Neo Geo X Adapter

jslime

Bashful Neophyte
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Posts
12
BloodShed, great topic. Definetly put me down for one if you go through with it!

I wanted to ask another question, is there a limit to how many roms will fit on a microSD (other than storage size of card)?

I ask because after perusing the code it appeared that there is a programatic limit of 5 roms per card.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Posts
12
Bloodshed, what adapter did you modify? I'm looking to try and make my own (I realise you say it was an absolute ballache, but I fancy my chances)
 

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Posts
51
Hey guys, just a quick update to reassure everyone that I'll keep you posted. My new solder station arrives Monday (an X-Tronic 9020-XTS). I'm still not sure exactly when the adapters will arrive. The rest of my order has shown up. I got a new Fluke 115 multimeter for testing the quality of my work, a PanaVise PCB vise, some proper plastic glue, and better quality flux. I already own everything else I need. Pretty overkill for this but I've been meaning to make these purchases for a long while.

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?
Right. The SD slot on the NGX features swapped data pins (thanks go to ack and NeoTurfMasta for figuring it out). Because of this, it will not read normal SD cards.

With an adapter, in an unmodded unit, you could add your own game ROMs to a microSD. In a modded unit, you could put anything on you want on it (including media files).

If so, do you think this will hinder any possible support the X *may* have planned for it down the road?
Okay. Valid point. That certainly makes me re-think my position.

The truth is, I obviously don't know. Personally, I think sales will make a far bigger impact on potential support than the possibility of piracy. Especially since the people that are unwilling to buy games have already decided not to purchase a NGX because they can already pirate every Neo Geo game.

I'm going to continue with making some by hand, but we shouldn't try to do mass production. Maybe reconsider that idea if the system is officially abandoned.

Could a conductive ink pen make the job easier?
Well, there's two problems. The pins aren't etched on PCB; they're free floating pins so there's nothing to draw on. The second problem is that the pins have to be rewired three dimensionally because there's no way to route them without at least two cross overs.

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.
Well, I'm not some overly sensitive guy that takes this personally. I just didn't want to hear empty speculation without some real numbers to consider. This is the type of information I was looking for.

Truth is, a few days ago, I tried speaking to the seller in China that I purchased the adapters from. He said he could help. Originally, he thought I wanted custom logos. He dropped interest when I clarified what I wanted. Haha.

Bloodshed, what adapter did you modify? I'm looking to try and make my own (I realise you say it was an absolute ballache, but I fancy my chances)
It was a SanDisk microSD to SD adapter. Any adapter will do though. I do some good work (adapter is a bad example) but I'm hardly the best at soldering. So, if you have experience with surface mount soldering, you can definately do it. It's just surprisingly more painful than I expected.
 
Last edited:

daranus

Banned
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Posts
34
I'm in for One as well, will try it on my own today but Most likely won't succeed :D
Thx!
 

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Posts
51
Would any of these items help in making an adapter?
All good thoughts. You could definitely do something with the ribbon cable in your first link. You'll just have something hanging out of your console. I prefer something flush and there's not enough room to cram that into an SD adapter.

That SD to microSD is interesting! I never thought of looking for something like that.

The sockets probably aren't too helpful for an integrated adaptor only because an SD card is too thin. Inside the adapter shell you have pretty much exactly the same height of a microSD. They would definately be helpful for anyone with a 370 that wants to replace the integrated Samsung flash memory with a removable microSD.


However, I'd been thinking about something else for awhile now. I've been considering modifying the NGX shell to include a microSD card slot. Then, I could wire up the internal system storage to a removable external slot. The first product you linked would be perfect for that. I'm just hesitant to cut up my system. I was thinking of creating a mold from my current shell (specifically, the gray edge) and making a modified version to replace the original part for a clean look without damaging anything.
 
Last edited:

smccd

Pari-Dakar Rally Driver
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Posts
60
With the risk of sounding like a Negative Nancy, wouldn't it be easier to use an existing emulation-based handheld such as the Dingoo, given that NGX is already emulation-based?

This is unlike an MVS-AES adapter, which I can see as being quite attractive since it retains the "original hardware" aspect, which is fundamentally missing from NGX.

Having said this, I do like my NGX.
 

SetaSouji??

There Can be Only One
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Posts
4,158
I wouldn't mind one either. My solder skills are okay, but once you get into superfine work like THAT and considering I can have shaky attacks... I'd rather just let someone else do it.
 

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Posts
51
wouldn't it be easier to use an existing emulation-based handheld such as the Dingoo, given that NGX is already emulation-based?
For starters, the hardware is superior.

Dingoo A320 = Ingenic JZ4732 @ 336MHz, 32MB RAM, 2.8" @ 320x240
Dingoo A330 = Ingenic JZ4740 @ 400MHz, 32MB RAM, 2.8" @ 320x240
Dingoo A380 = Ingenic JZ4755 @ 500MHz, 64MB RAM, 3.2" @ 400x240
Neo Geo X = Ingenic JZ4770 @ 1GHz, 128MB RAM, 4.3" @ 480x272

If the GCW-Zero ever starts shipping retail, that should actually be competitive.
 

Sushimaster

New Challenger
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Posts
24
I'd like to open up a new thread but I can't, so I have to post it here:

A friend of mine is willing to produce a small batch (10-20pcs) of modded sd card adapters (so usual microSD cards can be inserted). Modded means the 4 swapped pins as mentioned here.

Is anyone interested in getting one? There is no final price yet ( I guess somewhat between 15-20 Euro incl. shipping and paypal fee ) and there will be no guarantee. I'm just curious if someone is interested. If not, he'll make just 2-3 units for me.

@mod: It's just the adapter, no roms/bios or anything else!
 

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Posts
51
A friend of mine is willing to produce a small batch (10-20pcs) of modded sd card adapters
I wish you'd have posted sooner! I mentioned earlier in this thread that I bought a bunch of new equipment to make some quality adapters (~$500). I'm just waiting on my lot of microSD adapters to arrive.

Oh well. If your friend has everything on hand already, then it'll be faster. My lot is scheduled for delivery sometime between the 11th to the 22nd.
 

Sushimaster

New Challenger
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Posts
24
Well, I just asked him to do me a favor (because he has to :)), and he's very experienced with such "hardware hacks" - as long as it's possible (you know, if the pcb's are too tiny it's not possible).

And it's just a hand made solution, just to have a quick solution to test out issues without hard-modding the ngx.

I bet you'll be able to produce more reliable and much cheaper units when you're receiving your equipment! =)
 

Sushimaster

New Challenger
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Posts
24
I'd be interested in whomever gets one up and running.

I'd suggest that US residents should wait for BloodShed's version, because he lives in USA! It'll take too much time to ship from EU to US. In fact, you must wait at least 3 weeks before you get ANYTHING (either from me or BS)...
 

Sushimaster

New Challenger
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Posts
24
Ok, we're running into a problem! We need sd card (adapters) which can be opened easily (not all are able to open that easy :/ ) AND it must have a small pcb instead of plastic covered pins.

I opened up a SanDisk adapter, look here:



As you can see, it's impossible to apply the pin-switch hack, because there is no pcb which can be altered!!

If anyone knows such sd cards with pcb, please report!!!
 

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Posts
51
it must have a small pcb instead of plastic covered pins.
All microSD to SD card adapters are designed this way. They use free-floating pins held in place by resin. None of them use a PCB; it would be an unnecessary increase in production cost.

You have to clear away some of the center of the resin (without destroying the integrity holding the pins in place). Then you must cut the pins and solder 30 gauge wire to reroute the connection. The real challenge is to also allow it fit back in the shell.

I have a couple more tips on my previous post. Perhaps that will help.
 

BloodShed

Neo Bubble Buster
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Posts
51
It looks different to that one I opened (pic above)
That's the same design. The resin was completely shaved off the bottom. It's not a PCB.


EDIT: By the way, I don't want to discourage. I certainly can't guarantee that there's never been such a thing as a microSD adapter with an internal PCB. I just don't think it's very likely because an etched PCB will certainly cost more than pressing some pins. I've taken apart quite a few adapters (and not just for this but for another project a long time ago); different manufacturing years, different brands. I've never seen it done any other way.

The important point is that it can be done with the card you have. You might as well give it a try since you've already opened it up.
 
Last edited:

Demitri1983

Tarma's Gun Polisher
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Posts
109
Bloodshed, once you get a working first batch let us know. I am interested. I have tried to make my own but have failed.
 

blakeb811

Banned
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Posts
7
I also would be interested in an adapter, Bloodshed. Let me know if u have 1 that isn't reserved and I'll def buy it
 

Jelkor

Twinkle Star Sprite
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Posts
32
I am also interested in purchasing an adapter, if/when they become available.

Thanks
 

Lee Gray

SSVS Special Plz..., Buying & Selling that, Never
Joined
Sep 21, 2001
Posts
7,499
So if this adapter becomes available, is there also a way to put all the games on sd cards too via it and ship it out as I know fuck all about this kind of thing.
 
Top