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Thread: Satiator By Prof. Abrasive

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    (formerly known as 5233) Master of Shinobi Jeckidy's Avatar
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    Does this cartridge have the same problem of the PCB being too thick so as to stretch out the connectors in the Saturn like Action Replay did? I might get one to play Saturn Grandia in english with the patch. I want to rip my copy of it from CD and patch it to play on the system through this device. I only do things legally for the most part. Also want to know if you can dump your bios for emulators through it.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeckidy View Post
    Does this cartridge have the same problem of the PCB being too thick so as to stretch out the connectors in the Saturn like Action Replay did? I might get one to play Saturn Grandia in english with the patch. I want to rip my copy of it from CD and patch it to play on the system through this device. I only do things legally for the most part. Also want to know if you can dump your bios for emulators through it.
    That's an urban legend that has been debunked repeatedly. ARs and pretty much all carts use the same thickness PCBs, and also it is an industry standard size. I think there's one card that is half a milli thicker but it's some obscure mega memory card with 80k blocks. And even then, the Saturn cart slot isn't killed by the slightly thicker card, the problem is just that the pins are so small that the connectors get contact problems if there's even minimal amounts of dirt on them.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Virtua Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossBow View Post
    It plugs in the back? Does the color really matter? I know I don't see the back of my consoles when they are up on the shelf connected up for use. Unless you are using a mirror back glass behind your consoles?
    that's true, still I prefer black
    Also I hope that you don't have to left the expansion port open to make it fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    That's an urban legend that has been debunked repeatedly. ARs and pretty much all carts use the same thickness PCBs, and also it is an industry standard size. I think there's one card that is half a milli thicker but it's some obscure mega memory card with 80k blocks. And even then, the Saturn cart slot isn't killed by the slightly thicker card, the problem is just that the pins are so small that the connectors get contact problems if there's even minimal amounts of dirt on them.
    I don't think it's an urban legend.
    In my experience the official Sega carts are recognized by the console as soon as they are inserted.

    The infamous CD+Plus (the one with the JP mega drive cart shell) that should have a thicker PCB "that could damage the slot", is recognized easily.

    While other carts that should have thinner PCB like Saturn CD Key or AR can tooks even 50 attempts before being recognized and sometime you just have to give up.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtua Hunter View Post
    I don't think it's an urban legend.
    In my experience the official Sega carts are recognized by the console as soon as they are inserted..
    No, it's not. The 8 MEG (Black) Memory Carts were terrible for not being recognized by the Saturn same for the early Pro Uni Adapter (also black) and could mess up your Saturn. I'm not sure if they were ever sold outside the UK mind
    That said I can't help but feel that SEGA used a cheap cart slot inside the Saturn and should and could have been a lot better
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtua Hunter View Post
    that's true, still I prefer black
    Also I hope that you don't have to left the expansion port open to make it fit.
    I haven't seen what it looks like inserted of course, but if the SD card sticking out is any indication, I'm going to guess, this will require leaving the rear cover off in order to use it as the SD card might stick out too far to allow the entire thing to be closed up. Also, it might make it difficult to remove the card from the Saturn if it is recessed in too far. Similar to how the blinking light win on the NES can make removal of NES carts kinda a pain.

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    I just measured my Saturn carts with a Vernier, the action replay, two backup memory carts, and two RAM Expansions all measured to 16mm. So no, the AR is not thicker. I still maintain that they just get dusty too easily, every time I have cart problems I can just clean the carts and they'll work. It's tiresome but it is what it is.

    I also had to clean up MPEG carts in the past to get them working. In every case, you could see visible dust marks in the middle of the pins of all the carts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    No, it's not. The 8 MEG (Black) Memory Carts were terrible for not being recognized by the Saturn same for the early Pro Uni Adapter (also black) and could mess up your Saturn. I'm not sure if they were ever sold outside the UK mind
    That said I can't help but feel that SEGA used a cheap cart slot inside the Saturn and should and could have been a lot better
    absolutely agree.
    By the way since I have to buy a new Action replay, do you know for your experience, if there is a good Action Replay or another adapter that doesn't have have this issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossBow View Post
    I haven't seen what it looks like inserted of course, but if the SD card sticking out is any indication, I'm going to guess, this will require leaving the rear cover off in order to use it as the SD card might stick out too far to allow the entire thing to be closed up. Also, it might make it difficult to remove the card from the Saturn if it is recessed in too far. Similar to how the blinking light win on the NES can make removal of NES carts kinda a pain.
    you're right, hope they hit the sweet spot so you can close the reare cover without making it a pain to remove when necessary.
    Leaving it open would be cheap for what is (seems) otherwise an elegant solution.
    We'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtua Hunter View Post
    absolutely agree.
    By the way since I have to buy a new Action replay, do you know for your experience, if there is a good Action Replay or another adapter that doesn't have have this issue?
    The standard Action Replay 4+1 cart is exactly as thick as the official backup/ram carts.

    The problem isn't the cart slot being cheaply made - it has too many pins, so each pin has to be thinner, and so minimum amount of dirt on the pins or the cartridge can cause contact issues. The be more reliable, the cartridge slot needs to be either wider, or have fewer pins. If they removed all the CPU accesses and left it as a data-only port, then the problem wouldn't have occurred, but they wanted to put all those pins there because of all the problems they had with expanding the Megadrive (the Megadrive lacked CPU interrupts or video input pins in the cart and ext connectors, resulting in the Mega CD and the 32x both requiring expensive and unreliable workarounds).

    The MPEG expansion slot has the same pin pitch as the cart slot, by the way, so don't expect there to be no issues with it once the Satiator comes out.

    edit: regarding the action replay, as well as some of the "mega memory" carts, they use an internal firmware either to compress saves, move saves, act as a region unlock cart, etc. However the firmware and the save data is on the same flash chip, so if there's a faulty write when copying a save file, there's a chance for the firmware to get corrupted (it gets partially overwritten making it unable to boot). So there's a chance that they can brick themselves no matter what, which can explain all those "cart is not working" issues. You can unbrick them with a firmware patcher luckily, but the savegames will be lost.
    Backup memory carts can sometimes go corrupted the same way too. I had to write a memory cart parser once to recover my lost saves, it wasn't fun. It's why I'm hoping that the Satiator can save stuff to the SD card, so I can back up my save games more easily.
    Last edited by zyrobs; 11-18-2019 at 06:57 PM.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtua Hunter View Post
    absolutely agree.
    By the way since I have to buy a new Action replay, do you know for your experience, if there is a good Action Replay or another adapter that doesn't have this issue?
    The latter white ones were a lot better. I still also still have the old back ones and can tell you from personal experience it's No Myth' the launch 8 Meg cart was horrible and that backline you can see on the Universal adaptor was where I had to mark the line where the cart should be sitting, for the Cart to work. But I got my Universal adaptor on the launch of Bug in the USA in 1995 and thankfully Datel improved the Carts later on

    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 11-19-2019 at 04:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    The standard Action Replay 4+1 cart is exactly as thick as the official backup/ram carts.

    The problem isn't the cart slot being cheaply made - it has too many pins, so each pin has to be thinner, and so minimum amount of dirt on the pins or the cartridge can cause contact issues. The be more reliable, the cartridge slot needs to be either wider, or have fewer pins. If they removed all the CPU accesses and left it as a data-only port, then the problem wouldn't have occurred, but they wanted to put all those pins there because of all the problems they had with expanding the Megadrive (the Megadrive lacked CPU interrupts or video input pins in the cart and ext connectors, resulting in the Mega CD and the 32x both requiring expensive and unreliable workarounds).

    The MPEG expansion slot has the same pin pitch as the cart slot, by the way, so don't expect there to be no issues with it once the Satiator comes out.

    edit: regarding the action replay, as well as some of the "mega memory" carts, they use an internal firmware either to compress saves, move saves, act as a region unlock cart, etc. However the firmware and the save data is on the same flash chip, so if there's a faulty write when copying a save file, there's a chance for the firmware to get corrupted (it gets partially overwritten making it unable to boot). So there's a chance that they can brick themselves no matter what, which can explain all those "cart is not working" issues. You can unbrick them with a firmware patcher luckily, but the savegames will be lost.
    Backup memory carts can sometimes go corrupted the same way too. I had to write a memory cart parser once to recover my lost saves, it wasn't fun. It's why I'm hoping that the Satiator can save stuff to the SD card, so I can back up my save games more easily.
    You made good points.
    What I don't understand is this, in my case I have the ST Key, that is a simple and very common import adapter (at least back in the day) with no other functions, so I don't think it has problem with firmware corruptions.

    ST Key always had problem being recognized since day one, sometime it could be worse with dirt, but even after lots of cleaning, it never worked fine.
    Then I have the infamous CD+Plus, another adapter only, notorious among the community to have a thinker PCB that could damage the slot pins.
    I don't know if it's true, but what I can say is this cart never need any cleaning, it work as soon as you insert it, but you can easlily feel that it's harder to insert in the slot than other carts...

    Maybe there are multiple causes, but I cannot exclude the PCB variable thickness.

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