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Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

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Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Sirrico » October 17th, 2014, 10:21 am

Howdy. After much expense, my Xplorer FX is here. I've downloaded X-Flash and gone about flashing the cartridge.

But every rom (Caetla .34, .35, .37) ends in a black screen without boot upon reset, regardless of whether the Xplorer is switched on or off. Is there some special method I am missing?
Thanks in advance.

Edit: German roms do not boot with the switch on, but boot to bios with the switch off.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 17th, 2014, 2:46 pm

Interesting. When you flash the Xplorer, have you enabled comms and attempted to detect what EEPROM it contains under X-Flash?
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Sirrico » October 17th, 2014, 2:58 pm

Image
Winbond 29C040 (New Xplorer FX) - 512 KB

The flashing displays the bar, goes through the motions, and I assume it is flashing something as I get slightly different results with the German roms (but still no booting with switch on).
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 17th, 2014, 3:30 pm

That's very weird. The only thing I can think of is that standard Xplorers are 256KB and the FX is 512KB, and the CAETLA ROM isn't being flashed correctly into the 512KB addressing (data alignment problem) thus making it not boot.

There was someone on the forums who got CAETLA working under the FX, and that topic may be found here.

It should be working fine though. I even remember getting 0.34 to boot on my FX.
Where did you get your copy of X-Killer from?
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Sirrico » October 17th, 2014, 3:53 pm

Shadow wrote:That's very weird. The only thing I can think of is that standard Xplorers are 256KB and the FX is 512KB, and the CAETLA ROM isn't being flashed correctly into the 512KB addressing (data alignment problem) thus making it not boot.

There was someone on the forums who got CAETLA working under the FX, and that topic may be found here.

It should be working fine though. I even remember getting 0.34 to boot on my FX.
Where did you get your copy of X-Killer from?



From your official thread. :D

And yeah, I've followed that other thread initially when mine wouldn't work.


When I first received my Fx, it booted into a white box with Japanese characters, three of them I think. I assumed this was a Japanese caetla or something, which is when I attempted to reflash. Anything else I can try? It'll be a hassle to get another one of these things ;)
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 17th, 2014, 6:21 pm

That's odd. It should not have a white box with Japanese in it. Maybe open it up and take some pictures so we can see what's inside and check if it is actually a real Xplorer FX.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Sirrico » October 17th, 2014, 10:41 pm

Image
Click to enlarge.

Edit: Can one not flash over cable?

Image
I stuck the Xplorer in my new 5501, and this is what I get. The screen flickers and scrolls down continuously. Bad connection I assume? Options?
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 19th, 2014, 5:52 am

It may be the parallel connector, but they are generally gold plated and very high quality with excellent connectivity.

I actually remember now that I have had Xplorers go blank on me before.
You just need to unplug it from the PC and PSX, wait ~1 minute, and then replug it back into the PSX but without the PC connection. I find when it's hooked up to the PC it goes blank sometimes. I'm not sure why, but it could be a flaw in the grounding since I have seen a static discharge several times when plugging the PC's DB-25 parallel cable into the Xplorer. I of course just leave it plugged in all the time and it works.

Now, I also forgot to bring up that the other important thing is to make sure you have a controller plugged in. CAETLA wont come up if there isn't one. My menu is configured to display the coloured bars on power on when the switch is in one position, and the CAETLA menu (as seen in your black and white image) when the switch is in the other.

Yours seems to be giving a bad signal though. It did flash okay, so X-Killer did work.
The consoles you have tried the Xplorer on are all NTSC. Do you have a PAL PSX you can try it on?
I'm afraid you might need to do a colour modification to the 5501 (a real pain).
Contradicting myself, i'm almost certain though that CAETLA works fine on both PAL and NTSC systems.
I could always hook up my Xplorer to my 7501 and plug it up over composite if you want me to confirm.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Sirrico » October 19th, 2014, 6:52 am

Shadow wrote:Yours seems to be giving a bad signal though. It did flash okay, so X-Killer did work.
The consoles you have tried the Xplorer on are all NTSC. Do you have a PAL PSX you can try it on?
I'm afraid you might need to do a colour modification to the 5501 (a real pain).
Contradicting myself, i'm almost certain though that CAETLA works fine on both PAL and NTSC systems.


I don't have a PAL PS1 yet... And yes, that modification does indeed look like a hassle.
I bought this FX from a UK source, actually. Is it possible this could be the problem, as it might expect a PAL system?

Shadow wrote:I could always hook up my Xplorer to my 7501 and plug it up over composite if you want me to confirm.


Go ahead and test please, thank you very much for the trouble.

I might either buy a new FX, or switch my development console when I get a PAL PS1.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 19th, 2014, 5:43 pm

Okay, I have acquired new information about the Xplorer FX and CAETLA.
The later modeled FX's have newer Winbond EEPROM's which CAETLA doesn't like (like yours).
However, CAETLA 0.33 will work fine on the FX with the newer Winbond ROM, but you will not be able to make nor launch any homebrew. It will also not support saving of the settings.

Now, I have two SST 29EE20 EEPROM's which are used in standard Xplorers.
You could buy one and effectively install it while removing the newer Winbond EEPROM.
The only downfall is that it turns the FX into a standard Xplorer, but colour will work and so will the ability to save the settings you like under CAETLA 0.34. I will pop them on the psxdev.net store now.

Code: Select all
The original Xplorer FX used a SST 29C040A. The Xplorer FX uses a Winbond 29C040.
The original Xplorer uses a SST 29EE020.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby LameGuy64 » October 19th, 2014, 10:05 pm

I was able to do some homebrew development (PS-EXE launching, sending printf messages, and PC file streaming) with Caetla 0.35 on my Xplorer FX which had a Winbond 29C040 EEPROM... Saving settings doesn't work though.
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Dev. Console: SCPH-7000 with SCPH-7501 ROM, MM3, PAL color fix, Direct AV ports, DB-9 port for Serial I/O, and a Xplorer FX with Caetla 0.35.

DTL-H2000 PC: Dell Optiplex GX110, Windows 98SE, Pentium III 933MHz, 256MB SDRAM, S3 Savage 4 32MB, Soundblaster Audigy, AverMedia TV Tuner, 3Com 10/100Mbit LAN (onboard), 40GB Seagate HDD, Hitachi Lite-on CD-RW Drive, ZIP 250 and 3.5" Floppy.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 19th, 2014, 10:18 pm

Ah, well, if 0.35 works and you don't care about saving the settings, then you don't need the 29EE020 Sirrico.
Thanks as usual LameGuy :)
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Sirrico » October 20th, 2014, 11:31 am

Shadow wrote:Ah, well, if 0.35 works and you don't care about saving the settings, then you don't need the 29EE020 Sirrico.
Thanks as usual LameGuy :)


Thanks as usual, but it seems .35 also does some strange scrollings... That's fine though. .37 and .35 actually run from a x-flash disk from Orion_'s site, albeit in a foreign language . Where do I go from here? I have 2 pcs with Parallel connectors; one XP with a port on the motherboard, and one Win8 with a PCI-E parallel card. What programs (catflap, psexe, etc...) work with either?
On a quick first run of catflap for caetla, I get timeout errors, but this might be another whole big problem.

Besides that, I highly appreciate the help that this community offers. :)
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 20th, 2014, 3:37 pm

So 0.35 doesn't work then. That means LameGuy's (open the FX I sent and please confirm for me LameGuy!) only works because he has a 29C040A (the older Xplorer FX which works with CAETLA fine) and not a 29C040. One thing you can always do is install a SST 29C040A. That will turn your FX into the original FX that will work without any problems whatsoever. Otherwise, the SST 29EE020 I put in the store will do.

Okay, so it's working, albeit poorly, but that should be fine. Honestly, you will want to go with Windows 98, but Windows XP will do alright so long as you set it up correctly and have the right motherboard. The parallel port must support SPP mode in the BIOS, and, seeming as it's Windows XP, you will need giveio installed to provide direct I/O to the parallel port. Also note that It must be configured for address 0x378 on LPT1 under device manager. The parallel cable must also be a straight through DB-25 otherwise you will wonder for days why it's not working yet all the settings above are fine.

I attempted about 3 years ago to get my Xplorer working under XP, but I gave up and just put Windows 98.
What I will do is recreate a newer X-Killer image with more ROM images. I will let you know when it's done.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby LameGuy64 » October 20th, 2014, 5:27 pm

Here's the image of my Xplorer FX's EEPROM:
Image
Attachments
lameguys_xplorer_fx.jpg
(432.27 KiB) Not downloaded yet
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Dev. Console: SCPH-7000 with SCPH-7501 ROM, MM3, PAL color fix, Direct AV ports, DB-9 port for Serial I/O, and a Xplorer FX with Caetla 0.35.

DTL-H2000 PC: Dell Optiplex GX110, Windows 98SE, Pentium III 933MHz, 256MB SDRAM, S3 Savage 4 32MB, Soundblaster Audigy, AverMedia TV Tuner, 3Com 10/100Mbit LAN (onboard), 40GB Seagate HDD, Hitachi Lite-on CD-RW Drive, ZIP 250 and 3.5" Floppy.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Greg » October 20th, 2014, 10:49 pm

You can choose PAL or NTSC in caetla,

"Press Select + L1" then choose NTSC.
1 x SCPH-7501, 2 x SCPH-7001, 2 x SCPH-5501
1 x Pro Action Replay with "Dual Rom Mod", ROM 1: Caetla, ROM 2: UNIROM
1 x Xplorer V2 with Caetla
1 x GameShark V2.1
1 x GameShark Pro V3.0
1 x CommLinkUSB
1 x XLinkUSB
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 20th, 2014, 11:04 pm

Greg wrote:You can choose PAL or NTSC in caetla,

"Press Select + L1" then choose NTSC.

Ah, awesome! :mrgreen:
Remember, it won't save the settings so you will have to do it each time at boot ;)
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Greg » October 20th, 2014, 11:22 pm

I have a Xplorer V2 with Caetla, I could make a rom backup with the correct settings, then Sirrico could use this rom on his Xplorer.
No more settings to enter on each use. ;)
1 x SCPH-7501, 2 x SCPH-7001, 2 x SCPH-5501
1 x Pro Action Replay with "Dual Rom Mod", ROM 1: Caetla, ROM 2: UNIROM
1 x Xplorer V2 with Caetla
1 x GameShark V2.1
1 x GameShark Pro V3.0
1 x CommLinkUSB
1 x XLinkUSB
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Matt » October 21st, 2014, 12:58 am

Greg wrote:I have a Xplorer V2 with Caetla, I could make a rom backup with the correct settings, then Sirrico could use this rom on his Xplorer.
No more settings to enter on each use. ;)

I like it. Ingenious :idea:
Please upload the ROM publicly so I can add it to the new X-Killer image.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

Development Computer: Windows 98, Pentium 3 [400MHz], 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H201A, 21" Sony Trinitron CRT, CD-ROM burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives and a ZIP 100 Diskette Drive.
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Re: Xplorer FX and X-Flash: Black Screens

Postby Sirrico » October 21st, 2014, 2:28 pm

Okay all! This is quite possibly the most friendly community around. I very much look forward to the updated X-flash, thank you everybody who lent a helping hand.

And just so we know, here is a video of my problem.
However, I think if I flash the newest Greg image with defaulted NTSC settings, I will not have these problems. Nonetheless, here is a video showing Caetla .35 running programs correctly with proper WinXP execution, just with that strange graphic problem.



If that doesn't work, though, I have a PAL PS1 on the way. ;)
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