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The Sega Dreamcast appreciation thread


Elseb
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1 hour ago, strider said:

I've just loaded up The House Of The Dead 2 with the gun in port 3 and the Dreamcast didn't recognise it. However, I put the Dreamcast gun in port 1 and I could use the d-pad to easily go through the USBGD-ROM's menu so I simply played it like that.

 

Interesting.

 

I haven't ever had the gun in port 1 to check if GD-MENU (the front end) treats it as a controller - but seeing as you confirm that the USBGD-ROM front end does @Sketchtruly doesn't need to worry it seems.

 

it's only with the Atomiswave gun games that port 3 needs to be used though, due to how the conversions were coded. 

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8 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

 

Interesting.

 

I haven't ever had the gun in port 1 to check if GD-MENU (the front end) treats it as a controller - but seeing as you confirm that the USBGD-ROM front end does @Sketchtruly doesn't need to worry it seems.

 

it's only with the Atomiswave gun games that port 3 needs to be used though, due to how the conversions were coded. 

I've not tried the Atomiswave gun games yet. Will have a go over the weekend.

I may try my fishing controller later, although I think the motor or something has gone in it.

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12 hours ago, Sketch said:

 

Genuinely surprised. I've always felt the Dreamcast was one of the strongest consoles for peripherals. Sega went all in from the launch. Rod, gun, modem, keyboard, mouse, mic, steering wheel, VMU handheld consoles/mem card etc. Then later on maracas! Sure, you need a CRT to use the gun today, but to hear you use only controllers... I dunno, the dreamvision of your all-singing all-dancing system has died somewhat.

I've always, even since kid-age, been turned off by peripherals. Rightly or wrongly, they've just always been a barrier between me and bothering with something. Think we had a dance mat for the PlayStation, and the obligatory light gun of course, but nothing else.

 

If a) peripherals are cheap enough and b) the games that use them are actually worth playing, and c) see a) again, I might have a look at some point. But then there's also that I got distracted ultimate-ising other consoles.

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I have the steering wheel just for Daytona, but as i have no CRT i sold every gun I've come across. Surprising how much people pay for them given that there must be a very niche group of owners who can actually use them. Even the 3rd party ones.

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FML. I regret starting this.

 

So my Dreamcast off eBay arrived today. And it doesn't work.

 

It boots up, little blue swirl, asks me to set the timer, and nothing works. Neither controller which came with it offer any sort of input whatsoever. Nothing does anything, it just sits there.

 

Despite the seller clearly stating: tested.

 

I'm so angry now. What are my options? Does this sound like a blown fuse? Is there a way to test this without replacements? I do not want to unsolder and resolder stuff and it still doesn't work, because then I probably cannot return it.

 

Should I just return it and demand my money back?

 

Now I'm going to have to pay return postage this thing.

 

This is the second console I've bought off eBay in the last 6 months and the second time it's turned into a fucking trainwreck. :(

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Just now, Ketchup said:

Ebay returns gives you free postage FYI. (Well the seller has to pay for it).

 

True. He replied quickly offering to cover return postage.

 

Now what though? I might explain the fuse replacement and ask if he's willing to let me know attempt it, or I can just send it back for a full refund.

 

Could it be other problems?

 

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10 minutes ago, Sketch said:

FML. I regret starting this.

 

So my Dreamcast off eBay arrived today. And it doesn't work.

 

It boots up, little blue swirl, asks me to set the timer, and nothing works. Neither controller which came with it offer any sort of input whatsoever. Nothing does anything, it just sits there.

 

Despite the seller clearly stating: tested.

 

I'm so angry now. What are my options? Does this sound like a blown fuse? Is there a way to test this without replacements? I do not want to unsolder and resolder stuff and it still doesn't work, because then I probably cannot return it.

 

Should I just return it and demand my money back?

 

Now I'm going to have to pay return postage this thing.

 

This is the second console I've bought off eBay in the last 6 months and the second time it's turned into a fucking trainwreck. :(

That's bad luck. Why not just get one from CEX?

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Open it up, it’s only four screws. On the controller board if something that looks like a resistor named F1. It’s the controller board fuse. Check it’s continuity. If you’re handy with a soldering iron do a poly fuse replacement. Most likely It’ll be fine after that. 

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1 minute ago, strider said:

That's bad luck. Why not just get one from CEX?

 

:sealclap: Neither the local CEX nor the local retro store had one. And both would have been cheaper than this one. Do you mean literally order one online from CEX?

 

1 minute ago, Ninja Doctor said:

Open it up, it’s only four screws. On the controller board if something that looks like a resistor named F1. It’s the controller board fuse. Check it’s continuity. If you’re handy with a soldering iron do a poly fuse replacement. Most likely It’ll be fine after that. 

 

YES! Good thinking. I have an electrical tester here - will do so and report back.

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6 minutes ago, Ninja Doctor said:

Check it’s continuity.

 

I touched the base of the legs on the F1 fuse, hoping to get no sound, but there is definitely current passing through that fuse. Which confuses me, because I was certain it was that.

 

Another problem perhaps? The pads?

 

Maybe I should just return it and start again.

 

 

Dreamcast.jpg

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Clean the metal connectors on the controllers with a Q-Tip and a bit of lighter fluid, cleaning alcohol or even household polish

 

They aren't the best quality and they are knocking on 20 years of in and out insertion. Try port 3 or 4 as that should still let you around the bios screen. If the pads work in those ports then the fuse isn't at fault

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Will try the cleaning suggestions. I have pure isopropyl alcohol for cleaning my VHS heads, so will try that.

 

I bridged the base legs of the fuse with fuse wire, and it still doesn't work. So... I'm not convinced it is the fuse...

 

 

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And cleaning worked. I used the isopro to wipe the pad connectors and inside the DC connectors, and it works fine now. The disc boots up and plays fine too.

 

Prior to the cleaning port 4 didn't work either. So I'm assuming it's entirely down to the filth.

 

I'd like to thank @Ninja Doctor, @Down by Law, and @Ketchup for their speedy responses.

 

Could this be corrosion, or just dirt?

 

I know the 6 pins inside, when dirty, causes random resets. But this is the first time I've experienced dirty pads.

 

EDIT:

I feel this thread has nicely evolved into almost soap opera proportions. Is Sheila pregnant with Marko's baby? Will Tom ever have the courage to confront Delaney about the land deeds? Tune in next week, on Dreamcasts of Our Lives!

 

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Likely to be just dirt. Stick a disc in, let in run for an hour to make sure you dont have any random reset problems or anything like that. If all good, personally I would keep it.

 

Then i'd retrobright the shit out of it.

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I saw those cables, but they're no good for consumer CRTs, right? Would they work on a Sony Trinitron, or would it just be overkill? Or would it not work at all?

 

Anyway, more DC problems.

 

The one I got on eBay came with South Park Rally. That's all I own currently. I was playing it and the system runs fine. No crashing, no difficulty loading. It functions great. But the game sucks. And my USB-GD isn't set to arrive until the end of the month.

 

So I thought... I'll break out my Taiyo Yuden CDRs which I've never used, and burn some games.

 

I download and burn Elemental Gimmick Gear. From the Revive-DC Project - a self-booting CDI image. I used ImgBurn to burn it at 8x.

 

The game boots to the Sega screen, showing the Revive logo, then crashes to the menu screen. I then burned a Utopia Disc, thinking this would fix it, but it refuses even to recognise the disc inside as being a Dreamcast game!

 

What am I doing wrong here?

 

* Is because the battery is dead and I need to keep resetting the time?

* Is it the Taiyo Yuden CDRs? Are they bad? They were from the manufacturer before they stopped making them (slight blue surface, white on top), circa 2015.

* Is it because E.G.G. is an American game and my DC is PAL?

* Could it be a bad burn - is ImgBurn bad?

* Are the CDIs of Revive-DC Project known to do this?

 

I am currently digging out my ancient portable HDD containing all the Paradise files I hoarded before they shut down. Will report back the results. My gut tells me this is really just the result of some overzealous hacker doing weird things with the CDI file to make it self booting. Give me an old fashioned dirty Utopia boot any day.

 

EDIT:

I knew it. I fucking knew it! The Revive-DC CDI files are broken. Not worth the download even. My old Paradise file works great - same game, CDI format, burned the same way on the same media, and it boots flawlessly. There's no Revive-DC on the Sega logo splashcreen, but at least it actually functions!

 

I really struggle to understand how this is even a thing. Do the hackers who make these CDI files not test them before upload? How do they even bodge a job like this? Before the Revive-DC project there were plenty of self-booting CDI files that worked. Now all of those are being swept aside for this new flavour, and it doesn't even work.

 

I spent the last two days mass downloading new files from Revive-DC, thinking they were just the ticket. Now I need to delete the lot and find alternative sources in a format that actually, you know, works. FFS. I hate this hacker crap.

 

 

EDIT 2:

Just tried to burn Sega Rally 2 Champaionship, the NTSC USA version, which is supposed to be 60Hz, and yet it runs in 50Hz on my PAL system.

 

Is this normal? Some kind of sick joke on the part of the devs?

 

Or do the CDI files now floating around auto-detect your hardware and set NTSC games to run in 50Hz on PAL systems?

 

How can I force it to run in 60Hz?

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1 hour ago, Sketch said:

 

I saw those cables, but they're no good for consumer CRTs, right? Would they work on a Sony Trinitron, or would it just be overkill? Or would it not work at all?

 


Overkill for a consumer CRT. They would work but not at 480p, making them no better than a regular RGB SCART cable. 

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@Sketch 

 

My tuppence worth:

 

Those Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs you have are considered the gold standard but you might've been unluckily with a bad burning session (possible with any burning program in my experience) or dodgy disc (possible even in a batch of legit Taiyo Yuden). IMGburn itself is absolutely fine though sometimes I need to burn at higher speeds on my particular setup. Admittedly though I have no experience of burning Dreamcast CDis to disc - only bin/cue format dumps for other consoles. Those DC scene CDis are a world unto themselves.

 

If your console can't remember the time then yes, your internal rechargable battery might need replacing - but it might be that it needs to be used a bit more to retain some juice. My DC will forget the time / date after a period of hibernation (illustrating that the 20 year old battery is definitely weak) but, for me, it's far from dead enough to warrant a mod or replacement. If after every session (regardless of length) you still need to set the time, then, yeah, it needs fixing.

 

Once you've got your ODE you can leave the old scene rips behind and stick to unmolested GDI dumps, for the most part. It's trivial to remove the padding on them too, if you want to make a lot of the library less cumbersome to handle without sacrificing any audio / FMV quality in the games themselves (the two things scene rips sometimes take a blunt axe to).

 

I have a vague recollection of the DC-X boot disc being able to boot some NTSC titles properly in 60hz on PAL units, but personally I'd try and keep burning discs to a bare minimum as your incoming ODE will render them moot. 

 

As far as forcing an NTSC Sega Rally 2 to boot at 60hz on a PAL console - I don't know if this is possible (I feel your pain)

 

It *might* be easier longer term to get a refund and use that money to source an NTSC Dreamcast, with which you can obviously bypass the 50hz / PAL business.

 

Not sure if @Jei is still in business but he had excellent nick NTSC Dreamcasts in stock a while back for a very reasonable price, if you go down the refund route and fancy a break from eBay for the meanwhile.

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9 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

PAL Virtua Fighter 3tb, Dynamite Cop and Sega Rally 2 run in 60hz over VGA/HDMI. They are hardlocked 50hz over Scart.

 

 

 

NTSC Sega Rally 2 being locked to 50hz over SCART does seem a bit cruel though.

 

In related news, I finally got around to testing Coaster Works..and, dammit, it appears to not be compatible via RGB SCART.

 

That's a shame.

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I am very surprised that an NTSC forcibly loads as 50Hz on PAL. I was under the assumption that NTSC always loaded in 60Hz.

 

Learn something new every day.

 

Sorry about Coaster Works. I had the same trouble with Rent a Hero and Skies of Arcadia.

 

RAH1 wouldn't display regardless of what boot disc or cables were used. It was weird.

 

Skies of Arcade (NTSC-U) would only work through... AV cables? Or maybe I even played it through RF. I can't recall. But it didn't work through SCART back in the day. I suppose that was a small price to pay considering the PAL release was locked to 50Hz. These days I just play it on GameCube.

 

14 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

Those Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs you have are considered the gold standard but you might've been unluckily with a bad burning session (possible with any burning program in my experience) or dodgy disc (possible even in a batch of legit Taiyo Yuden). IMGburn itself is absolutely fine though sometimes I need to burn at higher speeds on my particular setup. Admittedly though I have no experience of burning Dreamcast CDis to disc - only bin/cue format dumps for other consoles. Those DC scene CDis are a world unto themselves.

 

I am now convinced 100% it's due to Revive-DC. I found some of their old forum threads and they were bragging about re-arranging the data in their rips/uploads, so it's not spread out. I still can't understand how people praise them, when their uploads are non-functioning and therefore trash. This is what they said about one of their releases:

 

Quote

The last one didn't have a sort order on the files that had to be moved into the first data session. It's minor, and there's not a whole lot of data in there, but we want to be the best. So, that needed to be fixed. Now this has a perfect replica of the game's original GD-ROM sort order across the two data sessions.

 

Yeah, and your moving the data around renders the game unloadable on retail PAL consoles. Amateurs. :rolleyes:

 

Other games by them besides EGG are broken.

 

So I've taken to painstakingly trying to find alternatives. Annoyingly, people on the internet seem to treat their garbage as the gold standard, and so download sites started deleting rips by other groups, and replacing them with Revive-DC rips. Meaning to find working rips requires trawling through outdated trojan infested malware sites hoping to find a legacy rip by someone else.

 

I found one Reddit thread explaining that apparently Revive-DC left the scene and tried to delete their own work. All I can say is good riddance arseholes - I've got six Taiyo Yuden coasters here with your name on them. Come round for coffee sometime.

 

The older rips by the old DC crew? Perfect. Works every time.

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