Jump to content
Zonie

Dreamcast GDEMU

Recommended Posts

I've been ignoring the DC relm for a few years, and happened to stumble across the GDEMU board and all of its' ripoff clones.
Wow, this makes me consider bringing this console out of the closet again.

Anyone here have this, and what are your thoughts?

 

I made some killer Emulator disks for the DC about 15 years ago for the CV, 5200/8-bits, 2600, etc. But the disks and drive were so problematic. Now all of this on SD cards!

 

the 3d printed holders and such are cool too.

 

I have custom controllers, VGA adapter, etc., that the SD card really makes it work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't delved into the GDEMU boards and clones, but I did put in my preorder for the TerraOnion MODE that I plan to put into my DC once I have it. I've got a Rhea in my Saturn already and while that can be a pain to get everything copied to the SD to work properly, once you do it is very easy to use and seems to work every bit as good as having an actual drive in it.

 

If I end up really liking the MODE then I could see myself purchasing a second one later on to put into my other Saturn perhaps.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting post.

 

I was really into console gaming at the end of the 90's and early 2000's - I kinda got out of it when the whole XBOX thing became the norm.  I was not going to get back into because the cost of the games that I had back then (TG16/PCE, Neo Geo CD, Saturn and Sega CD etc) now would cost the equivalent of the GDP of many small countries (combined).

 

But then this Multicart and Optical Disk Emulator thing started and it was worth looking at the machines again. For me the first was the PCEngine / TerraOnion SSD3, I am not going to go down the whole store here and skip to the Saturn and the GDemu part.  Saturns are stupid cheap - I think I paid 40$ for mine, most the the upgrades for it are also stupid cheap and ease to do (Fan, battery, power supply) I wanted to get the real GDemu but they are nearly impossible to get so I ended up getting a 35$ clone (and really happy to straight up fuck the creator of the GDemu because he wants to make 10 units a month and make it impossible to get - supply and demand you putz! If you dont sell it someone will AND DID, ok I will stop now). 

 

So anyway . . . I got the clone, a 500GB Micro SD card, the SD card extension cable and a 3D printed mount to replace the optical drive.  I thing I am all in for about 200$ and I have every game for the Saturn that anyone could ever want, you just cant go wrong, I think it is the cheapest of the ODE solutions out there, even if you only want to play 5 or 6 games on your machine it is still worth the cost of entry.  (Oh and at least 50$ of that 200 was the MicroSD card if you go with something like a 64 or 128Gb you could easily get much closer to 150$).

 

Neat thing about the Saturn is the VGA you mentioned and even the fact that you can get RGB SCART right out of the machine with just a cable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

If I end up really liking the MODE then I could see myself purchasing a second one later on to put into my other Saturn perhaps.

 

 

I also preordered a MODE for my Saturn and I already have a 1TB SSD new in the box waiting for it to arrive so I can set it all up.  I was waiting on the Satiator but we all know that will most likely never show up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, c0op3r said:

 

I also preordered a MODE for my Saturn and I already have a 1TB SSD new in the box waiting for it to arrive so I can set it all up.  I was waiting on the Satiator but we all know that will most likely never show up.

Actually I've seen what the Satiator's final design looks like...etc and apparently testing with it is going well. But I'm not a Patreon member so I'm getting the info second hand from the Sega-16 forums. If the Satiator should come up and be at a price that is comparable to others, then I wouldn't mind getting it to put into my second Saturn and leave the MODE in my DC which, is what I've purchased it for anyway. Although I'm now hearing that firmware updates are required on the DCHDMI for the MODE to work properly on the DC so I guess I need to fire up my DC soon to get on that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Actually I've seen what the Satiator's final design looks like...etc and apparently testing with it is going well. But I'm not a Patreon member so I'm getting the info second hand from the Sega-16 forums. If the Satiator should come up and be at a price that is comparable to others, then I wouldn't mind getting it to put into my second Saturn and leave the MODE in my DC which, is what I've purchased it for anyway. Although I'm now hearing that firmware updates are required on the DCHDMI for the MODE to work properly on the DC so I guess I need to fire up my DC soon to get on that.

 

I am actually a patreon and I know that he has shown working Satiators (its been beta tested with 20 people and there are plenty of youtube videos), the case has had a final design.  

 

I just think that he has missed the ship when it left the port, the MODE is going to take all his potential customers away - the Saturn has needed a good, affordable and readily available ODE for quite some time and TerraOnion is about to produce it.  Yes the owner of TerraOnion is a buffoon that repeatably put his foot in his mouth, but the product will be good, affordable and supported, we wont have to wait 4 years for it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a GDEMU clone, I wanted to get a legit one, but after trying for months and months I caved.  I like it  a lot.  It works great.  Its awesome not needing a disk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/16/2020 at 7:14 PM, konradklaus said:

I have a GDEMU clone, I wanted to get a legit one, but after trying for months and months I caved.  I like it  a lot.  It works great.  Its awesome not needing a disk.

I was kind of thinking this would be the case. Thanks for the info.

Getting one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/18/2020 at 12:24 AM, Zonie said:

I was kind of thinking this would be the case. Thanks for the info.

Getting one.

If you go the clone route, just don't try to update the firmware.  I haven't noticed any problems, but I am pretty casual with the DC so probably wouldn't notice anyways.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I guess the advantage to using a Satiator is the optical drive can stay in there, once SAG has the MODE, I will probably go with that for my Saturn. My son will likely be interested in a MODE for his Dreamcast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have a GDEMU clone I bought a few years ago.  It wasn't difficult to install.  I loaded up a single SD with my favorite commercial and homebrew titles and haven't looked back.  I'd recommend this upgrade to anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

GDEMU works great. Can be a bit tricky to set up the SD cards exactly as you want. USB-GDROM also works great and to me is easier to set up the SD card.  Have both.  Both work great.  My preference is the USB-GDROM for ease of organizing and setting up the SD card.

Edited by rayik
Fixed spelling errors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just download "sd card maker" for gdemu, literally drag and drop the files using Explorer, it sorts the order, force vga etc, takes minutes then leave it writing all the files to the SD card

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably going to pull the trigger and order one of these this month.  Should I get a little older clone like v5.15 or pay a little more and get a newer one v5.5?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/16/2020 at 9:14 PM, konradklaus said:

I have a GDEMU clone, I wanted to get a legit one, but after trying for months and months I caved.  I like it  a lot.  It works great.  Its awesome not needing a disk.

This mirrors my experience. I got up early (4am Central time) on a Saturday multiple times, only to miss out repeatedly. Then I got a clone and it's great. The GDEMU setup process is a little weird but once you get it going, it's extremely simple. 

 

Mine is a 5.15. I see no value in the newer ones unless you want a DCHDMI (which apparently doesn't get along with early clones very well)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The clones are fine.  My issue with GDEMU was not directly with the device itself or it's creator, to an extent.  First, loading the games should NOT require a special Windows app because you're too stubborn/lazy to program your file system to read something besides literally DISC.GDI!  Second, how do you provide a product with NO menu?  GD-Menu is decent, though it needed work and sadly the designer quit years ago.  There is another person tinkering with one now though.  Lastly, I had a 3d-printed setup on it, but I just could not get the SD Card extender adapters to work with the GDEMU.  They worked in my PC fine, but not on there.  I didn't feel like ordering more and more of them.  It just got to the point where I got sick of it, and sold it a few months ago.  I still have the USB GD-ROM, which I'll hang onto until I can get the MODE from Stone Age, then it goes too.  I feel like a Dreamcast ought to have a device with a menu that fits it's graphical reputation. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a GDEMU clone installed just last week.  I understand the comments about loading the SD card now.  Such a weird way to do it.  I am just dinking around with a 16gb SD card right now and while the sd card maker app did fine filling the empty card, it hit some kind of problem trying to re-arrange and add additional files.  Feels like it will be hard to actually maintain a collection of ROMs on this thing with any type of real organization.  I kinda wish I'd bought USB GD-ROM now - LOL.

 

Questions for this group - my clone came with three standoffs.  They are meant to be inserted into a hole and look kinda like this:
Image result for pointy plastic standoff
 

How did you guys handle these?

 

Two of the holes in the clone align with holes in the Dreamcast.  The instructions I've read indicated to put the pointy end in the clone board, but it seems it would make sense to actually push them down into the DC and then use screws to secure the clone to the standoff.  

 

And about the power modification?  What did you folks do?  What has been your experience with the heat?  I assume a mod is required for all GDROM replacements?  I found this guy who says you need more resistors than a single 300ohm.  He made this little totem to the gods of heat dissipation:

IMG_4356.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my MODE and it works well - actually have the Saturn setup pretty nice, Sega RAM expansion, Sega VCD/Mpeg Card and the MODE with a 1TB SSD and a trimmed game collection (mainly removing all the PAL games that are duplicates of the US games).

 

I also have the few ROM cards that are need for a few import games - I know there are patches, but they were super cheap.

Really the only thing I need now is a 3D printed mount for the MODE and I will be set.

 

Oh and there is still no Satiator or news about it, and MODE has sold through - talk about poor timing on Professor Abrasive part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to update that I received my MODE about 3 weeks ago now I guess? Awesome device. I put a 250Gb SSD into mine so when you put all the cost together...it was...well it was expensive to say the least. Still, there are two things that are now a pain for me with the MODE on my DC. One is updating games sucks because I basically have to remove the mode and unscrew the SSD since it screws in from the bottom of the PCB to secure it in place. Hopefully they encorporate the ability to move stuff from the SD to the SATA drives in the near future to help with this issue.

 

Second issue, is that I have an older DCDigital (When it was still called DCHDMI) installed. So I wanted to add the ability to wire in from the OPT pad off the DCDigtal board to Switch 1 on the JST connections on the MODE to better help disc changes with multi disc games. Problem is, when I connect the OPT wire to my MODE's switch 1 pin, the DC just takes me to the maintenance screen and never detects the MODE or anything in the system from that point on. So I can't currently get that feature to work for me unless I've got something wired up incorrectly. But I've not found where anyone else is actually trying to do this so maybe it just doesn't quite work yet there either?

 

I was at least able to use Anyburn to make images of my DC homebrew games I've bought over the years and had to search for .GDI images for the rest of the games in my library since I didn't have a way to rip my actual games myself like I was able to do for the Saturn and my PS2. But I still have well over half the space left on my SSD should I have to add more in the future, or perhaps setup the Saturn side as well sometime.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/16/2020 at 11:21 PM, -^CrossBow^- said:

One is updating games sucks because I basically have to remove the mode and unscrew the SSD since it screws in from the bottom of the PCB to secure it in place. Hopefully they encorporate the ability to move stuff from the SD to the SATA drives in the near future to help with this issue.

A few people have stated they are using a 2.5 SATA SSD and an extender cable. Apparently the SSD will tuck in under the lid and fits well with it closed. Just a thought. If you want to get really fancy you can add some bridges with an M.2 SSD to 2.5in SATA Adapter and an M.2 NVME Extender then put a much more compact 128GB A55 M.2 SSD under the drive lid but now we're talking a LOT more money (probably adding a minimum of $60 to the build).

 

Also the MODE developers are looking into drive to drive transfer options in future releases of the menu system. If that happens I will add an SD card extender to my setup so I won't have to open the console up. As it stand right now though I have a large library of Saturn games on the HDD and I don't see myself adding anything to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/2/2020 at 10:16 AM, wongojack said:

I got a GDEMU clone installed just last week.  I understand the comments about loading the SD card now.  Such a weird way to do it.  I am just dinking around with a 16gb SD card right now and while the sd card maker app did fine filling the empty card, it hit some kind of problem trying to re-arrange and add additional files.  Feels like it will be hard to actually maintain a collection of ROMs on this thing with any type of real organization.  I kinda wish I'd bought USB GD-ROM now - LOL.

 

Questions for this group - my clone came with three standoffs.  They are meant to be inserted into a hole and look kinda like this:
Image result for pointy plastic standoff
 

How did you guys handle these?

 

Two of the holes in the clone align with holes in the Dreamcast.  The instructions I've read indicated to put the pointy end in the clone board, but it seems it would make sense to actually push them down into the DC and then use screws to secure the clone to the standoff.  

 

And about the power modification?  What did you folks do?  What has been your experience with the heat?  I assume a mod is required for all GDROM replacements?  I found this guy who says you need more resistors than a single 300ohm.  He made this little totem to the gods of heat dissipation:

 

 

 

I will respond to myself on these topics in case someone else ever has these questions.

 

I cut the end off of one of the standoffs that I received and tried to push a screw through to make a through spacer, but that didn't work, so I just bought a 3/8 (1cm) spacer from a local hardware store and used a ~15cm machine screw.  The other two spacers went into the GDEMU, so now it can easily be removed by just taking out one screw.

 

Regarding heat, I did drop a single 2k ohm resistor into the same position as the photo above.  I think that if I ever get around to doing more inside this unit (like replacing the battery) I will probably just de-solder the 12v regulator, but for now it seems fine.  I played the unit from more than 5 hours without any real problems.

 

One thing that doesn't seem quite right for me is that when I adjust the options in the Menu (stuff like bios skip etc) they never actually save.  I click save and they get updated, but as soon as I start a game, the options have no effect and they are back to default once I exit and go back to the menu.  I can't seem to find anyone else with this problem online, but I'm also not really finding a place to go an ask questions.  Maybe this is related to my dead clock battery?  I doubt it.  I have tried two different SD cards and get the same behavior.

 

Speaking of SD Cards, I bought a 128gb official SanDisk SD card.  Not a micro with an adapter.  Since I did this, the SD Card maker software has been MUCH more reliable.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, wongojack said:

I will respond to myself on these topics in case someone else ever has these questions.

Sorry I would have answered you but when I started shopping for a GDEMU setup I just went all out and bought a Dreamcast already modded. I sold my old one so I never did any type of install or modification. I just swapped the power and output cables and off I went. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ClassicGMR said:

Sorry I would have answered you but when I started shopping for a GDEMU setup I just went all out and bought a Dreamcast already modded. I sold my old one so I never did any type of install or modification. I just swapped the power and output cables and off I went. :)

Can you update options in the menu successfully?  Bios Skip etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid my GDEMU experience may not help as I bought it from the creator, not the clone.  That includes the install as he provided a different type of screw.  However, I got 3d-printed brackets and whatnot, and had to use various screws I had laying around the house!  I recommend Laser Bear (https://laserbear.net/shop/ols/products/gdemu-remote-sd-card-mount-kit).

 

You could also ask on Dreamcast Talk https://www.dreamcast-talk.com/forum/index.php about the issues with the menu settings.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...