Evercade CFW and adding ROMS without EverSD?

RetroFailz

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Why do you need a break out board to read or write official cartridges? You can just do it via ADB using the Evercade itself as a reader/writer :rofl2:
 

esmith13

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Why do you need a break out board to read or write official cartridges? You can just do it via ADB using the Evercade itself as a reader/writer :rofl2:
Sure I can do that, but not everyone has the understanding how to do it and instead of an elitist attitude about it I think it makes more sense to me to offer people here other solutions within their skill set.

Not to mention plug and play is always going to be easier than needing software on your pc (and adb added back to an evercade which is far more enjoyable to play with on 1.3.x or 2.x.x). But you know that and everything else already, since you're so "1337", right? :rolleyes:
 
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RetroFailz

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esmith13, there are some GUIs for ADB file transfer, but you're right that ADB still needs to be enabled and it's likely not straight forward for many. I didn't mean to appear elitist, just wanted to say that it's pretty straight forward technically.
 

esmith13

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esmith13, there are some GUIs for ADB file transfer, but you're right that ADB still needs to be enabled and it's likely not straight forward for many. I didn't mean to appear elitist, just wanted to say that it's pretty straight forward technically.
Bottom line. I don't want to argue with you or anyone. I just want to help those who need help - preferably in a way that won't intimidate them or complicate the steps enough to make them give up. The more people we get involved in general the more help or at least ideas will be brought to the table to make "projects" like this bigger and better for everyone. Isn't that the point of communities like this, after all?
 

Fazley

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Anyone care to share anything about connecting the Evercade through ADB to read/write to the carts, are there any guides or info out there that anyone knows about? I'm still torn about trashing a cart or making a reader/writer as my soldering is far from good and I don't have any of the bits without buying them...
 

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Anyone care to share anything about connecting the Evercade through ADB to read/write to the carts, are there any guides or info out there that anyone knows about? I'm still torn about trashing a cart or making a reader/writer as my soldering is far from good and I don't have any of the bits without buying them...
If you're willing to stay on FW 1.2.0 then adb is already there.
If you're planning to use any FW newer than that, you would not only have to know how to use the rockchip flasher tools to dump/modify/write the flash in the evercade, but what and how to modify the operating system to reinsert adb software and run it as a system service. Once you've done that, the evercade's DRM will prevent the GUI from displaying AT ALL on the handheld (you will only see a black screen) and you must ALWAYS operate thru adb only until you re-flash back to stock and lose adb again.

Not worth it unless you're trying to do more than read and write a cartridge since you can't even play games with the device when setup like this. (well you can, but you have to launch everything from adb shell on your PC - every time)
 

esmith13

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I already found this on Github BTW but I'm a bit nervous about it and nor sure if it works on newer FW

https://github.com/strager/evercade-hacking
Those steps would work as a basic framework of the understanding required but the byte code editing is specific to FW 1.0. Since 1.2.0 has an available everpatcher (to enable usb-host mode) and adb already as part of the OS, there is no benefit in reverting to 1.0 to follow those steps to the letter.
 

gratje

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I'm not sure I have to reply here. But I'm thinking about buying an EverSD,
Just so I can keep my original cartridges in new/sealed condition.
But did anybody already dumped the original cartridges?
So I can just put on the dumped cartridge on the EverSD and play it from there?
 

esmith13

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I'm not sure I have to reply here. But I'm thinking about buying an EverSD,
Just so I can keep my original cartridges in new/sealed condition.
But did anybody already dumped the original cartridges?
So I can just put on the dumped cartridge on the EverSD and play it from there?
No one is going to provide dumps of new, purchasable carts.
You can build a cart reader for under $10 even if you have none of the parts already so long as you have any ability to solder at all. Problem is you'd still have to open your carts to copy them.

And to fully answer your question, yes you can dump them 1:1 or even compile them to one mega-cart (mostly).
 

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@esmith13 Thanks for the answer, Luckily I'm very capable of soldering myself. So I think I will give it a try.
I thought dumping it would make it a lot easier for the EverSD. (no need to fill in all the names descriptions, pictures etc).
 

esmith13

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Oh dumping it would be easier, just saying that you would have to dump your own since someone providing it to you from their carts would be a legal no-no.

I'm sure you'll do fine making a cart reader. It's just 8 wires from on end to the other and isn't even fine pitch work.
 

THX-1138

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Oh dumping it would be easier, just saying that you would have to dump your own since someone providing it to you from their carts would be a legal no-no.

I'm sure you'll do fine making a cart reader. It's just 8 wires from on end to the other and isn't even fine pitch work.
Is there a GBA reader that is pre-wired or some kind of breakout board? I've tried soldering wires to a GBA connector, but honestly, my eyes are not up to it and my hands are too shaky for such small work. I already have a MicroSD breakout for the other end of the cable.

I have an EverSD, it doesn't fit into my devices without violent levels of force which I'm not going to do. (Doesn't even fit the GBA connector well). But moreover, I don't want to run a patched FW on the handheld or VS (and I don't have Windows, or access to Windows to do it). Can the EverSD read a 1GB MicroSD with the newer standard FWs? If so, what file structure do I need to put on it to load my own games? (This was the reason I wanted to make a reader myself - to find out the structure of a cart, but my soldering isn't good enough). Thanks.
 

esmith13

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I'm confused. Did you give up on a cart reader and now want to instead put an SD slot in a retail cart?

If I got that correct it doesn't help your situation. Putting an SD slot in a retail cart is 100% identical to the EverSD. you already have.
Building a cart reader would allow you to add to or erase a retail cart.

To be clear. EverPatcher basically does three things:
1) It changes the intro video
2) It adds a second version of retroarch (without modifying the original one in any way at all)
3) It circumvents the Evercade's ability to reject an SD card above 512MB in size. (ALL carts are just FAT32 formatted SD Cards)

This means:
1) even if you build your own cart out of a retail one it can't be larger than 512MB without using EverPatcher or doing the equivalent software changes on your own
2) Even if you take a retail cart apart and just swap the IC chip in it for a bigger one it STILL won't work without Patching the size limitation like #1
3) Your EverSD with a 512MB or smaller SD card works on a factory Evercade with ZERO MODS
4) Building a Cart reader and using one of the larger carts (like Worms Collection will get you the same results as #3
5) Soldering a cart reader is easier soldering work than Making your own EverSD since the IC chip has to be desoldered and a MicroSD slot needs to be soldered in its place.

Given you already own an EverSD the easiest solution for you is to buy a 512MB or smaller SD card for your EverSD. As for the tight fit, I sanded down both skinny sides of my cart shell a bit and it glides in like butter now. It seemed as if the cart edge was out of alignment as well, but it turns out the issue was the same as the tightness. Sanding the sides prevented it from pushing away from the rear of the device and the cart edge had no issues after fixing the overall width.

The soldering for the cart reader is very manageable, I promise (and you only need to solder the first 8 pins). I have arthritis in my hands and am due for my first pair of bifocal glasses soon. I'd be happy to walk you thru whatever you need should you like the assistance. Ebay sells brand new GBA cart connectors for about $5 so no desoldering required.

ALSO NOTE: If you still decide to make your own EverSD - make sure the breakout board MicroSD Slot you have does not have an resistors or caps on it. As I stated a retail cart IS an SD card already so any extra electronic components that may be on your breakout board would potentially make the end result non-functional. (The first breakout board I tried has resistors on it - My cart failed under heavy usage intermittently).

Good Luck!
 
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THX-1138

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I have now managed to get the wires soldered onto a GBA cart connector, it was easier when I found my 'helping hands'. I was able to rig a fairly reliable cartridge reader and examine several carts to determine their structure.

I've also got the 1GB MicroSD working with EverSD on a standard stock FW. I used the cartridge reader to make a disk image of a 512MB cart, I then flashed the 512MB image to the 1GB card, essentially making it a 512MB card. I am now in a position to to make a custom cart with those few extra games I've been wanting. B-)


On a side note, I am wanting to make my Namco Carts work with my VS. I see you've done that. I have been using the cart reader and EverSD to make a duplicate of the carts to experiment with. The only way I can think of making the Namco carts work is to put a custom cartridge.json and .json files for each game manually. Am I on the right track? Or is there some easier magic to make them work?

Any advice is appreciated.
 
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esmith13

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You are on the right track indeed. The cartridge.json identifies the cart in the main menu and also tells evercade that the cart is setup for FW 2.x. You can create the files by hand or copy an existing file from a different cart/game and edit the contents accordingly. Cartridge #15 was the first retail cart to have the FW2.0 files present for reference. All carts seem to still have the FW 1.x files as well (in case someone doesn't upgrade). This is not necessary unless you need your cart to work in a 1.x handheld.

Using an example of mario.nes as a rom you add, a FW 2.x cart requires the following files in the folder called 'game':
mario.json - "romFileName" is "mario.nes" and "romTitle" is the friendly title that is displayed in the menu
mario0.png - Box Art (Handheld) 112x157px
mario0_hd.png - Box Art (Handheld in TV mode) 260x358px
mario0_1080.png - Box Art (EvercadeVS) 474x666px
mario_gamebanner.png - Banner Image (screenshot, Handheld TV mode & EvercadeVS) 1920x551px

For Namco carts (or any other old cart that doesn't have FW 2.x files) if you know how to gain access to the files on the Evercade handheld's internal flash memory you can just copy what Blaze already provided.
Navigate to /opt/legacy/ in the Evercade handheld file system and copy the folders there which contain the additional json and art files for each older cart.

I'm sorry to say that since I don't know if it's legal or not to share those json and png files I won't be doing so.

Let me know if you need any other help.
 
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gratje

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Nice!
just out of curiosity.
I saw in the changelog of the evercade firmware:
- Fixed a number of typos and game descriptions across cartridges

Does this mean that these typo's and descriptions will be fixed on the cartridge itself? Or only on the system (VS or handheld).
 

esmith13

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Blaze stores those changes (and the FW 2.x files for cartridges #1-#14 which didn't have them) on the internal file system of each device in /opt/legacy/
I had thought about sharing them but I'm concerned that there could be legal issues with that and have decided not to.
The contents are just text files (*.json) and artwork (*.png) but I honestly have no clue if they can have a trademark or other ownership of art and descriptions or if the .jsons constitute code or just raw data. Just not worth the risk, sorry.
 

THX-1138

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Blaze stores those changes (and the FW 2.x files for cartridges #1-#14 which didn't have them) on the internal file system of each device in /opt/legacy/
I had thought about sharing them but I'm concerned that there could be legal issues with that and have decided not to.
The contents are just text files (*.json) and artwork (*.png) but I honestly have no clue if they can have a trademark or other ownership of art and descriptions or if the .jsons constitute code or just raw data. Just not worth the risk, sorry.
How are you accessing the internal filesystem?
 

esmith13

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It's a RockChip SoC powering the device. you can use their developer tools to read and write software images to/from the device. There are other more advanced ways as well such as adb or dd tools.
 
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