Old News

Note: no guarantee is given that any of the URLs on this page will still function. Oh, and some clarification - the "big event" I mention somewhere here was Retro Ball 2005.

30/10/2007: Some more XHTML bollocks going on, just messing around with the other pages so they're compliant as well (all just for fun really).

23/10/2007: Messing about a bit with stylesheets and suchlike... and no, not every page is XHTML 1.0 compliant, only the front page. Not enough time to do stuff like that these days, got a lot more important stuff to do.

28/05/2007: Added the Pentium 3 Fan Mod guide to this site. Also, I'm in the progress of actually making my pages HTML 4.01 compliant - most of them aren't, including this front page, despite the button (whoops!).

11/05/2007: Pretty dead around here these days - I got fed up with trying to get either of the dumpers I'd built finished off, and of course with the Acorn broken there's nothing more there. I've also quit doing anything related to dumping Dreamcast games via CD/DVD-ROM drives - frankly, two years and a bit of messing around with that was quite enough for me, and I'm tired of it now.

I know some of you readers have e-mailed me some interesting updates relating to this, so if I did promise to add anything and didn't, well, I'm sorry, but it will probably remain in my inbox for a bit longer, probably until the summer - and even that's pretty optimistic. Anyway, in the meantime, I'll be trying to get this site up-to-date where needed as I can no longer access Hacking CulT's FTP backend (might speak to someone about that, but I'm not really bothered at the moment).

20/07/2006: Too long without an update, but anyway, a few things have been going on in that time: notably, I've finished off the Master System ROM dumper, and corrected some awful solder joints on the Mega Drive dumper, however I need to replace the 4512B multiplexer ICs, and the 4040 timer ICs on the MS dumper. Unfortunately, I recently killed my Acorn A7000+ in an incredibly bold-but-stupid attempt to solder in a second oscillator socket from the top of the board. Oh dear. I'd be more upset about its loss, but frankly I hardly did anything with it anyway except mess around with the games =P

16/05/2006: Well, I finally got the two 4512B multiplexer ICs, then managed to mess it all up by powering up the dumper with two short-circuits present on the board - both of which were in line with one of them. Argh. I fixed those and also some dry solder joints but all I've got so far is corrupted dumps full of ~ and . symbols. As I now need to check what other ICs are still working, I have devloped a contingency plan. To test the 4040 ICs for damage, I am building a Master System ROM dumper working from the "SMSReader" plans written by Mike Gordon. It's hardly the best solution, but £8 for parts to build this is probably a lot cheaper than some specialist IC testing equipment. More soon...

06/02/2006: Quick update - I now have two HEF4040BP timer ICs for my ROM dumper. Not much point in a new photo really, but maybe when I have the 4512B multiplexers as well, I'll take another photo just for the sake of completeness. Also, those photos of my modded Mega Drive 1 are quite out of date now, as I've since re-done it with superior-quality Kynar wire that I pulled from an old round ATA100 IDE cable. The overclocking problem still exists though, and after testing it with another television and encountering the same problem as with the usual TV I use it on, I think it may be a problem with either my RGB SCART cable, or possibly the power supply. Oh well. I now have probably-never-to-be-used-ever pause switches for the 68K and Z80 CPUs (well, would be useful in Mortal Kombat 2, which doesn't allow pausing during a fight =P) alongside the usual two for region & frequency alteration.

02/12/2005: Well, the ROM dumper is now - and I hate to keep saying it - almost finished, but for REAL this time. Everything is now literally done, save for "the usual" (waiting for those ICs =P), but now I've wrapped it all up by putting it in... a mince pie box! Produced using quality adhesive products such as Sellotape® and White Stick n' Fix™, it is now truly a sight to behold - or something like that anyway. One other thing I probably should do, though, is to just get a dirt-cheap MD cartridge from somewhere (like this big event I've hastily decided to go to), and see if it'll fit, and to make sure all the springy pins in the edge connector are in good condition.

30/11/2005: Added another picture of the previously mentioned work-in-progress MD ROM dumper to the usual folder - pretty much all of it is done now! However, I still have to cut several more breaks in the copper tracks where the cartridge slot is - and, as you probably noticed, there's nothing in any of the sockets. The reason for this is because Craplin have completely stopped selling two of them (the two 4512B multiplexers) and never have any of the other two in stock (the two 4040 counters). So, I'm having to wait for a friend of mine to order them in, which is going to take a bit longer... grr.

UPDATE: Well, it's now pretty much finished, apart from the 4 ICs I mentioned in the earlier update. Photos have now been re-sorted into a new folder for easier access here.

29/11/2005: Added a small mod to the Images folder - this one is simply designed to make use of front-panel audio jacks commonly found on modern PC cases, but without using the special FP_AUDIO connector to the motherboard (only works with onboard audio), and instead tapping into the relevant audio jacks on a seperate sound card. This isn't very good at the moment, because the quality of the extension is poor (no copper or foil insulation around the soldered wires, so you get some background noise). I might improve on it in the future, though.

25/11/2005: Check out the Images folder on this site - I've uploaded some pictures of the Mega Drive ROM dumper I'm building, based on Cyan Helkaraxe's plans. Of course, it's not finished yet - I'm currently waiting for someone to order the two 4040 ICs and the two 4512B ICs, and I need to get the edge connector from back home - but it should be completed "soon". =P

Boring Copyright Stuff

Unless otherwise stated, all of this information was written by Rob Watts (aka RobbyW / STC-Fan) ©2004-2024 or adapted from sources who have helpfully contributed information to this document. You may not use any information from this website without written permission.