Xplorer carts

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Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 7th, 2016, 3:27 am

Hello,

I recently acquired a few Xplorer carts :

Xplorer (1 x SST 29EE020-120-4C-PH 256K)
Image Image

Xplorer (1 x SST 29EE020-150-4C-NH 256K)
Image Image

Xplorer Professional (1 x SST 29EE020-150-4C-PH 256K)
Image Image Image Image

Xplorer FX (2 x SST 29EE020-120-4C-NH 256K)
Image Image

Xplorer FX (1 x ATMEL AT29C040A-12PC 512K)
Image Image

Xplorer FX Professional (1 x Winbond W29C040P-90 512K)
Image Image Image

X-Terminator V2 (1 x SST 29EE020-120-4C-NH 256K)
Image Image

X-Terminator PRO DX (1 x Winbond W29C040P-90 512K)
Image Image

Some more pictures thanks to Aergan:

Xplorer FX / FX Professional (2 x SST 29LE020-200-4C-NH 256K)
Image Image Image Image Image

Right now i don't have the needed hardware to connect them to a PC and use XKiller.

So i gave a look at X-Flash v1.2 Beta 3.

My Xplorer is detected as SST 29EE020 (Xplorer) 256 KB
My Xplorer FX Pro is detected as Winbond 29C040 (New Xplorer FX) 512 KB

My other two FX, the SST29EE020-120-4C-NH 256K x2 ones, are detected as SST 29EE020 (Xplorer) 256 KB only.
Shouldn't they be 512 KB ?

Is that because they use 2 SST 29EE020 EEPROM and X-Flash doesn't handle that proprely ?

They both came with the Xplorer 4.52 PRO (UK) 05-11-1999 rom installed and i wanted to upgrade them with the Xplorer 4.52 PRO (UK) 22-11-1999, but i can't since X-Flash is complaining about the rom file being too big for the detected EEPROM. :?

Any help would be appreciated since i don't really want to brick those. :)
Last edited by Squaresoft74 on July 18th, 2016, 12:40 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 16th, 2016, 12:24 pm

All right here's an update !

I could get my hands on a few machines to play with :

An old IBM T43 with a native parralel port
I installed Windows Xp pro SP3+ x86 and Sicklebrick's patched X-Killer with the GiveIO driver from here.
Both X-Killer and XLink95 worked just fine, so thanks Sicklebrick ! :clap

A Lenovo T410 with an ExpressCard using a PLX OXFORD OXPCIe952 chipset.
I installed Windows 7 SP1 x64 with Tim's X-Killer Inpout32 version i grabbed from Simias' page and the Inpout32 driver mentionned on Orion's page
X-Killer then worked just fine, so thanks to all of those involved. :clap

Now to get back on my problem :
X-Flash won't properly detect my FX that uses the 2x SST 29EE020 eeproms so i can't use it to properly flash this model.

This can be partially solved with X-Killer, which detects those as a 384 KB flashrom, but:

If flashing the FX with a 4.xx rom installed to a 1.xx, 2.xx, 3.xx, 4.xx, it will work just fine.

If flashing the FX with a 1.xx, 2.xx, 3.xx rom installed to a 4.xx, it will brick it.

Luckily i have two FX models with those 2x SST eeproms so i can unbrick with booting on the working one, hotswap to the bricked one and then reflsash with X-Killer.
(In this situation, trying to hotswap starting from the Winbond version just won't work !)

I guessed X-Flash could bypass this but it would need to properly recognize my FX first.

Then i contacted Tim about this and he kindly answered me but unfortunatly, he doesn't have the X-Flash source code anymore so currently anyone willing to dowgrade those versions will meet the same issue. :(

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Shadow » January 16th, 2016, 1:50 pm

Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 16th, 2016, 2:30 pm

I checked this thread already, but unless i missed something obvious, didn't see anything there that could solve my problem described above. :shrug

Or maybe you wanted me to post there instead of making a new thread, if that's the case, please feel free to merge. :)

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Shadow » January 16th, 2016, 7:17 pm

Ah, okay then. I'm not sure to be honest what else could be wrong. There is probably a bug in X-Flash. It's a shame he lost the source. I remember asking for it a while ago too. I believe he said he might have it on an old HDD, but he never got around to looking.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 19th, 2016, 4:33 pm

Here's what Tim told me when i asked if a fix for my FX version was possible:
Tim wrote:Yes, but not without the source code. Last year someone contacted me regarding X-Flash. I searched everywhere but could not find the source code. I probably lost it during one of the many Windows re-installs back then.
I guess i'm stuck for now. :|

Btw would anyone here have a backup of these files and/or original .FCDs ?
Those would be very appreciated ! :)

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Shadow » January 19th, 2016, 5:41 pm

I've got:

Xplorer ROM V2.008 for the Standard Xplorer,
Xplorer ROM V3.20 for the Xplorer FX,
Xplorer ROM V4.52 for the Xplorer FX, and
Xplorer ROM V2.20 for the Xplorer Professional.

We'll have to contact 'Firefly' (Tim Schuerewegen) again and ask him.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 19th, 2016, 10:21 pm

Done that already :)
Tim wrote:Maybe. I will look for them.
(Trying to maximise chances to recover those.)

Thanks for yours but i have them all already.

On a side note, is the eeprom size for the regular (not FX) Professional Xplorer 256k only ?
Beside that X-Assist addon, what really makes it different from the V1,V2,V3 cards for the hardware side since it has its own roms ?

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by sicklebrick » January 20th, 2016, 1:39 am

Heyhey, you'll find the ROMs and a nice conversion table showing which cart can accept which ROM here (in theory):
http://www.murraymoffatt.com/playstation-xplorer.html

But uhm, how are you booting XKiller to do the hotswap?
If you're booting off a cart, it's far less reliable on a bricked XPlorer, compared to using the CDR the plugging it in and enabling comms afterwards. I've also noticed some carts will be detected but not flashed properly unless you properly ram the cart into the back of the PSX (loose pin?). Also I can't remember the exact details, but I've had a similar issue whereby certain ROMs would completely fail to ever boot unless the last ROM had booted successfully at least one time (meaning every attempt would have to be repeated). Sometimes, I've also noticed a difference between flashing with the cart off/on (go with off), and if you hit reset or power down afterwards.

You could also maybe try with the official XLink software? I've no idea if that will work, but could be worth a crack?
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=746

Oh yeah, last thing, don't put anything over 384kb onto the XPlorer, even if it's a 512 model - the upper 128k can't be read by the PSX! Probs not relevant, but just incase!

Not a lot to go on here, they can be fiddly, but maybe some of the info's useful!

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 20th, 2016, 1:02 pm

sicklebrick wrote:Heyhey, you'll find the ROMs and a nice conversion table showing which cart can accept which ROM here (in theory):
http://www.murraymoffatt.com/playstation-xplorer.html
Thanks Sicklebrick, i have all those already aswell and even a few more from here and non xplorer ones from here.
I'm trying to collect as much cheat card rom versions as i can. :P
sicklebrick wrote:But uhm, how are you booting XKiller to do the hotswap?
If you're booting off a cart, it's far less reliable on a bricked XPlorer, compared to using the CDR the plugging it in and enabling comms afterwards.
By just booting the PSX with the working Xplorer FX plugged to it and PC, launching X-Killer > Tools > ROM Manager > Detect.
Then i swap to the bricked one and flash the same rom as the working one to recover, works like a charm.
So far tested with these FX versions: 2x SST 29EE020 and 2x SST 29LE020
You can even recover one version with the other (SST 29EE020 <->SST 29LE020).
Booting from a Winbond W29C040P-90 FX to recover a SST one won't work, didn't try the opposite yet as i only own one Winbond version for now.

I have to use hotswap to recover a FX specific rom because X-Flash doesn't detect my SST models properly (256k Xplorer instead of 512).
So i can't use it to flash FX compatible roms (256k+ ones)
Trying to upgrade a non FX rom to an FX one on the FX with X-Killer won't work and result in a brick aswell.
sicklebrick wrote:You could also maybe try with the official XLink software? I've no idea if that will work, but could be worth a crack?
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=746
Won't work because XLink is country/model locked as far as rom flashing goes, unless your patched version bypass that ?
Hence i'm using X-Killer for that.
sicklebrick wrote: Oh yeah, last thing, don't put anything over 384kb onto the XPlorer, even if it's a 512 model - the upper 128k can't be read by the PSX! Probs not relevant, but just incase!

Not a lot to go on here, they can be fiddly, but maybe some of the info's useful!
Thanks for the advice.
Still X-Killer seems to allow me to dump the whole 512k, any way to reflash that dump back if needed ?
There's an Overburn mod of X-Flash by krHACKen but i'll wait to get a second Winbond model to give it a try in case things go wrong.
sicklebrick wrote:I've also noticed some carts will be detected but not flashed properly unless you properly ram the cart into the back of the PSX (loose pin?).
Sorry didn't understand that part, maybe my faulty English. :oops:
sicklebrick wrote:Also I can't remember the exact details, but I've had a similar issue whereby certain ROMs would completely fail to ever boot unless the last ROM had booted successfully at least one time (meaning every attempt would have to be repeated).
With FX roms once you flashed an original .fcd and then redump it, you'll find 23h bytes (maybe a bit more ) modified, search for "PJH!" string (504A4821).
I guess this is where the settings are stored after the first boot.
sicklebrick wrote:Sometimes, I've also noticed a difference between flashing with the cart off/on (go with off), and if you hit reset or power down afterwards.
Always flashed with the switch on for now since i'm using X-Killer so i don't know.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by sicklebrick » January 20th, 2016, 1:57 pm

So have you tried booting from CD? It's definitely more reliable than hotswap. Or are you saying that when you boot from CD it doesn't detect the EEPROM at all?

Sorry also I didn't realise XLink was region locked, and I don't think I modded that out - I don't have a non-english Xplorer to test on :
krHACKen's overburn mod looks awesome, totally going to have to disassemble it and see what he's done there!

Not completely sure where the settings are store in XPlorer, but on Caetla it's around 0x1BF80.
0x1BF84 for example is PAL/NTSC (1/0). This is why caetla doesn't work on some models of Xplorer, as it can't ever write to this memory, because it can't write to some EEProms :
Have you had any luck yet?

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 20th, 2016, 4:43 pm

sicklebrick wrote:So have you tried booting from CD? It's definitely more reliable than hotswap. Or are you saying that when you boot from CD it doesn't detect the EEPROM at all?
Doh i just realized that i had to use your patched X-Killer (give io) version on my XP machine that has a native parallel port to get comms from X-Flash to work. :oops:

Using my Win7x64/ExpressCard adapter and the Inpout32 version didn't, unless i have something wrongly configured.

Anyway, while i do get X-Killer to detect X-Flash CD v1.0, X-Flash on its side still wrongly identify my FX as a standard Xplorer 256 KB.
There is definitely something wrong with it that prevent it to see there are 2 SST 29EE020 on my card and not just one.
Funny part is i can still make a proper 384k backup (verfied checksum).
But trying to then flash something bigger than 256k will crash the process and brick the FX.
sicklebrick wrote: Sorry also I didn't realise XLink was region locked, and I don't think I modded that out - I don't have a non-english Xplorer to test on :
krHACKen's overburn mod looks awesome, totally going to have to disassemble it and see what he's done there!
Well you can use his overburn mod to flash your Xplorer with a non UK rom and there you'll have a non English one to test. :D
sicklebrick wrote:Not completely sure where the settings are store in XPlorer, but on Caetla it's around 0x1BF80.
0x1BF84 for example is PAL/NTSC (1/0). This is why caetla doesn't work on some models of Xplorer, as it can't ever write to this memory, because it can't write to some EEProms :
Have you had any luck yet?
Sorry couldn't test 0.44 yet, still need to get some CDRs first.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by sicklebrick » January 21st, 2016, 8:44 am

Hmm, still very weird. If you're using my XKiller patch, it should really let you attempt to flash 384kb ROMs onto any old card without checking. (Before it wouldn't even let me flash 384k onto a 512k cart).

Good thinking on the XLink, hahah. I've made another patch for it over here:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=746&p=8408
Tested it with some German roms and some older Pro/V2 roms, and it seems to work nicely!

Hopefully the official software will help with this weird cart!

I guess try using your CD to get V2 or Pro onto the cart then upgrade to FX from there with XLink.
(Remember you might need to re-encrypt your ROM via XKiller's ROM menu back to .fcd)

Good luck!

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 21st, 2016, 3:31 pm

Ok i gave your patched XLink a try.
Before trying to even mess with my problematic FX, i only tested for now with my standard 256K Xplorer and my Xp machine that have a native parallel port.

First i installed the original XLink95, then moved your patched excutable aside the original one so everything requiered should be there.
I installed and loaded the GiveIO driver as explained in your readme.

I ran the excutable with and without Windows 95 compatibility mode and attempted to flash the same rom as the one installed using the proper original encrypted .fcd.

It first made a backup of my rom, a 512k file btw while i was expecting a 256k one. :?:
XLink95 wrote:Your old ROM has been backed up as BACKUP.FCD
It then launched the upgrade process which results in a nice pink screen on TV and an error message on XLink side.
XLink95 wrote:Comms Error
All that giving me a nice brick again... :P

At least i can recover this regular Xplorer model with no problem using X-Flash.
I have no such issue doing the same operation for this card using your patched X-Killer on the very same system. :shrug

Could XLink be patched to use inpout32 instead of GiveIO ?

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by sicklebrick » January 22nd, 2016, 6:45 am

Hmm, you'll have to give me a day or two on that - few things on the go now and I've never had any luck with inpout, but sure thing, I'll give it a pop if you think it might help.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » January 22nd, 2016, 7:23 am

Thanks for even trying whenever you can. :)

*EDIT*
Updated first post with another FX version i got today and added their respective eeprom's datasheets links if that can help.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » February 7th, 2016, 10:57 pm

Shadow wrote:I've got:

Xplorer ROM V2.008 for the Standard Xplorer,
Xplorer ROM V3.20 for the Xplorer FX,
Xplorer ROM V4.52 for the Xplorer FX, and
Xplorer ROM V2.20 for the Xplorer Professional.
Are they original .fcd files or rom dumps ?
While i should have those already, can you check against my list below just in case ?

I'm trying to collect as many files as i can to build an updated X-Flash disc containing as many proper versions as possible.

So far i have:
Xploder FX (Germany) r3.16 PRO 1999-06-22 [!]
Xploder FX (Germany) r4.50 PRO 1997-05-25 [!] <--- they messed up the build date when they compiled that one ?
Xploder FX (Germany) r4.50 PRO 1999-10-25 <--- corrupted rom dump
Xploder FX (Germany) r4.52 PRO 1999-11-05 [!]
Xploder PRO (Germany) r2.19 PRO 1999-04-27 [!]
Xploder PRO (Germany) r2.19 PRO 1999-04-28 [!]
Xploder PRO (Germany) r3.3 petitPRO 1999-08-31 [!]
Xploder V1 (Germany) r1.091FT 1998-07-17
Xploder V1 (Germany) r1.97CL3 1998-10-16 [!]
Xploder V1 (USA) r1.094BP 1998-08-14
Xploder V2 (Germany) r2.005 1998-11-23
Xploder V2 (Germany) r2.008 1999-02-26
Xploder V2 (Germany) r2.0081 1999-03-08 [!]
Xploder V3 (Germany) r3.20 LIT 1999-07-30 [!]
Xplorer FX (England) r3.20 PRO 1999-07-30 [!]
Xplorer FX (England) r4.50 PRO 1999-10-25
Xplorer FX (England) r4.52 PRO 1999-11-05 [!]
Xplorer FX (England) r4.52 PRO 1999-11-22 [!]
Xplorer FX (Netherlands) r3.20 PRO 1999-07-30
Xplorer FX (Spain) r4.54 PRO 2000-05-26
Xplorer PRO (England) r2.20 PRO 1999-06-29 [!]
Xplorer V1 (England) r1.095BP 1998-08-29 [!]
Xplorer V2 (England) r2.005 1998-11-24
Xplorer V2 (England) r2.007 1999-02-10 [!]
Xplorer V2 (England) r2.008 1999-02-26 [!]
Xplorer V2 (England) r2.008 1999-03-03 [!]
Xplorer V3 (England) r3.20 LIT 1999-08-11 [!]
Xplorer V3 (Spain) r3.41 LIT 1999-10-05
X-Terminator PRO (Japan) r2.14 PRO 1999-02-17 [!]
X-Terminator PRO DX (Japan) r4.53 PRO 1999-11-22

256k roms : V1,V2,V3 (Classic)
384k roms : FX/DX

Some were made from original FCDs when i had them. (the [!] ones)

Some were made from dumps of my own carts. (the [!] ones were dumped from new carts)

Others were made from dumps found in krHACKen's overburn mod and will be replaced with roms made from original .fcd if/when if find them.

So it would be very appreciated if:
- Anyone who owns some of the files that were available from XplorerCodes or FireFly or Snakebite could share them.
- Anyone who owns a cart that has a rom version not listed above could dump and share it.

While i should be able to get a few more cartridges for my collection, i just can't afford to buy all of them for dumping purpose ! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Squaresoft74 on February 7th, 2016, 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Shadow » February 7th, 2016, 11:13 pm

Xplorer V2.008 - FCD
Xplorer V3.20 - FCD
Xplorer V4.52 - ROM
Xplorer V2.20 - FCD
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Squaresoft74 » February 7th, 2016, 11:24 pm

Can you please check their build dates ?

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Re: Xplorer carts

Post by Shadow » February 8th, 2016, 2:10 pm

Squaresoft74 wrote:Can you please check their build dates ?
Did you disassemble them to see that, hex edit or use X-Flash?
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

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