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New system at GameStop: VG Pocket


#91 blankmediapro   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   15 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

blankmediapro

Posted 10 February 2006 - 06:56 PM

I have given many documents and diagrams ilustrating NOAC's cartrige connections and such. If anyone wants to take the time and try and trace any of the circuit board connections, we may can identify some if not most of the NOAC lines. I still think that the PIC may be the best solution. I ran across a company on the web that had a surface mount that would fit no problem. For thoes whe don't want to read back to previous archives in this forum, I will post the fore mentioned sites here for info.

This is the NOAC chip track count and layout http://nesdev.parodi...s-on-a-chip.txt

one for cartriges http://nesdev.parodius.com/rom.txt

My original thought was to use an SD card for rom loading into the unit. Here is a site for SD card pinouts. http://pinouts.ru/da...rd_pinout.shtml

I figure if this thing can be moded, noone really wants it perm. unless you could get all 500 to 800 roms of NES games into it or have a huge cartrige connector hangiin out the back. could do perminant flash mem and just change it out with an upload with a USB cable. There are so many ideas to try, and I bet several of them will be needed in order to test this out and progress along. As for me, I would be extatic with an SD as an end result.

#92 Coolty   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   11 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 13 February 2006 - 09:09 PM

So basically what we're trying to do here is:

1: figure out a way to use the [START] and [SELECT] buttons.

2: figure out a way to load ROMS from an SD card.

Shouldnt be too hard, but I have no experience in this kind of thing.

#93 Coolty   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   11 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:53 AM

Okay, in the debug screen on my VG pocket, it says TESTRAM FAIL
i'm not sure if only mine does this, or if everyone's does? Can someone confirm this?

#94 JayDeeGigadee   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   7 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

JayDeeGigadee

Posted 15 February 2006 - 08:59 PM

My does it too, so I assume everyone else's does. I'm going to tear mine open right now and follow the button leads to see if I can find the start/select leads.

#95 Steggy   Shhhhhhhhh CAGiversary!   7545 Posts   Joined 14.0 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2006 - 09:01 PM

what games are actually on this??

#96 JayDeeGigadee   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   7 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

JayDeeGigadee

Posted 15 February 2006 - 09:48 PM

There are rehashes of arkanoid, bump n jump, pacman, columns, pong, boulderdash, snake, pipedream, battleship, and a pool game that's kinda fun. Other than that there isn't much. Many of them are the same game with slight differences, and involve catching some object falling from the sky with a pong like paddle. They do look good for 16-bit games though.

#97 MamerGamer   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   1 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

MamerGamer

Posted 20 February 2006 - 05:33 PM

Well, it looks like it is time for me to learn some electronic stuff. lol. I picked up one of the VG 50's this weekend in hopes of seeing what I can learn about it to contribute.

#98 JayDeeGigadee   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   7 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

JayDeeGigadee

Posted 20 February 2006 - 09:08 PM

I got a VG Mini this weekend and the joystick is excellent and it has about ten games that the VG pocket(50) didn't. Downside is that the screen is tiny, the buttons are on the top shoulder of the unit, and there's no volume control. It is very LOUD. I wish they would have put the joystick style conrol on all of these things.

#99 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 12.0 Years Ago  

Posted 23 February 2006 - 10:55 PM

Never mind, sold my VG Pocket.

#100 jn_bns   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   1 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

Posted 27 February 2006 - 06:51 AM

Hi all,

I have been following this forum for a while. I had picked up a 50, but returned it already. It froze up a few times, and I thought the 30 bucks was high considering the deals others have found. I was also disappointed that some of the games on the 50 game packaging were not actually in the unit I bought. JayDee.. do you have a 50 or 75 game in addition to the mini 30? If so, how would you rate those 10 games on the mini that are not on the larger units. I'm still considering getting another (mini this time) that hopefully does not freeze up, as well as for the few games that I might play. I'm also interested in modding if possible. I'm definately not electronics savy, but I might be willing to try. I started reading about PIC Programming and looked over some of those NESdev specs, but we'll see. I'm pretty busy and I tend to get involved in to many things at once. Any of the other electronics savy users here make any more headway (blankmedia, etc...?)

thx,
-jn

#101 JayDeeGigadee   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   7 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

JayDeeGigadee

Posted 06 March 2006 - 05:56 AM

I have one of the 30s and a 50. The games on the littler one aren't much better than the other ones, only average playability. I have had no freeze up problems with either unit. I originally got interested in these to see if anyone could figure out how to change the games on these. I've been trying to see if I could get a Texas Instruments cord to comunicate to either of these units, but to no success. I read on another site that one of the preexisting ports (ie: A/V port or headphone jack) can be used to upgrade/change the games on these, but they failed to mention how or if there was special software involved. Adding start/select buttons would be nice too.

#102 JayDeeGigadee   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   7 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

JayDeeGigadee

Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:54 PM

Is anyone still there?

#103 blankmediapro   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   15 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

blankmediapro

Posted 24 April 2006 - 01:34 PM

Everyone elso just seemed to give up on it here. I didn't have the tools or time to work on this. Howevery I can come up with ideas just fine.lol

#104 STATIC3D   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   342 Posts   Joined 13.1 Years Ago  

Posted 11 June 2006 - 06:01 AM

Okay, so this is a bit of a (2 month) bump. But, I was in a local GameStop today and saw one of the 50 game versions marked down to $20. Just a heads up in case anyone was interested.
"To expect mercy from your enemies is to accept defeat!"

#105 nightc1   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   2002 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  

Posted 14 September 2006 - 07:56 PM

I'm new to this thread but I read through it. After seeing the VG Pocket Max at Best Buy yesterday for $40 I wrote down the info on it and researched it today. My local Radio Shack (which resulted from the search) turned up to have the vgp max in stock (it's the one with 75games).

I'm very curious to see what can be done with this little system. I realize no one has done anything more than take one apart... and I'll do that as well.. however when I do I'll take some pictures of the board.. or I'll bring it to work and do a high res scan of it like I did back in the early days of the GBA (many people still use my scan of that system).

Anyway I'm going to keep checking this thread and see if anyone else is interested in doing something with this little system. I'll post any updates here as well. Also I plan to get the VG Pocket Caplet since it'll have some actual real relased games on it... so atleast from the VGP Max I get the av cable which isn't included in the newer system when it starts showing up any day now.

Hopefully more people will show up... and some renewed interest in this little system will happen.

I'd love to see the rom on this ripped... pulled apart... so atleast it's clear how to add games to this. Even if it's just 75 games that the chip can recognize... I could put a heck of a lot of great games in that space.

#106 AndrewCP   I'veGotBallsOfSteel! CAGiversary!   754 Posts   Joined 11.2 Years Ago  

Posted 17 September 2006 - 10:58 PM

There's an even newer one called VG Pocket Caplet (as well as Tablet): http://gear.ign.com/...9/729205p1.html

It sounds like it could be the best VG Pocket yet and GameStop has them listed for about $40 and says their due out on October 16th.

Edit: Oh oops, didnt realize you were aware of the Caplet since I only skimmed through your post earlier. Ah well, at least some people would like to know :).

#107 blankmediapro   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   15 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

blankmediapro

Posted 18 September 2006 - 08:11 AM

well, it has been a while and now I am back. I had one once but it got stollen so I bought another. I have heard of some people geting them and using the screen for other projects but as far as modding the thing, nothing. I still think that the SD card is the way to go. The biggest thing right now is to find thoes damned pinouts for start and select buttons and get a mod for thoes. As many of you know it has the test screen for the buttons so that can be our test to make sure we find them.

I once remade an old NES controller by scraping the board and removed the chip and other components and made a new design for it. It worked like a charm but I never finished the casing for it. It looked liked like a N64 controller.

I once placed in this thread the pinouts for an NES on chip and thought someone could trace the leads to the controller pinouts but to no avail. If anyone is intrested and would like to do some of the footwork, just look back in the post and find thoes links and give it a whirl. Let us know if anyting happens.

I am glad there is still some intrest in modding it.

EDIT: maybe www.benheck.com can help. He is the guy that maked all the portable systems out of consoles. Atari, NES, SNES, N64, Playstation, even an Xbox 360.

#108 nightc1   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   2002 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  

Posted 18 September 2006 - 06:27 PM

Nice to see some new responses. I noticed the last few months have been pretty lax in any new content here so I was worried my post would go unnoticed for a long while.

My UPDATE:

I did get the pinout schematics for the chip ... but my VGP:M has the chip with the blob of stuff on it. Is there any way to remove this blob? Like heat or something? Or is it that pretty much anything done will kill the chip?

Since you can power the unit even when it's taken apart ... it's great for testing stuff. I, stupidly, tried some of the points that looked like they could be used for other controls but didn't light up the start and select. Even if for nothing else it would be great to have a start & select on this system to hopefully be able to pause the games. It's easy to get going in a game and need to take a few second break and you can't.

I actually like many of the games on this little system (firefight is great). Thus far even afer a full weekend of gaming my 3 AAA's are doing well to run the system.. though it looks like they are finally starting to show signs of wear.

I like the idea of putting an SD slot on there. IT seems this thing has some kind of option for extra storage considering the test screen does a check for some kind of extra TESTRAM yet it fails. How to do that is beyond my abilities though.

In the grand scheme of things... even if the only option is to replace the onboard chip where the games are stored with a re-programmable chip with the software loaded on it as a single bundled up rom (like the 52 in 1 carts.... except with regular games)... I'd be fine with that. SD card would be optimal... but even then I THINK the software for the menus and stuff is on that one chip. That's just a guess. Ripping the game out though to a pc where it can be disected would be of great help.


My priorities ATM:

1. See if there's a way to remove the gunk from the chip to access the pins. I'd love start & select right now for the exisitng games in this thing. Pause would be fantastic.

2. Take scans/pics of the board. I've looked over it quite a bit already but this would be handy in researching and tracing connections for the long haul.

3. See how to wire up to the display and see if I can get the right out put on another system (one of those multiple games in one controllers that hook directly to a tv) to work with it. If nothing else this would be useful to me.

4. Find out how to copy the data off the one chip in this sytem that's exposed. My thoughts are the game data is here and it's one big plain nes rom. IF this is true then atleast it will be just a matter of programming and researching to make a replacement. If this could be loaded off a wired up sd card slot all the better (since I do like alot of the games included on this thing... though I could always buy a second one).

5. If all fails with the chip... it would be nice to see if I could discect one of those NES clones people use... and see if I could use the chip from it in the VG Pocket Max. Then start & select definitely will be accessable. However this will require a lot of tiny soldering.



Anyway, I'm still very interested in this little system. Maybe if nothing happens here the VG Pocket Caplet will get people interested.

#109 blankmediapro   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   15 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

blankmediapro

Posted 18 September 2006 - 09:18 PM

I bought one of thoes 30 rom systems for test purposes. don't know what I did with it. but anyway, I can do some3 tracing with it when I get a chance. I also have one of thoes handcontroler plug n plays laying around exposed so I can see what it has too. the key is to compare the tracts so we can get an overall view what = what.
I figured that start and select can go at the bottom corners of the screen. and the best spot for an sd card (did size tests once) is on the left side under the d pad. If I can find anything on my little 30 unit, I will get back to ya.

#110 nightc1   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   2002 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  

Posted 20 September 2006 - 01:29 PM

Doah! I'm a moron. The processor is the chip that's exposed and the game rom chip is what's under the blob.

Interesting.

I have an old NES clone that Pelican or Performance put out years ago that has a bunch of the Color Dreams games that were unofficially released for the NES on it. I may take that apart to compare pinouts.

I did do a little testing last night... but I'm going to check over the processor pinout diagrams and whatnot provided in this thread (or another, I forget)... and hopefully find those important buttons today or tomorrow.

I'm not sure about the space but there's a lot of space on the buttons side & the dpad side in the back part of the case (the part that has the batteries). An SD slot would fit fine there.


Also I noticed a spot on the board where it looks like a rom/chip of some kind could be mounted. I could be wrong though. I need to do some testing. It would be nice if by some miracle this is the "TESTRAM" spot that the system settings (or whatever it's called) screen shows as having "Failed". Maybe an SD slot can just be wired to this and if there's a card in... the game system reads the testram instead of the internal chip. That would be heavenly. I doubt it's true but it's worth looking into.


1 other thing I was thinking. If all this fails... maybe I'll use my past as a homebrew handheld developer and contact both performance and jungletac (the real people behind these systems) and see if I could become a developer for these little systems. That would then supply enough info to do whatever pretty much anyone wanted with these systems. The downside though is it would be a lot of work for me porting over my homebrew gba game or even more work coming up with something original. But it could be pretty interesting.

#111 01100111b   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   1 Posts   Joined 11.0 Years Ago  

01100111b

Posted 11 October 2006 - 05:03 AM

This might be some help, depending on how you look at it.
http://www.ladyada.net/make/gamegrrl/make.html


#112 JayDeeGigadee   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   7 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

JayDeeGigadee

Posted 13 October 2006 - 04:53 PM

It would be very nice to be able to play your own games via SD card. That is actually why I bought these little things to begin with. I hope someone that knows what they're doing can figure out how to reflash these things without having to remove the chip... and start/select buttons would be a nice addition too. I googled the Caplet and Tablet ant I found a site that said there is a third one planned called the "Gel." Does anyone have any of these new ones and can say whether or not they have start/select? From the pics I saw it looked like they didn't...

#113 Mephistophelels   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   1 Posts   Joined 11.0 Years Ago  

Mephistophelels

Posted 31 October 2006 - 06:22 AM

Just wanted to give this thread a bump since now that the VG caplet is out it progress could be made on mounting an external ROM or SD card to the VG Pocket's hardware. I know the Caplet solves the problem of the VG Micro's lack of start and select buttons, and in fact does better by adding two "extra" buttons. It would be fantastic if there was a way to mount an SD card with extra ROMs. The biggest problem I can see is that the Caplet doesn't seem (to my admittedly untrained eyes) to use your typical NES-on-a-chip. If anything I'd say the hardware is probably closer to a Neo Geo pocket than an NES, though I think it may strain under some high-quality SNES games. I'm afraid I lack the technical know-how to do any work on my unit myself, but if anybody finds out how to mount new ROM to the caplet or tablet, I'd give them my first-born child.

PS: Just in case anybody was wondering, I checked on my VG Caplet, and the checksum screen is still present. You can access it by holding down A and B while you turn the unit on. Hopefully this'll give you all a hint. Best of luck

PSS: I've found a few more details after tinkering with the checksum screen. Once you've booted to the checksum you can perform a few interesting operations: by holding down the A and B buttons and pressing the d-pad up you can display the actual checksum value (for me it's 1772F83A, but I'll admit I don't know what that means). By pressing down on the d-pad instead you can cycle through colors on the LCD: red, green, blue or black. I've also realized that the Y and Z buttons don't seem to be always function as actual independent buttons, but simply "turbo" versions of the buttons beneath them. Useful for Tiger Rescue if nothing else.

#114 JayDeeGigadee   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   7 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

JayDeeGigadee

Posted 10 November 2006 - 03:55 PM

I have posted pics of the VGpocket Caplet and it's guts in a Flickr pool along with a VGpocket mini mod I did. Here it is in case anyone is interested.

#115 milkham   Master Massaginist CAGiversary!   1325 Posts   Joined 13.9 Years Ago  

Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:02 PM

well, most people seem to forget that copyright on a lot of nintendo stuff is expiring now


what?? where did you hear that? copyrights were retroactively extended to 75 years after the author's death a couple years ago, we're not likely to see any copyrights expire for a long time.

#116 shimamoto   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   1 Posts   Joined 11.3 Years Ago  

shimamoto

Posted 03 January 2007 - 11:17 PM

Has anyone checked out the new VG pocket caplet? These screenshots make it look pretty decent: http://www.pocket-vi...003-review.html It looks like a major improvement over some of the older models mentioned previously.

#117 Blingo   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   1 Posts   Joined 10.8 Years Ago  

Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:22 AM

I found this thread with Google and just read it. There seem to be some technically advanced folks here who might be able to help me with my unique situation. I'm an artist building a scale model, and I've torn apart a VG pocket tablet in order to get at the LCD screen. I want to get a video signal into the 2 inch lcd screen, but I can't figure out how. I had this idea that I could somehow bust open the case, solder an RCA cord into the board, and plug my VCR into it, but having torn it apart I realize I don't know quite enough. Maybe if I had a diagram, or knew what components were what I could trace it out on the board.

Any advice or info? I can put up pictures of the guts if that helps. Help me figure out how to use these high quality screens to play video.

thanks,

Mike

#118 blankmediapro   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   15 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

blankmediapro

Posted 24 February 2007 - 07:16 AM

I found this thread with Google and just read it. There seem to be some technically advanced folks here who might be able to help me with my unique situation. I'm an artist building a scale model, and I've torn apart a VG pocket tablet in order to get at the LCD screen. I want to get a video signal into the 2 inch lcd screen, but I can't figure out how. I had this idea that I could somehow bust open the case, solder an RCA cord into the board, and plug my VCR into it, but having torn it apart I realize I don't know quite enough. Maybe if I had a diagram, or knew what components were what I could trace it out on the board.

Any advice or info? I can put up pictures of the guts if that helps. Help me figure out how to use these high quality screens to play video.

thanks,

Mike

Hey everybody, sure is great to be back. I am not sure about your situation but I recently purchased a VG pocket caplet 50 games in one and am amazed at the screen resolution (in response to your post). There are LOTS of video players out there with a screen this size and don't even come close to the res this puppy puts out. I haven't taken it apart, but I bet that it is more complicated than the original VG pocket max. even for the price, the screen is well worth it alone. I was more impressed with this one being it is 16 bit and still about the same proce the max was a year ago. I even has name brand games (3 of them) space invaders 2, bust-a-move, and burger time. can you imagine doing old arcade or 16 bit era game on this thing. sure would like to know what the guts are based on. Anyone out there have a clue about this system?

#119 Blaine   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   552 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:15 AM

If anyone is still interested in hacking these: my local gamestop has the tablet (50 game version) for $13.33

Actually a very good version of Bust A Move and Burgertime, two of the clones (Blazebuster and Tasty) aren't bad either. Bust A Move does have sick slowdown sometimes though.

#120 anotherpoorgamer   Bird's Nest Hair CAGiversary!   5265 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

anotherpoorgamer

Posted 22 June 2007 - 12:03 AM

Gamestop's website still says the caplet is $29.99, hopefully it will be lower in my local stores!

Is this thing worth it just for Bust-A-Move?

I would be happy if this thing had a bunch of NES clones.