Re: [stella] Dumping ROM images

Subject: Re: [stella] Dumping ROM images
From: BadPandaBear <badpandabear@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 00:56:17 -0500
I briefly experiminted with this sort of thing. Although I was trying to
dump the binary using sound, which was dumb because I could never get the
sound timing right and it certainly wouldn't fit in 128 bytes of RAM.

Brief summary: It could work, but sometimes the RAM program would loose
control when a cartridge was removed or inserted. And I was afraid there
might be a slight chance of damaging the cartridge if the connection to +5 V
were established before the connection to ground was established. (As was
mentioned in one of the replies to my original post).


Adam Wozniak wrote:

>Hash: SHA1
>I got an email from someone new to the hobby, asking me how to dump ROM
>images from carts.
>The first method I tried was a custom piece of hardware run by a
>microcontroller.  This is probably the most painful way to do this.
>Connectors are hard to find (mine never fully connected; you had to hold
>it and apply pressure), and you need to know lots about bankswitching.
>I got mine working, but I don't recommend anyone ever do this unless
>they really like programming microcontrollers and designing hardware.
>The second method I tried, which I recommended to this fellow, was to
>pick up an old 7800 on E-Bay and mod it out with Stolberg's DEVOS.  I did
>this to my 7800 and I love it.  It does still require some soldering,
>and access to an EPROM burner.  A special cable connects between the
>7800's right joystick port and the parallel port on a PC.
>Then I got to thinking, there might be another way to do this.
>(All hypothetical from here out, so please point out problems if this
>isn't possible.)
>Take the same cable you use with a 7800 and DEVOS, and move it over
>to the 2600.  Make a new 2600 cart.  This new cart copies a short
>(less than 128 byte) chunk of code into the 2600 RAM, and jumps to it.
>While we're running from RAM, we don't need to access the cart at all.
>Pull it out.  Insert a cart you want to dump.  Tell the chunk of code
>in RAM you're ready somehow (push the left fire button?  Game select
>button?).  The chunk of code in RAM can now start reading the cart ROM
>and dumping out the right joystick port.
>Is this possible?  If it is, then someone like AtariAge could sell
>ROM dumping kits with the RomDumper cart, the cable, and software.
>No soldering required.
>Unanswered questions: Will inserting and removing carts cause any noise
>on the bus lines?  Can the reader code be made to fit into 128 bytes?
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