Flash Top GBA Card

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by joker666, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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    Hello all,

    I have just got the Flash Top card for GBA that you can see on the image attached.
    The problem is that I really don't know what USB cable should I use to copy my games on it... There is no Card slot on it or cable slot... :(
    I searched the web about this linker and I didn't find anything...
    Do you think that if I build a GBA ===> USB cable I can copy games directly when connecting the GBA to the PC ??

    Thanks a lot in advance!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    You think wrong - I believe you bought an incomplete set. Carts without ports or SD slots are sold with separate flashers, like this one:

    [​IMG]

    If this is a "dumb card" that just boots whatever's flashed to it, you might be able to use a different brand of flasher or make one yourself - there are schematics available online.

    EDIT: It seems that this cartridge comes with a special kind of USB cable and a software disc: http://www.amazon.com/512mb-Flash-Top-Card-Cable/dp/B000LM8ONW If I can see correctly, it's not a standard USB cable and has some kind of an IC inside of it, which doesn't bode well for you since you don't have either.

    EDIT2: Upon some further reading it would seem that yes, you do need a USB-to-GBA cable, the one shipped with the cartridge is indeed proprietary and I don't think you'll be able to replicate it without schematics.
     
  3. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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    You said that: you might be able to use a different brand of flasher or make one yourself

    Could you please help me with this one? Any information will be more than useful...

    Thanks a million! :)
     
  4. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I just read a review of this cartridge from "way back when" and according to that, the cartridge was supposed to come with proprietary software and, indeed, a USB-to-GBA cable with some kind of an IC in it. I don't think you'll be able to flash it with anything else since it's not a "dumb card" and actually has a menu.

    [​IMG]

    This one's green, but it's the same brand.

    Your two best bets are A) Finding that cable somewhere online or B) Try using a USB-to-GBA or USB-to-Parallel cables that came with Gamesharks back in the day, that and somehow get your hands on the software.
     
  5. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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    It's complicated :-(
    I will try with GBA ==> USB cable and I really hope that it will work...
    I'm going to build the cable because I don't have... All I have is a charger and USB cable...
     
  6. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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    Hello,

    I tried with an USB cable with no luck :( it's not working...
    Can someone please tell me how I can get this thing to work?

    Thanks!
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Unless you can find a cable (and often flash carts used custom ones rather than the more commonly seen homebrew takes on the multiboot cable) then you are going to have to look at adapting something like FAS1 ( http://code.google.com/p/fas1/ ). FAS1 was designed for the older FlashAdvance cartridges but the idea would be the same -- use the DS to speak to the GBA cart and write things accordingly.

    It is not an impossible reverse engineering project (though being a 512Mbit cart you might have some problems/extra work over the smaller devices) but you would not be the first to face this problem and I have yet to see such a project completed for another GBA flash cart.
     
  8. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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    Thanks a lot.

    I want just to add that on the main menu of the flash card there is a website which is

    Www.gamebios.com

    I tried to enter to this website but I don't understand chinease :-(
     
  9. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Heh, it did not look like a fire card clone. If indeed it is a fire card clone then you can probably find such a thing with relative ease, which is good as you will not be able to easily find any other type of custom cable used in the GBA flash cart world. I am not sure what shops are selling them these days but they were being sold as recently as earlier this year in online shops that I knew of and the 128 versions at least (who cares when you only want the cable right) went for about half the price of a charting game.
    The actual cards themselves are not bad either. Small, without many fancy features and usually not of the best build quality but they play the games if they fit on them (give or take the likes of http://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995 ).
     
  11. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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    Thanks for your feedback.
    It's definitely the one as it's mentioned on the wiki page (flash top)

    I found the software after 2 hours of search on a chinease website
    Now I only need the USB cable...
    Do you think that if I build a USB cable (using GBA charger and simple USB cable) it will work?
     
  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    The pinouts don't match, the supplied cable has an IC on it which does the translation work. The GBA port is not USB-compatible, a "dumb wire" won't do.
     
  13. joker666
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    joker666 Newbie

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    Hummm ! I was worried about this...
    Do you think I can find a schema for the cable?
     
  14. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The only full schema we have for cables are the homebrew ones http://reinerziegler.de/GBA/gba.htm#Multiboot
    Of which there are two main designs (the main one probably being the nocash/no$gba one aka xboo), even if the second is more commercial ( http://www.devrs.com/gba/files/mbv2faqs.php ).
    Most commercial GBA flash carts that have such things used a custom version, or at least some custom tweak on the protocol at software level.

    All such commercial cables have their own active logic in from what I have seen*, though the xboo gets by on diodes, capacitors and resistors at the higher end versions of it ( http://problemkaputt.de/gbatek.htm#auxxboopctogbamultibootcable ). Given the full protocol to speak to the carts and a PC set up for it as well (good luck getting anything newer than XP or the equivalent server version to handle it well) then you probably could get any cable to talk to any link port and thus write any GBA flash cart. It is quite hard to understate just how much software efforts that would take as there is precious little info on cart protocols. That reinerziegler.de I linked earlier is probably the best jumping off point right now, littlewriter and FAS1 being the two main projects that happened outside the purview of the flash cart makers.
    Your best bet really is finding a fire card for sale out there in the world somewhere, or just junking the thing you have and buying an EZ4 instead.

    *I must confess I have not paid proper attention here so the scary ICs you sometimes see might just be basic logic gates or transistors in chip form, or possibly some kind of USB to serial for some others.
     
  15. Mynameisntearl

    Mynameisntearl Newbie

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    I actually own the green one pictured. From what I've been able to find, yours is the same, just in a different shell. When I have a chance, I'll pull the covers off my cable and see if I can draw you up a schematic. I can tell you for sure it does use a couple of ic chips, but it looks like pretty off-the-shelf stuff. However, I lost the software years ago. You mentioned that you found it?