Hacking Homebrew GCN PicoBoot - GameCube IPL replacement modchip using Raspberry Pi Pico

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hdx

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PicoBoot.png


Meet PicoBoot - the ultimate IPL modchip for GameCube.
  • open source
  • uses off the shelf hardware
  • cheap, Pico costs only $4
  • very easy to program and update
  • easy to install, only 5 wires to solder
  • doesn't require any boot disk to work
  • can boot multiple applications depending on the button pressed

I highly recommend watching below videos to learn how to use it:


:!: Downloads, installation guides: https://github.com/webhdx/PicoBoot
 

ploggy

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Absolutely Awesome! I'm going to do this as soon as I can get myself a Pico Pi :D
Thank You!

I saw your tweet about the new Pico W.. I'm 50/50 about getting that or the og pico now :P
 

iVirtualPlays

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This looks awesome, finally there is a way to boot into Swiss without the CD. I was wondering if this will work alongside the Xeno GC? As i already have it installed. Also look forward to the M.2 SSD Adaptor and the ribbon.
 

yo1dog

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This is amazing! You are amazing! Ordering my pico now.

QQ: What happens if you try to boot without SDGecko or SD2SP2? Or if ipl.dol is missing? Does it just boot original IPL? Don't want my GC to be unusable if I forget or lose my SDGecko.

Edit: Tested. It boots to official IPL/GameCube menu. Nice.
 
Last edited by yo1dog,

MattBryce

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This is amazing! You are amazing! Ordering my pico now.

QQ: What happens if you try to boot without SDGecko or SD2SP2? Or if ipl.dol is missing? Does it just boot original IPL? Don't want my GC to be unusable if I forget or lose my SDGecko.

Leave it in your GameCube and you won't lose it, unless you lose your GameCube 😂
 

MattBryce

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This is amazing! You are amazing! Ordering my pico now.

QQ: What happens if you try to boot without SDGecko or SD2SP2? Or if ipl.dol is missing? Does it just boot original IPL? Don't want my GC to be unusable if I forget or lose my SDGecko.

Leave it in your GameCube and you won't lose it, unless you lose your GameCube 😂
 

MikaDubbz

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So the Pico is apparently the perfect device for retro modding? There was the news just the other day that someone made essentially an N64 flashcard with the Pico. This shit is crazy.
 
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driverdis

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I ordered four more Picos after hearing about this modchip. I just made the Wii U exploit one earlier and now in a short while I have went from 0 to 5 Picos. I assume next someone will port over basic features for an Xbox modchip as well. I don’t see the Pico becoming a PS2 modchip however.
 

hdx

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Nah, Pico is very limited even though some awesome stuff have been made with it. Its biggest feature is PIO which isn't available on any other MCU. With PIO some light FPGA stuff is possible but of course there are some serious limitations to that.

I'm glad so many people use PIco for their projects because many other MCUs are unavailable due to shortages. Pico is accessible and cheap, they didn't increase the price at all. With new Pico W it'll get even more interesting.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Some updates are planned in the future but for now I hope everyone enjoys PicoBoot as it is. I need to focus on other projects now.
 

driverdis

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Nah, Pico is very limited even though some awesome stuff have been made with it. Its biggest feature is PIO which isn't available on any other MCU. With PIO some light FPGA stuff is possible but of course there are some serious limitations to that.

I'm glad so many people use PIco for their projects because many other MCUs are unavailable due to shortages. Pico is accessible and cheap, they didn't increase the price at all. With new Pico W it'll get even more interesting.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Some updates are planned in the future but for now I hope everyone enjoys PicoBoot as it is. I need to focus on other projects now.
I definitely will be enjoying the option to have cheaper alternatives. In my quest for autoboot Swiss over the years I own two Qoob Pro chips and a ViperGC for my consoles, but I plan to migrate them over to the Pico since updating them is easier and doesn't require ancient expensive modchips to run.

The HyperBoot modchip didn't exist back when I got the chips so autoboot Swiss was really expensive to achieve back then. this solution of yours with the Pico cuts the cost down to 1/4 of one HyperBoot which is amazing to say the least.

three questions.
1. Can I boot the stock IPL as default with no IPL.dol or do I need a stock IPL named IPL.dol on the SD card?
2. Can i boot Swiss as A,B, or Y boot instead of IPL.dol? (I assume yes, but I am still asking anyway)
3. Can i boot the stock IPL as A,B, or Y when the stock IPL is named A.dol, etc)
 

hdx

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Here is how it works:

IPLBoot used by PicoBoot can run up to 4 different DOL files:
  • ipl.dol - loaded by default
  • x.dol - loaded when you hold X during boot
  • y.dol - loaded when you hold Y during boot
  • b.dol - loaded when you hold B during boot

If the file cannot be found it will go to the regular GC menu instead. This means we can take advantage of this behavior to boot regular IPL on demand. Just don't use X/Y/B files and hold particular button - that's it, it'll get you right into that sweet cube animation :)

It's also possible to make it other way around - don't put ipl.dol at all and use Swiss under x/y/b.dol instead so that you can load Swiss on demand by holding a button.

It'll be fixed in the future to use A button to force built in IPL.
 
Last edited by hdx,

FAST6191

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Nah, Pico is very limited even though some awesome stuff have been made with it. Its biggest feature is PIO which isn't available on any other MCU. With PIO some light FPGA stuff is possible but of course there are some serious limitations to that.
Much as I hate to broach the concept of FPGA "power" do you have a general range of such things?

Probably could infer things (give or take that Amiga CPU replication/emulation thing then most things seen thus far replicating feats of $50-200 FPGAs and CPLDs*, or perhaps more accurately implementations thereof, contemporary to 32bit era consoles) but a general overview would be welcome from one that got hands on.

*have seen some PALs are well in some things but let us not go there.
 
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