Modify the EZ-Flash Omega as a GB/GBC linker?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by Adrill, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Adrill
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    Adrill Member

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    Hello, I am looking to get the best experience to play GB/GBC games on real hardware. I love my AGS-101 for its screen and its ability to play older games.
    The existing GBC linkers are obviously sticking out of the GBA-SP, and Goomba Color is "only" an emulator, so it might suffer bugs.

    It seems it's not possible to switch to GBC mode once started in GBA mode (see here), but would it be possible to reprogram the Omega as a GBA-size GBC linker?
    Or even better, detect if the GBA delivers 3.3V (GBA mode) or 5V (GBC mode) and automatically switch its "linker mode"?

    Thanks :)
     
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  2. Sterophonick

    Sterophonick GBAtemp Regular

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    No, it is not possible.
     
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    "so it might suffer bugs"
    Have you tried these emulators in some capacity to see if any bugs present are that damaging to your experience? Goomba and Goomba color are actually very good emulators for the vast majority of games, including the best and brightest of the consoles in question.

    Anyway I could see someone essentially remake the GB Bridge but with EZ Omega support for the ROM storage, though at that point you have essentially made a GB/GBC flash cart and are using an awkward storage method. We don't have access to enough of the Omega underlying FPGA or whatever code to properly be able to step down voltage to GBA (or internal Omega) levels and have it function there either.
     
  4. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    That is only possible on flashcarts that allow booting directly into the flashed ROM(s), skipping the loader, since the loader has no GBC mode. And I don't think the EZFlash Omega allows that.
    But the EZFlash Omega is open source, so a GBC mode modification should be possible. You would still need a GB Bridge and it might not be possible to detect if it's ran in GBC or GBA mode and run the right code accordingly so it might need to be a setting that you need to toggle before switching.
    Goomba Color works surprisingly well actually, I was happy with it.
     
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, Nov 18, 2019
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  5. Adrill
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    Adrill Member

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    Don't get me wrong, it's a great way to play GBC games on a GB Micro or a DS, but this list shows it's unfortunately not perfect, also people are reporting issues on its thread.


    What does the GB Bridge do in a hardware point of view?
    I thought because the Omega has a FPGA it would have been possible to create a basic GBC linker.
     
  6. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    It presses the physical switch in the GBA that switches between 3V and 5V mode and it may also have voltage conversion circuitry so the flashcart still gets the voltage it's expecting.
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The GB Bridge was an old device from the GBA era which worked with a select handful of flash carts. It basically tripped the internal GBC mode switch (literally -- look down inside the slot and depending upon what way you have it round then there will be a little probably black bar on one side that functions as the switch, sidenote if your GBA or SP ever boots into that mode despite putting a GBA cart in then jiggle that with a screwdriver or something) and then passed through data commands to the GBA flash carts it knew how to talk to, in essence making a GB/GBC flash cart.
    It was mainly as a "technically it is possible but nobody is going to do it, especially not when good GB/GBC flash carts are available for probably less than what 3d printing a case and making a PCB would cost".
    The EZ Omega (and many GBA flash carts) do have potent programmable chips at their core but none really are exposed such that end users can write their own code. The more open source nature of the Omega than most others is in the software loader it runs on the GBA itself.
     
  8. lamvuong

    lamvuong Member

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    It would be possible if the EZ flash team creates the loader for it. It is time and money. This is a GBA cart, so it loads the base on the GBA bios. You will need a multi boot which needs a physical switch.

    Your best bet is to get the Analogue Pocket Boy, which has a better screen and close to real hardware FPGA experience. The chance of a leak to get a patched firmware to run roms, and other handhelds is high.
     
  9. spectral

    spectral GBAtemp Fan

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    Are there any easily obtainable flash carts that work with the GB Bridge? I still have mine but I'm fairly sure my F2A crapped out when the PC crashed during flashing.
     
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Probably not. For many years before the everdrive GBA efforts and the Omega it was pretty much just some EZ4s (though even they got scarce at one point) and a few supercards people had kicking around because nobody wanted them back after the DS slot became a thing, maybe a fire card at times too. Anything that the the GB-Bridge supported was ancient by the time those were new.

    http://gameboy-advance.net/flash_card/gb_bridge.htm and http://www.gameboy-advance.net/flash_card/compare.htm covers some more.
     
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