn't there yet for the adapter, let alone an adapter that is so specific. best bet would be to pay someone else to do it for you. there isn't going to be a simple way to mod the ngx.
 

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
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i would think the demand isn't there yet for the adapter, let alone an adapter that is so specific.
Perhaps. That's why I'm asking about that too.

First, I'm curious to learn how much manufacturing would cost. Until then, we can only speculate how many sales, at what price, would be needed. Once we know the numbers, we can better determine if it's worth pursuing. I think it might also make for a nice exclusive product for the site.

best bet would be to pay someone else to do it for you.
I already made one. But, trust me, it's far more painful than it seems. Frankly, it's hardly quality work. Plus, even with 30 gauge wire, it's extremely tight. Solid cut aluminum traces would be far more reliable and fit better.

there isn't going to be a simple way to mod the ngx.
Well, I totally disagree about that. The unit seems to be the easiest to mod that I have ever seen (apart from an open system like Pandora, GamePark, or Dingoo). They're using an open system (Dingux), most units have removable internal memory, the board is well marked, and the "security" on the game cards consists only of pin swapping.

Could this help?
Unfortunately, I don't think so. Printed circuit boards would be a pretty different manufacturing process. Preferably, if we can get with a manufacture that already produces microSD adapters, they already manufacture the shells and have other materials readily available. The only difference would be the shape of metal pins. So, manufacturing should be cheaper.
 
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cabear

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OK I saw your adapter earlier and agree its a hard task. Good job on it. The adapter is doable though and one needs to weigh cost of thin wire, work and soldering equipment over waiting for a Chinese company to produce it. Not saying it couldn't be done though but having had experience in mass production it ain't cheap and you'll need to make a lot of them. Think of a group buy, you'll need a lot to commit. I'm sure someone will come up with a way to write to the internal SD card without modding, just gotta wait.

Now that you have the adapter did you mod your ngx?

I also meant the NGx won't be easy in the sense that the hardware workarounds needed for all firmwares will be plug n play and ready to go, my bad. The systems too new and many are just leaning the ins n outs of the ngx, esp if tommo is already trying to curb hacking thru later releases. Probably should have explained myself better.

"I am unsure if its safe to write any existing firmware to the 370. The jz4770 supports both SD and NAND as the internal storage and I am unclear which one that chip maps to. I am pretty sure the SD and NAND boot loaders aren't the same". -ack

Something else to consider for we 370 guys. Maybe there's a better way. Someone will do it I'm sure. If I could donate cash to the cause I would haha
 
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shadowkn55

Genbu's Turtle Keeper
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I can tell you that from experience, you're looking at least 5-figures if you go with an American company. You can go lower with a foreign company but I can instantly guarantee you'll be ripped off if they see the potential to make a profit in the secondary market.
 

BloodShed

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Well, I was specifically thinking about a Chinese facility that already manufactures microSD card adapters. All the adapters are made over there. If we can reuse 90% of an existing product line, it should be far cheaper. I was wanting to know how much it might cost to produce say... 100-200 units. Assuming we could get a minimum order that low, it would have to be less than $20 each. 5-figures; definately not. Since it's a small modification of an existing product, I'm sure the typical minimum order quantity could be negotiated. But, I have no idea.

Anyway, I actually went ahead and ordered 20 units of microSD adapters with cases. I ordered a new soldering station and some other equipment (which I've been meaning to do). So, I'll see about making a few units of better quality if anyone wants to buy them. My solder station arrives next week but the adapters ship from China and could be delivered as late as the 22nd. I'll post a new thread after I try assembling a few.

I'm sure someone will come up with a way to write to the internal SD card without modding, just gotta wait.
I should clarify: the purpose of the adapter is to add additional games using the external SD "game card" slot. It has nothing to do with the internal microSD. So, the adapter would work for every vanilla model and would not require opening it up. It's basically so you can make your own "Ninja Master's"-like game card.

The nice part is, the internal data isn't actually scrambled. For 337 models, you can pop the microSD into any system that reads ext3. I had created a dd image (with all ROMs removed) of the internal storage. If anyone wants a copy to study, you can send me a PM.
 

NeoGeoNinja

Athena's Wardrobe Manager
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So, not to misinterperate this thread, are you basically trying to make SD cards for the that can have AES/MVS ROMS read from them via the X?

If so, do you think this will hinder any possible support the X *may* have planned for it down the road? Especially if the companies involved catch wind of this?

Of course, I could never confirm that any further support/titles will definitely exist, but *if* there were any plans, this behaviour certainly wouldn't help in the short-term. After all, there are PLENTY of hand-held units prior to the X that already allowed this freely anyway, so you'd think such preventions had been put in place for a reason...
 

Superdanx

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Nov 2, 2009
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109
Well, I was specifically thinking about a Chinese facility that already manufactures microSD card adapters. All the adapters are made over there. If we can reuse 90% of an existing product line, it should be far cheaper. I was wanting to know how much it might cost to produce say... 100-200 units. Assuming we could get a minimum order that low, it would have to be less than $20 each. 5-figures; definately not. Since it's a small modification of an existing product, I'm sure the typical minimum order quantity could be negotiated. But, I have no idea.

Anyway, I actually went ahead and ordered 20 units of microSD adapters with cases. I ordered a new soldering station and some other equipment (which I've been meaning to do). So, I'll see about making a few units of better quality if anyone wants to buy them. My solder station arrives next week but the adapters ship from China and could be delivered as late as the 22nd. I'll post a new thread after I try assembling a few.


I should clarify: the purpose of the adapter is to add additional games using the external SD "game card" slot. It has nothing to do with the internal microSD. So, the adapter would work for every vanilla model and would not require opening it up. It's basically so you can make your own "Ninja Master's"-like game card.
L
The nice part is, the internal data isn't actually scrambled. For 337 models, you can pop the microSD into any system that reads ext3. I had created a dd image (with all ROMs removed) of the internal storage. If anyone wants a copy to study, you can send me a PM.

I'd be interested in an adaptor depending on the price etc. They just slot in the external sd card slot, you load up the micro sd card with your own roms and that's it?? Right?
 
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Jonmkl

Rasputin's Rose Gardener
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So, not to misinterperate this thread, are you basically trying to make SD cards for the that can have AES/MVS ROMS read from them via the X?

If so, do you think this will hinder any possible support the X *may* have planned for it down the road? Especially if the companies involved catch wind of this?

Of course, I could never confirm that any further support/titles will definitely exist, but *if* there were any plans, this behaviour certainly wouldn't help in the short-term. After all, there are PLENTY of hand-held units prior to the X that already allowed this freely anyway, so you'd think such preventions had been put in place for a reason...

I for one can say that I very much want one of these, and I still plan on purchasing literally every game card they release for the X just to support it. I really dig this little thing. I'm just impatient lol.

And not quite Superdanx, you have to convert the roms into a different file type that contains an imbedded neo geo bios file. It's all in the hacking thread.
 
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Lee Gray

SSVS Special Plz..., Buying & Selling that, Never
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7,499
What exactly would the adapter be capable off ?
 

shadowkn55

Genbu's Turtle Keeper
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Well, I was specifically thinking about a Chinese facility that already manufactures microSD card adapters. All the adapters are made over there. If we can reuse 90% of an existing product line, it should be far cheaper. I was wanting to know how much it might cost to produce say... 100-200 units. Assuming we could get a minimum order that low, it would have to be less than $20 each. 5-figures; definately not. Since it's a small modification of an existing product, I'm sure the typical minimum order quantity could be negotiated. But, I have no idea.

Also from experience, Chinese factories won't even answer your emails for 100-200 units of a custom job. Bump up your minimum to 25,000 and maybe, just maybe they'll consider it. I'm not trying to be mean or discourage you but these are the facts. These are factories that are accustomed to repetitive mechanical nature and getting them to make something outside of the norm requires either lots of cash or very high volume.

The concept sounds like a minimal change to an existing product but A lot more goes into it than you think to just swap a few pins around. A new die stamper will need to be cut from metal to create the metal pins. You'll probably also need a new mold for the sd card housing to account for changes in the internal support features to keep the pins in place. That's basically everything at that point.
 
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cabear

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Also from experience, Chinese factories won't even answer your emails for 100-200 units of a custom job. Bump up your minimum to 25,000 and maybe, just maybe they'll consider it. I'm not trying to be mean or discourage you but these are the facts. These are factories that are accustomed to repetitive mechanical nature and getting them to make something outside of the norm requires either lots of cash or very high volume.

The concept sounds like a minimal change to an existing product but A lot more goes into it than you think to just swap a few pins around. A new die stamper will need to be cut from metal to create the metal pins. You'll probably also need a new mold for the sd card housing to account for changes in the internal support features to keep the pins in place. That's basically everything at that point.

you said it better than i ever could, getting a small adapter mass produced for a system that may not even last that long makes no sense for the production company. say you order 5000 adapters, are there even enough ngx owners to recoup the cost? what if someone hacks it later so you dont need the adapter at all? it's not like you can re purpose the adapters for other systems.
 

marvelus10

Neo Bubble Buster
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Someone had mentioned one of these in the mod/hack thread, http://szkuncan.en.alibaba.com/product/598769870-209446118/GPS_SD_card_extension_cable_.html modding one of these would be as easy as desoldering the cable to make the necessary pin changes.

Upon further thought, you could take 2 micro SD card adapters and a length of ribbon cable and solder to the pins accordingly. No need to cut traces and cost would be less than $2. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Micro-SD-or-SDHC-TF-Card-to-SD-adapter-Lot-of-10-/160877970412?pt=PDA_Accessories&hash=item25751303ec
 
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Jonmkl

Rasputin's Rose Gardener
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I do have to say that I think making these by hand would be the only real option available, especially if Tommo goes and makes the next revision of the console with added security or a set up that makes this workaround less viable, which they're liable to do if something like this starts getting mass produced.
 

torchredfrc

New Challenger
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Dec 29, 2012
Posts
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I had considered breaking out some pcb layout software and seeing if I couldn't reproduce one of these:

http://www.hwtools.net/ExtenderBoard/XCEX.html

I'm thinking more like a riser pcb, we use these for testing cca's at work and they are just straight through to the contacts except in this case they could be used to swap the pins necessary for the SD cards. I know there are pcb companies that do prints fairly inexpensively and the card slot / components could probably fairly easily be installed by hand. If we're talking low volume I think it's something I could possibly work up.
 

StealthLurker

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I had considered breaking out some pcb layout software and seeing if I couldn't reproduce one of these:

http://www.hwtools.net/ExtenderBoard/XCEX.html

I'm thinking more like a riser pcb, we use these for testing cca's at work and they are just straight through to the contacts except in this case they could be used to swap the pins necessary for the SD cards. I know there are pcb companies that do prints fairly inexpensively and the card slot / components could probably fairly easily be installed by hand. If we're talking low volume I think it's something I could possibly work up.

You don't think it would be easier with this ribbon cable that posted above?

http://szkuncan.en.alibaba.com/productshowimg/598769870-209446118/GPS_SD_card_extension_cable_.html

.
 

torchredfrc

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You don't think it would be easier with this ribbon cable that posted above?

http://szkuncan.en.alibaba.com/productshowimg/598769870-209446118/GPS_SD_card_extension_cable_.html

.


Honestly, I thought a PCB extender may be easier so it could be easily reconfigured with jumpers:

extender_schematic_zps15511d03.png


The net names on the right of the schematic are not correct right now, they shouldn't match the input side of the jumpers (indicates they are the same net which they would not be). This was a quick and dirty to put my thoughts down before I hit the sack.

I'm trying to find some free software to do a layout then I could send it out for a quote but one of the few sites I found was ~$50 for 3 boards. That was just a quick search but component wise the SD receiver is ~$2 from digikey, 8 jumper pins w/ 4 jumpers, and everything else is just traces on the PCB with exposed traces for the edge connector.

Seems like this would be a fairly easy and inexpensive route to go.
 
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FA-MAS

Kula's Candy
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I'll offer to use my 3D Printer to help design a prototype casing if needed. <-- design, not mass produce.
 
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slerch666

updyke,
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Anyway, I actually went ahead and ordered 20 units of microSD adapters with cases. I ordered a new soldering station and some other equipment (which I've been meaning to do). So, I'll see about making a few units of better quality if anyone wants to buy them. My solder station arrives next week but the adapters ship from China and could be delivered as late as the 22nd. I'll post a new thread after I try assembling a few.

If you find success, I'd be interested
 
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