Fixing Sega Cartridges With Old BIOS Chips

For one reason or another, [Dragao] has an old Sonic The Hedgehog cartridge that throws an illegal instruction somewhere in the Marble Zone stage. While the cause of this illegal instruction is probably cosmic rays, how to repair this cartridge isn’t quite as clear. It can be done, though, using BIOS chips from an old computer.

[Dragao] got the idea of repairing this cartridge from Game Boy flash carts. These cartridges use chips that are a simple parallel interface to the address and data lines of the Game Boy’s CPU, and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive flash cart would work the same way. The problem was finding old DIP flash chips that would work. He eventually found some 8-bit wide chips on the motherboard of an old computer, and by stacking the chips, he had a 16-bit wide Flash chip.

To program the chips, [Dragao] wired everything up to an Arduino Mega, put a ROM on the chip, and wired it up to the old Sega cartridge. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, everything worked, and now [Dragao] has a fully functioning copy of Sonic The Hedgehog.

Nintendo DSi gets its first flash cart

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A month ago, we reported that Nintendo’s new DSi portable didn’t work with any of the current crop of flash cartridges. Things didn’t look good for homebrew. Here we are a month later and looking at the release of the Acekard 2i. It’s the first DSi compatible flash cartridge. The features appear to be identical to previous versions and we expect other manufactures will be updating their product lines in short order. You can find a video of the Acekard 2i after the break.

These carts may exist because of pirates, but we happily use them for homebrew. There are a lot of great programs out there; here’s a list of 24 apps that are dedicated to music creation. You can run Linux on it too. It’s as easy as copying a file to a flash drive. If you have a DS and aren’t using homebrew, you’re wasting it. We’ll be picking up a DSi as soon as they’re in the US (they’re region locked).

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