SNES PowerPak

Discussion of hardware and software development for Super NES and Super Famicom.

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Ramsis
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ramsis »

Thanks for elaborating, lidnariq and tepples, and especially for alerting me to the patenting issue. :!: Now we know why bunnyboy obviously never bothered to add auto-SRAM creation himself, despite all that FAT32 code that he'd already come up with. I wonder whether patent licensing only applies to commercial products incorporating FAT32, and whether unofficial, non-commercial software such as mine would be affected at all ...?
Markfrizb wrote:That would make the powerpak very awesome. My last contact with bunny boy -- I asked him about this and he said that he has someone working on it..... Would that be you or someone else?
It can't be me. The only ever reply I got from him dates from July 2012, when he said he'd put the firmware source code up on his server. Whatever I've done messing around with the PowerPak since then, I've been doing completely on my own and without bunnyboy ever showing evidence that he's even aware of it.

Anyway, here's a current WIP screenshot of the new SPC player:

Image

Took me quite some time to get it done properly, as I had to both expand the tilemaps for a text buffer backup and implement some more HDMA tricks so the vertical scrolling offset doesn't get messed up. As you might guess from the picture, pressing B will take you back to the filebrowser instantly. While I was at it, I added some HDMA color math to fill the player "window", and spent time drawing the frame, and joypad button sprites.

More to come! :)
Some of my projects:
Furry RPG!
Unofficial SNES PowerPak firmware
(See my GitHub profile for more)
lidnariq
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Location: Seattle

Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by lidnariq »

Ramsis wrote:I wonder whether patent licensing only applies to commercial products incorporating FAT32, and whether unofficial, non-commercial software such as mine would be affected at all ...?
Specifically in this case, Microsoft has insinuated that they have no interest in suing the direct vendors and users of linux (with its compatible VFAT layer), but only mostly-closed end-user devices such as GPS units and Android phones. An optimist would hope that this is because they're afraid of having the patent invalidated if they did sue the Linux Foundation; a cynic would say that Microsoft is more interested in extracting money than in keeping people from using the patented techniques.

An obvious workaround for the powerpak is to create the SRM from the shortname. The ugliness is even mostly hidden now that you have a separate SAVES directory.
Additionally, maybe store the longnames in a non-VFAT manner, such as in a separate file like the umsdos overlay filesystem. If you wanted to be really silly, you could store this database as a .bat file that would rename the shortnames to the longname when the CF card was back in a windows machine.

There isn't usually a 'commercial' vs 'not' criterion with patent law.
Ziggy587
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Location: NY, USA

Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ziggy587 »

@ Ramsis: I just wanted to say, THANKS!

The stock menus are pretty harsh, and can be a pain in the ass to read. Yours look fantastic. Thank you so much for your work!
bugger
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i forgot the SNES has a yellow B button...

Post by bugger »

Ramsis wrote:Anyway, here's a current WIP screenshot of the new SPC player:

Image
nice, i actually have around 30k SPC files copying to my CF card right now, and they're all rather cryptically named so this player will make it less of a nightmare to find certain songs
Pasky
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Pasky »

Is there a way to downgrade? I updated to 2.02 and now my CF card cannot be read. It worked fine with v2.00. I formatted the CF card using Fat32, tried again and it just gives garbage characters when trying to read the CF card. The actual boot menu is fine but cannot read the directories or files correctly. Verified its the powerpak by using another CF and get the exact issue, both used to work fine.

EDIT:

It just gave me 2 errors

Error $51 - CF Card status
Error $10 - CF Card error
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Ramsis
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ramsis »

Thanks, Ziggy587! :)
Pasky wrote:Is there a way to downgrade? I updated to 2.02 and now my CF card cannot be read. It worked fine with v2.00. I formatted the CF card using Fat32, tried again and it just gives garbage characters when trying to read the CF card. The actual boot menu is fine but cannot read the directories or files correctly. Verified its the powerpak by using another CF and get the exact issue, both used to work fine.
Weird. :| If it boots up fine, then that means it succeeds in reading files on the CF card (specifically, CONFIG.TXT, SI.MAP, and TOPLEVEL.BIT). Whatever the cause of your issue might be, I suspect that a firmware downgrade (if possible at all) likely won't fix it. Regardless, I got your PM and will send you a reply with instructions.
Some of my projects:
Furry RPG!
Unofficial SNES PowerPak firmware
(See my GitHub profile for more)
Pasky
Posts: 121
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Pasky »

Downgrading worked. Fixed the problem. upgraded back to 2.02 and all is fine now.
bugger
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:32 am

Alcahest is an action role-playing game with a top-down pers

Post by bugger »

i just realized that i can play the Alcahest fan translation on my PowerPak now thanks to the SIMBA firmware! (doesn't work on official firmware)

any updates on the next version? :mrgreen:
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Ratix
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ratix »

hows the work coming along for the mufasa update?
kp64
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by kp64 »

First of all thanks for your work.
I have been using it for months , and the firmware works perfectly and looks much better than the original one.

When I use the info option(Select button) on the init screen I get this:
Firmware v2.02 "SIMBA"
CF modules v2.02 "SIMBA"

DMA: on
DSP1: installed
CPU: 02
PPU1: 01
PPU2: 03

Video: 50hz
SDRAM: ERROR!

Reading bank: D5, read byte value: FF
Expected byte value: BF at offset $D5BC31
Trying again 4 times: 4D 4D 4D
CRITICAL HARDWARE ERROR! PLEASE CHECK LOG.TXT
According to SNES Memory Mapping by Duncanthrax of ShadowCraftIt,
that address correspond to the ROM in both Hi and Lo ROM modes:
LoROM:
C0-FC 0000-7FFF 32k ROM Chunk
HiROM:
C0-FE 0000-FFFF 64k ROM Chunk
So is something wrong with the SDRAM of my Powerpack or my SNES?
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Ramsis
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ramsis »

Hi!
Ratix wrote:hows the work coming along for the mufasa update?
It's almost ready for release, with the drawback that auto-creation of SRAM files isn't implemented. The FAT32 stuff required for that is just totally over my head, I'm afraid. :lol: Pity that in spite of my many inquiries, bunnyboy never bothered to put the FPGA sources up on his webspace, which might have simplified the task.
kp64 wrote:First of all thanks for your work.
I have been using it for months , and the firmware works perfectly and looks much better than the original one.
Thanks! :)
kp64 wrote:So is something wrong with the SDRAM of my Powerpack or my SNES?
The SDRAM test data is routed through the SNES, so you might want to check if there are any cart connector issues (e.g. dirt/dust). Next thing you should try is switch to another SNES console. If the issue still persists after that, I'd contact bunnyboy and ask for a hardware replacement. :|
Some of my projects:
Furry RPG!
Unofficial SNES PowerPak firmware
(See my GitHub profile for more)
kp64
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by kp64 »

The SDRAM test data is routed through the SNES, so you might want to check if there are any cart connector issues (e.g. dirt/dust). Next thing you should try is switch to another SNES console. If the issue still persists after that, I'd contact bunnyboy and ask for a hardware replacement. :|
Thank you very much for the fast reply.
I pluged in the console 5 minutes ago and the error is gone( yeah! :D )
As you said , maybe the error was caused by a bit of dirt/dust.
Ziggy587
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ziggy587 »

How do I create a Game Genie code file? I couldn't find this info anywhere, but maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

I put a .txt file on my CF card. I put "C28A-AD61" in the text file (I tried it with and without the hyphen). When I load the text file on the SNES PowerPak, it comes up "2861----" so obviously I'm doing something wrong. But from these results, I can't extrapolate the correct way to format the text file.
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Ramsis
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Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ramsis »

Hey, Ziggy587,

the GG code file format is briefly explained in the manual (printed page 9). I just tested your code on v2.99, where it loads just fine.

Please try this:

Code: Select all

C28AAD61 code description
Use notepad or a similar (non-unix style) text editor to save the file.

Good luck! :-)

Ramsis
Some of my projects:
Furry RPG!
Unofficial SNES PowerPak firmware
(See my GitHub profile for more)
Ziggy587
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: NY, USA

Re: SNES PowerPak

Post by Ziggy587 »

Thanks for the reply, Ramsis.

I still can't seem to get it to work. I'm using Notepad on Windows 7. I have your v2.02 "Simba" firmware installed (everything else works fine). I made a .txt file with simply "C28AAD61 code description" and nothing else. I left it on ANSI encoding. I still get "2861----" entered as a code. I tried switching the encoding to Unicode, Unicode big endian, and UTF-8 but got the same results with each one.


And by the way, thanks again for your awesome SNES PowerPak firmware! It makes using the PowerPak so much more enjoyable! :D
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