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February 24 2015

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Stone Age Gamer: PowerBase Mini FM

Those who follow the blog know that Skooter, unfortunately, I do not have a Master System. Have even thought about regaining one several times, but always end up putting off due to not find exactly the model I want, which is the Master System II Tec Toy, Alex Kidd in memory and the Summer Games cartridge (California Games). Furthermore, models Tec Toy has no outlet factory RGB. Who knows why reason, Tec Toy used a DIN plug for the power supply and put a pair of jacks RCA audio and composite video in the first model of the Master System, while in the US Sega used another type of plug for the power and put the DIN plug for audio and video. Among the DIN pin of the RGB separate channels are, then it is possible to extract the RGB image without make any modification, which makes it the most attractive American version of view to get the best image quality.

And as I have a Mega Drive, at Mega Everdrive, RGB out, and Frame Master, I can already play the Master System games without emulation and with the best possible image in modern TVs, better than the image I could with the Master System itself, due to the lack of RGB output on the islands national Master System. Play Master System in Genesis is possible because the Mega Drive has the Master System Processor (Z80) in your PCB, as a co-processor, and thus runs the Master System games natively. You only need an adapter, since the cartridges are different, but Mega Everdrive dispensation even the adapter, running all the Master System games, simply ask the corresponding ROM image on the SD card.

Having said all this, The question that may arise is: why then buy here samba an adapter for Master System games? To answer we must tell some of the history of the Master System. When Sega released the Sega Mark III in Japan 1985, he had a optional accessory that included the sound synthesis chip Yamaha YM2413 FM, which allows sound quality and quantity of top channels to Master System PSG sound we're used. With this accessory you can hear this sound in some FM Master System games. Next year, Sega Master System redesigned for launch in North America and a little later also ended up launching the new model in Japan, now with the Master System name, and the built-in Yamaha YM2413.

But only the System Master Japanese version won the Yamaha YM2413. In North America, on Europa, It's in Brazil (by Tec Toy), All Master System came out without the Yamaha YM2413, and never was an official accessory to include it. Nevertheless, several games released in North America, in Europe and Brazil has the FM sound, Besides sound PSG, ROM cartridge. In this case the FM sound is simply not used, games verified by the chip existence and how it does not exist, play the sound PSG. This is such a waste that I spent all my childhood and adolescence without knowing. I met this fact only through emulators in the mid 90. Despite knowing now the FM sound existence in the Master System games, I never could see how was the sound of Yamaha fact YM2413, it was restricted to use emulators. The only way to hear the real sound of FM Master System would be acquiring a Master System Japanese, which is a complicated and expensive both. The Mega Drive, although compatible with all games Master System, also does not include the Yamaha YM2413.

But recently, a guy named Tim Worthington created a against that allows you to add the Yamaha YM2413 any Master System. In the case of the first model, we use the expansion port that never ended up being officially used, but we still need to solder some wires. In the Master System's second model, which has no expansion port, Soldering is necessary even. The idea of ​​changing the original console hardware do not like too, so I ended up not getting carried away with the very against, while recognizing the great achievement.

That's when db Electronics came up with the PowerBase Mini FM. This é um adapter that lets you use cartridges not Master System Mega Drive. But that's not all. The PowerBase Mini FM already includes the Yamaha YM2413 and allows its use without any change in hardware! Here is the reason for my purchase.

I just also acquiring the Master Everdrive in order to put the Master System games and use with PowerBase Mini FM, since it only accepts Master System cartridges. Technically it would be possible to make an adapter that includes the Yamaha YM2413 and allow the connection Mega Everdrive it. But the head of db Electronics does not like flash carts. He is adept of philosophy that you must own the original cartridge to play certain game, although the original cartridges are no longer being produced for decades. Then it is highly unlikely to emerge an adapter in order to allow the FM sound in Mega Drive through a Mega Everdrive with Master System games. They arise, must be by another developer.

But the combo PowerBase Mini FM + Master Everdrive worked perfectly on my Mega Drive and now I can finally hear the Master System FM sound coming from a Yamaha real YM2413. This is the Master System games list that has FM sound:

After Burner Golvellius – Valley of Doom Scramble Spirits
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars Great Golf * Shanghai
Alien Syndrome Hoshi wo Sagashite… Shinobi
Altered Beast Kenseiden Solomon no Kagi – Oujo Rihita no Namida
Aztec Adventure Lord of the Sword Space Harrier 3-D
Blade Eagle 3-D Maze Hunter 3-D Spellcaster
BMX Trial Alex Kidd Megumi Rescue Super Racing
Bomber Raid Miracle Warriors Tennis Ace
California Games Monica in Dragon Castle Music Box Dancer
Captain Silver Nekkyuu Koushien Thunder Blade
Casino Games Out Run Time Soldiers
Cloud Master Out Run 3-D Monica in: The Rescue
Cyborg Hunter Parlour Games Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
Double Dragon Penguin Land Watchful
Fantasy Zone II Phantasy Star ** Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap
Fantasy Zone: The Maze Poseidon Wars 3-D Wonder Boy in Monster Land
Galactic Protector Power Strike Y's: The Vanished Omens **
Galaxy Force Rampage Zaxxon 3-D *
Game Box Series Extreme Sports Rastan Zillion II: The Tri Formation
Global Defense Rescue Mission
Golfamania R-Type

Comments:

  • Only the US version and the Japanese have sound FM.
    ** Only the Japanese version has sound FM. The FM sound was removed from the versions in other languages.

But that's not all, other games have hidden FM sound in ROM, never used in normal circumstances, but which can be activated by patches:

Battle Out Run
Double Hawk
Dynamite Duke
Rambo III
Summer Games

The above table has only five sets, but there are several others in the FM sound can be enabled with some side effects, as crashes. In some cases FM sounds are incomplete. Possibly are games that originally would have the sound FM, but then end up giving developers. In this list are included Aerial Assault, Assault City, Basketball Nightmare, Dead Angle, Forgotten Worlds e Psycho Fox.

But there's more, Phantasy Star, who owned the FM sound only in the Japanese version, eventually earning a translation by SMS Power staff. Y's: The Vanished Omens, won a patch to put the FM sound back in the US version. Even more impressive: Sonic, The Hedgehog, that never had sound FM, eventually earning a hack which includes FM sound and even some easter eggs.

Watching PowerBase Mini FM you can see that it is built with the same cartridges used to make the Mega Everdrive Deluxe, because the golden label on the back covers a “EVERDRIVE” written in relief. The cartridge receives the same paint, adhesive and other care Everdrive marketed by Stone Age Gamer. Only it lacked a case equal to the Everdrive. Not for the cost, I even buy again Mega Everdrive and SD2SNES, but deluxe versions (Mega Everdrive and SD2SNES) of Stone Age Gamer, it is a job well done.

Ultimately, I can say that I am quite happy to rediscover the Master System so. Check out some photos from the PowerBase Mini FM:

Package with PowerBase Mini FM

Package with PowerBase Mini FM

Package with PowerBase Mini FM and Invoice

Package with PowerBase Mini FM and Invoice

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM, still packed

PowerBase Mini FM

PowerBase Mini FM

Rear of PowerBase Mini FM

Rear of PowerBase Mini FM

Parte inferior do PowerBase Mini FM, para conectar no Mega Drive

Parte inferior do PowerBase Mini FM, para conectar no Mega Drive

Parte superior do PowerBase Mini FM, para conectar o cartucho de Master System

Parte superior do PowerBase Mini FM, para conectar o cartucho de Master System

PowerBase Mini FM com Master Everdrive conectado

PowerBase Mini FM com Master Everdrive conectado

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

PowerBase Mini FM with Master Everdrive connected and working

And to top, I could not miss a video showing how is the sound of at least some of the Master System games by PowerBase Mini FM, then check the playlist below:

And behold the tracking information package:

Data Local Situation
11/02/2015 17:45 CSD [Removed] Delivery Effected
11/02/2015 09:31 [Removed] Out for delivery to the recipient
10/02/2015 15:03 CTE CAMPINAS – Valinhos / SP Routed
Referred to CDD [Removed]
05/02/2015 15:31 CTCI Paraná – Curitiba / PR Routed
CTE transit Em CAMPINAS – Valinhos / SP
05/02/2015 15:29 International Treatment Unit – BRAZIL / BR Awarded
Freed peels alfândega
05/02/2015 09:01 INTERNATIONAL TRAT Unidade PARANA – Curitiba / PR Routed
In transit to customs supervision – Customs supervision / BR
05/02/2015 09:00 INTERNATIONAL TRAT Unidade PARANA – Curitiba / PR Awarded
Received / Brazil
23/01/2015 16:41 UNITED STATES Posted

And the purchase summary table:

Product Name: PowerBase Mini FM
Name Original: PowerBase Mini FM
Store: Stone Age Gamer
Value: US$ 58,49 (10% Promotional discount)
Current value: US$ 64,99
Payment Method: PayPal
Shipping Type: USPS First Class International
Shipping Fee: US$ 14,00
Package Home Country: U.S.
Purchase Data: 09/12/2014 (pre sale)
Submission Date: 23/01/2015
Data Delivery: 11/02/2015
Time in Transit: 19 days
Declared content: video game accessory
Type Marked Content: Merchandise
Declared Value: US$ 8,49
Taxed: Not
Taxable Value:
Tax Value:

And I'm ending here the article on PowerBase Mini FM. Share this article with your friends if you liked ;).

Update (05/11/2015): Added a video showing PowerBase Mini FM:

About the author

Skooter

Skooter is a computer scientist and the founder of Skooter Blog. He is interested in everything related to technology and he likes to save money by making his purchases directly from abroad.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.skooterblog.com/2015/02/24/stone-age-gamer-powerbase-mini-fm/

4 comments

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  1. 1
    J Kiko

    vc is cool as fuck…. “the model I want, which is the Master System II Tec Toy, Alex Kidd in memory and the Summer Games cartridge”

    You should take leitinho with pear every day before bed…

    To play a crap that any half emulator mouth already solved

    1. 1.1
      Skooter

      To call the Master System crap who should take leitinho is still you, probably in the bottle. 🙂

      Who was born playing Wii / PS3 / XBox hardly gives value to the classics.

      1. 1.1.1
        Jorge Mendonca

        Guy does not know how you got the patience to answer these types kkk sent soon fuck and punch it in the emulator tail kkkkk Congratulations on the blog, to always following!

  2. 2
    Thailon

    My old, wastes no time not. I follow this blog for many years. I started to import reading reviews here.

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