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Retrocircuits SMS flash cart PCB and programmer
Post Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:50 am
Flash cart with 512KB for $12.69, suitable for homebrew...



Selling here: https://www.mortoffgames.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=963 and https://www.mortoffgames.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=957

No endorsement, but I think this is the first such thing to be widely available. Obviously flash carts like Everdrive are intended for a different niche - although this could be a less useful substitute.
SMS mini rev C.pdf (1.06 MB)

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Recently I bought a small batch
Post Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:59 pm
Recently I bought a small batch from Mortoff Games and very happy with that. Really easy to use the programmer and works great. Appears like a new hard disk in the computer and just erase flash.sms wait a few seconds and copy and paste the rom to burn and that´s all in a few seconds the PCB is programmed.
As you see in the pic I bought the add ons for 1mb of capacity or Sram and battery for games with save, and works perfectly.
My experience buying from Mortoff is great, fast sent, well protected, and the most important, solved with patient all my doubts to use it.
I tried on real hardware and works flawlessly and worked perfectly with standard cart shells.
They sold cart shells in various colors for Genesis, I hope they make cart shells and empty boxes for Master System, various colors could be great for the new homebrew games.
Mortoff Games.jpg (336.39 KB)
Mortoff Games.jpg

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:30 pm
What are your thoughts on this versus an Master System Everdrive? I was recently browsing and considering one of those.. They are around double the price of the Programmer + Mini PCB, but looks like you get more out of it - with respect to having a menu to select games and microsd card support.

Was debating between a programmable cart like this, or following a Make tutorial on how to do it yourself, until stumbling on this post.
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:05 pm
I think it's a worse experience, the benefit of Everdrive is having everything in-cart and available without having to unplug, go to computer, etc. It's also nicer to plug/unplug an SD card than a cartridge. I think that's worth the additional price. The benefit of this is that it's somewhat within the budget to make a standalone cartridge for a specific use or just to sell, which is clearly out of the question for Everdrive.

The main criticism I've seen is that it's being sold at ~7x markup over the cost of production (excluding time, I guess). If making homebrew releases, you would probably prefer to not have half your selling price be the cost of the board.

Note also the limitations - save games are read only, so you can't swap between games with saves. You can't have 1MB and saves at the same time.
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:54 pm
I highly doubt the cost of production for this is 2$ (the 512 KB Flash chip alone is more than 1$, and that's not the only component on the PCB)
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:31 pm
I made the plunge - I purchased the remaining in-stock Everdrive that I saw online. I am justifying it in my head bc my wallet is hurting lol. I think it is alright. I love the SMS and recently started down my journey of learning how to develop for it. I'll never produce anything worthwhile, but the ability to throw something I compile and play it on the actual hardware was something I couldn't pass up!

I hope this community sticks around, I know that those of us who grew up with this system are getting up there, but this is a fantastic resource for information and knowledge and I've lurked for a little while before joining and happy to see its still quite active!

Thank you all for your help and your curiosities! Without you we wouldn't have anything like this.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:15 am
@sverx

The basic cost of this pcb is ~4€ (2€ cpld (ATF1502AS), 1.5€ flash (39SF040), 0.5€ pcb) but depends, as always, on volume and margin.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:39 am
@ichigobankai yeah, that sounds more likely the parts cost, no idea about the assembly cost of this.

my point is that surely markup isn't 7×, more likely between 2× and 3×
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:30 am
Assembly cost is negligible ;)
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Retrocircuits SMS flash cart PCB and programmer
Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:29 am
I don't know what you guys are complaining about. $12 for the cart and $45 for the programmer is a great price.
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Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:40 am
I didn't complain the product at all, I just expressed my doubts about this phrase:

Maxim wrote
The main criticism I've seen is that it's being sold at ~7x markup over the cost of production (excluding time, I guess).


as I believe that 7× it was far overestimated.
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Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 2:58 pm
can we just get open source PLD/FPGA code and documentation on this stuff finally? The programmer is easy to make tbh, its just finding a more optimal for costs way to make carts thats a pain for those who love the DIY. I think I spent some $9USD on parts and a day of programming to get a cart programmer working that writes to 8 bit data/16 bit address bus carts. Its program is not robust but it works.
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Retrocircuits SMS flash cart PCB and programmer
Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 5:06 pm
Quote
I didn't complain the product at all, I just expressed my doubts about this phrase:


Not you of course sverx. I meant those guys over there...to the left. You're over there...a bit to the right. :)

Quote
I think I spent some $9USD on parts and a day of programming to get a cart programmer working that writes to 8 bit data/16 bit address bus carts. Its program is not robust but it works.


Are you volunteering as tribute?
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Post Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 4:31 am
asynchronous wrote

Are you volunteering as tribute?


I really should make a post about it here and drop some parts lists, CAD stuff, and Arduino sketches.
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Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 8:32 am
M.Osorio wrote
Recently I bought a small batch from Mortoff Games and very happy with that. Really easy to use the programmer and works great. Appears like a new hard disk in the computer and just erase flash.sms wait a few seconds and copy and paste the rom to burn and that´s all in a few seconds the PCB is programmed.
As you see in the pic I bought the add ons for 1mb of capacity or Sram and battery for games with save, and works perfectly.
My experience buying from Mortoff is great, fast sent, well protected, and the most important, solved with patient all my doubts to use it.
I tried on real hardware and works flawlessly and worked perfectly with standard cart shells.
They sold cart shells in various colors for Genesis, I hope they make cart shells and empty boxes for Master System, various colors could be great for the new homebrew games.

Where did you get the game shells from?
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