Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sega Pico Flashcart / Adapter v2

In 2019 i made the first Sega Pico flashcart, which had also the possibility to play games from Sega Megadrive flashcarts.

While this cartridge worked without any problems, i always wanted to make it somehow better in some cases.

With the old design you always could only program 1 game to the eprom or the MD-flashcart. So when the game only used 512kb you had wasted 3,5mb on the 27c322 eprom. You also had to remove the eprom from the cartridge, if you wanted to play the game on the MD-flashcart.

This is all solved with the new design.

There are basically two cartridges now available. The FULL-version, with the MD-flashcart-socket and the REPRO-version, which can only play games from the eprom and has the socket completely removed.

FULL-VERSION

REPRO VERSION

The new cartridges support bank-switching via dip-switches! Which means, you can use the full 4mb of the eprom for games. You can burn eight games with 512kb on it, or four games with 1024kb, or two games with 2048kb or one game with 4096kb. You can even do a mix of all sizes (e.g. 2x512kb + 1x1024kb+1x2048kb) It's all possible now!

Another improvement for the FULL-version is, that you can SELECT if you want to play the games from the EPROM or the games from the MD-flashcart. It's not needed anymore to remove the eprom or the MD-flashcart to play the games from the other option. That way if you burn 8x512kb games on the eprom and 8x512kb games on the MD-flashcart....you will get a fully working 16in1 Multicart with this! The bank-switching also works on the space of the MD-flashcart!

BANK-sizes and BANK-switching are selectable on the cartridge by switches!

Description of the switches


Both carts fit perfectly (with some cutout's) in the original cartridge-cases of the Sega Pico and i really recommend using a original cartridge-case for this flashcart. Otherwise you have to find some other way to fix the pcb inside the Sega Pico to get good contacts between the cartridge and the console.

You will need cutout's for both versions on the back-side of the cartridge-case, for the FULL-version you will also need a cutout on the front-side (for the MD-cartridge-slot). 

 

Because i know that some people don't like to cut (or like they say "destroy") cartridges-cases i did some 3d-modeling today to get at least solutions for the backside!

With any 3D-printer you can now print yourself the following back-covers for your Sega Pico cartridge-cases:

for the old design, if you already bought one from me

for the new REPRO design


 for the new FULL version

You can download the files for printing here.

 

As i pretty often get the question "which MD-flashcart is working with the FULL-version":

The easiest way would be the "Flashkit" cartridge from krikzz, with the "FlashKit MD programmer" from him. I'm not sure if he still produces or sell these, but they also get sold on Aliexpress since some months for pretty cheap prices. (Flashkit cartridge for about 4-6EUR and the needed programmer for about 30-45EUR). (Sega Pico games have no SAVE-feature, so you can buy the cheaper Flashkit cartridges, without battery!)

Basically every MD-flashcart will work, which will directly boot into games! I tested some cheap chinese MD-Everdrives, and if you remove the SD-Card from the everdrive, it directly boots into the game in the memory. So if you have a Megadrive, you can load the games to the MD-Everdrive memory and afterwards can use it on the Sega Pico without the SD-card.

I also saw people who could get Megadrive games to boot on the Sega Pico with the FULL version of this adapter. I tested this with my japanese HPC-0009 model (as it looks like this is only working on the newer Sega Pico models) of the Sega Pico and it's pretty amazing, at least 70% of my tested Megadrive games bootet to the main menue and worked afterwards in the auto-mode (you can't control any MD-game with the Pico), 20% did stop because of the region lock and 10% did nothing...here are some examples:

 








 

Pretty amazing to see Mortal Kombat running on a kids console. 

If someone needs a cart, just contact me.

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