TribalTap is now proven to be a fraud

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neviksti
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TribalTap is now proven to be a fraud

Post by neviksti »

It has come up several times: Do any games actually have 6player play supported by this device?

There are all kinds of rumors, and it is like trying to disprove Santa exists... no one can find a game that supports it, but the rumor persists. Furthermore, despite exhaustive testing, it appears impossible to get access to the data from the fifth controller. I even asked Charles MacDonald to double check my logic tables for the device ... he did so with a different TribalTap he had laying around, and found the same logic table I did. The only way out is if there was some kind of "activation sequence" the device was looking for.

Well, I've finally put a nail in this coffin: These devices are definitely fraudulent.


I decapped some chips over the weekend. One was the logic chip from the TribalTap.
http://www.neviksti.com/images/Ti1985.jpg

As expected, this is just a simple PAL with only combinatorial logic, and therefore there cannot be any "activation sequence". Not only is the logic incapable of allowing the 5th controller port to be read, but it is not even fully compatible with the Multitap.

What is weird, is that it appears it COULD have been programmed to be fully compatible, and the cuircuit design is such that it COULD allow the 5th controller to be read. So I really have to wonder if at some point they changed the PAL design or something ... maybe some really old TribalTaps actually worked?

In particular, there is a switch allowing choosing between a 5player and 6player setting. The logic is currently setup so that there is no difference. Why pay for all the extra (switch, LEDs, etc) and even wire it such that it could possibly work? I am very very tempted to believe that some old TribalTaps (at least a prototype) actually worked.

The way the circuit is laid out, I don't think the 6player setting (if logic is chosen so that all controllers can actually be read) can be backwards compatible (and hence why they put in a switch). So to test if you have a real device, just play a multitap game and see if it works the same in both 5p and 6p setting... if not, you probably have a real "no-fraud" device. If they are the same as with all TribalTaps tested so far (I bought several, and also cgfm2's tests), you too have a fraud device.

If someone finds an old one of these that passes the "no-fraud" test, please do let me or someone else here know.
-- Thank you.

=============

As a side note: There are so many hardware details that are learned and lost, and the wheel recreated when it comes to the SNES and its related devices. Is there a good SNES hardware+copier+peripherals wiki somewhere? Stuff justs gets lost in forums. Byuu's HDMA/DMA stuff, details on the justifier guns, Game doctor jumper settings, etc. should be perserved somewhere.

I lost so much info when fruity site (CR) (EDIT: Really!? That is still a banned word?) went down. And yet here I am storing info on forums again as I always do.

If people are interested I'll get a wiki going.
d4s
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Post by d4s »

Thanks for finally putting that myth to rest!
As you know, I had my fair share of problems while trying to get the Tribal Tap to work flawlessy in my eight player game.

Do you think the additional logic for reading the 6th joypad could have been fitted into that PAL?
Sounds like a tight fit to me.
creaothceann
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Re: TribalTap is now proven to be a fraud

Post by creaothceann »

neviksti wrote:As a side note: There are so many hardware details that are learned and lost, and the wheel recreated when it comes to the SNES and its related devices. Is there a good SNES hardware+copier+peripherals wiki somewhere? Stuff justs gets lost in forums. Byuu's HDMA/DMA stuff, details on the justifier guns, Game doctor jumper settings, etc. should be perserved somewhere.

I lost so much info when fruity site (CR) (EDIT: Really!? That is still a banned word?) went down. And yet here I am storing info on forums again as I always do.

If people are interested I'll get a wiki going.

Here's one, but I don't know how complete it is.
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Nightcrawler
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Post by Nightcrawler »

[url=http://transcorp.romhacking.net]TransCorp[/url] - Home of the Dual Orb 2, Cho Mahou Tairyku Wozz, and Emerald Dragon SFC/SNES translations.
[url=http://www.romhacking.net]ROMhacking.net[/url] - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.
byuu

Post by byuu »

Not to derail this thread, but I was meaning to talk to you about the PCB format idea more. I'd like to get that into the next release if possible.

I was mainly just wanting to know what all you feel are "essentials", as well as useful features. It seems like it'd be sufficient to have a list that gives the banklo-bankhi:addrlo-addrhi, type {ROM,RAM,DSP1DR,DSP1SR,etc}, [mirror_type {direct,linear,shadow}], [base_offset { = 0}]; but maybe I'm overlooking something.

If there was anything else you wanted -- we can make another thread, or discuss via PM / e-mail / IRC or something if you prefer.

Well, I've finally put a nail in this coffin: These devices are definitely fraudulent. I decapped some chips over the weekend. One was the logic chip from the TribalTap.


Wow, for once my theory turned out to be correct. A hardware first ... too bad it wasn't with something made by Nintendo.

And decapping ... that is seriously hardcore. Many, many thanks for verifying that this thing was a fraud. Your work is, as always, greatly appreciated.

Is there a good SNES hardware+copier+peripherals wiki somewhere?


While it would be nice to have a central repository for information, I wouldn't want to participate in an open wiki, and have some random person modifying my notes.

It'd have to be something read-only to the public. Either limited to just respected scene members (you, anomie, TRAC, Overload, ...) or with a manual approval process for edits.

Here's one, but I don't know how complete it is.

Another:


Nothing useful at either of these, unfortunately. I know, I know, "why don't you do better then?" -- lack of time.

fruity site (CR) (EDIT: Really!? That is still a banned word?)


Use tags, eg fruity site (CR). I doubt the filter matters much anymore since the site's long dead.
gllt
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Post by gllt »

I miss that site, I found it pretty.
It was pointless.


But pretty.
grinvader
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Post by grinvader »

byuu wrote:I doubt the filter matters much anymore since the site's long dead.

It brings fond memories.

That's enough for me.
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paulguy
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Post by paulguy »

I have hosting I can set a wiki up on to meet those requirements (Read only to the public.) if anyone's interested.

EDIT: "meat"? what the hell?
neviksti
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Post by neviksti »

byuu wrote:If there was anything else you wanted -- we can make another thread, or discuss via PM / e-mail / IRC or something if you prefer.

If I remember correctly, somewhere in the threads you gave a fairly detailed starting suggestion for the format and how it would work. If you dug that up and plopped it in a new thread, hopefully it will get discussion flowing. I liked your SRAM and ROM mapping ideas ... it is just the extra chips that cause problems.

Some things for discussion:

When the chip sits inbetween the ROM and the snes bus, how is this represented? (For example the two ROMs in the SPC7110 are very distinct)

Is there something to flag SRAM as battery backed or not?

How are the special chip registers handled? Individually mapped, or do we just give a swath of memory region and flag it as something that should be passed onto the special chip emulator?

An interesting case in the DSP1, which only has two registers, but are mapped to a region ... AND there are two different cartridge layouts of how these registers are mapped onto the SNES bus. Individually mapping them would make it more clear what is going on, but individually mapping for other special chips would be a pain this way.

I don't think there is any one 'perfect' solution, but with more people thinking about it, we are less likely to kick ourselves for finding a better way after we've created a kind of 'standard' of sorts.

byuu wrote:While it would be nice to have a central repository for information, I wouldn't want to participate in an open wiki, and have some random person modifying my notes.

It'd have to be something read-only to the public. Either limited to just respected scene members (you, anomie, TRAC, Overload, ...) or with a manual approval process for edits.

Okay. I put something together.
http://www.neviksti.com/wiki/

Account creation can be done only by specific individuals, but as a compromise, people can still comment on talk/discussion pages if there is something wrong or confusing.

I'll send you a pm with your logon once I get that working.
If you actually know how to get ahold of anomie, TRAC, etc. please do invite them or anyone else you'd feel comfortable sharing editting with. If anomie would let us put up his documents that would be a nice reference to have with a table of contents.

There's some copier stuff I've been meaning to get pictures of and in writing since I keep forgetting. When I get time (not soon unfortunately), I'll probably start there.

EDIT: If you want instead, I can allow open registration and you can have the power to lock your pages so only privledged users can edit them.
Last edited by neviksti on Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
creaothceann
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Post by creaothceann »

neviksti wrote:Okay. I put something together.
http://neviksti.com/wiki/

I hope you include something like a "directory listing" for all the articles on the wiki, which would make browsing the articles much easier. :wink: The wiki I've linked to doesn't have that.
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