Super Retro-Cade

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by kuwanger, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

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    Jun 17, 2018
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    with all due respect this is GROSSLY innacurate and dangerous advice to give. the tx rx interface on this board is SERIAL and not the same used in a USB bus. directly connecting it to one can damage the retro-cade, the usb port on the pc or both. you require a UART with a serial to usb converter chipset installed.

    fyi the one installed in the Atari by atgames IS a usb rx tx interface. (its a usb port interface)
     
    Last edited by WD_GASTER2, Apr 14, 2019
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  2. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    I've finally got an USB to serial adapter ordered. Can I just install nova launcher via ADB (ala the data east 10" arcade hack) to have an android desktop on my SRC?
     
  3. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

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    you can definitely try. not sure how hard that is going to be on the 256mb of ram (oof)
     
  4. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    I have configured my uart and am able to start a putty connection but I can't seem to figure out how to point adb install to the apk i'm trying to install. I tried this...
    root@dolphin_aliyun_p1:/ # set PATH="%PATH%;%ProgramFiles%\putty"
    root@dolphin_aliyun_p1:/ # adb install Nova_Launcher_v5.5.4.apk

    The apk file is located in C:\Program Files\PuTTY\
    This results in "can't find 'Nova_Launcher_v5.5.4.apk' to install".
    Can someone give me a shove in the right direction? I have no idea what I'm doing.
     
    Last edited by PSX_Specter, Apr 27, 2019
  5. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

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    rename your apk to something like "1.apk"
    pop it in the sd card slot.
    then punch in df command.
    it will give you the path to the sd card
    "pm install \path\to\your\sd\card\1.apk"

    warning: make sure you know the common android name of your apk to uninstall ex: "pm uninstall com.whatheverthecrapthepackageisname.etc"

    what i did to make my life easier i programmed my launcher to give the common android name of all the apps in the app drawer so i knew what they were all called.
     
    Last edited by WD_GASTER2, Apr 27, 2019
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  6. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    Namaste. Thanks so much for that. Had enough of a headache from setting up the converter. Had to swap Tx and Rx. Gah!
     
  7. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

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    uart gets easier once you get the hang of it. good luck!
     
  8. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    Nova launcher is unable to be selected as the default app on startup, and refuses to uninstall.
    It was worth a shot. might try a newer version. Your launcher might be a better place for me to start.
     
  9. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

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    did the uart return a succesful install message?
     
  10. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    Yes. The app seemed to install just fine and does appear on startup. It lets me choose between the built in gamelauncher.apk and nova launcher, but I can't progress past that. Maybe an issue with write permissions? Maybe nova launcher doesn't work like I had hoped due to the stripped down OS?
     
    Last edited by PSX_Specter, Apr 27, 2019
  11. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

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    Jun 17, 2018
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    sorry for not giving a better reply earlier. still want to try my dash? i think its as finished as its going to get:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Full disclaimer, i used some icons from the Alekfull NX from the recallbox. I suck at making icons.
    before i send it out to you i will change the icons so i can send it with no issue. the wallpaper in the background can be set by the user to whatever they want.
    fyi to the mods: this not related to official firmware in any way just a homebrew dashboard that can run on the retrocade. hopefully thats ok :)
     
    Last edited by WD_GASTER2, May 2, 2019
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  12. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    I'd love to try it. Is there an app drawer? I would have some good educational fun being able to try some other emulators and apps. A media player like VLC would be a welcome addition as the one in lakka is not great, using a reduced color palette. I'd also like to try emulating some of the less demanding N64 titles. All about trying to squeeze more functionality out of it... like the data east 10"... but thats another thread.
    :D
     
    Last edited by PSX_Specter, May 5, 2019
  13. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

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    Jun 17, 2018
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    ill clean up the current build and send you my dash. just give me a day or so.
    to be fair expect this to perform worse than the 10 arcade thing. Its only 256mb of ram and 112mb by the time the thing is under load. i wouldnt hold my breath for n64 or vlc sadly. :/



    As the video above shows. psone is a possibility provided you use epsxe with your apk backed up from a phone or something.
     
  14. ArugulaZ

    ArugulaZ GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I'd just like to know how to upgrade the firmware. I've got it on the system; I'm just not sure where to go from there.

    I feel like I'm smashing my head against a brick wall here, but is there a step by step process for updating the firmware on this system? I would love to have this at its full potential, but I'm just not sure what I'd need to do to upgrade it safely. Nobody is talking about this system anymore, and I'm not going to pay $60+ dollars for another SRC just for the privilege of a firmware update Retro-Bit should supply its customers by default!

    Or maybe I should just be satisfied that I've got Lakka running on it. Grumble.
     
    Last edited by ArugulaZ, May 22, 2019
  15. Sausageyeah

    Sausageyeah Newbie

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    I'll second that, some sort of easy to follow guide for a firmware update would be fantastic.
     
  16. kuwanger
    OP

    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Jul 26, 2006
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    Mostly tried this out. You'll need an 8GB+ (16GB+ prefered) microSD/SD and a USB keyboard.

    1) If using Windows, download and extract ext2explorer: https://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2read/
    2) Go to to http://lakka.tv.
    3) Click Get and follow the steps to get the "Allwinner Orange Pi" image, "OrgangePi Lite" and write the image using the instructions provided from lakka.tv on the microSD/SD.
    4) On the Super Retro-Cade, boot once to allow the auto-resize of storage (it'll take a while)
    5) Back in WIndows, on one partition is "uEnv.txt". Use Notepad++ or similar and change the first line to read: "bootargs=console=ttyS0,115200 console=tty0 boot=/dev/mmcblk0p1 disk=/dev/mmcblk0p2 consoleblank=0 quiet tty retroarch=0" (ie add "tty retroarch=0" to the end) to enable a terminal and disable auto starting retroarch service
    6) On the second line change "sun8i-h3-orangepi-lite" to "sun8i-h3-orangepi-pc-plus.dtb" -- this will allow the nand to be visible.
    7) Use ext2explorer (run as administrator) to access the second partition and copy the firmware there.
    8) SD back in the Super Retro-Cade, let it boot up. You should end up with a Lakka# prompt in the corner. It should auto mount the nand/emmc/whatever to /storage/roms/<different partition names>
    9) With the USB keyboard connected, you'll need to umount all the nand partitoin stuff: "umount /dev/mmcblk2p*"; it'll complain about all the stuff not actually mounted.
    10) You should already be in storage. If you type "ls" you should see your firmware listed.
    11) If (10) is true, you should first backup your current firmware with "dd if=/dev/mmcblk2 of=firmware_backup.img bs=1M". When done, "ls -l firmware_backup.img" and it should be ~3.7GB big.
    12) if (11) is true, you can try writing over a new firmware. This is the destructive bit, and not something I've verified (but it should work). If things go wrong, you should be able to follow step (14) to recover your Super Retro-Cade. Having said that, if you want to take the risk and presuming you named your firmware "firmware.img", use "dd if=firmware.img of=/dev/mmcblk2 bs=1M".
    13) You might want to run "sync" first. But definitely run "shutdown -h now". You should see a "reboot: System halted". And that point, turn off the Super Retro-Cade, take out the SD card, and reboot and see if the firmware works.
    14) If something went wrong and presuming you made a backup, power off the Super Retro-Cade, follow steps 8-10, and then do "dd if=firmware_backup.img of=/dev/mmcblk2 bs=1M".

    I can't stress enough that I haven't verified any of this, but it should be as straight forward as the above. AFAIK, so long as you have a good firmware you should be able to boot from the SD slot and restore a firmware. Personally, I'm not interested in risking it. :)
     
    Last edited by kuwanger, Jun 13, 2019
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  17. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    @kuwanger , thank you for taking the time to put that guide together. Thanks for being curious enough to try booting Lakka in the first place. I've had a lot of fun with it and certainly learned a few things along the way.
     
  18. kuwanger
    OP

    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    No problem. If someone does follow my guide, has issues following it, completes it successfully, has suggestions, etc, I'd be very welcome to hear about it.

    I was honestly rather surprised at how trivially it worked. Most other hardware requires some finagling at least or knowing some secret information. So, *shrug*. I just got lucky. Good to hear you've learned some things, btw. I have too, as there's basically never a time where there isn't lots to learn.
     
  19. ArugulaZ

    ArugulaZ GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Sep 17, 2009
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    Thanks. I'll give this a shot later... kinda need a little rest right now. This sounds very do-able, though!

    EDIT: Working at it now. This EXT program won't grant write access, even as administrator. Any other suggestions for a program of this type?

    EDIT: Screw it. I had Lakka on here already, but now I'm starting from scratch. Gosh, wouldn't it have been NICE if Retro-Bit just gave us the damn firmware instead of making us pay another sixty dollars for a second system?!

    EDIT: The instructions don't work. The uEnv.txt file is slightly different than described on my unit, looking like this:

    bootargs=console=ttyS0,115200 console=tty0 boot=/dev/mmcblk0p1 disk=/dev/mmcblk0p2 consoleblank=0 quiet
    bootcmd=load mmc


    Changing the uEnv.txt file as directed results in this endless loop.

    [​IMG]

    Furthermore, the Lakka_Disk partition cannot be changed with Ext2Explorer, nor can files be sent to the root in Ubuntu. I suspect that either Ext2Explorer does not have the ability to change files, or the Lakka image is at least partially read only. I've tried, but permissions cannot be changed.

    I'm disappointed, but you at least made an effort to support this system. More than I can say for Retro-Bit, which says it can't offer a patch online but will cheerfully give me a discount on a second Super Retro-Cade. (Seriously? So what do I do with the first one, use it as a paperweight?)
     
    Last edited by ArugulaZ, Jun 15, 2019
  20. PSX_Specter

    PSX_Specter Advanced Member

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    @ArugulaZ . It sounds like maybe you didn't let lakka install before modifying the uenv.txt (step 4)? IDK.
    If you can get lakka working, there is more than one way to do this. I personally use putty to connect to the retrocade from my pc using an USB to ethernet adapter, and run a terminal window from there to do backups/flashes with the dd command. The firmware you wish to flash to the device can be on an external USB drive. or your lakka SD card. The dd command line will have to be carefully modified to suit your particular situation. Use the df command to help you figure out which drive is what (mmcblk0, etc.) so you don't accidentally wipe out a partition or drive that you didn't intend to. Hope this helps.
     
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