New Nuon Owner

cubanismo

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Kind of spilled the beans on a few other more substantive posts, but I'm happy to say I'm now the owner of a Nuon system and controller. If you've read my posts on AtariAge, you probably already know you're in for a long read here. I like to tell my stories.

Been sitting on the sidelines watching from the Atari Jaguar camp for a while. Shortly after I got into Jaguar, I stumbled across this article:


And was quite intrigued when I realized a good chunk of the Jaguar folks made their way over to VM Labs after Atari called it quits on gaming, but as I'd just dove head first into a bunch of Jaguar projects, I figured it wasn't the time to go looking for Nuon stuff at the moment. I was more intrigued when @songbird put out Iron Soldier 3, and seriously considered adding myself to the interest list even though I had no intention of buying a Nuon at the time. "Just in case..." I thought, but again, restrained myself. Finally, when I saw people were seriously doing something about the controller issue, I started to get really itchy to buy one, but I was going to wait until things played out.

However, recently I was perusing eBay like some people peruse Zillow or Redin with no intention of moving, and I came across a pristine Trintron CRT with my name on it, so I went up and got that. With that, I had the perfect display for all the best CRT-preferring systems, and of course since I tend to be interested in the more obscure side of things, it was time to go get that Nuon!

I can't afford any real games at current prices, though I did splurge on an actual controller rather than hold out until a reverse engineered solution is available (Don't worry, I'll still buy a few of those when/if they do come out if anyone wants to recoup their investment), so I was a little scared when the DVD-N501 I bought off eBay wouldn't play any DVD-Rs. I tried various movies I'd burned to various writable DVD types over the years, and it wasn't having anything to do with them. I also couldn't get it to accept any CD-Rs, which I was trying to use to update the firmware in hopes that would improve the situation. It was looking like I was going to be playing a lot of Ballistic, as that's the only affordable game left AFAICT.

After making many a coaster, I decided to take a look inside the thing to judge what kind of effort I'd be putting in to repair or replace the drive, per other threads on here. When I got it open, I found I couldn't even really examine the physical mechanism, because the drive tray covers it completely. I plugged it back in, ejected the drive tray, unplugged it, and put it back on the workbench. Now I could just make out where the platter was, and I had to assume the other little blocky thing sticking up in its vicinity was where the laser/lens was located. I also had to pick various balls of lint and dust out of the drive area with some tweezers. Why they surrounded the laser head in plastic so you can't actually see it, I don't know, but for all I could tell there could have been a pile of lint sitting in that little box around it as well. I wasn't about to poke tweezers in there and risk scratching the lense though. Instead, even though cleaning an optical drive's lense has never actually fixed anything for me in the past, I decided to give it a shot. I managed to jab a cotton swab with some alochol on it in there and wipe it down a bit. The swab came out with something blue on the side of it (Still don't know what it was), which made me a little worried I'd damaged something, but I held my breath and reassembled it. I first retried my various attempts at a firmware update CD-R, none of which it liked. Bummer. I did verify it still accepted regular retail DVD movies. At least I hadn't made things worse. Finally, I tried a DVD-R movie one more time. The DVD menu came right up! Frantically, I went and burned a copy of Ballistic for testing, and finally, I got to behold the Nuon logo! The stupid lense cleaning had actually worked for once!

I still really wanted to get the firmware update to work though, as I was reasoning that doing so would mean I could burn homebrew CD-Rs as well. Luckily I have a bunch of tools in my CD burning toolbox from my efforts burning CD-Rs that flaky Jaguar CD and Saturn units would accept. I busted out my last resort: An ancient Sony CRX140E IDE drive that I keep in a box in the closet which can burn CDs at super low speeds, all the way down to 1x. I paired it with one of my precious genuine new old stock Sony CD-Rs that were made in Japan. Even my worst Jaguar CD reads these things about half of the time. If this didn't work, nothing would. It took what seemed like hours to burn the tiny image at 1x and close out the disk, and when it was done, I popped it in my Nuon and held my breath again. At this point, I'd already become fluent in the various whirs and squeaks my unit would make while trying to load various types of media. I could tell whether a given disk was a DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, glass-pressed DVD, etc. just by the tones that came out of the machine when it tried to load them. This disk was sounding no better than the earlier CD-R attempts I'd made, so hope was fading fast. However, I let it keep chugging, and after what seemed like forever, the Nuon logo appeared, and it progressed into the update! Success!

So now I have a fully functional DVD-N501 that happily plays all the DVD-R's I've thrown at it, and at least one CD-R. Of course, no DVD+Rs, RWs, dual-layer writables, etc. Just DVD-Rs, but that's fine by me. I can play all that other crap in my PS3. As posted elsewhere, I've also managed to get the DVD signing stuff working, so I can load any homebrews that come with source or .cof files that way anyway, but it's nice to know I can always fall back on the old Sony burner if needed. I'm well pleased, and looking forward to spending some more time with the unit.

In the process of getting the signing stuff working, I also had to get ramped up on the SDK. Interesting stuff there indeed... I'll be following the controller efforts closely. I'm curious: Has anyone actually built or gotten a hold of the serial adapter prototypes? I wouldn't mind experimenting with that bit of hardware if the opportunity arose.
 
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    Crazy how much 3d printing has come in the last few years. Sad that it's not as easily modifiable though
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    I bought an Ender 3 during the pandemic and tinkered with it all the time. Just bought a Sovol, not as easy. I'm trying to make it use a different nozzle because I have a fuck ton of Volcanos, and they use what is basically a modified volcano that is just a smidge longer, and almost every part on this thing needs to be redone to make it work
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    Luckily I have a 3d printer for that, I guess. But it's ridiculous. The regular volcanos are 21mm, these Sovol versions are about 23.5mm
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    So, 2.5mm longer. But the thing that measures the bed is about 1.5mm above the nozzle, so if I swap it with a volcano then I'm 1mm behind it. So cool, new bracket to swap that, but THEN the fan shroud to direct air at the part is ALSO going to be .5mm to low, and so I need to redo that, but by doing that it is a little bit off where it should be blowing and it's throwing it at the heating block instead of the part, and fuck man
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    I didn't realize they designed this entire thing to NOT be modded. I would have just got a fucking Bambu if I knew that, the whole point was I could fuck with this. And no one else makes shit for Sovol so I have to go through them, and they have... interesting pricing models. So I have a new extruder altogether that I'm taking apart and going to just design a whole new one to use my nozzles. Dumb design.
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    Can't just buy a new heatblock, you need to get a whole hotend - so block, heater cartridge, thermistor, heatbreak, and nozzle. And they put this fucking paste in there so I can't take the thermistor or cartridge out with any ease, that's 30 dollars. Or you can get the whole extrudor with the direct driver AND that heatblock for like 50, but you still can't get any of it to come apart
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    Partsbuilt has individual parts I found but they're expensive. I think I can get bits swapped around and make this work with generic shit though
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    Power back on finally - all is good here no damage
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    New recipe is another summer dessert Berry and Peach Cheesecake - https://www.thehelper.net/threads/recipe-berry-and-peach-cheesecake.194169/

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