Hacking is F2A Ultra 512M any good?

FAST6191

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In the future whether you wanted to link such a thing up may be debateable as it is possible you will be sniped or whatever the buy it now equivalent is.

Short version. Don't do it.

Yeah the f2a ultra lines were reasonably well respected NOR based flash carts (can't seem to find a GBAtemp review but http://www.gameboy-advance.net/flash_card/F2A_Ultra.htm will do in the meantime) and a buy it now of $25 plus token shipping is a pretty reasonable price for such things. Don't do it though as it does not come with the cable and you will probably have a hard time finding one, there was apparently also a USB writer at one point ( http://www.eurasia.nu/shop/product_info.php?products_id=292 ) and it never made it into something like fas1 on the DS ( https://code.google.com/p/fas1/ ) though that page says it might be possible. Edit. Forgot to say as well that if it is brand new then the battery is probably dead as you like right now.

http://wiki.pocketheaven.com/index.php?title=Flash2Advance_Ultra

I should note 512M = 64 megabytes and GBA games were up to 32 megs (usually 16 and under though).
 

Darkipod

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Hey FAST, all it needs is a normal USB to GBA cable like with the F2A cards correct? You have to plug it into the gba and then use software to load it all up correct?
 

how_do_i_do_that

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USB chargers connect to the Ext 2 port. The F2A USB cable connects to the Ext 1 port.

The F2A USB writer skips a GBA/SP entirely like the EZ-Flash II and III writers do.

nds-no-ext1.gif
 

DanTheManMS

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I have a F2A Ultra 1 Gbit (1024 MBits) and I really like it. To my knowledge it was the only GBA flash cart to have hardware buttons for savestate support in commercial games, a rather unique feature. No slowdowns for any games of course, as to be expected from a NOR-based card. I've even got some copies of the now-dead support websites although Archive.org has some copies as well.

However, as the others have stated, if it doesn't come with the cable then it's pretty much worthless to you. You absolutely need that cable in order to reprogram the cart and it requires special drivers that can only be installed on Windows XP or lower (people tend to use virtual machines nowadays).
 

Darkipod

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I have some cables for my other carts, like the EZF-Advance carts, would those USB cables work for these? I also have USB writers for EZ-Flash II's, would those also possibly work?
 

DanTheManMS

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Normally I'd say the answer is no, but there's actually a chance that you could get that combination working with the help of the FlashManager software which you would use instead of the F2A PowerWriter software. At least, if anything can do it, that's the one. http://mootan.hg.to/fmgba/

If that works, you'll probably have to add the loader software as the first rom you flash over. I don't know if the latest WINF2A270.gba would work, but if it doesn't then "Loader 3.3" should work. Here's an archived copy of those downloads: https://web.archive.org/web/20070102181245/http://members.home.nl/penpvdbs/downloads.htm

Again this is all hypothetical.

EDIT: Interesting. H_D_I_D_T posted the same link on March 3rd but without the Archive.org copy of it. I wonder if the page was online on the 3rd and it went down between then and now.
 

how_do_i_do_that

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Normally I'd say the answer is no, but there's actually a chance that you could get that combination working with the help of the FlashManager software which you would use instead of the F2A PowerWriter software. At least, if anything can do it, that's the one. http://mootan.hg.to/fmgba/

If that works, you'll probably have to add the loader software as the first rom you flash over. I don't know if the latest WINF2A270.gba would work, but if it doesn't then "Loader 3.3" should work. Here's an archived copy of those downloads: https://web.archive.org/web/20070102181245/http://members.home.nl/penpvdbs/downloads.htm

Again this is all hypothetical.

EDIT: Interesting. H_D_I_D_T posted the same link on March 3rd but without the Archive.org copy of it. I wonder if the page was online on the 3rd and it went down between then and now.

Site is gone, I will probably not like it anymore. I think AnotherWorld uploaded the files already to filetrip.

http://filetrip.net/gba-downloads/o...h2advance-ultra-file-pack-4-21-11-f24877.html
 

Darkipod

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Did you try it with the normal software? It might also work, I cannot see how the cables internals are all that different, they should be a standard kind of data cable.
 

DanTheManMS

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I cannot see how the cables internals are all that different, they should be a standard kind of data cable.
I don't quite know the details, but it's a little bit more complicated than that. The closest thing to a "standard" that the F2A USB cable follows is the fact that it's very similar to the homemade ULA cable specification. I've used the software from that webpage (renaming the included files so that the program uses the F2A-specific binaries) in order to turn my GBA into a USB joypad through that a F2A USB cable.
 

Darkipod

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I feel like people are still missing what I am saying, I guess I will have to draw a diagram. Ill work on it after my HDL test tomorrow, or maybe I should just bite the bullet and mess around with the programs myself.
At this point I'm almost thinking we should start a github to build a standard flashing program that you select your card, or if its some weird brand, the user can take it apart, do some google searching, and then they will know the basic hardware that the flash cart uses and that might be enough to make an educated guess on which flasher to run.

Time to send a PM to FAST.
 

FAST6191

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There have been various attempts to make "universal" writer software for GBA flash carts. Littlewriter was probably the most advanced of them http://www.gameboy-advance.net/fal_soft/flash_advance_little_writer.htm and most of the others have been linked in this topic already. Though if I am linking things then http://reinerziegler.de/GBA/gba.htm#homebrew flash cart and http://www.devrs.com/gba/hardware.php#hardmisc probably want to come along as well.

They all tended to use completely closed protocols to handle it, I would wager good money on them not being terribly different to reference implementations (maybe with a single command to select NOR, SRAM, NAND or normal GBA protocol for reading ROMs) for the cradle/linker based stuff, something basic for the in cart stuff and enough tweaks to a homebrew version to be annoying to clone companies for the ones that go in the GBA link port. Worst case scenario for the cradle/linker stuff they actually use the CPLD/programmable chip at the heart of it to make it more universal.

All that said after everybody went external memory and/or using a DS slot cart to manage things this sort of thing became more for fun than for usefulness.
 

Darkipod

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Which is really where it is today, GBA flash carts in general are more for fun rather then practicality. The arguably best way to play GBA games would probably be on PSP.
 
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