I've decided to run "Homebrew" on my Gamecube (and writing Homebrew for n00bs to document the process).
Unfortunately, it seems that there's no way to do this without buying special hardware. Specifically it seems that you have to have at least one of
- XenoGC (you solder it on to put the DVD drive in debug mode)
- Action Replay (a manufactured hacked game disc)
- Hacked Memory Card (pre-loaded with exploit game saves)
- Another, already-modded/hacked, 'Dolphin' console
Now it turns out there's the SD Gecko (DOL-SDA-01), which allows you to use a standard SD card for extra storage.
Seeing this I thought that surely the Official, Authentic Nintendo Memory Cards were just plain SD cards in a proprietary housing.
I failed, I ended up buying the Action Replay Launcher, but I'm still trying, just to tackle the challenge - the battle cry of Freedom at and all that...
Probably not. But if not, then why?
When I cracked open a Gamecube memory card, I found that it's actually CMOS Flash inside, not SD.
Doing some searching on the numbers I found inside I came across http://nus001.web.fc2.com/dol_mem_card/dol_mem_card.html, which has helped me dig up more model numbers and some datasheets.
The official memory cards have these specs:
(it seems that 5 "blocks" are used for a file system table or some such)
| 59 Block | 251 Block | 1019 Block | | :--------: | :------------: | :-----------: | | Grey | Black | White | | 4Mbit | 16Mbit | 64Mbit | | | | | | Nintendo | Nintendo | Nintendo | | DOL-008 | DOL-014 | DOL-020 | | DOL-4MC-01 | DOL-4MC-10 | DL-64MC-01 | | | | | | MX | MX (Macronix) | SEC (Samsung) | | ? | S030158 | KOREA 937 | | ? | MX25L1601MC-60 | KM29U64000T | | ERM4-DOL | ERM16-DOL | ? | | ? | 1E7548 | RRH004AA |
From the "DOL" you can tell that these are proprietary to Nintendo, but I found a few references to MX25L160* devices that I think are probably similar (CMOS Serial Flash EEPROM):
I found an aftermarket card with these specs:
| 251 Block | | :-------: | | SST | | 39VF1601 | | 70-4C-EK | | 0449260-D |
I found the SST39VF1601-70-4C-EK datasheet on mouser:
It says it's CMOS I/O and CFI compatible.
Another guide gives this pinout info:
| Pin | GC MC (EXI) | SD Gecko (SPI) | SD Pin | | :-: | :----------: | :--------------: | :----: | | 1 | SENSE | Sense | - | | 2 | GND | VSS1 | P3 | | 3 | INT | INT (NC) | - | | 4 | 3.3V | VDD1 3.3v | P4 | | 5 | SO | DI | P2 | | 6 | 5V | VDD2 5V (NC) | - | | 7 | SI | DO | P7 | | 8 | 3.3V | VDD1 3.3v | - | | 9 | CS | CS | P1 | | 10 | GND (Shield) | VSS2 | P6 | | 11 | SCLK | CLK | P5 | | 12 | SENSE | Sense | - |
CF vs CFI vs CMOS vs SD?
I suppose I'll have to take a closer look at these to determine if the pinouts are the same between the normal flash and the SD.
What I want some help determining if it's reasonable to think that I could:
- Wire this Flash cart to an SD card adapter and read it with an off-the-shelf SD reader?
- Or perhaps using a CF adapter card and CF reader instead?
- Write the raw contents of this Flash cart to an SD card?
- Plug such an SD card into the memory card slot and have it recognized as a normal memory card?
Or is that unreasonable and likely (or certain) than such an effort will yield no gains?