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Old 30 March 2009, 23:24   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Germany
Age: 46
Posts: 11,034
Dreamcast SD Adaptor Coming Soon

Maybe the first step in a better DC homebrew use. I wonder, if they could write a loader for GDI images too.

Chui our good friend who has a site hosted here at DCEmu posted news over at our spanish friends of a new SD Card Adapter thats coming soon for the Dreamcast, this could be the best thing homebrew wise to happen to the Dreamcast scene in years and makes you wonder if the SD cards can be used to play emulators and games that werent prevoiusly doable by using the additional space on the SD Cards, firstly heres a pic of the adapter:

Heres a translation of the Spanish Article
After turning several months, we've assembled an adapter to connect an SD card for the Dreamcast port of the link. The truth is that the speed is amazing and we already have a library to use. More info on our wiki.

But for the production of a few adapters and selling, we need to know how many people would be interested. Cost about 20 € with shipping to SPAIN (+10 € for some foreign countries) and sent with a CD with a program that will be able to exchange files with VMU BINS and launch from the SD card.

EDIT: The prices have been changed to make them accessible to the world, remember that this is not done for profit but for the common good. For this reason we have reset the price originally agreed to cover costs of materials, and assembly time.

Later we will use the library and implemented quickly to a pager for the big games of AES4ALL, load / save snapshots DCaSTaway all emulators and ROMS can be loaded from the SD card.

Are you interested? Book your already adapted in this thread!

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Reason for development

The Dreamcast has support CD / GD, and visual memory card (VMU). The first one is read-only, and the latter has clear shortcomings: transmission speed and size. For this reason, are always looking for an alternative storage unit that saves the main support (save states) and other files, such as the configuration in our emulators. For a time it was speculated that the port expansion (G2) where the currently connected network adapter (or modem) is ideal for access via the new peripherals. But unfortunately, its architecture and requirements are far beyond our reach. Therefore, the serial port of an alternative that, while not enjoying all the privileges of the port allows for expansion if the most part, our wishes for a new carrier additional capacity and speed. This port allows us to use an SD card adapter that are usually used in mobile devices such as phones, MP3 players, etc..

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Key Features

* Good transfer rate in both reading and writing (about 500 KBytes / s).
* Very low average access time for reading (a few milliseconds).
* Support for cards up to 2 GBytes of SDS (not tested with larger cards).
* Loading binary from the card as a backup utility dcload and to / from VMU.

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Driver software

Obviously the hardware is always in the hands of the software, otherwise their use is limited to decorate our desktop (because of the undesirable characteristics of the housing), so our first task was to create a driver / library to allow us to comfortably using our adapter. These are some of its features:

* Library FatFs by Chan: Support for file systems FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32. Directory Management (basic operations and navigation in trees).
* Control CRC32 Cyclic Redundancy Error.
* Extremely light: less than 30KBytes code.

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Use and objectives

Primarily used to store saved games (save states), configuration files and read-only memories (ROMs). Is scheduled for implementation in the following emulators:

* AES4All: It will allow a better performance of the MMU, making it virtually emulation is fluid, without needing to access the CD reader, which produces a constant slowdown.
* DCastaway: We will use the saved game. Can store items not currently on a permanent basis.
* Gens4all: Items stored and load ROMs.
Sounds Excellent, those interested should either reply here or at Dreamcast.ES and be amongst the first to enjoy a storage medium on the Dreamcast that Sega never got around to do.

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