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SoCoder -> Article Home -> Hardware Reviews


 
spinal
Created : 25 January 2008
Edited : 25 January 2008
System : Cross Platform

Neoflash R6 Gold

The newest flash card for Nintendo DS

Neoflash R6 Gold

Neoflash's newest flash card will be a surprise for some people as it is not only a slot-1 flash card but it also has full motion sensing capabilities built right into it. There are already homebrew games and applications that take advantage of the DS Motion Card and DS Motion Pak,
and since the R6 Gold uses the same motion sensing technology, it means you'll be able to make full use of the device from the moment you open the box.



Specs

According to the NeoFlash website, the R6 Gold has the following features -

* 1:1 original NDS cart size
* Supports ALL versions of NDS & Lite
* Simple PLUG and PLAY
* Drag and paste, no need for any extra patching
* NDS brightness adjustable
* Supports Auto Sleep Mode
* Built in MagicKey pass2
* Built in 2M EEPROM Save
* Built in 2M SRAM buffer
* Built in 16M menu flash
* Supports homebrew
* Suitable for MicroSD (TF)
* Built in X,Y,Z 3-axis high speed accelerometer
* Built in GYRO sensor

However this list is slightly out dated, the R6 Gold now also features the following -

* Built in 4K/64K/256K/512K/2M/4M EEPROM hardware save
* Nice blue LED



Also included with the R6 Gold, is a nice little USB microSD reader. This reader is half the size of most USB devices and plugs directly inside the USB port (there is no metal surround).

Build

Anyway, back to the R6. One of the first thing's you will notice is that unlike some other slot-1 cards, it has HCSD support. This means newer high capacity microSD cards will work just fine (Although I have not personally tested this feature as I don't have any HCSDs to test it with). Also you will see that the 'comb' that covers the contacts on the back of the card is missing, I assume this is either to aid in the production process, or to make cleaning the contacts possible. Either way, they're no miss. As the feature list states, the card is 1:1 size compared to commercial carts, and although it is a little snug, it's not in a bad way. It just means you can't shoot it across the room like you can with commercial carts. It will slide in and out without a problem.




Software

The R6 Gold works much the same as any other FT based slot-1 card, the menu should be named _boot_ds.nds and placed on the root of the card. If the menu is not found, the user will be presented with the built-in flash menu. The user is presented with the Neoflash logo on the top screen, and some options on the bottom screen for selecting the different save types and booting to slot-1 or slot-2, with the device then searching for _boot_ds.nds on the chosen device.



As with most other cards, the R6 Gold loads homebrew without a problem, albeit currently without dldi auto patching, but that is likely to change in the future (don't worry, there is already a dldi patch for the R6). The menu is a simple one, with a list of files (and folders), each with their icon to the left. Just select what you want to load, and that's it. Wait a few seconds and you're playing.

For the purposes of testing commercial roms, I made backups of the carts that I own.
Remember downloading roms is illegal in most countries and in a lot of countries backing up your own games is also illegal, so please find out about the laws in your country.
Anyway, back on topic, I backed up the following games for the purpose of testing -

Super Monkey Ball - Touch&Roll - Works
New Super Mario Bros. - Works but can't access minigames
Polarium - Works
The Simpsons Game DS - Works
Actionloop - Works
Mario Kart DS - Works
Super Mario 64 DS - Works
Yoshi's Island DS - Works

So it seems that for those of you who want to play 'backups', you can. I did notice that because the Neoflash team chose to use hardware for saving, rather than patching the rom as it loaded, the previous games save data must be backed up before starting the next game. This adds a little "loading" time. Not much, just a few seconds that some people might prefer wasn't there.

Conclusion

This card, like all others, has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it's micro sd based (including newer SDHC cards) so storage should never be a problem. You can easily fit all your mp3's or whatever on whichever sized card you have. On the other hand, the hardware saving slows down the loading process. With it's motion capabilities as well as hardware save support it's obviously trying to please both groups of flash cart users. Homebrewers will be happy, as it has very good homebrew support, and those who like to play 'backups' will be happy to.

I for one will be recommending this to any fellow homebrewer that asks.

 

Comments


Friday, 25 January 2008, 03:07
Jayenkai
Jayenkai recommends using the Datel Games'n'Music due to it's inability to run any pirated software.
..

But yeah, looks neat, and the built in Motion sensing would be pretty damn useful, too.
Friday, 25 January 2008, 03:30
spinal
Because of how the menu works (the firmware just loads _boot_ds.nds), you can replace the R6 menu with my own menu, like I have, and forget about the who shady side of the card.
Friday, 25 January 2008, 03:36
Jayenkai
Yeah, your menu rocks Every card should come with it pre-installed!!
Friday, 25 January 2008, 11:20
power mousey
woa!

thanks for the information spinal.

I'm sure this could be a fine addition
or similar compatibility component device to
the up n coming XGS 6502.
Perhaps, a very good hardware add on to the unit too.

oh man and Hubble Bubble! ...Space Telescope

Built in 2M EEPROM Save
Built in 2M SRAM buffer
Built in 16M menu flash

even Auto Sleep mode.

oh my gosh... Built in 4K/64K/256K/512K/2M/4M EEPROM hardware save.
I want this. Perfect!
Friday, 25 January 2008, 12:40
spinal
Glad to hear it was useful to someone. Just wondering though, why get so excited about (upto)4m eeprom, it has an sd slot for storage... you hardware guys confuse me.
Friday, 25 January 2008, 13:11
power mousey
wellllllll.....

Just you wait until the XGS 6502 comes out.
It will knock your socks off!

Just imagine the look and feel of games
and all the way up to over quality of the Super Nintendo
and Sega Genesis. Yet, with the speed and powerful performance of todays hardware and technologies.
But with the simplicity of and emulation of the architectures of one of the most popular CPUs' of all time...the 6502.
It will be cubic shaped and smaller than a Sony PSP.
It will be a hybrid console.computer It will be a game console, digital trainer, computer, and exploration kit all in one.
I don't know all the components of the device but it incorporate a flash drive and use SD and MMC cards as well.
You can add external devices. And I'm thinking of a micro drive. Maybe.
The CPU could be a duo core of an ARM 7/ARM 9. Perhaps.
But hey, the Nintendo DS uses a duo of ARM 7 and ARM 9 processors.
More information,specs,pics, and a few videos will be revealed as soon its going to be released by Andre LaMothe.

But, I'd rather use Flash memories than EEProms.
EEProms use UV light for erasure but the Flash memories are easier to read/write and can be erased with low volage in the system.
Friday, 25 January 2008, 14:51
Jayenkai
The EEProms in the DSCart are there for Commercial rom Game Saving. The real carts have them in there, so this duplicates the tech so it's as compatible as possible.

In reality, (homebrew wise) you'd be using the MicroSD slot, filling that with games, and then using the Fat file system to save/load instead.
Homebrew using the EEProm would cause all kinds of issues with all kinds of card types.
Thanks to Chishm's DLDI driver (!) the Fat system is about 900 times easier to work around.
Friday, 25 January 2008, 15:05
spinal
I have used eeprom in a ds prog, diagnose clears and writes two of the sizes (out of all my games I only had two types of save, so could not test other ones) there is a lib floating about the net called cardme I think, it gives info on reading and writing to the eeprom on commercial carts. I think I remember someone trying to get a homebrew to save this way, but the card they were using (r4ds) wasn't detecting that he was trying to use eeprom, so didn't patch his code to use whatever replacement the r4ds uses. Anyway, I think Jay is correct, neoflash likely intended it for the skull and crossbones community.
Friday, 25 January 2008, 15:36
power mousey
again,

awaiting for the glorious and grand revelation
and revealing of the XGS 6502.

"a data flash will boot if there is no SD available that will have a Basic or something on it to play with"

I will definitely keep everybody informed and updated when the final specs come up. Hopefully, it will come out
soon.

Skulls and Crossbones community?
You mean Bush and his Neocons?
yoo-hoo, I think I know now who ya mean, matey.
arrghhh
Saturday, 26 January 2008, 02:08
power mousey
hey sorry guys if I get all excited
and even salivitate some too. The hardware and
performance of these little critters.

I just can't get over a few experiences I first had
with SD/MMC cards and others.
My first was when Sergio brought his Sony PSP
to work and during break times was showing it off to
everybody. The games, the music, the apps, and other things.
I asked him about some of the memory. He took out this little piece of stick from one of the slots. I swear it was thinner and smaller than your thumb. Kinda looked like a small stick or a big grain of rice.
He told me this is part of the memory used for extra storage and for extra system memory...when needed.
I laughed and said that little bit of rice stick. He laughed
and then with a serious look on his face said yes. I think it was around 2 gigabytes or so.
This memory unit thing blew me away!

My second expereince is when I bought some cheap MP3 brand and over at Walgreens. It came with 128 megabytes built in for so many songs. Well, I filled it up with all these songs in there...believe it or not. It had an openable slot to place and insert a SD card. I bought this small SD card and I think..yeah, additional 256 mb. I remember sliding open the slot door and placing and inserting the SD card in for an additional 256mb of memory for a whole lotta more songs.

Even, my brother Wes...the Mac pro... showed me all these various memory cards of different sizes and of different memory lenghts. He showed me how to insert these various cards into or on an external slot on the side of his dgital camera and his mini DVR camcorder too.

So, I'm not as tech savvy with all these new hardware
and latest technologies Spinal and Jay. So, I just get excited,amazed,shocked and exhuberated too.