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RETRO MODS: Sega Saturn SD card reader.

#1
greetings, Zalost here and today I'm going to talk a bit about a nifty new device for the sega saturn, there's actually 2 versions of it, the first is called the rhea, the second is called the phoebe.  the device is what's called an optical disc emulator or ODE and what it does is allow you to load disc images on actual hardware, as you can imagine this is actually something really amazing as for the longest time the Sega saturn CD rom drive had not been reverse engineered until about last year, given the saturn came out 22 years ago this is actually important as replacement CD rom drives and lasers are getting harder and harder to find.

[Image: 5e3d85ae13f850ab6d73c09e6fb23497.jpg]

this is the unit, you install it in place of the CD rom drive in your sega saturn, the rhea uses a 20 pin connector while the phoebe uses a 21 pin connector.

with the rhea if you have a 20 pin cable saturn you simply install it, for the phoebe however you do need to do some minor soldering work, this is because of the differences between the various later model 1 and model 2 sega saturns and it's to ensure compatibility.

now i could write a complete installation guide but I think I'll let the website for the product explain as they have much better instructions... I plan to pick one up soon for my own saturn by the way.

installation instructions.
Phoebe
Rhea

this is honestly really amazing and I'm glad such technologies exist
if you have any questions feel free to view the main website for the device or post here on the thread, and remember, it's still in development so feel free to check back here where I will relay any news on the device, especially as currently sales are closed but watch here for when they start up again.

GDEMU - Manufacturer of ODE for dreamcast and saturn consoles

[Image: Rhea-Installed-Inside-A-Sega-Saturn.jpg]
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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#2
Say what!? That's awesome! I'm surprised people have made this effort, but it's still cool. I haven't played that system in over 15 years... wow.
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#3
indeed, there's an SD card mod for the sega dreamcast from the same guys, they did that one first before the saturn one.
now I'm just waiting for somebody to make one for the sega CD addon to the genesis!  Big Grin

there's also a usb drive mod for the PS1 but only the one's with the serial ports... though I hear there's a CD drive replacement in the works for it as well.

what it comes down to is any optical disc based console before 6th gen the only way to create backups of games and maintain the life of the console was to use burned discs and modchips... and that burns out the CD drive faster.

add to that the dreamcast and the gamecube which also have this problem and you have about a dozen or so that once their optical disc drives fail and there are no more replacement parts... they're done.

now the gamecube can be sidestepped because the nintendo wii can play gamecube games natively, at higher resolutions, and load from USB external hard drives>

it can be argued that PS2's that have the hardware to play PS1 games can do the same thing since the PS2 supports an internal hdd with the network periphial...

but where does that leave the saturn, the 3DO, the atari jaguar, etc?

that's why it's important that these ODE's are being made, because otherwise there will come a time when we can no longer play these old systems anymore.

and if you've ever tried to emulate the saturn you know it's really difficult to get it working.

plus there's a huge major advantage, and that's load time.

since the ODE reads it all as virtual data on a solid state storage medium there's no disc scanning looking for information like on optical discs.

they're also completely silent unlike the old optical disc drives.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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