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Cartridge Archiving

PostPosted: February 20th, 2016, 10:19 am
by dpickett
One of the most attractive features of the 'Retro Freak' is having the ability to dump physical cartridges for archival purposes. Not only has this console successfully dumped every game I've thrown at it, but with the inclusion of Turbo Grafx 16/PC Engine support and future upgrades like the Sega Game Gear/Mark III adapter, this device has already proven itself as a promising and worthy investment.

My only legitimate complaint is that all rom dumps are encrypted and rendered completely useless outside of the exact console that was used to dump the carts into backup roms. I have already used devices such as the Retrode and Kazzo cart dumpers to make personal rom backups for use on PC/Android devices, but unfortunately these dumpers do have their limitations and are incompatible with numerous titles.

I understand that through the encryption of roms the developers are taking a stance on piracy and their device being used as a hub for illegal distribution, but the console seems to cater itself towards piracy as there are no limitations on someone illegally downloading roms and storing them on a micro SD card for use.

I haven't found much discussion about using it for archival purposes. Is anyone aware of ways around their encryption such as using it on a computer to make legitimate rom dumps?

Re: Cartridge Archiving

PostPosted: February 20th, 2016, 3:34 pm
by R9delta
No one has managed to figure out whatever Cybergadget is adding or encrypting on the rom as far as I know. Unless we're talking about dumping obscure homebrew roms that no one else has through another avenue it's kind of hard for me to see it as a big deal. There's plenty of other sources to get roms out there honestly that no one's personal archive would be anything special....again previously undumped homebrewn games aside, so i can agree it'd be nice for those.

Re: Cartridge Archiving

PostPosted: February 20th, 2016, 7:20 pm
by dpickett
R9delta wrote:There's plenty of other sources to get roms out there honestly that no one's personal archive would be anything special....again previously undumped homebrewn games aside, so i can agree it'd be nice for those.

Definitely, the idea though is to not download roms illegally. I'd just like a way to legitimately back up my personal collection. Again, Retrode and Kazzo are great resources for this, but they're not able to dump everything successfully like the Retro Freak does.

Re: Cartridge Archiving

PostPosted: April 29th, 2017, 9:30 am
by dpickett
Just a quick update for anyone who's interested.

Thanks to the community over at AssemblerGames and on the Arduino forums, there's been much progress on dumping the SNES carts which utilize the special chips such as the SA-1 (Super Mario RPG/Kirby Super Star) as well as the Cx4 chip (Mega Man X2/3). They've also recently included functionality for dumping the SF Memory Cassettes, BS Stellaview carts and mempaks, and Sufami Turbo carts.

Major props go out to sanni and skaman (as well as the many others who've contributed to this project) over on the forums as they've worked out the ability to dump these games that are currently incompatible with the Retrode by utilizing an Arduino. For anyone who's interested in this project, you can check out their current efforts at:
http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=158974.0

I didn't give enough credit in my previous post to the developer over on infiniteneslives for dumping NES roms. I've since been able to dump all of my NES games with the exception of one Color Dreams game. Check the project out over at:
https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?t=7912

The Kazzo Cart Dumper takes a little more effort to use as the mappers for several NES games may need modification in order to successfully dump the roms. Worth noting, the CLI has proven to be far more reliable with dumping roms than the GUI, but I've also had to use the GUI exclusively in order to dump some of my carts. The developer is working on an improved GUI that should resolve these issues.

Finally, wanted to thank R9delta for all of the work put into patching/hacking/translating roms across various platforms. I've been using his patches for many of my games for awhile now, and they've definitely extended the value of my Retro Freak.