DVD Drive Emulator Question

Portables, case replacements, mods etc, all in here!
DieKatzchen
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 8:21 pm

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by DieKatzchen » Tue May 15, 2018 8:34 pm

I'd be willing to pay the price of a Wasp, if it meant I could actually receive an ODE. Those things are rare as hen's teeth. I only ever hear about them as "you should have checked a week ago. There were a few, they're all gone now."
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » Sun May 27, 2018 8:04 pm

I made lots of progress this week. Got fast SD card mode working. I also added FAT filesystem support today using FatFS. Currently I just load a fixed filename. It would probably be convenient to look into Swiss integration?

There is still lots of work to do, but at least the core functionality is proven: good loading times even with the FAT overhead. :)
User avatar
Streetwalker
Posts: 1654
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Israel

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by Streetwalker » Sun May 27, 2018 8:23 pm

You could benchmark it with cleanrip. Disable checksum calculation and comment out SD writes, then see how much you get. Seek latency can safely be assumed to be much faster than the real drive.
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » Wed May 30, 2018 12:08 pm

That's a great idea. I will look into that when I have audiostreaming implemented as that will induce a penalty. I would also have to enable audiostreaming in Cleanrip obviously.

Does anyone know the speed of a WASP/Wiikey?
User avatar
waiwainl
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:26 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by waiwainl » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:02 pm

Impressive progress! Keep up the good work.
Unfortunately I was never able to source a WASP/WiiKey (like many others).
DieKatzchen
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 8:21 pm

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by DieKatzchen » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:21 pm

Will it be in a form factor like This thing? Hopefully much less expensive, it's my understanding that he made these things were made by removing the chip from a working WASP and transplanting it onto that board. Hence the ridiculous price.
User avatar
Streetwalker
Posts: 1654
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Israel

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by Streetwalker » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:15 pm

It's possible provided you have access to enough connectors for it.
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:28 am

I am not sure yet about the form factor. At this point I only have a prototype board which has some extra debug capabilities (which I do not even use at the moment). Ideally the board will be plug-and-play, but then we need to get connectors somehow. I would be open to teaming up with someone with the know-how.

I have been working on audiostreaming past few weeks. I have recognizable, but slightly distorted audio. I am gonna have to compare with a known working implementation, which will take some time and effort. Then I still need to implement ISO selection and at that point I think this solution outperforms WASP/Wiikey on all aspects.
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » 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.
User avatar
waiwainl
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:26 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by waiwainl » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:41 am

Hulde!

That is looking very impressive.
User avatar
emu_kidid
Site Admin
Posts: 4376
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by emu_kidid » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:59 am

Very cool, those load times are super fast!

Send me a merge request too
Image
User avatar
Streetwalker
Posts: 1654
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Israel

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by Streetwalker » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:28 pm

Nice job. :) You might want to find a solution for the lack of autoboot. I believe a pull down resistor in DICOVER should help.
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:42 pm

emu_kidid wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:59 am
Very cool, those load times are super fast!

Send me a merge request too
At the moment I have implemented only the bare minimum. For instance, SD Card detection has not been implemented yet. I will definitely send a merge request once I think everything is ready.
Streetwalker wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:28 pm
Nice job. :) You might want to find a solution for the lack of autoboot. I believe a pull down resistor in DICOVER should help.
Thanks, I will take a look at that. I was already wondering why autoboot was not working, but have not really bothered investigating it further.
User avatar
Streetwalker
Posts: 1654
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Israel

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by Streetwalker » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:01 pm

My guess is your fpga is too slow to boot, so the GameCube behaves just like the real drive with the lid open. This is also a problem with some wasps and some SD cards.
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:01 am

I am currently brainstorming what the final hardware should look like. Right now I just have a single board which has an FPGA, an FFC connector for the drive signals (similar to the host FFC on Wiikey/WASP, also same pinout), and an SD Card slot. 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.

My idea is to make a board similar to the GDEMU. It will sit in place where the DVD drive used to be and there is just one board (unlike WASP/Wiikey which has a separate board for the SD Card). Unfortunately, the DVD connector seems proprietary(?). Therefore, I would probably keep the host FFC and people somehow need to connect it (with the use of Citrus3000psi's QSB for instance). I am also planning to at least add the footprint of the original DVD connector so there is the option to get it from an original DVD drive for plug-and-play installation.

The downside of this board design I see is that it is not very convenient to install it into a Wii. The Wiikey/WASP has the separate SD card PCB so it can hang outside of the Wii (I believe?). Imo, this looks kind of crappy anyways. I am not sure how many people want a design tailored for the Wii rather than only for the GameCube?

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.

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?
User avatar
waiwainl
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:26 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by waiwainl » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:54 am

I like the idea to do it similar to GDEMU. If the compatibility is high, you don't need the DVD drive anymore.
Based on my own experience both my Saturn and DC have no optical drive and I have not once found myself in a situation that I would need it again.

I would focus on keeping the cost down. Having the SDcard separately from the PCB and doing additions (wifi), only add cost to the BOM.
And like you mention, probably not many people are interested in those extras.
If people really would like to have the SDcard hanging outside; you can buy SDcard-extender-flatcables for $2 on eBay. I used them for the Darksoft CPS2 Multi to have the SDcard nicely be integrated in the CPS2 shell.

Regarding the Wii - would that allow only to run GC games? or also Wii games?
If it is the former and it will add cost, than I wouldn't be specifically interested in that feature. If it does support Wii games, than yes (including a higher BOM).
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:04 am

waiwainl wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:54 am
I like the idea to do it similar to GDEMU. If the compatibility is high, you don't need the DVD drive anymore.
Based on my own experience both my Saturn and DC have no optical drive and I have not once found myself in a situation that I would need it again.
Aim is of course to make all games work. I have not tried a lot of games yet, but whatever I threw at it is working.
I would focus on keeping the cost down. Having the SDcard separately from the PCB and doing additions (wifi), only add cost to the BOM.
And like you mention, probably not many people are interested in those extras.
If people really would like to have the SDcard hanging outside; you can buy SDcard-extender-flatcables for $2 on eBay. I used them for the Darksoft CPS2 Multi to have the SDcard nicely be integrated in the CPS2 shell.
Excellent, I was not aware that SD card extenders are so easy to find. That pretty much obsoletes the need for an extra PCB. :)
Regarding the Wii - would that allow only to run GC games? or also Wii games?
If it is the former and it will add cost, than I wouldn't be specifically interested in that feature. If it does support Wii games, than yes (including a higher BOM).
Focus right now is GC, but I do not see why Wii games would not work if the necessary firmware changes are made. For the Wii it is easy to keep the DVD drive and it does not require any trace cutting like the GameCube. The only addition it would add to the bom is an extra FFC connector, I think.

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will then go with a board that is similar to Wiikey and WASP (and allows you to keep the drive), but has the SD Card on it as well. On top of that I will see if I can add the footprint for the GC DVD connector.
User avatar
Streetwalker
Posts: 1654
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Israel

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by Streetwalker » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:00 am

Keeping the DVD drive isn't very useful since you have audio streaming support. That was the number one reason for wanting to keep both with Wii ODEs. Some people might want to rip their own games, but you can hotswap the drive for that if you really want to.
If you want to support the Wii without a DVD drive, you can just expose the SD slot through the DVD slot, though it would need some kind of cover (3D printed?) to prevent you from dropping the card inside the console. That said, I don't think Wii support would be very useful, since the superior USB loading methods exist.
I'm not quite sure what you could provide with ESP wifi, since it's going to be pretty slow.
Having the footprint for the original DVD connector is a good idea, it'd allow anyone who's willing to sacrifice a (dead?) DVD drive to install it with less of a mess than soldering a QSB to the bottom of the mainboard.
citrus3000psi
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:16 pm

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by citrus3000psi » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:14 pm

Great work @meneerbeer

I've been thinking about this for the last few days. I like the plug in solution, but requires the user to desolder the dvd drive connector.

I would at least keep the FFC connector the same. So people with existing mega drive setups etc, can simply just replace their wkf/wasp. It would also be nice to keep the same FFC connector for the SD card, for that same purpose.

For new setups they could use my existing wasp dvd board and route the FFC cable wherever. I can also design a new board up that plugs in to the DVD connector. (You'd have to sacrifice the DVD connector.)
GnatMan
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:35 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by GnatMan » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:21 pm

My main interest in this project is to replace the broken drive in my Panasonic Q. If you look around online, you'll notice that there are many many Panasonic Q's with broken drives, so I can't imagine I would be alone here. So with that being said, I think not tying this directly to the GameCube's original drive form factor would be great for Wii and Panasonic Q owners. If you make it generic enough, it would be easy to 3D print holders to make it fit into any of the 3 systems (GC, Q, Wii).
meneerbeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by meneerbeer » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:41 pm

citrus3000psi wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:14 pm
I would at least keep the FFC connector the same. So people with existing mega drive setups etc, can simply just replace their wkf/wasp. It would also be nice to keep the same FFC connector for the SD card, for that same purpose.
I can probably put an FFC connector in parallel to the SD card connector. Although I am not really a fan of putting too much load on signals.
For new setups they could use my existing wasp dvd board and route the FFC cable wherever.
I think that is indeed currently the best solution. Especially the one that is soldered right on top of the connector's through-hole pins should be a fairly easy install. It seems that this board has its pinout mirrored though, as it is supposed to connect to the DVD FFC rather than the host FFC?

It would be cool if we can replicate the DVD connector. I am not sure about the costs to do such a thing. My experience is lacking here making it more difficult to make a good quality connector.
GnatMan wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:21 pm
My main interest in this project is to replace the broken drive in my Panasonic Q. If you look around online, you'll notice that there are many many Panasonic Q's with broken drives, so I can't imagine I would be alone here. So with that being said, I think not tying this directly to the GameCube's original drive form factor would be great for Wii and Panasonic Q owners. If you make it generic enough, it would be easy to 3D print holders to make it fit into any of the 3 systems (GC, Q, Wii).
I don't know anything about Panasonic Q. Is it possible to install a Wiikey/WASP fusion onto a Panasonic Q? If yes, then my board would most likely support it (with minimal effort at least).
citrus3000psi
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:16 pm

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by citrus3000psi » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:02 pm

meneerbeer wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:41 pm
I think that is indeed currently the best solution. Especially the one that is soldered right on top of the connector's through-hole pins should be a fairly easy install. It seems that this board has its pinout mirrored though, as it is supposed to connect to the DVD FFC rather than the host FFC?
Yes its flipped. So I can modify the board or simply use an FFC connector with the pins on the top or FFC cable that has backers on opposites sides.
GnatMan
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:35 am

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by GnatMan » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:26 pm

I don't know anything about Panasonic Q. Is it possible to install a Wiikey/WASP fusion onto a Panasonic Q? If yes, then my board would most likely support it (with minimal effort at least).
From everything I've read, it looks the Q works with Wiikey/WASP fusion and Wii drives just like the regular GameCube does. I have an extra Q if you need someone to help test with your board.
Last edited by GnatMan on Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
count.zero
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 3:57 pm
Location: Italy

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by count.zero » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:37 pm

Put a microsd card slot if you need to save space (a smaller pcb is less expensive) and maybe a few test point with the microsd signals easy accessible if someone wants to solder wires to relocate the sd card slot.
I would personally appreciate the opportunity to have the dvd drive still usable (because I own a lot of original disks). The Panasonic Q uses a drive different from the one of the stock gamecube: the electronic is different and I think that the drive firmware is swapped when you switch from DVD mode to Gamecube mode. From what I remember the Q has a tray able to accomodate normal sized DVD but in gamecube mode cannot access them in the area normally located outside the size of a small DVD.

That said... the Gamecube mainboard inside the Q (that is almost standard) is connected to the drive with an adapter and an FFC cable so, if it's possible to have a pass thru to keep the original drive it could be possibile even to have a drop-in solderless version for the Q :-)
Panasonic Q internal DVD connector.jpg
(390.97 KiB) Not downloaded yet
User avatar
Streetwalker
Posts: 1654
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Israel

Re: DVD Drive Emulator Question

Post by Streetwalker » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:45 pm

The Q uses a small board similar to the megadrive v3, with an FFC that goes to the drive. The best way to support it would be to have an extra set of FFC connectors to connect to it + pass through to the DVD drive.
Post Reply