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The Game Doctor CD Thread (CD7, CR523B, CR562J, CR563B)

 
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Mystic_Merlin



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 10:01 am    Post subject: The Game Doctor CD Thread (CD7, CR523B, CR562J, CR563B) Reply with quote

I just got Game Doctor CD7 for the GDSF7. The drive is in a pretty bad shape so it's gonna need a lot of care and fixing before I even get to test it.
In the meantime I've been searching on Tototek/Google for info on it and there's not much about it. I thought it would be nice to centralize all the information on a single thread.

The different models
First of all there are 2 types of CD-ROM available: the caddy one and the tray one.
The caddy one is an early 1x drive based on the CR523B and is compatible with the GDSF3, GDSF6 and GDSF7
The tray version uses a 2x drive, either a CR562 or CR563 and is only compatible with the GDSF7 (and GDSF6?).
All the drives use the MKE or SLCD interface which is a short lived 8bit protocol.
The only info I could find about it is here:
https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~theom/electronics/panasoniccd.html
These MKE drives are pretty rare these days and were used on PC via a Sound Blaster interface. I still have a CR-563-B on my first 486.

The CD7 PCB also has a 34 pin slot connector for a Sony Drive but there's no information about it. A quick Google search led to a Sony CDU-33A, also an 8 Bit CD DRIVE that needed a proprietary ISA card or a Sound Card interface on PC.

If you look at offset &32D8 in the GDSF7 7.11 Bios you will see clear text referencing those 3 drives:
- For Sony
- For 523B Drive
- For 562B Drive
Also a bit further you'll notice:
- File No:
- SONG NO:
I wasn't aware the CD7 can play music but apparently the function is available in the BIOS, probably some CDDA.

Burning CDs
- disc must be a mode 1 ISO9660 disc with 8.3 filenames.
- all roms have to be in the root folder.
- games have to be in GD-Format
- you can also put PCX files in 256x224

Apparently CDR must be burnt at low speed and preferably have a gold bottom layer.

MKE ODE
In an old TTK thread, kyuusaku mentionned that there are very few chances this protocol may ever be reversed engineered and he was most definitely right at the time considering the size of the market.
That is until I realized the 3DO consoles also use the MKE protocol and there are at least 2 ODE available for the FZ-1:
http://3do-mnemo.com/
https://3dodev.com/documentation/ode
These won't be a drop in replacement but we're getting closer, especially if it's open source.

Here I'm attaching a few useful things. Don't hesitate to add some.



GUI.jpg
 Description:
The CD being accessed on a CR523B
 Filesize:  132.71 KB
 Viewed:  749 Time(s)

GUI.jpg



pinout.jpg
 Description:
V64 / CD7 PSU pinout
 Filesize:  33.7 KB
 Viewed:  749 Time(s)

pinout.jpg



cd7pcbback.jpg
 Description:
CD7 PCB - Back
Only the DB25 and the 4 pin mini-din PSU ports are populated on this side
 Filesize:  87.63 KB
 Viewed:  749 Time(s)

cd7pcbback.jpg



cd7pcbfront.jpg
 Description:
CD7 PCB - Front
S1 is bridged on pin 1&2
S2 is bridged on pin 2&3
Only C2, U4,CON1 and the CON4 are populated on this side
 Filesize:  98.03 KB
 Viewed:  749 Time(s)

cd7pcbfront.jpg


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NorQue



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I distantly remember seeing some schematics, but the closest I could find is this post. The PCBs used to be available until not too long ago at Tomys colleagues site here and here.
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Mystic_Merlin



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're talking about the CD Clone made by The Dumper?
Here I attached it but I had to resize the .jpg to fit in the upload size limit.

I just had a look at the GDSF3 and GDS6 bios. Unsurprisingly there's no reference to the CD-ROM in the GDSF3 bios as all the instructions must be in the bios of the parallel adapter. I'll dump this one at some point.
As for the GDSF6, there's only a reference to the CR523B which suggests it would be the only drive compatible with this model.



cd7cloneB.zip
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  cd7cloneB.zip
 Filesize:  140.71 KB
 Downloaded:  54 Time(s)

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MottZilla



Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Posts: 761

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine if it weren't for all the great relatively cheap flash carts someone would have reverse engineered the protocol by now to hooked some other storage device.

I've thought about getting the appropriate drive before and building my own interface. But usually the drives aren't cheap. I imagine it would be possible to using modern devices translate between the MKE/Panasonic interface and something more readily available to read a cd-rom or emulated cd-rom via an ISO.

Maybe there is another reason for why you couldn't hookup a USB optical drive through a device like a FPGA and make it work, but I think the reason we haven't seen it is certainly a lack of motivation. It's been well over a decade since these old Copiers were the go to way to play ROMs on real hardware.
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Mystic_Merlin



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2022 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey MottZilla, nice to see you around Wink

As usual for this type of old gear, the main purpose is to document and keep them running, not so much about a daily usage.
As I mentioned earlier, the MKE protocol has already been reverse engineered since those ODE for the 3DO are commercialized; it wouldn't take much to adapt them for the CD7.

I already spent quite some time on the CR-562J and learnt some interesting things as most of the mechanical parts are identical to the FZ-10 CD drive. If I can salvage the driver board, I hope to revive it.
Just to be sure I got a 2nd FZ-10 for cheap and I brought back a CR-562B I kept in my basement many years ago.
I'll report my findings when I finish this restoration.
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system64



Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know if GDSF3, 6, 7 are compatible with CR-521
and/or CR-522 drives?
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Mystic_Merlin



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2022 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

system64 wrote:
Does anyone know if GDSF3, 6, 7 are compatible with CR-521
and/or CR-522 drives?


They could work as a 523, usually there are minor modifications between those but you might have to use the ROM from a CR-523
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NorQue



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's one on Ebay right now CIB for the ridiculously low price of just 1,050.00 CAD/778.21 USD. Just in case someone is feeling generous and wants to help Mystic_Merlins research...
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Mystic_Merlin



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NorQue wrote:
There's one on Ebay right now CIB for the ridiculously low price of just 1,050.00 CAD/778.21 USD. Just in case someone is feeling generous and wants to help Mystic_Merlins research...


Laughing Laughing
I'm currently in France for a few days and I also came across a few copier ads on eBay. Prices are really ridiculous compared to Asia.
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