UniROM 8.0.7bx - Added CD file browser for ROMs + .EXE

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Apache Thunder
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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Apache Thunder » April 21st, 2020, 3:20 am

I can confirm my unit has 01 20 as the ID too. I only have one CD-R left though so I better make that one count. I plan to get more in a week or so.

And aww bummer that the BIOS prepatched option isn't a thing anymore. Well hopefully some way of enabling the stock boot splash sequence with UniRom is a future possibility. Maybe re-creating the boot sequence instead of trying to patch the original BIOS would be the better route. It would be easier to display the original logos and play the audio assets then trying to patch the BIOSes and crap. Something to think about in a future version perhaps. :D

Hopefully I won't have issues getting that CD image to work. I have crappy Memorex CD-Rs and my PS1 doesn't like them. Can't boot games with them (Jumping Flash almost makes it to the first level if I skip all the video intros and stuff. But it gives up reading the disc eventually so I never made it into a level. :P)

Fortunately it seems able to read them enough that I can boot UniRom discs at least. :D

Can't wait to get the proper CD-Rs end of next week though. :D

EDIT: It worked! Thanks a ton for that. Gonna save me from buying yet another device. :D

EDIT2. What the ***K?! It's actually reading my CD-Rs better. The intro vid isn't skipping to hell on my Jumping Flash CD-R anymore! Can actually play the game. I guess CodeCard's stock loader does a ***t job of setting up the optical drive. :P

EDIT3: Still not good enough though. Hangs after playing about 20 or so seconds of level 1. It's a marked improvement over before though. The intro vids aren't skipping anymore. I guess data closer to the edge of the CD-R is still having issues getting read though. These problems will likely go away when I get non garbo CD-Rs. (I've already adjusted the pot on the laser. Won't be adjusting that down any further. It's about 200ohm lower then original value)

Oh and I don't know if this is possible, but I hope future versions will be able to detect the mode switch on the cart. Running stock mode for legit discs would be a nice feature. I don't want to constantly remove the cart for that. These CodeCard's have shi**ty connectors on them. One did not survive shipping in bubble envolope. had to bend back pins an desolder unused pins to restore another that broke while trying to bend it back. I eventually got that one working again after removing the plastic connector and bending back the pins so they have enough tension to engage the port properly.

The one I bought as the replacement was shipped in a box with it's original packaging so it's connector is in far better shape. That's the one I've successfully burned UniRom v8 to. I've swapped the shells though. The unirom one is now in the yellow shell. The purple one it originally came in was of especially sh*t build quality and one of the screw mounts broke while I was taking it apart for the chip photos. :P

Anyways as warning to others, if you plan to cheap out and get a Code Card instead of a GameShark or Action Replay, make sure the seller packs it in a box. The garbo connector may not survive being packed into a padded envelope like my first one. So if it did arrive in one, better give the pins a good look over before you try and insert it for the first time or else you'll end up in my situation where I had to remove the connector and desolder pins to fix the damn thing. Seller was nice enough to refund me though.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Kailen » April 21st, 2020, 11:35 am

@sickle I haven't tested the new release, but on the version before i got the unknown eeprom 01 20.
Here is a better image, how that helps and thanks for looking into it.

https://i.imgur.com/1Tubjl0.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/8OIjbur.jpg

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by sickle » April 21st, 2020, 7:10 pm

@rama3
Aah, makes sense. Never looked at ISO/CD foromat before but I wouldn't have guessed 1 sect / 0x800 bytes would require 0x930 of metadata.

@kailen
Please try the download that SquareSoft74 just added - that's for your 01,20 device.

@apache_thunder

...crappy memorex cds
Having some luck with Maxell atm, Verbatim have been okay in the past, Tesco brand too

...reading CDs better
Yeah i'm not sure of the science on it, but jsut going slower seems to stop a runaway fuckup effect

...still not good enough
Lol calm the fuck down. It's brand new code, there's like 8billion PS1 titles and I can only get so many CDRs. Besides it's already fixed. That game needs a strafe....

...toggle switch
Could do, need to sort out some code there first!

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Apache Thunder » April 22nd, 2020, 4:42 am

sickle wrote:
April 21st, 2020, 7:10 pm
...still not good enough
Lol calm the fuck down. It's brand new code, there's like 8billion PS1 titles and I can only get so many CDRs. Besides it's already fixed. That game needs a strafe....
Oh just to be clear I wasn't blaming the loading issues on UniRom. It's probably just the CD-Rs I'm using. As I've said, I'm gonna get better CD-Rs in a week or two so I'll know for sure where things sit then. :P

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Kailen » April 22nd, 2020, 5:15 am

@sickle i tried the image SquareSoft74 released, but was unable to burn to disc. Tried 2 different types of cds and 2 different computers using imgburn. Keeps giving me an I/O error, but i can burn games and your uniroms no problem.

@Squaresoft74 how did you manage to burn it to cd?
Last edited by Kailen on April 22nd, 2020, 9:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by rama3 » April 22nd, 2020, 5:57 am

Apache Thunder:
Just get some / any other disk. I find that it's pretty random which disks work well with your burner.
Also try the PSX upside down (or sidewards) trick, as the real problem is the worn drive anyway. All PSX drives today can be considered worn and uneven, hence this often works.

The drive working better booting with UniROM is also a sign of this. The inner ring is often hardest to read because the read head is tilted the most there.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Apache Thunder » April 22nd, 2020, 6:10 am

rama3 wrote:
April 22nd, 2020, 5:57 am
Apache Thunder:
Just get some / any other disk. I find that it's pretty random which disks work well with your burner.
Also try the PSX upside down (or sidewards) trick, as the real problem is the worn drive anyway. All PSX drives today can be considered worn and uneven, hence this often works.

The drive working better booting with UniROM is also a sign of this. The inner ring is often hardest to read because the read head is tilted the most there.

The upside down trick is something that helps the old 1001 models mostly. I have a 7501. My optical drive doesn't sound perticularly loud or anything and it hasn't had trouble reading my legit retail discs (Currently have two, Frogger, and Nascar 2000, both of which have had no issues getting ingame and playing) so I don't think the drive is worn out just yet.

But yeah it's not reading the Memorex CD-Rs very well. I've heard Verbatum (perticularly the DataLifePlus versions) do well with PS1 so I'll be trying that brand CD-R next.
Last edited by Apache Thunder on April 22nd, 2020, 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by mistamontiel » April 22nd, 2020, 6:12 am

Just burnt

EDIT: omg I see flash lol n my last name got mispelt :shrug

Do I restart the PS1 now..

Image

YEY! Select button did something back to main I shut off popped the lid and now we're onboard ^.^

EDIT 2: X-Racing flawless plays! Now to run everything I found trouble in v6 before!!! :praise Loving this my good sire

Metal Gear Integral is now intact no missing effects! VR don't crash either! No more shit spring on my sensor no more bootdisc I AM KISSING YE FOR THIS

You mentioned Tomb Raider 3 trouble? She looked to be fine v6 UniROM, NTSC-U disc

Just what is Caetla then? To keep cheat functionality? Wonder what to look for cuz I don't think mine's big enough?

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by sickle » April 22nd, 2020, 1:29 pm

@Apache Thunder
for this one particular game (Jumping Flash) it was a unirom issue - I added a fastboot workaround which has helped.

my retail unit also struggles with legit discs since tweaking it to read CDrs... no biggie really, easier to store them in a spindle and test quickly.

@kailen
No worries we'll get it out on Fri/Sat with a patch. SquareSoft74's given me all the details to put it in the main release.

@mistamoNtiel.
Aaah no... So sorry! Fixed it!
https://i.imgur.com/4eLOd64.png
Hope that makes it better

I'll tidy that screen up too

Btw, did it stop on that message "First 3rd gen explorer check okay" but then... wrote the ROM without displaying progress?
I've been really weary about those carts as I don't have one to test.

Caetla's just for that, yeah + other caetla functions. Any Xplorer cart is big enough for dualbooting. (Anything like 256k), so you should be good!

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Apache Thunder » April 22nd, 2020, 1:54 pm

Oh I wasn't aware it was a UniRom issue. I thought it was just dying from a CD-R related issue. I noticed the PS1 Picks demo compilation CD-R I also made doesn't boot at all. But I think it's just not reading that CD-R very well. It didn't boot from stock Code Card's loader either.

As for legit discs I haven't booted any via UniRom yet, but even after the pot tweak it still seems to read them fine. The Nascar 2000 disc actually seems to work better after the tweak too since it's a little scuffed up and the quick race level took awhile to load. But now it loads right up. Pretty sure my optical drive isn't worn out else it's still be having trouble with it. My Frogger disc seems to be working fine too. I should get around to testing if they still play the same with UniRom. Though I don't expect there to be issues there.

How far did you adjust yours? For me it seems just going 200 ohm lower was enough.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by sickle » April 22nd, 2020, 2:23 pm

Yeah, booting via any of the builtin bios methods seems to work, so now it just checksums the file and forces a different kinda boot if there are any issues. Bonus: there's now a fastboot option :p

(Not sure what's different tried re-initing the CD drive, messing with interrupts, shuffling memory around incase it was fucking with the os, doing a completely different boot+init, setting all the HW registers identical to a real boot, etc...no luck! Lol I bet 2 years down the line there will be a revelation and it's just something stupid and seemingly inconsequential)

Sorry, I dunno how far I turned it. Is there a scale on it, or are you checking with a multimeter?
The one on the side of the laser mechanism, right?
I just tweaked until it was perfect ony my xlfash recovery disc, but I think it's also luck?
I've got loads of PS1s with lasers that are a complete mess and I've had no luck regreasing, cleaning, etc but this one's great! I can feel it slowly dying after all the CDR abuse, but it's hanging on for now.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Apache Thunder » April 22nd, 2020, 2:31 pm

Yeah it's the pot mounted to the ribbon cable. it's right up top on the side of the main drive chassis (at least on the units used for the 7501. Took me a bit to figure it out as it turned out I was turning it in the wrong direction. I used multimeter to get the resistance values of the two lower pins on the trim pot. To lower OHM (and increase laser voltage) you turn it clockwise and counter clockwise if you want to decrease voltage/laser power. I made very tiny adjustments and used a multimeter to measure the change. It seems that you don't need to move it much at all. If I went much more then that in either direction the drive was having trouble reading anything at all. So I decided to just give it a 200ohm drop. I made this adjustment before I had UniRom flashed though so I might have it a tiny bit lower then it actually needs to be. But it seems fine where it is now.

Anyways it seems the proper way to measure the OHM reading with a multimeter is to measure the two bottom pins of the trim pot. I got the initial reading from it before I adjusted it then lowered it from there. It is a good idea to get a OHM reading before you mess with it. That way you can reset it back if things go too out of whack.

If you've been adjusting it without a multimeter...You're just relying on luck that you didn't get it too far out of range. That tiny thing needs very small adjustments just to go down a 100 ohms or so. So if you haven't been measuring it, it could be as far off as 500+ ohms from where it should be. My drive was around 1200ohm resistance before I adjusted it. Though it's typical for one to be as low as 1060 out of the factory. So my unit is at 1000 right now.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by mistamontiel » April 22nd, 2020, 2:47 pm

It stopped there yes I pushed every button all until Select around five minutes later then I saw the first screen n decided to power off/on with the lid open *phew* she rocks man!

Yeh no progress status displayed throughout

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by kHn » April 22nd, 2020, 8:05 pm

Kailen wrote:
April 22nd, 2020, 5:15 am
but was unable to burn to disc
The disc length is 00:03:18 (including the pregap). I'm not sure that mastering data tracks shorter than 4 seconds is standard compliant, or if your CDR burning issue is related to this, but I'll leave the rebuilt image here anyway...
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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by sickle » April 22nd, 2020, 8:44 pm

@apache thunder
thanks man, I'll have a fiddle.
Generally in the past I've just turned it slightly each time the laser degraded beyond reading... but this time it seems to have stabilised a little.
I'll grab a reading for reference next time I crack it open!

@misamontiel
Definitely a bug!
Like I mentioned I didn't want to fiddle with the original code for that particular cart as I don't have one to test. Probably just left something silly in there.
It should only take about 20 seconds to write!

Any chance I could persuade you to take the back off that cart and grab a picture just to be 100% sure it's a dual chip one?


@krhacken
Cheers, real nice of you ^^
Was going over it with Squaresoft yesterday but I must've forgotten to mention the padding.




Layout I use if anyone else wants to build their own disc, etc:
(tools attached)
https://i.imgur.com/bCRqJXK.png

1: open disc image generator
2: drag the files in in that order:
sys.cnf, unirom.exe, psx.exe**, romfile.dat, padding
3: save it (.bin/.cue)
4: open it in the disc patcher (.bin)
5: patch it
6: burn it

The romfile.exe generates a package containing all the .rom files in the same folder to replace romfile.dat with your own stuff. (Same as XFlash format). Open source replacement in the works!

**
Psx.exe included as it's the fallback for when system.cnf can't be read or found. Literally just a copy of XFlash in this case.
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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Apache Thunder » April 23rd, 2020, 5:47 am

Got lucky and got some money early. Got more CD-Rs and will get some super good ones off eBay too for the long haul.

Ready to test new versions of UniRom when they come out. Hopefully you'll have my cart's eeprom supported in the next release. I don't want to rely on Squaresoft74 every time a new version comes out. :P

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by rama3 » April 23rd, 2020, 6:28 am

When you guys tweak the laser pots, be sure to never turn it more than 45 degrees. If you can make it work at such extremes, the real problem is somewhere else, most likely dirt on the mirrors (ultrasonic bath!).
Don't even attempt to measure Ohms. That's pointless, due to the various diode characteristica that were used in production. No one value is correct for a different diode.

One sure way to know whether you've overdone it: Listen to your drive. Have your ear close to it when it attempts to read.
Screeching, loud and scratchy noises that it doesn't normally do, you've overdriven the amplifier and need to cut power immediately.

But if you tweak it a little, and the sound isn't too unhealthy, and it works, then good job. You can keep it that way :)

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by Apache Thunder » April 23rd, 2020, 10:50 am

Yeah OHM readings from one drive wouldn't really be applicable to another since each laser assembly will have variations in them from the factory. I was just stating what appeared to be the average anyways.

It's still important to get a starting reading with a multi-meter before adjusting a drive and measure the changes while making adjustments. From all the videos and stories I've read, it seems only a drop of 100 to 200OHMs is needed to make a drive that is having trouble reading CD-Rs work better. Though of coarse if there's other compounding issues like the drive needing to be lubricated, then adjusting the power won't help much and some drives may require higher or lower values.

From my experience adjusting the trim pot for a 100 to 200 ohm drop required only a hair line's width adjustment down almost. Basically the minimum amount I could possibly move it and actually still feel it move when adjusting it. :P

You are far less likely to overdrive it if you do careful adjustments with a multimeter anyways. ;)

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by sickle » April 23rd, 2020, 3:42 pm

Lol tbh, I was just turning it while it was spinning up and gave it a little extra for good measure. Good to know though, thanks.

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Re: UniROM 8.0.b1 Released!

Post by rama3 » April 23rd, 2020, 7:54 pm

Small suggestion:
Could the circle / cross button order be swapped, so that circle is okay and cross is cancel/reboot?
This would make it consistent with the embedded Caetla button layout and prevent accidental reboots when going back and forth between the 2 a lot :)

Oh, and I think a slow blinking cursor on each screen would be a great indicator that the system hasn't frozen yet.
It could be the current selection highlighter slowly pulsing, or something like that.

Just throwing that out. I think it'd be a nice improvement :)

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