The card reader that came with my PowerPak doesn't work

The card reader that came with my PowerPak doesn't work
by on (#77381)
The all-in-one card reader that came with my PowerPak won't recognize the CF card that came with my PowerPak. However, other CF-enabled devices can recognize the card just fine.

Do I have a defective reader or is this a known problem?

by on (#77384)
Probably just defective or maybe a driver problem. When I bought my PowerPAK the included CF card wouldn't work and I had to get another. It happens.

by on (#77388)
I just went to Best Buy and got a Dynex multi-card readermajig, and this one reads the CF card without any problems.

I suspected the reader was at fault, because the thing would act really funny when I had the CF card in there; it'd shut off, the power light would blink, Windows would report the device as perpetually not-ready, all until I removed the card.

So beware, I guess. :P

On another note, holy cow is this thing awesome!

by on (#77389)
I purchased my Power Pak a few weeks ago. I bought the PP and card reader from Retrousb (as you did), but I got my CF card from newegg (8GB Dane-Elec). My CF reader works fine.

The CF reader that Retrousb shipped is in a blue transparent plastic shell, about 2" long, 1.25" tall and maybe 1/3" thick. There is a visible silk-screen on the PCB in the unit that reads "910". The CF reader has slots for other media types too (XD, SD/MMC and something else labeled MS/MSPRO).

Does this describe the CF reader that you got too, or did you get a different one?

by on (#77390)
The one I got with my PowerPak is a transparent yellow one with no branding on it whatsoever. It has silkscreen "USB2.0 All-in-1 Card Reader [hi-speed USB logo]", and "[CE logo][FCC logo]Made in China" on back.

Also, apparently the PowerPak doesn't like Wario's Woods. o_O

by on (#77392)
Drag wrote:
Also, apparently the PowerPak doesn't like Wario's Woods. o_O

I don't think there's anything special about that game that would make it not work on a PowerPak, it appears to be a very normal MMC3 game... Check the header, a lot of ROMs fail to work because of bad headers.

by on (#77393)
tokumaru wrote:
Drag wrote:
Also, apparently the PowerPak doesn't like Wario's Woods. o_O

I don't think there's anything special about that game that would make it not work on a PowerPak, it appears to be a very normal MMC3 game... Check the header, a lot of ROMs fail to work because of bad headers.

Nope, the header is as correct as I can tell. The menu screen gets garbled, and there are major graphical problems in game, and certain modes lock up.

Krusty's Fun House has a glitchy info screen when you start the game... I wonder if the MMC3 mapper I have is bad? The Acclaim screen is glitchy when you reset too.

by on (#77394)
Did you put Loopys mappers on there? I think there was something about MMC3 being wrong in some aspect that was fixed.

by on (#77395)
I downloaded the mapper pack from retrousb, which supposedly includes Loopy's mappers.

by on (#77396)
The most recent ones?

by on (#77397)
v1.34, from the PowerPak page.

Are there newer mappers buried somewhere in this forum?

by on (#77398)
Replace the ones inside the mappers folder with these I believe. I don't know, I don't own a powerpak....yet.

http://home.comcast.net/~olimar/NES/

by on (#77399)
Wow! Thanks a lot, that fixed Wario's Woods. I'm assuming it'll fix KFH too.

You know, powerpak.zip contains "loopy's readme.txt" or something, so I assumed I had the latest loopy mappers. I guess that's a little misleading. o_O

Alright, so the next problem is my television's overscan. The topmost item in the file listing is offscreen, and I can barely see the red arrow cursor. I might be able to fix that myself though, if I can RE the firmware.

by on (#77400)
Drag wrote:
Wow! Thanks a lot, that fixed Wario's Woods. I'm assuming it'll fix KFH too.

You know, powerpak.zip contains "loopy's readme.txt" or something, so I assumed I had the latest loopy mappers. I guess that's a little misleading. o_O

Alright, so the next problem is my television's overscan. The topmost item in the file listing is offscreen, and I can barely see the red arrow cursor. I might be able to fix that myself though, if I can RE the firmware.

The one's on loopy's site are probably included in the latest beta (guessing 135b2) in: http://www.retrousb.com/downloads/

by on (#77401)
You know, that would be an incredibly handy thing to have linked to the product page. :P

"Here is the latest working beta, use at your own risk"

by on (#77405)
Drag wrote:
Wow! Thanks a lot, that fixed Wario's Woods. I'm assuming it'll fix KFH too.

You know, powerpak.zip contains "loopy's readme.txt" or something, so I assumed I had the latest loopy mappers. I guess that's a little misleading. o_O

Alright, so the next problem is my television's overscan. The topmost item in the file listing is offscreen, and I can barely see the red arrow cursor. I might be able to fix that myself though, if I can RE the firmware.


That's normal. The file listing uses the entire name table. When scrolling a long list it isn't an issue. At the root of the card where you don't have the ..\ it might be a bit annoying.

by on (#77408)
I still think it'd be a rather simple fix to have the Y scrolling nudged up a bit when you first enter a folder. Definitely however, it'd be nice if the position of the text were moved to the right one space, because my cursor is completely hidden when it reaches the corners of my screen.

The firmware of the PowerPak seems to be inside powerpak/powerpakboot111.zip. Is that what the PowerPak physically uses (i.e., I can alter that file and see the changes on my PowerPak), or is that just a backup copy of some internal ROM on the powerpak? If I can just make an alteration to that file and fix the problems myself, I'll just do that.

by on (#77409)
The boot ROM is a Flash chip inside the PowerPak, to modify it you have to reprogram that chip. However, it appears that the menu itself is not in the boot ROM (which contains routines for interfacing with the CF card and other "behind the curtains" stuff), but in one of the files that goes in the CF card, so it might actually be possible to change it. I don't know which file it is, though.

by on (#77410)
Right, that's what I was thinking. Otherwise, why would it be necessary to put it on the CF card? (Then again, there's lots of unnecessary stuff that goes on the CF card, like the snes powerpak's firmware, duplicate loopy readme files, and a jpg. :\ )

It might even be a fun little project to make a more graphical interface for the PowerPak, kinda like what you see on the Dreamcast and such. :D

by on (#77411)
Drag wrote:
It might even be a fun little project to make a more graphical interface for the PowerPak, kinda like what you see on the Dreamcast and such. :D

Yeah, I'm all for a "PowerPak menu beautification project", so to speak. That thing is pretty ugly, and it bothers me a lot to have information cropped at the corners/edges of the screen. I can only see everything when I'm using my video capture card...

by on (#77412)
Well like, this has been very informative, I used to think that it was only the top and bottom rows that were invisible, but apparently the actionsafe region of the screen is two rows from the bottom/top edges, and one column from the left/right edge. Titlesafe would be 1 row/column inwards from those edges.

by on (#77432)
The zip file in the powerpak directory is not the firmware, so it must just be a backup of the PowerPak's internal rom.

by on (#77447)
Yes, powerpakbootXXX.zip is the flashable boot ROM, it has 6502 routines for stuff like reading the CF and so on. Menus and all that stuff is on the CF in some of the .MAP files. They're simply 1K "modules" that get loaded at $400.

If somebody wants to give a go at writing a better menu system I can provide some details about how all of it works (I've reverse engineered parts of it). It'd require quite a bit more reverse engineering though to figure out all the quirks of the FAT32 code, unless it was completely rewritten.