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eightbit

FS/FT: Sega Dreamcast GDEMU Clone <ON HOLD>

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Posted (edited)

Well, I ended up with TWO GDEmu clone boards. I asked for one for my birthday and two family members purchased one for me ;)

 

For those that are unaware, it is a GD-ROM optical drive replacement for the Sega Dreamcast. Simply pop out the GD-ROM drive and pop this board in, which has an onboard SD card slot. Put your games on the SD card and use a menu to select them. Don't worry, if you don't know how to do this I will help.

 

Anyway, it works only in Dreamcast VA1 units. You can find out if you have one of these by looking at the bottom of the console and see if you have a "1" in a circle. If so, you are good.

 

Find attached a picture of the exact unit you will get (minus the SD card). It has been fully tested in my Dreamcast. Only the board is included, not my Dreamcast, TV , SD card, etc. :)

 

I would ultimately like to trade it for some form of Mega Everdrive as I have a MegaDrive that I would like to use one of those in. But if not, looking to get $100 shipped  $90 shipped for it which is what was paid to my understanding. I know you can maybe purchase these from China for $70-$80, but in my opinion that is taking a chance and no guarantee it will work or even arrive. Mine has been throughly tested and works great. Please be advised however the quality of your SD card is key. If you use a crap card it will freeze and do weird things. I use PNY (in my picture) and Sandisk Ultra cards and never have an issue.

 

Ohh, and as this is a clone board, you CANNOT update the firmware. It will brick if you do. No need to update it anyway as everything works fine. And before someone asks, yes you can put the lid back on and access the card by opening the Dreamcast lid like you would if you were changing disks. I just have my lid off in this picture to fully illustrate how it is connected and show the entire board....and because I am still performing modifications ;)

 

PM if interested.

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Edited by eightbit
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How is the clone working out? I was going to buy one but saw a lot of mixed reviews and complaints about not being 100% compatible. Bleh. I just want my DC to be a DC again. :)

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2 hours ago, ClassicGMR said:

How is the clone working out? I was going to buy one but saw a lot of mixed reviews and complaints about not being 100% compatible. Bleh. I just want my DC to be a DC again. :)

 

I have tested the entire Dreamcast library. As far as I can tell it is 100% compatible.

 

I think the problem that most people are having is that they are using .CDI images and bad SD cards. John Riggs reviewed it on Youtube and you can see weird stuff like the audio going out on Crazy Taxi and his menu locking up. That is an incompatible or poor quality SD card. If you use a Sandisk Ultra or Extreme card that will never happen. It needs a good fast card to stream the data properly.

 

As mentioned, people are using .CDI images. The GDemu can launch these, but you don't want to use them as they are "scene rips". In other words, they are ripped/hacked games from the groups back in the day that had to do things to make the games fit on CD-ROM. They would rip out videos, downsample things, etc. Those rips are most definitely not 100% compatible.

 

If you use .GDI images however, your experience will be quite different. Those are pure 1:1 copies of the actual GD-ROM games. Those play 100% perfectly and those are the ones I use.

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13 hours ago, gamecomposer said:

Bad SD cards definitely give you distorted audio!! A Kingston card for me had terrible audio for almost every game!

 

 

Interesting....and Kingston cards are supposed to be high quality. I am actually surprised the PNY card I am using works as well as it does (just fine) as that brand is not typically the best ;) But, Sandisk Ultra and Extreme cards should always be fine. It's funny how much difference the brand of card can make. Same goes for CD-R's if you are burning backups and such.

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20 hours ago, gamecomposer said:

Bad SD cards definitely give you distorted audio!! A Kingston card for me had terrible audio for almost every game!

The only thing I can say about this is:

 

I buy my cards off the shelf at Wal-Mart/Target/Best Buy and have for the last year plus. Having dealt with the Raspberry Pi I know I can't use anything but authentic, quality cards when it matters. Nothing I purchased on the 'net worked in that thing! I became so frustrated I bought one at work figuring "if this doesn't work I'll return it." Well ... it worked fine. It LOOKED exactly the same as the other cheaper, new - and in one case sealed(!!!) - cards I bought online but no way could they have been authentic.

 

Going forward if I need a guaranteed quality card I buy off a peg hook in front of me to be sure.

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I've found if you purchase from Amazon and make SURE it is both shipped and sold by Amazon you are safe. Never had an issue with a bootleg card when it definitely came from Amazon themselves.

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On the other hand, I've had loads of problems with Samsung XC SD cards in some flashcarts. Sometimes a flash cart won't even read it, as it requires an SDHC not an SDXC (I think I got those right?) but other times it will read it, but struggle to load games, corrupt save states (on GB x7 for example). But it was more of an issue the larger those Samsung (they were green/white colored) SDXCs got. 32gbs rarely ran into problems. 128, all the time.

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My question and the reason I haven't gotten one of these myself, is how you get .GDI images? Because with my RHEA I have in my model 1 Saturn, I actually made my own CCD images from Discjuggler as the ones I 'found' or had been using for years from 'backups' wouldn't work in the RHEA. But all my own actual discs that I've imaged with discjuggler have worked 100%. However, a normal DVD drive in a PC isn't going to be able to read all the data from a GDrom can it? I've never tested this..so I don't know for sure..

 

Also, I can tell you that I use Samsung SDXC cards all the time and yes even in my RHEA it works. The trick..is to force format them to FAT32. Windows by default won't allow this on cards larger than a certain size. But I was able to format a 128gb Samsung SDXC using SD formatter and it has worked great in my RHEA. So I'm going to guess that these clones likely work better with a FAT32 formatted SD card as well.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, -^Cro§Bow^- said:

My question and the reason I haven't gotten one of these myself, is how you get .GDI images? Because with my RHEA I have in my model 1 Saturn, I actually made my own CCD images from Discjuggler as the ones I 'found' or had been using for years from 'backups' wouldn't work in the RHEA. But all my own actual discs that I've imaged with discjuggler have worked 100%. However, a normal DVD drive in a PC isn't going to be able to read all the data from a GDrom can it? I've never tested this..so I don't know for sure..

 

Also, I can tell you that I use Samsung SDXC cards all the time and yes even in my RHEA it works. The trick..is to force format them to FAT32. Windows by default won't allow this on cards larger than a certain size. But I was able to format a 128gb Samsung SDXC using SD formatter and it has worked great in my RHEA. So I'm going to guess that these clones likely work better with a FAT32 formatted SD card as well.

 

 

 

What is your method of formatting as FAT32? Guiformat? I've had so many problems with my Samsung's in (mostly) portable/handheld flashcarts. 

 

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3 minutes ago, gamecomposer said:

What is your method of formatting as FAT32? Guiformat? I've had so many problems with my Samsung's in (mostly) portable/handheld flashcarts. 

 

Yes I used Guiformat direct from the developers:

 

http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm

 

I've been using a 64 and 128gb Sandisk Ultra Plus SDXC cards formatted with that program in my Rhea thus far without any issues. The main problems I had were that my initial images I had 'acquired' in the past wouldn't work. Since that time I've got a decent collection of original games and just decided to make my own images with discjuggler.

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If you are using Saturn images look for the "Darkwater" rips. These are perfect 1:1 rips that were dumped a few times (five IIRC?) and then verified. The only ones I use. Still looking for a Rhea btw ;)

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1 hour ago, eightbit said:

If you are using Saturn images look for the "Darkwater" rips. These are perfect 1:1 rips that were dumped a few times (five IIRC?) and then verified. The only ones I use. Still looking for a Rhea btw ;)

I'm not looking for any Saturn images as again I ripped my own games from my own collection that I put on my SD card. And I got my Rhea from a friend locally who somehow had a couple of them. As a favor to me for some mod work I did for him sometime back, he presented me with a model 1 Saturn with a Rhea already installed and ready to go. I just had to supply the SD card and my make my images for it. Very nice and I'm lucky to have gotten one for use. Keeps the wear and handling of my Saturn originals to a minimum.

 

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Bump. Now $85 shipped for the GDEmu board. I have one of these in my DC and I can tell you this thing is GREAT. If you have a VA1 Dreamcast you will definitely love this thing!

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On 7/19/2019 at 7:05 PM, -^Cro§Bow^- said:

My question and the reason I haven't gotten one of these myself, is how you get .GDI images? Because with my RHEA I have in my model 1 Saturn, I actually made my own CCD images from Discjuggler as the ones I 'found' or had been using for years from 'backups' wouldn't work in the RHEA. But all my own actual discs that I've imaged with discjuggler have worked 100%. However, a normal DVD drive in a PC isn't going to be able to read all the data from a GDrom can it? I've never tested this..so I don't know for sure..

 

Also, I can tell you that I use Samsung SDXC cards all the time and yes even in my RHEA it works. The trick..is to force format them to FAT32. Windows by default won't allow this on cards larger than a certain size. But I was able to format a 128gb Samsung SDXC using SD formatter and it has worked great in my RHEA. So I'm going to guess that these clones likely work better with a FAT32 formatted SD card as well.

 

 

 

 

There's a group of people that have dumped GDI images that work with the GDEmu. I cannot give links of course, but they are called the "Trurip" set. Those GDI images work fine with the GDEmu clone. And yes, you have to format the SD card FAT32 for the GDEmu as well. I used Fat32formatter GUI. I have used (and am currently using) a 512GB PNY card in mine.

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5 hours ago, wongojack said:

I'm kind of interested.  I'll find my DC and see which version it is.

 

 

Cool. Let me know! "1" in a circle on the bottom and you are good. 

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If I didn't have a 0 console I'd have jumped on this already. Backups are nice but that drive is getting a little noisy.

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This is on hold for now. Someone is giving me a black Dreamcast that he says is not sure if it is working (he recalls only the GD-ROM drive was dead) so I think I will outfit that one with this GDEmu and 3d printed parts (as well as battery mod) and perhaps sell it as a modded console after I can confirm it is 100% functional.

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2 hours ago, eightbit said:

This is on hold for now. Someone is giving me a black Dreamcast that he says is not sure if it is working (he recalls only the GD-ROM drive was dead) so I think I will outfit that one with this GDEmu and 3d printed parts (as well as battery mod) and perhaps sell it as a modded console after I can confirm it is 100% functional.

Now you have my attention. :)

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, ClassicGMR said:

Now you have my attention. :)

I am having the 3D parts printed at work, and a new rechargeable battery and holder as well as a new DreamPSU ordered. When its done I'll just have to decide which one I will sell....my white one or the black one (if it works). Kind of like the black one....never owned a sports model ;)

 

 

BTW, this is how the white one came out.

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Edited by eightbit

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ClassicGMR said:

Did you also do the Noctua fan mod to that one or is that the stock fan?

I passed on that mod. Just don't like the way the 3D printed piece that holds the fan sits at that weird angle to accommodate the size of the thing, and then you have to mod the top half of the casing to accommodate it as well. The fan in this was quiet and working like new so I left it. I am not even sure this NEEDS a fan anymore (since the original power supply that generated most of the heat inside is no longer there. Although I believe the hardware will not allow power on if the fan is not detected. Thing runs cool as a cucumber as it stands right now, even after hours of testing. I left crazy taxi running for around 5 hours after initial install of the PSU just to see, and afterward it felt like it was not even on ;)

 

 

I should add that the DreamPSU also adds 12V and 5V headers for other mods...like adding more fans if you wanted, led lights, etc.

Edited by eightbit
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