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PCB Design 3.3v Flash Question 
25/07/2017 - 11:41
Hi all,

DB electronics recently posted a good article about the use of 3.3v flash chips in Everdrives/flash carts and multi-carts. I know that many re-pro, boot, and new/independent releases also use these chips rather than proper 5v chips. I have heard that the Pier Solar PCB does not use proper voltage level translators and I would like to ask Water Melon if they plan to have a properly designed PCB for Paprium, with the correct voltage level translators between the Mega Drive 5v and the Cart 3.3v flash chips if they are using them. Lastly will the Pier Solar reprint offer a revised PCB?

I am looking forward to this game and hope it comes on a quality PCB. I know indie carts for the SNES and NES such as Unholy Knight and Kira Kira Star Night DX do not have correct voltage level translators.
25/07/2017 - 19:27
I would send this to support, The head of [:WM] is not here at the moment and i have no idea when he will be back.

I do not know how the PCBs for Paprium are designed but i assume they are already in production and i think Fonzie will be back for questions maybe next month but i have not heard back from him for over 40 days.

Also keep in mind that i do not work for [:wm] or can directly comment on their behalf with any authority.

Assuming the game is not delayed the game would be coming out in September and that is where my assumption came from, plus Fonzie has not logged in the MGF in 40 days.
Fight the future, with the power of your Dreamcast.
25/07/2017 - 20:55
The PCB is made specially form Paprium guys, I´ve said that in another trade that it look gorgeous and I just saw the test one a lot of months ago, I can bet that it goes better in the last months, Paprium will be a blast [:P]
Make Yourself Heard!!!
25/07/2017 - 22:12
Any idea if the board is up to the 5v spec that is standard for the genesis/megadrive or has level translators to bring it up to spec if it is not?
Fight the future, with the power of your Dreamcast.
26/07/2017 - 08:11

That's not a problem in any way. Just require a step-down converter or some other type of voltage regulator to reduce the 5V to 3.3V, to power up the ICs. And some logic level converter to convert between TTL and CMOS or whatever.
The Mega Drive itself can be a lot tolerant about logic levels.
26/07/2017 - 16:12
 DB electronics recently posted a good article about the use of 3.3v flash chips in Everdrives/flash carts and multi-carts 

To be honest, that article has been taken by people a little over-dramatically (it was amended after that I think) and the long term effects on console and flash chip have yet to be proven (the math in that article is based on theoretical inputs that are not exactly like that on real console and the conclusion regarding the current exceeding console internal hardware tolerance are based on vague assumptions about CMOS limitation that nobody can verify either).

In short, it's not perfect design but it's unlikely a tick bomb slowly damaging your console or significantly reducing its lifetime like that article somehow managed (or tried ?) to paint it.

 I have heard that the Pier Solar PCB does not use proper voltage level translators 

Where did you hear' that? The reprint PCB at least have voltage regulator, see this thread

 Lastly will the Pier Solar reprint offer a revised PCB? 

Why would they do that? Pier Solar PCB already had at least 2 or 3 revisions, I don't think they are going to bother redesigning new one considering it's now an old product and if Pier Solar cartridges had stopped working or damaged people's consoles, this would be known by now.

 I am looking forward to this game and hope it comes on a quality PCB 

Knowing the quality of Pier Solar PCB and Fonzie's perfectionism, I'm quite sure Paprium product will be up to these standards.
29/07/2017 - 14:52
Thanks for the comments guys. I appreciated the different views to the DB electronics article and it is an area outside of my professional expertise but I still feel some clarification whether or not the PCBs are to spec with the proper level translators would be useful, either a yes they are, or no not quite but it should be ok etc i.e. the case with some of the EverDrives like the X7.

My initial concerns about the quality of modern retro game PCBs came from the poor design of the Famicom 8-Bit power and Kira Kira carts, the SNES Unholy Knight (one of these I got was DOA) and this thread from a few years back on Pier Solar: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?28371-Pier-Solar-Reprint-Cartridge-Overheating-Problem 

I just want the product to be the best quality it can be as the game does look amazing and I hope to play it an awful lot!


29/07/2017 - 18:05
Kira Kira Star Night and 8 bit power are Columbus Circle games. If you read the fine print on those games, you will see that they were designed for the Retro series emulator machines like the Retro Freak. I do own a copy of Kira Kira Star Night and I can get the game to work with official Nintendo hardware, but the game will randomly reset itself.

I don't know much about the chips so I can't really add to the conversation.

Don't forget my royalties if you quote or use my suggestions.
11/08/2017 - 06:04
DB Electronics is a scaremongering bitch.
If you search around, he has been refuted several times by people who clearly know more than he does but he still leaves that BS article up.
In short, it's a nonissue.
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