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Thread: Pseudo Saturn Kai Cartridge

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    Default Pseudo Saturn Kai Cartridge

    I'm thinking about getting one of these:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...archweb201603_

    The idea of using CD-Rs to supplement my game collection appeals as I have a decent collection of originals that I'd like to continue using and an ODE like Phoebe would mean the end of that. Also the price for Phoebe and getting it installed on a console (I don't have the skills to do it myself) is insane. People are asking £450 on eBay for Phoebe modded consoles.

    I've had mixed results with items from Aliexpress. Some things have been great, others less so. Anyone had any experience with this cartridge or a Kai modded AR or Gameshark cartridge. Is it a viable solution for someone who wants to experience the vast riches of the Saturn library on a budget?

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    Master of Shinobi
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    I'd go for a modchip, more reliable. But if you don't have the skill to install a Rhea / Phoebe (which requires only the skill to use a screwdriver) then installing a modchip would be nuclear physics to you.
    Perhaps try to buy a pre-modchipped console instead? Less hassle with the crappy cart port that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    I'd go for a modchip, more reliable. But if you don't have the skill to install a Rhea / Phoebe (which requires only the skill to use a screwdriver) then installing a modchip would be nuclear physics to you.
    My understanding is the that Rhea is for the original model Saturn and can be fitted without soldering. The Phoebe is for the model 2 (which I have) and requires soldering to install.

    Thank you for the suggestion about a modchip modded console. I'll look into that.

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    I bough this one https://aliexpress.com/item/33006316...62614c4d6iJqZj . Which, for AE, is quite expensive. But I wanted a good quality card with Direct memorymanagement+1mb+4mb switch. Card works, so far, good and I use it with my MODE.
    Installation of the Phoebe/Mode isn't that difficult. I had more trouble with installing the modchip than installing the Rhea. Also using CD-R's will increase the wear on the laser of your Saturn.
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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Most Pseudo Saturn carts you get from China are pretty poor in quality. They all are just 4MB RAM cart variants. Even if they have a switch it usually doesn't do anything and you will still most likely have glitches and issues with 1MB games. They also are known to have quite a few compatibility issues. Some of them you can fix it by putting additional RF Shielding in the cart, others not so much.

    Honestly I'd just install a mod chip, it's stupid easy and doesn't require much soldering. If you get one with the power wire already soldered on, then you don't really need to solder if you really don't want to. You can just put it in the right socket for the power pin it needs in the power supply and the pressure from the pin will hold it in place and power it.

    As for CD-Rs wearing out your drive, I'm pretty sure that's just a myth and is more of an issue with early Dreamcast bootlegs where they would have issues due to data being moved around/compressed. On the Saturn that's not an issue because you're not trying to cram a GD-ROM onto a CD-R. If you use good quality CD-Rs and burn properly it shouldn't be an issue.

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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    I got mine from Etsy 3 months ago for $60. I donít currently see that seller on there. He was using an official Action Replay 4M plus cart.
    Last edited by gamevet; 01-16-2021 at 12:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by English Invader View Post
    My understanding is the that Rhea is for the original model Saturn and can be fitted without soldering. The Phoebe is for the model 2 (which I have) and requires soldering to install.

    Thank you for the suggestion about a modchip modded console. I'll look into that.
    Phoebe needs 1 jumper soldered and only if you get one that doesn't match one of the three types of model 2 boards that exist. Also some model 1s also require Phoebe, since the model difference was just a change in the plastic shell and nothing else.
    The guy selling them pre-solders it to the correct type though.

    There are also other ODEs, like that Terraonion one. I don't remember if that one needs soldering, but it seems to have better availability, better menu, and compatible with both 20pin and 21pin drives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    As for CD-Rs wearing out your drive, I'm pretty sure that's just a myth and is more of an issue with early Dreamcast bootlegs where they would have issues due to data being moved around/compressed. On the Saturn that's not an issue because you're not trying to cram a GD-ROM onto a CD-R. If you use good quality CD-Rs and burn properly it shouldn't be an issue.
    I think it's a myth that comes from the late 90s when CD burners only became available at consumer prices. You don't even need to "burn properly" nowadays since modern blank discs have chemical composition optimized for faster burning, and you don't need to do dumb shit like closing everything and burning at 1x to prevent buffer underrun problems. I've tried burning at anything from 4x to 52x and it made zero difference in my Saturns, they all worked. The only problem I had was Imgburn being a major pain in the arse, but with the version of Nero that I used for burning ever since the '04 or so, I never had any issues.

    There was also an issue with Playstations which destroyed their own drives. The PS1 had the drive rail plastic deformed by the PSU heat so you had to keep the console upside down so gravity could level out the CD tray. And PS2s had this fault with some modchips that the bios detected and applied more voltage to the pickup, eventually burning it out, but I don't remember the details on that.

    Either way, the Saturn has no bullshit like that, at most you'll need to calibrate the pickup (youtube has guides, you need a multimeter only), perhaps set the tray a tiny bit higher or lower (I'm not sure exactly how you measure this one beyond trying until you get the best result?).

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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    The only real issue I've had on Saturn is with newer cheap CD-Rs not working quite right for games that do a lot of CD access like Grandia. If I burn that game to a cheap verbatim I got at best buy it will skip, have audio drop outs, and tons of other issues. If I burn it to a professional grade CD-R it works fine with the same burner, software, and settings.

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    Personally I have one as well and not that happy with it. The memory function broke down a while ago and lost progress on some games because of that. Luckily I had just completely finished Shining the Holy Ark! But the fact only the region switch works now is pretty shitty because it is slightly more expensive than an Action Replay.

    Also not all games work with the region switch; Herc's Adventures and Three Dirty Dwarves US don't work.

    I have not tested CD burns.

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    I made one myself... Got a used Action Replay Plus from eBay (set me back 35Ä... It was a while ago though, dont know the current prices) and then flashed the free firmware and instructions from this Website into the cart using a swap-trick enabled Saturn console. Worked in the First try, and I am quite satisfied with the results. The only thing that vexes me a bit is the fact that a cart flashed with the Pseudo Saturn Kai Firmware that way can't be used for saves. But the cart itself is reliable and working quite well, the only issues I had we're due to bad CD-Rs, Not because of the cart.
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    I also made one myself with a $35 Action Replay cartridge. It took me a while to get the swap trick down (maybe an hour), but I found detailed online instructions, and it's been working for me for several years now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Honestly I'd just install a mod chip, it's stupid easy and doesn't require much soldering. If you get one with the power wire already soldered on, then you don't really need to solder if you really don't want to. You can just put it in the right socket for the power pin it needs in the power supply and the pressure from the pin will hold it in place and power it.

    As for CD-Rs wearing out your drive, I'm pretty sure that's just a myth and is more of an issue with early Dreamcast bootlegs where they would have issues due to data being moved around/compressed. On the Saturn that's not an issue because you're not trying to cram a GD-ROM onto a CD-R. If you use good quality CD-Rs and burn properly it shouldn't be an issue.
    I agree, personally with the newer Phantom chips there are almost no issues getting them installed compared to the old ones.
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