Q1: When more enhancement chips get implemented in the future, does that mean a necessary hardware upgrade?
A1: No, the hardware is final. All additional features are introduced by means of firmware updates. Hardware upgrades might happen if any “physical” problems become known or some end-of-life parts have to be replaced. However the capabilites of the hardware will remain the same. That also means if SuperFX or SA1 should turn out to be impossible on the current hardware then that’s set in stone. Popular demand will determine whether or not I’d go and design upgraded hardware. ;)
Q2: Game XY doesn’t run properly.
A2: Check the compatibility list for known issues. If the game is listed it is known not to run on the sd2snes.
Q3: Mario Kart/Pilotwings/other DSP games just lock up immediately.
A3: DSP games require the DSP ROMs to be present in the “sd2snes” folder on the SD Card. You can get them here. For sd2snes you need the *.bin files, NOT the *.rom files.
Q4: Satellaview games just drop to a black screen.
A4: The BS-X BIOS is required to run Satellaview games. Find the BS-X BIOS ROM (there’s a good chance it’s already in your ROM collection), rename it to “bsxbios.bin” and put it in the sd2snes folder on your card.
Q5: My sd2snes doesn’t seem to run reliably. A large number of games crash at random, or the sd2snes doesn’t boot up at all.
A5: One of the following could be the case:
- Weak capacitors in your SNES: The sd2snes draws more power than a normal game cartridge (and the Super Everdrive or Powerpak, for that matter). Weak capacitors in the power section of the SNES may cause the console to crash. Try another SNES or, if you feel like it, have the caps replaced.
- Faulty power brick: The external power supply of the SNES doesn’t provide properly stabilized power, or the voltage has dropped. Try using a different power brick.
- Dirty slot contacts: The sd2snes is more timing sensitive than a normal game cartridge. If the slot contacts are dirty it might introduce enough resistance to delay the signals coming from the SNES, or going to the SNES, enough to make it crash. Clean the slot contacts on the SNES and the sd2snes thoroughly and retry.
- Freak SNES: Some consoles exhibit strange timing behaviour or excessive address line noise. Try another console.
- Freak SD Card: Some SD Cards might draw excessive power or exhibit other strange behaviour. Try another card.
- Faulty SNES: The SNES itself might be at fault. Verify that original game cartridges run properly on your SNES.
- Firmware: There have been reports that some sd2snes firmware versions don’t work properly with some consoles. Try using a different (older) firmware version and see if the problem persists. If this fixes the problem, please report.
If you have tried different consoles, different SD Cards, different power bricks, and cleaned the contacts, the sd2snes itself is probably at fault (e.g. a bad solder joint or component). Please run the diagnostic firmware and send me the output, preferably a zip file of the entire sd2snes folder.
Q6: Can you sell me an sd2snes?
A6: No. I do not manufacture or sell the hardware.
Q7: Where can I buy sd2snes?
A7: Here’s a list of shops. It’s probably incomplete.
Q8: Will there be SuperFX overclocking support?
A8: Maybe. It depends on how well the SuperFX can be synthesized on the FPGA and how much performance reserve will be left. Don’t count on it.
Q9: Will there be Super Gameboy / SA-1 / XYZ support?
A9: Technically, maybe. I’m already struggling to add features so I won’t make any promises I will add it myself. Keep in mind the sd2snes firmware is open-source and open to contributions – if I don’t implement something myself, maybe someone else can.
Q10: My sd2snes doesn’t save.
- MSU1 games cannot autosave because access to the SD Card is reserved exclusively to the MSU1 features. It must be ready to serve MSU1 requests at any time. Therefore, to save your .SRM file with MSU1 games, a soft reset (hold reset button / use in-game button combination) must be carried out.
- If you use v0.1.7-v0.1.7b you must make sure that the sd2snes/saves folder exists on card. Otherwise the migration code to load+move the SRM file will bail out and not even load the save file. This will be addressed shortly with a maintenance release.
- Saving on the sd2snes works by constant monitoring of the save RAM area while the game is running. If a change is detected, a .SRM file is written out to the SD Card while the game is still running. There is no real-time “save state” feature like the Mega Everdrive has, for example. You must still save in-game for the sd2snes to write out a save file.
- Check that the write protection slider on your SD Card is set to off, i.e. not in the “LOCK” position.
- Wait 2-3 seconds after saving in-game for the sd2snes to detect the SRAM change and save to card.
- There are occasions where games use the battery SRAM area as work RAM. In this case the contents change continuously and the sd2snes will not save every change in order to reduce wear on the card but instead save the SRAM contents periodically every 15-20 seconds. The red LED (Write) will be permanently on if such a case is detected. To minimize the risk of data loss (due to powering off the SNES while a periodic save is in progress) please reset the sd2snes by holding the RESET button on the SNES until all three LEDs light up before turning off the power.
- After loading a saved game, some games – notably Zelda – don’t put you exactly where you left off so it might appear that your progress wasn’t saved.
If you still feel the sd2snes isn’t saving when it should, please report.
Q11: Can enhancement chip XY be realized using a pass-through adapter with the original enhancement chip on top?
A11: The only enhancement chip where that would work is the DSP series (DSP1-4, ST0010) which are already supported natively. All other enhancement chips have the game ROM “behind” them and control access to it, which a cartridge plugged in parallel to the sd2snes cannot do.
Q12: Will the sd2snes eventually support every game of the SNES library?
A12: Most likely not. Some enhancement chips are too powerful to be supported by the onboard FPGA, and for some others I can only say I don’t know before I’ve tried. See http://sd2snes.de/blog/status#enhance for the current state of enhancement chips.
Q13: My sd2snes keeps telling me to set the clock.
A13: The battery is probably empty. You can replace it with a very common CR2032 cell.