Category Archives: NGPC USB Linker

New Forum, Bundles Sold Out, and More Bundles Coming

Example Of The Latest Bundles

I know that the comments area here isn’t the best way to communicate with each other, so I thought a forum would be a good place for all of us Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart guys could hang out. To that end, I’m excited to announce that I have just installed a forum for us. Head over to forum.freeplaytech.com and see what I’m talking about. I haven’t added any topics yet, and I will probably be changing the look/layout a bit.

You may have noticed that the bundles that were available sold out quickly. While I am very excited that they sold so fast (within 24 hours), it saddens me to know that I am turning other Neo Geo Pocket people away. If that’s the case for you, maybe head over to the forum and rant about how much you want one. 🙂

Seriously though, that brings me to my final point of the post. More units are nearly complete. Maybe they’ll be ready in a week or two. I’m thinking that 6-8 bundles might be available then.

It seems that I’m getting more and more comments/emails/contact lately, and that’s great. Keep them coming, and add the new Freeplaytech Forum to that list of ways to contact me and other NGPC freaks. I appreciate you guys mentioning this on other sites/forums/Facebook/Twitter/etc. I know that I am not making enough to satisfy demand, but I’m trying to figure out ways to ramp up supply. The more demand goes up, the more that will push me toward better production.

Bundles For Sale

Well, I hadn’t intended to do this, but I got some requests for pre-sale bundles. I don’t want to sell units I don’t have, and I don’t want to offer this as a service only to people that talk to me about it. I’d prefer to keep everything available to the general public on a first come first serve basis.

So, I do have units ready. They are almost ready to go out in the mail. I’m just waiting for a couple very small pieces. If you want to purchase one of these knowing that they might not ship out immediately (I’m thinking 2 weeks if things go very poorly), then head over to the purchase page and buy a bundle.

Oh, and please note that this set of cartridge cases are slightly different than the cartridges I had previously. These ones are Neo Turfmasters (a good game), but they are without the translucent plastic protective case that cartridges often come in.

Bundles (almost) Ready

This is just a quick “heads up” post. I have about 6 bundles almost ready to go. I’m just waiting on some parts to arrive, and then I can assemble them. They’re all soldered up and ready to go. I just need to finalize them when the parts arrive.

I have another batch (of about 6) that are mostly ready. They just need a bit more soldering work.

Hopefully the parts will arrive in the next few days and I can make these units available.

I have now pretty much run through my supply of NGPC sockets needed to build the Linkmasta. These are one of the parts that I make by hand. The issue is that I don’t have a good workshop for cutting/grinding/milling these plastic parts. My father and I made the last batch in his workshop. He’s gone, and won’t be back for a few months.

So, my plan is to stop building these bundles for a while after this next batch is sold. I will focus on some new ideas and projects I have.

I will be sure to make another post when I put the bundles up for purchase. I just wanted to give you a status update, as things have gone slower than expected (which seems to be normal).

Sold Out, Time To Build More

Just Replace The 2011 With 2012

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for the support in 2011!

I don’t really have much to discuss today, but I figured that I should make a post stating that units are again Sold Out. I have updated the Purchase NGPC Flash Cart Page to reflect that.

I will again be building more Flashmasta/Linkmasta bundles. I thought I might get to work on this project over the holidays, but that didn’t work out. I ended up being busy with other things and family (which is good).

Now that I’m back down to 0 units left and life is pretty much back to normal, I’ll get back to working on NGPC stuff. I don’t know if I’ll do another run of 20 or not, but I’ll get some ready. I’m guessing that in 4 weeks I should have some available again. If I build less, maybe it will be sooner, but it seems to work better to buy parts and build the units in higher quantities.

So, that’s the “news” which really isn’t anything too interesting.

Again, thanks for supporting my projects. It really does mean a lot to me.

5 Bundles Left / Downtime During Holidays

Santa Mai Thanks To Giosuke's Deviantart

Thanks to all you guys that have supported this project by purchasing Flashmasta/Linkmasta bundles in the past month. On Nov. 21st I announced that I had 20 bundles ready, and now it’s down to 5. So, if you’re thinking about getting one, there are only 5 left, and I’m not sure when I’ll be building more. I have parts to build more, but I also have other projects (and real life) to work on. I don’t mean to say this to scare anyone into buying anything. I just want to keep you guys informed.

Also, I want to let everyone know that I will not be shipping anything between December 22nd and January 2nd. I want to reserve that time for family, and I think things will be too hectic to commit to fulfilling orders.

I guess that both of these things add up to mean that if you’re planning on getting one, you should do it ASAP. After Dec. 21st, I will still take orders, but I will not ship them out until after the 2nd. Please be aware of this if you order during that time.

Thank you again for following the project. Next year, I hope to bring new ideas and products both to the Neo Geo Pocket scene and others. Stay tuned, and have a Merry Christmas or other happy holiday time!

Back In Business! Neo Geo Pocket Color Flash Carts and Linkers For Sale

Here we go! I finally have another bunch of Flashmasta/Linkmasta ready. This time I have 20 bundles prepared. I’ve been working on these for a while, and things have taken longer than I expected. Hopefully it’s worth the wait, though as the Flashmasta cartridge has a new feature. We’ll get to that in a bit, though.

If You Can’t Wait For One Any Longer, Click Here

In each bundle, you’ll receive:

  • a Neo Linkmasta USB Device (interfaces between your PC and a NGPC game or flash cartridge)
  • a Neo Pocket Flashmasta SW Cartridge (NGPC flash cartridge)
  • a USB Cable to hook between the Linkmasta and your PC

Previously this bundle was $135. If you wanted the Linkmasta’s case uncut, you could save $10. Well, Xian Xi over at Jamma Nation X offered to help out and cut the cases. This saves me the effort of cutting each one, and the savings gets passed on to you. So, if you like the case or like the $10 you save, do him a favor and check out his site and thank him.

Now, back to the Flashmasta improvement. I’m calling this one the “Flashmasta SW” because it adds one little switch. Yeah, that’s it, a switch. Here’s the deal. NGPC carts can go up to 32megabit. A 32mbit cart is actually 2 16mbit chips. The vast majority of the time, you’ll use less than 16mbit of the cart if you’re only writing a single game to the cartridge. This means that the other “high memory” chip is sitting completely unused. Well, I developed a mechanism to switch which chip is the high and which is the low.

What you can now do is write a 16mbit or smaller game to your Flashmasta SW. Then, you can switch the switch and write another 16mbit or smaller game to the Flashmasta SW. Now you have 2 games that can be selected via switch.

So, it only gets you 2 selectable games, but that’s twice as many as you have without the switch. Just be warned. If you have a game that you’ve been playing (with savegame) and you change the switch and write a game larger than 16mbit, you will wipe out your savegame.

I’d recommend always backing up your cartridge before writing something new. The downside is that the only good way to backup your savegame data from the Flashmasta is to back up the entire cartridge. It only takes a couple minutes, though, so it’s well worth it in my opinion.

I also need to mention that we just got a new build of the Windows and Mac GUI programs. They’re on the download page if you want to check that out. I fixed a bug that comes up when you try to write a 32mbit file to the cartridge. If you ever notice issues, be sure to contact me. I’ll work with you to try to figure it out ASAP.

Well, I need to go update the Purchase page, and I don’t really have much more to say here. As always, leave a comment. I appreciate those. Here are some more pictures to show off the fruits of my recent labor.

Flashmasta-SW Teaser

I have been working hard on these lately. I have over 20 Flashmasta cartridges ready. To go with them, I have 20 Linkmasta USB linkers almost ready. I’m waiting on one little part to arrive, and then I should be ready (in 3-4 days) to reopen the sales. I know it’s taking a while. Everything seems slower than I anticipate, but I guess that’s how it goes.

Thanks to Thor, we now have a new NGPC homebrew game for you Flashmasta owners out there. Check it out. It’s called MIX!, and it’s a mix of 3 different puzzle games all together in one ROM. I put it on the Downloads page. If you have any other Homebrew that you think should be added there, let me know.

New GUI Build and Other Stuff

About a week ago, Mr. Spiv released the GUI he has been working on. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve been making improvements to it. Just now, I added a newer build to the downloads page. Go check it out. I hope it addresses any problems you may have had with the previous release. If not, or if you have something else to add, please leave a comment. If you don’t speak up, we may never know there’s a problem.

In other news, you may have seen that the purchase page lists the Neo Linkmasta and Neo Pocket Flashmasta as sold out. I’m working on getting a bunch of new bundles ready. My goal is to have at least 20 full bundles all ready to go when they go back up for sale. The experimental bare and uncut options were interesting for me to know what people want, but most people just wanted the full bundle. Not only have I have been refining my process and getting some help from people like Xian Xi, Mr. Spiv, Gerry, etc., but, thanks to the orders I’ve received up to this point, I have been able to make some more bulk purchases of parts.

In my opinion, things are progressing quite well, and I am very pleased with the project as a whole. When the product is once again ready for orders, I hope to feel ahead of the game and better prepared to serve the community. I might need some help, though. If you know anybody or any forums/websites/communities that should know about this project, please let them know. If you want to wait until sales re-open, that’s understandable. I just think it’s you guys that will help grow this whole thing. The Neo Geo Pocket has a lot of owners, but most of them don’t know about the Neo Linkmasta and Neo Pocket Flashmasta. Maybe you can help change that.

Units Available, Artwork Coming, Reviews, etc.

Savemasta Socket On Neo Linkmasta

Units Available: If you didn’t notice, there are bundles available on the Purchase Page. I put them up as I make them, but my next push (after this set) may be different. Soon, I am hoping to have a whole bunch ready. They are still being hand made and hand cut, but I ordered more parts this time. I also have been refining my process, and I hope to be able to have a larger group ready all at once instead of just a few here and there like in the past.

Video: I think I currently have 35 LIKEs on my video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTkt11HlMa0 I still need more. If you have a Google/Gmail/YouTube account, I think you can hit the Thumbs-Up LIKE button. If you didn’t realize, I’m trying to win a competition.

Artwork: Thanks to Scaramouche over at Consolas Portatiles, I think that the Linkmasta and Flashmasta are going to have accompanying artwork. The plan is to have labels made for those two items and boxes made for packaging. Scaramouche is overseeing the entire project, and the Argentinian comic artist, Federico Mazza, is being commissioned for the drawings. Check samples of his work at http://mazzartproductions.com/. I have no idea when this will come to fruition, but I am very excited about the development.

Reviews: I’m compiling a list of reviews/posts from people that have received a Linkmasta/Flashmasta. If you got a bundle from me, and you posted something about it, leave a comment. I’ll add it to the list. At some point, I will probably make a separate “reviews” page with quotes and such.

SaveMasta: I finally got around to adding a NeoSaveMasta socket to one of the Neo Linkmasta units for testing. If you don’t know, the Neo Geo MVS and AES can use a memory card for saving scores and such. NeoTurfMasta currently sells these NeoSaveMasta V2 on his website. If you didn’t notice, that’s where I got my naming scheme from. The Linkmasta can read and write these memory cards, but there hasn’t been much work on this feature yet. Essentially, it can backup/dump them and restore a backup. In the future, I envision some sort of online score database that gamers can interface using the Linkmasta and their SaveMasta. Oh, and let me make this clear. The unit shown in the picture is just a prototype. It’s not how they come when you get a Linkmasta. Maybe someday that may be an option, but not now. Also note that the Linkmasta has another expansion port on it. If you’re curious about that, check the Linkmasta expansion port pinout.

That’s it for today. As always, leave a comment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Oh, and do you think we need a forum for any reason, or is the comment section good enough?

Birthday Wish

Hey guys. Tomorrow is my birthday, and my wish is that you guys would like me.

No, I’m not suffering from low self-esteem. I’m hoping that you will go to YouTube and check out my latest video. If you like it, please LIKE it with a Thumbs Up on YouTube. If you think there’s anyone else that might like it, please spread the link. I’d like as many people as possible to see it and like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTkt11HlMa0

EDIT: Yeah, my birthday has come and gone, but I still need YouTube Thumbs Up (LIKE button) votes on my video. It’s for a competition, and they extended the deadline to mid September. Get your friends to vote, if they’d be interested.

Thanks! Ed (aka Flavor)