Page 1 of 2

New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 7th, 2019, 2:16 am
by Logan Jones
Hello! My name is Logan Jones and I'm excited to be joining this wonderful forum. However, I joined this forum because I have a situation I'm trying to resolve. (I tried to ask questions with other members on the irc chat, but my situation is rather specific.)

My first question is:

1) As an alternative to a modchip, which software for flashing to an expansion ROM cart has better compatibility for playing burned CDRs? UNIROM V6 or the No$psx Kernel Clone?

If the answer is No$, then I've some more questions:

I've an Xploder FX arriving in the mail from Germany soon; I read that no$ won't work on a smaller 128kb eeprom like what's on a cheaper cart, that's why I bought the biggest one I could find, the XFX. However, I also read that since the XFX is always 512kb, (whether double banked 256kb or one 512kb eeprom) and that the 256kb no$ expansion ROM must be "cloned" to double the size in a hex editor to work on an 512kb XFX, this leads me to a few more questions:

2) Do I have to clone the no$ ROM twice for double-banked 256kb chips or is it just for a single 512kb chip?

3) If so, how? (I don't know anything about hex editing.)

4) To know what eeproms are inside the XFX I can just unscrew it with a cross-head screwdriver and look, right?

I DON'T want to brick my XFX.

Anyway, I'm grateful that such a forum as this exists. Thanks!

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 12:12 pm
by Shadow
1) Not sure, either should work but probably the NO$PSX kernel clone since it's more up to date (UNIROM hasn't been updated in years).

2) No, you shouldn't have to.
3) If you did, you'd have to hex edit your file (just re-inject the same binary twice and re-save it as a new one).
4) Yes.

Even if you brick your cartridge, you can restore it. Just check what version it's running BEFORE flashing it though to make sure we have that version dumped and saved :)

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 1:46 pm
by Logan Jones
Wow! Thanks for the advice! I must have been confused at the the original thread. Once I get my XFX I'll tell you how it goes. Thank you very much.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 1:47 pm
by Squaresoft74
If you just want a modchip alternative then yes NO$PSX kernel clone might be the one to consider.

Also if you can make use of Danhans42's Nxflash, i'd suggest to backup your current rom before flashing anything over.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 1:20 am
by Logan Jones
Thanks, Squaresoft74. I've Windows 7 desktop with a serial port. Dumping the cart, (if need be) it should work fine, right?

Furthermore, is there a list of archived Xploder ROMS to see if I don't have to dump my current ROM if there is already an exact dump out there? Or is dumping my own ROM for my own recreational use?

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 1:58 am
by Shadow
When you power on your Xplorer FX, just take a photo of the menu since the version number is usually placed there.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 3:50 am
by Logan Jones
Gotcha.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 4:01 am
by rama3
Good luck to you!

I've thoroughly abused my Exploder and Exploder FX (those names xD), and they can always be restored by some method.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 7:33 am
by Logan Jones
Hold on a sec. How do I connect my PS1 to my PC's serial port? Is there like a common and cheap adapter I can buy?

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 4:59 pm
by Shadow
Logan Jones wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:33 am
Hold on a sec. How do I connect my PS1 to my PC's serial port? Is there like a common and cheap adapter I can buy?
You need to build a cable or buy one from I think 'danhans42' on the forums.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 10th, 2019, 1:03 am
by Squaresoft74
You can build one as explained here but i just bought an already built one from Xrider.
Logan Jones wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 1:20 am
Furthermore, is there a list of archived Xploder ROMS to see if I don't have to dump my current ROM if there is already an exact dump out there? Or is dumping my own ROM for my own recreational use?
I need to check my archives again but most should be listed here.
Unless your version is already available from an original decrypted FCD or brand new cartridge dump, it's welcome to back it up if you can.
Would allow to add it to the collection and/or restore your cartridge exactly as you got it if needed.

Code: Select all

Xploder FX (Germany) r4.50 PRO 1999-10-25 <--- corrupted rom dump
This one for example needs to be replaced with another dump.

Just hit select while on main screen to get version info btw.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 10th, 2019, 2:46 am
by Logan Jones
I'd like to see the archives if there is a way. If my cart can easily be dumped I'd like to give it a try. I guess this means if I have a cart that has not been dumped (correctly) yet I should at least give it a try and wait on flashing No$ to it. I think I can still play burned CD-R games with the Xploder FX through the menu. The only downside is that compatibility will not be as good. If I do have a viable ROM, it means I might be able to contribute to this forum.

Xtrider's site is not working. I clicked "PRODUCTS" and nothing happens. Same with all the other links, except "FORUM".

(BTW, what is a "decrypted FCD"? Furthermore, how is it different from a cart dump?)

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 10th, 2019, 4:35 am
by Shadow
There's a list somewhere here on the forums. Best to use the 'Search' function to try and find it :)

A FCD (Future Console Devices) file was (if I recall) a way to encode the ROM to stop people tampering with it, but obviously it wasn't secure and was cracked easily which is why there is a decode option in programs such as 'X-Killer'. Someone correct me on that if I am wrong however.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 10th, 2019, 5:08 am
by Squaresoft74
That's correct.
.FCD (Future Console Design) were official cartridge update files, so that makes them the best rom source once decrypted.

Next comes brand new cartridge dumps but, as you can imagine 20 years later, it's not something easy to find nowadays.

Last comes used cartridges dumps, which is the most common thing you can find as long as people are willing to contribute.
It's not perfect but better than nothing.
Most of the time original codelist has been altered as people used their device.

Old online rom sources such as XplorerCodes or FireFly or Snakebite are all dead now. :(

Anyway most of what could be saved or redumped is included in kHn's Cheat Engine Compilation disc.

Xrider is a member here, try contacting him via PM. ;)

Alternately if you have access to an old Win98 machine with an LPT port, you can follow the procedure i gave here to dump the cart.
Nextria recently successfully dumped his cartridge(s) this way.

It's just not as convenient as the serial way as it requires specific old OS/hardware.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 14th, 2019, 7:14 am
by Logan Jones
I got my Xploder FX today! Unfortunately, I've a major problem!

I plug my XFX into my PS1's parallel port, turn it and the system on, and I see this onscreen:
Image

To describe it to you, the image onscreen is rapidly jumping in a downward fashion, as if it is out of sync. Furthermore, the image is monochrome. No color.

I've also a picture of the PCB:
Image
As you can probably see, the eeproms are dual-banked 256kb SST 29LE020's.

I need help, you guys! Here are my questions:

1) Why is this happening? Is it because it is a PAL ROM on an NTSC console? Or is it because my XFX is broken?

2) Is there a way to fix my XFX's situation?

3) In spite of the fact that the XFX ROM is apparently having video-related issues, is it still possible to flash No$ to my XFX? If so, how can I do it blind? (That is, boot the burned CD-R with the No$ ISO via the XFX's menu.) The image onscreen is almost illegible because of the jumpiness, and its in German.

(I tried contacting Xrider through PM several days ago but he hasn't responded. I guess I might not be able to dump the ROM.)

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 14th, 2019, 1:49 pm
by Squaresoft74
Ok dual banked model.
To be safe and avoid brick/trouble, you'll need to use Nocash's flasher only for now.
Danhans42's current Nxflash release doesn't properly support it.
Same for kHn's Cheat Engine Compilation disc linked in previous message.

As for the black and white issue, it looks like that the rom is simply set to PAL mode.
You can change that in the settings and switch to NTSC. ;)

While on main menu it should be something like:
Select 4th line (Customise) and hit X or O
Select 5th line (More Customisation Options) and hit X or O
Select 6th line (Video Standard) and hit X or O to switch between PAL or NTSC

Let me know if that solves your video issue. :)

Can you then read the rom version and report it ?
(Press "select" on main screen).

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 14th, 2019, 6:02 pm
by Shadow
Looks like V4.52 since it's in German, but have a look to make sure! Do the steps 'Squaresoft74' mentioned to change the video mode :)

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 12:18 am
by Logan Jones
Your advice worked, Squaresoft74! I was successfully able to change the video mode from PAL to NTSC!
Image

Here's the version information:
Image

Aw shucks. Its version 4.50 Pro. I know that version of the XFX has not had a good dump, yet.

With these points taken into consideration, I've a few new questions:

1) Now that my XFX is in working conditions, what do you guys suggest I do now? (I'm aiming to to flash No$ to it to play burned CD-Rs.)

2) Since this version of the XFX needs a good dump, I would like to attempt to dump it myself. Unfortunately, Xrider has not responded to my PM, so getting the custom-made serial adapter cable is out of reach for now. Is there anything else I can do to dump this cart? (I only have a Windows 7 Desktop PC. It has a parallel and a serial port. Its 32-bit, so using a Virtual Machine is out of the question.)

3) I read from Sicklebrick that you can still play CD-Rs by launching them from the XFX menu. How do you do that? Furthermore, will this be a temporary alternative to using No$ to play burned games? Or am I looking at this wrong?

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 12:59 am
by Squaresoft74
I will install Windows 7 x86 on a laptop and check again if i can get something working to dump via parallel port but, from previous experiences, the tools used didn't work properly/at all with that OS. :shrug

PC and Xplorer cart are connected using a DB25 M/F cable like this:
Image

Just hold on until i checked please.

Re: New Member: Logan Jones

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 1:56 am
by Logan Jones
Thanks, Squaresoft74.