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karri

El Cheapo BennVenn card arrived

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I just picked up the BennVenn's card "El Cheapo".

 

First impressions:

- eeprom saves work like magic

 

I have no idea how it is done but all my homebrew games use the eeprom and this cart appears to store progress. So when you play a game your hi-score will stay just as on a real cart.

 

- it is fast

 

There is literally no waiting time once you select the game. It is just as the real carts.

 

- beware of the SD cart slot.

 

I first inserted my cart in the slot and wondered why it did not work. The printed cover had moved during shipment. The packaging box looked like someone had driven over it with a truck. With a magnifier glass and tweezers I managed to get my SD cart back. So be careful when you insert the cart.

 

I will still try out my bigger games like On Duty and Sampo's great minigames to see if the eeprom works on all of these.

 

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@karri the EEPROM is a real EEPROM, not emulated so when a game writes data to it, it's writing to the real chip. The ElCheapoSD firmware saves the contents of the EEPROM when it boots up using the last played ROM's file name with a .SAV extension I believe. I have a much later version of the firmware now that I plan to release with an updated menu, hopefully in the next week or two.

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20 minutes ago, Turbo Laser Lynx said:

@karri Did it take long to arrive from the u.s.?

Australia. Yes.

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I love mine! I bought 3 of em, and 3 Lynx 2 screens back in like.... March? Got em a few weeks ago. Haven't gotten fully around to fitting the screens yet, but did test the flash carts!


I noted the exact same thing you did. Except mine were all slotted just fine, I had to remove them to load roms. Upon inserting, it's easy to get the sd cart wedged in between the slot on the board, and the casing. I nearly had to take one flash cart fully apart (had to pry on it quite a bit, loosen the adhesive) to get the SD card back.

I also noted some variance in the casings. Most might not, but since I had multiples, I tested all 3. One fit much snugger than the others. One I had to insert and remove a bunch of times to get it to read. All 3 tested in the same lynx 2. It's also stated they might not fit the best in a lynx 1? I haven't tried.

I can't wait for the new firmware to drop from atari gamer. 

It's overall a wonderful flash cart, at a great price. I can live with the case being "a tad disappointing", but I know they had a rough go at getting them done as well. I can be forgiving there. I'd possibly like to upgrade in the future. I got a black shell, but I saw BennVenn made some funky little multi color shells, I think the design is tweaked? I'll have to confirm that though.

I'm happy though, easy way to try out all the new homebrew games from the latest round of the competition. Having a lot of fun with those!

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I've had one for two or three weeks now, and I really like it. I also own one of SainT's first Lynx carts.

 

The shell on my cart didn't fit at all, so I had to remove it. I was bummed about that. I would have much preferred waiting a little longer and having a shell that fits in my console instead of receiving it as early as I did. I like BennVenn's stuff, but this is not the first time I've had hiccups with a 1st gen product of his.

 

That said, it is speedy, and where I live costs just about half the price of the new LynxGD (which I had also been considering purchasing), including shipping.

 

I don't mind the simplistic menu, but I am eager to see what AtariGamer comes up with. It would be nice to be able page through the file listing, and would adding support for .o files and .lyx files be possible through that kind of FW update? It's a hassle to try and convert the files myself, and I can't get it to work correctly for all the files I have (the problem almost certainly lies between the keyboard and the chair).

 

 

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The greatest value for me is that the cart really does do the eeprom saves for all kind of hobby releases. This is nice for titles like On Duty where the gaming time is a bit longer.

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On 8/30/2020 at 4:24 AM, karri said:

I just picked up the BennVenn's card "El Cheapo".

 

First impressions:

- eeprom saves work like magic

 

I have no idea how it is done but all my homebrew games use the eeprom and this cart appears to store progress. So when you play a game your hi-score will stay just as on a real cart.

 

- it is fast

 

There is literally no waiting time once you select the game. It is just as the real carts.

 

- beware of the SD cart slot.

 

I first inserted my cart in the slot and wondered why it did not work. The printed cover had moved during shipment. The packaging box looked like someone had driven over it with a truck. With a magnifier glass and tweezers I managed to get my SD cart back. So be careful when you insert the cart.

 

I will still try out my bigger games like On Duty and Sampo's great minigames to see if the eeprom works on all of these.

 

Same issue I had. I was like why is my SD not working then I looked and the way the case is molded you have to insert the sd card at an angle to go in the slot vs right over it. Outside of that its been great. I have a 1st release RetroHQ Lynx SD and between the two either works great. The RetroHQ does have a nicer menu at the moment but when it comes to actually playing games either one is fantastic 

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For some reason @BennVenn can't login to the forums so he's asked me to pass this message on...

 

Quote

Free injection molded shells will be available for those with the resin shells. We're waiting on economy international shipping to resume else you could combine with another order on tracked postage

The issues that people have described in this thread appear to be with the early versions of the resin shells, so get in touch with BennVenn (via his store) to arrange your free replacement shell.

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I can log in again!

Thanks Igor, 

In regards to the black or green resin shells, as many of you may know these were a quick fix to get these out as fast as possible while we battled with our Injection molding machines and molds. It appears the resin warped on some shells in the week(s) long journey to you and has caused a problem or two. Good news is we've got the new molds perfected and compatible with Lynx 1&2. We'll pop them up in the store, free of charge. We just need a way to get them to you. When Auspost resumes international letter mail, we can ship them out at our expense. Or if you have an existing order open in our store, shoot us an email and we'll add one in before we ship.

 

Thanks for supporting our Flash cart and apologies if you were disappointed in the resin print shell quality. We're keen on making this right. Oh and regards to non LNX files, the firmware update I'm working on 'kind of' supports these. All genuine rom dumps of the correct size will be guessed as to their block sizes which so far seems reliable. Homebrew of a non standard ROM size (Say, 18kbytes) its *assumed* to be a 512kbyte ROM. This seems to satisfy most roms made with CC65. Without a header there's no way to be certain of the block size so if you can, add a header to your roms.

 

Good to hear EEPROM support is working as planned!

 

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I received my card as well and everything works great and fitment is perfect for both the SD card and in the Lynx units. There are some games that fail to load however so I just wanted to make sure if all games were supported or if some games are locked out due to rights issues? Just wanted to confirm as I would understand both ways but the main issue is that I have an original copy of Daemonsgate card and several other ROM board carts that wont fit in my Lynx I and I was hoping to play it through the Elcheapo.

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Nothing is locked out due to rights but the cart will only load LNX files. If you're trying to load LYX or O files, you will need to convert them first.

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10 hours ago, Igor said:

Nothing is locked out due to rights but the cart will only load LNX files. If you're trying to load LYX or O files, you will need to convert them first.

Thanks....I checked the rom files and they are def LNX. When I try to load them I either get stuck at loading from the defautl BennVenn menu or it loads then shows INSERT GAME for a few sec and goes back to the loader. Bad roms maybe?

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4 minutes ago, BovineD said:

the roms wont load in Handy either so I think its just bad roms...thx

some rom sites gave lyx a lnx postfix, just to annoy people.

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@BovineD I'm working on the new menu for the cart so if you want, DM me the roms. you're having issues with and I'll have a look at what's wrong, it could be as @sage said though.

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Got my cart today.  Works well.  Be careful the micro-SD slot is spring loaded.  When I unclicked it, it shot across the room.  Found it. 

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