RARE N64 "IS-VIEWER 64" SCSI Development Cartridge - Up and Running!!

Gerry_MAN
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Joined: July 10th, 2017, 1:36 pm

August 29th, 2017, 4:39 pm #1

Hey Folks,

I haven't been around here too much lately...I've been busy doing some intense research on various areas surrounding N64 development....for both hardware and software.

Anyhow,
I recently got a hold of a very Rare Nintendo N64 Development cartridge know as the "IS-VIEWER 64" development cartridge.



So I decided to buckle down and actually get the unit up and running. So many collectors that own these cartridges, most of the time they just end up sitting on a shelf as a collectable Trophy. That idea I just found to be disturbing!! *#&$&*@!

So, after over a month of intense research, and then some time in the Electronics Lab...building up a Custom SCSI-2 interface cable...and also after getting some help from the N64 Development community in tracking down a Windows Driver, I managed to get the unit up and running!! SSSIIICKKKKKK!!

Now, this "IS-VIEWER 64" is a RAM only based development cartridge. It was released by the company "Intelligent Systems" in the late 90's for development on the Nintendo N64.

The main advantage of this development cartridge (at the time it was released) was the high speed data transfer rate which the on board SCSI interface provided. This allowed the :pottymouth: load time from a source code editing phase, to compiling and running the compiled ROM on the real hardware. Average load time varies based on the ROM game size...however averages may vary between 10-30 seconds. Again...all depending on the game ROM size.

Being a RAM based cartridge, this means that each time you power up the Cartridge, all Game data must be loaded into RAM through the SCSI interface. Once power is removed or the cart is disconnected, all loaded Game data is lost.

Also, the IS-VIEWER64 requires a specially Modded N64 Console for it to work properly. This is similar to the Kmc PARTNER-N64 Debugging console Mod. ( So I had to perform this Mod on one of my spare N64 consoles.)



Anyhow,
I figured you guys would get a kick out of seeing this unit up and running.... :n64:
You can check out a quick little demo video of it that I posted, here on my YouTube Channel. (Link Below:)

RARE Nintendo N64 "IS-VIEWER 64" Development Cartridge - NOW WORKING!!

Fun Stuff!!
Cheers! Folks,
-Gerry
Ohh, I posted a pretty detailed write up on the whole process..... over at assembler games if any of you wanted to go and read it...

The link to the Thread is in the Video description...

I was pretty excited once I got it to work...especially after all the road blocks I had along the way....but still considering all issues...this was probably one of the fastest projects to complete, that I've tackled in a while.

Fun Stuff!
-Gerry
I Build things...
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buddy1983
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Joined: June 20th, 2012, 12:16 pm

August 29th, 2017, 5:43 pm #2

Thanks for sharing, always good to see this stuff
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stinger9142
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Joined: December 4th, 2006, 6:53 am

August 29th, 2017, 5:47 pm #3

Very fascinating :yeah: Thanks for sharing!
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No64DD
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Joined: March 14th, 2012, 1:07 am

August 29th, 2017, 6:49 pm #4

Hey Gerry,

There was one of these that sold on yahoo recently. It was a different version.

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/u156532406
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bluedogrulez
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Joined: March 8th, 2010, 9:20 pm

August 29th, 2017, 9:30 pm #5

Incredible stuff there!!! Ben Heck's got nothing on you! :yeah:
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Nintendo Network ID: BDR2010 / Twitter: @bluedogrulez


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Cabanon
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Joined: May 8th, 2011, 11:57 pm

August 30th, 2017, 12:41 am #6

very cool stuff ! also very nice to see it works. glad you could do that.
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Gerry_MAN
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Joined: July 10th, 2017, 1:36 pm

August 30th, 2017, 9:32 pm #7

Thanks Guys,

It was a fun and yet challenging project.

@No64DD:
Yeah I did see that Yahoo listing.... that is pretty much the same cart as mine...I'm just assuming it has a Firmware memory upgrade and possibly the FPGA.

Still pretty much the same cart though.

So,
MarshallH contacted me and mentioned that there are several N64 game titles that were released which still had special debug code left in the final commercial releases. This particular Debug code was used to communicate with the IS-VIEWER64.

So by running these game ROMs with the IS-VIEWER, I should be able to view these Debugging messages left by the original game programmers. Pretty cool. And apparently there are certain N64 Emulators that allow you to see these Debug messages also.

Anyhow,
There is a list of all the game titles that have Debug messages for the IS-VIEWER64, and also for the PARTNER-N64 systems. Where you can use these systems to view the debugging messages if you run them. (or using an EMU.)

Here is the list of games....I'll be trying these probably on the weekend with the IS-VIEWER64.

This list was posted by the well known N64/64DD Programming Guru "Zoinkity":

IS-VIEWER / PARTNER-N64 - N64 GAMES LIST with Debugging Messages

Cheers!
-Gerry
I Build things...
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No64DD
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Joined: March 14th, 2012, 1:07 am

August 30th, 2017, 11:13 pm #8

Nice. I'm thinking that one i posted came before yours since it says Version D.
Yours is probably the better version.

If i see anything else, i will contact you.
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Gerry_MAN
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Joined: July 10th, 2017, 1:36 pm

September 1st, 2017, 7:02 pm #9

No64DD wrote:Nice. I'm thinking that one i posted came before yours since it says Version D.
Yours is probably the better version.

If i see anything else, i will contact you.
Actually, if you select the picture above with the cart inserted into the console...and then zoom in...you'll see that my cart is version "C".

-Gerry
I Build things...
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No64DD
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Joined: March 14th, 2012, 1:07 am

September 1st, 2017, 9:24 pm #10

You're right. The Version K pic threw me off.
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