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Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:35 am
by rafer_22
@meneerbeer greetings from Perú. I am very happy reading about your work. Please, design your board like wiikey/wasp because I want to continue using DVD drive with your hardware like wiikey/wasp. I think it will be easy to replace if you keep same FFC pinout.
Sorry for my english.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:49 pm
by muramasa
meneerbeer wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:01 am
It does not have the DVD FFC connector like the Wiikey/WASP, so at the moment you cannot keep your DVD drive. I think the option to work in conjunction with the DVD drive is only interesting for a small group of people.
I'm definitely one of those people. Especially with how many gamecubes that still have working drives and the amount of original discs still around would definitely like to keep that.
meneerbeer wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:01 am
Also, if anyone has any more niche features that are fun and useful to add, please tell me. It seems a lot of people are adding ESP Wifi boards to their designs nowadays. I may be able to just add in the footprint for it.
I assume this is for wireless updates? I think it's a neat idea depending on how much it adds to the cost.
meneerbeer wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:01 am
So in short my questions are:
1. What should hardware design look like? Should I keep the SD card connector on the same PCB? Should there be support to keep the original DVD drive?
2. Should the hardware design be tailored for Wii support as well? If yes, what would be a good way?
3. Are there any niche additions that would be useful? ESP wifi support?
1. I would definitely like a way to keep DVD support.
2. I don't think you should worry about the wii for now. If there is still demand for a Wii ODE you could make a board purpose built for the wii. It seems like most demand for the wii drive emulators is just for the gamecube anyway.

It's probably still a little early but what are your plans for release? Would open sourcing the design be in the cards at all?

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:16 pm
by Sierron
meneerbeer wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:06 am
A video says more than a thousand words. :D

I have fixed the issues with audio streaming. I added Swiss support (Swiss also had to be modified) so you can select games. I think this makes more sense than creating a custom menu. Swiss also handles the region-free booting of games, so that is quite convenient.

Next I will start cleaning up the code. One major thing that still needs to be implemented is firmware update capabilities. I also think Wii support should be there at some point.
Nice, can't wait to see something for purchase to test it out with games :)

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:59 am
by DieKatzchen
I would recommend against using microsd. I have a gdemu, and it's a little fiddly inserting a full size sd card into a slot located inside the drive cavity. A microsd card would be a nightmare.
On the subject of connectors, the guy who runs badass consoles clearly got some from somewhere. They might be just really obscure, not proprietary. Might be worth contacting him.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:31 am
by Streetwalker
Mega just harvests the connectors from broken consoles.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:07 am
by Aleron Ives
DieKatzchen wrote:I would recommend against using microsd. I have a gdemu, and it's a little fiddly inserting a full size sd card into a slot located inside the drive cavity. A microsd card would be a nightmare.
You could use a microSD to full SD adapter for an existing card. I certainly wouldn't buy a new microSD card for GDEMU, though.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:36 am
by meneerbeer
Thanks for all the input. I am planning to do the following:
1. FFC connector to connect to the GameCube
2. FFC connector to support drive pass-through. I have not tested anything, so I am not sure if my board design will get it right first try.
3. Add a footprint of the DVD connector, so people can make it plug-and-play.
4. Add a connector for a normal size SD card.

I am still investigating how to lay this out the best way. The idea is that typically the board will be installed in the place where the DVD drive used to be, similarly to GDEMU. It indeed seems it can be quite fiddly to insert an SD card into the board through the drive cavity. Especially because the cavity is small due to mini disc and the GC disc drive seems to be relatively tall as well. Therefore, it seems there are only a few 'optimal' places where the SD card connector can be positioned.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:43 am
by Streetwalker
One thing people liked to do with the wasp is gutting the original drive, gluing the plastic shell to the top shell and installing the SD slot in the laser slot. I think SD extenders should be enough to enable this setup.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:19 am
by theclaw
Isn't there a handful of games best played on DVD?
I thought SD cards, IDE adapters, or anything else, each have their share of finicky titles.

Anyhow, faster load times will be wonderful.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:52 pm
by Streetwalker
Yeah, that was the case for the WASP because it didn't support audio streaming. It shouldn't be an issue with this one.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:33 am
by Insomnia
Hi meneerbeer (I assume ur dutch, because of the name lol). I was wondering whether you have a date in mind for putting these ODE's up for sale? I saw this coming by at the reddit subforum and I'm actually really interested in this awesome mod!

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:33 pm
by meneerbeer
I do not have a date in mind. Unfortunately, right now my job is consuming most of my time for the next two weeks. I should hopefully have the new board ready within a couple of weeks. Once that is all good, I am thinking of doing a small beta run.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:29 pm
by teconmoon
meneerbeer wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:33 pm
I do not have a date in mind. Unfortunately, right now my job is consuming most of my time for the next two weeks. I should hopefully have the new board ready within a couple of weeks. Once that is all good, I am thinking of doing a small beta run.
Haven't checked up on gc-forever in a bit, glad to see this project is still trucking! I'll be that guy that tosses out the "definitely interested in purchasing a beta run board!" even though you probably have a lot of beta testers already lined up ;) I have a few project GameCubes sitting around and I think I would definitely be able to help with testing a variety of models and use cases.

Good luck with this!

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:54 pm
by parski
I'm super stoked for this project! I've been waiting (for what feels like) forever for a gifted individual like yourself to take on this challenge and I'm super glad you have, OP. Major kudos to you. I really mean it!

Fanboying aside I have a question regarding the storage media: How viable would a USB hard drive solution be as opposed to SD? I'm sure we will have super high capacity SD cards in the future to fit the entire Gamecube library but short term it seems like only a hard drive could have that capacity. I'd be super happy with a large SD card with the best games I could fit on it of course but this was why I chose to get a USB-GDROM instead of a GDEMU. Now I totally get if there are bandwidth limitations or similar that shifts a hard drive solution to the impossible with glitchy cutscenes and what have you but I'm just curious about the reasoning to go with SD for storage.

Best of luck to you and again, I'm super excited to see this take form. You're doing a great thing!

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:45 pm
by Streetwalker
Any decent hard drive will be much faster than the GameCube can handle, in terms of raw bandwidth (see below for the but). There are several implications with USB however:
- Cost: High Speed mode is required in order to achieve loading speeds equal to or greater than the original DVD drive, which requires hardware and circuitry around an order of magnitude more expensive than Full Speed mode (which would barely achieve 1MB/s, a third of the drive's speed, if you can get devices to work with it at all).
- Complexity: USB is a lot of work to implement properly and some buggy devices may cause issues that are difficult to work around. Even modern operating systems aren't very robust when handling bad firmware. In comparison, SD cards are very easy to use from a software perspective.
- Consistency: This is mostly related to spinny disks rather than USB. In order to accurately emulate the original drive's timing, the lower and more consistent latency offered by flash-based storage is a huge advantage. A regular HDD is less predictable and can make this difficult. This is not a required feature, but it would certainly be appreciated for running some games, which rely on disc access times too much, either more accurately or at all.

TL;DR: The lower cost of a USB hard drive would be negated by a more expensive mod. The only benefit is mostly outweighed by all the sacrifices you'd have to make to properly support it.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:47 pm
by Sugurain
Ohhh....!
I tried the Wiikey solution in mine, but it didn't work... I guess it didn't support it because my cube is a DOL-002, and uses a different bios.
Your solution looks very promising, if I could keep the DVD-rom, that's even better.
Sure, after a mod like this I'd rarely use DVDs anymore, but the cube is almost 20 years old, it's a classic, if someone is keeping such an old console, it's probably a collector, and collectors like to have their games on physical media. I'd love something like the Dreamcast with the IDE HDD mod, or the PS2 with network adapter and HDD, in which both consoles still retain their disc drives.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:23 pm
by MichiS97
Hate to be one of these people, but if you need beta testers somewhere down the line, hit me up :p

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:51 pm
by Sassokee
So, any idea how this is going to be mounted? In conjunction with the OEM DVD drive or we nrrd to remove it and just use the ODE like the GDemu and Phoebe? (That would ne neat if someone designs a 3D model for a tray, I have it for my Dreamcast and it's great).

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:20 am
by Greg2600
Hope that progress continues!

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:49 am
by KylJoy
I am very excited about this!

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:47 am
by Kilokahn
I am excited but we've not seen meneerbeer on here for nearly 3 months. I hope they come back soon. :)

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:17 pm
by meneerbeer
Project is not dead! Just a bit busy with other things. Still working on the hopefully final hardware.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:09 pm
by myusername
meneerbeer wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:17 pm
Project is not dead! Just a bit busy with other things. Still working on the hopefully final hardware.
I think it will take you a couple more years to complete this project and your consistency will determine whether the project is success or failure. Why not let volunteers from this community help you by assigning some work to them to speed up the development process? You could form them into groups so that they could work on a certain part of the project, it could be even an extension on the project, such as USB compatibility.

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:14 pm
by TiredKorok
I've been watching this thread for a while but just joined to say that I think opening it up for others to help out would be a wonderful idea.

Of course people are going to pop up left and right to be beta testers in the end but besides that there's still a lot of work people would be willing to help with if it meant getting this out there sooner. And a lot of the people here have the skills to actually help.

For starters like myusername said usb support would be a great thing to open up. (it'd kill me a little inside to see this come out missing it tbh)

Either way loving how it's going so far, good work and good luck. :)

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:39 pm
by DieKatzchen
I think it's been mentioned that USB involves too many engineering problems to be worth it. I'd have to look back at the discussion, but if I remember right it would cost more, increase the developing time, and not work as well.