Would it ever be possible to create a flash cart like the flashboy that can connect to the internet, either by a cable or by wireless? I’m not sure if anyone could ever make use of this if it could happen, but you could possibly be able to play 2 player games over the internet if it is possible. After all, there aren’t many people who have the chance to play a 2 player game, especially since the link cables are so hard to make.
You wouldn’t need to make the flash cart able to network… you’d just need the system to. It’s doable… I’ve made a VB->PC cable, so you’d just need some software that relays that data over the internet to another VB connected to a PC. I actually grabbed one of these: http://www.circuitcellar.com/wiznet/ to do VB ethernet directly… not sure when I’ll get around to it, but I thought it looked pretty cool. Now we just need a Beowulf of VB’s (that’d be super-creepy looking) 😉 .
I’ve thought of this before in the past (despite my severe lack of technical knowhow 😀 ) but it occurred to me that the main problem would be synchronization. I think it would be incredibly hard to keep 2 VB’s connected via the internet synchronized unless the game was programmed specifically for internet use. Of course, with the flashboy this is probably possible.
Anyways, would you really need that microprocessor in order to network the VBs? I would think that you could just hook the ext. port on the VB up to a parallel port on a PC, and then use some appropriate software to get the job done, but then again, I don’t know anything.
Synchronization shouldn’t be too bad… the link port only runs at 50KHz. And since no released games actually used the link port, it wouldn’t take much to make a game internet ready if there actually were sync problems since they’d all be homebrew.
That link I posted isn’t really a microcontroller, it’s just an ethernet controller. If you used that, then you could plug the VB directly into the network and not need to use a PC at all.
From looking at the VIP docs, there seems to be a way to actually synchronize the two systems at the “scanner” (LED display) level over the link port (5-28-1 “Synchronizing Multiple Systems”; See also 4-4-13ff).
I’ve been meaning to ask DogP if he has ever found a link port pin that matches the “FCLK” signal in the scanner (I think this is the optical interrupter on the oscillating mirror) since his cable/software doesn’t seem to take advantage(?) of this functionality.
Of course, it would probably just add complexity to trying to “interweb-enable” a game; especially since it doesn’t seem necessary… Still, it would be nice to know. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* 😉
Yeah, there’s definitely the 50.2Hz signal on the link port… just going from my memory, I think it’s pin 6, and the only really “unused” pin is pin 5, so if there actually is any sort of synchronization, it’s probably pin 6 to 5… but I’ve never seen any change with it connected or not.
I’ll have to read through what it talks about in the manual though… maybe knowing what it’s supposed to do I can write a test that actually shows a difference between connected and unconnected.