The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

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ateam
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The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by ateam »

NOTE: For any questions or feedback, please comment directly on this thread.

As of 2022-04-30, this project has been posted on Chris' website: https://www.dreammods.net/stay-tuned.html

__________________________________________________

I've grown rather friendly with Chris over at DreamMods.net, and as such he recently shared information on his latest project with me. He's given me full permission to share the details here, as he'd love to gather feedback and gauge interest levels.

This latest prototype has been dubbed the "VM2", and its features are as follows:
  • 1. New LCD with higher resolution. This will make it capable of running the original (48x32) or 2x (96x64)
    2. Screen backlight
    3. Internal memory of 4x VMUs
    4. Internal memory for 50+ mini-games
    5. USB charging
    6. PC connectivity for managing both internal memories (4x VMUs backup/restore) and mini-games
    7. Embedded high-capacity LiPo battery
A few questions came up from others with whom I shared this project. Here they are, along with answers:

Q: Is the male+female ended VMU port (that plugs into controller) sourced from an original VMU for your prototype? If so, will that be the case for a production run, or will it be fabricated specially?
A: Yes, this is sourced from an original 4x Memory (not VMU). The reson is that the VM2 will not support VM-to-VM connection for transferring files. This functionality will be easily and better covered due to the USB and PC support. If it goes into production, then the connector will be designed and fabricated from scratch. This (and other components that will need fabrication) are the reason for having a campaign run.

Q: Is the plan to source original VMU shells, or will you fabricate your own?
A: The VM2 shell will also be designed & fabricated from scratch and adopted to the VM2 needs. But, it will follow the same design as the original.

See photos below.

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Last edited by ateam on Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Slurmking
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by Slurmking »

Looks amazing! Me and my friends would absolutely buy this if it means we can stop buying those cheap little batteries lol

I do have a few questions,
  • You have listed 4x VMU memory limitation, is that set in stone or are there future plans to increase it?
  • The mini game storage is listed separately, is there going to be an option to cycle through multiple mini games? And will mini games like the Chao adventure still work with your implementation? Since Sonic Adventure treats them as a save file and a minigame
  • Will the usb to pc show up as a mass storage device or will it require drivers?
And most importantly
Where can I buy/fund this project if you decide to go forward?

chrisvcpp
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by chrisvcpp »

Hi!

First of, many thanks to Derek(ateam) for his support & spreading the word for this.

Regarding your questions:

1. At the moment, my plan is only for 4x VMU

2. I'll try to explain this as better as I can (if something's not clear, please let me know):

> When in standalone mode, the user will have the option to run any of the 4x VMU (main memory), or any of the 50+ mini-games (additional memory). When in controller mode, the user will only be able to use any of the 4x VMU (main memory).

Now, both memories will be managed (backup/restore) through a custom GUI on the PC, and treated as full VMU files.

So, in example, if you save the Chao mini-game from within Sonic Adventure, then it will be saved properly (mini-game + save game). And you can backup this VMU to the PC, too.
But, if you download the Chao (minigame-only version from the web) to the main memory, then you'll be able to play the minigame, but it won't be recognized from Sonic Adventure.

3. The USB will recognize VM2 as serial port device, and everything will be managed from the GUI application.

The project will be announced to my website (http://www.dreammods.net/) and will share information and updates there.
When the campaign is about to start, it will also be announced there. I estimate to be ready for starting it, within next month.

I will also reply here, or to any other forum, until I have all info prepared and released.

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Xiden
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by Xiden »

This project looks amazing!

MikeStutzzzz
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by MikeStutzzzz »

Slurmking wrote:Looks amazing! Me and my friends would absolutely buy this if it means we can stop buying those cheap little batteries lol

I do have a few questions,
  • You have listed 4x VMU memory limitation, is that set in stone or are there future plans to increase it?
  • The mini game storage is listed separately, is there going to be an option to cycle through multiple mini games? And will mini games like the Chao adventure still work with your implementation? Since Sonic Adventure treats them as a save file and a minigame
  • Will the usb to pc show up as a mass storage device or will it require drivers?
And most importantly
Where can I buy/fund this project if you decide to go forward?
He currently offers VMU modes today with Backlit and charging via Dreamcast. I own one of his dreamcons and VMUs they are nice.
Meh Stuff http://dreamcast-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=18650#p18650
Before you download meh mirrors read this
http://dreamcast-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2353&p=22482#p22482

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Retro-45
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by Retro-45 »

Well looks like the old wallet is gonna be pissed at me now hehe. Backlight screen is gonna help out, and that memory of four vmu is going to go along way. No more having labeled ones for online, dlc, or haft Life. And a end to all that beeping. :D
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ShadowMask
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by ShadowMask »

Hi, I'm curious how power consumption compares to a stock VMU.

chrisvcpp
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by chrisvcpp »

At the moment it's approx. on 70% of an original VMU. And this is at full load including the LCD backlight.
I guess I could optimize this even more by the final revision.

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fafadou
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by fafadou »

Is it possible to choose a crystal overclock compatible at 7,2MHz please ?
It's compatible with standard dreamcast too, it's because with a 20% SH4 overclocking, we can't save due to the original 6MHz crystal and it's quite difficult to remplace it on the vmu...
The cost must be the same or very very close.

chrisvcpp
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Re: The new proposed "VM2" from Chris at DreamMods.net

Post by chrisvcpp »

The VM2 will go beyond that, as its CPU is clocked at a total 140MHz. This will probably make it compatible with even higher SH4 clocks (if they were possible to have).