Making a BBA?

Discuss modifications you have done or plan to do to your Dreamcast or any other hardware, or discuss devices you want to build. If your console does not work or is acting up, ask about fixing it in here.
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henzenmann
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Re:

Post by henzenmann » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:50 pm

Sonic-NKT wrote:i know almost nothing about all this, but i know that i would pay up to 70-80? for a BBA... and there are many opensource online games which should run on the dreamcast... just thinking about crossfire ;)

if anyone would start to work on it, i would donate!
- It is not possible to build a ready to use NIC because the connector for the G2 bus is a custom part made exclusively for SEGA.
- It would be possible to make a NIC kit (PCB and parts) for maybe around 50€ in part costs, but you would have to solder it together yourself, and you would have to disassemble a Modem to get a G2 bus connector
- It is doubtful that anyone will actually go through all the work and expenses it takes to make such a kit available (the last person to try something similar was Axlen, and he put up a lot of money and burned out on the project in the end).

Edit: Hehe, just noticed that I replied to an ancient post. But my points are still valid, I think ;-)
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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by TOB » Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:20 am

I think that the easiest way to get a connector besides destroying the modem (and possibly its connector) is to etch one on a silicon board or finagle one from a piece of perfboard. For me soldering is no problem but again, I think that the best solution is a better DC - PC connection. I'm going to get yelled at because everyone wants more speed but isn't something better than nothing, especially when it means you won't have to tie up a phone line or spend a lot of money chasing a rocket from a tricycle (not to say that isn't a noble ideal but for now, i wanna play on line without spending a lot of money).
Dreamcast was ahead of it's time and I am just trying to catch up with what it has left behind for us.

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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by Morphv2 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:59 am

Wayy too complicated. You have to take into consideration folks like me, who have short attention spans and shakey hands. Besides, the serial bus is more than fast enough. And if it isn't, we just sub in a new clock x-tal to boost the speed, which is STILL easier.
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Re: Connector ideas

Post by Rex » Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:45 am

henzenmann wrote:
Sonic-NKT wrote: - It is not possible to build a ready to use NIC because the connector for the G2 bus is a custom part made exclusively for SEGA.
It is difficult to make your own female connector from scratch. The only thing I can think of is with 2 PCB - one above and one below the card edge lined with conductive elastomers. The elastomers allows you to make reliable connections with the pads as PCB tends to warp and thus do not have perfect flatness.

There are also card edge connectors that have half the pitch (pin spacing). These connectors have pins at 2 depths. Take a look at an old AGP card and you'll see what I mean. Also take a look carefully at the marks made by the connectors on the gold fingers on your card.

1mm pitch card edge connectors with staggered pins that I know of:
- AGP - too short
- Pentium II connector (difficult to order, but easy to find from junk motherboard)
- NLX riser connector

Here is what they looks like:
http://dkc3.digikey.com/PDF/T072/P0239.pdf

The bad news is that the outside of the connector is too big to fit the Dreamcast. There is a plastic hood surrounding the connector in the Dreamcast. This is part of the one piece Dreamcast connector. You'll need to align and cut down your card edge connector, file down the thickness and also file off 2 corners to match the keying.

Also the surface mount FCI Conan connector in figure 2 looks interesting. Might work if you make a PCB and use modified (as in cutting off the edges) 2 of these and mount side by side.

http://dkc3.digikey.com/PDF/T072/0137.pdf

[Edited]
Looks like the opening is around 0.050" which is insufficient. Need to make an extra cut.
See attached
[Edit end]

The RTL8319 unfortunately expects 32-bit wide data on the PCI bus and uses bus mastering for receive data. You'll need to make a dual port memory buffer which would requires programmable logic and/or dual port memory. This is not a weekend job and certainly too complex for the majority of people. :(

If you only want to run BSD and write your own code (i.e. no software compatibility to BBA), then there are schematics on the net for hooking up ISA 10 BaseT card.
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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by Morphv2 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:59 am

Interesting. I saw a similar tactic employed by a certain homebrew PS1 cheat device some time back, except it used a modified IDE cable break to plug into the PS1 memory slot.

However, for the same time/effort it is to desolde/modify one o' them connectors, you might as well just buy an old 33.6kbp/s DC modem from ebay and just desolder that. From there (if you REALLY want to go with the G2 bus), there are G2 -> PCI schematics out there (I think theres even G2 -> ISA. correct me if I'm wrong), in which you can just slap in a 10mbp/s (only) NIC. Get w/e homebrew software you're workin with to 'see' the bus converter and the NIC, write a simple driver (you can get source for most old NIC's via a simple google search), and boom you're in business.

An easier method would be to find a card that has pre-developed Linux drivers + source available and just make the minor adjustments to use it with KallistiOS.
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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by FamilyGuy » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:53 pm

Well, As I just found this, I thought I had to post it here :

http://f17.aaa.livedoor.jp/~takotako/g2 ... 0300_clone

This guy created a HIT-300 Clone (LAN adapter).

This is what it looks like:
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And works well on both NetBSD and dcload-ip
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He also did another custom lan adapter called a RTL8019AS lan adapter taht works with a custom build of dcload-ip:
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He's working on a BBA Clone (the internet modem).
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And he also did a g2<->USB interface (pluging n64 controllers and lcd screens in it).
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I think this is really good stuff and amybe some people here would be able to create their own RTL8019AS or HIT-300 LAN adapter clone. Hey! it's still WAY faster that serial cables !

I someone here can build some, it'd be AWESOME.


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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by Morphv2 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:07 pm

Look at the soldering. You'd practically have to be jesus to solder all that shat.
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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by FamilyGuy » Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:23 pm

Morphv2 wrote:Look at the soldering. You'd practically have to be jesus to solder all that shat.
Then should I call myself jesus if I've done that (gd-rom connector rewiring):
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And it worked well until I drop it on the floor ...

This sits on a perforated board, it one of the simpliest thing to solder on ...

Seriously, I think it is possible to do, and that maybe someone here, or on benheck.com will be able to do so.

Hell, at least now we know it's possible !


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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by Prophet][ » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:05 am

Those are some interesting sites you have posted. Do wonder how his research will come out and if commercial software will be able to be *tricked* into thinking its the real thing. Hopefully he can turn the FPGA into accual logic units which will cost less.

PCBs are so cheap now to get made professionally. I get them made for my research at uni all the time and have even got them made for home projects. Once you pay for the first one the rest are like $2 each. So if something worth making was done, people wouldn't have to worry too much about soldering.


PS. Family Guy, I would get rid of that link in your sig, it sort of by-passes the rules here.
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Re: Making a BBA?

Post by FamilyGuy » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:13 pm

The actual Lan-adapter can be used like a retail one. It fakes the softs to think it's a real one, but a lan adapter can't surf the web and is slightly slower than a bba a think.

He's working on the bba btw.

ps: I changed the link in my signature for a Tutorial I made myself, I can't see why it was not accepted btw, and no admin ever told me to remove it, not even darc ...
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