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Zerosquare

Cartridge dumping tool

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Zerosquare    10

Here's a cartridge dumping tool I wrote. It can be used to backup your Jaguar games for various uses : playing in emulators, preserving betas versions and prototypes, etc.

 

It's pretty slow, but very reliable, as there are multiple checks done to be sure that the data isn't corrupted.

As well as standard cartridges, Atari Flash carts are supported too.

 

Requirements :

- a PC running Windows (95, 98, 2000, XP or Vista : it doesn't matter. Windows 7 not tested, but it probably works too.)

- a BJL cable connected to a standard (not USB or PCI/PC Card/ExpressCard) parallel port

- a way to upload a Jaguar program with a game cartridge inserted (currently, the only option is a BJL-modded Jaguar)

 

See the included text file for more detailed instructions.

 

For programmers, the sources are included. Unfortunately, they're in French and almost without comments, as they from an older project which wasn't supposed to be publicly released.

 

Planned future developments :

- adding support for PCI/PC Card/ExpressCard parallel ports

- adding Linux support

- adding backup/restore features for the cartridge's EEPROM contents (used for saving states, hiscore lists, etc.)

- adding backup/restore features for the Memory Track

 

bjl_dump.zip

 

overridex has been kind enough to port it to Linux :

bjl_dump_linux.zip

Thanks to him !

The next version will be unified and work with both OSes.

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SebRmv    2

Great!

 

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Stone    0
Requirements :

- a way to upload a Jaguar program with a game cartridge inserted (currently, the only option is a BJL-modded Jaguar)

The dumping tool I used waay back was a BJL program that spat data out of a Jaglink, through a RJ11->serial cable and was collected as an xmodem transfer by a PC running Hyperterminal - I think it was written by Glenn Bruner. We used to run it from a CD. I was reminded of its existance when I found a CD of it the other day along with my dumping cable :)

 

Stone

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Zerosquare    10

Yes, but when a cartridge is inserted into the JagCD, it starts even if there is a CD in the drive. So there's no way of running the dumping program from the CD, unless you have the BJL ROM installed.

 

Or maybe you know a way to start from the CD even when there's a cartridge in the JagCD slot, in which case I'd be very interested to know how ! ;)

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Tyrant    0
Or maybe you know a way to start from the CD even when there's a cartridge in the JagCD slot, in which case I'd be very interested to know how ! ;)

Just a thought but what would happen if you insert the cartridge after the CD has already started running?

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Zerosquare    10

In theory, it should work.

In practice, the system and the cartridges were not designed to be hot-plugged like this, so there's a risk it would damage the cartridge and/or the console (which is why I did not mention it).

 

Interestingly, the fact that some cartridge pins are longer than others is a good hint hot-plugging was considered at some point. But since the Jaguar shuts down if there's no cartridge inserted, and there's no documentation on this, it's better to be safe than sorry.

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Tursi    0
In theory, it should work.

In practice, the system and the cartridges were not designed to be hot-plugged like this, so there's a risk it would damage the cartridge and/or the console (which is why I did not mention it).

 

Interestingly, the fact that some cartridge pins are longer than others is a good hint hot-plugging was considered at some point. But since the Jaguar shuts down if there's no cartridge inserted, and there's no documentation on this, it's better to be safe than sorry.

 

The software would also have to switch out the CD BIOS in order to see the cartridge ROM, I believe. Otherwise you'll just get a dump of the CD BIOS. :)

 

Though for one reason or another, hot swap doesn't seem safe on the Jag, but my experience was due to power issues. I wonder if it'd be different through the CD unit - especially whether it powers down its cartridge port when it's not mapped in?

 

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Stone    0
Yes, but when a cartridge is inserted into the JagCD, it starts even if there is a CD in the drive. So there's no way of running the dumping program from the CD, unless you have the BJL ROM installed.

 

Or maybe you know a way to start from the CD even when there's a cartridge in the JagCD slot, in which case I'd be very interested to know how ! ;)

Both, actually! I used to use a BJL-equipped Jag to dump carts with and uploaded the program to RAM manually. However I believe the developer JagCD BIOS allows you to hold buttons on boot to specify whether to prioritise cart or CD - speculation only, but otherwise I can't see how their 'jukebox' program (let you run a CD program which wrote cart ROMs to an attached Alpine) would work. If not, once the Alpine has a cart image in it you can't run the CD jukebox program again! :) I can't for the life of me remember why I put the cart transfer program on a CD, there must have been a reason...

 

With an Alpine you can work around it by loading the CD BIOS into RAM directly and jumping into it, but it's a bit of a pain. This is how I use my prototype JagCDs as they have no BIOS installed! :)

 

Stone

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Tyrant    0

Why would anyone need a cart dumping tool for stock jaguars? All the commercial games have already been dumped (even the ones still on sale, tut tut) and are easily available online. The only reason I can see for having a dumping tool is for saving the data from rare sources like alpines and flash carts that somehow have held onto prototypes and betas from the dawn of time.

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Zerosquare    10

Well, according to the law, you don't have the right to download a ROM image even if you own a physical copy, you're supposed to dump it yourself :P

 

Actually I wrote it for someone who had an Atari flashcart and thought there was a beta of a game on it, but it turned out that it was bit-identical to the released version. And maybe, one day, someone will find something rare that hasn't been dumped already...

 

It can also be useful if you're testing hardware, or, say, developing a flash cart or something like that yourself ;)

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Has "support for PCI/PC Card/ExpressCard parallel ports" been added yet? :unsure: Can this app be used with M$DOS 3.3?  Is there an Atari St (the only parallel port in my house :wacko:)  version of this app?  Thanks! 

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Zerosquare    10

Unfortunately the answer is "no" to each question. But adding support for non-builtin parallel ports is not a lot of work.

Which game do you want to dump? Unless it's a previously unknown beta, it's probably been dumped already ; you could download it and save you the trouble.

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I've got some carts that aren't dumped as far as I can tell, I've looked at all the of roms sights that I know pulse some questionable websites too,  games like MB, BS and BSG.  I'm getting ready for the  Jag SD cartridge. ;)

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Ok, I've got my old laptop up and running thanks to a donor laptop I have, :-D anyway!
I want to use bjl dump but I'm unsure if I'm using it right. I've got the jag on the ready orange screen. so now I want to use the autodetection setup so is this the command "BJL_DUMP.EXE try.rom 0 800000 0" I'm right and how can I tell if it's working? :?   Thanks!

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