Sega System24 with HxC Floppy Disk Emulator

Nov 27th, 2013

Wow, so long since I’ve had time or energy to-do a blog post – so long I almost forgot my login details.. :p

In order to try this out you will need the following:-

HxC emulator hardware (slim in this case)

A FAT16/32 SD card – 32MB or higher
MAME System24 rom dumps, or the original floppys with a working disk drive setup

What is the goal?

To move System24 floppy disks into a more reliable medium, without limiting the system in terms of loading and functionality.

The other issue is getting replacement floppy disk drives to actually work on the system – actually the newer games aren’t so bad, it’s the Hot Rod and Scramble Spirits Japan which are notoriously fussy on disks and drives – even copying those disks on a real system is a nightmare!

Just to clear some myths

Hot Rod/Scramble Spirits Japan

Each (0×2f00) track layout consists of these sectors

1=8192bytes
2=1024bytes
3=1024bytes
4=1024bytes
5=512bytes
6=256bytes

The later games use a layout more akin to PC, and yes a PC can easily read and write those floppy disks.

Building up the setup

Firstly you need to configure the HxC emulator suitable the System24.

Move the dips to the layout shown below

and hook it up to the System24 like you would a floppy disk drive – not the blue strip goes closest to the power cable.

Now it’s time to use the software (which can be downloaded here).

Launch the HxCFloppyEmulator software and you’ll be presented with a screen like below.

If you want to dump your disk then use the Floppy disk dump, if not then probably best to use MAME dumps.

If you want to dump your disk, it’s pretty simply a case of pressing a button and waiting for it complete (then skip past the MAME dump section).

If you want to use MAME dumps then follow this :-

Rename the DS3-5000-xxx.img to DS3-5000-xxx.s24, the extension must be .s24

Use the Load button and select the .s24 file.

In both cases – from reading the floppy or loading the .s24 file you should have the dump loaded.

Now saving it to the SD card is pretty straight forward, select the export file and browse to your FAT16/FAT32 SD card, save the file as DSKA000 and make sure the save type is HFE file (SD Card HxC Floppy Emulator file format).

Now you need to-do the config file to match.

This is pretty straight forward, Go on the menu Settings->SD HxC Floppy Emulator Settings (ALT+L) and you will be presented with a screen like this

Check the Enabled indexed mode (as this will load DSKA0000, then DSKA0001, 0002 ect if you push the disk selector button), but in reality System24 only uses one floppy at any one time.

Note:At time of writting the offical HxC software doesn’t support Hot Rod/Scramble Spirts J .s24 files, this will change soon (as I am testing the BETA software).

Hit the Save config file and save it to the SD Card.

Test it baby!

Plug in the SD card into your HxC Floppy Disk emulator and pray to the almighty Sega god.

Things you could do to enhance it.

Put a simple batch file on the SD card which you could be menu driven, so you could select a game and it could copy say scramble.hfe to DSKA0000.hfe

References:-

http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/
http://www.lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=91

Update
Okay this is confirmed working on both the slimline and the full fat Rev F versions, but there is some additonal notes

Make sure the firmware is :-

Firmware SD HxCFloppyEmulator v1.8.2.40 (make sure you use the correct firm for the correct model type).
The interface mode needs to be on custom pin34 high – on the LCD version this is achieved by doing this
remove the sd, press select, interface cfg and choose pin 34 high
For the slimline version, there is a custom BIOS and .CFG file for the System24 – if anyone gets stuck I can supply all the things needed to get this working on the slim.

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FROM 4/4 – Let’s get FLUSH!?

Feb 4th, 2012

Well this was a must have item for me, and probably rare as hens teeth – Ken Westerfield told me Sega USA never got one of these units, but what is it?

Sega Flash burner (or Flush in Engrish)

Well it is a Model 3 support tool, ideal to test and duplicate Model 3 roms (although it can be used on other applications, like duplicating Naomi BIOS chips) – well you can do that with a normal Eprom burner, but this offers some serious advantages.

  • Ability to program 8 ICs at a time.
  • Ability to use 32MB/64MB Flash roms.
  • Ability to duplicate 64MB ICs as used on Daytona 2/Spikeout!
  • Ability to transfer the buffer to and from a computer host using SCSI.
  • No need to have a computer connected.

    The unit has a nice 2 row LCD and a some control buttons.

    Let’s brake down what this unit can actually do -the options are achieved by using the select buttons, then using the blank/erase button to select the correct sub option.

    Option A ROM -> ROM


    0. 64MB Mask rom -> 64MB Flash rom (1234) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,3,4 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    1. 64MB Mask rom -> 64MB Flash rom (1212) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,1,2 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    2. 64MB Mask rom -> 64MB Flash rom (1111) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,1,1,1 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    3. 32MB Mask rom -> 32MB Flash rom (1234) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,3,4 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    4. 32MB Mask rom -> 32MB Flash rom (1212) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,1,2 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    5. 32MB Mask rom -> 32MB Flash rom (1111) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,1,1,1 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    6. 16MB Mask rom -> 16MB (TC5716200D) (1234) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,3,4 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    7. 16MB Mask rom -> 16MB (TC5716200D) (1212) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,1,2 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    8. 16MB Mask rom -> 16MB (TC5716200D) (1111) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,1,1,1 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    9. 16MB Mask rom -> 16MB (m27C160) (1234) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,3,4 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    10. 16MB Mask rom -> 16MB (m27C160) (1212) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2,1,2 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    11. 16MB Mask rom -> 16MB (m27C160) (1111) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,1,1,1 to Destination Rom location A,B,C,D
    12. 64MB Mask rom -> 32MB x 2 (12) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2 to Destination Rom location A (lower 32MB from 1), B (upper 32MB from 1), C (lower 32MB from 2), D (upper 32MB from 2) (Split)
    13. 32MB Mask rom -> 16MB (TC5716200D) x 2 (12) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2 to Destination Rom location A (lower 16MB from 1), B (upper 16MB from 1), C (lower 16MB from 2), D (upper 16MB from 2) (Split)
    14. 32MB Mask rom -> 16MB (m27C160) x 2 (12) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2 to Destination Rom location A (lower 16MB from 1), B (upper 16MB from 1), C (lower 16MB from 2), D (upper 16MB from 2) (Split)
    15. 32MBx2 -> 64MB Flash rom (1l2h3l4h) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2 to Destination Rom location A (Merge)
    16. 16MBx2 -> 32MB Flash rom (1l2h3l4h) – Copies from Master Rom location 1,2 to Destination Rom location A (Merge)

    Option B ROM -> BUFFER


    0. SEGA64MB Mask Rom -> Buffer (1 – 8 ) – Copies ALL source roms to memory.
    1. SEGA32MB Mask Rom -> Buffer (1 – 8 ) – Copies ALL source roms to memory.
    2. TC5716200D -> Buffer (1 – 8 ) – Copies ALL source roms to memory.
    3. m27C160 -> Buffer (1 – 8 ) – Copies ALL source roms to memory.

    Option C BUFFER -> ROM


    0. Buffer (1 – 8 ) -> 64MB Mask rom – Write from 8 64MB mask roms from buffer to all 8 64MB Flash roms
    1. Buffer (1 – 4) -> 64MB Mask rom – Write from 4 64MB mask roms from buffer to 4 or 8 64MB Flash rom
    2. Buffer (1 – 2) -> 64MB Mask rom – Write from 2 64MB mask roms from buffer to 2, 4, 6 or 8 64MB Flash roms
    3. Buffer (1 – 1) -> 64MB Mask rom – Write from 1 64MB mask roms from buffer to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 64MB Flash roms
    4. Buffer (1 – 8 ) -> 32MB Mask rom – Write from 8 32MB mask roms from buffer to all 8 32MB Flash roms
    5. Buffer (1 – 4) -> 32MB Mask rom – Write from 4 32MB mask roms from buffer to 4 or 8 32MB Flash rom
    6. Buffer (1 – 2) -> 32MB Mask rom – Write from 2 32MB mask roms from buffer to 2, 4, 6 or 8 32MB Flash roms
    7. Buffer (1 – 1) -> 32MB Mask rom – Write from 1 32MB mask roms from buffer to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 32MB Flash roms
    8. Buffer (1 – 8 ) -> 16MB (TC5716200D) – Write from 8 32MB mask roms from buffer to all 8 16MB (TC5716200D)
    9. Buffer (1 – 4) -> 16MB (TC5716200D) – Write from 4 32MB mask roms from buffer to 4 or 8 16MB (TC5716200D)
    10. Buffer (1 – 2) -> 16MB (TC5716200D) – Write from 2 32MB mask roms from buffer to 2, 4, 6 or 8 16MB (TC5716200D)
    11. Buffer (1 – 1) -> 16MB (TC5716200D) – Write from 1 32MB mask roms from buffer to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 16MB (TC5716200D)
    12. Buffer (1 – 8 ) -> 16MB (m27c160) – Write from 8 32MB mask roms from buffer to all 8 16MB (m27c160)
    13. Buffer (1 – 4) -> 16MB (m27c160) – Write from 4 32MB mask roms from buffer to 4 or 8 16MB (m27c160)
    14. Buffer (1 – 2) -> 16MB (m27c160) – Write from 2 32MB mask roms from buffer to 2, 4, 6 or 8 16MB (m27c160)
    15. Buffer (1 – 1) -> 16MB (m27c160) – Write from 1 32MB mask roms from buffer to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 16MB (m27c160)

    Option D SCSI TRANSFER


    Transfer from SCSI to SCSI – unable to document at this time

    Option E ROM ERASE


    0. Erase 64MB Flash roms (4 roms – Destination only)
    1. Erase 64MB Flash roms (8 roms – all locations)
    2. Erase 32MB Flash roms (4 roms – Destination only)
    3. Erase 32MB Flash roms (8 roms – all locations)
    4. Erase 1 Buffer
    5. Erase 8 Buffer

    Option F ROM BLANK


    0. Check 64MB Flash rom is blank
    1. Check 32MB Flash rom is blank
    2. Check 16MB Eprom is blank
    3. Check BUFFER is blank

    Option G CHECKSUM (16BIT CHECKSUM)


    0. Checksum 64MB Flash rom
    1. Checksum 32MB Flash rom
    2. Checksum 16MB Eprom

    32MB Flash rom

    64MB Flash rom

    With this I’ve successfully duplicated IC1 on Daytona USA 2, so it’s all good.. Model 3 what a system, what memories..

    Nice bit of history, shows that Sega developed all sorts of nifty internal tools over there – shame they rarely trusted anyone outside of Japan with there tools.

    I know there was also a Naomi cart flash programmer as there is a few development Naomi carts out there, heck even my F355 Challenge 2 is a dev cart with the Intel flash roms and screwed in security module – even saw a Maze of the kings on Flash cart.

    Okay to test the unit out, I’ve done a test – duplicate IC1 to 8 on Daytona 2 BOTE.

    Daytona 2 rom board with the 8 64MB flash roms fitted

    Powering on an doing the CRC test

    How long did it take??

    Copying the 8 64MB original ICs to buffer – 8mins (1min per rom approx)
    Duplicating the buffer to new 64MB flash roms – 24mins (3mins per flash approx)

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  • Making Outrun 2 SP even more SPECIAL..

    Aug 12th, 2011

    Been a while since I’ve blogged!! Little time to due such things, although I do post a few updates on the facebook page when I can.

    As people know Outrun 2 is one of my personal fav driving games and probably one of the best drivers released in the last 10 years, but there was a problem with my lovely – the game is looking a bit long in the tooth, say compared to newer games – especially as I wanted to put a new 26″ LCD into my cabinet – 4:3 640×480 games, look a bit pants when running on a high defination screen which is 16:9!

    There was annoying bug in the SP version – when you have the view inside the car or bonnet view then the feedback would be non-existant! :(

    Enter the Lindbergh version – well actually it’s a port of the Chihiro version done by Polygon Magic (yes the same guys who did Maximum Tune series for Namco), but this is the SDX version?! Well it is – but where there is a will there’s a way!

    Original SP running on an LCD (640×480)

    Lindbergh SP running on the same LCD (1280×768)

    click the picture for a larger one – be warned it’s quite a size.

    Notes, music was easily changed by replacing the .adx files, also I did fix the annoying feedback bug

    Key points :- 1280×768 high resolution, feedback view bug fixed, ability for different toons, 16:9 aspect ratio.

    Strangely the feedback seems a lot stronger with the new serial feedback motor board, compared to the Chihiro midi feedback board, certainly was on my test bench.

    Shame Sega didn’t offically release the Lindbergh version of Outrun 2 SP, they did Ghost Squad in the form of an upgrade, the game certainly is far superior to R-Tuned and RaceTV!

    Long live AM2 – Gone but not forgotten!

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    Battle Gear 4 Tuned – Tuned some more…

    Jan 28th, 2011

    Following on from my resolution mods for Raw Thrills, we move to Taito.

    I’ve done a lot of work for some customers overseas with Battle Gear 4 Tuned – The game is very popular in Australia and certain parts of Asia, yet the game is uncommon in UK. Shame as it looks like a really good driving game.

    Anyway Tuned Professional increased the resolution to 1360×768, nice addition.. As most CRT cabs are now getting refurbished with LCDs, it would be nice to upgrade BG4 Tuned to support something more exciting than 800×600, and let’s face it 800×600 on a 16:9 LCD looks not so good.

    Luckly with a bit of “tweaking” the game can support different resolutions, including 1920×1080..

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    Clonebergh!

    Nov 24th, 2010

    Well this week something came as a bit of suprise – An House of the dead 4 PCB for repair – nothing new there, however before I even opened the cage I knew something was odd.

    It’s a Chinese clone of the Sega Lindbergh!! I heard rumours that Chinese companies had bootleg ID4, but now I’ve seen it with my own eyes – they’ve replicated everything from the cage to the metal video card retaining bracket.

    Security chip is an old lindbergh PIC recycled and reprogrammed up with the HOTD4 key – so it is still laser etched (although the 16F48A chip is like £2 each!), and funnly enough it was fitted with a 2.2Ghz Pentium 4 CPU, odd as stock HOTD4 will not work on that (won’t work on a 2.8GHZ cpu either as found in Lind Red). I once run RaceTV on a Red and it was choppy, so even if the game did work – it wouldn’t have been smooth (the dips where setup for 1366×768 resolution).

    Video card was a some replica 6800GT, haven’t looked at the GPU, but most likely it is a 6800 or 6800LE (anyone who has run HOTD4 with those GPU will notice it will judder when in high res mode, due to the lesser number of pipelines and low clock speeds).

    The mainboard uses exactly the same components – so it performs the same and the security model has been maintained (good – I don’t want to see hacked Lindbergh).

    Let’s see some components

    Sega original mainboard

    Clone mainboard

    Sega original baseboard

    Clone baseboard

    Sega security filter board

    Clone security filter board

    Anyway, now it’s running like a “regular” Lindbergh it has the same components fitted as an original HOTD4 PCB.

    Conclusion – clone or original there is only one outcome…

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    Kit me up..

    Nov 20th, 2010

    Seems Sega are going to release an Sega Rally 3 game kit – kit will be suitable to upgrade existing cabinets – I said about 2 years ago they should have released SR3 as a kit for Ford Racing cabinets.

    What is interesting the kit will come with a 27″ LCD monitor, which will pave the way for other LCD games – such as Hummer, Initial D4 etc. These games are nice, but frankly the cost of the machines is crazy high.. Price of one single can buy an operator a Raw Thrills twin.

    Global VR have done kits for NFS Carbon, for older cabinets for a few years with great success, a company like JNC has probably made more money selling Carbon conversions than any other game – one because it was fairly new, and secondly it didn’t break the bank!

    We must think about recycling these old cabinets, with a lick of paint, and new LCD screen these will be good for a few more years..

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    Outrun 3-D

    Nov 16th, 2010

    Probably in development as we speak… Both Konami and Namco have 3D drivers out soon, I suspect Sega Japan will follow up with a driving game, what better than Outrun 3! Let’s face it Outrun 2 SP was the last decent driving game from Sega, RaceTV was such a bad game – I remember once demonstrated it to an operator who walked away once he saw the intro – Western operators are not impressed with gay references and/or dancing!

    In the meantime, I will watch to see how GRiD is recieved, I’ve heard mixed feedback – some say it totally re-programmed (arcade experience) from the home versions, while some say it feels just like a PS3 game (one of the things that ruined Sega Rally 3 was it felt like a console game, not an arcade game – It lacked the Rally 1 and 2 atompshere).

    I’d also love to see a worthy Ridge Racer game – seems the series stopped for me at Rave Racer.. C’mon we want a Ridge Racer remix (like Sega Racing Classics) old skool game with a new coat of paint for the visuals – leave the music though – still some of the best video game music ever..

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    Demul – M3 Edition

    Nov 13th, 2010

    Seems those sneaky russians are working on a Model 3 emulator.. Model 3 is probably still one of the best arcade PCBs ever made – and will always have a place in my heart – When Sega where far and away the king of the arcades.






    Source:Demul – WIP version of the emulator.

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    How to make a Sega Racing Classics well kinda..

    Nov 13th, 2010

    As everyone knows M (Elsemi), did a great job with his Model 2 emulator (http://nebula.emulatronia.com/), but many people are probably not aware you can easily hook-up arcade controls for a nicer retro experience.

    What you need?

    Immersion USB board (single or dual PCB version)
    Happ UGCI I/O Board (for the digital inputs and analogue pedals)
    24VDC power supply (to power the Immersion board)
    Happ controls active motor with 5K pot fitted.
    A driving cabinet with a 31K monitor or higher (or Optional LCD monitor)

    How does it work?

    The Immersion PCB is DirectInput based controller, as is the Happ UGCI controller, you can map these boards to your controls.

    Took me 10 minutes to wire up the wheel to the Immerssion PCB and get feedback from the M2 emulator.

    Funnly enough with a GlobalVR cabinet (Need for speed, Nascar), you can quite easily get M2 emulator and other DirectX games working on there, Daytona USA on a Nascar cabinet would be a better game!

    Tha happ wheel can be interfaced with a lot of arcade hardware.

    Namco (you require the correct drive board)
    Global VR (you require the Immersion board)
    Ford Racing/Sega Rally 3/The Grid (you require a Parallel port to Happ motor controller board)
    Raw Thrills (you require the Raw Thrills I/O board)
    PC games (you require the Immersion PCB for the wheel,other I/O for inputs, keyboard encoder/or UGCI or similar)

    Obvioulsy most people wil buy off the shelf logitech wheel, but anyone serious about “arcade” feel would probably already looking to buy an arcade driving cabinet (especially as they can be obtained for under £200), the wheel strength is far superior, comparing plastic based cogs/24VDC low amp motor against a 90VDC industrial motor..

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    F&F Drift

    Oct 20th, 2010

    I was asked if Drift supported high resolution, well I can answer that one now.

    I can confirm that Raw Thrills F&F Drift also supports the ability to run in high resolution upto 1600×1200 and 8 x full screen anti-aliasing. We can upgrade any F&F, Superbikes and Drift to high resolutions for your LCD solutions.

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